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I have little to no idea of what I'm doing...


JayT
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That looks really nice especially from the top, it follows the belly carve nicely and even the grain pattern looks like following the contour!

Now before doing anything else, let your subconscious work on the subject whether you'd like that edge on the top  or would it look even better if the contour was blended in. Both are valid options, the difference is only in the general looks.

If you still have the offcut right beside the contour, you can make the blended carve on it to see how the grain behaves visually as it's continuous to the top and thus the pores are in the same angle, shifting the light in a similar manner. Did that make sense or was it gibberish?

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9 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

...whether you'd like that edge on the top  or would it look even better if the contour was blended in...

At the moment it's sort of in-between a hard edge and a blended one...the lighting in that other pic makes it look harder than it is.

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I think I'm going to shoot for a harder line/edge, and I have to flatten out the contour as it has a bit of a hump that I think is visible in this picture. I viewed a video of someone achieving a flat angle by sanding with a whole sheet of sandpaper glued to a piece of plywood or mdf.

9 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

If you still have the offcut right beside the contour, you can make the blended carve on it to see how the grain behaves visually as it's continuous to the top and thus the pores are in the same angle, shifting the light in a similar manner. Did that make sense or was it gibberish?

I'm sure I have the offcut in my scrap box...but I confess I not sure what you mean exactly as I'm still a novice at all this. 

9 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Useful reference would be the Jackson Kelly. Can't recall if they have arm contours or not. Looks good man. 

Thanks! I couldn't find any images online with one that has an arm contour.  Don't most/many bodies in the Explorer style have that "back fin" a chamber? 

Anyway, I've been looking at the The Fender Meteora for inspiration and think I may take the contour further down the tail side, almost to the centerline. Will have to overthink this as usual

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2 hours ago, JayT said:

I'm sure I have the offcut in my scrap box...but I confess I not sure what you mean exactly as I'm still a novice at all this. 

I'm not talking about any "master" stuff here, not with my skill or experience. It's just logical thinking about which sacrificable part would be most similar to your guitar to be used as a test piece.

image.png.696a760ed66dd45c4fe3193f7260195b.png

 

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On 3/5/2020 at 2:53 PM, willliam_q said:

how did you make the contour?

I suck with planes...used my rasp-saw and rasp-file mostly...also used cabinet scraper a little. The 2nd one went faster and with better results (of course) but I also reworked the first one too

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On 3/6/2020 at 4:36 PM, n8caster said:

...I'm about to embark on my first build...

Good luck! Since I'm not yet finished even one I have limited advice -- but the members here are full of wisdom and are super helpful. Looking forward to seeing your build!

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First coat of primer...really shows the imperfections & grain that I guess I didn’t fill quite enough. Going to fill again & sand back a bit before next primer coat 

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not too terrible I can work with these

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I hate it when that happens 😆.  It’s my most impatient part of the build but also the most important.  The finishing phase is not about hiding your sins, it usually reveals them.

It will particularly reveal where you have sanded different grits of paper if you aren’t thorough enough.

I’ve also found in the past that if I didn’t seal it well enough before sanding back, wet sanding would seep around join lines and make them visible through opaque paint.

Some people might say that to finish a guitar properly takes the same amount of time as it took to actually build it.  Puts it into perspective.

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2 hours ago, willliam_q said:

It will particularly reveal where you have sanded different grits of paper if you aren’t thorough enough.

Yep, I've got a bit of sanding ahead of me yet.

2 hours ago, willliam_q said:

...that to finish a guitar properly takes the same amount of time as it took to actually build it...

I hope not, it seems like the "simple things" are taking me the longest. I've omitted my 3 attempts at carving/sanding a well fitting nut. Also, nobody gave me a heads up on how much bone stinks when sanding!

2 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

The neck on the blonde one seems to be upside down... 😜

But the extension tube is genious as it allows for turning the guitar around!

 One of the many failed neck carves...and on good wood that one. At least it found a purpose.

I can't take credit for the tube-in-clamp idea, I saw it in a few YT videos...but it is way helpful to be able to spin/turn it while spraying. Especially since I was spraying towards an exhaust fan pointing to an open door (not visible as I'm standing in that spot for the pics)

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2 hours ago, willliam_q said:

Some people might say that to finish a guitar properly takes the same amount of time as it took to actually build it.  Puts it into perspective.

If you count sanding as finishing, I'd say that is easily true. To be fair though, some of the lengthy finishing time is literally wathcing the paint dry....or lacquer cure etc.

