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beltjones

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Everything posted by beltjones

  1. Hey everyone. I've been lurking here and going to school on all of your builds, and I figured I'd actually post what I'm doing so someone else can learn from my mistakes, and maybe y'all can help me out before I make too many more. I've done some Warmoth builds with great results, but I always thought the woodworking part of the builds was beyond me; that is, until I saw some youtube videos that made me think I could handle it. I started with a blank piece of paper on my dining room table and some pencils and measuring devices. A few hours later I had some lines drawn and I was eager to get cutting. This picture was taken after one of my many many body redesigns, where I just erased everything and started over. It turns out that I'm lucky enough to live about a 10 minute's drive from two awesome hard wood lumber yards, and I found some great looking black limba, wenge, padauk, bubinga, and other woods. In fact, I kind of sort of accidentally bought enough for two builds. Oops. Here's the black limba before I started planing it down. This will be a neck-through with a 5 piece laminated neck with padauk, maple, and wenge. Right before I cut the body wings out of the limba I did something really dumb. The 8/4 limba has a really dark side, and the other side is lighter with a lot of swirls. I wanted the black on one side of the guitar and the light side on the other, but right before I went to the saw I decided I could be more economical with the wood if I oriented the pattern a different way, not realizing that it would mean I was screwing up my plan. As you can see, the bottom wing is dark and the top wing is light. (the purpleheart fretboard was an early attempt that now lives somewhere in the garbage) One thing I hadn't expected was how much work is done that looks like zero progress from a third party perspective. Flattening, thicknessing, planing, squaring, sharpening, repeat. It puts the "work" in wood working. Well today I worked up the courage to make some cuts that I can't take back, and this thing is starting to look more like a guitar. Below all of the rulers there is a piece of wood I'm going to try to turn into a fretboard. If anyone can guess the species I'll be impressed. Below my little note paper is the fretboard-to-be for this guitar. One thing I didn't understand well enough is how different woods laminated together would react to planing and sanding. My plane will dig into the padauk and just glide along the top of the wenge, creating a crest on the top of the neck blank. It takes a ton of work to get it to level out and square with the side. I'm obsessed with the grain pattern of the wenge, but man it's hard to get it to behave. Anyway, I'll update as much as possible. Thanks for checking out my first build!
  2. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I'm not good at taking compliments, but thanks guys. I really appreciate the kind words.
  3. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    Well I guess I'm done with the finishing. It's had ~15-20 coats of tru-oil that I leveled between coats and that I just buffed with some Meguiars and a wool pad on my orbit sander. It's not nearly as good as Scott's work with tru-oil, but I'll take it. It looks way better in person than it does in my crappy photos. I also installed the ferules and the bridge. If I had nothing to do tomorrow I'm pretty sure I could get it all wired up and set up, but I think I'll stretch it out a little further just because I don't want to be done just yet.
  4. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    A funny thing happened the other day. I was opening a new bottle of transtint red mahogany that I'm using to dye a piece of curly maple for the truss rod cover. I cut a tiny amount off the nipple, and blood-red dye shot forth like a damn squirt gun. It got all over my bench, all over the floor of my garage, and all over my face. I started to wipe down the bench when it occurred to me that if I didn't get that dye off my face immediately I would be walking around town like Captain America's nemesis Red Mask. When I first looked in the mirror it looked like someone had thrown a cup full of blood all over my face and bald head. It took quite a bit of scrubbing, and luckily my face was pretty sweaty and oily that day, but I got it off.
  5. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I've been putting on a coat of tru-oil pretty much every day for the last week and a half, minus a few days when I have been traveling. It's starting to look good.Also, this happened. The one on the right is four-piece book-matched Bubinga, and the one on the left is quartersawn purpleheart, tigrillo, and wenge.
  6. Awesome! How thick are the pieces for the body and the top?
  7. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I applied the first coat of tru-oil yesterday afternoon. My plan is to only do one sort of "matte" coat on the fretboard and neck, and to do multiple coats with an attempt at grainfilling on the body. Later I'll level and polish the body and see how it looks. I'm not sure how many coats I'll do, but the number will be somewhere south of ScottR's 30 on his stripy doublecut. I don't think I have that much patience, skill, or tru-oil. The oil on the fretboard really made the padauk come to life with some really amazing, almost iridescent, lines and stripes.
  8. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I was out of town for a few days, and at this point all of the progress is small stuff that you wouldn't necessarily notice in a photo, like sanding. I did re-bleach the top after finish sanding to 400 grit paper, and next it's time to start applying the final finish. I also made a little cover for the truss rod access hole with some curly maple off-cut I had lying around. I'm going to dye and sand it back a couple of times to hopefully pop the grain a little bit.
  9. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I strung it up just to see if it played reasonably well, and even without a proper setup it played well. The action was too high at the nut and I need to radius the bridge, and with the strings on suddenly the neck felt huge, like a baseball bat, but otherwise we're in good shape.
  10. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    Ok, I took off the masking tape because it's about time to finish sand and apply the oil finish to this thing, but first I'm going to string it up and test it out before I go through all that. I figure it would be a real bummer to spend ~25 hours applying finish, sanding it back, and repeating only to find out that I have to plug and redrill the bridge and ruin the finish, ya dig? In the meantime I snapped a picture. I also wiped it down with some mineral spirits to remove some adhesive left behind by the cheapo masking tape, which is why parts look wet and other parts look dry.
