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lobobravo

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov. 4 2016
From: Germany

surface 

I ask for recommendation:

I've ordered a guitar at a luthier in Spain, which will be built in January - February.
The luthier recommended a thin polyurethan finish, which will mean the best protection.
I generally tend more to french polish, either the complete guitar or only the tape.

Can s.o advice me?

beat
lobo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 8 2017 14:10:22
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1003
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

Do you plan to use the guitar mostly at home or to make concerts? This could make quite a difference as shellac can get easily damaged.
I have guitars French polished and varnished (either with nitro or synthetic) and those french polished are obviously the nicest to see and touch, but I wouldn't say they are necessarily better sounding.
If I had to go for a varnish I would prefer nitro though.
Lastly, it's not easy at all to spray a "thin" layer of poly finish. If I was in you I would examine carefully how your maker varnished other guitars in the past before going for the varnish.
A thick varnish is never a good thing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 8 2017 14:23:16
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

A lot of guitar builders don't do French polish but send their guitars out to be spray finished. Most likely if the builder asked you to spray finish it's because he doesn't have a French polisher handy for the finish, or they charge too much for the job.

Either way builders usually send their guitars out to be finished.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 8 2017 17:26:10
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: surface (in reply to Echi

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi

Lastly, it's not easy at all to spray a "thin" layer of poly finish. If I was in you I would examine carefully how your maker varnished other guitars in the past before going for the varnish.
A thick varnish is never a good thing.

Why would it be different from spraying a thin coat of nitro? All you do is use some kind of thinner or reducer and the finish goes on very thin. We use nitro and put up to 15 coats on with each one applied very thin and level sanded before the next coat.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 8 2017 18:13:51
 
pundi64

Posts: 234
Joined: Jul. 29 2016
From: Thailand

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

quote:

ORIGINAL: lobobravo

I ask for recommendation:

I've ordered a guitar at a luthier in Spain, which will be built in January - February.
The luthier recommended a thin polyurethan finish, which will mean the best protection.
I generally tend more to french polish, either the complete guitar or only the tape.

Can s.o advice me?

beat
lobo

If finish is sprayed thinly then go for it
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 8 2017 20:38:32
 
lobobravo

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov. 4 2016
From: Germany

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

thanks for your thoughts.

With "tape" I meant "tapa" = soundboard / sorry.

Does it make sense to varnish the soundboard with shellack and the other parts with polyurethan?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 8 2017 20:39:45
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1003
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: surface (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

Why would it be different from spraying a thin coat of nitro? All you do is use some kind of thinner or reducer and the finish goes on very thin. We use nitro and put up to 15 coats on with each one applied very thin and level sanded before the next coat.

As Tom said, often in Spain the makers outsource the varnishing. Usually (but not always) these companies use nitro finish for a thinner varnish and poly for the average works.
As an instance, Alhambra for many years had nitro just for the top models.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2017 12:11:09
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: surface (in reply to Echi

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi
As Tom said, often in Spain the makers outsource the varnishing. Usually (but not always) these companies use nitro finish for a thinner varnish and poly for the average works.
As an instance, Alhambra for many years had nitro just for the top models.

I'm sure you're correct. Using the term "poly" doesn't mean much since it can apply to a whole range of finishes. Many of these products have some real advantages over traditional finishes besides durability like being self leveling, almost impervious to crazing, rapid cure rates, no need for pore filling, etc. so you can't blame factories for using them. I'm not convinced there are any negative effects on the voice of an instrument as long as they are applied thin; however they can present some challenges to luthiers who need to make repairs.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2017 14:28:53
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

Spanish makers are bad at putting on thin finish, in my experience. For that matter so are the Japanese, Guitars are not cars, they don't need much finish.

Yes, in fact, I'm a really bad mood.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2017 21:00:05
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: surface (in reply to estebanana

Based on my one experience with a popular builder. I would have to agree, that his guitar was over-sprayed.

Done nicely but too much finish.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2017 21:56:47
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3264
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: surface (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Both of my flamencas have catalyzed polyurethane finish. The Arcangel Fernandez is my favorite among all the flamencas I have played, with the possible exception of a 1950s Marcelo Barbero that belongs to Richard Brune.

In 2006 I visited the shop of Arturo Huipe in Paracho. One cedar/cocobolo "Fleta" model was the second best guitar I played in Paracho that day. It was French polished. Arturo had another guitar, exactly the same, except it was finished in nitrocellulose. The top could have been the next board in the tree. The French polished guitar was head and shoulders better than the nitro one.

