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  2. Oil will give you a nice satin look, but offers pretty much no protection beyond sealing. Satin polyurethane will do so as well and offer protection, but you need a very smooth final coat to avoid witness lines from leveling cutting through coats. SR
  3. Thanks ScottR. So much to take in here. Today I got a bit further. Removed all the clamps and fails to find my walnut veneer looking good. Managed to route my binding Chanel without any problems. I used the special dremel end piece from stew Mac for that. Tricky to maintain the angle but managed it. I think it should really have a wider base. Now I've got the binding on. Used thicker super glue for this as had good experience in the past. Taped with binding tape and used a heat gun to help round the horns. I didn't enjoy trimming the walnut round the cavities so much felt like it could've chipped and torn lots but a bit of patience paid off. Now to decide how long to leave it before I take the tape off. what recommendations do you guys have for a satin finish that will help the grain look good but without a thick coat of gloss?
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  5. Have a look at Inkscape. This is a free vector graphics application. You can import an image (e.g. find one on Google, copy & paste) and then draw elastic band-style lines over the top, that you can then tweak around until they are how you want them. Of course this will be a lot easier if you have ever messed around in similar graphics applications such as CorelDraw, etc. There are some pretty good tutorials on the Inkscape site though https://inkscape.org
  6. The magnets are in place They are 3mm diameter and 2mm tall, which are the smallest ones I could find (on eBay?). Because I only have about 5mm of wood to play with and didn't want to drill through, I first drilled 3mm holes in my inner route template so I could get the magnets aligned and gently used a hand drill to mark out on the cover and body. I then used my Dremel + . StewMac router base along with a 3.2mm flush router bit to do a plunge spot cut of a nominal 2.5mm. Those magnets are fiddly little fellas, but I eventually managed to get them expoxied in. It's the first time I've used the StewMac router base to do a plunge cut, and although I got the results I wanted it could have been a lot easier if there were springs fitted to both posts. The un-sprung depth stop had a tendency to rotate when the Dremel was on, meaning I had to jam a bit of chewing gum in the thread to stop it turning - and life became a lot easier then. The additional springs would help a lot with the stability too and would remove a lot of the flex when plunging. I'll have to see if they do spare springs and "upgrade" mine Anyway, I'll end off with a close up of the the previously un-photographed "pinky" chute... I'll do another "actually fits" shot of the cover when I've scraped down the epoxy Anyway, I think we may be gearing up for a grain filling & dyeing on the back soon ...
  7. Unfortunately this is likely the last project in this huge shop. We are moving back to the states in July. I currently own approximately zero clamps. But there is hope.. the new house has a small shop space off the garage and the neighborhood has a tool library a few blocks away.
  8. Triple Gaaah~H! Using my table router, I routed the 6.35mm truss rod just fine, then used a 4mm single-blade for the carbon reinforcing rods. BIG Mistake!! It immediately loosened itself in the 12mm-to-6mm chuck sleeve and climbed into the neck. This took all of 2 seconds. Fortunately, it didn't poke through, so I tightened it up and finished the rout, (Lesson #1, do NOT use a sleeve unless you have REALLY cranked down on it AND lubricated it properly) Next, I set up for the second rout, and about 40mm in the bit self-destructed ... I have no idea where the shrapnel went, but very glad it was my lucky day. (Lesson #2, do NOT use a cheapo single-bladed bit, PERIOD) Next day, the HSS spiral end mill arrived (a day late) so instead of the table router, got out the 6mm trimmer. The spiral worked great, but my mind was on other things and I set the depth at 9.5mm instead of the proper 6.5mm. (Lesson #3, Pay Attention, Stupid! ) I had a 4 X 15mm strip of cherry, so sliced a 4mm strip with the table saw. (I know ... not SOP) Titebonded it into the deep rout, and, and made a plug for the accidental plunge. Re-routed everything today, and the MIC spiral bit worked like a charm again, even after getting gunked with Titebond. Cleaned up nice and shiny. I am pleased with this $2 bit ... buying MIC is a toss of the dice, and this particular item was a winner. Finalized the template for the body, it'll look something like this:
  9. Excellent videos, @a2k . These broadly have the tone I had in my imagination - more bass, mild, vibe than a standard electric. If I can achieve at least this, I will be happy...anything more will be a bonus!
  10. Depends. If the gaps correspond to frets that are introducing buzz you can either attempt to reseat them by pressing or hammering, or re-levelling to reduce their height. If the frets with gaps do not align with high frets then I'd leave them as-is, and deal with the others separately. If they're loose in the slot (you can close the gap just by applying hand pressure) or the gap is getting bigger over time, you're going to have to re-seat the frets and get them to stay put somehow. Maybe wick some CA into the fretslot and clamp, or remove the old frets and install new ones with a wider tang. Levelling high frets is usually a bit more involved than simply sanding down by hand. To get decent results usually requires sanding/filing against some kind of flat reference surface, recrowning and polishing, which will inevitably mean that several (possibly all) frets either side of the levelled frets will need re-finishing too. On a cheap guitar it could be a good excuse to learn how it's done without fear of making a mess of an expensive instrument? Lots of sites describing the process out there. It may also be worth checking if the setup is a bit off too, as fret buzz can be introduced by poor adjustment of several parameters. Maybe the neck doesn't have enough relief (too straight or backbow), or the action is too low?
