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 The 'varnish' finish on my guitar
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:16:08 AM on 12 March 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 461

This one is for Vintage Pete to comment on!

Its about a year since I made my Bass guitar and the finish has now faded to a honey colour.
Have a look at special projects "making a bass guitar and amplifier part 3".
In the paragraph "the finish" I make some observations and there is a couple of pix.

I will leave the guitar as it is with the honey colour, but if I do make another guitar I wont use that finish again!
I received a response from the supplier with no reasons or clues given, I don't bother to talk again to experts that are clueless.
The "dingo tone" stain had umpteen pre coats, then intensifying coats, then finish coat, took weeks to do and stayed "clammy" for months!!

I suspect that the wood was so absorbtive that by sheer mass the colour was reduced and kept penetrating the wood and thinning.
In part six you will note I stained the cabinet with my own mix of Wattyl plus a glug of cherry red and that has stayed fixed in colour and only took days to fix for handling and a couple of weeks to cure up hard.


Perhaps the next time I should "fix" the wood with a prep coat then use my own mix?
Any suggestions?

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 11:30:02 AM on 30 March 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 915

Hello Fred ,
I will wait to see the photos , But normally the Timber on a Guitar is not stained ," The clear is" the method is to paint the bare timber with the clear and than stain that clear coat by wiping it on or spraying it and than putting many clear coats on top of the stain,, so the stain is floating between the clear coats ..... this first clear coat to seal the wood is called a wash coat and is easy made by making a 50/50 mix of what ever clear you have picked to use with its solvent ...., A Guitar will need to be either Varnish , Nitro , Polly ,,, cant use Shellac on a Guitar unless we use a harder clear over the top of it as it would just scratch and fall off ...
2k spray Can with the hardener button on the bottom would be a easy way to go and is 30 bucks a tin . But lets wait until the photos show up and see what you have there first .. we may be able to work whats already there .
hope Ya well . Pete , sorry for the delay I have no computer at the moment ..


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 5:38:01 AM on 31 March 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 461

Hi Pete, just to clarify, it was the final colour only that was so disappointing.

The actual finish is superb, being part of the wood (as in a stain) with a subdued surface glow and very hard wearing.

As the "stain" is imbedded in the wood if you knock or bump the body there is no splintering of a surface just the bruise left and a buff with a cloth restores the burnished surface.

The tint of the stain started off as a glowing cherry red but as it sank into the wood and dried out, and this took months, is now a light honey color. if I wanted a honey colour I would have started off with a honey colour!!

There is nothing to be done with the existing body it is going to stay honey coloured for the rest of its life.

If I make another I will be very wary of what to use on the body and feel like going my own way with a turpentine base enamel stain thin enough to penetrate and become part of the wood but fast enough drying to form a fixed surface layer that will buff up, just like I put on my speaker cabinets.

I'll send I pix to Brad that I just took with the two side by side and remember they both started off as the same shade!
Fred.

Guitar and Valve Amplifier


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 5:53:07 AM on 31 March 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 915

Hi fred. I cant see photos at the moment on this computer. Varnish is a very hard finish and wont scratch or mark like others . I think you used oil varnish by the sounds of things.good choice. Because its a oil ,yes it will absorb deep into the timber. You can clean it once its dry with turps. Polish it as you would with a car...car polish is fine with varnish. I wish I could see the pics ,but no computer for a awhile yet,
Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 6:58:05 PM on 31 March 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5203

Photo uploaded to Post 3.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 2:11:32 PM on 1 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 915

Hi Fred , Looks good fred . The colour looks like the Fender bass colour of the 70s
The timber looks like Maple in the pic??
Maple is hard to stain and the colour will vary because its maple . Often we need to explode the grain to get it to stain . We throw metho mixed with water on the bare wood to open it up.
But your Guitar looks great the way it is .
Good job fred.
Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 2:41:54 PM on 1 April 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 461

Hi Pete, thanks for that. I did a bit of reading about the problems staining Maple and I see what you mean.
I think you are spot on with calling the wood used Maple, it is very heavy and has a close grain.
To hold the body strap I drilled and thread tapped the wood and used 7/16" seat belt bolts and fittings, that gives you an idea of the tight grain and heavy mass of the wood.

Next time around:
Two areas of concern, to precondition the grain as you point out and watch out for "absorption" changing the tint.
Sounds like I need to open the grain but also seal the depth of penetration so the tint does not dissipate and lighten up.

I will do some reading and do some trials on some scrap pieces next time around.


Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 7:39:49 AM on 2 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 915

Fred.. check this out .you will love it, its a Home made Gas tin petrol tin Guitar .. very nice!

https://youtu.be/HQXH8Ds6Sz0


 
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