  11. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    This is how the paint is described on their website: "DO NOT CONFUSE this with the lame watered down stuff they sell elsewhere- This is the best.I package a 1 ounce bottle with a nice stiff brush. This is water soluble so cleanup is a snap! This stuff is so thick and adheres so well I think you'll be able to do 4,5 or even 6 guitars with one bottle!" So I asked how thick it's supposed to be, which should be an easy question to answer. Something like, "About the same as latex house paint," or, "Like maple syrup," or "Fluid, but dense, like Mercury," or any kind of description or comparison, really. This is what I got back: "In answer to your question, its fluid, its not especially thick or thin in nature. Again I am not sure what your issue might be. As I stated before we sell a ton of this stuff and have very few complaints whatsover." I guess I should read the rules here as they relate to talking about bad suppliers, but I figured someone else might save themselves from the same mistake I made.
  12. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I've asked guitarfetish twice how thick this shielding paint is supposed to be, and they emailed a response that didn't address that question at all. They did offer to send me another bottle, but I'm reminded of the time I was in high school driving around with my buddy, Mike. We stopped at a convenience store to grab a snack, and Mike bought some beef jerky. We got back on the road and he ate a piece, and it turned out to be pup-peroni, a jerky treat for dogs. He turned around and went back to the store to ask for his money back, but they refused, and instead gave him more pup-peroni sticks, which he ate (and it made him sick). The moral of the story is that more of bad thing is not as good as cutting your losses and trying something else.
  13. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I made cavity covers out of some left over black limba.
  14. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    Right, I'm getting nothing. I emailed guitarfetish.com again asking about how thick the liquid is supposed to be. Mine is super thin - I think maybe they didn't homogenize before aliquoting into the little bottles.
  15. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    That last sentence about trump is exactly what I thought when I read the email. My in-laws are in town, coincidentally, and they're both retired electrical engineers. I showed them the bottle of shielding paint which specifies 105 ohms of resistivity per square inch. They were both confused by the specs. I'm going to go try to find a light bulb with two posts and a nine volt battery and do a science experiement with my f-i-l.
  16. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I got this message back from guitarfetish.com. It is NOT going to show resistance on a meter- Try this- run a 9 volt battery to a lightbulb- attach negative to one post of the the bulb, touch the other to the dried paint and touch the positive from the battery to the paint as far away as you can- you'll find this paint will pass current like nothing else- You could paint two stripes on the floor and light up a lightbulb 30 yards away! It produces a near perfect faraday cage and we have sold thousands- and people are reporting excellent results!
  17. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    Let me know how it works out (or I"ll just keep checking your build thread(s), that's probably easier).
  18. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I ordered some shielding paint and painted cavities, and drilled the string-through holes with a drill press. The bit wandered a tiny amount in the wood, but I think I can square the holes up a bit when I drill the recesses for the string ferules. The shielding paint looks good to me, but I can't get a read with my multimeter on it at all. I used www.guitarfetish.com's shielding paint, and it specifies 105 ohms per square inch of resistivity (not sure how that differs from resistance), but if I set my multimeter to 200 ohms it doesn't show a resistance reading at all. Anyone know about this stuff?
  19. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    I'm at the stage of the build where a backordered part or tool sets the whole timeline back. Previously if I didn't have a part I could just look at my list of to-dos and pick something else to work on, but now everything is sequenced to the point that if I can't work on the next step then I can't work on anything. For example, I pulled out my little can of shielding paint only to find that it was solid as a rock. I ordered more, but until it arrives I can't really proceed to wiring anything, and in the meantime I have the whole thing masked off so final sanding of the body and finishing is going to have to wait.
  20. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    Spoiler alert: Everything turned out ok. With the nut cut it's time to mount tuners. So I used a template I made earlier (top right in the picture) to lay out where the tuners would go, then double checked against the nut slots to hopefully get as close to a straight string pull as possible. Then I marked the drill points with an awl, and drilled pilot holes with a small drill bit. The hipshot tuners call for a 10mm bit, and previously I purchased a 10mm brad-point bit just for this task. I aligned the brad point with the pilot hole for the low E string tuner and reminded myself to go slow, keep the bit straight, and the pressure light. My plan was to drill about half way through from the front, then flip the guitar over and drill most of the other way from the back, and then lightly, lightly finish from the front. I began to drill and quickly learned that this drill bit was the dullest piece of crap I've ever used. I began adding more and more pressure to try to get the bit to bite, and mostly I just created enough friction to burn a hole through the wood. I should have just stopped there and bought a new bit. Instead I applied pretty much all the pressure I could and drilled that mother. By the time I finished drilling the first half of each of the 6 tuning peg holes the drill was almost too hot to touch. I let it cool off for a second and flipped the guitar over and started again from the back. Finally the joint between the shank of the bit and the cutting end failed, and I tossed it in the trash. I ended up finishing each hole with a reamer and a small circular file and then did a test fit of the tuners, and everything fit well. Instead of straight sides on the nut, I made them fit the curvature of the headstock. I'm not sure I like it though. I might straighten all that out later.
  21. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    A little progress pic for the day. I leveled, crowned, dressed, and polished frets. I still need to clean up some superglue mess here and there, but then I'm ready to make a nut.
  22. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    Ok, I did that and the volute didn't seem to be in the way at all. I'm going to leave it as is for now.
  23. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    And here's the cleaned up shaped up volute. It's still pretty beefy, but I'm going to leave it for now to see what it's like to play with it like that.
  24. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    Ok, at long last the neck carve is complete. I also gave the volute a bit of a carve, but I didn't get a picture. I will later. I adjusted the truss rod a tiny amount to flatten out the neck, and I'll let it sit overnight to see if it moves at all before I start flattening, crowning, and dressing the frets.
  25. beltjones

    First Build, so many lessons learned

    In the KEA 2017 Builds thread Killemall8 (I think that's his handle) has used 8 forum pages to document upwards of 198 guitar builds. I'm on page 9 and haven't finished my first build.
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