Hello,I'm new here and just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's contributed, I've found some very invaluable information on this site that has helped me tremendously along the way.

With that being said, I'd like to get people's opinion: Which finish is more durable, TruOil (Birchwood Casey) or Wipe-On Poly (e.g. Minwax)? Every tech sheet I've read says that TruOil is not really durable at all, and is more on the oil category such as lemon and linseed. Whereas, wipe-on poly is known for durability. However, people on some forums have claimed that they won't use anything else besides TruOil due to it's protection and feel.

Some I'm stumped, but looking for a more durable finish against dings, bumps, as well as humidity. Can you help? Thanks!

Tags: durability, finish, truoil, wipe-on-poly

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You can always do a padded French Polish.

I'm done.

Yes, a shellac finish is just lovely, easy to fix and buff out, easy to work with.

I've never used shellac but now I'm really confused because a bunch of other people and articles I've read online claim that French polishing and shellac is probably the most delicate finish of them all. Is this not the case?

I use French Polish a lot and really like it. It's something that I can do easily as a hobbyist even in my house as I watch TV at nigh. It's time consuming and there's a learning curve that can be frustrating to some but I like the process. The resulting finish does not penetrate to the wood much and isn't difficult to removed if the result isn't what you like.

I almost always use shellac (brushed or wiped on) as a "sand coat" even if I'm not using it as the final finish and I like to lay on a layer of shellac before I apply stain to help even out the color and make it a bit easier to strip the stain and start again if I mess things up. If I need to build texture/grain with the stain, I like using stain in shellac as a "glaze". Once I get it how I want it to look. I seal over it with another layer of blond shellac and finish with what ever process I need from there.  I used stain in shellac to airbrush repairs to a dark red/black sunburst archtop a couple of years ago and it worked out very well. 

 Shellac applied in a french polish process is pretty light weight and it is easy to fix if it's damaged since the polish process is pretty easy to repeat. ( A fairly common practice in antique, shellac finished furniture is to "french polish" it to bring up a new shine and repair minor finish blemishes once a year or so.)  The final finish can be very thin or as thick as you want to build it. Personally I've found that there is a certain look and feel to the process that I find can be buffed to a pretty good shine while staying very thin so I usually stop building finish when I reach this point. 

 The biggest catch with shellac is that, easy as it is to fix, I haven't found it particularly durable. I like that it's "natural", and not particularly toxic. As I mentioned earlier I like that it's something  I can do almost anywhere and I like the way it looks and feels. Since grain alcohol is the solvent of choice for many French Polishers, it should be clear that gigging a bar environment might not be a good idea.

It's a finish that doesn't require a lot of equipment and, with some practice, can be done in a decent amount of time, can be very thin/light weight, is easily fixed and looks great. On the down side, there is a learning curve that defeats some people and it's not going to last well on the road.   

Thanks for your input Ned, these are definitely gigging instruments and routinely go in/out of bars, so I don't think shellac would be my best option. I used the z-poxy (finishing resin, not adhesive epoxy) to fill the pores but also provide the first "seal" layer before I layered the poly. I have to say, the z-poxy applies so well and sands even better. So I think I'll stay away from French polishing, but still on the fence about whether to try TruOil or go back to the wipe-on poly.

It's hard to create a thicker coat of shellac - the drying time gets to be insane. I recently dealt with a Guild that has sat on a volatile rubber mat for a couple years, which had eaten an interesting pattern in the original finish. Having no spray capability, I simply dropped shellac into the spaces, letting it dry for weeks, and finally leveled and buffed it out. It is as thick as the original (probably too thick) nitro, and just as hard. But it takes MONTHS to do that, and I can't see doing a whole instrument in shellac that thick.

Hi Joeguam.

Many Thanks for your kindly expressed sentiments.

I assumed that Spraying was outside your Current Set Up, and that was the reason for you looking to these Alternative Finishes.

However, I was trying to give a Truthful Answer. Calling it as I Saw it, even though I thought it probably wouldn't be what you wanted to read. Forgive me for telling The Truth.

But there's not only a reason why the Great Guitar Manufacturers have used the type of Finish I mentioned for so very long, there are in fact a great number of reasons, and all of them are very good reasons indeed.

High Quality Products demand the Finest Finishes, not only in respect of their Ability to Freely Permit Vibration, and Enable and Facilitate Great Sound, in their Ability to Enhance and Compliment an Instruments Aesthetical Good Looks, but also in their Ability to Protect, Preserve and Lastingly make All Those Qualities, Easy to Maintain by an Owner.

