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


JayT
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46 minutes ago, JayT said:

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

For most finishes and most practical purposes curing means shrinking and getting harder. There is more to it chemically, but we don't really care, we want to know when it's done sinking into pores and hard enough to be a protective coating. For nitro, which is often the slowest, after two weeks roughly 80% of shrinking is done and it gets harder as it shrinks since that is the solvents evaporating out. After three weeks it is roughly 95% done, and the last 5% will keep shrinking for up to 6 more months. I usually do a couple of grades of leveling at two weeks, both to get a head start and to break the surface, which at times can seal itself and make it harder to out gas--solvents evaporating. At three weeks I carry on with the leveling, and four I buff and strap on hardware and start playing. If your pore filling job is solid, you'll never notice that last 5% of shrinkage. If not, then 6 months down the road you'll get it in the right light at the right angle and notice some pores. It might piss you off, but when you realize that you have to try hard to see them and it really ain't no big deal. You'll never notice the difference between 95% and 100% hard.

SR

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7 hours ago, JayT said:

oh, what is this little fork thing that came with the nut files?

It's for steel string acoustics to pull the little string pegs out of the bridge.

- So you made a lefty nut? 🙃 It seems there's plenty of material above the pencil line, most likely all you need to do is to file the excess off. After all the string grooves only need to be half the string diameter deep. Any deeper is an element in the recipe for squealing.

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5 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

It's for steel string acoustics to pull the little string pegs out of the bridge.

After staring at it for 10 minutes I finally figured it out. The little guitar carved into it really has those pegs highly detailed, that tipped me off 🙄.  I only ever used that part on my peg winder

5 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

there's plenty of material above the pencil line, most likely all you need to do is to file the excess of

Indeed there was, but I already rounded off the other side, it was pretty loose in the slot anyway. The next try turned out much better...all done but the grooves -- then I can finally assemble this puppy!

Well, assuming I can get the electronics done. I accidentally got shipped a Strat style pre-wired kit so I disassembled that (which gave me the chance to learn about desoldering...got some wick and a pump, pump was useless for me) and will try to salvage needed parts onto a 3-way switch. Getting ahead of myself here...back to the nut!

5 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

the string grooves only need to be half the string diameter deep. Any deeper is an element in the recipe for squealing.

Thanks for that detail, I heard/read that they should only be that deep, but didn't know the reason. Half the diameter of high e is going to be difficult with these crappy files:

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I wasn't going to spend $300 on the proper ones! Any tips here appreciated, 

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1 hour ago, JayT said:

going to be difficult with these crappy files:

They aren't files, they're nozzle cleaners. I once bought them too and donated to a fellow builder telling promptly how bad they are as nut slot files.

I've had very good results with my €5 feeler gauge set which has all the thicknesses you'd need. I clamped each of the gauges one at a time to my little bench vise and stroke both sides the edge a few times with a coarse cross hacked file, aiming for a slightly round edge. It eats bone quite nicely. Should I need a wider gap rocking the gauge from side to side does the trick - something I've learned from Jerry Rosa's videos, he only uses a razor saw for all slots, adjusting the width by rocking.

 

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Welp, back-to-back (self made) disasters...

Disaster #1 - for some reason I accidentally sprayed primer on top of the semi-gloss on the black one...what was going to be final coat. So I figured "hey, I'll just apply more semi-gloss top then finish!" well, that didn't work at all --- so I stripped it down to wood (no pic) am have primed again.

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I can live with this mistake.

Then onto the white one's neck, just finishing final buffing, I thought looking pretty good...

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...then...

Disaster #2: I'm calling this one "The Infamous Neck Buffing Launch of 2020" .... can you guess what happened? I bet you can...

Once I retrieved said neck from across the room I was bummed that I scratched the pain... 

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but kinda relieved that it wasn't wors... ---- oh, holy hell...

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So now I'll try to glue it back... *sign*

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Both are my carelessness so I can't blame anyone/anything else. It is what it is, live & learn...whatever.

And to top it off both of lumberyards I buy wood at are closed, and even if they weren't I 'd get a ticket fro driving there due to lock down orders here.

Things could be worse I'm sure so not sweating the small sh!t 🙂

Edited by JayT
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The subconscious is a powerful thing. Yours appears to have concluded that Oh Shit! I'm almost done and then what will I do with all this time on my hands?

Obviously, make more work.:)

On the other hand, you seem to be getting the mistakes out of the way early. Experience is the best teacher. But you'd be amazed at how easy it is to dream up new mistakes to make on the following builds. **sigh**

It's all part of the experience. Fixing mistakes is one of the most important things we do.

SR

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17 hours ago, JayT said:

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Heartbreaking! Good news is it looks like the split will glue up and not be noticeable. 

For future designs be careful about cutouts with a small radius (like the pointy end of your teardrop shape), especially in the direction of the grain. Cracks will tend to propagate from those points. On the other hand that's one of the coolest looking headstocks I've seen in a long time. 

