Jump to content

Entry for December's Guitar Of The Month contest is now open!
http://www.projectguitar.com/forums/topic/49144-guitar-of-the-month-december-2017/

Andyjr1515

Finished! Alembicesque - No 1 of Brace (2) of Six String Electrics

Recommended Posts

Andyjr1515    536

First coat of varnish is now on the back:

_MG_3383.thumb.JPG.277b06ddf0acd3948407198359aad9d2.JPG

The neck will be left unvarnished - the tru-oil slurry and buff approach for a neck is pretty unbeatable in my view...

In the meantime, the top and sides have had their second coat:

_MG_3384.thumb.JPG.6eb88bd87186bc6537314aee39e6d580.JPG

 

As with one of my other recent builds, because of the environmentally led formulation change of the polyurethane varnish I've pretty much always used, I've switched to using an artists fan brush.  The new formulation doesn't react at all well to medium to high levels of thinning - pretty much essential for the wipe-on method - and life was too short to try everyone elses standard polyurethane varnish. 

I was also not convinced with a recent try of the Osmo polyx gloss - even though I found the satin absolutely great - I had severe reactions to second coats with the gloss even though they had been left to dry for the recommended time before recoating.  I can't do with ultra-sensitive coatings...particularly when they are even sensitive to themselves!!!

The great thing about this standard polyurethane varnish is that it will go on top of pretty much anything...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andyjr1515    536

Once it had fully dried, I still wasn't certain about the gloss so I've given it another coat.

This time I added a teeny % (8% max) of mineral spirits to stop the brush drag and make it level a bit better.  You know, this new formulation REALLY doesn't like being thinned.  It ended up just about OK but I think I'm going to contact the manufacturer's technical department and find out what thinners they recommend... 

Gosh - could I be looking at not using standard polyurethane varnish in the future???? ^_^

Anyway, this - I am sure - is good enough to polish out the micro brush marks once it's fully hardened.  It doesn't bear close examination until then but it looks fine at a distance ;)

_MG_3450.thumb.JPG.313e2b40afed51f4572a5e5dc3189567.JPG

_MG_3452.thumb.JPG.90f04bfb46fad19e918e4795049a12ec.JPG

_MG_3460.thumb.JPG.c9fc414d7f6029160fe5244b57ac156e.JPG

While the gloss is curing, I can still get on with the finishing jobs...which is what I'll do next, starting with re-seating a couple of dodgy frets and levelling / crowning / polishing and fret-ending :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Prostheta    1,257

Regardless, you're nothing short of being an absolute trooper for pulling off such excellent gloss finishes with brushes. Truly outstanding, and it makes those of us that spray or rub feel like we're cheating somehow.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScottR    1,366

Possibly he is cheating by being able to pull off these glorious glossy finishes with a brush?

:)

The preferred method is always the one you do best. And Andy, you make these look superb doing it the way you do.

Wasn't that a Motown hit back in the 60's?:D

SR

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andyjr1515    536
36 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Regardless, you're nothing short of being an absolute trooper for pulling off such excellent gloss finishes with brushes. Truly outstanding, and it makes those of us that spray or rub feel like we're cheating somehow.

Honestly, though, close up it's not a patch on a well applied spray and buff finish.  But, as @ScottR  says, it works for me....and, for me, spray and buff generally doesn't! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andyjr1515    536

It's stretched the patience, understanding and tolerance of MrsAndyjr1515 to the limit, but I've worked like a Trojan to try to get this finished to be able to enter this month's "Guitar of the Month" :D.  Now, having seen the quality of the competition, it was probably very misguided effort :lol:

So a quick visual catch-up:

The pre-wired, plug-in, very slick, very expensive, Schaller flagShip piezo/mag preamp mixer comes with components clearly well thought out by a world leading manufacturer and supplier of guitar components:

_MG_3537.thumb.JPG.fe0f4967c40e9b9da4d8875ab32db981.JPG

That three way rotary with the sealed, stiff, boot sending the large, stiff cable vertically is clearly waiting for the introduction of the new ranges of 6" thick guitars that the worlds top guitar makers are bound to be bringing in soon....

Look, I love Schaller.  I really do.  But fellas...really?  You are better than this...

On that subject - which knob is the flagship Schaller one and which one is a cheap and cheerful Harley Benton offering?  The nicely coated, knurled, solid brass, standard 6mm shaft, grubscrew fitted one, or the cheap, small. plastic, push-on, 3mm non standard one?

_MG_3539.thumb.JPG.06b236e0a1c7c6ff412ed17ca694f9f0.JPG

Now....I love Schaller.  But fellas?  Really?

 

Anyway, I cannibalised a dremel fitment and made myself a converter:

_MG_3554.thumb.JPG.cd99a87e8fef396fa4ffd50575669bc6.JPG

And, having proved that these piezo accumulators as STILL not fit for purpose (the Hannes piezo bridge (again - this is a VERY expensive piece of equipment) I believe uses Graphtech piezo saddles.  Having had multiple failures in the past years with their accumulators, I had hoped that they may have improved them.

_MG_3570.thumb.JPG.a19a80eb21ab893530b3474c5c2fd249.JPG

It failed.

No....but I really do love Schaller...  But fellas?  This is plain shoddy....

Hang the warranty - I snipped the connectors off and soldered the reds together and the blacks together and fitted them directly into the screw connectors on the preamp unit.  Note also the warranty breaking removal of the three way rotary boot.

_MG_3620.thumb.JPG.9f37d944682fe77a5eef57a2c92e2064.JPG

 

 

And - suddenly - it was finished!

_MG_3591.thumb.JPG.594dfaca3df4de9047961b62f9cbac89.JPG

_MG_3593.thumb.JPG.b31195272aaf5cefe56c1eb10856e392.JPG

_MG_3597.thumb.JPG.2a4c027f412b149ded8dac7c314f8836.JPG

_MG_3612.thumb.JPG.b951f70fd9418fef10cca622173f3ab5.JPG

_MG_3635.thumb.JPG.1ac10218837c32aa19fc4ec85eec9c39.JPG

_MG_3642.thumb.JPG.becf442bdc998c2eb7c3aff2df97ac27.JPG

 

All it needs now...is your votes :D

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Prostheta    1,257

Good show! And wow, Schaller....really? Those are some spectacularly-poor design decisions. I think those are Molex SPOX connectors, and I am also sure they come in right-angled versions. I could make up new connectors for those, however the tool for crimping the contacts is usually in the region of a hundred pounds or whatever. It's a really silly hurdle to entry for the enthusiast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andyjr1515    536
3 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Good show! And wow, Schaller....really? Those are some spectacularly-poor design decisions. I think those are Molex SPOX connectors, and I am also sure they come in right-angled versions. I could make up new connectors for those, however the tool for crimping the contacts is usually in the region of a hundred pounds or whatever. It's a really silly hurdle to entry for the enthusiast.

Surprising, isn't it.  I'm going to drop Schaller a line because it is all fixable - and I would have thought quite important for them to fix.  The one where it needs a right angle exit is the three-way.  Totally unusable as supplied. 

The orientation of the molex (or whose-ever) connectors is actually fine, but that accumulator block is a poorer quality than a standard one that you could get in the local Maplin retail store.  Almost always they have a firm fit and a simple lock tag,  These have neither.  So - just like the Graphtec ones on the Ghost system I've used from years ago, you push them in firmly, you close the hatch and play...and it's great.  Then pick it up the guitar the following morning and one or more of the strings are completely dead!  Open the hatch, squeeze the connectors against the block with your thumbnail and you have all 6 strings back again.  Ease the pressure, you've lost one or more strings again.

Having had the Graphtecs fail on me on three or four gigs despite warranty replacements of the accumulator block I was half expecting problems, but hoping that Graphtec (if it is their saddles - and might not be) would have fixed such a simple thing.  To have the same issue from the Schaller offering is disappointing and irritating. 

And this is a £168 ($223) bridge we're talking about.

So - there being no other way at all to fit the three way or rely on the piezo, I've had to invalidate the warranty on a £168 bridge by snipping off the connectors and simply soldering the two pairs of wires together and a £160ish pre-amp by removing the unusable rubber boot.  That's £320 ($420) of liability just to get it to work.

I do love Schaller....but they ARE better than this.  Now they need to prove it ;) 

I shall try to be some of the oil in the machinery to make that happen... :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
curtisa    466

Nice work, Andy, despite the last minute hurdles. :thumb:

It's a shame about the design flaws in the Schaller electronics. They've probably thought they'd done the right thing by making everything plug-and-playable for those people who aren't so good with a soldering iron, but in doing so they've come up with a system that isn't fit for purpose in the real world. If I'm using EMGs on a build I'll throw away anything with their quick connectors (except for the pickups) and hard solder everything else.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScottR    1,366

Mercy, mercy, mercy-lawd have mercy but that is stupendously gorgeouristical.

I just looked wood porn in the dictionary and all that was there was a picture of this guitar.:blink:

Masterful work Andy!

On 11/23/2017 at 7:57 AM, Andyjr1515 said:

And - suddenly - it was finished!

Peering inside the control cavity is like having a look under a racing car's hood...bonnet to you, I suppose. I don't imagine anything was very sudden about that.

SR

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andyjr1515    536

Well, the newborn and I have said our goodbyes, with one last photo before it goes to its new home:

_MG_3696.thumb.JPG.d2b0679ef554ca56b80c4ce8912547d9.JPG

 

I'm pleased to say that Tim is delighted with it  :)

And he's a really good player.  It sounded wonderful under his skilled hands...

Quite a difficult build in some ways, but one of my favourite results :D 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScottR    1,366
52 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I'm pleased to say that Tim is delighted with it  :)

I would imagine so!

53 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

And he's a really good player.  It sounded wonderful under his skilled hands...

Mmmmm, P-90s, I'll bet it does sound great.

53 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Quite a difficult build in some ways, but one of my favourite results :D

MIne too! Fine art that is. Worthy of a velvet draped pedestal and it's own special lighting....when not in use of course.

SR

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
curtisa    466
7 hours ago, ScottR said:

Worthy of a velvet draped pedestal and it's own special lighting....when not in use of course.

Or perhaps even when in use. Complete with wind machine, flames and a cliff-top performance.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×