Add to all that, the fact that a Branded Guitar Maker will need to utilise Cost Effective, Highly Efficient, Mass Manufacturing Methods to Produce a Premium Product that can be Repaired and Restored, perhaps repeatedly, to Optimal Playing Condition throughout its Life.  And most of the Excellent Finishes available, Fall at Various Hurdles along the way. To my mind, only one Finish Doesn't.

A Products Finish, is a Crucial Factor in its Attractiveness to Customers, and often is the Clinching Factor that Sells It!



Although I have two New Bottles of Tru-Oil and two New Bottles of Tru-Oil Wax here, I have to confess that I am somewhat biased against it.

One of the biggest problems any Guitar Owner will face with their Instrument, is dealing with the Swings in Temperature and Humidity, which can be Devastatingly Detrimental to any Guitar, particularly if it Travels from Region to Region.

Finishing an Instrument with a Product, Known and Widely Validated as Ensuring the Instrument will be More Highly Susceptible to such Environmental Changes, seems to me to be akin to an Act of Negligence on the part of a Maker. Musical Instruments should be made to Last the Test of Time.

There's lots of Great Looking, Alternative Finishes out there, but how many of those Instruments, subjected to "Normal Use" by the "Average Musician" are going to be around in very many years to come?  Does anyone really imagine they will not Suffer through the Ravages of Regular Use, Time and Climatic Environmental Havoc?

Throughout this Thread. Many Fine People I'm sure, have Repeatedly Stressed the Need of Great Care. Emphasised the Importance of Chariness. Underlined and Reinforced Essential Wariness and Continual Heedfulness in the Judicious Handling of what are in Truth, more than Normally Delicate, and more than Usually Sensitive and Susceptible Musical Instruments. I can Completely Understand this, for I, like them, routinely take such Great Care too of all Musical Instuments.

But does anyone really imagine, that "Normal Use" by the "Average Musician", will involve THAT Level of Carefulness? Because frankly, that has not been at all my experience of Countless Others who have owned Good Quality Instruments. Alas! And that's what I see as the Problem, along with the Time it Takes to make a Decent Finish, (it's not Cost Efficient) and the Problem with Continually Maintaining the Finish in Optimal Condition. (Relatively speaking, it is Hard Work by Direct Comparison).



This last point leads me neatly to my Dilemma, with the Music Man Basses and Backs of the Necks Finished with Tru-Oil.

Most Owners (Love their Instruments as they do) find this Finish to be a Huge Dilemma for them, presenting them with Nothing but Problems.

The Truth is, most Bass and Guitar owners do NOT want to have to Sand Down their Instrument Necks, Once a Year to Optimally Maintain its Protection and Performance.

They are Players, not Luthier's and find themselves Anxious, Concerned and Worried about having to do what the majority of people here, would not blink an eye lid at doing for a moment.

One of the qualities any Executive needs, is the Ability to put Themselves in the Shoes of Another, and See Things from Their Perspective. I'm sure you can see things from Your Own Perspective, but my reason for replying, is in reality to give Expression to the Dilemmas and Concerns of Customers.

One Owner described them as a "High Maintenance Neck", which I think, sums thing up, pretty well.


I'm a big fan of Bob Taylor.

And have one of his Guitars which I very much like to Play.

Taylor seem to make some Great Playing Guitars, and Bob appears to have Successfully Implemented by Good Design and Excellent Engineering, Genuine Solutions, for problems that are unhappily besetting the Owners of other Great Brands far too often these days, to my mind.

The Wood Finish Looks Great to the Eye and the Instruments Appear Quite Tremendous as you Initially View Them. However, the Finish which is Currently Polyester, thin though it is, leaves me Somewhat  Unimpressed. When I assess the Finish with the Demandingly Critical Eye of a Highly Trained Professional, I find it slightly wanting to say the least.

We use a lot of Robots similar to the type Bob uses. They are Electrostatic Spraying Machines with a kind of "Udder". Ours have additional "Tits" surrounding the "Udder" for Air Shaping of the Spraying Pattern, but Bob's Factories use a Simple Machine without that Facility. Basically, because the Machine is Electrostatic, it requires an Agent to Complete a Circuit of Attraction.

This in Taylors Case would be a Thin Wetting Agent applied just prior to Spraying with the Electrostatic Robot. Rather than using Air to Atomise the Material, A Powerful Turbine within the Spraying "Udder" Spins Typically at 7,200 RPM and the Material Circles off the Bell Nozzle (Titanium in our Case) to be Attracted over the Wetted Instrument. It's possible to apply a very Fine, Thin Finish, by Spinning Material off the Spraying Bell in this Manner.

