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hittitewarrior

SHB-2 - Tele build

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Like @Prostheta said the pumice is a 4F grade fine, marketed by Behlen and purchased from good old Amazon. What I've ended up doing is sprinkling some on the piece that has already had several layers of Tru-Oil applied and dried. I use my fingers to rub the pumice into all the pores and then wipe on another layer of Tru-Oil. The light dusting of pumice remaining on the surface helps create a slurry and it all goes invisible when wetted by the oil. I also found that you can get a pretty solid pore filler by adding more pumice to the surface and wetting with oil. This get pasty and can be packed into the pores easily. When that dries, though, whatever is left on the surface is hard and a bit abrasive. It can be covered in more layers of oil or sanded off, which is what I chose to do. For the final touches of pore filling I've come up with a modification of the typical sanding slurry method. I wipe the piece with mineral spirits which is a solvent for Tru_Oil. Then I wet sand a bit with the mineral spirits and 1000 grit wet -n- dry paper and a foam block. This creates a fine slurry that fills the remaining pores. Then I thin some oil with the mineral spirits and wet sand with that which adds to the slurry and binds it all as it dries. And leaves fairly smooth wipe marks. From there, (here actually as I'm doing that right now), I will add the remaining layers of oil with an airbrush. I'll post up some pics in my thread this evening and add a link to that here.....and probably paste up this post into my own thread as well.:)

SR

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Are you using the pumice to abrade the wood at all Scott? Pumice on its own isn't meant to be the filler, more as a powdered abrasive to create a pumice-wood-binder slurry. I'm sure that's what is happening already, just wanted to confirm.

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8 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Are you using the pumice to abrade the wood at all Scott? Pumice on its own isn't meant to be the filler, more as a powdered abrasive to create a pumice-wood-binder slurry. I'm sure that's what is happening already, just wanted to confirm.

Nope.

I polish the wood all the way through the micromesh grits to 12000 to get the most chatoyance I can.  All my pore filling is meant to stay above that surface. So I add several layers of oil before going to slurry and try to never get down to bare wood again. I used the pumice to make a Tru-Oil slurry but no wood fibers were disturbed.

SR

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Quick question - for bolt on guitars... when you drill the holes through the body for the neck screws.... do you make these true through holes for the screw, or do you use pilot holes for both body and neck so the threads bite in both?

 

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Through-holes in the body. You only want the screws to bite into the neck when tightening them up.

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@curtisa thank you.

Also, fret work is coming up shortly... do you all find that you wish you had something like the SM Neck Jig?  I'm not really at a place where I'm going to buy it... and I'm curious if I'm likely signing up for a lot of fret work -> string up, buzz, strings off -> more fret work....

I was assuming that if I got the fretboard as level as possible, then levelled the frets, that it would stay that way when re-stringing, but now I'm wondering.

Thanks!

 

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Brief picture update on progress:

Started work on the pickguard.  Was going to cut this pattern out, and then mount it on the copper pickguard that I have posted earlier.  Decided instead to route the pattern out, fill with copper dust, CA, then sand.  From a design perspective it turned out really well IMO... from an execution perspective, I have a lot to learn.  There are supposed to be music notes in the helix, but they ended up being too small, and not routed deep enough, so they distorted when I sanded down.  And then with the white maple, I accidentally left some larger grit sand marks in place.  At this point, I don't think it is worth fixing.  Generally I am happy with it, but would definitely do some things different in the future.

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Additionally I got around to doing some fret work.  Not levelled yet, but started to dress the frets.

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Aaaand, stained the back of the guitar.  Minwax Jacobean.  The varying penetration of the poplar gives it a kind of "relic" look, and partially worn w/o sanding.  Generally pretty happy with it.  Next guitar, I am going to try to steer clear of poplar though. 

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5 hours ago, hittitewarrior said:

Also, fret work is coming up shortly... do you all find that you wish you had something like the SM Neck Jig?  I'm not really at a place where I'm going to buy it... and I'm curious if I'm likely signing up for a lot of fret work -> string up, buzz, strings off -> more fret work....

I was assuming that if I got the fretboard as level as possible, then levelled the frets, that it would stay that way when re-stringing, but now I'm wondering.

Thanks!

I've never used the neck jig, but it does look like the sort of thing you'd invest in if you were doing loads of fret levelling jobs and time and accuracy were of the utmost importance. For a one-off build it's hard to justify that amount of cash when you could achieve perfectly acceptable results with some wet & dry paper and a levelling beam.

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4 hours ago, hittitewarrior said:

Started work on the pickguard.  Was going to cut this pattern out, and then mount it on the copper pickguard that I have posted earlier.  Decided instead to route the pattern out, fill with copper dust, CA, then sand.  From a design perspective it turned out really well IMO... from an execution perspective, I have a lot to learn.  There are supposed to be music notes in the helix, but they ended up being too small, and not routed deep enough, so they distorted when I sanded down.  And then with the white maple, I accidentally left some larger grit sand marks in place.  At this point, I don't think it is worth fixing.  Generally I am happy with it, but would definitely do some things different in the future.

