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Bizman62
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Well... I wasn't quite happy with it after all. During the week I kept wiping it with a damp cloth, getting the center a bit lighter and the edges a bit more translucent. Today I figured out that I don't like the marker fix at the top edge of the lower bout so I sanded it until the glue was gone. On the opposite edge there was a long dent or scratch which I also sanded away. And I sanded the center to be more natural. And I mixed and applied some more of the stain concentrate, both with alcohol and water, trying to get the edges right. In between I sanded the very edges clean all over to get rid of any glue squeeze outs. For some reason the edges didn't want to get dark again, I had to wipe the dye in almost raw. And there was still some pale stripes of glue infused wood which I fixed with a black Industrial Marker, drawing a hair thin line all around the binding! And lots of rubbing with a clean rag moistened with either water or alcohol. In my eyes the result is more organic now, having a sort of a vintage vibe.

For some reason the two cracks started to show more, I guess I'll just infuse them with thin cyanoacrylate before applying lacquer. It'll be two weeks until I'll visit the workshop again so there's plenty of time to change my mind.

And I won't tell how I managed to a) throw the cup of stain on the floor, making a mess and b) sprinkle raw dye from the syringe all over the guitar body because the lid didn't want to find the thread.

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I often think that it is good to take a pause at stages in a build and decide what are things that should be fixed and what are natural tiny imperfections that are what makes a hand made instrument so special. 

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10 minutes ago, Muzz said:

I often think that it is good to take a pause at stages in a build and decide what are things that should be fixed

My two week pause will be just because a) I only go to the workshop on Saturdays and b) next Saturday I'll go visit a friend or three, hopefully not getting any nasty souvenirs!

But yes, during the renovation of our house I learned that even the best plans will get improved during the morning drop!

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8 hours ago, ScottR said:

I liked the first attempt, but this is better.

Thanks, I  feel the same. And now that I've chosen the path to perfection, I guess I'll have to redo the bottom of the lower bout: The diagonal sanding strokes behind the controls are visible even in the crappy photo! The clearcoat would most likely enhance them to look like the Grand Canyon!

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Now that we know how the body is going to look, I wonder if I should add colour to the headstock as well or leave it natural. There's quite a lot happening in the neck, the buttons and brass pins as markers and the different coloured lams... A burst might tie it to the body but then again theres the stripes and the carving... Heck, traditional Fenders had plain maple necks! And Gibson painted their headstocks! Argh!

Opinions, please.

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10 hours ago, ScottR said:

You could do a fade beginning at the fretboard and fading toward the top end

You  mean on the upper face of the headstock only? Like so:

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So I did like instructed and the idea is solid. But I'm not quite happy with the result, it's clogged in the dip behind the fretboard and in certain light it looks like dried baby poo. Problem was it didn't want to take dye like I wanted it to. Another issue arose with the added width: The grain doesn't match at all, I must have glued the piece sideways or backwards, or it may even be of a different type of maple - American rock maple vs. European sycomore. Anyhow, it sucks dye like end grain!

Guess I'll let it sit for a while and then wipe the excess off with alcohol. Then let it dry properly again and apply a little darker brown amber to the very edge to hide the crack at the curve. That was caused by the vise when I clamped it to the workbench at an early stage. Steam and heat brought the bruise up but it seems to suck dye as well.

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Sanded it clean and redid it - twice! This is now as good as I can get it, some lacquer should take care of the rest. The colours should match as good as they can on different woods. For a moment I toyed with the idea of dying the bottom side Cherry Red to match the back of the body but fortunately the other builders persuaded me not to! I'm going to apply lacquer on the headstock and use Crimson Guitar Finishing Oil for the neck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So... Last weekend I glued the neck, sanded matte and applied some more lacquer. Today I leveled the runoffs and sanded it matte and went to apply some more lacquer. Is there a "best before" date on rattle cans? These two were bought when I started this project about a year ago and both have suffered from the stuff not wanting to come out. Today's one was even worse than the first: At first it just spit something, then it started to leak under the nozzle button. An occasional spray and then stopped again, leaking more from under the button which at that point decided to stick on my forefinger rather than stay where it should. Then all of the sudden, after some more shaking and keeping upside down, it started working. Fearing it would stop again I applied the lacquer too plentifully so there's runoffs all over the place. Hopefully the layer is uniform enough to be sanded level! And the bottom is wavy as the sea but I won't bother leveling it!

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That's looks rather tasty, especially the back. Love that red 😎  If you've got runs in lacquer, take the top off them with a razor blade and get it as close to the surrounding areas as you can before you do any sanding, then spray another couple of coats. I've found if you just sand runs, it's very easy to sand through in the surrounding area. 

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