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Found 9 results

  1. MedivalJ

    Guitar Paint

    I'm currently working on a build for an LP Semi-Hollow Guitar. I was looking around for the finish I want to give it and decided on this. However, I'm not sure what paint Gibson used when they were making this model. Thoughts?
  2. Hi there, I'm completely new to guitar building and have an unfinished custom thinline Tele design body I need to treat and finish. The body is swamp ash and I really want to make good use of the grain patterns and give it a charcoal stain look. I'm aiming for something like the attached photo, if possible. I'm looking for advice for the best way to achieve this and on the stains (brands/colours) to use. If anyone could help me out and point me in the right direction, it'd be much appreciated. Many thanks! Alz
  3. Hi In my single-cut bass thread, I mention my usual method of gloss-finishing my basses and guitars, which is wiping on. I recently did a thread on another forum, so forgive me for cutting and pasting, but it is a technique that is probably of interest to any of those of you who might be stuck for facilities or equipment but still want to produce an acceptable (but not perfect....of which more later) finish. But before I start, just a few of the common-sense health and safety precautions: use varnish and thinners in accordance with manufacturers recommendations, especially relating to decent ventilation, skin contact, flammability, etc . Be aware that cloths soaked in thinned varnish can present a particular fire risk (including spontaneous combustion in the right circumstances). Once used, let them dry flat and preferably outside. The products illustrated are using the UK terminology, but the materials are general household products found in most DIY or Decorators retail outlets. I use a wipe-on technique for varnishing, using standard old-fashioned household polyurethane varnish. I don't have anywhere satisfactory indoors to spray either cans or spray-guns and needed to find a method that I could in in a spare room rather than having to wait for a dry, still, insect and pollen-free day everytime I wanted to finish a bass or guitar (a long, long wait often in the UK!) There are a few plus's and minus's: It will never look quite the same as a well applied and properly buffed spray finish It isn't as tough as a commercial poly finish - but it is tough! You can put a couple of coats on per day (One 1st thing in the morning and one in the early evening) For a wood or veneer finish it produces a very acceptable result For a plain colour (just done one in the finisher's nightmare - gloss black), it takes a number of tips and tricks to get it OK (but refer back to point 1!) There are some important differences - the main being that you DO NOT buff to a final finish....in fact you CAN NOT buff to a final finish. The technique is different because the chemistry is different. More on this later.. The kit I use is simple: Ronseal Hardglaze or Rustins Clear Polyurethane gloss varnish; White Spirits (I think this is referred to as clear mineral spirits in other countries?) to thin it; hence the jam jar; rubber glove; cheap, disposable microfibre cloths. I am still using the original 'high volatiles' varnishes - simply because I haven't experimented enough with some of the more modern low volatiles ones. That's a summer project for me... I'm sure you have, but if you haven't yet discovered micro-fibre cloths, it's worth doing so. They are: Generally dirt cheap (except the specialist ones, see below) I think these were just a few £ in the cleaning goods section of a local supermarket. COMPLETELY dust free and lint free - but never cut them otherwise there's bits everywhere Soft and fluffy, very absorbent for the varnish I use one more type of micro-fibre cloth, a particular type, as the best 'tack rag' I've ever used. It's a window-cleaning cloth and I think it cost about £6 ($10). My dust bugs issues have vanished since going from decorators sticky tack rags to this: The technique is simple: thin varnish with about 30% white spirits don rubber glove wipe over surface with micro-fibre 'tack rag' take corner of cheapo micro-fibre cloth dip in thinned varnish, squeeze out excess wipe on This is a heavily figured veneered top after about 5 coats (over 2 days)...note that I'm doing it over a CARPET!! Actually, I forgot to put the newspaper down but got away with it. It only drips if you major-ly overcharge the cloth: Although I said above that it's not the best way for a plain sprayed colour, it still isn't terrible...a guy from one of the UK forums persuaded me (under duress and suitable cautionary words to manage expectations) to do him a gloss black body...the most challenging of any colours: There are some important tips and