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Great idea and looks really effective. Are you going to have another attempt at it?

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@Norris Thanks!  After a couple of days being past the frustration of realizing where it ended up, I think so.   I've got another piece of maple I think might work, but I will need to do some work to get it ready.  This maple came from the scrap bin at the hardwood place nearby, and I cut it from the outer 3-4" of a log cutoff that they tossed in., so thickness is kinda variable on the cutoffs

I'm debating whether I keep the idea of music notes being embedded in the DNA, but if I do that, I will probably scale them up to the same size as the parts that cross from helix to helix... 

Feels like a constant 2 steps forward 1 step back lol.  

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Alright... I went to do some binding tonight...It is ABS black binding... I saw a youtube video where some guy was dabbing pure acetone onto the wood, and then taping the binding on as he went.  So this is the method I used.  I took one corner of the tape off maybe an hr or two later, and it appears it is not bonding very well...

Based on some of the readings I've done, I'm wondering whether I can just go back, take a piece of tape off at a time, and flood the seam line with acetone and then replace the tape?  Thoughts?? Will I likely need to do this over?

So now I appeal to the knowledge experts... what do I do??

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Well this is how I do it anyway. Firstly, I pull the face of the binding that will be adhered over a piece of 240 or so grit. I get it sized and bent, dry fit, etc. Acetone flashes really quickly so any adhesion issues are generally down to there being too little acetone in the game. I brush acetone onto the binding, enough that the binding can be scraped and a mushy film would come off. Not so mushy that pressure causes the binding to squish out though. The binding is set in place progressively, taping as I go. When the binding is secure, I wick in more acetone along the seam and add more tape. This is as exciting as it gets!

I'd test your ABS by brushing a piece with acetone and figuring out how much is too little. Figuring out how to achieve that mushy film, but not melty is useful.

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Acetone on wood will disappear within seconds to a minute. It's not usually enough, and inconsistent at best. Acetone is a solvent for the binding, so when you brush it on you're "thinning" the surface of the binding with solvent. That surface thinning allows it to be pushed into the rough surface of the binding channel as it's own glue. The binding will swell slightly with solvent so having it taped tightly in place is important to help maximise that bonding pressure. I stretch the tapes I use to gain a bit more application pressure. Even humble masking tape has a built in stretch factor of around 7%.

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If it's not sticking properly I'd pull it off completely and start again. Better to get the adhesion right to begin with.

I've just done a neck that is bound with cream ABS. I've never had much luck using just acetone as the gluing agent. Have also tried CA and epoxy in the past, but on certain woods the binding would just peel off without any real effort. Tarzans Grip gave acceptable results.

This time around I went with the tried and true Weld-on 16. Should've used it right from the beginning. Glues up perfectly, creates invisible seams where two pieces of binding meet, dries clear and hard. The only reason I used acetone was to give the timber a bit of a wipe-down to get rid of any oils that may have been present which may have affected adhesion.

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Interesting how we have very polar experiences with the two methods! I never got on with Weld-On because of the quantity of product that tends to be applied causing binding to become more melty. Likely a technique error than product X over product Y. Not luck, likely just differences in our respective approaches favouring one over the other. Weld-On is why I shelved a Les Paul project, as the binding ended up really messy and squidgy. I've used acetone exclusively since.

I agree that certain woods would be more problematic than others with pure acetone.

 

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Thank you all for the input!  Once I got around to actually taking all the tape off today (letting it sit for 12 hrs +), it actually appears it went quite well.  No noticeable loose spots, and just a couple of areas that I need to go back and touch up.  The biggest problem was the acetone mobilized the stain on the back :-\... didn't think that through well.  Actually, perhaps a slightly larger problem is the acetone appears to have "bloomed" on the top... certain angles I can see it slightly.  I am hoping it goes away with a good sanding... Time will tell at this point.  Again, thanks for the input @Prostheta, and @curtisa.

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@Norris I have to thank you again too for asking if I was going to redo the pickguard... that question pushed me over the edge that I really did want another shot at it.  Take two is already looking MUCH better than the first time around...

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Anyone have any tips on oil application?  I'm using one of those lintless/high absorpency blue paper towels, and seem to be getting what I assume everyone calls "witness lines?"  It is subtle, but visible when the light hits it right. You can kind've see it in the edge of the glare.  I've tried steel wool between coats (making sure to blow off all the particulate), but it keeps happening... Perhaps I'm using too much oil per coat?

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One final pic - This is the one I'm making for my brother in law.  Again, the pieces were from the scrap bin, mainly cause they were too short.  The top is from 4 separate pieces. (as evidenced by the seam on the upper and lower horns)... I debated inlaying copper "stitching" to make it a little more intentional/artistic, but I'm still on the fence.  My brother in law seemed to indicate that kind of thing wouldn't bother him, but I don't know... lol.

