Finishing Experiments

Questions and answers for beginners. If you have a question, so do most other people.
scamp
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:19 pm

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by scamp »

Thanks John

One more finishing question for you.

I noticed that most videos I've seen show people finishing guitars with the necks on.
This seems to present some problems ( getting pore filler and Tru oil into the neck body joints etc.)
It seems like it would be easier to finish them separately but I could also see how this might present a problem.
If there is build up of finish on the guitar body it might throw off the body neck alignment.
I guess you could mask this area.
Since I have a bolt on neck it's easy to remove the neck.

So..... Finish with neck and body together or not?
If finished separately, do you mask off the neck/body interface areas?
Last edited by scamp on Sat May 14, 2022 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

Just make absolutely sure that each coat of shellac is dry and set and absolutely make sure that the pore filler is thoroughly dry before sanding. If you don't, you'll end up with white specs in the pores. The only way to get rid of them is to strip everything off and start over.
Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
carld05
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:19 pm
Location: Forest Ranch, CA

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by carld05 »

I finish the body and neck separately. Much easier for me that way.
scamp
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:19 pm

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by scamp »

carld05 wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 1:32 pm I finish the body and neck separately. Much easier for me that way.
Do you mask off the area on the body where the neck and body meet ( like you mask off the bridge location) or do you just finish that area and it isn't a problem?
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

scamp wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 2:25 pm
carld05 wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 1:32 pm I finish the body and neck separately. Much easier for me that way.
Do you mask off the area on the body where the neck and body meet ( like you mask off the bridge location) or do you just finish that area and it isn't a problem?
No. I finish the box completely to the edge of the mortise. I finish all of the neck, except under the heel cheeks and dovetail (tenon). You don't want to finish your gluing areas.

I use hot hide glue for construction. I do put glue under the cheeks of the heel, where it sits on top of the guitar shoulders. This isn't to hold the neck (the dovetail does that). It's so if there should be a tiny gap of any kind, the glue will close it, making the neck appear as through it's almost growing out of the shoulders.
Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

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Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
scamp
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:19 pm

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by scamp »

Very nice. Love the black accents on this guitar.
You do fine work.

So... It looks like the finish on the body under the neck isn't an issue and won't appreciably effect the alignment of the guitar.

This makes things simpler as far as I'm concerned.
Don't need to worry about a lot of difficult crevices and build up.

I have a bolt on neck but I guess I can still put some glue under the neck joint to fill in as you did.

Thanks
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

scamp wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 5:27 pm Very nice. Love the black accents on this guitar.
You do fine work.

So... It looks like the finish on the body under the neck isn't an issue and won't appreciably effect the alignment of the guitar.

This makes things simpler as far as I'm concerned.
Don't need to worry about a lot of difficult crevices and build up.

I have a bolt on neck but I guess I can still put some glue under the neck joint to fill in as you did.

Thanks
Yes, do the bolt-on neck exactly as I did the dovetail. You know what I mean by "cheeks"?

I would suggest that if you don't use hot hide glue, use cold hide glue under the cheeks. It's clear amber color blends in well with finishes. Just clean up around the heel the best that you can. Later, it's easy to clean up more if needed, with warm water, after it's dry. No glue really sticks well to finishes, so it'll clean up nicely and fill any small gap.

You're geometry is determined by the work done on the tenon, so finishing the guitar shoulders doesn't affect alignment. You'll take off small amounts under the heel to allow the proper angle of the neck to sit back.

All of the fitting of the neck...everything short of permanently attaching it, is done before you apply finish. Once your neck is properly fit and sitting nicely, you finish the box and neck. Also, the finish is done before gluing the bridge, for the same reason I do it before attaching the neck. The difference is that you will need to do 1 of 2 things in this area:

1. Put tape under the bridge, then place the bridge where it will go, tracing around it with an xacto knife, so that the entire area under the bridge only, is taped off. Then when you finish, just finish over the tape. Later, you'll again lightly score around the tape to remove it, which leaves a clean and pristine area to glue the bridge. Or:

2. Finish the guitar and when you're ready to glue the bridge, you'll score the finish around the bridge. You'll have to scrape off (or use a dremel) to remove all finish from under the bridge.

You must not have any finish under the bridge, or your bridge will fail. I would venture to say that one method is about equal to the other. It'll just be personal preference for you. Using a dremel or inlay tool to clean this area may be intimidating. Scraping is done carefully, using a chisel or razor. It's probably the least intimidating to tape under the bridge, later removing the tape and along with it, the finish on top it.
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Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
carld05
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:19 pm
Location: Forest Ranch, CA

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by carld05 »

The only place I use glue on the neck, body joint on bolt on necks is under the fingerboard extension. If you later need to adjust the angle of that joint, as in a slight neck reset, the neck does not need removal, just flossing.
Diane Kauffmds
Posts: 2700
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Finishing Experiments

Post by Diane Kauffmds »

carld05 wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 12:37 am The only place I use glue on the neck, body joint on bolt on necks is under the fingerboard extension. If you later need to adjust the angle of that joint, as in a slight neck reset, the neck does not need removal, just flossing.
I'm talking about putting glue under the cheeks only. It's a good way of taking care of any very small gaps. I scribe sand and my necks sit absolutely against the shoulders. I still use this Martin company trick on my builds. It doesn't interfere with adjustments of bolt-on necks. The glue doesn't stick thoroughly to the finished shoulders, but just enough to take care of any small gaps. New folks in particular, will most likely have these gaps. Hide glue easily dissolves with warm water and a cloth or paper towel.
Diane Kauffmann
Country Roads Guitars
countryroadsguitars@gmail.com
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