tricks, like with everything. I'm sure there are others, but these come to mind: Wipe with a good quality 'tack rag' (see above for my recommendation) to ensure the surface is dust free. Try to keep dust to a minimum! Remember spray finishes dry within seconds...this takes an hour or so and plenty of time for the dust buggies to land and sink in Apply multiple thin coats. Maximum 2 per day (one in morning and one in evening) Flatten with 1000 grit, used wet, every 6 or so coats After 5-6 days, there should be sufficient thickness. Let it cure for at least 3 -5 days Flatten with 1000 grit used wet (if necessary) and finish with 2000 grit used wet Ensure varnish is properly thinned...maybe go up to 40% thinners at this stage. Dip the microfibre in the varnish and squeeze it almost all out then apply a VERY light coat. Let it dry. Apply a second VERY light coat and, if necessary a third. Don't buff - nitro coats 'melt' into previously applied coats. Poly applied like this doesn't do this so buffing will simply wear away the shiny top coat and expose the sanded under coat Leave at least 1 week (2 is better) then polish with good quality, low abrasion auto polish (Macguiers Ultra is a good one) Hope this helps - if you try the approach let's see how you get on and don't hesitate to contact me Oh - and by the way, it was this present camphor and alder build in Build Diaries that sparked off the interest: Not bad for a pot of household varnish and a cheap rag done in the spare bedroom? Andy
  4. Project guitar Hello ! Thanks for stopping by ! I am building my first electric guitar (thus me being new on projectguitar.com). I will make a review of my build on YouTube or instructables and I'll gladly share it here, but I'm not finished yet! I need your help with the finish. This is my thinline/Nashville tele. I would have had loads of photos to show you but I still haven't figured out the 501 MB file thing for uploading photos.... Here are a few facts about my build : It is made out of two mahogany panels (each made of two pieces) glued one on top of the other. The "glue line / separation" shows a lot, and I've had to fix some holes on the sides ; I want to hide them. Right now, I have dyed the body brown, sanded it down to give the grain a kick, and I've given it one layer of spray varnish (spray varnish being the closest I could find to spray lacquer) I do not have access to spraying equipment, it's all aerosols for me. I want to give the body a dark burst on the sides but I realized on some scrap wood that the black paint have doesn't look good with the orange wood at all. This is where you can help me : what kind of product and method can I use ? Will it be another type of paint? More dye? Really really dark brown varnish that goes black if I spray it heavily? Thanks for reading, I hope someone has advice!
  5. ProjectGuitar.com

    How to do a "Holoflash" finish

    Start out with your plain holographic material cut down to the approximate size of your guitar's body. This particular finish is easy to do but will require plenty of patience and a massive amount of clear coating. Peel the backing off and slowly roll the material onto your body. It is not necessary for you to start out with a bare wood body - it is much easier to start out with a finished guitar body since the smoother surface allows the adhesive to stick better. You can either rub it down by hand or using a spatula - I prefer by hand myself. Trim around the outside using a brand new blade to make the job easier and reduce the chances of the material tearing instead of cutting. If you need to, cut lines and lap the material down around odd curves and contours on the body. You can see that has been done on the arm rest area of this particular body due to a contour that wouldn't allow the material to sit flat. Ideally the surface should be smooth however it is likely that you will encounter spots with miniature bubbles or bumps. Just pierce through these with a pin to release the trapped air and press out the bubble with your nail or a popsicle stick to ensure the material is adhered to the body properly. Don't worry if it is not perfect as they will disappear into finish and possibly make an attractive ray of reflection later! After you have trimmed the excess off, you're ready to get started on the painting part. Give the entire body a complete single coat of whichever color you desire, covering the material as well so that it is barely visible or completely obscured from sight. Funny how the flash shows the rainbow but without the high intensity light it's a completely black guitar! We're going to start working with Acetone solvent now - whilst it should be harmless to the holographic material it will wipe paint off and also destroy you in the process! Take the proper steps to work in a well ventilated