I tend to use guitars as examples of what Solacure does for aging wood and curing finish because, hey, guitars are cool. :) I will be testing all kinds of wood, usually with a clear finish. Often, these projects are ongoing, so they will get updated over time. There are so many variables, like type of finish, whether you age raw wood, through a sealer, through a single coat or through a finished guitar. I can't test for every finish type with every wood or I would have 300 guitars (which isn't a bad thing....). You should be able to glean enough from these pages to have a good idea what to expect.
I'm NOT a luthier or refinishing expert, so you will see lots of mistakes. Often, things don't come out as planned. It all a learning experience. That's the idea: I make the mistakes so you don't have to, so read, learn, have fun and lets make some beautiful projects.
Coming soon! Pau Ferro is the new replacement for rosewood, due to CITES issues with sourcing rosewood in an environmentally friendly way. We are going to do a few tests on this guitar to test the effect of UV on these new models and materials.
This is the closest thing I have to a violin, being an all maple guitar with fairly thin finish. We took a couple days worth of medium level UV, and turned this inexpensive guitar into something that belies the sub $400 price.
Watch as we go nuts and expose a bunch of different color Les Paul guitars, just to see what happens. Maybe something good, maybe something bad, we don't know until we try. Don't worry, we use Epiphone's cheapest Les Pauls for these tests, no Gibsons were harmed in the production of this page.
Aging 100 year old barn pine to make a quazi-replica of Leo Fender's first prototype. I did everything wrong in my first attempt, yet it still looks good, sounds great and is good enough to jam with. Using a Fender "62 pickup and a Squier neck.
I aged this Epiphone Les Paul by exposing the mahogany back to some UV using the Solacure SG-1-40 aging lamps. This will show what aging through a thin finish can accomplish with dark woods. I was very pleased with the results.
Here we age a bookmatched mahogany guitar body and finish it. This project went horribly wrong after a lack of experience with finishes turned a beautiful guitar into a crazed mess. That's ok, it will get sanded down and we will start over. Remember, Dennis is a UV expert, not a luthier.
Coming soon! We are going to age down a rosewood over maple neck. This one is a left handed neck but I will swap out the nut and use it as a reverse headstock on a right handed guitar. Shipping and all, the neck was under $50, and in this case, was provided free by Aklot for the test. I've bought other things from them (a couple of ukuleles) and I've been pretty impressed by their quality, so we will see.
Finally, one of my favorite models! We have two or three tests planned for this solid, book-matched alder body guitar from Warmoth (a licensed version of the Fender Cabronita). We aren't going for eyepopping, we are going for aged, and for the first time, we will age down solid alder without any sealers or finish. I'm very tempted to then put a rustic red stain and some nitrocellulose to seal it up, but time will tell.
Solacure Means Quality
Solacure ultraviolet lamps aren't just good, we guarantee they are the best or we will give you your money back. Our patented glass is more transparent to UVA and UVB. Our custom cathode/anode sets lets you run 2 to 3 times more power than a standard lamp in the same size. All of our lamps have built in reflectors. We have a lamp for every need.
We stand behind everything we sell and guarantee each will perform exactly to specification, or we will replace them. We don't want your business this week, we want it every week, and we are willing to earn it. There really is a difference in quality when it comes to ultraviolet bulbs, and Solacure tops the list. Order online, over the phone, or call us if you need a custom UV lamp made, with fairly low minimums (around 2000 pieces). We can make it happen.
Buy with confidence: We like what we do, and we've been doing it for over 30 years.