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What would happen to a guitar with no finish?

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,630
If you did not finish a guitar at all, what would happen?

I'm thinking of electric guitars here.
 

MarcJ

Member
Messages
989
It would be constantly shrinking or expanding with changes in temperature and humidity. The neck would get real funky from sweat being absorbed into the pores of the wood.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
101,010
It would be constantly shrinking or expanding with changes in temperature and humidity. The neck would get real funky from sweat being absorbed into the pores of the wood.
:agree

Moisture would be a real concern. Consider that wood is biologically designed to absorb and store moisture.
 

Matt L

Member
Messages
11,491
I had an unfinished Warmoth neck on my guitar for about 2 years, and never had any issues. I guess I was lucky!
 

jimshine

Member
Messages
1,594
Hardwoods would be okay. I have had some old alder body Fenders that were stripped in the late 60's and played raw. The extreme case guitars had some wood rot going on. Dings near the skin would collect oils and sweat, which would break down the wood.

It is best to seal the wood with something, even an oil finish. That would at the very least help prevent the wood from oxidizing and turning gray.
 

rockonomics

Member
Messages
516
Expansion and contraction is gonna happen. Don't care if you put a one inch thick layer of poly on it or play it raw. Moisture absorption would be the major concern.
I've often thought about just putting good ol' Johnsons past wax on an unfinished body. The downside is you'd have to renew it every time you change strings.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
10,161
Without any protection, moisture from the atomsphere and skin will eventually enter the bare wood and it will very slowly decompose, depending on the amount of moisture and length of time exposed to it. Even if you prefer the look and feel of bare wood, you should still put something on it that prevents rot and maintains the look and feel, like Minwax. Most maple necks that look and feel natural still have a few coats of satin poly on them to protect them from the elements and whatever your skin imparts to the surface.
 

BEACHBUM

Member
Messages
3,005
It would eventually take on the vintage appearance of a hand towel dispenser in a gas station bathroom. At the very least put a few coats of sanding sealer on it.
 




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