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Literally Photo Finish?


NickCormier
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So.. I was thinking of doing my own guitar. but IM soo scared of the finish (not to mention everything, but finish is worst)

I want to do a quilt top looking finish, but so expensive for real quilt maple, and veneers are so annoying to get on (Tried before, failed bad lol)

I was thinking about how people talk about cheap guitars having "Photo finish" tops.. Like the $200 guitars that have those quilt finishes, like say Dean Edge bass's, or Agile guitars, or Schecter acoustics, etc..

How exactly is that done? Is it like they take a picture of a quilt top already coloured, print it out on a vinyl sticker or something and stick it on, then finish over it with clears/lacquers?? Would that even work?

It might not have that 3D effect of the $5000 PRS's, but if its decent enough like the $200 quilt top guitars that you see so often, That would be great for my first build before Im confident to attempt something so complex..

Possible?

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+1 for the real thing....have a look at the photoflame strats, nice idea but didn't work.

I bought 3x 1/4" quilt tops from a guy on ebay (US) for $80 inc. shipping to the UK....hardly expensive.

was it like an ebay store? Could you post a link if you can find it? I search like every day on ebay and cant find any that would be under $80 for one small piece (also building a large shape guitar which wont fit in your normal strat shape)

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Is it going to be a flat topped guitar? If so, perhaps veneer is the way to go if you're on a tight budget, as perry suggested. Check this place out for some wild veneers.

Ordered from there on my last attempt at a veneer job and the stuff was total junk... wouldnt even be cut by an exacto knife, or scisors... it wasnt really workable at all

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It's not junk at all, nick. I think you just don't know how to handle veneer(that's not meant as personal attack, simply an observation). There are plenty of tricks to make it look right, and I'm admittedly still learning them. I've ordered veneer from them and gotten excellent results. Maybe I'll take some pictures when I get back home from christmas vacation.

peace,

russ

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Might of been the stuff I bought.. It was extremely cheap (like $10 for 27" by 15" or so... im skeptical about that) and it also had big black dots on it all over the place that didnt sand out (they wernt knots either, just bad spots)

If you are going to buy there, at least buy their top grade stuff, but then the price is still the same as everywhere else but shipping is way more. so choose the lesser of two evils I guess

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Might of been the stuff I bought.. It was extremely cheap (like $10 for 27" by 15" or so... im skeptical about that) and it also had big black dots on it all over the place that didnt sand out (they wernt knots either, just bad spots)

If you are going to buy there, at least buy their top grade stuff, but then the price is still the same as everywhere else but shipping is way more. so choose the lesser of two evils I guess

That certainly could be the problem. There are a lot of things you can do to make the veneers act the way you want them to. I've read and, more or less, memorized the entire joewoodworker.com website. Great information. Ordering veneer from veneersupplies was very convenient because I had to order a few hundred's worth of hardware to build a vacuum press recently. I figured I'd get a pile of veneer while I was at it. Although I made a point of getting flat veneers that were void of defects. If you do decided to veneer, I'll tell you right now that using a vacuum press is nearly mindless and gives great results when the correct preparations are made with the veneer and glue.

For the record, I would get that photo finish idea as far out of your mind as possible. It will be difficult to get right, and even if you do get it right, it will never have the depth of actual wood.

peace,

russ

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Hey Nick, If you've already attempted a veneer job, than your next one will come out better because of the experience factor. I bought a nice flamed maple veneer set from Brian (universaljems.com) and he threw in a headstock veneer too, all for about the cost of a 12 pack of Corona's! He's a great guy to deal with and he posted a tutorial for us newbies on the install.

Here's the tutorial,

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/veneer.htm

Take care, Vinny

Edited by Vinny
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Stay away from the photo finish idea, and stay away from the veneer idea.

I don't know why veneer is bandied about like it's easy to do, it is NOT easy to do, it takes time and experience to get good at veneering. Most guys here do not want to spend HALF the required time it takes to get good at it.

Just buy yourself a bookmatched 1/4" laminate set, that is by FAR the easiest way to get your groove thang on.

Try Frasier Valley Woods, they are a GREAT e-Bay dealer, their wood is planed and sanded nice and flat and smooth, they couldn't make it any easier for a newb to work with, it's your best guarantee of a good outcome, forget veneer unless you're willing to work at it again and again and again until you get it right.

I can veneer my ass off, but it took me a LOT of time and a LOT of tries and I learned a LOT before they finally started coming out with pro-style results. There are a ton of tricks to know about veneering, and the only way you learn them is by making the mistakes that lead to the tricks to not make the same mistakes again, and most guys get all freaked out if the make ONE mistake and blow ONE set of veneer.

I would tell anyone to be prepared to go thru maybe at least SIX to TWELVE sets of veneer before you could possibly learn the tricks involved to get really good at it.

Veneering is an ART, veneering takes SKILLS.

Nobody could pick up a paintbrush and some paints and make a great painting the first time out, and so it is with veneer.

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Thanks for spelling that out, drak. I tend to dumb things down a bit and assume people will expect a bit of a learning curve and some test runs to suit. I suppose that's not the general mentality though. Although for me, using veneer softener and a good veneer saw made it less of a parabolic learning curve and more of a radial learning curve. :D

peace,

russ

Edited by thegarehanman
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