Author Topic: Because Doktor Phox asked nicely.  (Read 2793 times)

Roaring Biscuit!

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Re: Because Doktor Phox asked nicely.
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2011, 05:58:11 pm »
Unfortunately, material and labor costs put these at around the $700+ mark... Around $250 for the wood alone. $100 in finishing materials per guitar... Shaping the top takes hours and hours... Turn around is about 2 weeks. (mostly from glue dry time and lacquer curing) So, I knock one out every six months or so. When I just can't stand not making one... Right now, I'm trying to get the dimensions right to make a WarBeast knock off for my lefty son... All the hardware (PU rings, tuners, vol/tone knobs) are pewter colored skulls.

The reason the big name companies can do these on the cheap is bulk. Oh, and they cut the damned thing on a big CNC, rather than by handheld power tools, hand planes, chisels... I polish mine, by hand, with 12,000 grit pads, rather than a great thumping buffing wheel.

I looked into getting a benchtop CNC, but found out it would take 36 hours to cut and carve the body on one of those tiny machines... I can do it in 12. An industrial CNC can do it in 12 minutes...

don't know if it would interest you at all, but you can get a similar gloss/strength finish using danish oil followed by beeswax, I think it's quite a lot cheaper and less toxic than lacquer, more drying time though

xx

Barum

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Re: Because Doktor Phox asked nicely.
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2011, 11:00:09 pm »

don't know if it would interest you at all, but you can get a similar gloss/strength finish using danish oil followed by beeswax, I think it's quite a lot cheaper and less toxic than lacquer, more drying time though

xx

There are acoustic reason why such finishes are not used. Similar to the difference between a drum head and a lump of clay. The nitrocellulose lacquers make the already resonant woods  impervious to moisture from humidity, as well as being consistently resonant themselves. The oil and beeswax would deaden the resonance of the wood, and have a surprisingly large effect on the sound of the guitar. Also, the lacquers "set" after about a week, and while still toxic if ingested, can not transfer any toxicity through the skin. Still flammable as all get out, though
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Roaring Biscuit!

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Re: Because Doktor Phox asked nicely.
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2011, 02:48:18 pm »
I use oil finishes largely because I don't have the equipment/well ventilated area to use nitrocellulose lacquer without killing myself :P  I'd never heard anyone mention damping effects of oil before though, so I did a little digging :D  I did find a few other mentions of oil damping higher frequency resonance, but then also a lot of violins use oil and shellac/french polish finishes.  I wondered is the damping effect was to do with penetration of the oil into the wood pores, but then some Ovation guitars use an epoxy finish (highly penetrative), and of course any open grained wood will require a filler before finishing anyway.

I'm just gonna pause right here and say that I'm not trying to discourage you from lacquer finish, I'm just interested in the reasons for using it.  I know it's probably one of the toughest guitar finishes available, but I'm also intrigued to get to the bottom (or nearer the bottom) of the web of mystical bullshit that pervades instrument creation (and sorry, but a HELL of a lot of claims made about materials and techniques are completely lacking in any experimental or scientific backing).  I hope that's not offensive to you, you're guitars a bloody gorgeous btw :)

Uh yeah where was I?  On an electric instrument I'm not even sure if it's actually worth considering.  Most finishes come out at about 1/1200ths of an inch (I looked that up, might not be a correct avg.), which I can see being worth some consideration when you've put it on top of piece of wood that's under 2 or 3/32ths of an inch thick (back/sides of an acoustic etc.).  Dunno about on an electric where it would make up a much smaller proportion of the resonant material (assuming most electrics are between 1 and 2 inches thick).

I'm very sceptical about this stuff, but I'd also be very interested if you have some more insight etc.

xx

edd

p.s.  my solid-bodied walnut electric has quite a dark tone, it is oil finished, but it's also 1.  made of walnut, and 2. fitted with slightly overwound humbuckers, so yeah, hard to judge on that whether the finish is impacting :)

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Re: Because Doktor Phox asked nicely.
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2011, 03:13:52 pm »
I was actually looking for Biscuit's guitar thread after I read this one.

Not because I play or build guitars, but because I've never known anyone who does and I thought the ensuing conversation between you two would be extremely interesting to read.

 :D
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