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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
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Location: Arlington, WA
My first build is a tenor ukulele that I am putting a bird's-eye maple fret board on. I understand that there's a downside to that, staining from playing the instrument. Is there a good method of sealing or finishing to avoid that or at least reduce it?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
super glue or a few coats of lacquer

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Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
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Location: Arlington, WA
I heard somewhere that you could use super glue as a finish so I cleaned up an inexpensive hand plane and refinished the knob and grip with Superglue. It worked but because I didn't know what I was doing it wasn't particularly pretty.

Here is a video of a guy using superglue as a finish on an electric guitar body. I assume that I would be do something like this. Frets are installed and so that would make it a little more challenging.
https://youtu.be/-YNF0O7Zjvc


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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I used CA to pore fill the mahogany guitar I built back in February. It did a fantastic job of pore filling, but the fumes were enough to kill a horse. I used my full face respirator, but the fumes lingered, even with all windows open and a large fan blowing the air outside.

Although the fumes are bad, it did a very nice job of pore filling. I can see where I could have continued building it up as a finish. It takes hard polishing very well creating a high gloss. But, you need a respirator and really good ventilation.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
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Location: Arlington, WA
I think I want to try the lacquer. I bought 2 different products (to bring home and read labels). These seem to simply be called lacquer. One is satin and it makes sense to me to opt for that. One drys in 15 minutes or less it says and the other in 30 minutes. Another can (I didn't buy) is labeled lacquer sanding sealer. I don't know enough to know what that means.

Also, I see what shellac on the birdseye maple looks like as I sealed the top with a Zinzer spray shellac. Gives it a golden tone. I guess all I can do to know what the lacquer will look like is experiment on scrap.

Finally, does the lacquer simply wipe off of the frets after it dries on the wood?

Gratefully!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:19 pm
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Location: Forest Ranch, CA
Deft will never harden up enough for a fingerboard especially satin. You should use a stewmac spray for instruments.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Well, you could just let it get stained and then charge extra for the privilege. I mean, people pay for custom shops to ding, dent, and scratch their new instruments to look old, so why are we working so hard to keep them looking new?

OK enough sarcasm, but people have conflated the cause and effect of wear. Good instruments get beat up because they are good instruments first, not because beating them up makes them so.

Lacquer on frets can be removed by scraping with something harder than lacquer but softer than frets. Your thumbnail might work, but mine doesn't. Credit cards are a bit too soft, but a "spudger" used to open electronics for repair is both sturdy enough for the job and soft enough to do no harm, although you want to tape off the lacquered fingerboard just the same to avoid scratching it. There is probably something for painters that serves the same purpose. Also, if you have yet to level and crown the frets, that process will inevitably remove lacquer from them although it might then gum up your crowning file.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:44 pm 
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Location: Arlington, WA
Thank you. Sarcasm is good stuff :-)

I guess I spoke too soon. I've heard from people who say that you can't get lacquer hard enough for this purpose. So now I may be back to the superglue method.

It looked like the gentleman in a video was rubbing in the superglue onto the top of a solid body guitar. I wonder what viscosity of CA glue would work for that? And do you send that and put on multiple coats? Ultimately I will end up experimenting but I would like to save some time.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:30 am 
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I used thin CA for pore filling. I know it's counter intuitive, but I've found that thin CA has a longer working time, which is an advantage when finishing something.


Last edited by Diane Kauffmds on Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
minwax lacquer ( home depot ) is 10 times better than deft

on the thin CA a lot depends on the brand . The nice thing is that you can work this up pretty fact. Avoid the activators and let it cure about 20 min per coat
then level and may I suggest use 0000 steel wool or a scotch pad you don't want gloss a satin will hide imperfections much better

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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