Apologists would no doubt emphasise and claim a number of improvements and benefits for Polyester over Nitro-Cellulose, all of which may be true. However, these Type of Finishes are crucially, EASY for Manufacturers to Deploy in Production, Easy to Apply, Easy to Sand Easy to Buff. Nitro Cellulose presents Greater Challenges on a day to day basis, but to my sensitivities, provide a Better Sounding, Better Feeling, Better Looking Finish, that Best Complements the Design Aesthetics of a Fine Instrument.

Here's a Good One to Get your head around. I know at least two Instrument Manufacturers that Coat Nitro Cellulose over Polyester. I like Provoking Thought and Debate so hope you will enjoy thinking about that for a while.



I fully understand how you feel about the Sound of your Bare Wood Instrument.

Here's the thing. Great Design Concepts, Resolve and Optimise a Competing and Contrary Set of Highly Diverse Features.

Do you really think making a Great Musical Instrument is simply about how it Sounds? That is but one Important, but Singular Criteria, amongst Very Many.

The Ease of Facility with which it Plays, (something at which Taylor seems to Excel) is just as Important, and would be to very many Guitarists, slightly more Important in a Great Many Cases.

I am given to understand by people that are experts, that Rock and Pop Music is not actually about Music at all. They tell me that in reality, it is All About Image. If that is true, then the Design Aesthetics of an Artists Musical Instrument will Play a Strong Part in Projecting the Desired Image; and thus, the Look and Quality of Finish, may to many people, be even more Important than any of the Essential Aspects already mentioned.

Many years ago I worked on a Project that involved an Artist that for some extraordinary reason, wanted his Guitar Painted Black. Although the Owner of the Company refused to allow it, someone in the Company wangled an Instrument through the Factory Processes, so he got his Black Guitar. Funnily enough, much later in the Artists Life, a Producer/Engineer friend of mine was at his Ranch Studio, and bumped into a Mic Boom Stand and managed to get a Heavy Studio Mic to put a dent in his Beloved Guitar. Perhaps subconsciously, he felt as the Owner of the Guitar Company did!


By Analogy.

If your Guitar, was a Vehicle.

And instead of the Sound of Bare Wood, what you really liked was Acceleration.

If you Removed the Brakes, Stripped out the Seat Belts and Air Bags, Removed lots of Safety Features and Trim, you could reduce the Kerb Weight of the Vehicle, Significantly.

Not only would your 0 to 60 Rate of Acceleration Drastically Improve, but significantly, the Economic Running of the Vehicle would also be Greatly Enhanced. You would need to Purchase Less Fuel, and you would Travel Further with Every Gallon.


But How Long would it Last?

Of course, its Normal Life Expectancy would be Short Lived.

The Truth is, so would your Bare Wood Guitar, if you Purely Focussed on One Desirable Aspect.

The Trick is, to get a Whole Bunch of Highly Desirable Features and Aspects of the Design Aesthetic, to Work Together as a Cohesive Whole.

In such a manner as to Create an Irresistibly Compelling, Musical Instrument.



How many of these Instruments are you going to make?

If you are only intending to make just the single solitary one to bear your name.

Don't you owe it to yourself, to make that Instrument, the Finest Possible Example of your Skill and Craftsmanship?

If you do, then I promise you, that Don Quixote Quest of Chivalry, will never be Easy.

Accomplishing anything Truly Great.

Never is.



But Easy.

Is the Defining Hallmark Characteristic of all the Finishes you are Considering.

Nothing wrong with that. Finish the Instrument however you want. But to me, the Whole Point of being an Instrument Maker.

Most especially, a Singular Luthier and Producing One Off Musical Instruments. Is that it Affords the Highly Desirable Option of Designing and Fabricating a Creation that Clearly Demonstrates Workmanship that is the Very Best it Possibly Can Be.


Good Luck with all your Instrument Making.

Whatever you use! 





Quote: "I use French Polish a lot and really like it."



Many years ago when I started in the Music Business.

Steinways would Assign a Single Worker an Entire Weeks Work just to put the Final French Polish Gloss Finish over the Black Painted Areas of the Instruments Cabinet.

Today, they will Spray the Cabinet with Polyester, but to me, the Pianos don't Sound, Feel or Look, anywhere near as Good. By the way if you buy a Grand Piano of a Cheaper Brand always look Critically at the Centre of the Top of the Piano Lid.

You will sometimes find the Sprayed Finish is Weaker, with Dry Over Spray in such areas. Even on Satin Finishes. They should really use a Spray Gun fitted to an Extension Pole that can reach the Spraying Nozzle right  to the Centre of the Piano Lid  with Ease and Deliver a Full Even Coat the Ideal Distance from the Product.


It's Amazing what passes for Musical Instrument Finishes these Days.




  I can't disagree with most of what you wrote, Peter but I have a hard time seeing how it can apply to a some of us.

