First Guitar Finishing

The Achilles' Heel of Luthiery
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scamp
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:19 pm

First Guitar Finishing

Post by scamp »

Will be starting my first guitar ( from a kit ) soon.
Doing a lot of research and I think I have a reasonable handle on constructing the guitar.
It all looks doable ( I"m sure I will make some mistakes but probably all reasonably recoverable).

After, however, looking at some info about finishing the final product I am a bit more concerned.
Seems like I need to make some kind of well ventilated area in my basement work shop ( with fans blowing air outside) and with relatively controlled humidity.
Additionally, it seems like rattle can spraying is tricky and buffing might require special tools ( car buffer etc.).
A fall back would be to hire someone to finish the guitar but I would like to avoid this if possible ( since it seems contrary to building ones own guitar).

So.. Does anyone have any opinions on how hard it is to finish the guitar ( setting up spray areas, working with spray cans, sanding, buffing etc. ) and if they were reasonably happy with the final results.

Thanks
BEJ
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:38 am
Location: Seattle

Re: First Guitar Finishing

Post by BEJ »

You're about to enter the world of guitar finishing, about like entering "The Twilight Zone" good luck. About the only thing I haven't tried is Tru Oil, I have a bottle but need to make another guitar to try it. Seems like the least messy, simplest finishing method that meets your needs as stated. Robbie O'Brien has a good vid on Y tube on it's use, there are most likely some on this site too.

Bruce,
TEETERFAN
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:43 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: First Guitar Finishing

Post by TEETERFAN »

French polishing with shellac is a hand applied finish, no spray equipment needed. It will take a bit of practice to get the feel, but I was surprised how quick I learned the technique. Not as resistant to a spilled beer as lacquer, but a good looking result. Lots if stunning examples by other builders on this forum.
Kevin Doty
Kansas City
Skarsaune
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:12 am

Re: First Guitar Finishing

Post by Skarsaune »

Lots of ways to skin that cat.

I spray rattle cans outside when the weather is appropriate.

I brush on water based finish in the house (no fumes).

French polish uses alcohol for the solvent, so minimal fume nonsense.

You can get a pretty darn good finish a number of ways. It might not be a factory slick clear perfect finish your first try.

Luckily for me, good enough IS good enough
jread
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am

Re: First Guitar Finishing

Post by jread »

My 1st was tru oil and it was easy and looks great. I moved to French polished shellac. It was a learning curve but easy to keep working it till it looks good.

My 2 cents….

They all look pretty much the same from >6’ away.
Factory perfect spray wouldn’t suit my builds anyway. I like em warts and all.
tippie53
Posts: 6657
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: Hegins, Pa
Contact:

Re: First Guitar Finishing

Post by tippie53 »

there are a few finishes that are not as smelly Tru Oil french polish and emtech 6000
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com
carld05
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:19 pm
Location: Forest Ranch, CA

Re: First Guitar Finishing

Post by carld05 »

A matte or satin finish is another choice. Could eliminate the buffing step.
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