area with no sources of ignition. Acetone is hugely flammable and concentrated fumes will melt plastics in close proximity. Including the lenses in your glasses! Whilst the paint coats you applied to the body are still drying, take out a tin or glass container (not plastic) along with protective gloves, Acetone plus lint-free cloth and/or other clean Acetone-resistant applicators. For big thick graphics use a clean cloth and rotate the clean part often dipping it into the Acetone as you wipe away your personal design on top of the holographic material. This is what you would expect to see using the cloth method: Use Q-Tips if you would rather have thinner, sharper lines darting across the body. Change them out often as they get clogged with removed paint. This is what you would expect with Q-Tips: After you have finished removing as much of the paint coat as you want, it is time to let the remaining paint dry completely for a minimum of a couple of days. Longer is always better of course. Now for the hard part which takes a lot of patience - clear coating. Following the instructions with your particular brand of clear coat, spray successive layers allowing each session of spraying to dry completely before the next. Generally, off-the-shelf rattlecans have a far higher solvent content which slows the curing process down considerably (weeks rather than days). Specialist car paint suppliers may carry "2K clear in a can" where the rattlecan has a separate compartment of hardener which is released and mixed into the clear prior to spraying. This cures ready for the next coat within an hour or two but requires specific attention to safety; full ventilation, no sources of ignition and skin cover! Read the safety information and if in doubt, ask your retailer or a specialist! Now that you have waited for your clear to dry, keep repeating the clearing process until you have built up a substantial covering layer. Yeah, it looks pretty nasty on top I know - plenty of nibs sticking up and all - but hey it'll all smooth out in the end! After all of your multiple clear layers have had plenty of time to cure you can start levelling off the top with a block sander. Do this by hand so that you will have plenty of control over the process. Read the advice below and also keep in mind the picture you see to the right is at the 800 grit stage so don't try to achieve this right off the bat cause you will destroy your finish. Mix up a spray bottle with warm water and a little basic ivory soap, or other neutral hand soap that doesn't contain oils, moisturisers or other "caring" ingredients. Start out your sanding with 400 grit wet-n-dry paper on your sanding block, spritz the surface lightly and proceed to knock off just the tips of the hills, nibs and high points. DO NOT sand down to the low points at this stage! You want to do this using mostly dry paper not completely wet. Just enough water to stop the paper from "loading up" with the gunk you're sanding off. Blow off the dust and lightly brush it with a clean cloth often so you can see the progress you're making. Once you have taken off just the tops of the ridges it is time to clearcoat the body again with a few good medium coats and again, allow the paint plenty of time to dry. Repeat the process of block sanding once the clear has dried using the next highest grit of paper - 600 or 800 wet now. The body will develop a milky waste as the clearcoat dust mixes with the water. Wipe the body clean often to monitor your progress. After you have knocked off the tops of your high points you should see the low areas become smaller. Always concentrate on the high areas, not on the low areas! Once you have naturally reached these low areas by knocking down the high ones, it is time to clean the top of any residue and apply another 3 good coats of clear. By now you're getting the idea of why it takes patience and tons of clear to get this finish to a point you can be proud of! Hopefully by this point you haven't gone through any of the edges. Edges are usually the hardest part to keep intact whilst preventing "sandthroughs". If this happens, whip out your spare color and spot paint where you have sanded through. Spray the area so that overspray heads away from the guitar and not further onto it! After drying clear over the top again with 3 medium good coats. Continue the process of clearing and block sanding until a minimum of 1000 grit. By this point you should have no remaining high or low points and the surface should appear smooth and even. From here you're ready to go through the grits wet-n-dry sanding 1200 grit to 2000-4000 and then buffing. You will now be finished! Your body will change colors completely as you walk by it or appear silver in color head-on in low light. It never looks the same and you will love the results!