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3 hours ago, ScottR said:

you seem to be getting the mistakes out of the way early.

I do appreciate the positive spin on: "Jeez, you've really screwed up in every conceivable way!"  😜

2 hours ago, n8caster said:

be careful about cutouts with a small radius (like the pointy end of your teardrop shape), especially in the direction of the grain. Cracks will tend to propagate from those points.

Yep, this occurred to me...after the fact.

1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

Pre-empting is preferable!

100% AGREE!

Good news is that the crack re-glue seems pretty solid and is all but invisible from the back. Once I re-paint/re-finish I'm thinking only I'll be able to spot it...and I know that it will bother me every time ai pick it up.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Welp, a few updates after a long absence...glad to be back here after a few frustrating weeks.

the cracked head repair went well I think 

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and both neck backs are finished with TruOil just have to wet sand and polish 

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The bodies have been a challenge painting and getting results I was happy with. Many coats, many wet sanding sessions, many scratches and exposed wood at edges!

i could deal with that but the biggest problem was when I felt it was getting close all the holes would swell with water...like under the paint. I coated the holes with TruOil but that didn’t help. It was like the water was getting between the wood and the paint!

Ended up taking both down to wood and repainted.

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Black was first coat of semi-gloss, White is now primed.

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going to SLOW DOWN and give more drying time. Going to only dry sand with more/higher grit paper...or at least try that route.

if I ever paint a guitar again I’m either using nitro or staining...spray painting is just too problematic for me

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2 hours ago, JayT said:

spray painting is just too problematic for me

If you end up with a perfect result you can use that as a demonstration of skill at an automotive paint shop, should you ever need a new job.

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Ah man you’ve had a lot of bad luck with your build recently, but the necks are now really looking the part.

Spray painting isn’t easy.  I did my first guitar with rattle cans and i made that many mistakes, but didn’t sand back just over coated.  Eventually I admitted defeat, and peeled off paint layers about 3mm thick!  It turned out ok in the end.

I really got used to spraying when I repainted motorbike fairings.  That project taught me a lot.  I got a compressor for that and it definitely was better but it’s a pain in the arse having to clean the gun each time.

drying time is key before wet sanding, but it’s the worst time of a build as that’s when you are most impatient.  I’ve definitely learned that impatience makes the job a lot longer!

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I've got a decent finish on these bodies finally...maybe not the high gloss look I wanted, but I think with the rattle-can semi-gloss spray paint I used and my newbie skills this is as good as it gets. In other words - I'm not starting over again :) 

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I think with more practice I'd get better results --- painting, wet sanding, rubbing compound, polishing, waxing --- it all was a bit much first time out doing two at once, and both opposite ends of the color spectrum I had to clean up alot and re-using sandpaper & polishing pads was usually a bad idea I found out (the hard way)

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There are some small & micro scratches still but I'll be call this a 'slightly relic'd' finish, so don't mention them...and maybe one day I'll try to improve the finish. Probably not.

Now I just have to wrap-up the head stock paint finishing and assemble! 

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On 4/23/2020 at 4:13 PM, Norris said:

Now I just use finer grits of micro mesh, taking my time, followed by cutting compound and keep the guitar as dry as possible 

This was my plan, but even with what I consider finer grit (I used 600/800/1000/1200/1500/2000/2500/3000/5000/7000) the paper would get build-up of little hard balls and those would scratch the finish. I was cleaning off the paper so much I was getting nowhere fast. So I used water with a tiny bit of soap, then around 2500 grit used glass cleaner. 

I'm curious what grit you use.

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42 minutes ago, JayT said:

the paper would get build-up of little hard balls and those would scratch the finish

That might be a symptom of using too much pressure. My favourite allegory is to compare sanding to mowing: You're cutting the lawn with the blades, not pressing them down with a steamroller.

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Partially true, but not the whole story. Yes, don't overpressure abrasives. That is pretty much guaranteed to cause debris to "corn up" and at worst it ruins the abrasive by sticking to the surface and ruins your finish. Dry sanding isn't ideal as any stickiness in the debris will cause the above eventually anyway. Unless it's a dry primer or other layer that turns to fine dust, I'd use water with a bit of basic soap added. That helps to lower the surface tension of the water and also keep the abraded debris in fine grains without allowing it to coalesce into larger chunks.

Water isn't that much of a problem unless it gets into screwholes and other locations where the edges swell up and the raised finish edges get knocked back by accident. I'm just not a fan of dry sanding, but YMMV depending on your patience.

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Some good responses beat me to it.

Definitely don't use pressure - have some patience and let the abrasive do the work. Dust off your paper/micromesh regularly on a cloth - monofibre cloth, or even an old towel works well. You need to get the dust out of the paper before it has time to pack/clog in there, sometimes every 3 or 4 strokes. Your paper will last longer and you'll get a better result 

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