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Author Topic: Your thoughts on polishing the satin finish out.  (Read 6912 times)
jeremy3220
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« on: May 25, 2009, 04:41:47 AM »

I've been meaning to hear how the 03's other people have polished turned out. I polished the back of my OM-03MT a few weeks ago. I started with micro mesh to cut through the satin top coat then buffed with a polishing compound. From about two or more feet away you wouldn't know it wasn't a typical gloss finish but when you look it over there are imperfections like swirl marks, divets and long very light scratches. I believe this is due to lack of surface prep before the guitar was finish (satin doesn't need as much as gloss). I'm no expert so it could be user error but after finishing my own guitar (with no swirl marks) I do have some experience. So has anyone polished one out that didn't have all the tiny imperfections?
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tadol
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 04:24:49 PM »

I haven't done the polishing myself, but I bought my LV-03R used from naboz, and it had been polished. It is not a high gloss, but still has a bit of the appearance of the satin, only it's much smoother.

I'll admit I haven't taken a magnifying glass to it, but I can't see any swirls or imperfections in the finish or in the wood at all. The top has incredible silking, and with the partial gloss it sparkles in the light. I think the partial gloss of the rubbed out satin is nicer than the standard full gloss, and I wonder if the only thing keeping it from rubbing out to a higher gloss is the flattening agent that is in the finish -

I want to rub one out myself, but haven't had the guts to try it yet - My F3 deserves it. Bernie would be a great person to ask about how he did it -

Tad
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kdonovan
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 05:34:41 PM »

Jeremy,
         I have polished out probably a half dozen Larrivee's or so and have always  found micro scratches and swirls that seem to have been covered by the finish. Especially where the neck attaches to the body. I just sand out the scratches with real fine sandpaper and continue polishing.
I limit myself to back and sides only as the tops are really hard to do and look good. Here is a sweet one that is now owned by Phil


kdonovan
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 08:00:47 PM »

I haven't done the polishing myself, but I bought my LV-03R used from naboz, and it had been polished. It is not a high gloss, but still has a bit of the appearance of the satin, only it's much smoother.


I was able to take mine to full gloss which is going to make the imperfections easier to see.

Jeremy,
         I have polished out probably a half dozen Larrivee's or so and have always  found micro scratches and swirls that seem to have been covered by the finish. Especially where the neck attaches to the body. I just sand out the scratches with real fine sandpaper and continue polishing.


hmm, maybe I need to start with a lower grit on the micromesh to get rid of those scratches. I guess I'll tinker with it and see if I can't get rid of the swirl marks and stuff.

Thanks guys
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Danny
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 11:52:52 PM »

I was able to take mine to full gloss which is going to make the imperfections easier to see.

hmm, maybe I need to start with a lower grit on the micromesh to get rid of those scratches. I guess I'll tinker with it and see if I can't get rid of the swirl marks and stuff.

Thanks guys
   
                 Jeremy, when you are using the micromesh are you using a circular pattern or going with the grain?
                 I have used micromesh and polish with great results on repairs ( and some not so great results)
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 12:32:28 AM »

With the grain. I used the same method I used when I built my guitar (it doesn't have swirl marks, iI double checked).
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Daysailer
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 02:13:01 PM »

Its my understanding that the swirl/scratches are the result of the final sanding of the first non-satin coats done with a random orbit sander.  (see F-III build pics and stories)  The under coats are gloss coats, but are used to fill the wood finish imperfections, and are applied less perfectly.  Then the random orbit sander does the final prep.  When the last single coat of the satin is applied these swirls are covered.   When buffing if you go through the final satin coat, these swirls appear.  If you sand through them to improve your glossing, as suggested above, you take the chance of going too far and getting to the wood. 

The best advice I've heard for the first glossing step, is to use 1500 or 2000 wetordry sand paper, (used wet), Very Very lightly and sparingly.  If you cut a 4x4" piece and fold it to 2x2", or a bit larger, it has a bit of stiffness that mimics using a sanding block.  This helps keep the surface even.  Then shift to the better, finer rubbing compounds.  I like the 3M Perfect-it-II followed by 3M machine Polish glasing compound.  Stay away from anything that does not say "silicone free". 

Search for and study the glossing or 'Orsonizing' threads for other suggestions on this forum and the AGF

Just my .02
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 02:08:46 AM »

I have removed satin finishes on several guitars. I use very fine grit sandpaper and then use 0000 steel wool as the final sanding procedure. Sometimes I will add a few light coats of Tru Oil to give it more of a gloss finish.
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 03:00:28 PM »

I used the 2000 grit,  0000 steel wool and then scratch X method on my OM-MT. After seeing the F-III build pictures I wouldn't be surprised if I had removed all of the satin and was down to the gloss coating but I never reached bare wood.  I'm not worried at all about the finish and the sound improvement was well worth it.  But as I have said in previous threads the gloss brings out imperfections that you can see on close inspection. I'm pretty anal about that sort of thing and have gotten over worrying about it. I just play it and enjoy.