I bought the French polished one, but recently donated it to the local guitar society, since I have three classicals which are better--all French polished. I just got an email the other day saying they had lent it to a student to use in his "upcoming auditions." I suppose he is trying out for college courses.

But I think a great deal depends on how the finish is applied.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2017 22:31:15
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1003
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

The guitars you get in Granada are often very well varnished with shellac.
In Madrid most makers offer polyurethane finish as a standard and traditionally they outsource the job to a couple of shops the most famous being of a guy called Paredes. This is probably a tradition (or a way to work) they took since the golden times of Ramirez.
The problem here is that these shops work fast and and use the gun to spray a nitro/shellac finish....hence the poor results if you compare them with the hand rub method.

Up to '67 the Arcangel guitars used to be varnished with shellac; later on he offered a glossy finish as this is what was highly requested by his Japan customers: Arcangel used to outsource the varnishing as well and if you asked a French polished guitar he would have sent the guitar to be polished by someone else.

The case of Ramirez is different though. The famous orange poly finish was introduced in guitar making exactly by Ramirez together with the use of the cedar tops.
The whole idea here was revolutionary for the times. The thick varnish was thought to compensate and protect the thin cedar plate used for the top.
My 1980 Conde and the Manzanero are finished with nitro, my Sanchis Carpio Bulerias probably with poly (while quite thin I have to say) my Bellido with shellac. Each of them match well with the finish they got.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2017 8:50:40
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 730
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: surface (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

The French polished guitar was head and shoulders better than the nitro one.


If the difference was as pronounced as you suggest I would expect that it was not just the finish. With a rather larger sample but subject to the same testing limitations I concluded that there was a discernable difference between guitars with different finishes. In the old Felipe V Conde shop I played a number of A26 models in shellac and synthetic lacquer finishes. The lacquer seemed to add a distinctive colour to the tone - not better or worse but just different. I think that I could have recognised the difference blindfolded. Of course there were plenty of other differences between individual guitars. I preferred the shellac tone but in environments with amplification I don't think that would be an issue.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 10 2017 10:21:28
 
Flamingrae

 

Posts: 218
Joined: May 19 2009
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

quote:

Does it make sense to varnish the soundboard with shellack and the other parts with polyurethan?


This is a compromise on the sound/durability and I've done this before with good results. Hopefully you should get a vibrant top with the back and sides taking most of the wear. Down side is it will take more time to do and you may get persuaded to do the whole thing in nitro. Just remember you can always top up on the French polish finish if it wears. Harder to do on nitro. I'm more biased towards French Polish but each to their own.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2017 12:09:04
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: surface (in reply to Flamingrae

quote:

ORIGINAL: Flamingrae
Just remember you can always top up on the French polish finish if it wears. Harder to do on nitro. I'm more biased towards French Polish but each to their own.

Why is it "harder to do on nitro"? Clean the finish, a light sanding and shoot a clear coat or drop fill small dings. I've done it many times over the years....all refinishing or touch work is time consuming but I don't see where nitro is any "harder" than FP.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2017 14:24:54
 
Flamingrae

 

Posts: 218
Joined: May 19 2009
 

RE: surface (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

I've done it many times over the years....all refinishing or touch work is time consuming but I don't see where nitro is any "harder" than FP.


Then I stand corrected - I would find it harder to do and I would find it harder to control as I have less experience with nitro. I'd be cautious about building up too much of a layer on the front. Solvent wise with nitro I'm not so keen too. Like I say, each to their own and just throwing my bit in there.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 16 2017 0:58:33
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: surface (in reply to Flamingrae

quote:

ORIGINAL: Flamingrae

I'd be cautious about building up too much of a layer on the front. Solvent wise with nitro I'm not so keen too.


Sadly in the US the EPA forbids us from buying any product strong enough to dissolve nitro lacquer. I suppose if you soaked it in acetone then used something to scrape it off or steel wool it might work but I've found it easier to just use a scraper and judicious light sanding. You are absolutely correct that the finish must be kept thin especially on the top. I'm getting ready to refinish a high end blanca right now and really dislike the work especially this time of year. This guitar had nitro from the start so it's not a sacrilege to continue with nitro.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 16 2017 18:18:47
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3264
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: surface (in reply to jshelton5040

Over time the polyurethane finish continues to evolve. On my '67 Ramirez cedar/cypress 1a blanca, which I have had since it was new, the polyurethane has hardened, and I believe, thinned out somewhat with age.

Hardening with the passage of time would result from more crosslinking among the polymers in the finish. If it really has thinned--it's just an impression, I haven't measured it--there must have been some continued slow outgassing of original components.