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8 hours ago, hittitewarrior said:

@Norris I have to thank you again too for asking if I was going to redo the pickguard... that question pushed me over the edge that I really did want another shot at it.  Take two is already looking MUCH better than the first time around

It was too good an idea to not do a proper job of it. You'd have kept looking at it and thinking you'd cocked up. The second attempt looks brilliant - a much more worthy execution of the "hook" that sets your creation apart :D

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Whether you use acetone or weld-on you can still go back and wick some acetone into any gaps, such as on concave curves, and re-tape them up tight ;)

When I did my Nozcaster I did the binding first then masked it off for dyeing. Hope you can get your bleed sorted - although it's not noticeable to my dodgy old eyes :)

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8 hours ago, hittitewarrior said:

Thank you all for the input!  Once I got around to actually taking all the tape off today (letting it sit for 12 hrs +), it actually appears it went quite well.  No noticeable loose spots, and just a couple of areas that I need to go back and touch up.  The biggest problem was the acetone mobilized the stain on the back :-\... didn't think that through well.  Actually, perhaps a slightly larger problem is the acetone appears to have "bloomed" on the top... certain angles I can see it slightly.  I am hoping it goes away with a good sanding... Time will tell at this point.  Again, thanks for the input @Prostheta, and @curtisa.

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Not sure about that bloom. Perhaps it moved some oils around, took on colouration from the binding or was contaminated with something? Difficult to say. Acetone on its own flashes off pretty quickly so I'd hazard that this would be something having been disturbed or carried whilst solvent.

That slightly gappy piece there should be able to be brought back into line, however it might be a little risky. Is it sitting proud of the body edge, and hence loose rather than the channel being a bit deep at that point? If so, the binding can be softened and tensioned with tape. The risk is that the amount of softening it will require might deform the binding if overdone. You could fill that gap with some binding scrapings mixed with acetone to form a putty, but to me this is a last resort. Black tends to work better at this than lighter binding which is a positive.

Anyway. What I'd do is to tape a piece of tape and wrap it over the back of the body in advance of the next step. Add a drop of acetone into the gap and let it wick in. Let it flash so its not wet, then add another drop. Let that flash. Now try the binding and see how much flex it has. The ABS should take on a little acetone each time. If you can push it closed with the face of your fingernail without forcing it, get the tape and tension it over. If not, add a drop, flash, repeat. I'd only add one drop at a time instead of flooding to prevent it becoming a larger issue. It might take you ten minutes of patient work, however it'll make that perfect.

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11 minutes ago, Norris said:

Whether you use acetone or weld-on you can still go back and wick some acetone into any gaps, such as on concave curves, and re-tape them up tight ;)

When I did my Nozcaster I did the binding first then masked it off for dyeing. Hope you can get your bleed sorted - although it's not noticeable to my dodgy old eyes :)

 

Goddamnit. I got the "Norris has replied" notifier whilst I was writing my last post! haha

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I'm watching this with great interest. 

I don't often use plastic bindings but to my poor little head the acetone method always seems to be akin to black magic.  But wow - it certainly seems to work.  Some excellent hints and tips @Norris and @Prostheta and some excellent progress, @hittitewarrior .  I am in awe of that scratchplate copper powder method!

 

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That pickguard design is lovely. And good choice with giving it another try. Came out fantastic!

Now the only thing it's missing is a quintuplet <_<

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I've done a crappy job of posting for awhile, but I am now applying finishing.  I attached all hardware, filed a nut, strung up and got intonation and playability for the first time.  Man was that exciting.  I think I have some fine tuning of the nut left, but generally it seems to play fantastic.  

Disassembled all, Sanded up through 1000 grit, and then the first 4 micro-mesh levels (I know there is some overlap there).

Tonight, I have put my first coat of Tru-Oil on the body.  Debating how many coats to add...  Any recommendations?  I did a brief search, and it also appears that recommendation is to let it cure for 3-4 weeks prior to polishing (I'm assuming in my case, this would be going higher in the micro-mesh).  Do you guys typically let it cure up this long?

Thanks!

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Everybody has their own schedule for Tru-Oil....myself included, so don't take mine as gospel! I start with a flood coat, which is more or less what it sounds like. A thick wet layer where the oil pools on the surface. Damming edges with tape helps. This is intended to allow the wood to take as much oil as it wants into the surface, especially the end grain. I leave this for an hour or two, topping up and moving oil around areas that are exposed before wiping the excess off (it's wasteful, which is a negative point) and buffing it clear. This is left to cure for a day or two, with regular buffing off of any oil weeping from the pores. After that, I apply many thin coats which I buff off after an hour or so.

To me, the benefits or Tru-Oil are its quick drying and lower surface tension than raw non-boiled oils. I'm not a big fan of built-up oil finishes with Tru-Oil (these are Scott's speciality) as I like the wood to be tangible through the oil. Again, there are many ways of using the product.

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