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Homogeneus shellac finish   You are logged in as Guest
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Echi

 

Posts: 932
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

Homogeneus shellac finish 

Hi all,
I’m restoring an old guitar, finished with a yellowish shellac and I’m having some issues in making the the whole thing looking homogenous: in some spots the finish is more intense, while in other spots it looks like watered.
I suppose to be quite good with shellac from bare wood or if I have to fix little dents etc, but I have no experience with these kind of situations.
I have been suggested to make use of a good amount of oil and diluted shellac, but I am not confident with such a technique: in the last years I like to use few oil.
What is the best technique you would suggest for touch ups or to try to move shellac around to make the thing more homogenous ?
Thanks
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2021 11:36:00
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Homogeneus shellac finish (in reply to Echi

Photos ?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2021 23:12:46
 
Echi

 

Posts: 932
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Homogeneus shellac finish (in reply to Echi

Basically you see shades / patches where the color is more intense than in other areas; in my assessment it's just a darker shellac padded non homogeneously.
You may notice this effect in the goleador area or close to the sides.

Here are the pictures anyway





Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (2)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2021 10:05:53
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Homogeneus shellac finish (in reply to Echi

It’s difficult to see the range of different densities of shellac because the reflections on the surface are masking the true color. When you are trying to show color change in a top or back you want to try to get light from a direction and source that doesn’t reflect on the surface. You could find a fast lighting tutorial on YouTube that explains how to use clip on lights to photograph objects. It would help show more clearly the condition of the shellac.

The word you probably want to use in English to explain the condition is ‘even’ / the finish is not evenly distributed. Homogenized brings up other connotations in English. This looks like a layering problem, although I can’t tell due to the reflection noise in the photos.

Reverse shadows of where old tap plates were are tricky. My inclination is to almost always live with them if they are subtle. But if they are strident I’d consider using UV light either natural or bulb, to remedy it. In your case I’d live with it, personally.

It’s hard to tell about the back, it looks like a sweaty player owned it and then someone went over where they rubbed off finish and did spot repair work to the finish. But again I can’t tell much through the light reflecting on the surface.

—————

I’m not naturally an advocate of refinishing old guitars. I like guitars that show successful and carefully crafted generations of finish repair because it’s a beautiful patina. I like old guitar patina and I get cranky with people who refinish old guitars because it literally wipes the history of the instrument away.
So I don’t know what to tell you about how to proceed. You see a problem I actually don’t see.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2021 3:17:56
 
Echi

 

Posts: 932
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Homogeneus shellac finish (in reply to Echi

quote:

his looks like a layering problem, although I can’t tell due to the reflection noise in the photos.

Reverse shadows of where old tap plates were are tricky. My inclination is to almost always live with them if they are subtle. But if they are strident I’d consider using UV light either natural or bulb, to remedy it. In your case I’d live with it, personally.

Thanks for the answer.
Yes, I meant a not even finish and yes, in my assessment it's a layering problem of 2 different shellacs, a pale shellac without wax and on top of it an uneven layer of a golden kind of shellac.
I'm obviously not skilled enough to make it look even (I mean, just using the muneca and the traditional method). I 'm asking myself what is the best technique to do it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2021 10:53:47
 
JasonM

Posts: 1682
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Homogeneus shellac finish (in reply to estebanana

quote:

But if they are strident I’d consider using UV light either natural or bulb, to remedy it.


I found a more easily accessible source for UV bulbs to be sold under reptile lights. For your pet lizard. Some put out UVA and even UVB. Just thought I’d throw that out there cuz I didn’t want to special order some expensive GE or Phillips UV bulb
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2021 15:53:41
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Homogeneus shellac finish (in reply to Echi

Paul Bowles the writer and composer went to Paris when he was 20. He was bright and he had a letter of introduction from some literary mucky muck in NY to go see Gertrude Stein. He arrived at her apartment in the Rue whatever and she had him stay with her and Alice whilst he settle into French city life and find his own place.

She made him play with her dog and the dog scratched his legs because he was wearing short pants. He complained, she thought it was funny. He showed her a sheef of poems he had written and she cut into them with some hard core grown up criticism. He abandoned those poems. Days later he showed her a musical composition he was working on. He went back and forth on it. Eventually she said “Paul, I knew you weren’t a poet, because a real poet would have immediately run back upstairs to rewrite the poems after I critiqued them.”

Those photos look pretty shabby

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2021 3:20:58
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