Finish

For a small-scale maker, the finishing shop is a black hole - "work goes in and never comes out."  

A good finish is essential to the tone of the guitar, and also to its saleability, it is possibly the hardest stage of guitar making, and the skill that is most difficult to acquire.  Guitar finishing is disciplined, hard work, a single careless stroke of sandpaper can ruin the whole instrument.  Many small-scale makers pass their finishing operations to specialist companies, but it is so important in so many ways that Roger maintains "if you don't do your own finishing, you are not making the guitar yourself - someone else is doing a huge and very important part of the work for you"

The surface preparation is crucial. It involves extreme care and massive attention to detail.  After an initial wash coat of lacquer, the instrument is double checked then sanded right back to a bare wood surface and checked again. Then up to twelve coats of lacquer, carefully checked and sanded down in between coats. Within that process is a traditional procedure that few, if any, other makers employ, or even know about, enabling us to achieve a full finish typically only seven thousandths of an inch thick, perhaps the thinnest gloss finish in the industry. The final coats are allowed to fully harden before final sanding and then buffed by hand to a high gloss. If you know what you are looking for, observing the reflections in a guitar finish can tell you a lot about the quality of the finish, and of the skills in the woodwork underneath. 

 The guitar necks are finished with the same procedure, but the final coat is rubbed with fine wire wool and polish to get the best player friendly surface.

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