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Entry for September 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!


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Everything posted by Drak

  1. Finished a few guitars this year. JamaicaCaster - Pore-Filled Oak top over Cherry Body Autumn Leaves - Quilted Maple over Mahogany The Iommi Machine - Myrtle Burl over Maple The Devil's Right Hand - Bubinga over Walnut 1967 Ovation Thunderhead Total Restoration JamaicaCaster Autumn Leaves The Iommi Machine The Devil's Right Hand 1967 Ovation Thunderhead Before-After
  2. Use an airbrush. Keep the mix Really thin, 70% thinner, 30% product (whatever finish you're using) Test your mix to be sure you have Enough Color mixed in from the start. If your color is weak and you have to shoot multiple coats to get your color, you're unnecessarily building product. And using 70% thinner, it'll start to run if you overdo it and ruin Everything. You don't want that. You don't want mistakes. You want to keep that airbrush moving, your mix is very thin. Practice all these steps on a scrap piece first. Spray it white first just like your piece. Learn how to use automotive masking tape, or pinstriping tape, or detail tape, whatever you want to call it. Pull tape not less than 15 minutes, not more than an hour, depending on product drying time.
  3. I actually go the other way. If it's bare wood, I will usually default to water-based first. It may just be my imagination, but I think waterbased dyes give what I call 'Comic Book Colors', very bright and colorful. Alcohol to me gives a more subdued, not quite as in-your-face look. Both are right, waterbased gives more color (to me) but will raise the grain. Alcohol doesn't raise the grain but gives a slightly different, more subdued look (to me).
  4. I've never liked it when I've seen people do irregulated (my word) rear covers, just my personal opinion. I always looked at it as cheating or taking the easy way out. Basically lameness charading as coolness. But it always looks cheesy and fake and trying too hard to be cool to me. I always cut the piece (rear cover) out first, save it, shape it, and then bring it back in at the end. I always liked that look and forethought. But you sir, have taken rear covers to HIGH ART status. The back of that guitar says a million times more about your artistic abilities than the front. And the front is kickin' it. But the back is MONSTER. Layers upon layers of talent, forethought, planning, and multidimensional talent in that back. Wow...just wow. Oh, PS, hello.
  5. Yep. Fuckers. I'm too lazy at this point to upload everything to Imgur. I was searching for info on a Floyd install, saw a good link, clicked on it, and it brought me here. To my Own (old) post. Hilarious. Like I reached back in time and grabbed myself.
  6. Photobucket swallowed him whole. He is in the belly of the beast now. I've been on The Gear Page the whole time. Figured I'd drop you losers, buy a nice Hawaiian shirt and hang out with the classy bastids.
  7. Who are you people? Is this a bad dream I'm having?
  8. I was researching something on a Floyd installation on Google just now. As it's been years since I did one. And there was a link that looked informative, so I clicked on it. It happened that it was one of my own posts here . So I logged in for the helluvit and saw a notification or two. Hiya Guys!
  9. Honestly, I always made them myself. If I was after a copy of something in a store and not making my own design, I'd go up to my local guitar store with a few sheets of large construction paper ($1.00 at CVS) and a pencil. I would pre-draw a centerline down the middle in pen before I got there. If I took 5 sheets with me, all 5 would have centerlines drawn beforehand. I'd always ask someone if it was OK, then I'd pull down whatever I was after and trace it out right there on the ground in the store. Then at home I'd cut out the outline w/ a brand new utility knife blade. Then trace that onto whatever wood I was using for my template. Then you can figure out the rest. It takes some patience to make a really good master template, but make one good one and you can make a hundred copies. Once the master was made, I'd make a copy of it and store it away because you can, on occasion, route into your template, it's just easy to have an already made spare ready to go from the fresh master.
  10. And now the finished shots and this thread is done. Some indoor, some outdoor. It takes on a different appearance depending. The thing I like about the really light shader coat is that it homogenizes all the different woods together. The top & rear woods to the core wood and the neck wood, but it's not overdone and heavyhanded, it looks really nice, and blends all the woods together. I like that. BTW, I have the Dually bridge hooked to a PP pot on the volume so I can use the bridge either as a full-series HB or a SC. I also used a Megaswitch that goes like this: Neck, Neck/Mid, Neck/Bridge, Mid/Bridge, Bridge. So using the switch and the PP pot, I can get a true Tele combo tone as well as all the other options, only giving up the Mid alone option. Enjoy and thanks for looking!
  11. Final assembly begins. I always shield everything, and all shielded cavities are interconnected to each other. Again using the soldering iron to quickly heat up new screw holes to avoid chipping. Chipping to me is going backwards, and I hate going backwards. It's all about forward momentum, all the time. You can see the foil shielding 'flap' I always include which connects all the shielding to the bridge itself. You can also see some chipping that occured around the bridge screws because I didn't heat them up first!