But cedar and cypress are the predominant smells of the instrument, nothing chemical from aromatic outgassing--if any in fact ocurred.

I should add that my all-time favorite flamenca (except maybe a 1950s Barbero that belongs to Richard Brune), is a 1982 Arcangel Fernandez spruce/cypress blanca, which is finished in polyurethane.

By 1982 all of Arcangel's guitars were contracted to Japan. Mine has no serial number, having been made for a European collector, but it has Arcangel's stamped, signed label, and his signature and date on the underside of the sound board. I had it appraised by Brune before I bought it. He assured me it is genuine.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 16 2017 21:29:34
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: surface (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

I had it appraised by Brune before I bought it. He assured me it is genuine.


I second that as I have seen it and played it. It is a very good one..It does what I tell it to.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 1:08:29
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1003
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

2 things:
About the top finishing, I agree with the opinion listened from many (and among others from mr. Inhoffer of Mundo flamenco). Apparently the shellac finish gives a more open sound and set the overtones free to go. A thin layer of varnish helps instead to improve the definition of the note and adds a little bit of power.
That's what I noticed when I had refinished a couple of guitars I knew very well (a Conde from nitro to schellac and a Gerundino from shellac to nitro).
I for one prefer to apply shellac on my guitars as I can't afford a dedicate room for varnishing and I don't like to work with nasty stuff.
Soundwise I think nitro is generally better for my ideal sound.

Few words about Arcangel:
There are nice pictures of the inside of a '74 Arcangel in the website of Solera Flamenca.
I know the style of building of Arcangel having tried a couple of very good ones and inspected quite well.
I also had a Manuel Caceres (who is said the maker of the guitars of Arcangel for many years).
Nontheless this guitar is particularly interesting to me as the wood he used for the bracing is cedar.
I consider Arcangel among the best guitar makers ever.
If only he could have worked with great flamenco players and follow the developement of flamenco...
Unfortunately he stopped developing his guitar model in '67 and made mostly classical guitars since. .
I always seen Arcangels with the plantilla of a '37 Santos and the same bracing pattern of 1956).
IMHO the guitars of Arcangel have a lovely deep tone and project extremely well. Those I tried tend to sound a little bassy and maybe dull for the player, but the note comes out very strong and defined for the listener with plenty of colours.
On the other side, not the great compressed midrange or the great volume other makers are famous for.
As I said in the past, I really liked a particular guitar of Arcangel but eventually I ended up buying a guitar from another builder.
At times I repent, at times I'm very happy with my choice.
For sure I repent for the deal as today the market price for an Arcangel (as for Reyes) is just crazy expensive considered the alternative options.
There was a time, just few years ago, when a Arcangel sold for way less and both Manuel Caceres and Barba could sell their guitars just for 5000 Euro.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 9:36:29
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: surface (in reply to Echi

quote:

There was a time, just few years ago, when a Arcangel sold for way less and both Manuel Caceres and Barba could sell their guitars just for 5000 Euro.


Maybe on your side of this planet but in the US, Arcangel's guitars have enjoyed collector status for many years and bring incredible prices like Miguel Rodriguez and Fleta.

Years ago I used to own a new Barbero Hijo guitar made in 1965 in Arcangel's shop, which sold for $650 US, but it was not the caliber of this Arcangel that I recently played.

The articulation and tone on this Blanca flamenco guitar was something special.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 12:14:21
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1003
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

I can't make any statement on Richard's guitar. I have no reason to doubt it's very good, but I didn't try it.
I'm speaking just in general terms.
As you say, in USA some guitar makers found more credit and better market than in Spain.
My guess is that players like Sabicas or the Romeros, particularly successful in USA, could orient the market to favour a certain sound and therefore a certain guitar maker etc.
The very same fact that Sabicas moved to NYC and Mario Escudero and Denis Kostner had such an influence in that area could push up the sound of the 50' Madrid guitar.
In Spain people like Paco Cepero and after De Lucia had a greater impact. Conde was definitely "the" guitar to wish for many years to come.
As a consequence even other luthiers of Madrid (mostly trained by Ramirez) had as a goal the sound of Conde.
Different story for Andalucia.

Anyway, the guitars of Arcangel have never been cheap as he made a choice since the very beginning to keep his prices even higher than Ramirez (or Conde) and never to make special deals with this or that player. In fact there were not many guitars made by Arcangel around.
If you passed through his shop he wouldn't have a guitar to try and hardly accept to make one for you as all his output was already sold in advance.
Somehow he worked out of the radars and as a consequence his guitars were not the last fashion in Spain.
Btw, for many years Arcangel didn't want to build flamenco guitars (as he got fed up of players not paying him etc) deciding to focus on the classical. That's also why Marcelino Barbero made mostly flamenco guitars for local customers. Barbero hijo (who died quite young) is generally not considered as good as Arcangel though.