   Spraying finishes requires time and money to master and that's AFTER you spend cash to get the equipment to do it safely. I think that robotic spray systems are totally cool but it a bit hard to relate them to what I need when I finish an instrument. Some of us don't use the finish process  we want to use, we use the finish process that we CAN use.

  I would love to be able to spray Nitro. I grew up working in a cabinet shop and have a lot of experience spraying lacquer but it's pretty hard for me to justify the expenditure required to do so when I MIGHT use it 3 times a year. 

  If money were not an issue, I would do a lot of thing differently, It is and I don't. What I do is what I am able to do within the limits of my resources and ingenuity. I really do like French Polish... now, but I went through the frustration of learning how to do it because it was the finish process that I could do best given my circumstances. It is also a finish I that needed to learn to repair some of the old finishes I've come across so I had a double incentive to learn it but, in the end,  sometimes we have to settle for what we can do, not what we want to do.  As you pointed out, no finish really isn't an option so maybe tru-oil is the one that CAN be used even if it isn't the "best".  

Hi Guys and Girls, It's always a bit of a tough one when our resources are limited but our desires are boundless.

I'm always mindful of the fact that musical instruments were around long before spray booths, compressors and flash spray-guns and lacquers of all description and that we don't necessarily need anything other than a serviceable finish which brings out the look and performance that WE want, not what some cone-head in marketing or accounting tells us we need.

I'm a nitro sprayer, love the stuff , love the look and it's a desirable finish in this day and age of UV cured and instant polys.   But I'm also working on bringing in a serviceable oil finish for our premier electrics which will age gracefully and look worn fairly quickly - the customer gets to do his own relic work by playing the thing in -  and it is self repairable with rudimentary skills and resources.   However, durable and attractive oil finishing is not cheap and it isn't easy for production purposes.

So what the point of this:   the old style or basic finishes have a definite place in modern luthiery - they aren't like the concrete gloss we have become used to, but they do have character and providence (all our own work is a good thing).   Hand done is more respectable and fulfilling than robot done in some Asian sausage machine.  

Enjoy it, Rusty. 

Quote: "it's pretty hard for me to justify the expenditure required to do so when I MIGHT use it 3 times a year. 



Perhaps you should have mentioned that.

The absolute truth is, yesterday, I threw into the Dustbin.

Two Brand New in their Unopened Boxes, High End, Top Class.

High Volume, Low Pressure, Spray Guns that I had been Given for Free.

They were worth around £615 Inc. VAT. But would just need Pipes and Fittings.

I have a Good Compressor and Spraying Equipment though today I keep it on a Relatives Estate, because its most convenient to do so where there is a spacious workshop.

And although I rarely have to use that for such purposes as described here, I have found that having the Right Tools Available, when I need a Job Done, makes All the Difference in the World.

Good Tools always pay for themselves in the Long Run, make the Job Far Easier, Faster and enable you to do a Better, more Ideal Job, rather than having to Turn Away Work that you could Quite easily be Perfectly Capable of doing from a Skill Stand Point.


Its rarely that one succeeds in Business, routinely turning away, typical Luthier work.



Quote: " I can't disagree with most of what you wrote, Peter but I have a hard time seeing how it can apply to a some of us."

"Snipped for Shortness"

Quote: "I think that robotic spray systems are totally cool but it a bit hard to relate them to what I need when I finish an instrument. Some of us don't use the finish process  we want to use, we use the finish process that we CAN use."




Thanks for making that point Ned.

I can completely understand  your perspective, and heartily appreciate that particularly narrow point of view, which of course, entirely occurred to me as I wrote.

The answer is, to my mind, it would make for pretty boring and uninteresting threads if people simply wrote posts that just told everyone, what is essentially, easily obtained, generalised information, that is already very widely known. Facts they can immediately relate to and require little to no thought at all on the Readers Part.

"Little to No Thought at All" is a major affliction of Today's Society, as is "The Dumbed Down", "Requiring Little Knowledge Experience or Skill" mindset that commonly accompanies It. The real point about Life you will eventually find of Importance, is not "Where you are from" or even "Where you are Now" but Rather "Where are you Going" and "Your Destination for the Future."

As a Lover of Fine Musical Instruments, should I be in favour  of "The Dumbed Down", "Requiring Little Knowledge Experience or Skill" Finishes Available? Would it not be more appropriate for someone to be Challenging those Notions, Encouraging People to Elevate the Level of their Vision, Aspire to Higher and Better Methods if they can, and if they can't, at least to have a Proper Perspective regarding the Degree of Suitability and Disadvantages of their Proposals. I think so. Everywhere I look. All the Buildings around are Impressing and Urging upon me the Importance of that Desire, to Aspire, to Better, Higher Things.