  6. I am rebuilding and repainting a Johnson Strat that I have had since is was 7 (know 19). I am going to repaint it but I need some help figuring out what a ertain design is called or how to do it. The design I am looking for almost looks like really little tiger stripes but faded, no solid. I mostly see it on les paul models, or guitars that dont have a scratch guard that covers most of the body. At Guitar Center's website, their les paul page has a picture of a guitar with this print, but I can not find what the print is called. Here is a link to the Website: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson-Les-Paul-g26549t0.gc?esid=Les%20Paul I have had this guitar for a very long time, but I did not treat it right at the beginning of it's life with me. It has a lot of scratches and dents in it that I will fill, but i was wondering if I would be able to see the filler through transparent paint. As far as I know, the design I want to put on my guitar should be with transparent paint that One wpuld be able to see the wood grain through. Please Help ! Thankyou
  7. ProjectGuitar.com

    Swirled Guitar Finish

    Tutorial courtesy of Wade Finch This swirling technique is for oil paint although I think urethane paint will work also - I don’t have any urethane paint to test with so I'll just say oil paint for now. Don’t use “Testers Model” paint! It is too thick and has clear gloss mixed in it, which makes it clot and become messy. Fast dry “PlastiKote” enamel is what I used but I'm always looking for other types of paint to use. There are other oils out there, but I don’t have the time to test them all.... First off you are going to need a large “something” to dip in. I say "something" because you can dip in anything that can hold a large deep amount of water. I use a 50 gallon "Rubbermaid” hamper for dipping - it is big enough for submerging the body and has lots of room on all sides so not to hit the body against it whilst dipping. It also has a lid which is nice for when you want to save the water for dipping later on. Secondly, it is useful to have a second person helping you....we'll get to that bit later on.... Once you have your water filled tub, hamper or whatever it’s time to add in the Borax (sodium borate/sodium tetraborate/disodium tetraborate). I use “20 Muleteam Borax”. Take your Borax and pour in about one cup (depending on how big your dipping tub is) and mix the water until you don’t see any Borax floating around. Let it sit for about 30mins. Borax is used as an agent that breaks the water's surface tension and lets the paint spread out over the surface. Next, test the water with some oil paint to see if you have enough Borax in your water. Only a little drop is needed!! You should see the paint start to disappear or dissipate and spread right across the water surface into a very thin film if you have enough Borax mixed in the water. If not then you need to add more Borax to the water. Once ready you can now test which paint colors need to be thinned - some colors are thicker and need help spreading. Adding a little “paint time extender” helps this. You can pick up this extender at a fine art shop. Once you have your color you want and tested, it’s time to do a test dip! Test test test! It is far better to spend time test dipping things other than your guitar body. Test dipping helps you get the feel of the dipping process and also helps you see how much paint to pour in to achieve the balance of your colors/lights/darks. Pour your dark color first then your lightsLet the first color poured dissipate before pouring your next colorOnce you have your colors down, swirl the paint around. I use a wood dowel with 4 zip ties to make a brush to glide across the water/paint. Swirl your paints! Don’t take too long - your paints will dry and skin over and you don’t want to dip anything into that! This is all up to you in making a pattern. Once you see what you like, dip your test object in and hold it. This is where it's nice to have another person helping you as you need to make an "escape hole" for your object so you're not pulling it back through the paint film a second time. You can do this by blowing the paint with your mouth or if you have that second person, get some newspaper and wipe the paint off the water surface leaving a clear water hole so you can pull out your item. If you don’t do this, the item will be covered 2 times and contrary to what you might think, won't look that great. Remember! Test test! Get to know the paint and the process. When you're ready to do another test use newspaper to clean the water of all leftover paint from the previous attempt. Make sure your guitar is sealed before you dip. If you don’t, you could easily end up with a cracked body or other problems. I put wax in the screw holes and in the neck holes; this makes a good water seal and can be removed after the dipping. Any unsealed areas where the wood is exposed to water can become a problem. You will need a piece of wood to use as a fake neck to dip your guitar body in with. It helps give you control and helps you hold the body down in the water. Make something to hang the guitar body from, such as a hole, loop or hook on the fake neck. Make sure you can hang it to dry easily before you start the dipping process. If your guitar body has a rear strap button, screwing a long thin wood screw or similar provides a useful standoff to prevent the body hitting the bottom of the container. This is useful as your hands will get tired and unsteady whilst the paint is being removed from the water surface to make a clean exit point! Now that you're jumping with anticipation and you feel that you're ready, it's time to dip your guitar! It’s that exact same way you dipped your test item plus what you learned from testing. You did test didn't you? After you have pulled your guitar body out of the water, you want to get the water to bead away from it off it as fast as you can. Blowing and twirling the guitar helps, heat lamps, hair dryers, etc. Make a space somewhere for it to dry for at least 24hrs before handling it. Now I'm not going to go into any detail about sanding other than that I sand the bodies down to the sealer coat. Follow normal guitar paint/sanding techniques to get your guitar ready. If you just sanded the clear coat off and don’t want to go down to the sealant, you can but you want to put a coat of primer or paint on before you dip. Like with a 777MC, it has been painted first with white then dipped.
