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Pore filling before finish (Read 1525 times)
Dale Schroeder
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Pore filling before finish
Sep 7th, 2005 at 6:25pm
 
This may have been posted before but I couldn't find it.  Here's my situation.  I'm going to spray finish my lastest ukulele with a waterbase laquer (Stew-macs "color tone").    My body is koa, top is spruce and neck is mahanogy.  On my last ukulele I sealed with quick drying epoxy, (spread on with a credit card) which I had a hard time spreading and controlling.  Although it looked pretty good when I was done, I don't really want to do that again.  What do you more experienced builders recommend for a sealer?

Mahalo
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rcelley
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Re: Pore filling before finish
Reply #1 - Sep 8th, 2005 at 9:19am
 
I think the key to grain filling is to go by the rule of "a little goes a long way" and to wipe it off after no more than ten minutes of setting up time. I think epoxy is good but the credit card is probably not the best thing for spreading it. If you think that worked well you could try covering a smaller area with less glue and using a single edge razor blade to spread. The other rule of thumb is probably to go in knowing you must grain fill twice AT LEAST to get a really good fill. Finish is what people see. Heck, finish is what you'll see. Don't rush it. Here is a schedule that is probably pretty average to ensure a good finish using a lacqer.
1. fill the grain. (if you are staining at all do it here)
2. wipe with naptha, sand back to level and wash coat twice.
3. Sand back to level, naptha and fill again.
4. repeat step 2.
5. naptha, sand back to level, naptha (you are seeing a naptha wiping pattern developing) and apply three coats of L.
6. wet sand to level with 800 grit, naptha, three more coats of L, if you really want to get intense you can lightly wet sand betwee each of these last coats.
7. If there were no sand throughs at step 6 leveling you may want to stop coating here, if there were any probs or doubts then lightly wet sand with 800 again, naptha, and put on two more coats.
8. Hang it in some out of the way place for a couple of weeks. Two weeks for water based Lac and 4 weeks for nitrocellulose. Sorry, but these are minimum curing times no matter what the manufacturers directions say. (If they gave the real world curing times nobody would ever have used the products in the first place. "full chemical cure" is not enough). If you rush the curing you increase the chances of sand throughs during the wet sanding by an enormous amount. Patience here makes all the difference. (you could start the next uke construction while you wait!).
9. Wet sand with 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000 and then buff with Finesse it II or some similar compound. Wipe on some Mequiers show car glaze and marvel at the depth! Wipe with naptha and change the water (or whatever) between each grit of wet sanding.

That's my short course(just one opinion among many), and also the reason lots of people use some sort of wipe on finishes like Tru-oil or tung oil or even danish oil. Lacquer looks amazing but it does take some labor and some time compared to other things.
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Rich Celley
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konacat
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Re: Pore filling before finish
Reply #2 - Sep 8th, 2005 at 2:29pm
 
Dale,

I was just visiting David Hurd’s web site and read something that may help. David said that while filling with epoxy he uses a heat gun and the hot air helps the epoxy flow and creates better pore penetration.  The information can be found on ukuleles.com under shop tips and finishing procedures.
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rcelley
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Because I like to say,
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central minnesota, USA
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Re: Pore filling before finish
Reply #3 - Sep 9th, 2005 at 6:06am
 
That's kind of a kool idea. I ran across a guy who does a lot of refinishing on electric guitar bods and he just spreads the filler with his fingers.

and why is it we think filled wood pores are aesthetically more desirable anyway...because we love doing things the hard way no matter what?! Undecided
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Rich Celley
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Dale Schroeder
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Maker of fine sawdust

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Seattle, WA
Gender: male
Re: Pore filling before finish
Reply #4 - Sep 20th, 2005 at 3:48pm
 
Thanks for the tips, guys.  I'll try the razor blade, it hasn't failed me on other critical proceedures yet!  And yes David Hurd's site is a must for uke builders.

Dale
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