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Question about the weight of the Finish of a Les Paul Studio??

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,487
I have the Les Paul Studio red with a heavy thick lacquer finish seems like its a dime or two thick. Anyway, what do you suppose the finish ads to the weight 1LB?? 12 OZ?? More than a LB????
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,541
ha ha, no.

it's negligible, like most guitar finishes outside late '70s fenders.
 

David S

Member
Messages
90
Why guess when we can use math? Figure the face of the guitar is 50 by 40 cm, it's smaller but this way we can ignore to sides and get easy to use numbers. This gives us 400 square cm for the body and we'll add 100 square cm for the neck and a total of 500 cm squared. Figure the finish is 1 mm thick and we have 50 cubic centimetres of finish.

What is the density of the finish? No idea but rocks average 2.5 g/cc so let us use 2 g/cc. Again this is high but easy to do math. 50 times 2 means we have 100 grams of finish, about 4 ounces. In reality it is probably half of this so like Walter says... negligible.
 
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Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,401
I do not think that guitar finishes 1mm thick exist.

.25mm (.010") is kind of the norm for a "factory relatively thin" finish, with .40mm (.015") being on the thick side, and over, but not much. To build a finish 1mm thick would require quite a bit of finish, labour… and money.

In the luthier's world a thin finish is between .05mm (.002") and .1mm (.04").

Density depends on finish material of course, but I would expect the average being similar to the density of, say, ebony.
 

B. Howard

Member
Messages
1,211
Typically I spray about 12 oz of wet material on a guitar like that. Figuring a 60% transfer efficiency ( which I think would be high on small objects like guitars) and the 30% solids content of the actual coating that leaves less than 3 oz of actual dry film coating on the surface at about 5 mils (0.005") which is my measured average dry film.

I do a lot of finish repair here and the thickest nitro finishes I have seen were in the range of 12 mils. I have seen poly finishes, most notably on modern Ibanez electrics that have measured over 75 mills! In fact the high build polyester sealers used on most Chinese made guitars easily measures 10 mils alone.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
Typically I spray about 12 oz of wet material on a guitar like that. Figuring a 60% transfer efficiency ( which I think would be high on small objects like guitars) and the 30% solids content of the actual coating that leaves less than 3 oz of actual dry film coating on the surface at about 5 mils (0.005") which is my measured average dry film.

I do a lot of finish repair here and the thickest nitro finishes I have seen were in the range of 12 mils. I have seen poly finishes, most notably on modern Ibanez electrics that have measured over 75 mills! In fact the high build polyester sealers used on most Chinese made guitars easily measures 10 mils alone.
The poly finish on my 1989 American Standard Tele is unbelievably thick. I've never measured it, but I'll bet it's approaching .100". I know it's thick because there's a chip and I can see clear down to the wood...and it's very faaaaaarrrrrrrrrr away. It's not just limited to Ibanez, and it's been going on a while, Brian! :)

Teleman, I definitely wouldn't worry about it on Les Pauls. On flat tops? Yeah, worry about it. A typical top might measure in the neighborhood of .100". If you put .010" of finish down, and that's not unreasonable, that means that 10% of your top is now finish. A thick .075"+ finish would be disastrous.
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,487
John and the rest thanks. Ok here is the other part of my dilemma. I brought my guitar for a fret & level, put in Frailin pur PAF's. My friend had the same guitar. Stripped it and had it fret& leveld by the same fellow. Now his sounds better unplugged,feels a tinge lighter and subsequently feels a bit better and plays better. I think the finish removal opened up his guitar big time. What do you masters think? Possible. My idea is To make it a natural plain with the maple top. DO you think these guitars approach a traditional with these type of improvements? Or will this always be a $650 studio????
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,523
I think sticking a metal pick in the pickguard would add more weight. Maybe an ounce. Once I pool routed a t body under the guard down to about 1/2 from going through. It only reduced the guitar by about 3-4 ozs, swamp ash.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,541
ha ha no?
internet humor transfer failure, sorry about that.

glad we got some hard numbers here.

i do remember reading where somebody, either paul reed smith or tom anderson, admitted that their guitars did sound a little more resonant before the finish went on.
 

VSK

Member
Messages
829
I have quite a bit of experience with Ibanez polyester and it ain't cool :p

I used to strip them down to the sealer and try to take as much off as I could before priming and swirling... They always sounded better I thought without the polyester clear finish...

If you like natural looking and sounding guitars you can't beat a danish oil finish for the bare minimum protection. It's the easiest finish there is to apply and it really pops out any grain that's present as well...
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,487
I have quite a bit of experience with Ibanez polyester and it ain't cool :p

I used to strip them down to the sealer and try to take as much off as I could before priming and swirling... They always sounded better I thought without the polyester clear finish...

