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Author Topic: Need finishing advice for N4 project  (Read 283 times)

Offline guitarben

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Need finishing advice for N4 project
« on: September 04, 2017, 08:17:02 AM »
Hey guys,

I recently picked up a nice N4 neck+body that was built by a luthier a few months back. The body is mahogany, and a really nice cut of wood. I would have picked alder like the original N4s if I had spec'ed it out, but whatever I always enjoy mahogany. Anyways, I seem to remember reading that the Davies models got 3 coats of tung oil applied with sandpaper. ....but my google foo is failing me and I can't confirm that. I'd like to know what others think about using that as a finish. I like the "wood" look and frankly I don't mind this getting dirty over time - because that's awesome. :) 

My other question is whether I should fill the grain with a darker material to get greater contrast with the grain before applying oil (or whatever you guys recommend). I *think* filling the grain is the way to go, but I would love to hear from others more knowledgeable in N4 lore before I do something I regret.

Any other tips would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: Need finishing advice for N4 project
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 06:52:26 PM »
Are you talking a filler like you'd use to smooth over cracks & gaps, or a sealer that you'd use to close up the grain so as to get a smooth finish?
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Offline guitarben

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Re: Need finishing advice for N4 project
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 05:35:14 AM »
Sorry for not clarifying. I'm thinking of a sealer to fill the open grain/poors to smooth the body. I used to have a 90's swamp ash N4 w/ a padauk stain. It had a really dark grain filler in it and looked amazing. .... I'm new at this though. Thanks

Offline guitarben

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Re: Need finishing advice for N4 project
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 06:16:04 PM »
I found the post about how the Davies finishes were done.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=680761638638275&id=177407678973676&__tn__=%2As%2AsH-R

What do you guys think about using that approach with mahogany? Will the more open grain cause issues?
Thanks,

Offline danielsan73

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Re: Need finishing advice for N4 project
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 08:27:05 AM »
Hi Guitarben

I use a few coats of Tung oil which soak in straight away followed by a mixture of 80% Tung and 20% Beeswax applied warm and buffed when cooled. The Tung needs to be warmed up to melt the Beeswax into and mix properly together. Once you're done the mixture will solidify in a pot of tub waiting for the next time needed.

Hope this helps

Dan
2011 N4 Korina 2.0, 1992 Alder N2, EA20SNB, Idol WIDLXSPLTD, 2007 N61,  Ibanez RG230, Ibanez Artcore AWD72ATF, Ovation Celebrity, Cort Bass, Vantage Acoustic Bass.

Offline guitarben

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Re: Need finishing advice for N4 project
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 08:40:30 AM »
How smooth does that finish end up? I may try it your way, but to confirm do you think filling the grain with a sealer is not worth doing or necessary? Also, have you applied this to mahogany?

Cheers and thanks for the feedback.

Offline danielsan73

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Re: Need finishing advice for N4 project
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 10:39:55 AM »
Hi Ben

You don't need to fill or seal if you're going to oil for a natural finish. Filling and sealing are to be done if you want a smooth finish for painting.
Applying the Tung Oil with fine sandpaper will help to smooth out the raised grain caused by the application of the oil. The beeswax/ tung mix is applied warm with a soft cloth and buffed up in the same way as you would wax furniture. The finish will be the same as N4.

Dan
2011 N4 Korina 2.0, 1992 Alder N2, EA20SNB, Idol WIDLXSPLTD, 2007 N61,  Ibanez RG230, Ibanez Artcore AWD72ATF, Ovation Celebrity, Cort Bass, Vantage Acoustic Bass.