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All finishes other than lacquer are about the same?


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Most finishes darken the wood, which is neither bad nor good, just a thing.  Lacquer barely does, and just covers the surface.  I've been a lacquer fan for a long time, but it's getting harder to find, and my favorite brand is totally gone.  Environmental concerns, some claim.  And it's a motherfucker to work with, both in danger, and the entire prep/clean process.


So I did a test here with a few much easier finishes.  They all seem the same so far.  Coat 1.  I'll add one more poly (per directions) and a couple more of the oils.  I might topcoat the oils with the poly, dunno.  But stay tuned for progress.


Brush-on oil based poly, tung oil and varnish blend, and boiled linseed oil.









Below is a raw sample.  I had been shooting for only slightly dark/wet look, but I'm not setting that as a must yet.



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15 hours ago, blackhawkxx said:

You can do that?  My unknowledgeable assumption was you couldn't do that.


You can *generally* cross between any finishes.  I've put lacquer over oil many times (darken it, then get the great surface coat of lacquer).  And this will blow your mind, you can put water poly over oil!  You have to let the oils fully cure.  Oils generally don't "film" or have a hard surface, they go into the wood, and self-oxidize into polymers.  So many people top coat them with a surface product.  In fact it might be the most common thing, oil then poly.  You can put oil poly over water stain, no problem.


There are some issues with some finishes over stearate-based stains and finishes, those are rare.  And varnish can have its own details, that I've never paid attention to.  Shit, maybe I should test some of that too.


I can't decide whether this project should have semi-gloss or glossy finish.


Oh, and you should never use semi-gloss for base coats, only 1-2 tops.  It has additives to kill the gloss, so if you make layers of it, the look will be poor, and cloudy.  You won't see it consciously, it just looks out of focus subtly.


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I think I like the poly.  It's also fast, and super easy, low VOC, no cleanup.  There is no way to truly get this in a photo, but the grain looks 3D and crystalline with the poly, not the oils.


(Air bubbles are my carelessness since it's just a test)




The others lack depth and pop.





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My experience with wood finishes is largely focused on guitars. Something gaining ground in that genre is UV cured poly finishes, like Solarez (see link). A luthier I follow, Chris Monck, has been using it on his custom-made instruments (links to his site and YouTube channel below). He has a lot of YouTube episodes using that product, and a host of other finish applications. If you're deeply into wood finishing, it might be something of a fascinating rabbit hole . . .







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So it's just UV epoxy?  I have used that on very small things.


Upside:  It's perfectly clear and won't change wood color at all.


Downside:  It's perfectly clear and won't change wood color at all.


Also, look at this retarded shit.  The child safety cap glued itself closed.  When I really tried hard to move it, the entire thing came off.  So much for "safety" and now I need to find another container for it, I guess.



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27 minutes ago, SwampNut said:

Oh no, another thing to spend hours obsessing over.  Have you used it?  

I haven't used the Solarez process as yet. I might consider it, but I don't have another project in mind--yet.

The last two instruments I built (from kits) were a ukulele (zebrawood & mahogany neck) and an electric guitar (mahogany & maple neck). For the final finish on both, I used Minwax Wipe-on Poly (gloss). The building & finishing processes took considerable time since it's pretty much all hand labor. I'll take & post some pics when I get the time.


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Instrument pics, as promised, Carlos . . . feel free to resize as warranted.

On the guitar, I didn't do more than a modest pore-fill & light amber tint in the sealer coat as I wanted to emphasize the warmth of the natural mahogany. The maple neck/headstock took on a slight amber tone just from the multiple coats of poly. 

The uke has no pore-filler or sealer, only multiple coats of poly on the zebrawood, binding, and the mahogany neck/headstock.








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Damn.  Making a guitar, particularly a hollow body one (no points detracted because it's "just a uke") has got to be near the pinnacle of the woodworking craft.  It not only has to look good, but it has to be very stable and sound good.


Very impressive!

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