Why dont builders finish with oil/wax?

smilefan

Member
Messages
1,630
The only two builders I know that have used oil/wax finishes for
their bodies and necks are Chapin and Zachary. It would seem
the way to go for a slick organic feel, open and resonant tone,
and less costly in the build process.

Why dont builders, especially the smaller ones employ this,
or at least offer it as an option?
 

Ian Anderson

Member
Messages
5,240
I prefer oil on my salad, and wax on my truck.

Then again I'm working on a finish I'll call Nitroil. It should be a big hit. ;)
 

paintguy

Long Hair Hippy Freak
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,208
I try damn hard to keep oil and wax off my guitars. A big pain to paint on :D

-L
 

Shades

Member
Messages
3,378
Originally posted by smilefan
The only two builders I know that have used oil/wax finishes for
their bodies and necks are Chapin and Zachary. It would seem
the way to go for a slick organic feel, open and resonant tone,
and less costly in the build process.

Why dont builders, especially the smaller ones employ this,
or at least offer it as an option?
In fact, I'm not using an oil or wax finish at all. My neck finish can have that feel and look to it but it doesn't soak in like a oil finish at all. Ages ago (10 years +) I did some guitars with a very small amount of tru-oil as a coloring agent in my base coat.
 

stark

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,277
Music Man Ernie Ball does the oil/wax finish on their necks.

Adam Stark
 

57special

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,804
I've built 7 acoustic flat tops over the past two years. All were French polished, except, for one which had Tru oil (no wax) , back, sides and neck. Top was FP'ed. I'm very pleased with the sound of my guitars in general , but the one with Tru Oil sounded noticably "deader' than the others. I was inspired by the feel of the EB/MM necks, which i love, and also looking to see if i could cut corners and avoid the labor intensive French polishing.
It could be coincidence, but i think not. When building the guitar in question, i built it lightly as possible for max. responsiveness.

If only it were as simple as wiping on a finish i'm sure all the builders' large and small, would be lining up with a rag in hand.
 

Crazy Dave

Member
Messages
29
Originally posted by smilefan
The only two builders I know that have used oil/wax finishes for
their bodies and necks are Chapin and Zachary. It would seem
the way to go for a slick organic feel, open and resonant tone,
and less costly in the build process.

Why dont builders, especially the smaller ones employ this,
or at least offer it as an option?
Good question. Oil/wax finish rules.:dude

Feels good on my zacharys that's for sure.

You forgot Warwick. They use oil finish on their basses. I believe I've also seen a few oil-finished Rickenbackers.
 

dave251

Member
Messages
330
The first six electroCoustics used a glossy tung oil finish. That was almost five years ago. I'm in close contact with two of those guitars, and the finish still looks pretty good, although they could stand dissasembly, and recoating. Then they would look new again, except of course for the dings that WR cedar always acquires.

I'm currently using a waterborne polyurethane floor paint. Very low toxicity, sounds great, and really is more durable than lacquers, as it won't chip over the soft cedar, but will dent...still leaving the finish on the surface rather than chipping off. This was the determining consideration for using this paint. Here's a photo of numbers #114 and #115, delivered this week.

http://www.electrocoustic.com/newimage/cliff114&115lz.jpg

I offer either the satin polyurathane for a very nice neck finish, or a tung oil/wax finish. Since I usually apply about 10 coats of tung oil before waxing, both finishes require about the same amount of work. A no charge option, although the tung oil is less expensive for the materials.
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,832
Warwick. Hundreds, if not thousands, of instruments a year that you simply wax & buff every now & again. No paint.

--chiba
 

Shades

Member
Messages
3,378
Originally posted by Ian Anderson
Basses seem to follow a completely different set of rules.
Ain't that the truth! It is in many ways an almost opposite approach.
 

AJ Love

Senior Member
Messages
4,371
Originally posted by Ian Anderson
Basses seem to follow a completely different set of rules.
I suppose the inevitable question is: why is that? (Not arguing the truth in that statement, just wondering "why"?)
 

tms13pin

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,829
Gadow just lightly oils their necks. No poly or nitro.
They feel great. At least my two do.

--Tom
 

Ian Anderson

Member
Messages
5,240
Originally posted by Shades
Ain't that the truth! It is in many ways an almost opposite approach.
Man I wish I could get 5-6K$ for a guitar made from exotic woods with a salad oil finish and skip this years and years of learning to finish business! :eek: :D ;)

Originally posted by AJ Love
I suppose the inevitable question is: why is that? (Not arguing the truth in that statement, just wondering "why"?)
All I know is the bass guitar is a completely different game. Not that there is not a demand for a great Fender style bass.
 
T

Tim4.5

Hi all. First post here for me. I saw this thread and figured to just slip in and drop an opinion.

In the late 60's I had a buddy that had a beat up old electric. I think it was one of those cheap no name Japanese odd balls of the day. He stripped what remaining finish there was on the back of the neck and decided to use his Moms floor wax for a finish. I loved the feel of that thing. I ended up stripping the finish off my tele’s neck I had at the time and doing the same thing.
Ever since then I have never liked playing a neck with a surface film of any kind.

I have made guitars for a full time living since 1993 and every single project I have done has had a first coat of poly oil (sometimes tinted) or a brown/orange shellac (French polish) as a base (for patina) and then the actual finish with a hard curing paste wax.

I have tried every kind of wax I came across. As long as they dry hard, all seem fine. For a long time I made my own wax and liked it the most. But lately I have been using a standard paste wax made by Minwax and figure it is about as good as my home made brew and way less trouble.
Although, I do use a high temp mold release wax sometimes that seems excellent .....but spendy.

I have a lot of instruments out there and every single person has loved the feel and tone. Hell, I have even converted some folks to stripping the finish of their ‘other’ necks and using a wax instead. I occasionally do a french polish for anyone that asks.
Wax finishes do require some maintenance, but no more often than you would clean and oil a fingerboard.

And just for the record ;) all of my work has a high end polished surface film on the headstocks and the back of the headstock. The body is the same thing. I just use the odd ball finish on neck backs. My 2 cents worth.

Cheers, TT

:D
 




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