  12. Installing the rear ferrules. I learned a trick from someone on the internet a long time ago that whenever installing screws or anything else into a new finish, to heat the hole up with a soldering iron for a few seconds to eliminate chipping. This trick works really well and I use it all the time. In the case of the ferrules, I stick the iron into the ferrule and push down lightly, not hard. The very second I see the finish start to melt around it, I pull the iron out and hammer it home with a wood block. If you wait 5 seconds too long, the finish will start to really melt, you have to be watching for it and pull the iron the very second you see it start to react.
  13. Now some final finishing shots. Notice by this point I've sprayed a really light cherry red shader coat to tint the finish a little bit. Then cleared over that, and we're now doing the final finish. No reason to show 100 pics of finishing the finish, just a few should do. Really showing the final levelling process, the shiny low spots, etc. PS, hold judgement until you see the final finished pics. Under my indoor lighting, the red looks far more red than it really does. The final shots show it for how it really looks.
  14. I don't have room for a hundred so-so guitars, so the ones that make it are going to be dead-on what I wanted, pretty simple really. OK, some basic shiny happy finish pics. If you notice, these were taken during the finish process. I hadn't routed for the 3-pickup theme yet at this point, but it shows the finish.
  15. At this point all divits have been filled and the finish is smooth. I'm starting the initial smoothing process now. I use Abralon pads on my orbital buffer for the top and back, then pull it off of the sander and hit the hard areas by hand with the Abralon pad wrapped around a sponge backing pad.
  16. A few weeks and more clearcoats later, and you can now see the final pickup layout. I decided at some point to use black hardware and a set of black Lace Sensor Hot Gold pickups for this. A Lace Hot Gold Dually bridge and 2 regulars for a SuperTele setup. The final look was coming into focus for me at this point. The little lip for the old tele bridge pkp doesn't matter, you can't see it in the final guitar. Can you tell I'm putting off the super-shiny happy guitar pics yet?
  17. OK, Back to the Front ( ) I had already shot probably 5-6 coats of clear lacquer and waited a few days. This is the first level sandback, and the pics are showing the pores that need more finish. I don't use sanding sealer or any other pre-finish filler on clear finish figured tops. All lacquer, all the time .
  18. Thanks R.A.D., nice to see you as well! Allrighty, next step was to make and install a matching headstock veneer from the same wood as the top. The neck, as usual, is a 22 fret Warmoth, Rosewood over Mahogany, SS jumbos. In one pic, you can see the custom made clamping caul I made that is shaped to accept the nut area and still clamp the piece in place. I use wax paper between the caul and veneer.
  19. Thanks, that means a lot coming from a GOTY winner, I'm just a ghetto backyard hobby boy. True that, but The Allmighty Sledge sits even closer by than the grille. Yes, it did get a light reddish final color coat, but honestly I've been thinking of stripping it all back down and re-doing it just in it's pure natural state. I think the red dye shader coat wound up hiding just a bit more of the figure than I would have liked even tho I went pretty light. You'll see as the pics keep flowing. Maybe I should do an oil job on it! The guitar's been done, up and playing for about a year now. Thanks for the very nice words, you all have talents far surpassing mine.
  20. And here we go with Gaucho, possibly the 'last starfighter'... Black Walnut top and back. Core wood I never really figured it out but it's quartersawn 2-piece. I think a Mahogany species, gorgeous bell-like tap tone, I had been holding the core wood for years waiting for the right project to come along worthy of it's great tap tone. I actually had made my own hybrid Tele-Strat template that I used here. You can see the strat pickguard drawn on the template on the router shot. Didn't really make any difference here since this didn't get a pickguard.
  21. Let's catch up on the herd. All use the same electronic overlay. Volume, Tone, EMG SPC, EXG, and Afterburner pre-amp controls. All active, all the time, with my choice of pickups. Trail Boss Lil' Buckaroo Cowboy Sunset Rawhide
  22. This is the last Steerhead I built, finished last summer. I have 5 now, and this might be the last Steerhead, as I just can't imagine I need any other variation that the 5 I have can't cover. I think the theme has maybe been completed now. Still play 'em, still love 'em all.
  23. OK, I mocked it up again with the bursted edge. I like it a lot more now, glad I did it. Even tho it certainly is not a 70's Ibanez Artist, the edge burst makes it look one click closer to one than it did before, and I didn't cover up any of the Purpleheart with the burst. She's a big girl, she'll probably weigh in around 9 lbs., like an Ibanez Artist!
  24. So here is a pic of the bursted edge. Hopefully tasteful and not overdone. Funny how this wood looks so different under different lights. Sometimes stark raspberry, sometimes almost a warm wine red-ish.
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