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Old 05-29-2020, 10:42 AM
Marley Marley is offline
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Default Need help with finishing

I am starting to put together the 335 kit from StewMac. Going exactly the opposite of the directions, I am going to finish this first and then assemble.

I'm looking for help in two areas.

1. I want to do the top in a surf green sort of color but I want to kind of "stain" it so I can still see some grain vs paint it. If I did not care about the grain, I would simply spray the top with a can of surf green paint and then apply the top coats protectant I choose to use. I may protect with spray enamel as I love that stuff. Crystal clear, high gloss and very durable. I've used it on a ton of wood stuff.
I'm having a very hard time finding a color of green I like in a dye, powder or acrylic paint. On other projects, I have applied acrylic paint to bare wood, let it sit for a few then remove and what's left kind of looks like a stain. I'm thinking I'll have to do something like that to get the color I want. Unless someone has another option I can try.

2. The most favorite neck I own is on my EB Music Man Axis. I don't know what they do to their necks but I'd like to do this 335 neck as close as I can to it. The MM necks almost have a raw/satin feel to them. I've heard terms like gunstock mentioned before regarding their necks. One big difference between my MM neck and the 335 neck is that the MM is maple and this is hog.
Any suggestions on what or how I should finish this neck? After sanding, what can I put on it to give it that raw/satin sort of feel? OR with mahogany, do I need to put more on it like a gloss or paint?

Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:54 AM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Have you tried looking at TransTint dyes? They've got some fantastic colors you could try. And their green is pretty awesome imho.

https://www.rockler.com/transtint-dyes
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:28 PM
Marley Marley is offline
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Thank you! That stuff looks great. The only problem is, that green is so far off from what I'm going after. BUT, I'm not even sure exactly what I'm going after. just google, Fender Surf Green and see how many different shades of there are. Even the mix they have patented does not look like what the guitars looks like. They say the Fender Surf Green was modeled after the 1956 Buick Special but even the colors of those cars don't look anything like the Fender guitars.

I just went out for lunch and bought 4 different shades of green paint. I now have about 9 different greens, all in this slim shading of green, as well as dozens of pics of "surf green" guitars and a ton of green color samples from the paint shop. Nothing comes close to the surf green guitars I'm seeing and I have to max a mix that looks close. One of the tints I bought at lunch looks good. I have not opened the canister yet but we'll see. It's a brand and can I had never seen before. Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:37 PM
The Watchman The Watchman is offline
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Marley, you know that you can take a photo of the color (or a guitar) to a paint shop (like Sherwin Williams) and they can computer scan it to get a color match. But paint is different than dye, if you want the grain to show.
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:03 PM
Marley Marley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Watchman View Post
Marley, you know that you can take a photo of the color (or a guitar) to a paint shop (like Sherwin Williams) and they can computer scan it to get a color match. But paint is different than dye, if you want the grain to show.
Great suggestion! It may come down to that If I can't find or mix my own color. I may be getting closer. I would prefer die or stain but I'm not sure I can get this color in a stain or can they put any color into a quart of clear stain? Not a poly stain or anything like that just a stain only.

But I have used paint, acrylic paint, to use as a stain and it works beautifully. I put it on raw wood and wipe it off, sometimes it takes a few times and sometimes even sanding in-between, but not always. In the end you have a bold colored piece of wood that you can see every grain of that wood through the paint. It's certainly not as ideal as stain but it gets the job done if you're working with unusual colors and you want to see wood grain. If you don't want to see grain you just slap the paint on slightly thicker.
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:43 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley View Post
I am starting to put together the 335 kit from StewMac. Going exactly the opposite of the directions, I am going to finish this first and then assemble.

I'm looking for help in two areas.

1. I want to do the top in a surf green sort of color but I want to kind of "stain" it so I can still see some grain vs paint it. If I did not care about the grain, I would simply spray the top with a can of surf green paint and then apply the top coats protectant I choose to use. I may protect with spray enamel as I love that stuff. Crystal clear, high gloss and very durable. I've used it on a ton of wood stuff.
I'm having a very hard time finding a color of green I like in a dye, powder or acrylic paint. On other projects, I have applied acrylic paint to bare wood, let it sit for a few then remove and what's left kind of looks like a stain. I'm thinking I'll have to do something like that to get the color I want. Unless someone has another option I can try.

2. The most favorite neck I own is on my EB Music Man Axis. I don't know what they do to their necks but I'd like to do this 335 neck as close as I can to it. The MM necks almost have a raw/satin feel to them. I've heard terms like gunstock mentioned before regarding their necks. One big difference between my MM neck and the 335 neck is that the MM is maple and this is hog.
Any suggestions on what or how I should finish this neck? After sanding, what can I put on it to give it that raw/satin sort of feel? OR with mahogany, do I need to put more on it like a gloss or paint?

Thanks!
For color, check out the Guitar Reranch finishing website.

For a neck finish you might want to consider Osmo PolyX "hard wax" finish. I just finished a mahogany acoustic guitar neck with it and really like it a lot. (I've got a lot of years of finish experimenting that I've done, so I'm always on the lookout for the Goldilocks finish. The Osmo PolyX may just be "the one".)

Read my comments in this topic:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...=581496&page=2
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:19 PM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley View Post
Thank you! That stuff looks great. The only problem is, that green is so far off from what I'm going after. BUT, I'm not even sure exactly what I'm going after. just google, Fender Surf Green and see how many different shades of there are. Even the mix they have patented does not look like what the guitars looks like. They say the Fender Surf Green was modeled after the 1956 Buick Special but even the colors of those cars don't look anything like the Fender guitars.

