What is "Open Pore" finish?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by TaylorPlayer, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. TaylorPlayer

    TaylorPlayer Member

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    I got a very nice looking Mahogany body Partscaster awhile back. The guy I got it from through Craigslist indicated that the body was solid mahogany with an open pore finish. Does anyone know if that a nitro based finish? It is a satin finish and you can feel the wood. (It is not slick like most Strats I have played)

    Is there any preference for an open pore type finish? I just know that after playing mostly acoustic for 30+ years, this is one of the nicest feeling and playing electrics I have ever had. Wish I knew more about the builder.
     
  2. movingpictures

    movingpictures Member

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    Probobly means the person doing the finish didnt use grain filler. It doesnt mean its Nitro. If it has a finish, your not feeling wood, but a satin finish.

    No preference to most, but its more work to fill the pores and get a totally smooth finish...
     
  3. Last

    Last Supporting Member

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    Precisely what movingpictures has stated.

    I've refinished quite a few Mahogany bodied guitars & grain filling is a major PITA!

    [​IMG]

    But if you want a glass like finish it is a necessary evil.

    Here's a grain filled finish.

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    Here's one where I just shot the guitar with Nitro then Buffed.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, without the grain filling the Nitro will sink back into the pores of the wood.
     
  4. TaylorPlayer

    TaylorPlayer Member

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    Thanks for the comments. That all makes sense.. Beautiful guitars you finished there too!

    Here is mine for reference....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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    LOOK UP: IBANEZ S320 S SERIES ..that guitar IS OPEN PORE
     
  6. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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  7. Last

    Last Supporting Member

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    Beautiful guitar Taylor!

    Almost looks like a Tung Oil finish or satin nitro? Nice either way!
     
  8. TaylorPlayer

    TaylorPlayer Member

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    Thanks for the kind words! ... I wish I knew for sure what the finish was. A couple years ago I had some problems using bug spray while playing my Gibson Advanced Jumbo at our cabin around the firepit one night due to the reaction of Deet and Nitro....:thud

    Lucky for me I have a few good Luthiers I could talk too and they told me to wait a few weeks for the Nitro to reharden (The Deet had made it soft somehow) and then by using some Meguires automotive products, I was able to re-buff the finish back to normal. I don't want to make the same mistake on my Strat, but then again, I swore off bug spray after that incident. I was thinking it might be a Tung oil or a hand rubbed finish. All in all, it was the look that grabbed me when I went to check it out. The Texas Specials are great in this heavy mahogany body. It really is one of the nicest sounding Strats I ever played.
     
  9. TaylorPlayer

    TaylorPlayer Member

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    Thanks for the link.... Cool looking finish on that.

    I used to have a 1987 or 1988 Maxxas MX3 guitar made by Ibanez in that same basic shape. It might have been the prototype for the S series. Great guitars with a chambered mahogany body. Just ended up being way too pointy for me though....... it had tone for days but it made for a couple excellent trades.
     
  10. donnievaz

    donnievaz Supporting Member

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    Looks like oil to me. Very nice.
     
  11. Artur_I_Tis

    Artur_I_Tis Member

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    I think the black Gibson Meleody Makers have this type of finish. I like it and the IBANEZ S320 finish.

    What is the best way to do a finish like this? Obviously, it's not armor like a 1/8th inch think poly finish and too thick and it'll look like cheese or a sponge. How thin can you go before it wears off? The stain on my Gibson SG Faded is wearing off where it rests on my lap.
     
  12. donnievaz

    donnievaz Supporting Member

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    Watco Danish Oil, Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, etc. Hand rubbed thin coats with a rag until you get the buildup you desire. Very easy to apply and easily fixed if you screw up (not likely). Also easily redone if it wears out.

    I really like the Tru-Oil, it builds faster and IMO is more durable than the others.
     
  13. donnievaz

    donnievaz Supporting Member

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    Here's a Warmoth Quilted Redwood on Mahogany body I refinised with Tru-Oil. This one is over a dozen coats and then buffed out because I wanted it really glossy. You wouldn't need anywhere near that many for a more satin finish.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. TaylorPlayer

    TaylorPlayer Member

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    Wow that redwood is stunning! I really like that.

    I wonder, if I wanted my Partscaster to gloss up, could it be done with the open pore type finish? I have buffed a satin acoustic to a nice gloss by hand before using automotive products like Meguires, but the open pore seems like it would be difficult to gloss up. (To be honest, I really love the satin look of my Strat and probably wouldn't gloss it if I could.)
     
  15. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    DEET, while apparently NOT harmful to the human body and an excellent bug repellent for ticks and skeeters (used ONLY on the skin), will also eat through nylon parkas, tents, etc.

    SO many things can impact Nitro, and DEET is yet another.
     
  16. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    I'm not a huge fan of Tru-Oil on anything that might get some wear. But it's very pretty on custom-built guitars that won't be played all that often. It's essentially linseed oil with some additives and isn't durable at all. It's *particularly* not abrasion resistant.
     
  17. JPERRYROCKS

    JPERRYROCKS Member

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    It's not that bad to grain fill a guitar - just can be a little messy.

    If you don't grain fill a guitar - you're wasting lacquer and the finishing / wet sanding process can be more time consuming.

    You're filling the pores with paint.
     
  18. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    You should note that modern polyester finishes don't need to be 1/8th thick; finishes that take a dozen coats and 30 days worth of drying with nitro can be done in 24 hours and 3 coats with UV-catalyzed polyester applications. Part of the reason is that the newer polyesters are self-leveling while nitro tends not to be.
     
  19. donnievaz

    donnievaz Supporting Member

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    No oil finish is going to give you a whole lot of protection. If you want protection and durability you need Nitro or Poly.
     
  20. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    Most "oil" finishes are oil/varnish blends. They are mixed to make application easier but take many more coats to get the kind of protection a thicker bodied varnish would give after only a few coats. If you build up Tru-Oil enough it'll work just fine for a guitar. It's used on shotguns that see rain, snow, sleet and temperature extremes that most guitars will never see.

    Also, with the popularity of relic'd finishes, abrasion resistance might not be the desired trait of a guitar finish anyway.
     

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