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My customer would like this to be as close to invisible as I can get it.  I used titebond, and I may have to carefully score the tiny bare areas missing finish in order for stain to grab.  Will the finish darken enough when covered to make staining unnecessary?  Should I drop fill water thin ca, level, and buff.  Should I drop fill nitro?  I've been more of an observer when it comes to finish issues until now.  I've done plenty of breaks in poly finishes, black necks, darker finises, just not this particular variety.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Id apply a drop of naphtha or mineral spirits to the bare areas to see what the colour change of the wood will be. I cant offer much more advice than that as Im hardly a finishing guru, and there are others around here who could direct you much better than I.

Nice touchup work on your site, Ian.  Sign me up for your pointers, as touchups are something I'm always fighting... and not always too well!  

You hit the truth-mark for me when you mentioned small jobs that manage to "spiral out of control".  True enough, and that (more often than not) has been my experience.  

I've always wanted to spend a day with a top-notch furniture repairperson or somebody conversant with antique restoration for tips, but that hasn't happened yet. 

Absolutely... please share some finishing touchup tips if you would?  Thanks!

An addendum... one thing that's helped is getting a handle on touch-up paint storage. The missus works at a veterinarians office and brings me small empty glass medicine vials.  After cleaning & drying, they're perfect for small am'ts of specially-blended colors.

They're intended to dispense multiple syringe doses, so the rubber cap is very tight-fitting and 'self-healing'. The big plus was discovering that the rubber (or whatever) stopper is unaffected by lacquer!  

The bottles are fitted (initially) with a soft aluminum ring over the stopper to hold it in place, but that's easily pried-off for filling the vial.  They come in different sizes, these pictured below are about 2" tall, and small-enough to hold touch-up sized quantities of paint.  

The paint in the bottles pictured have been in the containers for about a year now...  with no signs of coagulation yet. Veterinarians for sure, maybe doctors offices too. They usually just throw them away.  

Nice find. I looked for glass bottles but ended up using specimen cups.

Want! Will trade advice anytime for a box of those. 

They're free....  most veterinarians just toss 'em when they're empty.  My better half brings them home from work (at a vets office) and I'd guess that a friendly visit to a local vet will have him (or her) save them up for you. 

Well noted Ian, I can remember a time or two a little bit of leveling got a little out of control and became a way bigger job than I had planned.  Pointers would be great, your 1953 Paul turned out great.  I have the crack glued up really close to level, almost no ridge to note, but I want to keep it simple so i'm not doing unexpected work.  

Hi Ian

I have tried to get to your website but no luck. I could use some pointers on finishing. Please reply.

Take up Ian Davlins kind offer to walk you through this - there are two different things here: if the repair is to be done so as to make it invisible there are many things to be done and a couple of options - all of which involve a skill set beyond normal.

Secondly, and there is a parallel tread running on neck break repair regarding this, Ian correctly exposed the repair to daylight to show and prove  the integrity and appearance of the repair. This is the standard that I use - anyone can shoot shader lacquer at a break to get it to cover up - it's getting the original appearance back that is difficult.

Rusty. 

Here is some more quick advice. 

Manage customer expectations. I have done quite a few touch ups and have never made anything truly disappear. I tell this to customers right off the bat. The best I have ever done is make something remarkably unnoticeable. But a good repair staff evaluating for appraisal or purchase will always find my work.

The only way to really bye bye something is to duplicate the finish schedule. The guitar picture I see looks like the mahogany was stained bare, wash coated and paste filled. There is no way to get to this appearance with stains mixed into lacquer. Also, you will need to remove finish over the crack and either paint over it with pigments or graft wood over it if you want the crack to go away. I personally would charge about $500 for this repair and would probably feel like I was making minimum wage at the end.

Frustration and sorrow are part of the learning process.If your pants start to take on the humidity profile of an equatorial rain forest, walk around the block. Nothing good ever comes from anything after the 3rd attempt. Build up the clear,call it good and live to luth another day.

  

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