I just went out for lunch and bought 4 different shades of green paint. I now have about 9 different greens, all in this slim shading of green, as well as dozens of pics of "surf green" guitars and a ton of green color samples from the paint shop. Nothing comes close to the surf green guitars I'm seeing and I have to max a mix that looks close. One of the tints I bought at lunch looks good. I have not opened the canister yet but we'll see. It's a brand and can I had never seen before. Thanks!
well my friend, if there's not much of a standard for that green, then it seems to me that it's whatever you say it is!
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:58 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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Getting stain/toner to be close to the right color, the one in your mind, is particularly challenging. Because of the transparency, the wood itself plays a role. Best to take your shot and accept what actually happens.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:10 PM
Bass.swimmer Bass.swimmer is offline
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You may want to look into violin varnishing. They've done a lot with coloring finish while leaving it clear enough to see the wood.

I do know some oil paints in oil varnish work well, you could do a couple tests see what works, and what fades or doesn't.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:46 PM
redir redir is offline
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I really can't imagine finishing first then assembling. Good luck.

Tru-Oil is a great finish for a neck. Shellac is my favorite.
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:47 PM
Marley Marley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
I really can't imagine finishing first then assembling. Good luck.

Tru-Oil is a great finish for a neck. Shellac is my favorite.
It may seen strange and I could be wrong so I'll explain and if you think I should finish after, you tell me.

This guitar is really all about assembling it and not really building it. So the directions have you install all the hardware, pickups, knobs, tuners etc.. and then finish. I just think it's counterproductive and not efficient to put all that on there only to try and tape off every little piece and then try to stain and spray finish around all that stuff. It seem much easier and efficient and a better end product to finish the neck and body, glue them together then install the parts. I'm not worried about dinging stuff up after it's finished if that is the only reason you'd do it first.

Isn't that how the guitar companies do it? I would assume that's why if I remove a tuner knob or volume control it's finished wood underneath and not raw wood. Don't they finish everything then put the parts on then set it up?

Bruce, I think you're absolutely correct on the color and I'll probably end up with whatever color it happens to be. I'm good with it now. I ended up getting some clear stain over the weekend and tinted it with a green I like. It will no doubt be closer to emerald green than surf green but so be it.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:41 PM
JonWint JonWint is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley View Post
It may seen strange and I could be wrong so I'll explain and if you think I should finish after, you tell me.
Please refer me to the page in the Assembly Instructions that state you should finish after assembly. I didn't find it. It would be an unusual sequence.
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:01 AM
Marley Marley is offline
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Originally Posted by JonWint View Post
Please refer me to the page in the Assembly Instructions that state you should finish after assembly. I didn't find it. It would be an unusual sequence.
That's what I thought.

It's on the very last page of my directions. It's says congrats you've completed you guitar and now it's time to finish it, go to StewMac for finish ideas and products. I just looked at the directions online and it seems like they deleted that language and now you don't see anything about finishing in the online directions. But if you follow their online directions or my booklet directions both have you completely assemble a raw wood guitar. I also just noticed when I looked at their online directions they corrected something else. My booklet directions say to use a 9.5" sanding block on the neck in the directions but list a 12" block in the "tools needed" section at the beginning and now I see online they both say 12".

So, even with that, why would StewMac send old directions out with a kit bought 2 weeks ago when they obviously have revised directions online. I need to print them off to compare.
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Old 06-02-2020, 08:23 AM
JonWint JonWint is offline
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Instructions are not always complete. The StewMac Assembly Instructions cover the assembly of items included in the kit. Finishing materials are not part of the kit so they never mention finishing.

They neglected to tell you that finishing needs to precede assembly. It would be beneficial for you to do a trial assembly of many of the components "in the white" so that final assembly proceeds more smoothly with fewer surprises. It would be good to have all holes drilled for mounting screws, etc. before finishing.

If you review the other StewMac kit instructions you will see that the finishing chapter precedes final assembly instructions.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:25 AM
Marley Marley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonWint View Post
Instructions are not always complete. The StewMac Assembly Instructions cover the assembly of items included in the kit. Finishing materials are not part of the kit so they never mention finishing.

They neglected to tell you that finishing needs to precede assembly. It would be beneficial for you to do a trial assembly of many of the components "in the white" so that final assembly proceeds more smoothly with fewer surprises. It would be good to have all holes drilled for mounting screws, etc. before finishing.

If you review the other StewMac kit instructions you will see that the finishing chapter precedes final assembly instructions.
Thanks Jon! I was definitely going to trial install many parts and get holes pre-drilled. And yes not only did they neglect to tell me that finishing needs to precede assembly they in fact told me to do it afterwards. It's in black in white in their instructions. They obviously have deleted that part, and anything about finishing, since my directions were printed 18 or so months ago. It's interesting that you say they never mention finishing in their instructions because finishing materials are not included but then say other StewMac kits have the finishing chapter preceding the final assembly?

I put together a tube amp kit from them and their directions were very good. I changed a few things after getting suggestions from some amp builders but for the most part, their directions were great. The amp worked on the first fire up and it's now my main amp. I love it.

I'm excited to keep going on this guitar. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!
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Last edited by Marley; 06-02-2020 at 09:31 AM.
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