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I can't decide if that is red or rusty brown, but it's close enough to red to push my buttons. A black burst over red is one of my favorite combinations.

What was the thought process behind leaving the black sand back out of the treble side cut away?

SR

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It

1 hour ago, ScottR said:

I can't decide if that is red or rusty brown, but it's close enough to red to push my buttons. A black burst over red is one of my favorite combinations.

What was the thought process behind leaving the black sand back out of the treble side cut away?

SR

It's straight up red darkened a bit with a VERY small amount of black, and I expect that some of the black still in the top darkened it a touch more. 

I left the black out of the lower cutaway because I knew it was going to mostly get covered over by the burst anyway and I wanted to make sure enough red was still there to show. It actually worked out exactly as I'd hoped :-)

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I noticed that after the burst it did look like it got the same treatment as the top. 

don't you love it when a plan comes together.:)

SR

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I loved going through this thread. And as with your last one I saw, the effort put forth into documenting and explaining the processes is invaluable to a beginner like myself.

Absolutely stunning guitar and a beautiful tribute to your son. He will always be within you, your family and those whose life he was a part of. 

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On 7/7/2017 at 9:22 PM, djobson101 said:

I loved going through this thread. And as with your last one I saw, the effort put forth into documenting and explaining the processes is invaluable to a beginner like myself.

Absolutely stunning guitar and a beautiful tribute to your son. He will always be within you, your family and those whose life he was a part of. 

Thank you Dalton :)

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Did a bit of inlay work over the weekend.

Unlike the headstock inlay I did not cut this myself, but sent my design to DePaule and they cut if for me

 

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This comes glued to the the cardboard, so I had to soak it in water to remove the backing from it. Had this been a more complex inlay with a lot more pieces I would cover the top with clear packing tape and just sit the bottom in the water until it comes off.

The tape keeps all the pieces in their places. then I would put it where it will go, tape and all, and proceed as usual. Taking it apart and trying to work with all the little pieces can be a gigantic mistake and lead to a lot of regret :)

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Many thanks to Komodo for the chalk idea. Next time I think I'll sand the piece a bit smoother beforehand as the chalk filled a lot of stuff I didnt want it in, however even with that it was still a lot easier to see the lines when I did the routing :) Also, all I could find on short notice was kids sidewalk chalk which might not do as well as real "blackboard" chalk. I'll know soon, I still have my TR cover inlay to do :)

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I'll be cutting this out with an oval border and inlaying the entire oval into the back of the guitar. I inlayed the MOP into the ebony first because the white MOP just doesnt stand out that well in mahogany and I want the symbol to pop.

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Nice work and good call both on setting it in ebony and in having it cut. 

I'm pretty sure I'd have invented two or three brand new cuss words, if I tried cutting that out by hand.:D

SR

 

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Chris- I am just now reading thru this thread and firstly- my heart goes out to your and your family. I would be absolutely floored. The guitar is a beautiful piece of work, and a fitting tribute. 

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My standard truss rod cover. Pix speak for themselves I'll sand it off and cut it out tonite...

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Sanded the gunk down and then spent some time at the disk sander roughing things out.
TR cover needs to be thicknessed to about 2/3 its current thickness (from the back) and trimmed
off where you see it overhanging the headstock overlay, the rest of it is sitting in the approximate
location.

The big Aries inlay for the back needs to be trimmed in some more. Still a bit oversized and the
shape itself needs a bit more work.
I'll do that tonite.

You can kinda make out the big Phoenix inlay on the counter there. I'll be inlaying that as well as
the Aires tomorrow and will hopefully shoot the rest of the finish over the weekend.

 

Then it'll just be wait a few weeks, sand, buff, and wire it all up. If I'm happy with the finished product maybe I'll enter it in August GOTM :)


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10 minutes ago, ScottR said:

That's a lot of bling! I guess you are making a tattooed guitar.

SR

Yup :)

The large size bling (the Aries in the 2nd photo above and the Phoenix) go on the back though, so the main view of the guitar wont be overwhelmed with inlays. The front only has what you can see in the photo above. Headstock and 12th fret inlay which you can partly make out in the photo above as well. I think it'll remain in the realm of tasteful with regard to the bling :)

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Tattooing the guitar...

Still some work to do. I have some small detached pieces of abalone "flame" for the phoenix, and a few gaps to fill. I plan to carve a bit of detail on the head like beak silhouette with another piece of abalone and an eye, but this thing really lights up.
I decided to use a dark epoxy on the phoenix because I like the dark border. It sets it off nicely and looks more "tattoo-like" IMO

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15 hours ago, KnightroExpress said:

Very nice! I bet that phoenix looks craaaaazy in person.

Thanks. Yup, it does. Especially now that it has a beak and an eye and the head looks like a head instead instead of a pseudopod...

I used one of the floating flame pieces to make the beak and for the eye I just carved a divot with my dremel and filled it with epoxy when I set the rest of the floating flame pieces for his eye.

It looks like a stained glass window. To be honest I was somewhat afraid this would come out looking stupid and wreck the guitar, but I'm REALLY happy with how this turned out. :)

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OK, shooting the clear.

Still have a couple coats to shoot on the back this evening.

Learned something new yesterday. It was 95 F. in my shop, but humidity was low, around 50% so I thought I didnt need to use retarder. I shot one coat a bit heavy and it formed all kinds of bubbles under the surface. A bit of reading showed me that in temps like that it skinned over too fast for the solvents to escape so they formed bubbles.

Waited till it hardened and then sanded it off.

Re-shot it with a little retarder and lighter coats and didnt get the bubbles.

I thought retarder was just to prevent blushing in high humidity, but I was wrong :)

Still learning...

 

Used timbermate for mahogany to grain fill, but darkened it with trans-tint tobacco brown

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I like the darker fill in the pores.

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Thanks everyone for the kind words :)

So I had some lacquer issues over the weekend that required I sand the clear off the back. As it turns out, shooting nitro in high temps can cause some issues with bubbles forming in the clear if you shoot even a moderate coat.

Temp on Sunday was a cozy 95 F. (35 C.). Humidity wasnt too bad, around 55%. I shoot in my garage with the door all the way up so its outside for all intents and purposes. I'd hoped to finish the clear and put the guitar downstairs to harden and be finished with this phase, but I'm just going to have to wait for better conditions. Normally I shoot in spring and fall, but didnt really want to wait on this guitar so I gave it a shot.

The top on the other hand helps me feel like the day wasnt a total loss. I had already shot most of the clear a couple weeks ago without issue. In addition to the back, I level sanded the top with 320 grit dry paper which made short work of the job, but of course left pretty heavy scratces, and then I shot a flow-out coat of lacquer that was cut with 60% thinner and 5% retarder. I shot it with the guitar laying on its back and let gravity be my friend. It also prevented runs and sags which a very thin lacquer can do very easily. the result is almost no orange peel at all.

I'll still have to level sand this when the time comes but its going to be a very quick job. I'll hit it with 800 wet and then go straight to the buffer and I'm confident its going to look spectacular. This is definitely the best pre-wet sanding finish I've managed to date.

 

So I still need to get about 4 good coats of clear on the back. I'm hoping to do this piece meal like one coat each day early evening when the temps are lower but before the humidity gets too high...

So the below pix are the finish as shot straight from the gun. Not wet sanded or buffed at all. Its gonna look like glass after I actually do the wet sanding and buffing...
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