I think that "Aspirational Notion" can certainly include Lutheirs.




Joequam's response to my first post was "Peter, I appreciate the time to write such a informative response. I actually read your entire post and enjoyed it."

Reliable Information Rich Content on the Internet, like Valuable Wood, is a Preciously Scarce Resource in my Experience. In actual fact, there is so much Poor Information and Misinformation on the Internet Today.

This Problem of "Internet Noise" is so Widespread that here we are working on a New Internet Source of Completely Reliable Information that will EXCLUDE that, but do so by Costing Users that Participate and Basically Limiting Access to Established Institutions and Recognised Academic Bodies.

Speaking for myself, one of the Great Things I find about Franks Fora in particular, is that people are often Reading, Learning and Finding Out More things here, that they simply didn't ever know. I for one feel that Independent Luthier's SHOULD know far more about the Manufacturing Processes utilised in the Factories, on the Musical Instrument's, they will one day have to work on.



That is my view. Fora's exist to allow differing viewpoints. That is mine.



Robotic Spraying Systems are used by most Instrument Manufacturers.

There are many different types of System made by Different Manufacturers.

I am not only extremely familiar with most of them. Some of my Pals, actually Design The Systems for Manufacturers in the first place.

One of my great friends actually Invented the Solid Powder Clear Coat Process which is a far more Advanced Finishing Technology than anything anyone here will have experienced, thus far.

One of the Many Great Advantages of such Technologies, is that the Raw Material is Virtually Completely Recyclable. There is little to No Waste At All, as there is precious little "Bounce Back Spray" from the Surface of the Product, and there is also very little "Overshoot Spray" at all.

Overwhelmingly it is all Recycled. The Raw Material, is Applied Very Directly to the Surface of the Product. Far more so indeed than with any other System Previously Devised. This is Ecologically Superior, and Environmentally Better as the Harmful Volatile Emissions are Eliminated or Very Drastically Reduced.

Understanding a little of how these Systems Work, what Material they utilise, how they Apply it, how Thin or Thick it actually is, its Properties and Workability et al, will hopefully stick in the minds of folk and be of Insightful and Valuable Service to them sometime when they are faced with a Finish they have been previously Completely Unfamiliar with.

I know that people say "Ignorance is Bliss" but the recipe above for "Keeping People in the Dark", and "Treating them like Mushrooms", makes for an easy life now, but ultimately results in them getting "Sautéed" by New Technologies, when the Heat is Really On. They will be "Sautéed Mushrooms!"



Or..  One might find it beneficial in future, to know someone who already knows all about such Technologies, when they Finally Arrive on your Doorstep.



If that were not enough. 

There is an "Elephant in the Room" that the original post.

Regarding "TruOil (Birchwood Casey) or Wipe-On Poly (e.g. Minwax) leaves standing there. Staring at us all.

With respect, whilst you might be happy to ignore "The Elephant in the Room" personally I would prefer to Directly Address and Feed the Animal.

I'm very interested in Ultra Sonic and Infra Sonic Sound. When they want to Mate. Elephants emit an Infra Sonic Bellow, below the Limits of our Human Hearing. This can Travel for Miles, and were you walking alongside the Elephant when he emitted such a Cry. It would be like being hit in the Bread Box with a Knock Out Punch, by a Heavyweight Boxer. One would be Physically Sick and Throw Up!

Both The American Military in Iraq (successfully) and indeed the American Police Force at Home (unsuccessfully) have Tested and Deployed Sonic Weapons that utilise this Fact, but were not the first to do so. Former Politician Joseph Goebbels used such devices at a very Low Level to Disturb and Discomfort, Supporters and Spectators that attended Mass Rallies of the Leader of his Political Party.

The Sound would be turned off just prior to the Arrival of the Countries Leader, where upon the Entire Audience, would suddenly find themselves Feeling Greatly Improved, with a Sudden sense of Well Being and this would lead them to Conclude and Attribute that Improvement to the Presence of Their Leader, who they would then become Ecstatically and Fanatically Enthusiastic About.

All this Subtle Psychological Technology was really a trick to delude and deceive people.



So let's not Fail to Address "The Elephant in the Room".



By the way, the reason The American Police Force found their Testing of Infra Sonic Weapons, they intended to Deploy to Control Mass Rioting amongst the populace was unsuccessful; is because below a Certain Frequency, and (Infra Sonic Sound is way below that) to the Human Ear, our Perception of the Directionality of Sound, means that we altogether lose that Sense of Directionality.

