Newb buffed the Satin

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by socratesis, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Cristofer67

    Cristofer67 New Member

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    Socratesis,

    I just ordered a new Gibson SG '61 Reissue Satin, in worn brown finish... Is that the same line you did this with your worn ebony finish? That thing came out looking great, what a dreamy gleam!

    While I haven't decided quite yet, I am very tempted to try the same with mine once it arrives. I think the worn brown finish shined up like this could really make for something amazing...

    If you don't mind my asking, what products and procedures did you use, precisely? How long did it take, and how difficult was it? (I haven't done much guitar finishing work before).

    I've done a lot of searching online, and yours seems to be the best result I have seen to date, not to mention starting with the same (I think) make/model and finish, just a different color...

    Many thanks, and congrats again - that thing looks beautiful! Totally agree with the Steinway comment... Just plain classy. :applause:
     
  2. Cristofer67

    Cristofer67 New Member

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    Additional question - you mentioned your grain was already filled... Do you know if this is factory standard, and/or for all the available colors? I imagine the brown (and cherry) are thinner finishes to start with, and perhaps the grain is more porous. But man would I ultimately love to have the natural beauty of the brown and wood grain look under the glossy gleam of a more traditional smooth sheen!
     
  3. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    cristofer, I've seen several guitars where the satin finish was buffed out and it can look really nice. I will caution you about using wet/dry sandpaper though as it can very quickly cut thru the thin finish and then you are in trouble. I'd stick to just using the mcquires and take your time. You will be alot less likely to cut thru the finish that way and it can still give you a pretty glossy looking finish.
     
  4. Cristofer67

    Cristofer67 New Member

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    Many thanks for your prompt input!

    Just to be clear, this is the exact guitar I currently have on order (which should arrive today or tomorrow!):

    Gibson.com: Gibson SG '61 Reissue Satin

    You can also toggle through the Ebony/Brown/Cherry finish images to get an idea of how they might differ from each other. The ebony does loook thicker to me, which might have made Socratesis' process a bit easier and/or provided better results (they even mentioned the filled wood grain in their OP). To me, it looks like the worn brown might have a less-filled grain, and duller look to start with, not to mention less finish to work with.

    What I would personally prefer is to make this guitar look as though it had a couple more coats of nitro, all nice and shiny, sort of like how the "natural burst" SG Standard looks:

    Gibson.com: Gibson SG Standard

    Just imagine that kind of gloss with the darker brown finish only offered in the Satin series...

    Thoughts? Would the Satin Worn Brown finish benefit from the same treatment as the Satin Ebony? If so, I would be especially curious and grateful to know what Socratesis used/did exactly, because that look with the Worn Brown finish underneat the gleam is exactlty what I'm interested in accomplishing.

    I have also even considered taking this somewhere to get it done by a professional, if the cost is not outrageous - mainly for fear of possibly ruining a brand new Gibson SG (my first btw). Any idea what a reasonable price should be to add a few clear coats and make this look like an SG Standard?
     
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  5. BlackSG91

    BlackSG91 Well-Known Member

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    Enjoy the guitar first for awhile before you do any buffing or polishing on the finish. I would imagine you would take the same care on the satin brown as you would with the ebony. Personally, I never buffed a faded SG, but if I attempted to, I would take my time to make sure I did it right. You can check out various YouTube videos on the subject of buffing and polishing a guitar body. ;)
     
  6. IommiSG

    IommiSG Member

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    Just want to note once more that there is a big difference between the 'Faded' series guitars and the satin finishes. There is no or very little grain filler on the Faded series and the nitro is very thin, but the satins seem to have as many coats applied as their glossy counterparts and do have grain filler, as the OP's guitar demonstrates. Gibson spared the labor intensive step of buffing the guitar.

    I had a satin cherry ES 335 that I buffed to at least as deep a gloss as a factory gloss finish. Close inspection showed that the finish was quite deep, which was obvious by the depth of the orange peel. I cut down on the labor hours spent by the OP by first sanding with 1500 wet/dry wrapped around an eraser, then went to the buffing compound and polish, using a small orbital buffer on the larger expanses. The goal is to take it down no farther than needed to remove the orange peel when sanding. Having said that, if you're not experienced with finishes I don't recommend you try it yourself. Great care must be taken on edges and contours.

    If you play a Faded for any time at all, you'll see the potential on the back of the neck and where your arm rests, it will develop a soft shine. Once again, the finish is very thin, wouldn't touch it with sandpaper, but they can be buffed to a very nice warm shine that gives it a kind of vintage vibe.

