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Luthiers, how do I fix finishing?   You are logged in as Guest
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Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

Luthiers, how do I fix finishing? 

Speaking of ruined guitars, I have an Alhambra cheap classical which I use for flamenco too So guess what happens when you do golpes on soft cedar tops?

Anyway I could reduce the appearance of those ugly fingernail dents without stripping the whole finish? That would be something too much for a cheap guitar.

Thanks,
Skai

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2005 1:46:37

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Luthiers, how do I fix finishing? (in reply to Skai

quote:

could I reduce the appearance of those ugly fingernail dents without stripping the whole finish? That would be something too much for a cheap guitar?


Cheston... don't think anyone ever answered your question. The answer is "yes" you can.

What you need are three things:

a) wood filler
b) lacquer
c) micro-mesh abrasive cloth

The woodfiller is basically just if the dents have actually gone through into the wood itself. If they have, you'll need to fill the dents with filler, then sand them flat once dry. If several fillers are available, choose the one that closest maches the colour of the guitar soundboard wood. If the dents aren't through to the wood, then don't bother with filler.

Next you'll need some lacquer. I'm assuming your guitar is lacqered. If it is a very glossy, thick and shiny finish it is probably nitrocellulose lacquer. If it is shiny but "thinner" looking, it is probably french polished. If it is not that shiny, or "satin" looking, it is probably oil finished. But most cheap guitars are lacquered.

You'll need to apply the lacquer with a fine brush. Aim to "fill" the gap in the surface until the wet lacquer is slightly protruding above the rest of the surface. Then sand back with fine wet and dry paper until it doesn't protrude anymore, and the new lacquer is flush with the old lacquer.

Then get yourself some micro-mesh abrasive cloth (expensive stuff, but the best thing to use). work on the area of the dent and just outside it with the coarsest grade of cloth, then work your way up to the finest (I think it goes right up to 12,000 grade). This will basically POLISH the area to bring it up to a shine like the rest of the guitar.

I think this procedure would work best on newer lacquer... if its a very old guitar the lacquer tends to discolour and be brittle, whjich complicates matters.

You can get the lacquer from Stewart Macdonald luthiery supplies:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents.html

But be aware that it isn't that they sometimes don't ship nitrocellulose out of the country (due to flammability), so you might wanna look around where you live for a supplier.

If you really can't find a supplier locally, try their water-based lacquer, although I'm not sure if this would work as well, as I've never used it.


Hope that helps a bit.


James
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 22 2006 22:19:23

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Luthiers, how do I fix finishing? (in reply to JBASHORUN

I also understand that nitrocellulose lacquer is not compatible with some acrylic lacquers, so its probably best that you check what type of finish your guitar has on it already.


James
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 22 2006 22:23:41
Guest

RE: Luthiers, how do I fix finishing? (in reply to Skai

Very good advices James, and the only thing I think that I will add, is that, as far as I know, Alhambra guitars are not lacquered with Nitro cellulose, but with some kind of plastic, read poliurethene (spelling?), but as James say, better contact Alhambra.

And... Remember to put a tapplate on it.

Another, cheaper and a lot easyer solution is to simply put a white tapplate on the guitar. That´s why they exist, it looks pretty gitano to.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 23 2006 7:29:13
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: Luthiers, how do I fix finishing? (in reply to Skai

Speaking of that guitar, it's an Alhambra 2c classical which costed me SGD$320 3 years ago. That's probably a little over GBP100. Thta's the only good thing we've got here, cheap Alhambra guitars!

I've given up on doing anything to it, not even changing strings. The neck was warped and it seems like reheating it didn't have a permanent improvement on it. I've no case for that guitar, so it suffers fluctuations in humidity everyday, ranging from 55% to 80%. Playability is also very bad and sustain pathetic. Even a Tusq nut and saddle could not save it. But still, it's excellent tone-wise, what a pity.

I'm keeping it for 3 reasons though. Firstly, it's my spare trashing guitar for bringing around. Secondly, it was played by my instructor for some time and he happened to have a chance to learn from John Williams. Lastly, I still want the Tusq nut and saddle for my flamenco blanca..

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Try some Enrique Iglesias for some great cante.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 23 2006 12:01:05
 
DavidT

 

Posts: 181
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Luthiers, how do I fix finishing? (in reply to Guest

Hi Anders,

Have you been checking your mail box?
Please reply my mail which was sent about 5 days ago.

Thanks
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 23 2006 16:36:11

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: Luthiers, how do I fix finishing? (in reply to Skai

quote:

Speaking of that guitar, it's an Alhambra 2c classical which costed me SGD$320 3 years ago. That's probably a little over GBP100. Thta's the only good thing we've got here, cheap Alhambra guitars!


Cheston, thats one of the problems with buying cheap guitars... you think you're getting a bargain because they don't cost much. But when something goes wrong (and it often does with cheaply made guitars), you find that it costs more to repair the guitar than the guitar is actually worth! I bought several cheap guitars on Ebay, and to be honest, it wouldn't have been worth it if I wasn't planning to repair them myself. My advice to you would be to try experimenting with the cheaper guitars, and maybe try repairing them yourself... you'll save lots of money, gain a new skill, and perhaps even get a playable guitar out of it. And if it all goes wrong, its not a problem because the guitar is only cheap.


James
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 23 2006 18:09:14
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: Luthiers, how do I fix finishing? (in reply to Skai

Hey James,

The Alhambra is actually a wonderful guitar for classical beginners and it's from a reputable retailer too. In fact, Alhambra guitars are cheaper in Singapore as compared to elsewhere. It's due to some free-trade agreement if I didn't remember wrongly.

The thing is that the climate here is EXTREMELY BAD for guitars. Neither have a spent much effort keeping it safe. So as expected, the guitar suffered alot in my hands.

Nonetheless, it's got excellent tone! Great up to intermediate levels, if you do take proper care of it. And don't worry, I'm taking extreme caution with my other Alhambra, a 7Fc full solid blanca which costs 4 times as much here. It's very easy to play even with hard tension strings and has decent flamenco tone. But I still want an Anders negra!

Cheston

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Try some Enrique Iglesias for some great cante.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 24 2006 9:45:13
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