Very Low Frequency Sound is Experienced by Human Beings as Being Omni-Directional in Nature and its Characteristics. If you Expose Human Beings to A Certain Level of this Type of Sound, then they will be Physically Sick or more likely, Suddenly Defecate in their Pants. The Police Knew this before they began their Testing, but believed that by Officers hiding behind Low Walls and in Recesses in Buildings, they would be able to entirely avoid the Effect of the Sound Waves. However, that was not that case. The Omni Directional Character of the Low Sound which spread outwardly and everywhere, was such that it had the same effect on the Officers themselves, as they had intended, for the Populous at Large.



Reliable Information is always worth the trouble to learn, they found. :)



Quote: "I'm always mindful of the fact that musical instruments were around long before spray booths, compressors and flash spray-guns and lacquers of all description and that we don't necessarily need anything other than a serviceable finish which brings out the look and performance that WE want, not what some cone-head in marketing or accounting tells us we need."



Thank you for making this excellent point.

It's another point that I had very much in mind when I began to write my earlier post.

Mainly, the reason being that in my Local Museum (The Oldest in the Western World) there is a Stradivari Guitar from 1680, a Giorgio Sellas Guitar from 1627, a René Voboam, 1641 and an English Guitar by Michael Rauche from 1770 and mysteriously, none of them are Finished in Nitro.



Considering the Long and Ancient History of the Guitar.

And the huge numbers of them that have been made over the Centuries.

There's not a lot of Guitars show for it really is there? They seem to been quite vulnerable.

I have a pal who collects Flamenco/Classical  Guitars, quite seriously. The distinction between these instruments is an Invention of the 20th Century really. The further you go back the more the different features merge and blend.

He has Seven of what I regard as some of the most Valuable Guitars in the World. An Original Manual Ramirez, and Original Torres and so on. He secretly lends these Instruments out to Star Players he admires, when they come to this Country, which of course gives them a Huge Kick.


But there are so Few of Them, that have Survived.

And of all the Guitars Stradivari made, only one is in Playable Condition.

Therefore the Greatest Maker of Stringed Instruments ever, only has A Singular Surviving Working Example.


Throughout the Entire World.


Lesser Guitars made by Lesser Craftsmen Lacking the same Owners Reverence.

Can be Expected to last Nowhere Near As Well or As Long.

Thank you so much, once again for that.

It's an Excellent Point.




Ah Peter, I do enjoy your posts and, believe it or not, I actually understand what you write. I may not chose to view the material in the manner you intended but then I'm often more informed about the subject than you appear to think I/we are.

As a case in point, I have decided to believe that what appears to me to be strong indications that you believe that I/we are unthinking, uneducated, and unable to see the future is simply a misstatement/ misunderstanding. We're really not you know. It's does seem that most of us do not have access to the type of funding you have available. I admit to being handicapped in this manner and I since I am unable to buy my way to perfection, I have chosen to work with what I have, imperfect as it is.

  Quoting Peter; "Perhaps you should have mentioned that. The absolute truth is, yesterday, I threw into the Dustbin, Two Brand New in their Unopened Boxes, High End, Top Class.High Volume, Low Pressure, Spray Guns that I had been Given for Free." 

 I do appreciate the thought but, as has so often been the case, my clairvoyance completely failed me. Should the opportunity arise again, I would consider it a favor if you could assist me in my deficiency by posting that you have something of  possible interest available before you toss it. In any event, I remain as I was and will continue as I have. 

I believe that you and I live in fairly different worlds, so to speak. Even though I really do have a better understanding of the technology than you appear to perceive,  Robotic spray rigs are pretty meaningless in reference to MY needs. The process a manufacturing plant uses to finish their produce isn't of much actual use to me even if it is interesting. It's great that they can have such technology available to streamline their process. It simply isn't "helpful" to my personal efforts. A finish that is durable, thin, and capable of delivering a certain amount of "eye appeal" as well as accessible to me is something that can be helpful. Lacking the funding for a robotic system, I'm restricted to experimentation within the limits of my resources. Tru-oil may or may not be that finish BUT excluding it because it's not "main stream" isn't the smart option for me. I won't know until I try it if it will work. Not to denigrate your opinion but I feel compelled to point out that, as informed as it may be, it's not MY opinion. It wouldn't make sense for me to formulate mine based solely upon  yours, now would it.   

The truth is that I do what I do because I enjoy it. It's a hobby, not a business. I love finding a way to do things without casting a fist full of money at every problem. Of course the "right" tools make it easier but very often the "right" tool isn't actually required. There is a definite sense of satisfaction in finding a way to get it done with what I have available. The education I receive in doing this isn't easily gained any other way .. From my point of view, this appears to be something you don't understand very well. Money may bring me tools but money can't grant me experience. I can get that just fine with what I have even while I look forward to better tools and better processes. In the mean time, I'm doing things now and not waiting until I have the best stuff. 


