Guitar Making Tip No. 970

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Guitar Making Tip Number 970 is about finding a good place to finish. When you are finishing your guitar, you want a good area that is free of floating debris and still offers good ventilation and air flow. This means a lot of cleaning…

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Finishing Your Guitar

guitar making tip number 970It’s extremely important that you find a good area to finish the guitar. The finishing process leaves a sticky surface for sometimes hours that every little piece of dust in the area is going to try and stick to.

Over several hours and several coats, this can mean a really bad looking surface in the end. You can easily prevent these kinds of problems by picking out the right area.

It’s a bit of a technical feat to find a place that has air movement and ventilation, but still prevents dust from sticking to your piece.

The real thing that you have to do well before you finish, unless you have a dedicated area that is dust free, is to clean. The day before you finish, clean as much dust out of the shop as you can, and then allow it to settle overnight before finishing the following day…

Ventilation and Air Flow

You need to have some air flow in the shop in order to make sure that the chemical fumes don’t build up and cause health problems. Too much of a build up can even cause injury, and that is a bad thing. Air flow solves this problem most of the time.

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Now, you don’t need to finish inside a wind tunnel to have good results. There is a point where too much air flow and interfere with the way that the finish adheres to the surface of the guitar, which is not good.

You want to look for a place where the air is not trapped, and you can easily allow air to move in and out. Find a place like that to finish, and you will have a much safer time in this important part of making a guitar.

The Trick to Removing Dust

The big trick to finishing is cleaning and removing dust. The big trick to removing dust is a wet rag. It’s important to clean the heck out of the finishing area the day before you finish, which allows for one day of settling. Here is how you get that super clean look.

A vacuum will only pull so much dust from the surface of what you are cleaning. A wet rag however, will remove nearly all of it. The real secret to getting dust off surfaces is using the wet rag, and rinsing it often.

If you have never cleaned the shop with a wet rag, then prepare to have to rinse the rag about every few feet. It’s going to get really dirty, really quickly. Keep rinsing the rag, otherwise you are just going to be spreading wet dust sludge on the next surface you wipe.

Keeping Clean and Finishing

Once your shop is immaculately clean, and you have wiped everything down with a wet rag. you are in a good place to use the area for finishing. It will not last, but you can do the same process next time.

Until you have an area that you can finish outside of the shop, you will typically need to perform at least a wet rag dust cleaning before you finish. You can sometimes get away with moving the guitar after you spray to a different area, but that new area needs to be dust free too.

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The finish is going to be tacky for sometimes several hours depending on what kind of product that you use. In that time, any dust can land on the surface and stick, causing the look to become worse than intended.

Guitar Making Tip No. 970 Wrap-Up

It’s worth the time to clean before you finish. It’s also important to finish in an area that has good ventilation. These factors help you create a better finish, and they also help you be safe while applying the better finish.

Select an area with good air flow, and then clean it the night before you intend to finish. A day will allow the residual dust in the air to settle out, and you can get a better looking finish because of your efforts.

If you have any questions on Guitar Making Tip No. 970 please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

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