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Hi. First guitar build. First post!

 
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wineshop



Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Hi. First guitar build. First post! Reply with quote

Howdy, everyone. I've been playing guitar for 35 years, but I'm actually just now building my first guitar. While browsing the net I stumbled across this site and was hoping you could give me some advice. My guitar body is alder, and I want the finish to look like the N4 is these pictures. I like the way it looks like it's not finished at all, but I presume it is. I even bought some similar wood from Lowes to try and practice. Haven't gotten close yet. Every guitar I've ever owned has been at least partly due to it's looks. I kinda want this one to be, well .. a little ugly. Until I plug it in. I do kind of like the way this one looks a little dirty. Although that'll happen in time naturally, I am curious how I might go about speeding it up, a bit. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

https://flic.kr/p/WZJ4LV

https://flic.kr/p/VLgCUX

https://flic.kr/p/WZJ4Jk

https://flic.kr/p/VLgCSc


Last edited by wineshop on Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wineshop



Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well - not sure why my pics didn't link. I'm guessing a minimum number of posts are required before posting pics? My bad.

Edit: I changed the links to straight URL's, so they can be opened in your browser, if you don't mind. Thank you!
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tnt



Joined: 14 May 2007
Posts: 2897
Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome!

As you going to try to go for a relic look?

Really doesn't look like there is any finish on the one in your pics....poking around on the web, the new ones list a 'natural matte' finish.

I'm thinking maybe a few coats of tung oil and a #0000 steel wool rub down?
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wineshop



Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. I think I would like a slight relic look. Nothing heavy like the road worn models. I read on some other sites that tung oil might be an option. But most of the pictures I found looked a little darker than my example. But perhaps more steel wool use will lighten it? I did send an email to StewMac who suggested a clear, matte laquer and nothing else. I may just have to get both and try them with my piece of test wood!
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poolshark



Joined: 05 Jun 2014
Posts: 151
Location: Flahrida

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The N4 looks unfinished or, at most, oil finished. The grain texture appears quite visible, so I'd avoid film finishes like lacquer. As for color, an oil finish generally doesn't contain much in the way of color, save a very light yellow tone; it'll darken the wood very slightly, and while steel wool will create a lovely smooth surface, it won't lighten the color any. If you're happy with your current body color, I say leave it unfinished. What's the body look like now?
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wineshop



Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="poolshark"]What's the body look like now?[/quote]

Well I don't have it yet. It's being built by KNEGuitars. But this is the one I chose (different pickup configuration). But I'm not even sure the one in the picture is alder, so I don't know if that helps any yet. I may have to take a picture and re-post this when I get it. I was just trying to get ahead of the game a bit. Thanks for the advice!

http://www.kneguitars.com/images/site_bodies/dnk_main_lg.jpg
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ladyfinisher



Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 398
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks very much like a piece of antique pine furniture I had. It was bees wax. It looked raw, but had a very soft rubbed sheen like the picture and was smooth to the touch.

Ladyfinisher
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CustomGuitarFinishing.com specializing in custom exotic wood guitar body and neck finishing
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wineshop



Joined: 22 Jul 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link to my actual guitar body. Here's what I think I'm going to do (please tell me if you have a better idea). I'm going to "ding" the body a bit (drop keys on it, etc) not not too much. Then use wet rag to wipe it down and bring out the grain. Then, using a 3 to 1 (thinner to stain) ratio, I will stain the body, wiping as I go. When it's finished i will do a second coat. Then when that dries, I'll spray with Minwax Poly Clear Satin, sand, repeat several times. I think that will get be close for the body. Please - any ideas I'm all ears! I do have a small block from the original cut to practice on!


https://flic.kr/p/WKxJZ9
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Cross



Joined: 16 Aug 2017
Posts: 11
Location: Enumclaw, WA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Typically, when trying to relic an instrument, I would recommend beating it up after doing your finish, no matter what finish it is. Any dings and scrapes then will look authentic and not just like a poorly sanded product. This is especially true if you want to scrape away a finish to show the bare wood underneath (like where it might rub away under your arm).
I've seen finishes where having dings and whatnot before finish giving the body a weird bumpy/lumpy look.
Wiping the wood down wet to pull out the grain will also tend to leave ridges as the grain rises. Most people sand it down so that they can apply smooth finish which typically looks better... however that is usually with a lacquered clear coat.
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tnt



Joined: 14 May 2007
Posts: 2897
Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wineshop wrote:
Here's a link to my actual guitar body. Here's what I think I'm going to do (please tell me if you have a better idea). I'm going to "ding" the body a bit (drop keys on it, etc) not not too much. Then use wet rag to wipe it down and bring out the grain. Then, using a 3 to 1 (thinner to stain) ratio, I will stain the body, wiping as I go. When it's finished i will do a second coat. Then when that dries, I'll spray with Minwax Poly Clear Satin, sand, repeat several times. I think that will get be close for the body. Please - any ideas I'm all ears! I do have a small block from the original cut to practice on!


https://flic.kr/p/WKxJZ9


Well, that's a fine finish schedule, but I don't think it will yield a finish similar to your target.

- I agree with cross - don't relic the body first. Especially if you are going to use a poly finish. Think of relic-ing as just fast forwarding the life of the guitar. IOW the first step is a factory fresh perfect guitar. THEN you ding it up....

- Re: Poly - most folks would choose Nitrocellulose lacquer over poly because it is more forgivable - each successive layer re-activates the ones under it, and they all melt together into one solid thicker coat.

- BUT I'm not sure you should use either. Looking at those pics, I see dirt rubbed into the grain of the whole guitar, which suggests to me an oil finish of some kind. I would think about testing tung oil or maybe a few coats of Tru-oil.

- Alternatively I would spray just a few coats of a satin lacquer over your stain and rub it down with #0000 steel wool.
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