Guitar making tip number 9 is about choosing a finish that is easy to apply. It’s also a good idea that the finish be available in a local store. This has several advantages, and here is why this is a good practice:
Choosing an Easy to Apply Finish For Your Guitar
Since you are learning about guitar making already, then it makes sense to use a finish that you are already comfortable with.
If you are brand new to guitar making and finishing is a new skill as well, picking out something that is easy to learn will make the process that much smoother.
You are already in a situation where you need to learn a lot. Don’t make it any more complicated than it already is. You are going to learn more as a woodworker over the next several months of the build than you may ever learn again in such a small window. Over complicating the build can lead to this…
Frustration Can Lead to Giving Up
There are a lot of guitars in this world that are half finished and sitting under a pile of other half finished projects in someone’s workshop. It takes time and patience to finish a guitar, but you can do things to help the process.
The easiest is don’t over complicate the build. If every step is an intense and elaborate testament to woodworking skill, you are going to run out of juice really quickly. Frustration kills motivation, and you want to have the drive for as long as you can.
Make sure that some parts of the guitar are a statement of your woodworking ability, but also be sure that the other steps are not made overly difficult. The last thing you want to do is give up along the way.
My Favorite Easy to Apply Finish
By far my favorite hand applies finish is Tru-Oil. This is a great product, and I really wish I had a nickel for all the tens of thousands of bottles that I must have sold on my recommendation over the years. This product makes an experienced finisher out of anyone.
I wrote a tutorial on Finishing Wood With Tru-Oil that you can take a look at for the full instructions. It can be used for small projects as well as guitars, and I have personally finished around 30 guitars, and hundreds of small projects with Tru-Oil.
The nice thing about Tru Oil is that you can apply it with a small cloth, and build up several coats over a couple days. Once you are done, the surface shines and your guitar will look absolutely amazing. You will also be impressed at how you were able to create such a nice look.
How to Practice Finishing Your Guitar
Save your scraps. Make it a habit to finish a few small scraps at the end of your guitar making sessions each time you are in the shop. This way you can see what the finish does on different types of wood. You can also see what three coats versus nine coats looks like.
Save the wood that you are using for your guitar that falls to the floor when you cut things out or make parts. These smaller pieces of wood may have ended up in the trash, but they can be an excellent training tool a new wood finisher.
Sand the surface to the same grit that you would when finishing, and then apply the oil the same way as you would when finishing the real thing. Allow them to dry, and check your work the next time you are in the shop. The pieces should look smooth, and the finish should look better and better each time.
I also wrote The Secret to Wood Finishing, which can help you learn the one trick you need to know that will make your finishes come out really nice looking.
1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners
Tip No. 9 is from my book, 1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners, which has a thousand more great tips to get your first few builds on the right track. There is no secret to guitar making, just a lot of small things that you need to get right. These tips will help you.
If you have any questions about Guitar Making Tip No. 9, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please Subscribe so that you don’t miss out on anything new. Happy building.