  8. The first tools you will need are a pencil or pen, and a piece of paper larger than the guitar body as pictured. I just used notepad paper and some masking tape. If you're working with a material that doesn't have a special pattern to it you can skip over this part and move down to the covering the back. Just follow the same directions for the front of the body. Flip your body face down on the paper and trace around it. Once you have your tracing complete cut it out carefully with a razor blade or Exacto knife. . Keep in mind if you chose to use construction paper to make your template you can use the inside piece later to do a PoorBoyBurst™ around your body, so keep that extra piece handy! Now comes the big part. Using your negative template, find the exact place in the material pattern that you want on top of your body. Notice I also have a template for the headstock which has a strip through it to show me where the tuners will be. When you have finished locating the perfect top for your project whip out your trusty roll of masking tape and secure the template(s) all the way around the edges, now go get mom's best fabric scissors =o) Carefully cut around the area you have chosen, giving yourself an extra 1/2" to 3/4" for good measure. When you're finished you can peel the tape and template(s) off and get ready to mount your material to the body! Although not 100% necessary, I usually spray the cavities and sides the final color I plan on using. Not necessary but definitely makes it easier later! Make sure the surface(s) you're going to attach the material to are clean and as free from paint as possible. Bare wood is where it's at for the best possible adhesion of the glue at this point. Gather up your Titebond and a squeegee plus a disposable brush. Place your guitar body on top of newspapers or a large piece of cardboard to protect your working surface. I use a disposable cup or bowl of water to place the brush in when I am through. Titebond is water soluble and even though it is an El-Cheapo brush I like to get as much mileage out of them as possible. Now spread out a nice pattern of glue on the area to be covered. Use your brush to spread out the glue until you have a nice even coat without thick drops or lines. Clean any overruns from the cavities and edges with a damp paper towel or cloth. Place your material on the project surface and start squeezing out from the center. You want the surface to be as flat and smooth as possible so take your time. You have about 20 mins before the glue starts to set up. This should only take 2-3 mins tops. A rolling pin from the kitchen is extremely handy! In the previous photo you can see that the material flopped down over the side and attached itself to the body. This early in the game you want to avoid this happening as it will make trimming the material all that much more difficult. If this happens, pull it away from the body. You might need to babysit the body whilst the glue properly sets up (20-30 minutes) to make sure nothing is going wrong with it. Once the glue has cured well (about 2-3 hours) it is time to whip out your Exacto knife with a fresh blade. Trim around the outside edge. Remember to move forward as you cut on the down stroke. Using only fresh blades it should separate the material along the edge like a hot knife in butter so if the blade starts to drag, replace it. I always try to lean the side of the blade up against the body when ever possible doing this and hold it at a 30-45 degree angle along the edge. Also remember to lightly hold the material taut when possible, pulling it from the project as you cut. You're going to end up with some fairly long strips as you go. It's tempting to cut them off and start a new strip but I prefer to keep going as long as I can and keep the cut going. If you run into an area where the glue did not take, just give that spot a little extra material around the edge and continue. It can always be repaired later after you are finished trimming off the excess. As careful as you might be, when you flip the body over to inspect the edges you are going to see fuzz and a tiny strip of material all along the edge as pictured above on the right. This is a good thing at this point sp don't try to shave it off! While cutting on the down stroke the material along the edge stretches when separating from the body. This extra amount of material will be useful when finish out the top and smooth out the sides later. Now that you are finished trimming, go ahead and make any necessary repairs . Ever wonder why sometimes people put silly photos in a tutorial like the one above? It's actually a neat little trick. Drop a little of the glue you're using for your repairs and use the droplet as a guide to let you know what's going on with the glue you're working with. The clearer or more skinned it gets, the harder the glue is getting on your project. Time to score some material for the back! Since we are dealing with a few more contours here you'll need to get a bigger piece of material than you