Hand Tools

Just my opinion, Bill

David Weaver
....I don't like the satin look on the top of the mahogany piece, it ruins it by itself for me and the look to me completely lacks depth because it obscures it.

Oak doesn't lend itself to clarity or depth, so it's probably a good candidate left natural with pore fillers (on the lighter colored piece).

this is khaya with just buttonlac on it:


I'd refer to this as quick and cheap, because, well, it took about the same or less time than it would've for me to spray and wetsand the finish, and this is before rubbing out the surface - it's just as padded with buttonlac and mineral oil lubricant, and no other color.

(not sure what the anomaly is light-wise with the roundover at the bottom of the guitar, it's not visble in real life).

You, you could rightly claim that this type of finish doesn't show up much on commercial guitars, and that a satin finish or obscuring color is more common. And it is. On inexpensive guitars (<$3k). When you get into handmade classical guitars, they're expected to come with a french polish - with shellac.

In the middle somewhere is guitars like this - the finish is lacquer, I'm sure there's some coloring in the wood, but there's nothing but gloss. I have had a few guitars from this company (they're production, but expensive). The finish work is much thinner and a more accurate high gloss.

https://www.collingsguitars.com/electric-guitars/cl-deluxe/ (click through to gallery pictures, look at the back (the front is figured maple with a burst finish - I think that's gaudy, but that's what the guitar buyers like. Once in a while, collings will find a *perfectly straight* piece of top wood that looks like violin wood and I'll wait hoping that everyone hates it, but they always sell before the price drops).

You could call it impractical, but it wouldn't be that difficult to achieve with a french polish on furniture, and if the person making the furniture is in the house, repairing and refreshing to standard is uneventful.

Again, my preference - it doesn't have to be yours, and I don't generally collect consensus on my preferences unless there's some kind of measurable outcome (even then, I tend not to collect consensus).

I consider nitro lacquer and shellac on guitars more or less interchangeable - the former, you spray and put on a guitar to give to someone else, and the latter, you make your choice - I prefer shellac on my own because you can get a gloss finish by hand without even rubbing anything out. Vastly different than a factory setting where all of the finish work may be budgeted at hours and the pore filler needs to be coarse and fast, and probably less than ideal wood needs to be obscured - the worse it is, the more color added and the darker the color tends to be.

i make no referece for preferences to commercial work because even the headleys appear to take on students or have events. This stuff is the hobbyist's domain at this point. Guitars, on the other hand - well, those do have commercial viability. The higher you go in status, the better the finish work seems to be and obscuring wood or using a satin finish would be intolerable.

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