Soundboard finish.

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Michael.N.
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Soundboard finish.

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:18 am

We have seen the ubiquitous flat, high gloss soundboard finish countless times. Here is the much more organic scraped finish, embraced in it's totality. I didn't go to the extreme of water raising it, which would exaggerate the effect even further. It's really the method that high end fiddle makers use for their lumpy soundboards. It's a sharp scraper followed by one which is a little dull. Finish is brushed on shellac, cut back with fine pumice, mineral oil and the use of a shoe shine brush.

In contrast is another finish in which the spruce has been taken to 1000G and then burnished. It was then sealed with a very dilute sandarac resin solution and a few wipe on wipe off coats of home made oil varnish. It's an extremely thin finish, similar to the method that Aram uses.
Different approach, different appearance and certainly a different feel. One has a refined silky feel, yet it retains that close to the wood quality. The scraped finish has more visual interest (IMO) and it's texture results in a much more tactile finish. You just might have to suspend your belief in how a guitar soundboard should be finished though.
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TheEvan
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Re: Soundboard finish.

Post by TheEvan » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:23 am

I love them both. The scraped finish appeals to me.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Soundboard finish.

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:52 am

Another scraper finish. This time Strads virtually untouched 'messiah'. It's a bit lumpy. Excuse the fetish but believe me it's hard to resist running your hand over a scraped surface like this. It would be even harder if there wasn't as much varnish on the surface. I think the nicest finish that I've done is a combination of the two i.e. scraper finish but with the minimalistic oil finish. It doesn't have to be oil, just minimalistic. Of course that approach doesn't offer as much protection.

http://www.mindspring.com/~mdarnton/MessiahF.jpg
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Chris Sobel
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Re: Soundboard finish.

Post by Chris Sobel » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:37 pm

Thanks for sharing this Michael; I really like the look of both, although the first scraped example does have a "must touch it" quality to it!

Chris
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senunkan
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Re: Soundboard finish.

Post by senunkan » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:55 am

Looks very nice!
I preferred the 2nd finished though - it has a silky warm feeling to it.
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Michael.N.
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Re: Soundboard finish.

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:31 am

The difficulty with the scraped finish is how to treat the rosette. Visually a scraped finish works because it's uneven but it's uneven all over in a fairly predictable pattern. As soon as you get areas that look flatter it all falls apart and looks amateurish. The rosette will not follow the texture of the spruce soundboard, so you have to obtain one effect over the rosette whilst preserving the texture of the spruce. I have finished the odd instrument with a scraper finish before but they have all been very low sheen, very minimal finish. That's easy to do but it doesn't offer the protection of a soundboard with a thicker finish. That leaves putting a scratch pattern over the rosette to dull the finish or perhaps going for a flat full gloss over the rosette area. It's also possible to put a matting agent into the finish but that has it's own problems.
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