Acoustic guitar

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by madts posted 09-14-2012 05:02 PM 1070 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View madts's profile


1862 posts in 2367 days

09-14-2012 05:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing

I am building my first guitar from a grizzly kit. This is a steel string acoustic guitar. My question is about finish. I would like to use BLO and the Tung oil. Since I have never made a musical instrument before, I have no idea how the finish effects the sound of the instrument.
I would like for comments and advice.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

8 replies so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3013 days

#1 posted 09-14-2012 05:11 PM

Finish will not vastly impact the sound (I said VASTLY), unless you are putting on a thick poly finish. Any oil finish or relatively thin lacquer or poly finish will work just fine. A lot of people say that an oil finish allows the wood to “breathe”, but I don’t think it makes a huge difference. Oil should work fine, though it will not provide a ton of protection.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#2 posted 09-14-2012 05:35 PM

Tung oil works fine for guitars. Several makers are shipping
oil finished guitars to music stores.

An advantage of oil finishing is if the guitar sounds stiff
and fails to “open up” after some months of play, you
can remove material around the perimeter of the lower
bout to loosen the top without having to refinish the
entire top.

View madts's profile


1862 posts in 2367 days

#3 posted 09-14-2012 08:24 PM

Loren: I do not know guitar speak. I am stiff in the morning because I am old, and I have gout, but no bout.
Thanks for the oil facts.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Woodknack's profile


11821 posts in 2408 days

#4 posted 09-19-2012 02:40 AM

Oil will in effect allow the wood to breath, that is it will do nothing to stop moisture exchange from the air. It shouldn’t have any adverse effects on the sound although if you move indoors and out much the moisture gain/loss could eventually lead to a number of issues. Oil will give very little protection against scuffs, especially BLO. And BLO will darken the wood over time (accelerating patina), possibly desirable.

-- Rick M,

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3222 days

#5 posted 09-19-2012 04:27 AM

Use a good nitrocellouse finish….not oil…....I’ve built several guitars, and not one time did I use oil for a finish…...If you want a good reference to guitar finishes, go to the Martin Guitar website, ot Google Martin finishes…....

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Philip's profile


18 posts in 2796 days

#6 posted 12-31-2012 09:27 PM

Check out LMII.COM , go to the Articles and Tutorials section on the home page left side. Find Guitar Finishing. I follow this step by step guide and it works quite well.

-- Philip, Minnesota,

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3403 days

#7 posted 12-31-2012 10:50 PM

I was told by a seasoned veteran that nitrocellulose lacquer is the finish of choice in select instruments. As with anything else, for every choice there are at least 3 opinions about it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View madts's profile


1862 posts in 2367 days

#8 posted 01-01-2013 01:04 AM

Well, you all, I finished the guitar with BLO and Tung oil. All is fine, my son-in-law the pro loves it. Says it has a very earthy tone, that is good for his sound/tone in his band.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics