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komodo

The Black Queen

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Thanks gents. Each build I try just a little harder, go in darker corners, take a little more time with details, They are still messy regardless of how they look, definitely hand made. I've learned to not stress over stuff, not worry about a schedule, and learn from others. I've got  @ScottR in my head when I'm sanding and shaping, @killemall8 when dying and finishing, and @Myka Guitars when considering the overall material and design. And people like Vikk and Suhr for clean and refined builds. @Drak's WOD is creeping into my process, as first evidenced by the initial star field fret board.

I spent some time yesterday working on the actions of the dragon and metal tele , just refining them further as they've "settled", getting the nut slots as low as possible. The metal tele plays like a dream, and is my hands down go to, but this one is going to give it a run.

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That's the neatest wiring I've ever seen! The extra loop in the grounding copper wire... Even with my very limited knowledge of wiring the benefit of it is crystal clear. Obviously you don't make your guitars look good on the outside only, you take the same principles inside. 🛐

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Updated wiring thanks to @curtisa and @mistermikev. Also, previously I was shooting my mouth off about how good I sprayed the clear and that I could almost go straight to the buffer. Well, I was correct. Ha! I started ‘leveling” with 1500 grit kn the front and had it done quickly. The ash back started at 400 but was quickly done as well. I’ll run through the rest and be done soon.

ADE146F2-1C19-4F02-9149-66E1B743053F.jpeg

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Don't start tempting fate by concentrating on what is going well, man! Hahaha; it's all downhill from there if you're not careful.....

The switching arrangement does form curiously-compelling regularity ADHD bait as one sees a lot in valve amps. That is, deeply-organised visually to ensure everything is over and above. This is definitely that. I started to build my electronics into the templates made as part of laser-cut runs, that is, the piece that normally gets thrown as waste from the innermost cavity carve. This piece is perfect for cutting shielding foil to be fitted in the base of the cavity, assembling electronics in the exact placement they will end up.

You could even remove cans off pots and electroplate them with copper 😉

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15 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

You could even remove cans off pots and electroplate them with copper 😉

Nope. I'm done. lol

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I'm sure you've got enough on your plate without being tempted by the ramblings of the less sane.

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22 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Don't start tempting fate by concentrating on what is going well, man! Hahaha; it's all downhill from there if you're not careful.....

Annnnnd you called it. So my gonzo clear has come back to haunt me. Because I laid so much on so fast, curing looked like it went well, but sanding has started some checking from relieving stress most likely. @ScottR mentioned his technique of sanding early to help cure and then finishing out a week or two later. While that's a good idea for curing, it seems even better idea to help even curing and relieving internal stressors.  I'm not worried about and checking, there are techniques to fix that, use a small brush to lay in small drips of Cellosolve and acetone to help it wick, enough to melt the crack together. What I am worried about is that solution going to the bottom of the check and spreading on the dye. Maybe if I only use the thinner with no acetone. 

I'll do some more research, and can try in a small area first. Also, winder if I should do it now while the bottom layers are still curing, or later when it's more stable. I'm thinking now while it's curing. Can always do more as I perfect it. LOL.

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Takeaway of the day is: listen to Frank Ford. 
http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Finish/Lacquer/CheckRepair/checkfill.html

I've procured some Cellosolve, but not after trying thinner, blush eraser, etc. Nothing made a dent. As I excavated the checks a bit to open them up and allow the solvent to work, I was disheartened and pretty much wrote it off as a refinish. Only the top is bad, the sides and back are perfect. As soon as I started dripping on the Cellosolve we were back in business. It's not perfect, but it's 95% better. I'll let it sit for awhile, and then come back with some lacquer drop fills. The Cellosolve takes a LONG time to cure, so this will likely sit for a few weeks. That's ok, I've got nothing better to do, except finish a couple other builds. 

 

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Still plugging away. I’ve used the Cellusolve on several checks, drop filled with nitro, scraped and did fine level sand only to have more checks appear. I’m baffled. The new checks only appear when I do level sanding. When it’s resting, it’s fine. As soon as I do sanding, they appear. And this is 1200-2400 type sanding. My best guess is somehow the water is creating a temperature differential and causing or releasing stresses in the lacquer?! IDK. 

Thought I had it today as I got to 3200, but several appeared. They are almost all on the top, and usually connecting something like pup to pup cavity, or bridge post to rear cavity.

Anyhoo, I may just finish out at this point. My original plan was to use a trem arm from an SG but It’s just not gonna fit right. So, I made a new simple one from scratch. The extra thread will be down inside the cover.

BA0DE008-10F0-45B8-A955-087A2AE893D0.jpeg

B3C2EA3C-5ECF-42D0-A476-FA01E585A025.jpeg

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10 hours ago, komodo said:

So, I made a new simple one from scratch.

How does one just whip up something like that from scratch? You got a mill?

SR

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Well, I had some steel on hand (don't know why but there it was) that just happened to be the same diameter of a trem bar. I filed a little groove and then bent it in a vice on that groove. Then cut it to length, filed and belt sanded the round end, and used a die to thread the other end. It required some heavy filing to take the diameter down a bit to get the die to cut without binding. Was a pita (steel is hard), but custom made length and angle.

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Especially if it was stainless or some other grade of steel that doesn't like being threaded or bent! That looks great. No heat?

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@Prostheta I don't know if I'm a wuss or something, but this steel did not like being worked at all.

Well, this may be obvious to some, but my checking issues are due to wet sanding, It seems obvious now, but I've never had the issue before. Using too much water, the clear is so thick and many open areas (pup cavities, switch and knob openings) is a recipe for disaster. Good news is I've learned how to deal with it many times over. LOL

I'll take care of these last cracks and finish it without water.

I know we are all hard on our own builds, it;s easy to focus on mistakes and imperfections. This one seems to be riddled with them, and it's become a red-headed stepchild to me. Blasphemous I know. With that Cthulhu 8-string breathing down it's neck, it better sound F-ing amazing or it may end up being a WOD candidate. 

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We haven't had one of those in a good while. Can we sacrifice it to banish 2020? Like a leap year?

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Not yet, and I would need to pull the pups first. And cut out the ebony neck. And maybe sand off the top and try refinishing it first.

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Do all you can. I'm sure there are areas that you can pick up more technique from. Is it really that unrecoverable? Project burnout?

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Oh no its great. Im a drama queen, lol.

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I tried wet sanding on my first build. I do it all dry now

You can work through the micromesh grits without water as long as you remove the dust regularly before it can clog - every 4 or 5 strokes

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8 hours ago, Norris said:

remove the dust regularly before it can clog

Aside that a respirator mask is highly recommended even if you have dust extraction or work outside in strong wind.

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