Finishing without darkening the wood
OK - I've tried a 50/50 poly/white spirit rub. Nice finish but still darkens the "Wenge" considerably.
I think I may have found the answer...
Sanding to > 320 grit and then Renaissance Wax. At first it darkened the wood and I was sad but when it dried the magic happened and we're almost back to the original wood colour. I think it'll seal the wood and, when buffed, has a nice satin sheen.
If this doesn't work I'll try (water-based) white chalk paint then sand back to just reveal the lovely grain and seal with the poly rub.
any thoughts most welcome...
I wish I could help you Herb but I don’t have any experience with any of these products.
Is this a wipe on poly then? What make of poly do you use?
I want to make a good wipe on poly and if I mix it with white spirit so it is thinner, this will then be ready to wipe on?
Carpe Diem and build your dreams
Anything that soaks in is going to darken the wood be it wenge, cherry or sycamore. You are trying to achieve something that every finishing company and the vast majority of instrument/furniture/cabinet makers are trying to avoid. That there isn’t a massive database of suggestions of how to make finished wood look dry and the grain display no depth really doesn’t surprise me. Maybe some kind of limed wax finish could help lighten some areas of grain to compensate for the darkening of others. How about just leaving the surface sanded and let it pick up a patina through handling and age. Could be an interesting process to document over the years.
Unless I get alarms from you guys I think I'm going to fine sand and rub in a few coats of Renaissance Wax. That seems to retain a lighter colour in the wood, maximising the contrast of the grain and should seal the wood and give some protection... anyone throwing their hands up in horror?
Thanks for all your input
Hey Herb - It would be great to see some pics? 🧐
Don't be surprised if it gets darker with more coats... 🙄
Measure twice, cut once...
Well - I finally got round to this and here are the photos requested by Mark.
I removed the frets and sanded a mm or so off the fingerboard. I re-fretted and quite heavily "rolled" the edges of the 'board (I knew I had plenty of real estate).
I sanded back the oiled/waxed finish on the body and neck and refinished with several coats of renaissance wax applied with a hot cloth.
I fitted a P90 at the bridge in place of the weird hybrid that was there previously.
I removed the coil tap switch, built and fitted a Varitone switch in its place.
I'm much happier with this instrument now.
Oooooo - nice cabinet!
Actually all your work looks amazing!
If you look carefully at the back of my build you should discern the sweep of a cover plate along with its 4 screws - kinda influenced by stuff Crimson is doing. Still looking for more appropriate screws. (I posted some photos of the build on another thread on this site.)
thanks for kind comments
That's a neat job! What about small black hex socketed countersunk machine screws? And you could fit expanding threaded inserts into the body like these if you haven't already done so.
I have a stand opposite Crimson at Makers Central at the NEC in May. I seem to remember that they had a few guitars with them last year but I'm pretty sure that most of their stand was devoted to refurbished hand tools. Or maybe I'm just confused!
More good input - thanks.
Ben at Crimson is a vintage tool nut and runs a shop specialising in those in parallel to Crimson Guitars. Perhaps he thought that the tools were more relevant to the Maker Show. I'm impressed you had a stand there - but, looking at your work, I can understand why.
I have a few requirements on my shopping list so I will certainly have a good look at what Ben’s got available. It’s mainly the vacuum press equipment that I will be demonstrating at Makers Central but this year there will definitely be quite a bit in the way of guitar making related accessories - moulds, sanding dishes etc and hopefully the ultimate Selmar pliage bending machine!
It was a great little show last year and there visitors were just so enthusiastic - it reminded me of the old Woodworker shows I used to do twenty something years ago.
I think you will find that this still darkens the surface. Smear a bit on an offcut to check. In any case, I am not sure that something that hardens to such a brittle compound would stand up particularly well to even the relative small movements in the timber caused by temperature/humidity variations. Mind you, if you were after the 'antiqued' lacquer look it might be ok. Would be blooming expensive and very smelly though!
PS Is it only us two left on here? Hello? Is there anybody out there?