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borg borg
3/5/2018 5:06 PM

Having some issues with pinholes in the finish on the new build. Still there after 7 coats of nitro. Sanded after 5. I used 3 coats of Timbermate on the bare mohogany before staining. I have some Aqua coat that did not work well with bare wood. I'm thinking it may work between coats of nitro. I hate to keep pouring lacquer on. Any suggestions?

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/6/2018 6:42 AM

I was gone icefishing and just saw this. Sounds like contamination. Probably silicone. I always wipe the body down with lacquer thinner or acetone before the first coat. Fisheye remover added to the finish helps but has it's own problems as it has silicone in it and means you would likely need to use it with every finish after as it introduces contamination of it's own. You can use a toothpick and try drop filling the pinholes and then level sanding again. I've removed every source of silicone in my shop including those foam shelf liners that some people use to lay instruments on, silicone based sprays etc. If the drop filling doesn't work, you may have to sand back to bare wood and wipe down first and very well unfortunately. Moisture can also cause pinholes.

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/6/2018 7:09 AM

I'm assuming you did a pore/grain fill on the mahogany before finishing? You got a close-up picture?

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borg borg
3/6/2018 8:36 AM
Foghorn wrote:

I'm assuming you did a ...more

Yes, as I stated, I used Timbermate for that. I thinned it first and applied it with a small cloth. 3 times. I just wet sanded this morning and it's getting better but what a waste of time and lacquer. I will shoot a couple of coats today and post a pic.

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/6/2018 9:18 AM

Duh, missed the Timbermate part. I usually pore fill with Z-poxy. It sucks when you're sanding off more lacquer than you're putting on. Hopefully it isn't silicone contamination as that's a tough one to chase. It's amazing how many products and materials contain it.

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borg borg
3/6/2018 10:00 AM

I'll check out the Z poxy.

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borg borg
3/6/2018 12:07 PM

The reason I use timbermate is because it actually takes the stain and darkens a bit. What is your process with Z poxy? Pre or post stain?

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/6/2018 2:12 PM

If I'm staining, I usually spray tinted lacquer after I've done the pore fill. You have to ensure enough coats are built up then after spraying to ensure you don't sand through to the tinted coats. I do mainly bursts so this works great for me. As you know, there are a hell of a lot of different finishing schedules out there. I have Dan Erlewine's book and it is a tremendous help.

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borg borg
3/6/2018 4:45 PM
Foghorn wrote:

If I'm staining, I usually ...more

Just to be clear, stain then pore fill then tinted nitro?

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/6/2018 4:55 PM

No stain. Only tinted nitro. I even did a blue archtop using aniline dye in nitro for the tint. I have used water based dyes before but on woods that don't need to be pore filled like big leaf and rock maple and pau ferro. I build mainly acoustics so spruce, cedar etc. tops don't need to be pore filled either. I did one with a curly redwood top and used Z-poxy as well for stability. I've also done a few Honduran mahogany ones that I pore filled with Z-poxy and then left natural. Honduran has a beautiful, natural color in my eye. I've seen a lot of guys pore fill, then stain, then nitro, but not with epoxy pore fill. Timbermate should be fine for that but I've not used it. Some guys use egg white as well to pore fill as it accepts stain well apparently. Lots of choices out there.

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borg borg
3/6/2018 6:03 PM

I'm using Mixol for nitro tint. There's a local place that stocks it. I think it comes from Germany but it's not that expensive.
I would think that acoustic guitars would be much harder to build than electrics, especially from scratch. Baby steps for me. I made a big mistake on my Les Paul and tried to use rattle cans. Minwax lacquer NEVER completely dries. 2 months in SoCal weather and I can scratch it with my thumb. So I sanded it all off and now I am using the right stuff. I will be so glad to get that one done. I bought it new in '72. With Mohawk Classic Instrument Lacquer you can start the buff out process in less than a week. I can wet sand the next day.
Would like to see some pics of your creations.

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/7/2018 5:53 AM

I use the Mohawk Lacquer as well. I do let it hang for two to three weeks though before wet sanding just to make sure on lacquer shrinkage. Here's a few pics of some archtops including a bass and a ukulele in the background. The flat top was built for a two by four contest and was made out of a single pine 2 x 4 and a rosewood fretboard and bridge. I actually play it a lot. It's based on a 1918 Martin parlour guitar.

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borg borg
3/7/2018 6:37 AM

Wow. Those are gorgeous. Interesting bridge on the blue one. Do you build for yourself or do you ever sell your creations?

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/7/2018 6:59 AM

There's no money in building guitars. For the 300 hours that goes into an archtop and 150 hours for a flat top, along with about $300 to $700 in materials, even if you paid yourself $10/hour, nobody will shell out 5k to an unknown when Chinese clones can be picked up for a few hundred. I build for myself, friends and family for the cost of material. A satisfying hobby as you know. I made the bridge for the blue one out of African Blackwood. The sliding wedge adjusts the height Jimmy D'Aquisto style.

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TXDirt TXDirt
3/7/2018 7:04 AM

Those are super nice Foghorn. Wish I was one of your friends. That would be a treasure piece in my family.

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borg borg
3/7/2018 9:36 AM
Foghorn wrote:

There's no money in ...more

Same here. If I sold one it would be for a friend for whatever I have in materials. Usually about $600. If I counted my labor at the price I charge my regular customers, they would have to take out a loan.
I have 2 going now plus the Les Paul refinish. One is an SG for my son but he's doing 95% of the work. He's also paying for the materials.

It's a labor of love. It also keeps me away from bars and television. I would like to get back to recording but my fingers are cracked and split from building guitars. I'll probably take a break after these are done in a month or so.

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/7/2018 3:18 PM

This is my daily player. Oval hole archtop with K & K pickups. One piece quilt maple back and sides. Flame maple and Bolivian rosewood neck. Cedar top. Ebony fretboard. African blackwood bridge. Rosewood headstock overlay. A buddy of mine cut the maple and cedar logs on the West coast in BC. It's been beat up around many campfires. Adds patina and character!

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TXDirt TXDirt
3/7/2018 4:21 PM

I sent you a PM foghorn. Not sure if you get it or I’ll get a reply. If you have an email address let me know.

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/7/2018 5:28 PM
TXDirt wrote:

I sent you a PM foghorn. ...more

No PM received? My email is xxxxxxxx Spammers beware! smile

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TXDirt TXDirt
3/7/2018 5:50 PM
TXDirt wrote:

I sent you a PM foghorn. ...more

Foghorn wrote:

No PM received? My email ...more

You can delete your email. I’ve got it. Thx!!

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borg borg
3/12/2018 7:04 PM

Another question for Foghorn. Hope you don't mind.
My son doesn't want a polished gloss finish on his SG we are building. He wants probably matt or satin at most. My Finishing/buffing process is 800, 1000 ,1200, rubbing compound and then polishing compound. Works well for me. Can I just go on up to 2000 for the SG and call it soup?

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Foghorn Foghorn
3/13/2018 6:29 AM

No problem. I haven't done a matte finish before. From what I've seen and read, what you're suggesting won't work well as areas that are in contact with arm, leg etc. will eventually shine up again. Most guitars I've seen have used water base lacquer for a satin finish. I know that Behlen and Mohawk make flattening additives for nitro lacquer but I haven't used them.

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