 BTW, I recall reading material that mentioned that many of the old instruments we have left today, particularly lutes and guitars were what we would consider "presentation" grade instruments which often survived simply because they were not actually used all that much. Of course many Instruments were not made well but it is probably just as true that many well made instruments were used up as it were.  It's a fairly recent idea that old or "vintage" guitars are valuable. They used to just be "old" which accounts for all the horror stories of abused and badly repaired old Martins and Gibsons that make the rounds. They simply weren't worth fixing until the late 60's where they were discovered to sound better than what was being made by those same builders.  

On the flip side, there are lots of junky "old" guitars being flogged on the market because too many people don't understand the difference between old and good. They don't understand that many "old" instruments survived because they were too badly made to be usable. I certainly not implying that this must be true of the instruments you mentioned, I'm simply pointing out that age isn't really a great indicator of quality. Sometimes that good stuff gets used up and the not so good remains hanging around for ages.

Quote: "Ah Peter, I do enjoy your posts and, believe it or not, I actually understand what you write."

- Snipped for Shortness -

Quote: "then I'm often more informed about the subject than you appear to think I/we are."



That's Great!

Because I always like want to make my points Potently, but in something of an Entertaining Manner.

A short while ago I was speaking in the Union Debating Hall, and Happily, was able to Absolutely Massacre my Opponent, but at least, made the Slaughter Amusing for everyone there.  Well.. Almost everyone.

The Hall was Packed to Overflowing with Distinguished Professors, Rocking in their Seats with Sheer Cachinnation, They were Literally Rolling about in their Chairs with Handkerchiefs Out and Tears of Laughter Flowing down their Faces; the Hall Lights Shining like Beacons off the Perspiring Tops of their Balding Heads.


If you really want to make a Great Point that will be remembered.

Attach it to a Powerful Emotion or an Emotive Story that will Stay with the Person for the Rest of their Lives.

They will Carry it Home with them, and Keep the Memory of the Emotion for All Time. If its an Amusing Story so much the Better. Humour has a Great way of Assisting People to Lower the Barriers, that Folk build Around Themselves.

This is why People are Lonely, because they are Better at Building Walls than they are at Building Bridges. But Humour can bring those Walls Down, and at that point of Lowered Defences, the Audience is Completely Vulnerable, and Unable to Withstand the Powerfully Pointed Penetration of the Perspicaciously Insightful Thrust of a Good Point that has been Well Made.



However, with respect, you are mistaken in presuming, that I think you are ill informed. Quite on the Contrary.

Indeed, although I might address you, others and the points that are made, and explain facts in Extremely Simplistic Terms.

In Reality the people I am really keen to address, are the people whom unlike yourself, would never dare to ask a question here. People that are never thought of or spoken about.

The Huge Gallery of People that are Shy, Reticent and Lacking in Confidence. People perhaps from Distant Lands and Different Cultures, that are Spread Right Across the World. People that Speak English only as a Second or Third Language, that would Love to Learn and Engage More, and Even Learn New English Words, but they are Basically  Afraid of Asking a Question deemed to be Too Simple, and Fully Expose their Lack of Knowledge.


It is these people, which are not only the reason I write.

But also the reason I write in the way I do, beginning with small short sentences, that are very easily read and to get into.

And then building confidence by gradually enlarging paragraphs into ever increasing larger ones containing deeper, more complex thoughts that they can grapple with.

This is precisely how Professors here, addressing the brainiest people from All Over the World, Speak, Give Lectures and Read  Public Addresses, so that even the Slowest Person thereabouts Fully Understands.

This includes Proper Time and Space, to Allow One Fact to Fully Sink In before Moving onto the Next. Simply Addressing the Fora in the Manner of One's Own Culture, and Giving No Thought whatever to Struggling Unseen Hoards of Individuals All over the World, seems if you will forgive me for saying so, Very Narrowly Insular Indeed.



Quote: "I admit to being handicapped in this manner and I since I am unable to buy my way to perfection, I have chosen to work with what I have"



The Luthier that looks after my Instruments, happens to be a First Call Craftsman for Stradivari, Guarerni, Amati etc. 90% of the work he does is performed with two heavily cut down Hand Tools, most people would throw away. I really don't think they were in any way Expensive at All. And using them is his Preferred Choice.

However, his Real Gift is the Ability to make Repairs, Entirely Undetectable, Quite Invisible to the Eye. To be honest, I don't think Money can Buy that Type of Talent. With the greatest possible respect, I believe your point, to based upon An Entirely False Premise Altogether. And I mean that, in the most kindly, possible way.

