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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 7:08 pm 
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Walnut
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Location: Belgium
First name: Glenn
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Hello Luthiers,

(I'm not sure if this section is the correct place to post this; if not: excuse me!)

As an amateur guitar builder, I was looking for a place on the internet that united some experienced guitar builders. This forum really looks like a useful forum for the beginning guitar builder. I really hope some more experienced people can help me out. I also hope that my post is 'complete' enough to sketch my situation and needs.

So, the thing is...
I recently bought a DIY guitar kit. It's a mahogany flying V guitar, and I really like the looks of it. As mentioned before, I am a complete beginner at this kind of stuff. My question is about getting help to paint it.

The guitar I'm basing it all on:
http://static.musicbusiness.fr/media/catalog/product/cache/9/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/g/i/gibson-les-paul-melody-maker-2014-wine-red-3.jpg
http://static.musicbusiness.fr/media/catalog/product/cache/9/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/g/i/gibson-les-paul-melody-maker-2014-wine-red-1.jpg


As you can see, the guitar has a Satin Red Wine finish. My dream guitar is a flying V with the same finish. Therefore, I'd like some help and information on how I should paint and finish my guitar exactly like it. Does anyone here have any experience with this kind of work? Is it hard for a beginner, or rather doable?

I appreciate ANY kind of help or response I get, people.
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 8:14 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:03 pm
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First name: Glenn
Last Name: Aycock
City: El Lago
State: Texas
Zip/Postal Code: 77586
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
That looks like a translucent finish (stain + satin clear coat) rather than paint (opaque).

Basic steps (subject to debate) :
1) sand to 220 or 320
2) seal with sanding sealer type product (shellac is compatible with all top coats)
3) fill grain (optional) - many options, and order of 3-5 may vary depending on desired effects.
4) sand and seal again (optional)
5) stain
6) oil/varnish (optional but adds depth to figured grain)
7) light sanding (400 or 600)
8) many layers of top coats - options include oil/varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, shellac and combinations thereof.

Each has certain qualities and tradeoffs, such as curing time, durability, methods of application, repairability, etc, which I leave you to investigate. The choice should also be influenced by your comfort/ability to apply each finish by recommended method (spray, brush, wipe, etc).

Water-based filler and finishes raise the grain, which means you have to lightly sand them after application to bare wood.

For highly figured wood, such as curly maple, sanding to 320 or 400 really makes the grain pop (depth/contrast). Some people stain the wood very dark (black) first, then sand most of it off, and stain again with the desired color to highlight the grain - YMMV.

I believe for satin finishes the clear undercoats should be gloss. Only the last couple are satin.

Penetrating oil finishes are not recommended for acoustic guitar tops, but oil varnishes (Tru-Oil, minwax tung oil, etc) are great for silky smooth necks. They're not very durable though and require occasional reapplication.

It isn't difficult, but it requires lots of patience!

Make sure all the various layers of finishes you choose are compatible with each other.

Most importantly: PRACTICE ON SCRAPS FIRST!

Get some thin mahogany planks from a lumber yard (that carries it). If you don't have tools, ask them to cut it into small strips (3" wide or so). Use the scraps to test and perfect your materials and technique.

Good luck!
Glenn



These users thanked the author Glenn_Aycock for the post: kwelduvel (Wed May 20, 2015 2:39 am)
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 2:40 am 
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Walnut
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Glenn_Aycock wrote:

Good luck!
Glenn


That's a lot of useful information :)
Thanks a bunch for the the help, Glenn! Appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 6:48 am 
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Koa
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Finishing is it's own specialized thing, completely unrelated to the actual woodworking. Those finishes are done in a satin nitro lacquer.A typical finish schedule for a finish like that would be;
Sand out at 180
apply sealer
apply colored paste pore filler ( usually 3-4 applications)
apply sealer
level sand at 400
Spray shading lacquer ( regular gloss nitro with red mahogany dye, cut 50%with appropriate thinner)
spray 4-5 coats gloss lacquer
let dry 1-2 weeks
level sand at 320
apply 2 flow coats of satin nitro.

All your finish materials should be from the same manufacturer and from the same system. Gibson's actual process is a bit different and saves a step or two but would present certain delamination hazards for a complete newb at finishing. This schedule will provide a very durable high quality finish.

You may be wondering about the gloss under the satin and saying why didn't I use all Satin? Gloss lacquer is harder than satin due to the flattening agent that is added to the resin to make it less glossy. You need a certain amount of film build to make a functional finish and if all satin is used the finish will be soft and lack durability in the long term.

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Brian

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

Taylor authorized service
Custom finishing and repair

http://www.brianhowardguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Howard-G ... 3702413493
http://howardguitars.blogspot.com/



These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post: kwelduvel (Wed May 20, 2015 7:10 am)
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 7:12 am 
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Walnut
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First name: Glenn
Country: Belgium
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B. Howard wrote:
Finishing is it's own specialized thing, completely unrelated to the actual woodworking. Those finishes are done in a satin nitro lacquer.A typical finish schedule for a finish like that would be;
Sand out at 180
apply sealer
apply colored paste pore filler ( usually 3-4 applications)
apply sealer


Thanks for all the useful tips and information, Mr. Howard :)
So I should apply a coat of sealer BEFORE applying pore filler?


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 6:57 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm
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Location: Hummelstown PA
First name: Brian
Last Name: Howard
City: Hummelstown
State: PA
Zip/Postal Code: 17036
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Yes, it is best to sandwich the pore filler between two coats of sealer.

_________________
Brian

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

Taylor authorized service
Custom finishing and repair

http://www.brianhowardguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Howard-G ... 3702413493
http://howardguitars.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 6:31 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
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You have very good advice so far - my small addition would be to get a copy of Dan Erlewine's book Guitar Finishing Step by Step (Stewart MacDonald, one of the sponsors at the top of the page). He will show you the options for each of the steps described above, discuss various product and application methods. The are oriented towards StewMac products but it applies to almost any system. There are several pages of color chips that you can use to match the finish that you want to duplicate - they give the proportions of tints to add to your lacquer to get the one you want.

I'll also add that nitrocellulose lacquer is the king of finishes but does have some problems for a home builder - it is toxic, explosive, and needs to be sprayed either outside or in a real paint booth (wearing a respirator). I still spray nitro but most of my recent guitars have been a water born cross linking lacquer type of finish - I used a product called KTM-9. It is neither hazardous or toxic, cleans up with water and can be sprayed with a simple home compressor (I have an little unit that I bought at a yard sale). You can tint KTM-9 and the steps are basically the same as above. It can be buffed to a high gloss or final sanded to a satin.

Good luck with your project - let us know how it goes.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: kwelduvel (Sat May 23, 2015 6:46 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 6:47 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 5:45 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Belgium
First name: Glenn
Country: Belgium
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Freeman wrote:
Good luck with your project - let us know how it goes.


Doing a bunch of research first though. But thanks, I'll let you guys know when I'm finished (or tried, lol). :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:06 am 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:17 am
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First name: Linus
City: Brooklyn
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Zip/Postal Code: 11215
Country: USA
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Status: Amateur
There is lots of useful information at ReRanch.com They sell nitro finishes in spray cans too. But their "how to" information is excellent.


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