If you like natural looking and sounding guitars you can't beat a danish oil finish for the bare minimum protection. It's the easiest finish there is to apply and it really pops out any grain that's present as well...
I actually like finish on a guitar aesthetically, but wood grain is cool and I appreciate the danish oil tip.
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,487
I thought it was a Marx Brothers quote from Chicko.

internet humor transfer failure, sorry about that.

glad we got some hard numbers here.

i do remember reading where somebody, either paul reed smith or tom anderson, admitted that their guitars did sound a little more resonant before the finish went on.
I am hopping for more than a little. Its a significant difference between our guitars and mine sounded better before if stripped his guitar.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
I thought it was a Marx Brothers quote from Chicko.



I am hopping for more than a little. Its a significant difference between our guitars and mine sounded better before if stripped his guitar.
You guys just had fret jobs done. That will change the tone more than any finish. Anyhow, I'm not so sure that sounding more "resonant" acoustically is all that good a thing on electrics.
 

VSK

Member
Messages
829
You guys just had fret jobs done. That will change the tone more than any finish. Anyhow, I'm not so sure that sounding more "resonant" acoustically is all that good a thing on electrics.
I've noticed that this term "acoustic resonance" gets thrown out around here a lot. If you play your electric unplugged then I guess this would be a great thing, but it doesn't matter much for plugged in electric guitars IMHO.

Fretwire, nuts for open chords, and especially saddle material can do as much to color tone as new pickups.

That being said, I have had some guitars that were previously coated in polyester sound much better electrically and seemed to sustain better without it.
 

B. Howard

Member
Messages
1,211
The poly finish on my 1989 American Standard Tele is unbelievably thick. I've never measured it, but I'll bet it's approaching .100". I know it's thick because there's a chip and I can see clear down to the wood...and it's very faaaaaarrrrrrrrrr away. It's not just limited to Ibanez, and it's been going on a while, Brian! :)
Guess I'm showing my age.....To me modern guitars are those built after the 70's.
;-)
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,487
For me plain and simple. If a guitar does not resonate well, I will not own it. Most guitars that are resonant do sound better to my ears. Non resonant guitars are just not as a joy to play for me. The guitar should give you a good comfy feeling when you pick it up and play. Non resonant guitars don't do that for me. My ear and ability to hear and feel nuances was developed at the original guitar center on Sunset Strip. You youngens never got a whiph of this. A 14 year old was not allowed to pick up a guitar,(as should be) without assistance. Having a long haired rocker piss out,"you gonna buy''? was quite intimidating. SO I developed my technique unknowingly. I would strum the hanging guitars. For the most part, no guitar hanging at a guitar store will get played by me unless I give it the strum test. Unless I hear a ear yanking tone, I won't pick it up.


I had an MIMTele thineline that had a chip;it was thick beyond my imagination. A Nickel thick! Really!
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,487
Yes John, both new fret level. And without the finish his sounds better and plays better unplugged or not.
You guys just had fret jobs done. That will change the tone more than any finish. Anyhow, I'm not so sure that sounding more "resonant" acoustically is all that good a thing on electrics.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
Yes John, both new fret level. And without the finish his sounds better and plays better unplugged or not.
So how can we help? You're convinced it's the finish. It might be the finish. Who knows. It's OK to refinish the guitar...it's your guitar, so experiment if you want. Personally, I don't think it will get you where you want to go, but that's just my opinion. Experimenting is the only way we ever learn anything in this business.

But a finish isn't going to make it play better. A different setup or different fret job will. The MAJOR thing you've done is the fret job, and it makes sense to look there for differences in playability and tone. A sloppy crown can make the whole guitar sound dead, for example. Sloppy nut work can make all of the open strings sound dead. The fact that his plays better should tell you that the two fret jobs/setups are NOT the same.
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,487
So how can we help? You're convinced it's the finish. It might be the finish. Who knows. It's OK to refinish the guitar...it's your guitar, so experiment if you want. Personally, I don't think it will get you where you want to go, but that's just my opinion. Experimenting is the only way we ever learn anything in this business.

But a finish isn't going to make it play better. A different setup or different fret job will. The MAJOR thing you've done is the fret job, and it makes sense to look there for differences in playability and tone. A sloppy crown can make the whole guitar sound dead, for example. Sloppy nut work can make all of the open strings sound dead. The fact that his plays better should tell you that the two fret jobs/setups are NOT the same.
They were done by the same fellow. I know that doesn't mean its exact. So, further discussion leads me to understand that the Urethane is very thick. My friend will strip it for free and the guy who did the setups suspects it to sound more resonant. AND I just saw and played a Gary Moore LP. Stripping it will allow it to look like that,with the maple showing through. So I am after light and better sounding ala a Standard. Yeah I know, get an r9.
 




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