I really can't help it, if People Give Me Things and Tools I do not Seek or Need. It just happens and although I appreciate the Kindly Intended Gestures. Sometimes it is necessary and helpful to have a Very Good Clear Out of things you don't need. I did so in Preparation for the Forthcoming New Year.

It seemed a Good Time to do this whilst I had a few Spare Moments, this week.



Quote: "I won't know until I try it if it will work. Not to denigrate your opinion but I feel compelled to point out that, as informed as it may be, it's not MY opinion."



For me.

This is a Great Point and I Heartily Thank You for it!

Quite Simply I don't have the time to learn for myself, everything that has been already comprehensively learnt by other people.

So for me, knowing people who I can trust, whose knowledge and experience I can draw upon and benefit from, is a great way to get further, faster, and achieve far more that I would have done otherwise on my own.

Personal Experience, is something I set Great Store by, so I can fully appreciate why you are so keen on hotly pursuing your own opinions. But I have proven time and time again the Value of Listening to other People, I have Respect for.

A while back, a Company I had "an interest" in, was having a Problem with its Production Facility. A Particular Line kept Stopping and no one could work out why? Management were on the verge of Paranoia, suspecting Sabotage. Whilst Every Outside Specialist Consultant Expertise had been called upon to Resolve the Problem, Working with Facility, Maintenance and Process Engineers  along with Senior Management. The Problem was costing £14,000,000 per annum, and they couldn't resolve it after many, many months of trying.

To me, those in charge seemed Distanced, Insular, fully focused upon Themselves, One Another and their Own Importance. I called in the ONLY people the Management had never spoken to about the problem to sit and talk with me, around a Huge Conference Desk. These were the Line Workers themselves that Labored every day upon the Production Track. Having explained the nature of the problem to them. One of them instantly piped up. "You mean when the Line Stops? Well every time that happens, just before it happens, so and so happens right over in the corner, and then the Line Stops, that's what I have noticed." 

The Key to Resolving the Problem was there right in front of me. In mere minutes, I had it. And the Difficulty was Overcome. All that was needed, was to be Humble Enough to Ask the Lowest Grade of Factory Worker in Status, What He Thought was Causing the Problem.

Which none of the Management Experts had bothered to do.



So you may appreciate, why I Highly Value the Experience of those who Have It.

Rather than Time Consumingly and Expensively Learning the same thing for myself, or Discounting the Experience of Others as you Declaimed in your Post, and Insisting on Conducting one's Own Experiments.

By all means do so, it's just that I find Personally, I Learn More, Faster and Do Better by Benefitting from Others Experience. One Practical Issue though, is that because it will be Several Decades, before you will be in an Authoritative Position.

To Fully and Properly Evaluate the Lasting Quality and Road Worthiness of what I regard as Lower Grade of Finish, and the Problems of Maintaining the Instrument in Optimal Condition throughout a Changing Set of Regional Variation in Environmental Climate, the Irresistible Temptation will be to Gamble Judgment Prematurely, without the Full Benefit of Having Collected All the Facts over a Time Period that Properly Reflects the Working Life of the Instrument..

In Reality, This is what will Happen. People simply haven't thought that Fact Through.



Quote: "The truth is that I do what I do because I enjoy it. It's a hobby, not a business."



Thank You for That.

You are of course, fully entitled to hold any view you wish, and pursue any avenue you desire as are we all.

For you yourself will not Lose Reputation, be Held to Account, or Publicly Pillared, and Financially Liable for the Undertaking of Warrantee Work on Premium Products.

Professional Businesses, that Manufacture Professional Products, for Professional Artists and Professional Musicians, have to see things in a Different Perspective, and quite naturally, have to Provide a Professional Finish.

Though it's fair to write that Today, the Width of Choice in Available Finish, is Far Wider Today than in any Previous Period of History.

Good for You!

Quote: "I recall reading material that mentioned that many of the old instruments we have left today, particularly lutes and guitars were what we would consider "presentation" grade instruments which often survived simply because they were not actually used all that much."



All Along I have Conservatively been, Cautiously Optimistic in my Evaluation of Alternative Finishes.

As you have Demonstrated and Explained So Well Here, and with me So Hesitant to Exaggerate the Problem in Any Way. The Actual Truth is Far, Far More Utterly Devastating, than has ever been Described in any previous Post Hereabouts.

Thank You For That!  But some Great Makers were sought out by the Rich and Famous who Demanded the Very Best of Everything. Have you ever seen a Violin Case made by Stradivari? Most of such People who bought from him were not Professional Musicians, and this is why the Instruments had such little use and wear generally speaking.

The Working Musicians Instruments made by other, less expensive makers Fared Very Badly by Comparison.

Once Again, I Thank You. For Making my Own Points.

So Very, Very Well Indeed!




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