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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:08 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:33 am
Posts: 31
First name: John
Last Name: Geisen
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I am having trouble finding someone to finish guitars locally. I have tried several furniture finishers and local custom woodshops but I am having no luck. Any ideas? I have two guitars nearly ready for finish and will hopefully have two more in a couple months. Pretty soon I am going to run out of room to store them! I finished my first one myself but I am not happy with the results. I think I want to leave finishing to the experts for now.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks,
John


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:52 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1839
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
John, you didn't say what kinds of guitar you were building or what kind of finish you wanted to put on them. The obvious answer is to find a luthier near you who finishes in the materials you want, but that might not be possible. We have some excellent finishers on this forum, some of them might chime in. If you are wanting to do solid finishes on solid body electrics sometimes an auto or motorcycle finisher is your best choice.

The other option is to simply learn to finish yourself. Some finishes are less equipment intensive (FP, some of the wiped polys, maybe TruOil), I got pretty acceptable results with rattle cans of lacquer before buying a compressor and gun, and honestly, lacquer is pretty forgiving.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:36 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:45 pm
Posts: 1041
First name: Michael
Last Name: Colbert
City: Anacortes
State: WA
Focus: Build
What’s local?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:52 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:33 am
Posts: 31
First name: John
Last Name: Geisen
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I am building acoustic guitars now. I have finished several of my own electrics and I am pretty comfortable with that process either with tru-oil, rattle cans or with a spray gun but for the acoustics I just do not have the skills or infrastructure (or patience) to achieve the finish I am looking for.

As for the type of finish, I will probably mix it up eventually but at first I am looking for the glass smooth gloss finish. Nitro is appealing for all the reasons that nitro is, but I would have a hard time putting what I consider to be an inferior (yellowing, cracking) finish on a guitar because it is cool when there are better alternatives. Unless, of course, it was requested on a commission (not that I am receiving commissions). I was hoping to talk to the finisher about options, i.e what is he most comfortable with, what type of longevity can I expect from different finishes, etc.

I have read some about finishing on the many forums and on the inter-webs in general but there is just too much information. I don't know what information is trustworthy. There are so many conflicting opinions. I'd like to talk to and possibly learn from an expert, but for now I'd settle for just having the job performed by an expert. I am still learning the many build processes and feel my time would be better spent on luthiery than on learning finishing which is an entire art on it's own.

Michaeldc - I am in the St. Louis area.

Thanks for the responses!



These users thanked the author Digipenguin for the post: Michaeldc (Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:01 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:00 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4738
Location: Virginia
I think you would be better off shipping the guitar to a well established finisher. Finishing a guitar is different then finishing a table for example. If it was an electric guitar with an acrylic finish then a local automotive painter could probably do a good job. But you sound like you are particular about finishing so just send it off and get it done right ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:47 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 10661
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
City: Tecumseh and Ann Arbor
State: Michigan
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Go with a dedicated guitar finisher because guitars are not just some piece of furniture.

Guitar finishers know that there are environmental requirements such as maintaining proper humidity which if not done can crack instruments while on site. Film thickness is FAR more important on guitars too than on a stinkin coffee table.

Everyone I've ever known has either had to ship guitars to the very few, a handful of finishers out here or drive them there. That's what I did, drive them to finishers in neighboring states which can be a good time with Chinese food, scotch etc.

My friend Brian Howard is on this forum and he's a serious guy with excellent chops and you might want to PM him and ask him about shipping your stuff to him. He's highly recommended by your's truly.

PS: Decent acoustic finishing is an art and every bit as difficult to do very well as building a superb instrument. Outsourcing finishing at least early on is what I did too and looking back it was the right move for me.

_________________
Ann Arbor Guitars
World-Class Repair and Restoration
http://www.annarborguitars.com


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:35 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 2738
Location: Magnolia DE
First name: Brian
Last Name: Howard
City: Magnolia
State: Delaware
Zip/Postal Code: 19962
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
Having started in furniture and cabinetry I can tell you there is a world of difference between what is acceptable for furniture and what is acceptable for fine guitars.... And auto body guys are even worse than cabinet shops. I get asked to "fix" their stuff all the time.

AS noted there are only a handful of us actual "guitar finishers" out here in the USA who actually do proper professional finishes. There are a lot of spray bomb hack type shops all over the place and before you say what does it matter how it is applied I will tell you the difference is in the materials themselves... Rattle cans have cheaper lower grade materials and materials matter. Especially if you want the thinnest possible coating weights!

I no longer take in "batches" from other builders. One, maybe two guitars at a time from any one builder at a time and this is subject to availability of my time and space. Since I get a lot of inquiries from here I will give a rundown on basic pricing etc here for reference (with Lance's approval... not advertising here). All finish is currently UV cured poly. Finish systems include Iso coat for oily woods, coats before and after filler, clear pore filler and full gloss clear coat buffed out level. Pricing for acoustic guitars in clear starts at $500. Toners, bursts, etc add $75+ depending on situation. Cutaways etc can also increase pricing as they add labor to buffing and curing. Turn around varies but is never less than 4-5 weeks and is currently minimum of 8 weeks.

_________________
Brian

You never know what you are capable of until you actually try.

https://www.howardguitarsdelaware.com/



These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post (total 2): Pmaj7 (Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:06 pm) • Hesh (Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:41 pm)
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