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Drak, 'the Spalted Sisterhood'


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Did you buy the spalted maple at the thickness you needed, or did you have to plane it down

I had it resawn and sanded to size.

Wow, how is it even possible to get a body flat with a block of wood, flat enough for a top to be glued? I have use a huge flat piece of wood, and measure with a straight edge, and it still wasnt flat enough to glue a top.

It was planed flat to begin with, the router just telegraphed the flatness to the new level, with a brief flat sanding afterwards.

So what happened to you routing the pickups only after the finish is done? Has your stance on this changed? Thoughts?

I apologize if I made you think I always do the same things the same ways, I usually shoot from the hip to be honest, it all depends on whether or not I know what hardware will be used as I'm building it.

Sometimes I know beforehand, sometimes no.

If I haven't made up my mind, it certainly doesn't bother me to just build the body to completion and route pkps and drill holes afterwards, I'm comfortable doing it both ways.

I know what to be careful of for either approach, so I can pretty much build ala carte and not freak out over it.

Like, if I wait, I know I'll need to fill in holes with finish so the wetsanding doesn't screw me, and my router bits need to be sharp and I usually use tape to protect finish...it's all just experience, like riding a bike I guess...I don't even think about it really, I've done it so many different ways, I subconciously always know what I can get away with and what will screw me.

Like what I said above about working with Spalt, most of it's just common sense and experience.

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That's funny, I was in the middle of uploading some more pics to the 'bucket, and a side shot just as you asked for was right there being uploaded as you were asking... :D

PS, the mockup pic is not the hardware that'll be used, it's just a pointless mockup pic.

Nice to finally get some finish on it. Tomorrow I'll sand it back a bit and hit it with another CYA coat. I'll use CYA until it's thin but level, then switch to lac.

SPALT-20.jpg

SPALT-22.jpg

SPALT-23.jpg

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Thanks much! :D

Probably won't be done until Fall '09.

I have 6-7 guitars going right now, and I want them all to go into the finishing stages at the same time so they can all progress together, cure together, then get assembled together...this one got a jump on the others due to the fact I didn't have to prep it to dye it.

I'm waiting to bring out the spray guns and the lac until they're all ready.

I haven't had much interest in entering anything in the GOTM for a few years now.

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Looks great . . but that headstock - for me just doesn't suit the body.

Yeah.. I agree somewhat to that. I would've liked to see a rounder shape on the headstock.. maybe something along the lines of Tom Anderson, Suhr or Vigier? Just not a boring Strat-clone.

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...but it doesn't bother me, I rather like it. :D

and there inlies the most important thing! :D I think sometimes on this board people often end up making something that is to other peoples tastes opposed to there own, sure it's nice to have opinions and many critical eyes can help - but also it can hinder people into striving to impress other people rather than building something for themselves.

As I said for me it doesn't suit the body but also I've never liked splayed string pulls even though I'm a thrasher as heart and was bought up on bands who played basically nothing but Jacksons! But either way it's still a great looking guitar.

It is just me or is there a bit of a rough patch of CA under the bottom 2 controls? Do you use micromesh pads for the CA finish?

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...but it doesn't bother me, I rather like it. :D

and there inlies the most important thing! :D I think sometimes on this board people often end up making something that is to other peoples tastes opposed to there own, sure it's nice to have opinions and many critical eyes can help - but also it can hinder people into striving to impress other people rather than building something for themselves.

I with ya on this one too. The PRS body I did with a Jackson-like headstock caught some flack because it didn't have a 3+3.

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Yep seen them even tried one out considering to buy it back in the day - but I still don't think the point headstock suits the body! :D

Sure the Jackson headstock is pretty iconic from the late 80s & early 90s and the way the finished their guitars were always aimed towards the metal crowd - floyd rose, shark tooth inlays, darker colour schemes and also their bodies for the whole were sharp edged no roundovers . . all in all more aggressive. Now put the Jackson headstock on the old Marty Friedman signature body and you have one of my favourite guitars - ever!

For me the strat headstock is somewhat dull not ugly but nothing to set the world on fire and I aren't a fan of non-angled headstocks.

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I would've liked to see a rounder shape on the headstock

I would have gone the other way and made the body pointier if I were going to modify something.

It is just me or is there a bit of a rough patch of CA under the bottom 2 controls?

