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Shellac is a product that gets little attention, and hugely underrated in my opinion. It offers excellent protection, buffs to any sheen you desire, sticks to anything and anything sticks to it, repairable like lacquer, dries very quickly, etc.

Best of all, it feels silky smooth on the back of a guitar neck. Feels nicer than bare wood and not plasticy like lacquer can. I'm a fan of lacquer over oil - but for guitar necks, shellac is by far my favourite.

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That's a beauty neck - what's the wood?

Personally I love oil. Laquer is good too , but needs some wear-in before it's nice. Poly is just a show stopper (on a neck) - that never stops feeling plasticy and kinda sticky (or not sticky, but what's the word.... too much grip/traction). I have no knowledge of shellac at all.
 

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That's a beauty neck - what's the wood?

Personally I love oil. Laquer is good too , but needs some wear-in before it's nice. Poly is just a show stopper (on a neck) - that never stops feeling plasticy and kinds sticky (or not sticky, but what's the word.... too much grip/traction). I have no knowledge of shellac at all.
The wood is Black Limba (Korina).

I find the water-based poly had a much better feel than solvent based. In satin anyway.

Shellac just had an amazing feel. Tough to get the very fine scratches out - can't use the power buffer on it. But they're hardly noticeable except in sunlight. And I think the feel makes up for it.

Assembling this guitar today - if all goes well, will post a pic later on. Just finishing up buffing the body.
 

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Oh my!

Looks awesome Andrew. Is this going to be in Elmira????

Must....not buy.. ...any......more.....guitars.....

Ok you need to tell us the details of this build!!
 

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The wood is Black Limba (Korina).

I find the water-based poly had a much better feel than solvent based. In satin anyway.

Shellac just had an amazing feel. Tough to get the very fine scratches out - can't use the power buffer on it. But they're hardly noticeable except in sunlight. And I think the feel makes up for it.

Assembling this guitar today - if all goes well, will post a pic later on. Just finishing up buffing the body.
Are you French polishing? I just hate water based poly .... I just finished a major bookcase project where I had to brush it. A big reminder how much I hate it.
 

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Oh my!

Looks awesome Andrew. Is this going to be in Elmira????

Must....not buy.. ...any......more.....guitars.....

Ok you need to tell us the details of this build!!
Thanks! Yes, this will be going to Elmira. Details are:
1-piece Black Limba body
Black binding on the front and back

Specs on the neck:
Black limba shaft wood
Ebony fretboard
'C' back profile
12" fretboard radius
Tusq nut

The humbuckers were hand-wound by Ron Daniels - JD Custom, in Kitchener.
Approx. 8k bridge, 7.6k neck (they sound amazing)

Gotoh locking tuners
Gotoh hardtail bridge
500k CTS pots
CRL 3-way switch
0.047 sprague capacitor

I should mention as well, this one has one of the brass string retaining 'blocks' that I posted about back in the fall (rather than individual string ferrules). Really liking those.


Are you French polishing? I just hate water based poly .... I just finished a major bookcase project where I had to brush it. A big reminder how much I hate it.
Not french polishing - I rubbed out the neck to a satin sheen.

I am fond of water based poly - granted, I tend to use it for small pieces only, where it doesn't make sense to get out the spray equipment. Its characteristics are more similar to lacquer than to solvent-based poly. Dries quickly, level sands very well, rubs out very well. I've never seen witness lines that always come up on solvent-based. Downside is that it raises the grain. Pre-raising helps with that. If your bookcase is oak, I can see it being a challenge.
 

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I just hate water based poly .... I just finished a major bookcase project where I had to brush it. A big reminder how much I hate it.
But application is so easy - just slap it on near as thick as you please and let it self-level. I only sometimes buff/sand between coats (usually just a few times in the early stages with the thick coats and then just thinner ones on top of that) I love it on stairs and shelves where the feel don't mater. Think I used it on my poedalboard too. If you need something well protected and there's no real other considerations, it beats the pants off laquer.

I usually stain underneath it so raised grain isn't an issue; already dealt with.

I love 1 pc bodies; that's a beaut tele.
 

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But application is so easy - just slap it on near as thick as you please and let it self-level. .
The problem is that is sets up before it flows ..unlike oil. I have 30 + yrs of woodworking finishing...on table tops etc ( big flat surfaces ) I like to do a final leveling brush on the whole surface. With oil based stuff you have lots of time. Waterbased seems to dry and puddle in lumps or streaks before it levels out. Part of this project was store slatboard that cut 2 3/4" strips of veneer inbetween slots.... you had to be really careful as the waterbased clumped up at the edge.
Sad part was that I have spray equip just couldn't use it
 

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The problem is that is sets up before it flows ..unlike oil. I have 30 + yrs of woodworking finishing...on table tops etc ( big flat surfaces ) I like to do a final leveling brush on the whole surface. With oil based stuff you have lots of time. Waterbased seems to dry and puddle in lumps or streaks before it levels out. Part of this project was store slatboard that cut 2 3/4" strips of veneer inbetween slots.... you had to be really careful as the waterbased clumped up at the edge.
Sad part was that I have spray equip just couldn't use it
I'm not questioning your experience; but I have not had that problem. Perhaps it's down to a particular product (brand/formulation etc). I suppose on a very large surface that might be the case. .... actually it occurs to me that maybe I don't have that problem because I literally do slather it on; quickly and not too carefully, and then go back for the leveling brushing. With this stuff it helps to be a bit less pro/painstaking about application because it really doesn't matter. I am more careful and disciplined with other products.
 

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I have used shellac on earlier guitars.....The one problem that I have found is that sweat will break down the finish, esp on the neck....After refinishing a few I just gave up on it....I went to water based lacquer and now i just spray nitro....Makes life a lot easier
 

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My Dad and I use to use shellac on projects many years ago but poly became our favourite as we found it easier to apply. If I remember correctly, the fumes were quite strong as well.

I love the look of that guitar but I should point out the problem with it which you obviously did not notice............................................................................................
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It's in the wrong house.:)
 

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Ha! Yes, I do agree. Someday she will find het forever home. In the meantime, I am happy to foster her with the rest of the herd.
I could speed the process up and PM you my address....................
 
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