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Looking for a way to harden redwood top

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Jul 29, 2004.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I was going to try coating a redwood top with ca glue. I made this body with a redwood top and used many coats of poly on it and it still dents easy. I have sanded it down and am ready to try the CA glue. What speed drying do you recommend and how much should I buy? Or should I use Epoxy?

    http://www.mimf.com/cgi-bin/WebX?233@117.WfB7a4zdmOa^13277@.ee8405e/0!

    Thanks. Tom
     
  2. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    sorry here is the photo...........t
     
  3. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    havent tried it, but kahuna told me about using regular old 2 ton epoxy, and pressing it in with a squeege
     
  4. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    thought I'd throw this out: What about that "wood hardener" stuff Hambone was talking about (made by MINWAX) . I used some on my headstock, but haven't tried fully submerging pieces or a piece of wood in it yet. I'm curious about the stuff, is all, this might be fun to try.
     
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    A few people on the board have used Minwax Wood Hardener and been very happy with it. Hambone?
     
  6. I'm here, I'm here!

    Yep, I'd give this a try on some scrap. It soaks in and that's the only way a soft wood is going to get harder. You've got to shore up what's inside before a hard surface coat is put on top. You've experienced what happens when you don't do this.

    For a body, I would invest in some way to totally immerse the body and keep it covered for an extended period of time. The hardener will evaporate, dry, and absorb quickly so keeping it out of the air is important. That way it has the most time possible for absorption into the wood. BTW, this stuff is pretty clear so it shouldn't color the wood much at all.
     
  7. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    The epoxy I've used was for filling the holes and voids in buckeye burl. I've not tried it as a method of hardening up a softer wood top, but not a bad idea! There are several methods to use. There is the wood hardner, CA glue, etc.

    Although, the epoxy I used on a recent buckeye top to fill the voids, it did do an excellent job of hardening the wood as well, which was very soft. It almost feels like formica now! I did just apply several coats with a hard plastic squeegy-scraper, and sanded with 100 grit after the first coat, and 150 grit for the next two coats. Of course, this now prevents me from using an oil finish on it as the buckeye is now completely sealed and hardened, so that bass will get a lacquer finish with maybe oil on the neck.

    :^)~
     
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    The sides are finished and the idea of buying enough hardener to soak the body in sounds excessive. I wonder if I can just lay on a thick coat of the hardner cover it with saran wrap so it doesnt dry so fast, wait 5 min. then do again over and over until it stops absorbing it. T
     
  9. This stuff has a pretty aggressive solvent as it's carrier. I don't know what it would do with saran wrap but the concept is a good one. Maybe tin foil instead?
     
  10. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    aluminum foil.......less reactive metal.
     
  11. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I got the hardener. I will try it tomorrow. looking forward to it. I will be keeping this body because of all the mistakes on it and because I need a "beater fretted bass" I have a squire neck to put on it. Tom

    http://www.s98473082.onlinehome.us/tb/
     
  12. Hey, I'm from the south - it's all tinfoil down here! :D
     
  13. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    lol true....plastic on just about any mild solvent even would melt...then you would be in a world of hurt...

    ham does that wood harder buff out pretty good with a finish on it?
     
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    It would be simple to test the saran wrap though. Just pull out a sheet, spill a little puddle of hardener on it, fold over the top, and check in two hours. If it does work, you'll have a solution that gives you greater visibility of your work than the foil, as well as less concern about reaction between the aluminum and any metal that might be on/in the body.
     
  15. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I layed on the hardner today. That stuff is nasty. it did seem to soak in pretty good...t
     
  16. As a matter of fact it does. Keep in mind that it's real job is to soak in but what's left on top gets pretty hard and I've used 0000 steel wool (equiv. 1200 grit) to buff to a nice satin glow. However, I've never tried it on a finish sanded piece of any size to speak of. I don't know how easy it would be doing large areas. At any rate, the original idea was to just get the redwood hard - then put a top clear on it. That will work out fine.

    BTW, I would definitely recommend a catalyst hardened acrylic poly for the clear. Very tough and hard in it's own right.
     
  17. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    cool deal, i may throw a coat of harderner on my Paulo Escrito top before clear......not quite sure yet, may just go straight to a clear oil finish.
     
  18. Nope, that's not the idea. An oil finish requires soaking into the wood to work. You effectively eliminate that possibility when you use the hardener. The clears I mentioned would have to be top coat clears not soak-and-seal like oil.
     
  19. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I guess it is possible to put on too much hardner. 24 hours later it gums up sandpaper pretty well..t
     
  20. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    ham, i ment either using the hardner, or goin straight to oil without it : P