The prices of the guitars of a Arcangel kept growing in the last 10 years or so.
Maybe Internet and some guitar dealers gave a hand.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 14:11:54
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13684
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: surface (in reply to Echi

Here is Richard's famous Arcangel for reference.



Now can someone explain again the difference between Laqcuer, Polyurethane, and Nitro and how to tell difference on a guitar?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 18:23:45
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3264
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: surface (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo
Now can someone explain again the difference between Laqcuer, Polyurethane, and Nitro and how to tell difference on a guitar?


Here is part of an email I received from Richard Brune, after I had mis-stated that the Arcangel had a lacquer finish: (The rest of the email was on a different subject.)

"I saw your comment on the foro re the Arcangel which you mentioned "has a lacquer finish." I wanted to mention that it is NOT lacquer, but catalyzed polyurethane, which is a VERY different kind of finish, much tougher, not prone to age related degradation, and a whole different class of chemical composition. LACQUERS dry by evaporation of high aromatic hydrocarbon solvents (toluene, Xylene, etc) leaving behind a film of nitrocellulose along with other typical additives. To keep these from being too brittle manufacturers add plasticisers such as castor oil, or vinyloids and so on to allow for some film flexibility. Eventually, due to sun, oxygen and other chemical reactions combined with eventual off gassing of trapped solvents in the film, the film will shrink and the plasticisers become more brittle, leading inevitably to crazing, checking and other manifestations of this degradation. In my opinion, nitrocellulose lacquer is a very poor finish for musical instruments due to its inherent tendency to degrade with time.

Catalyzed polyurethanes used in Spain and most of Europe are comprised of two separate parts, a varnish which is based on polyurethane chemistry (longer molecular chains), and a catalyst which is added and mixed just before spraying. While there are also present high aromatic hydrocarbons for solvent (to allow flow out), the evaporation or presence of these solvents has nothing to do with the final properties of the cured film which once set becomes nearly inert. Furthermore, this class of coating can be engineered to have different properties of hardness, flexibility, build and etc. It also requires considerable knowledge and technical skill along with appropriate equipment to mix and apply, which is why it never caught on in the American musical instrument trade, whose factories preferred to hire workers of barely simian intelligence. In Spain, most shops do not apply these catalyzed urethanes in house, they send them out to specialist finishers, just as before the war the makers would have specialist french polishers apply the finishes. Once cured, catalyzed urethanes are impervious even to the original solvents used to flow them out during the application process, whereas lacquers will re-dissolve in their original solvents.

There is a lot more to the whole varnish issue (polyesters, ultra violet curing varnsihes, etc) which I won't go into here but suffice to say, your Arcangel is NOT a lacquer finish. Its one of my pet peeves when I see other dealers who mix up these two finishes when describing inventory on their websites, it shows a total ignorance of the lutherie side of the business which they should know, and it is deceptive to informed buyers, who seeing a finish described as a "lacquer" (when in fact its catalyzed polyurethane), are going to assume the instrument must have been refinished. Arcangel used several different finishes as "original" including sending instruments out to be sprayed as was the case with yours, so it is quite possible to see very distinctly different finishes on guitars by the same maker, all of which are technically "original." One of the old issues of Jaleo magazine had an extensive interview with one of the guys in Madrid who was a "pistolero" (sprayer) for many of the different makers including Ramirez, whose own shop also sprayed this material, but did not have sufficient capacity to handle the annual production of nearly 1000 instruments/ year they were producing back in the late 60's early 70's. And yes, the type and amount of finish applied and skill of the sprayer can have a significant affect on the outcome of the instrument."

As usual, Brune has a comprehensive knowledge of the subject, and could clearly distinguish between my error and the actual finish on the guitar, but he doesn't say how he could tell.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 18:50:47
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13684
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: surface (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Great thanks!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 19:06:10
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1003
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

Very nice video. The guitar sounds lovely and reminds me the Arcangels I tried in the past.
Richard Bruné's comment is impressing but maybe it's worthy to add few things: for instance that in Europe the term "lacquer" can be also used with the general meaning of "varnish" while at your latitudes it's mostly a synonym of nitro finish.
Btw there are different qualities and formulation of nitro finishes around.

There are different criteria to judge a varnish in our field: the index of degradation, the level of dampening, the capability to cross-link, the level of penetration in the wood, the possibility to repair it in the future, isolation.
Polyurethane is strong in some points and weak in others as almost all the finishes.