did for the front. The beauty in working with a nice cotton blend or mix fabric is it's ability to stretch. Go ahead and glue that piece down on the back as you did with the front. However, in order to relieve some of the stress of the stretch you're might have to put some slits into it near the arch of the body where the contour is. These only need to come about a 1/4" from the edge and not all the way up to the body. You will also need to do the same thing around the back of the neck area. You will probably want to babysit the body again and hand burnish the material along the contours as it dries. After it has dried you can trim around the outside and the cavities once again. If you're doing this to a JEM style body, now is a good time to do the monkey grip handle. Slice along the inside edge first till the contour of the handle reaches out. Spread a little glue down along the bare wood and on the material and press it into place. When this is dry trim it out. I used a total of three brand new Exacto blades just to trim this much smoothly, after all why waste energy and possibly mess up an entire project over less than a couple of bucks worth of blades? Whew =o) Now that you have finished your initial trimming, it is time to pick out the filler of your choice. There are many options available on the market from sprays to pastes which all dry rock hard and clear. What you're going to need is a sanding sealer or a wooden grain filler which dries clear. I tend to lean towards the pastes and my trusty cheap brush. If you choose to spray, you'll need several coats to get the desired thickness. Make sure that you coat underneath the fringe of the edge which is still sticking out. With the paste you will want to brush it on thick and across the weave of the fabric then allow to dry. You'll now find that it is quite easy to trim the edges with a fresh blade. The material will have become quite stiff by this point. I have laid a piece across a cavity for you to see in the photo below. At this point trim out all of the cavities. After trimming you might want to add a finish coat of your sealer just to take care of any areas which might have escaped. After this you can take your sanding block and some 320 grit to knock down the major buildup of filler and smooth out the edges. A quick run of 600 or 800 grit smooths everything out nicely. Now that you have finished smoothing out the filler it is time to mask off and paint the cavity's and sides. At this point it is time to make a decision about the sides of your finish. These can be straight paint to the front and back or a PoorBoyBurst™ as pictured. 2-3 thick coats of clear is sufficient, then let the body dry for about 24 hours or however long it requires. Wet sand any orange peel back with high grit paper before adding several more coats of clear. Any remaining texture from the material should gradually disappear from the surface between each coat. Be very careful not to sand through! Final polishing with swirl remover and buffing compound finishes this right off!
  9. Blow Torch Method The most commonly performed burnt finish is made using the ordinary gas blow torch. If you're going to do this method I'd recommend practising on a piece of low-caloric value wood like Basswood or Alder to get your technique down. Low caloric value woods burn quicker than higher ones like Maple, so you quickly get into the habit of not hanging around with the flame! In a pinch and can't find scrap Basswood, then try Poplar or Aspen which have similar properties. Heat Gun Method If the body still has its original finish you can achieve a great random billowing pattern by using a heat gun made for removing paint. Just allow the gun to set in one area on high setting longer than is normally necessary and the paint will fly off of the body like kernels of corn popping out of a hot oil skillet, leaving an unusual pattern behind. Be careful not to work in one area too long though or you will be left with pockets of ash in the body which can look scrappy. A STRONG WORD OF CAUTION HERE! The chips of paint that pop off are sticky flying cinders of hot molten paint. They hurt. I know because I've used this method. Wear plenty of protection including and not limited to; gloves, safety glasses and long sleeves. Also work in a large open area where the toxic fumes can escape and the cinders won't hurt or ignite anything where they land! Heat Gun with Template If your body is clean, free of all marks and down to the bare wood it is possible to do a controlled burn using a heat gun. This neat trick is to use aluminum foil as a heat shield. Folding it over makes it less prone to flapping or bending. The edges can be cut into masking patterns or shapes. Start at one end of the body and whisk the heat gun along the edge of the foil till the pattern starts to form in the wood. Let the body cool down some and move your foil down a few inches and start all over again, overlapping the burns in the wood as you want.
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