SR

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10 hours ago, JayT said:

First coat of primer...really shows the imperfections & grain that I guess I didn’t fill quite enough. Going to fill again & sand back a bit before next primer coat 

112BAB8A-CFC9-44AA-8567-B6BD5060A125.thumb.jpeg.89b44e0703a9bd5c443cbb6bbfc7345a.jpeg

F448E9AE-0A05-41B7-B33B-956B352B21B3.thumb.jpeg.a3cdb92c0a20ace9eb9c529744edbb14.jpeg

BA5C8B8F-9F30-45C6-A171-A257FCC070F0.thumb.jpeg.a1c4aaed886d0f63a7a79c8b6d84134e.jpeg

not too terrible I can work with these

You've got some nice geometry going on here.

But now I have to know.....Dude, is your shop in your living room, or is your living room in your shop?

SR

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4 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Dude, is your shop in your living room, or is your living room in your shop?

Ha, my family does say I live down here but my "shop" is actually the laundry room in our basement. I've stored the old couch here (translation: I'm too lazy to take it to dump) that comes in handy as a 2nd soft, anti-dent surface for in-progress projects. Plus it has sentimental value as my daughter was practically birthed on it 14 years ago...I leave the details of that delightful experience to your imagination (you're welcome) 

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It's actually genius  for a soft surfaced place to put in progress work whilst other parts of the build need attention. I often have need for just that. Also a good place to kick back with a beer after a few hours of sanding....just to refuel you know.

I've got one birthing burned into my mind for 35 years now. Just substitute the couch and I'm set, huh?

SR

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5 hours ago, JayT said:

Also, nobody gave me a heads up on how much bone stinks when sanding!

Yes, yes it does 

6 hours ago, JayT said:

it seems like the "simple things" are taking me the longest.

Finishing is not a "simple thing". Slow, frustrating, awkward to get right, but certainly not simple :)

(Ask me how I know!)

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First coat of paint on. I ended up using Rustoleum semi gloss and so far looks ok. Black and Ivory Bisque (which is pretty close to vintage white) 

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I plan to do min 3 coats, wet sanding in between. Then probably use Minwax rattlecan polycrylic....thoughts? No going back on the color but I’ve not bought poly yet. I have Truoil for the necks, planning on doing entire necks even painted headstock with trueoil 

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painting/finishing advice needed.

With the semi-gloss paint I'm doing a coat a day (on 3rd) and in between coats I'm sanding back the orange peel & dust bumps. As a test (wondering if I'll ever get a smooth surface) I wet sanded an area up to 3000 grit and love that result. But is that the way to go if I want a protective finish? Like poly? Can I poly on such a smooth surface, will it adhere? If so, how far should I wetsand? I was planning on up to 5000 grit but not polishing/buffing the semi-gloss paint but rather buff the poly finish.

Or will the Rustoleum semi gloss be hard enough once polished and curred?

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It's enamel, isn't it? Basically it should suffice by itself, the clear coat is "just" for protection. If you don't sand through the paint, you should be fine. As it's semi gloss, putting a glossy clear coat might actually ruin the effect! It should work the other way around, a matte clear coat would make even a glossy paint matte. A car painter once told me that you can buff a matte paint glossy. Just thinking aloud...

Anyhow, in guitar building there's a belief that the thinner the layer on the surface the more resonant the guitar is. Crimson uses a thing called "Flashcoat" which according to my used-to-be-inside source told is simply a semi gloss clear poly/lacquer/whatever it's called with a gallon of thinner, sprayed once. It's touch dry in a couple of hours, looks similar to a dozen layers of oil but is more durable. The same with nitro, the layer is super thin.

I'd say just sand them down to 3000 or even higher, let the enamel cure for half a year and apply some wax to protect the very surface from sweat, beer and other organic spills. If it so happens that bare wood (or primer if you used some) is revealed, go back to 400-600 and repaint. Be cautious and lucky!

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

let the enamel cure for half a year and apply some wax

Wait, what? I can't play this for six months? ... and if I decide to do that, should I wax after the curring?

Next time I'm going to nitro, live & learn I guess

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Didn't someone tell you that finishing takes the longest? 😈

You can play, it does good for the wood. Avoid spills and dents, wipe with a microfibre cloth after playing etc. Doesn't that sound like no gigging? Then, if needed, resand with 6000 grit or so or use some light rubbing compound to make the surface uniform and protect it with wax.

It's the same with all finishes, even 2k poly. They all take a surprisingly long time to fully cure.

 

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