Any small builders using very thin finishes?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by smilefan, Jan 5, 2005.


  1. smilefan

    smilefan Member

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    Are any of the small builders discussed here using very
    thin finishes, like nitro, or hand-rubbed varnish, or
    even oiled? I really like the satin finish that Anderson
    uses on their necks and the finish Gibson puts on their
    Historic LP's.

    I'd like to commision a custom built LP-type, but finish
    is a critical issue to me. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    Call both Mr Chapin and Mr Heatley. They can and will both help you with wonderful instruments.

    cmn
     
  3. 59burst

    59burst Gold Supporting Member

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    My Nash s-style guitar has an extremely thin nitro finish on the body and neck. Really thin. The neck feels great, and the body resonates like crazy.
     
  4. The Eristic

    The Eristic Member

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    www.mcinturffguitars.com

    You don't know the meaning of thin if you haven't talked to Terry about his nitro jobs and his latest invention, Nitrothane.
     
  5. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

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    While polyester seems to be a "dirty" word in the booteek/hand built set we use it ( although we use other materials in addition to ) and manage to keep it thin. I run test pieces fairly often just to measure film thicknes and we've been averaging what we feel to be a very respectable .009"-.011". Personally I don't think any small builder out there is just haphazardly squirtin' on a thick ol' finish so you should be in good shape no matter who you go with.
     
  6. Shades

    Shades Member

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    We are right in the .003" range for bodies and .001" on the necks. I'm pretty anal about this as I really feel this thickness allows the wood to speak properly.
     
  7. -kk-

    -kk- Member

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  8. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    +1 for Bill Chapin, the finish on my Hankahoula is truly remarkable - I have plenty of guitars but just one Chapin - it is the only guitar where I can say that it seems to contribute to the tone of the thing as opposed to detracting...

    Bill's necks are otherworldly in the playability stakes.

    Best, Pete.
     
  9. Joe

    Joe Senior Member

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    Don't forget the Nuno N4 came from Warmoth with no finish on it, so bigger builders have offered the service as well.
     
  10. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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  11. drezdin

    drezdin Member

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    That's amazing. I don't know how you do that without a million sand throughs.
     
  12. rjlaero1

    rjlaero1 Guest

    yeah....that's super thin. I don't know how you can buff a guitar that thin and not sand through.
     
  13. robmarch

    robmarch Member

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    hotness!

    do you have a link to any more info about this? I didn't know warmoth built those bodies, and thought those were at least oiled or something, though there wasn't a conventional finish.

    I can believe the paudak ones were totally unfinished, but were the maple neck (maple body?) ones?
     
  14. gls500

    gls500 Supporting Member

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  15. Shades

    Shades Member

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    It is not easy. I have a finisher that I push to keep everything this thin and I check to make sure. He hates me but I pay well.
    On the necks, they are not buffed. .001" can't be buffed without going through.
     
  16. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    My grosh RC has a very thin finnish.
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    Yeah, I think that's awfully optimistic. My nitro finishes have mic'ed out at about .005 for an instrument with a few months of cure time. After a decade - it will be even less as the finish has shrunk more.

    The problem, of course, with trying to measure a chip of lacquer is that, especially on an older instrument, you're looking at a chip with a cross-section resembling a flake of Wheaties! The substrate side will be irregular, as the lacquer will have filled the pores and micro-chasms of the wood surface, and the surface will have shrunken revealing any amount of 'orange-peel'. Unless, of course we're talking about a solid opaque colored finish, which would likely have had it's surface glazed with something like Bondo or other surface leveling treatment. Then the lacquer chip could be relatively flat.

    You could actually figure the film thickness in the final show with the solids content, # of coats and, of course, if you don't rubout, but simply buff to gloss. Like the way Gibson do it. This is how you can get consistently micro-thin nitro film finishes with little or no burn-thru. ;)



    Jack Briggs
     
  18. drezdin

    drezdin Member

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    by rubout do you mean sanding to flatten and get rid of orange peel?
    If so, how are you able to accomplish that without the rubout?
     
  19. Dreaded

    Dreaded Member

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    Mcnaughts Polyester finish is actually very thin for a poly finish. He will also do satin finish on any part of the guitar you want or on the whole guitar.
     
  20. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

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    If your name is on the headstock, your employees hate you.:rolleyes:
     

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