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Finishing A Pine Body


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Hello guys!

I am trying to make my Stratocaster-shaped guitar look like an Ibanez Radius (or Ibanez JS if you prefer).

This means that I will have to make the body go thinner from its center towards the edges.

I will use a file to do this.

I noticed that the guitar was made of PINE (no, it's not a joke). It's a cheap guitar, so this strange body wood did not surprise me much. What I liked was the grain of the pine - it's very beautiful, goddamnit!

I want to preserve the grain and I intend to just sand the body and add a transparent laquer finish.

My questions:

1. Pine has big pores. Is it possible to sand pine untill it's mirror polished? (I know that one can achieve this with harder & denser woods) I want the final laquer layer to be as glossy as possible.

2. The guitar has a 3mm top, made of harder wood (maple maybe). After I file the body thinner, the hard top will be gone :D Is this a problem? I mean, the body will be just bare pine after the final file work, so is there a way to make the top of the pine wood harder? Should i use somekind of a putty? Won't it destroy the grain of the wood?

3. Is there a way to make the wood dark brown and reddish while still preserving its beautiful grain? Should I use a dye for this?

Thanks!

PS: Sorry, my English sux.

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If you want JS-type guitar....I would suggest you invest in some wood that is more appropriate for building nic body. Pine for crying out loud.

Workload will be just the same.....result so much more pleasurable.

Why all the effort...if you end up with nicely shaped guitar build from cheap wood that will sound like cr*p.

Alder or Basswood body blank won't set you back enormeous soms of $$$$.

Then again, going that route......you will end up with nicely shaped JS-type body with crappy pups, neck and hardware from old "Fender"......

Maybe wiser to just buy nice secondhand JS-100 from evil*bay.

Just my $0.02.

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I am not deep into guitar building, man.

I started this "project" just for fun and because I have this crappy pine body - it is already shaped and it saves me lots of work mainly because I don't have any power tools. Just this big file :D

I am aware that the final result will be crap too. I am just trying to make the guitar look better... Nothing more.

I just want to know how to make pine harder on its top side.

Is it possible to use some hard wood veneer for the top of a JS shaped body? I think that it would be a hard task since the curves of the JS are too compound for this.

So I just need an alternative way to make pine wood harder on its top side without applying any harder wood.

Thanks!

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"I have this guitar... I found this file.... I think I can use the file on the guitar somehow." That's a drummer talking alright. :D

Sorry sorry, I couldn't resist.

Really, sell the guitar and the file, get some more money and get the parts for a cheap guitar project from scratch. You'll love it and get really addicted to it. Unless you are totally drummerized. :D

-----------

Jimbo

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I just want to know how to make pine harder on its top side.

And what was the reason for wanting this in the first place, again????

There are guitars made out of poplar.......and they hold up nicely. You're dealing with with Pine which is much denser than poplar (which is close to butter)......

You have the conception that you need a harder top on the pine as you Fender clone had Alder top on the pine.

My guess is....the alder top was there for looks and to hide the cheap pine....and not for any construction purposes.....

You could perfectly build your JS type guitar with just the pine body. No need to harden there. Just look for decent finish on there.......Good clear coat and you're in business.

No need to complicate projects that aren't suppose to be complex.

Must add you picked one of more complex guitar shapes to carve..............

Edited by RGGR
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Thanks for your replies, dudes!

From what you said, I understand that there is no any need of a hard top and I can go with the bare pine without any problems.

I think that this is cool, because it saves me work and trouble :D

Since it is going to be a "no-paint-no-putty" finish (is "transparent" the correct term here?) I need a very strong and hard laquer to add that extra hardness to the bare pine top.

Should it be a nitro-cel. one? I.e. which of the different kinds of laquer are most suitable for the job?

Thanks!

PS:

I am not a real drummer. I'm a guitarist for like 10 years already :D

I use a nickname involving drummers just to show the world that I am not very smart.

Cheers!

Edited by DrummerDude
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That reminds me, I've tried to explain the drummer-jokes to my band's drummer. I explained that the stuff is all about stereotypes. While everyone else in the band was laughing their arses off, he didn't get it. The funniest thing is, although he has a considerable amount of musical education and stuff, he fits SO perfectly into the jokes.

Then the drummer did a few pathetic attempts to insult guitarists and we had some more fun... :D

"The second a human being grabs drumsticks into his hands, his level of intelligence and manner of behaving sets back three million years." -Jim Rayden

:D I hope noone gets offended.

-----------

Jimbo

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OK, I forgot to ask: is it possible to achieve the body shape of the Ibanez-JS model by only using a drill and a wheel attachment with sanding paper on it?

I mean the part where the body goes thinner towards its upper edge.

I am tired of using this bloody rasp. it's not cool anymore, goddamnit! (mainly because I already ran out of elbow grease :D )

If it's possible to make it the drill & sanding paper way, what number should the sanding paper be?

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Goddamnit, I think I rule.

I just shaped the Strat body using a drill and a circular sanding paper attachment.

Now it has a soft and stylish Ibanez Radius look (the only good Ibanez imho).

I can't believe that this old Strat-like piece of trash looks so damn cool now.

It is SO cool, goddamnit!

OK, I know that I sound lame and like the complete noob I am. But this thing feels so soft and tender, goddamnit, I felt like I was petting a lady's naked butt. :D

I made this damn piece of pine feel so erotic rofl.gifrofl.gifrofl.gif

Kick ass job, DrummerDude! Keep on doing stuff like this!

PS:

Still have to do some inlay work and apply tons of laquer.

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You are seriously destined to destroy that guitar, aren't you. :D

Glad to hear you like it. Yea the Iba Radius looks alot like a "too much sanded strat".

It's good to hear that someone is having fun being a "luthier". :D Usually the fun comes after the building, when you start playing the thing.

------------

Jimbo

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I don't have a digital camera, so I am not able to take any pics for now (it is too much trouble using my analogue camera and I am lazy).

When the thing is completely finished, I sure as hell will get a digital cam and post some photos.

I am posting a photo of the guitar and it shows it the way it was before I touched it with the sanding paper wheel.

The photo was taken about three months ago. Back then, I had no idea that in future I would do anything to this poor piece of wood.

As you can see on the photo below, it used to be a complete ruin. It was so damn screwed up...

kremona9du.jpg

And soon this frog will turn into a hot and bangable princess :D:D

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Hahahaha, the fretboard is NOT dirty, man. It's just worn out.

It is a maple (?) fretboard and it was stained in black, so it used to look like ebony.

After years of playing and concentrated alcohol cleaning, the fretboard faded to its natural colour and only sporadic dark spots remained, leaving the impression that it was dirty.

The body was messed up with both paint and stickers. Everything you see on this pic is gone - it is bare wood now and its shape is completely different.

The body looks so elegant now and it's not that beefy anymore.

By the way, my main dilemma about the finish is: Paint & laquer or just bare wood & laquer?

Paint would make it look like plastic, while bare wood would make it look more alive and rock & roll.

On the other hand, paint gives me the ability to use putty which in turn would help me make the top of the body harder.

What do you think? Which one should I use?

Edited by DrummerDude
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I will stain the faded fretboard back in black.

Then I will apply new inlays on the fingerboard. I will use mother of pearl. The ones you see on the pic are made of simple white plastic. The new inlays will be bigger too.

I didn't understand your idea about the body finish (sorry my English sux)

I think I'll use a dark mahogany stain for the body, then use a lacquer that also adds colour to the wood (dark mahogany as well)

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