Bottom line, if you are worried about a non perfect finish leave it satin. If slight imperfections don't bother you, gloss it. If at all possable use a orbital sander with a polishing pad.  I'm convinced all that vibration had something to do with why my hog top sounds so good, it was shaken that guitar for about 5 hours.
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BluesMan1
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2009, 01:34:59 AM »

   Roger, don't laugh about the top vibrating for that long. Years ago, I used to put my new guitars in front of my massive speakers when not playing them (the guitars), then turn the sound up for a few hours. I had heard that it would open the guitar up quicker & I'd swear it worked. Just had to use some bass heavy music to really get the top going!
     Jeff   
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Parlor Picker
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2009, 08:37:36 AM »

Your thoughts on polishing the satin finish out.

Don't!!

To be fair I like both gloss and satin finishes, but do feel the satin finish is sort of more classy.  Several people (often non-players) have commented on how smart my Larrivée Parlor looks.
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2009, 03:03:38 PM »

Been gone for a few days...
Roger didnt post a picture (in this thread), but I think his OM turned out better than any of mine--I have done 4 satin finishes to semi-gloss w/the Orsino method (all 3 steps)--the LV03R Tad has was slightly better in terms of uniformity of gloss than my D03-12.  Yes, you will see the lack of finish sanding from the factory, but it isnt a big deal to me.  Just some random, slight scratches that have to be seen under just the right light.  The all-mahog Forum kdonovan posted looks very much like my OM03SP Spec. Ed.--the top is such a pleasure to look at while playing.  I will do an 03 w/this method every time--I just like the semi-gloss look.  As far as the sound, I dont know if there is any marked improvement, whereas a string (brand) change is more noticeable--to me.  My main motivation is to bring out the wonderful grain.
p.s. I think sapele is every bit as good a sound as mahogany--the all sapele OM has come to be my Go-To player.  And I still have my nose in the sound hole for that smell!

I think it should still be archived; do a search for the Orsino Method.
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BluesMan1
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2009, 03:38:11 PM »

   Has anyone tried a light coat of wax, being the paste style? I have used it for years when refinishing wood & even for touching up spots on my gloss guitars. How do you think a light coat would work over some of these liquid finishes? Am thinking of doing this to my F-III, but don't know if it will let the top vibrate the same. Any help on that one? The wax, when hand-rubbed, has a much more even look to it, but don't know how it will fill the top, if @ all?
     Jeff   
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'13 Larrivee OM-03 "Exotic"RW Custom(Oxnard C.S.)
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2009, 07:15:31 PM »

Here's a couple pics to show how glossy it is.





I'll work with it over the next few days to see if I can get it to look better.
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Danny
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2009, 07:48:10 PM »

   Yes sir! I like it.
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tadol
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2009, 10:42:53 PM »

 +1

Tad
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2009, 01:42:52 AM »

jeremy3220,

To me that shine is as classy as it comes.  nice guitar

I've been somewhat spoiled because I bought an L-03 used before I knew it was supposed to have a satin finish.

Let me explain: the guitar was built in Nov. 2007 and I bought it in April of 2008. Not being familiar with Larrivee at the time I didn't think anything of the fact that it had a gloss finish. As far as I'm concerned that just takes it up to another level of desirability. Whoever had it before must have spent all the time polishing it, not playing it. I'm really happy with it and now that I know more feel that a shiny -03 is, indeed, a rare breed.

fred


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jeremy3220
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2009, 03:51:19 AM »

jeremy3220,

To me that shine is as classy as it comes.  nice guitar


Thanks, however the point of the pictures was to illustrate that the swirls marks aren't due to a poor buffing job. If the swirl marks are under the finish the gloss will make them worse. Had I only been able go semi-gloss they scratches and everything probably wouldn't be visable.

I still plan to see if I can do something with it though.
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Danny
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2009, 12:33:22 PM »

    I am glad you have included us once again Jeremy. I will follow this with much interest and will eventualy use your experience and findings to help me gloss my F-III. I'm in my busy season, work wise now,so it will be a while before I do it. But I'm tempted to start on the back right away.
    The hog on the back of my F-III has a cool pattern, like a river running through the grain. I liked it from the first time I saw it and I think the gloss will enhance this 3 dimensional looking pattern.
                             Thanks for posting your results and knowledge.
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2009, 01:05:49 PM »

Here's a couple pics to show how glossy it is.
...

An incredible job!
For me, the main reason for glossing is to get rid of the swishing sound that happens while playing a satin finish guitar. The enhanced beauty of the wood grain is a secondary side-benefit. I've polished several, but never had the results that you have achieved with this one. That's inspiring!   

dg

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