    All in all, I think it's pretty cool to pocket the considerable savings in buying a satin model and polishing it yourself, if that's the look you prefer.
     
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  7. Lhvr

    Lhvr Active Member

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    Great work!

    I have a SG Special 70ies tribute in silverburst satin. Do you think I would get great results, if I used just buffed without doing the sanding before?
     
  8. IommiSG

    IommiSG Member

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    Need to sand to knock down the orange peel. Shiny orange peel is not what you want. 1500 is very fine, take it slowly, rinse your paper and wipe the area clean frequently to see your progress. As soon as the texture of the peel is gone, stop. Learned the trick of wrapping the sandpaper around an eraser from a luthier, provides a forgiving small sanding block. Don't use your fingers where you can avoid it.

    Then compound with a light cut compound and polish. Avoid the sharp edges with both your paper and compound, they'll get enough just by sanding/buffing the surrounding area. Very easy to sand through a sharp edge.

    A time saver is a small orbital buffing pad on the end of a drill. I wouldn't use anything but an orbital pad, it won't leave swirl marks and won't burn the finish.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  9. sgtbeefheart

    sgtbeefheart Well-Known Member

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    oldrockfan likes this.
  10. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    this is all great information... and one of the reasons I like this forum so well. thanks everyone, but don't stop with the pictures and suggestions from real experience.

    I like my faded finish SG fine just the way it is, but also I have to admit that these look great. and it's good to find out how to do it, and how not to do it. excellent thread.
     
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  11. IommiSG

    IommiSG Member

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    That Gold Top looks really good, SBH.
     
  12. Saintjonah

    Saintjonah Well-Known Member

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    REALLY good! I...kinda want one :naughty:
     
  13. sgtbeefheart

    sgtbeefheart Well-Known Member

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    It cost me 563.29 GBP.

    In the last week I've been looking at a gold Stetsbar trem, and gold
    locking tuners, and gold p/g clamp.

    I realised that I'd be adding another 400 GBP to it's cost, and remembered
    that now that I'm always sober, I really don't have to do anything stupid
    ever again. :)
     
  14. socratesis

    socratesis New Member

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    Cristofer67v, I am excited to see pics as I love the look of the brown model, and yes, that is the exact item I ordered. Though my SG showed up with more lacquer than I would have expected based on the few of the pics I had seen around the web.

    I agree with IommiSG on his procedure and used that method on half of a Gretsch 5191 BLK that I buffed up prior and simply used the McGuires micro compound on the other. Both methods turned out great, but it chose to just use the Mcguires on this one, as oldrockfan pointed out, it's just not worth the risk of taking it too far, and with the McGuires, you can safely go at the guitar till your done. Good luck and would definitely be interested in "before" pics when you get a chance.
     
  15. Angry Tele

    Angry Tele Member

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    no. I tried it on my 70s Tribute and it didnt do much. It made it a bit more shiny but the polish sank into the unfilled grain and just sat there. Its still there actually.

    The problem is the 70s dont have grain filler or a top coat of clear so this wont work. to get a satin finish on any guitar you just dont buff it out to a sheen , thats why you are able to get a shiny finish on a satin. (normally) like the highway 1 teles.

    you can see here the grain that is not properly filled. It seems they used black grain filler for color but did not fill it all the way. (you can literally stick your nail into the grain) Plus it lacks a top clear coat.
    to get a proper shine you need grain filler, then sanding sealer, then either a lot of color coats or a little color and a lot of clear coat. seems the 70s is just grain filler and some kind of stained nitro top coat. its stupid thin.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Lhvr

    Lhvr Active Member

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    Strange. I just checked my sliverburst SG 70ies tribute and it has grain filler. If you touch it, it feels totally plain. So I guess at least the silverburst has it. Maybe a bursted finish would look strange as a worn.
     
  17. Angry Tele

    Angry Tele Member

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    they may have different finish techniques then, which makes sense as yours is a burst
    but these are not 'worn' finishes per se, just not shiny...
    do what I did and try a small area on the back. I used 3M Rubbing Compound, followed by 3M Finesse it II with a synthetic wool cloth.
     
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  18. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    Looks great.
     
  19. IommiSG

    IommiSG Member

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    Easy to see how compund would just sink into the grain of that cherry model, I'd check the grain of that guitar if the cat went missing. They at least walked by the older faded models with some filler in hand.

    Very obvious that Gibson is indeed using two different finishing processes between the natural and opaque finishes. The paint colors are described as "satin", which does have filler and will polish nicely once the orange peel is knocked down.
     
  20. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    Appears to be so.
     

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