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Basic Finishing Questions


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Hi,

I am pretty new to these forums, acutally this is kind of my first post, and I was just wondering if you guys could help me out with clearing up a few things before I ruin what I have already accomplished. This is the first time that I've attempted to build my own guitar, and, although I've read through most of the tutorials at Project Guitar, I'm still a bit fuzzy about some stuff, mainly finishing. I think it'll be easier if I just list the questions...

1. What grit of sandpaper should I get up to before starting to finish the body?

2. Is it possible to simply draw on the body of the guitar with, say, Sharpie's or some other kind of marker, and then just put a clear coat over it? If so, will it look alright?

3. If Sharpie's can't be used, or wouldn't look good, ccould you just use some kind of artistic paints to create something on the body (and then still proceed to cover it with a clear coat)?

Yeah, I know these are probably really obvious questions, but still, any insight would be really appreciated...

Thanks

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400 grit used correctly leaves a nice smooth finish that's able to support being painted/finished. Sharpie's are fine and can be clearcoated with just about anything. I have used them several times to do signatures on custom work and covered it with nitro, acryllic lacquers and polys with no problems at all. If you want to paint something on the body, and need more detail that a rattlecan, and are not an airbrush artist :D Most acrylic craft paints work well (even the crap at Wal-Mart will do in a pinch). The goal is to keep in mind that at the end of the project, your painted area is not "raised" - unless your looking for an embossed effect.

This link goes to a picture of a guitar I did with a combination of acrylic hand painting and acrylic lacquer finishes.

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Well, I haven't actually started the finishing process yet, mainly because I want to make sure the body is perfectly smooth, and also because I can't decide how to paint it, but that's besides the point. I was wondering if anybody knows what part of the control and pickup cavities are coated with conductive shielding paint.

During disassembly, I noticed that the entire cavity in my strat knock-off was coated with what seems to be just acryllic, just like the rest of the finish. On the back of the pickguard, though, I found a silvery paint all around where the control knobs are. If anyone can tell me about this, or reference a tutorial that I can look at to clarify how to shield the electronics, I'd love to know. I'm asking all of this because I'm planing on painting the control cavity with the same scheme with the rest of the body and using a clear pickguard, and I'm assuming that underneath the paint in the cavity, I should use the shielding paint.

Also, while I'm posting, I was wondering what the best way to strip a finished headstock is... just sand, like the body?

I know that was a lot to read, and I'm sorry, but I just want to make sure I don't screw up my first build/rebuild. As before, any help would be very greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Well, I haven't actually started the finishing process yet, mainly because I want to make sure the body is perfectly smooth, and also because I can't decide how to paint it, but that's besides the point. I was wondering if anybody knows what part of the control and pickup cavities are coated with conductive shielding paint.

The whole cavity - paint available from StewMac

During disassembly, I noticed that the entire cavity in my strat knock-off was coated with what seems to be just acryllic, just like the rest of the finish. On the back of the pickguard, though, I found a silvery paint all around where the control knobs are. If anyone can tell me about this, or reference a tutorial that I can look at to clarify how to shield the electronics, I'd love to know. I'm asking all of this because I'm planing on painting the control cavity with the same scheme with the rest of the body and using a clear pickguard, and I'm assuming that underneath the paint in the cavity, I should use the shielding paint.

More shielding paint? Probably residue from aluminum tape used on inexpensive guitars for shielding. Recommend getting some copper tape to cover the back of the pickguard.

Also, while I'm posting, I was wondering what the best way to strip a finished headstock is... just sand, like the body?

Yes

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