I must add also that the use of nitrocellulose was restricted in Europe for the last 30 years because of very a strict regulamentation.

On the other side the catalysed polyurethane found great use in Europe in the wood floor finishing industry and as a consequence the kind of formulation you would have found here in Europe up to 30 years ago was an auto-levelling very thick finish.

If in the last 30 years the things are changed this is mostly because of the technical improvement in the varnishes formulation (particularly in the automotive market).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 21:19:19
 
SephardRick

Posts: 357
Joined: Apr. 11 2014
 

RE: surface (in reply to Ricardo

RNJ's Arcangel guitar is one of the best arguments around for a catalyzed polyurethane finish - or any finish. Its tone is remarkable! You're a blessed man, Richard.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 21:28:10
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: surface (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:


leading inevitably to crazing, checking and other manifestations of this degradation. In my opinion, nitrocellulose lacquer is a very poor finish for musical instruments due to its inherent tendency to degrade with time.


I have nothing but respect for Mr. Brune; however I just inspected one of our guitars that is 45 years old. The nitro finish shows no signs of degradation at all. This doesn't mean that he is incorrect since I don't know what kind of time frame he's talking about when he says "time". Most guitars are worn out long before they reach 45 years so how long does a finish have to last?

There is an issue involved with how the finish is applied, if the application is rushed it can lead to early degradation (ask me how I know). Right now, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we are beginning the refinishing of a high end blanca made by a maker that everyone knows which was made in 1988 and exhibits all the degradation symptoms the Mr. Brune describes above. Needless to say, I am surprised to find a nitro finish this young in such a state.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2017 23:13:12
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: surface (in reply to lobobravo

In America the steel string making companies use catalyzed lacquers and finishes.

The reason classical and flamenco makers don't use those finishes is because setting that up in past was difficult for a one person shop, the space needed for a dedicated room is too precious. Spanish shops were supplying the specialized finishers with enough work to make it worth having a dedicated industry to serve guitar makers. In the US only the bigger steel string makers could underwrite setting up a shop to spray a lot of guitars. Hence most American -Canadian independent makers either shoot Nitro or French polish. Very few avenues for one person shop makers to send out finish work.

It's become a bit easier to put together a room for spraying two part finishes, but in the US Nitro and French polish seem to be the rule. There are advantages to two part finishes, and Poly, durability being the most important, but they are a disadvantage when trying work up restoration on a finish. Nitro and Shellac finishes are much more restoration friendly.

There are always trade offs. Personally it really dislike Poly, and when I see a beat up catalyzed finish come in the shop I don't hold too much hope of restoration. You have to take it to someone who has the gear to shoot more on it, and those finishes often times don't "burn in" to previous layers or films. French polish over work to the wood spots can hold off dirt, but really unsatisfactory overall.

I'm pretty happy to French polish my guitars and know that the finish can be refreshed for hundreds of years to come in the hands of someone who knows the French polish craft. And for the life of the guitar in th eowners hands they will have an easier time finding a good lacquer or French polish technician to keep the instrument looking good.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 18 2017 3:06:41
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13684
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: surface (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

In America the steel string making companies use catalyzed lacquers and finishes.

The reason classical and flamenco makers don't use those finishes is because setting that up in past was difficult for a one person shop, the space needed for a dedicated room is too precious. Spanish shops were supplying the specialized finishers with enough work to make it worth having a dedicated industry to serve guitar makers. In the US only the bigger steel string makers could underwrite setting up a shop to spray a lot of guitars. Hence most American -Canadian independent makers either shoot Nitro or French polish. Very few avenues for one person shop makers to send out finish work.

It's become a bit easier to put together a room for spraying two part finishes, but in the US Nitro and French polish seem to be the rule. There are advantages to two part finishes, and Poly, durability being the most important, but they are a disadvantage when trying work up restoration on a finish. Nitro and Shellac finishes are much more restoration friendly.

There are always trade offs. Personally it really dislike Poly, and when I see a beat up catalyzed finish come in the shop I don't hold too much hope of restoration. You have to take it to someone who has the gear to shoot more on it, and those finishes often times don't "burn in" to previous layers or films. French polish over work to the wood spots can hold off dirt, but really unsatisfactory overall.

I'm pretty happy to French polish my guitars and know that the finish can be refreshed for hundreds of years to come in the hands of someone who knows the French polish craft. And for the life of the guitar in th eowners hands they will have an easier time finding a good lacquer or French polish technician to keep the instrument looking good.


I like orange guitars.


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 18 2017 17:14:24
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