I'm finishing a guitar and i want a really glossy finish. I have heard
good things about formby's oil and tru-oil. anyone care to defend or
suggest a favorite? im looking for something not too difficult because
i am pretty new to wood finishing, although i'm not stupid either.
Are you talking about an acoustic guitar or a solid-body electric guitar?
I use nitrocellulose lacquer or KTM9 water-borne acrylic lacquer on my
On the solid-body basses and guitars, I use Nitrocellulose lacquer,
General Finishes oil/polyurethane wipe-on products, or Minwax spray
Some guys use tung oil on solid body basses--particularly on the neck,
because it yields a silky-smooth feel and they feel they can play
faster. But that's a finish you have to take care of, because it
doesn't really harden like lacquer or polyurethane finishes.
And take a look at this web site too (called Guitar Reranch):
Guitar Reranch also hosts a forum on guitar finishing:
They sell mostly nitrocellulose-related products, but there are articles
on guitar finishing too.
And Stewart-MacDonald has a book called "Guitar Finishing Step By Step"
i have been to all of those sites before, they're awesome!
thanks for suggesting them! i know i would've if i were you!
um, so i guess no one has actually really used formby's or tru-oil?
man. im wondering if it ambers the wood any as well... either of them.
oh also! what do you guys use to color your natural guitars? stain or
You might check out Stewart Macdonald's site http://www.stewmac.com
While I've not tried tung oil. The free information provided on the
site suggest using tung oil on the back and neck of electric guitars
for a smoother feel and playability.
When I built my Martin Kit. I used a sanding sealer, grain filler then
spray on lacquar. I ended up applying a total of about 6 to 9 coats.
with a light scuff sanding every 2 coats.
The real work began after that using a rotary polishing pad and
polishing compounds I brought out that high gloss finish.
You have to be VERY carful at this stage though because you can blow
through the finish in a heartbeat along the edges and corners.
so how long did it take you to finish your lacquer job? i would have
to use a drill to polish at any speeds higher than an arm can move.
so is everyone pretty set on the lacquers and nitro?
no one has used any of the oil varnishes like tru-oil or formby's high
gloss tung oil?
also, what have you guys used to color your wood? stain or dye?
I used Woodburst Stain on one bass body I built--I didn't like the
result--you tend to lose the lustre of the wood grain with a stain.
Most guitar finishers put dye in one or more coats of lacquer when they
want a transparent finish with some color to it. You can get the dyes
from www.lmii.com or www.stewmac.com.
Myself, I have religious convictions against hiding naturally beautiful
wood grain under paints, stains, and dyes. :-) Seriously, what could
be more beautiful than natural wood with a nice gloss or satin finish on it?
That's just my opinion--I could be wrong!
And I have used a tung oil/polyurethane product wipe-on product, made by
a company called "General Finishes" It works quite well on necks and
bodies. But even the gloss product does not yield a true high-gloss
finish--more like semi-gloss. I've used it on bodies and necks--I
actually like this finish better on necks than lacquer.
That LMI link given above talks about using Formby's True Oil... they
recommend both an initial coat of shellac on the wood (maybe to keep the
oil out of the wood?), and then use of a True Oil Sealer (plugs the
pores) to build up the finish. You also probably won't get the gloss
you would with a shellac or lacquer finish.
it's an electric guitar. well the tru-oil is a polymerized oil... and
is considered by most luthier sites "varnish."
i looked that up. hope you could tell.
i'm wanting to have shine, but i don't really have tons of equipment,
like ventilators and crazy buffing machines for nitro.
waterbased lacquer or poly, is as crazy as i get.
Oil finishes generally add dampening to the wood. For an acoustic
instrament that is generally a bad thing. Dunno if that would
be good, bad, or immaterial for an electric guitar.
Would an electric guitar made from MDF or particle board
sound good? If so, oil finishes and latex paint should be OK.
If you look at Les Pauls first experiment it wasn't anything more than a
large board. As a matter of fact he called it a railroad tie. It's the
pickup and the amplifier controls that gives the sound on a solid body
guitar. As a result you could make it out of anything.
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