Buying an unfinished guitar

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Buying an unfinished guitar

Post by dsh » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:57 pm


New in the world of classical guitars. Looking for an unfinished guitar (no poly coating, no french polish). Are these available anywhere? Just thinking this would be the cheapest way to get a guitar without a poly coating, as poly coating seems to be ubiquitous in the lower price range. And french polish is ubiquitous in the higher price range (+$2000 usd). French polish would be great. Maybe I could do a french polish myself?


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Philipp Lerche
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Re: Buying an unfinished guitar

Post by Philipp Lerche » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:07 pm

Maybe try to get a nitro finished one ? I think it should be possible to order an unfinished guitar from almost every luthier ? I assume factory made guitars are always finished because the factory finish isn't that expensive and you wouldn't save alot money.

Have you got experience with french polish ?
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."
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Re: Buying an unfinished guitar

Post by petermc61 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:24 pm

I would think it nearly impossible to get an unfinished guitar from a luthier, at least any that would attach a label to say it was their guitar.

Why would thy take the risk the owner would botch the finish and for perpetuity there would be a guitar bearing there name floating around with a substandard finish? That's how reputations get trashed in the digita age.

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Re: Buying an unfinished guitar

Post by simonm » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:00 am

Don't bother. This is like saying I would prefer my car to be yellow: where can I buy unpainted car? Would you even think about painting a car yourself? (Assuming you do not work in a body shop.)

No professional luthier is going to sell and unfinished guitar. If you bring an unfinished guitar to a luthier, the chances are he will refuse to touch it as the risk to his reputation is simply too great.

That said, I can think of one Chinese manufacturer who would probably sell you one. However, they would french polish it for not much more than the materials would cost you. The maker I am thinking of sells through the auction site and has guitars in the 600-1400 price range if memory serves correctly. I have absolutely no idea if the guitars are good bad or indifferent for the money. (I am assuming the seller is still active - I haven't looked for years).

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Steve Toscano
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Re: Buying an unfinished guitar

Post by Steve Toscano » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:30 pm

Goodluck with that :lol:

You will probably find it easier to buy a cheap guitar, sand off the poly finish (maybe from the soundboard only). Spend several hours watching french polish tutorials on youtube. Spend a few months practising french polish on scrap.
At this point you will have a very basic idea on how to apply it.
Then apply your newly learnt skill to you cheap guitar...

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Buying an unfinished guitar

Post by beanctr » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:34 pm

I don't think it would matter what finish is on an inexpensive guitar, its still an inexpensive guitar.

There is a lot more to a high quality guitar than the finish. R
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