Autographs on a guitar - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-16-2019, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Autographs on a guitar

On a blues music cruise, i'm planning on bringing a guitar body for autographs. Starting with a new, unfinished body I want to apply a stain to show the grain. What would be a good medium dark stain and what should they sign with? Acrylic pen? I want something that I can seal in the signatures. Even if it's solid paint & clear coat and not stain. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-16-2019, 10:28 PM
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Which wood and how figured is it now? I assume this is a solid body electric if you're just taking the body.

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-17-2019, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Which wood and how figured is it now? I assume this is a solid body electric if you're just taking the body.
Hi David, thanks for the reply! You're right, it will be a solid body electric guitar. If there's a good way to do this to show the grain, I'd go with a spalted or flame top maple. I'm not sure what the wood would be on a cheaper body. While I would like to be able to play it and not wear off the signatures, it's more likely going to be something to hang on the wall as a souvenir.

Last edited by difalkner; 05-17-2019 at 09:15 AM. Reason: fixed quote
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-17-2019, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
Which wood and how figured is it now? I assume this is a solid body electric if you're just taking the body.
Another option is mahogany.

Last edited by difalkner; 05-17-2019 at 09:16 AM. Reason: fixed quote
post #5 of 12 Old 05-17-2019, 08:10 AM
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this is one of those projects that you really, REALLY need to
practice, practice, practice and PRACTICE some more to know
for yourself and be comfortable with your projects.
I would say that 99% of the people nowadays use a Sharpie pen.
and, the Sharpie will bleed into raw wood grain.
so if you are taking a raw wood item to be signed, you must take
into consideration of all the greasy, dirty fingers that may be touching
it - which will RUIN any kind of finish you put on after that.
my personal opinion is to take the FINISHED guitar body with you.
[in a case] and take a box or two of Sharpie permanent markers
with you and hand a pen to the person that you want to sign your project.
don't let them use their own pen.
there is no need to clear coat signatures unless you expect that instrument
to see lots of service, like BB King or somebody.

if you take a raw body - or one that you intend to clear coat later
after it is signed, your next post on this forum will be you
Crying the Blues because your clear coat has fish eyes in it from contamination.
again - practice on similar materials so you will be comfortable with
everything that is used on your project.
if it is going to be "wall-hanger" display item, all you will need is a light
coat of silicone free furniture wax every couple of years.

this is purely my "suggestion" - not anyway intended to be set in stone advice.
best of luck and have a blast on your cruise !!
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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 05-17-2019 at 08:29 AM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-17-2019, 08:24 AM
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an afterthought:
look at some of the guitar building websites on the net.
you could gain much needed information from them.
it sounds like you have pretty limited experience in woodworking
and finishing. . . . . this is okay, as long as you get accurate
information as you go along your journey. (and practice practice practice).
google: "LUTHIER Forums" and learn from the masters.

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-17-2019, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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The cruise is in Feb so yes, I was planning on doing a lot of practice! I knew a sharpie on raw wood wouldn't be a good idea so I plan to start with a base finish. I looked at luthier forums but you have to pay in order to post. But thanks, maybe i can search there.

I'll take any and all suggestions!
post #8 of 12 Old 05-17-2019, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I looked at luthier forums but you have to pay in order to post.
I am a active member of several Luthier forums and didn't have to pay to post at any of them. I sent you a PM with a couple you might look at. One requires signing up (free) to even review posts but one doesn't require that.

David
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-18-2019, 01:36 AM
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From previous experience, anything written with a Sharpie or that type of technology will bleed when coated. I have seen it bleed through lacquer, latex, and clear polyurethane (water and oil).

I think that if you make the guitar top from a light colored wood and then cover with a good varnish, just about anything will work for autographs.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-18-2019, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoThankyou View Post
From previous experience, anything written with a Sharpie or that type of technology will bleed when coated. I have seen it bleed through lacquer, latex, and clear polyurethane (water and oil).

I think that if you make the guitar top from a light colored wood and then cover with a good varnish, just about anything will work for autographs.
That's what i'm hearing. I'm wondering about a paint pen. I'm going to experiment and probably avoid sharpies.
post #11 of 12 Old 05-18-2019, 09:03 AM
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I use the Sharpie oil based paint pens to identify plants that I have
potted . . . . sometimes the paint comes out in BLOBS which
would be disastrous for your project.
it has the spring loaded "push to load" feature which is the problem.
there are dozens of paint pens and markers on the marker.
the thing to remember is there is a huge difference between a "PEN" and a "MARKER"
it would be wise to really experiment with whatever you use.
just avoid the Push to Load tips like the plaque.
best of luck in your project and hope you have a fantastic cruise.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-19-2019, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
I use the Sharpie oil based paint pens to identify plants that I have
potted . . . . sometimes the paint comes out in BLOBS which
would be disastrous for your project.
it has the spring loaded "push to load" feature which is the problem.
there are dozens of paint pens and markers on the marker.
the thing to remember is there is a huge difference between a "PEN" and a "MARKER"
it would be wise to really experiment with whatever you use.
just avoid the Push to Load tips like the plaque.
best of luck in your project and hope you have a fantastic cruise.
Thanks. I just bought a 'push to load' market and thought about the mess with the blobs! If someone presses down to hard while signing...YIKES!
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