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Entry for November 2019's Guitar Of The Month is open - ENTER HERE!

steve1556

First ever build, 60's Strat

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Wow, guys, I really don't know what to say, but thank you so much! I wasn't expecting anyone to offer to do the image for me at all, so thank you for offering, and thank for to psikoT for doing it. And all from a post where I was just looking for pointers on how to do it myself.

I've had a play around with Sketchup and can't get on with it at all, I completely forgot about Inkscape so I'm going to have a play around with that over the next few days to see what it's like. The only reason I downloaded CorelDraw was because I was given a very quick crash course in it by a guy at a company that laser etched the labels for my guitar pedals when I started selling some, and then just stuck with it for designing artwork, and as an added bonus it allowed me to export the images directly to the program that my laser cutter uses. I need to get building some more pedals soon, may do a little thread for them when I do as I design my own circuit boards in SMD, as well as my own powder coating.

Prostheta - I'll be redoing the fret slots using the mitre box for the initial lines, then I'll finish them off using the fret saw with the depth stop on it. The plan is to then get the fret board glued onto the neck and then get the inlay carved out.

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I don't like Sketchup much either. I'm really into Solidworks for project planning (work things, like furniture) and TurboCAD for guitar stuff.

Same plan as myself most of the time as far as the fret slots go. I just finished up the board for Nina's SG in the mitre box, so after that's radiused I'll chase out the slots to depth the same as yourself.

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On 01/04/2017 at 3:18 PM, Prostheta said:

I don't like Sketchup much either. I'm really into Solidworks for project planning (work things, like furniture) and TurboCAD for guitar stuff.

Same plan as myself most of the time as far as the fret slots go. I just finished up the board for Nina's SG in the mitre box, so after that's radiused I'll chase out the slots to depth the same as yourself.

I've been having a play around with Inkscape and seem to get on much better with that, I'm finding that it's very similar to CorelDRAW which is making the transition easier.

I've just had 4 days off work but I haven't had any time to do anything on the guitar build until today. I put the board back in the mitre box and did a small test cut to make sure it's still cutting at right angles, and it is. I redid the slots, then took the board out and put the depth gauge on the saw, but found using a masking tape depth line was easier. I also padded out the extra depth in the cavity for the truss rod as I did it slightly and found that using 2 layers of flame maple veneer was sufficient, and also got the truss rod access hole drilled.

I've got a ever so slight issue with the fret board though, in the fact that it's not completely level, depth wise. On one side the board is roughly 2.9mm and the other side is roughly 3.1mm, both measurements are consistent down the length of the board.. Is that within tolerance or should I try moving the centre line so both sides will be the same depth? I know how it happened, I taped the board down next to one of the guide boards I was using, and not to the centre line of the radius block, but I'll know for next time. On the plus side, according to my radius checking tool, it's a consistent radius for the whole board.

Earlier in the thread I tried using the Crimson Guitars inlay powders, but I recently ordered some metal powder inlays from somewhere else. I tried rough engraving some wood again (my engraving bits aren't the right ones) so it wasn't very good/easy, but the metal powder is definitely less messy, and it flows into the cavity much easier. I covered them with some wicking super glue and I'll check on them either tomorrow or Friday. I was going to ask about my engraving bits but found some much better sets of them which are supposed to be more suited for wood (I've now got some on order).

Would it be advisable to move my centre line on the fret board so that it's roughly 3mm along each edge, or just leave it as it is? I was hoping to glue the fretboard to the neck today but didn't want to as I'm currently unsure on what to do at the moment.

How the fret board started.

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In the mitre box.

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Saw with depth gauge on and the fret wire that I'm using.

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Using masking tape for a depth marker was easier.

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Cutting veneer to pad out the truss rod cavity.

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Access hole drilled (not very well though).

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New metal inlay powders!

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Getting ready to test the new metal inlay powders.

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Fills the gaps very easily. This is before I put super glue on them.

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These are my current engraving bits, they really don't work well for wood. The new ones that I have coming are like mini router/drill bits, and from watching a few videos and using Google, they seem much better suited for what I need them for.

20170405_174210_zpsafdghd5m.jpg

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58 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Those metal powders look good. Source?

Looks like you could make thermite too.

I got the powders from here link, you can buy them individually though. Their website says they don't ship them outside the UK, but with my knowledge of dangerous goods for air transport, metal powders aren't on the list. If you wanted some and can't source them locally, then I'm happy to post them out to you (or any other member that wants them).

Thermite, mmm, if it's what I'm thinking it is, it could be used to do some interesting burn marks/designs on a guitar!

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So here's a tip for you Steve from a pro finisher about your inlay powders.  If you want the reflective metallic look, you cant just mix the powders into any binder, epoxy or CA and expect them to look good - will be muddy.   All metallic powders, micas, pearls, polyester flakes and borosilicate pigments are tiny little, FLAT platelets.  The goal is to get the platelets to lay down and orient themselves FLAT so they reflect back at you.  In the coatings world (I was a coatings chemist for five years) this is called "leafing" in order to get "specular reflection" of a good metallic coating.  

This can only be done by solvent based binders (lacquer, urethanes, etc) and is real tricky with epoxy, but can be done.  If you mix the powders in pure epoxy or CA or any low solvent binder, they all "set" in disorientation, and look muddy - absolutely ZERO specular "leafing".  You want to carve your inlay, then coat the interior of your raw inlay with epoxy in order to create a super flat smooth interior.  Then you mix the powders with a bit of lacquer, and lots of solvent, and air brush the interior of the inlay in real thin coats.  Even a rattle can of metallic car touch up paint will do this better than metal powders in glue (the way I think you are going).  You cannot skip the epoxy pre-coat step, unless you carve the inlay without rough burrs, and you sanded the interior of the inlay well.  

