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 Post subject: Pore filling mahogany
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:42 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 664
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
My dad bought a 335 kit from Stew Mac and has asked me to finish and assemble it for him.

I've never really tried for a classic gibson style finish. And so have some questions about pore filling the "mahogany". I really like the natural brown I see on a lot of lighter les pauls. I've got some dark brown pore filler, I understand that's how the grain lines jump out. Where my question comes in is how do you know when you've sanded the pore fill back enough. The jar says to sand with 320 once the fill is dry, but that's it. Do you need to sand right back to the wood, so its the original wood color and the pores remain filled, or should one expect the wood to be slightly stained by the brown pore filler. I did one coat of pore fill and sanded back with 320, and when I wet the wood with naptha it looks nice and uniform (how I would like it to look under finish). But the wood is definitely not the same color it originally was. It seems there is still some pore filler on the surface.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
First of all - what color will you be finishing it?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:05 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:17 am
Posts: 883
Location: United States
What kind of pore filler? Traditional Oil based type? If so, it will color raw wood, basically staining it. You can minimize this by spraying a coat of finish or sealer prior to pore filling. I use oil based but don’t let it dry, just set up and wipe off excess. But maybe your using something else.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:28 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Depending on the product you are using and the effects that you want the techniques can be slightly different. When I have used paste pore fillers (the old StewMac stuff) they were intended to stain the wood as well as fill pores - I would apply two or three coats sanding back to wood each time until all the little dark pores were filled. I now use Zpoxy almost exclusively and the process is somewhat different.

The cardinal rule for any finishing process is to practice on scrap until you get exactly the effects you want before committing to your guitar. Some of these steps are not reversible.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:31 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm
Posts: 664
Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
Thanks guys.

I've got some of stew mac's water based pore filler. It's dark brown.

I would normally practice on scrap of course, but have nothing lying around like what is on this kit guitar. And it's not the kind of mahogany you'd find at the local lumber supply. Perhaps a poor excuse. If everything goes south, I'm prepared to live with a black guitar. :lol:

I'm not so concerned about color. Some sort of pleasant natural brown with the grain lines popping is good enough for me.

I'm just wondering if there's a definitive way to tell you've sanded it back enough. Everything I've read and watched is a little light on the details of what to expect. I no longer see any smears of paste filler on top of the wood, when I wet it with naphtha the grain doesn't seem to be obscured, and everything looks pretty even. The wood is darker than how it started, but that's a good thing. This is some sort of cheap mahogany substitue and its kind of pink.

I'd just keep sanding until I was sure, but the body is all laminated, and the sandwiched layers are definitely not the same kind of wood as what's on the surface. So I want to go easy.


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