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About StratsRdivine

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    Dr Dichro

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  1. Flame body sprayed today with Blue to Magenta Borosilicate and Orange / Red2Gold inside the scallops to match the hot rod flame cap. Now to store in front of the heater for a couple weeks.
  2. maple

    I am so sick of this notion that dying figured wood directly is the only way. The light refractive qualities of figured grain are greatly diminished when apply dye directly to wood, because the end grain areas soak up way more than the flat grain areas of figure, which destroys the light refraction. If you want to preserve the true 3D shimmering luster of figured grain, you have to do all the steps above, but need to seal the wood entirely with crystal clear lacquer, epoxy, or your clear of choice. Then after sufficient filling and flatness, you then add dye to your clear top coat like spraying a candy finish. You then spray you transparent color coat, then top with clearcoat. This way you eliminate the dye from excessively darkening the end grain portions of the figure, because you are not pouring dye into those "straw ends".
  3. out of all the forums, this one is the easiest to upload pics, but maybe since you just registered today, it doesnt allow you yet, so give it some time. This is a great forum for new guys with scratch builds - lots of support and great pro info, but not as active as others. Why pine as a base? Either go full walnut, or walnut on top of basswood, alder or maple. Even poplar would be better than pine, as it damages easily, and the grain telegraphs right through to the perfectly flat finish you are hoping for. Cost of wood is so negligible compared to all the other costs you will be putting into it, so get good wood right off the bat. Others might have better suggestions, but you will have a ton of fun either way. Welcome to the forum!!
  4. Finish will only go on the body base only, as the acrylic has been shaped to fit the body, then polished final. Then I waxed the back-beveled underside edges of the acrylic, then mounted the acrylic to the raw wood body, then epoxy filled the gap so that the loose acrylic would fit the body like a glove (you can't permanently glue the acrylic due to expansion / contraction issues). Then I popped the acrylic off, and sanded the epoxy, then finished the body (sealer is currently hardening as of this post). As far as the finish? Well, this will get me banned off this forum for life, disqualify me for any GOTM competitions, and registered as a guitar offender with my address posted so luthier school children will know to walk on the other side of the street. Yes, polyester gelcoat sealer then 2K urethane metallics, and topcoats. There. I said it. I figured that since I am breaking all the rules by "destroying tone" with the acrylic face, I might as well go all the way. But seriously, these are stage guitars, not studio guitars. My buddy gigs with my current acrylic faced guitar, and he can't tell any difference. BTW, I don't plan to leave more than total 7 - 11 mils on these (15 mils sealer, sanded to 4, then 10 wet color+top, then cut and buffed to 4). Most tone killing arguments I have read about are based on 50 mil + builds, because factories have to hose on the PE so thick that unskilled sanders at a buck an hour don't sand through.
  5. Insane amount of tools just for shaping. My favorite above all is my 1-1/8" belt sander. Can't imagine guitar building without one. When you remove the graphite backing plate, you can contour outside curves so perfectly - only hitting the high spots, and will conform to radii as tight as 9" DIA depending on pressure, and even that can be adjusted for tighter radii by loosening the belt tension. After planing the 38" radius backs, the plane left a series of flat areas, which were smoothed in 3 minutes with the unbacked sander.
  6. Whatever gets it done, I always say. So many ways to clamp stuff. Clear strapping tape works well too for a ton of weird shape clamping. Shrink wrap multiple passes around your board would work too. Amazing force can be had with that stuff, and its kindof the same principle. Nice work so far, and I love the design - looking forward to the progress.
  7. Here is a risky idea, but it came to me as I thought, "If my life depended on it, what would I do". I have successfully dipped small parts in 2K urethane and had them come out good, especially if cutting / buffing. SO maybe mix up a batch of your favorite coating, pour it on, maybe use a brush to help it, but get it on thick and move it constantly til it levels out. Considering most guitar body coating involves screwing a handle into the neck pocket for coatings, you have a handle on a relatively light weight pc of wood, so you can turn it constantly to counter the drips and runs. I have never done this to a guitar body, (did it to table legs poured / coated with 15 mils of 100% solids UV cure coatings) but with my 30 years of finishing experience, I presume that it would work. You will end up with a heavier film build than usual, but once its hardened, you can cut and buff.