Then after the metallic has been applied in thin coats to the bottom and sides of the inlay, you can now fill the inlay with clear epoxy, and it will magnify the metallic look that the powders were designed to look like.   It will be WORLD of difference.  

You can test your powders for specular reflection by smearing the powder onto the back of your hand.  If it reflects nicely, then they are platelets, and need to be highly solvented in spray application.  If they look same when smeared, then the powders are just granulated, and will only look the same as organic pigments.    

Specular leafing looks like this, but inside the inlay.  

 

Quilt-Gold-purpleShift-clsp.JPG

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If we had a Post Of The Month contest, I'm sure you'd have to be banned from competing in order to give others a chance. :D

Absolutely stellar advice.

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StratsRdevine - thanks for the advice! That picture looks absolutely stunning, I'll definitely be giving it a go in the near future and on a guitar/inlay. I would try it for this guitar but I don't have all the equipment and bits to do it at the moment (and this Strat build is slowly costing me an arm and a leg with buying tools and that, anyone want to buy a kidney from me?). I'll be trying the powders on the back of my hand when I next go out to the garage to see if they would be suitable to try it with though.

A small update. I'm struggling to line up the fretboard onto the guitar neck properly, so the other evening while sipping on my favourite whiskey (Sortilege Canadian whiskey with maple syrup), I had the brainwave of roughly mounting the fretboard, draw the neck around it and trim the width of the board down while putting the fret centre line, 12th fret and nut positions in pencil on the back of the board. I'll leave more then enough width of the fret board after cutting so I still have a fair margin to position it correctly.

I've ordered more burr bits for my Dremmel style tool, and they still didn't work great (although a lot better then the previous ones). I did some more research, and it turns out the diamond ones I've got (first set) are more for sanding. The 2 sets I ordered from eBay (like mini drill bits) are designed for cleaning up, and I just had some more arrive (Saburrtooth) which are designed for ripping the wood out. So the plan is to hopefully test the Saburr ones tomorrow after work, I've ordered 3, one is a flame burr, one is a bull nose burr and the last one is a flat end burr. Including postage, they were just under £43, so quite pricey, but if they work really well then I'll be happy.

I gave the inlay tests that I did the other day a very quick sand (80 grit and 300 grit), and in no way did I sand them properly. They do look really good so far though, so the plan is to try out these new burr bits, then clean them up with the drill like ones, then finish them off with the sanding ones, and do inlay tests again to see what the final result will be, as the last thing I want to do is mess up that bubinga fretboard as I've got an estimated 8-10 hours invested in it so far (I'm never sanding bubinga again).

Does anyone know how to use the new Photobucket app? The old app would let me upload photos from my phone to my account (I get 50Gb of 4G internet so only takes a minute or two), but the new app is useless. I'm now back to transferring photos to my laptop through Airdroid, then having to upload them through my home internet which is rather slow.

Drill style burrs.

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Saburrtooth burrs.

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Inlay test before and after sanding (I took the after shot in my shadow as I was rushing and on my way out of the garage).

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Off topic, but the reason why I didn't get any work down today as I planned I would, was because I went out for a bike ride as the weather was nice. It's lovely down the river at this time of year and wasn't too hot. I've got a Cyclocross bike so it's like a road hybrid, in that you have a thicker frame and tyres (can put thinner ones on if need be), but it's got the speed of a road bike while being able to go off road thorugh forests, tow paths, etc. I prefer being off road so it's the perfect bike in that respect.

20170411_152300_zpsjpkqigrf.jpg

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Those bits and burrs are more for shaping and carving wood than inlaying. You can make some of them work, but the best bits for the job are the ones that are made for it like these from StewMac.

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Routers_and_Bits/Bits/Carbide_Downcut_Inlay_Router_Bits.html

These will give you nice clean vertical edges.

SR

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18 hours ago, steve1556 said:

20170409_152911_zpsfopffaba.jpg

 

Aside from the inlays, I could recreate that exact photo using an identical hammer, fretsaw, fretwire package and pencil. I would have to hot glue them to the wall though, since that's OSB and not the bench.... :thumb:

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I cut my pencils at a very acute angle to expose the side of the graphite for scribbling over surfaces rather than marking though....

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On 12/04/2017 at 2:38 PM, Prostheta said:

 

Aside from the inlays, I could recreate that exact photo using an identical hammer, fretsaw, fretwire package and pencil. I would have to hot glue them to the wall though, since that's OSB and not the bench.... :thumb:

That sounds like a challenge........!

On 12/04/2017 at 2:38 PM, Prostheta said:

I cut my pencils at a very acute angle to expose the side of the graphite for scribbling over surfaces rather than marking though....

I tried doing that, but this pencil must have ridiculously soft lead, after one line it will need resharpening again, so I now just use it for rough markings out. For the finer detail stuff, I now use a propelling pencil as it always stays sharp.

On 11/04/2017 at 8:29 PM, ScottR said:

Those bits and burrs are more for shaping and carving wood than inlaying. You can make some of them work, but the best bits for the job are the ones that are made for it like these from StewMac.

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Routers_and_Bits/Bits/Carbide_Downcut_Inlay_Router_Bits.html

These will give you nice clean vertical edges.

SR

You're right, those bits are no good for the inlay work, maybe the bigger stock removal parts but not near the edges. I've just ordered a set of those router bits. A base for the Dremel is £45 on Stewmac, but £24 on eBay so I'll get one of those ordered as well shortly.

This is starting to turn into an expensive month now.

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