Hand Tools Archive

what might not be clear in this case...

David Weaver
I started with the stain. The neck is laminated maple, so it didn't really soak in that well (and I want it to look older, not perfect) and was blotchy - no problem, I was hoping that it would at like a toner for the shellac.

What I did in this case was not wait for the stain to dry, but instead began adding shellac immediately. Garnet shellac that's not dewaxed. The adhesion of the shellac is surprisingly good (perhaps this is common - I'm experimenting because I have a free guitar to experiment with and at worst, I've been reimbursed for the damage and it can be stripped of parts and thrown away or sold for salvage).

The bit where I got greedy was to try to smooth a very thick layer (for french polish) with alcohol, and thus the resulting light spot at the guitar heel - something I can rebuild and repair easily if it's necessary - I don't think it is).

The finish doesn't look very thick - it's not thick compared to spray lacquer, but it's filling all of the pores and any bits of crack that escaped glue squeeze out. I didn't burnish it shiny because that's what i'm looking to avoid on a guitar - shiny and sticky is no good.

The mrs has me making a large cherry cabinet that will be stained. This process isn't fast like spraying, but the finish feel has a sublime quality and a supremely smooth level feel without having to do anything other than apply it, and if the stain doesn't take evenly, you continue to french polish the area, using the stain as the oil in the process- the result is that the color becomes more even and uniform. If I was worried about hiding all signs of the repair entirely, it would be easy to make the back of the neck darker (that's not important to me).

I'm really delighted with the results, and it satisfies my desire to tinker (i hate brush and padding marks, and especially bits and nibs and orange peel from spraying).

I recognize that others may not be as excited as I am!!

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