  11. Fantastic . I must invest in some more clamps. I have enough in terms of numbers, but many of them have small handles that make it difficult to apply enough tightening.
  12. The shop as a whole series of them in various sizes, ending in half a dozen monster clamps that must be 6 feet long.
  13. Welcome Pariahrob. I'm looking forward to seeing your builds and hearing your opinions of the doings in here. Cheers! SR
  14. This time I'm going to model the carving in clay first. Starting with the basic log shape in proportion. From that I remove clay to leave the first stage of roughing in the shape. And then move on to removing bits of ash that are not Cody. SR
  15. I have a little dog named Cody. Early in his life, when he was just a pup, so to speak he looked like this. For nearly as long, I've had an ash log drying in the garage. As Cody got older his color started looking more and more like the ash log. And for some time now that log has been telling me I need to find Cody in there and set him free. The thing is Cody no longer looks like that scruffy little puppy. He looks more like a cross between a tiny haystack and an unsheared mountain sheep. So the Cody I find in the log might just be more inspired by my little dog than what he looks like just now. He may still have some of the attributes of puppy Cody. Or he may not. We'll just have to see when I get him out of the log. SR
  16. Yesterday
  17. Just came across these videos of the Marleaux Soprano bass. Maybe this project isn't so crazy! Now I want one...
  18. On the bench this week... Both six-string, one KM-I and one KM-II, one Floyd Rose equipped - the other fixed bridge, one (messy looking) carve-top (which'll look fantastic once I've finished with it) and one chamfer-edged...
  19. Hi all, new here and still reasonably new to guitar building. I've built a handful which I'll post pictures of soon. This is a bug that's well and truly bitten and so glad I found this site. So many skilled and friendly people, so looking forward to being part of the community. Im currently working on a doublecut design. Fairly straight forward. Tulipwood body with black walnut top. Maple bolt on with walnut veneer on headstock. Im going for a wilkinson trem and two humbuckers, 3 way switch and master volume. My first build was a replica of Nuno Bettencourt 24 fret maple board N3. That had some cool features and I love it but I wanted to do something that was more my own. I'll try to document with photos as I go but here's a snap of the tummy cut. Done with the Shinto. My favourite tool for quickly roughing out shapes. Looking forward to a productive week or so.
  20. Hello, I have a Chinese guitar that I bought and it has some fret buzz problems. On closer inspection I find that some frets are higher than others and this would require some sorting. I did notice that the frets are not seated completely, I can get a 0.15mm feeler gauge under the edges. Is this normal/acceptable? I don't want to have to try and press it down as the guitar is nice looking and seems to play well other than the fret buzz and some minor electrical problems. My question is, if the frets have this slight gap would it matter much? Can I just take the frets down with some wet and dry paper and remove the buzz, or would the slight gap still cause a problem?
  21. as absolutely sweet as that would look... sadly I have neither the skill nor the itty bitty dremmel bits to pull that off... the spider alone severely tested my skills and tools... let alone an itty bitty strand of silk.... I am however waiting to surprise you with my idea for the top... if it works out... LOL.... if it doesn't I may just have to sand it off and keep my big mouth shut!
  22. Excellent job on some very twiddly work. I'm pretty sure that would have made my eyeballs twitch. SR
  23. That's awesome! Congratulations. I recognize the shadow of your head from your avatar. SR
  24. You gotta love em! SR
  25. You can apply a sealer to the edge of your koa top to help protect it against stain. It kind of leaves you with the same issue though. You'll need to protect the back against getting any sealer on it. SR
  26. These guys are giving you good advice. It has been my experience that you almost always never move a saddle closer to the nut to intonate. so you do want to leave yourself the bulk of the adjustment range moving away from the nut. I do occasionally find that I get a little drill bit deflection when drilling pilot holes for my bridge screws. Then the countersunk heads move it ever so slightly from where I marked it. Not so much too be out of position, but enough that I might need to move the high E saddle a turn or so closer to the nut. to be at the proper scale length. 75% is probably too far away...85% is probably closer to where I start. do check your own bridge and see how much adjustment you have. SR
  27. Haha! Guilty as charged (I do try to make a habit of backing the blade off) Come to think of it, I had better go make sure the planes are on the till/shelf ... we've had a couple minor earthquakes this past week, and my waxed tools have a habit of wandering around a bit.
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