Do you use micromesh pads for the CA finish

Those pics were taken within the hour of applying the CA, there has been no sanding done yet.

All I'm trying to do with the CA is solidify the wood and even out the playing field before I switch to lac.

Only because it's easier to sand and re-apply more CA than it is to shoot coat after coat of lac to achieve a level finish,

so I'm making the CA do double-duty so-to-speak.

The CA will just be sanded to 220 before switching over.

You wouldn't want to make it too smooth, you want the lac to have something to bite into

to give a good mechanical adhesion since there is no chemical adhesion taking place

between the two dissimilar finishes.

Yep seen them even tried one out considering to buy it back in the day -

but I still don't think the point headstock suits the body

!

That's OK. I agree with you, the headstock and the body are like two opposing forces, round - soft vs. pointy - sharp, my job is to utilize the appropriate hardware as the middle ground, to act as an intermediary, to draw them together tastefully, which I plan to do as best as I can.

Thanks! :D

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Mmm....looks like an oatmeal cookie....tastes like cat poo :-p

What CA is it that you're using, Drak? Water thin stuff? I've never used any specially-thin viscosity CAs up till now, but am tempted to do so as a "transparent grainfiller" prior to tinting and clearing.

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Now that is an interesting question inDEED. :D

A lot of times when joining bookmatched lam tops, I use CA to glue them up, since it dries so fast, especially when using the accelerator spray, I can glue-up the book and glue the lam to the body within an hour or two.

So, I used medium viscosity CA from Home Depot (Loktite brand), then, once it was set up and clamps removed, I flipped it over on the backside and added some thin viscosity CA (Hotstuff brand) to tighten things up on the join.

...And I noticed something very interesting I had never noticed before...

The two different types of glue, when dried, gave two different appearances!

The Loktite did not totally sink into the finish, and it gave a very pretty amber-ish color to the wood.

The Hot Stuff COMPLETELY soaks into the wood (it probably would have taken 5 bottles to do top and bottom)

and when dried, gave the wood a very dark brown appearance.

Another thing about the thin viscosity Hot Stuff, it REACTED with the spalting in the wood, it sizzled and popcorned just as if I had added accelerator spray to it, this is not a good thing, this would have made things go south if I had used it as a topcoat finish.

I was very glad I saw this happen to the backside, so I could avoid it as a topcoat.

I used the medium viscosity Loktite as the topcoat, and it worked beautifully.

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Now that is an interesting question inDEED. :D

A lot of times when joining bookmatched lam tops, I use CA to glue them up, since it dries so fast, especially when using the accelerator spray, I can glue-up the book and glue the lam to the body within an hour or two.

So, I used medium viscosity CA from Home Depot (Loktite brand), then, once it was set up and clamps removed, I flipped it over on the backside and added some thin viscosity CA (Hotstuff brand) to tighten things up on the join.

...And I noticed something very interesting I had never noticed before...

The two different types of glue, when dried, gave two different appearances!

The Loktite did not totally sink into the finish, and it gave a very pretty amber-ish color to the wood.

The Hot Stuff COMPLETELY soaks into the wood (it probably would have taken 5 bottles to do top and bottom)

and when dried, gave the wood a very dark brown appearance.

Another thing about the thin viscosity Hot Stuff, it REACTED with the spalting in the wood, it sizzled and popcorned just as if I had added accelerator spray to it, this is not a good thing, this would have made things go south if I had used it as a topcoat finish.

I was very glad I saw this happen to the backside, so I could avoid it as a topcoat.

I used the medium viscosity Loktite as the topcoat, and it worked beautifully.

Very good information there Drak. Body is turning out nice!

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I would have gone the other way and made the body pointier if I were going to modify something.

Those pics were taken within the hour of applying the CA, there has been no sanding done yet.

All I'm trying to do with the CA is solidify the wood and even out the playing field before I switch to lac.

Only because it's easier to sand and re-apply more CA than it is to shoot coat after coat of lac to achieve a level finish,

so I'm making the CA do double-duty so-to-speak.

The CA will just be sanded to 220 before switching over.

You wouldn't want to make it too smooth, you want the lac to have something to bite into

to give a good mechanical adhesion since there is no chemical adhesion taking place

between the two dissimilar finishes.

Ahh I thought you were using the CA for the finish . . . that's what my intentions for the burl topped body I have in the works. :D

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