  8. Sooo so cool man (referring to you last sunny glossy pics) !!! So since we are on the subject of waiting for a finish to harden before buffing, I will be spraying my guitar bodies this week. My plan is to spray, then store my bodies and necks in front of my shop heater at night, and in my car interior during the day for sunlight / greenhouse effect heat to accelerate the hardening in mild heat, not over 100 F (38 for you across the pond). I have been doing this for many years, which is why I built a huge shelf under my shop heater, but never did guitars. Can you experienced builders see any potential problems with that? My first thoughts are that it might accelerate off gassing of trapped moisture in the wood, if there is any, and possible additional shrinkage / warping, but not really affecting the finish, except hardening it quicker.
  9. The Carbon fiber is actually molded to the 3D quilt billows based on molds I made that were drawn based on actual quilted maple, and when I liked the pattern, I mirrored it in CAD so it would cut a bookmatch, with both sides being female, as opposed to all wood bookmatches which are male one side, female other side. The fibers follow the contour EXACTLY the way real quilt billows are, and cast in solid acrylic, regardless of thickness. So The 3D effect is 100% actual 3D topography, just seen below the glass-flat acrylic face, so it is not a surface finish. My next tests will be compound curve thermoforming. This would be the only way to make this into a "carved" archtop. I believe it will be possible. I am also currently drawing molds for tight fiddleback flame and bee's wing mottled. The curly figure will likely be just as cool. Now I need to look into pistol handles, etc.
  10. Yeah, that's What I thought too with the black, and the vectored effect. Kindof reminded me of a disney cartoon villain subliminally looking at you through the "grain".
  11. Yeah, filing another patent. dammit. Another $15 grand. Still recovering from the last patent I filed. Don't ask how this is made. Going with a black TransTrem on this one, once I perfect the lamination and cut it into a guitar face. Info on these builds can be found on my other threads. The guitar bodies in the pics are for scale (but they look cool too). The unidirectional fibers EXACTLY replicate the light refractive properties of quilted figure found in quilted maple and quilted mahogany (when they are molded in my patent pending process). Quilted gold coming next.
  12. Nice work!! Its so bizarre to think that you bought an imported exotic, while we here (in your original country) can get it anywhere. About 25 years ago, a client of mine gave me their walnut tree, if I took it down. When we bandsaw milled it fresh, I was astonished by the coloration. There are actually purple, red and black streaks in fresh cut green walnut, but they soon go brown with oxidation. Kindof reminded me of Cocobolo. What a revealing experience. The smell is amazing too. Way different than the aromatic smell of dried walnut.
  13. Awesome that you have car and guitar restoration background, so you should be able to handle anything now, especially finishing, buffing, etc. So welcome! I am new here too, and everyone is very nice, encouraging, and ultra knowledgeable. One of my current builds is a hot rod themed guitar, and will have chrome sidepipes coming out of the bridge so maybe you can think of ways to tie your love of Fiats into your future builds. A Les Paul with its carved top is really swinging for the fence for a first build, although the carving should be easy for you, so good luck! Don't forget to wear thick gloves when using a carving blade on an angle grinder - if any catches anything and your fingers are in the way, the glove buys you a little protection. Great tool though - love it.
  14. This is a candidate for extreme Strat Makeover. What beauty this will be compared to your first page photos.
  15. Nice builds!! I guess you got the building bug bad. Can you rub out and buff a CA finish? Seems awfully hard. I used to be a UV chemist formulating 100% solids UV cure coatings, which are acrylates like cyanoacrylate. The high crosslink acrylate monomers would often migrate to the surface prior and during cure, therefore they left a hard film across the surface that made them impossible to wet sand and buff without witness lines - kindof like buffing epoxy. So my buffable UV formulas had to use low crosslink monomers and high percentages of aliphatic urethanes, which is why I would be leary of using CA as a finish. But I have never even seen a CA finish, so I could be blowin smoke up your . . . Pretty impressive technical polymer science smoke, but smoke nonetheless.