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The Zenith - A semi hollow electric based on my mandola design


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6 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

It also has a 1960's vibe,

Wow, I can't believe you said that, I was thinking the absolutely exact same thing.

Classic influence, yet also modern at the same time.

Those very words were going through my head, a 1960's/1970's kinda vibe.

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18 hours ago, Drak said:

Wow, I can't believe you said that, I was thinking the absolutely exact same thing.

 

14 hours ago, mattharris75 said:

It's cool that y'all describe it that way, as that's very much what I was going for.

Must be an age thing, I'm only mere months behind @Drak

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On 6/19/2021 at 3:58 PM, mattharris75 said:

Which one was your guess? I almost used a different one, but when I got it drawn out in Illustrator I didn't like it as much as the hand drawing.

I was going with the middle one on the left.

SR

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On 6/19/2021 at 9:56 PM, mattharris75 said:

Need to drop fill some epoxy in the voids and micromesh everything to a nice polish, but here's the inlay design I went with:

 

This looks great! How did you do the inlay? I'm thinking of doing a headstock and 12th fret inlay on my guitar 

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12 hours ago, Armaan said:

This looks great! How did you do the inlay? I'm thinking of doing a headstock and 12th fret inlay on my guitar 

I designed it so that I could use a 3/4" forstner bit to cut the inlay hole. I drew the design in Adobe Illustrator and then used my favorite laser cutting service, SendCutSend, who I use for all of my combat robot work, to cut the design out of 1/8" thick brass. Then inlayed it with epoxy with a little black furniture powder in it.

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8 minutes ago, mattharris75 said:

I designed it so that I could use a 3/4" forstner bit to cut the inlay hole. I drew the design in Adobe Illustrator and then used my favorite laser cutting service, SendCutSend, who I use for all of my combat robot work, to cut the design out of 1/8" thick brass. Then inlayed it with epoxy with a little black furniture powder in it.

Got it! I might try that out if I can find a good laser cutting service.

Combat robot work!? Is that like Robot Wars / Batllebots? Sounds cool

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1 hour ago, Armaan said:

 

Combat robot work!? Is that like Robot Wars / Batllebots? Sounds cool

 

Same idea, but I compete in the insect weight classes, 1 and 3 pound robots. I've fought and am friends with some of the guys that do Battlebots. A few years ago I got to do the graphics for one of the robots on the show.

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  • 3 months later...

I feel like I should update this thread. Life obligations have limited the time and energy I have available to work on this guitar, but I haven't been completely idle. 

I completed the application of the Tried & True oil finish per manufacturer's instructions. I didn't like the thickness of the finish, it made it a bit difficult to apply evenly. After following their instructions I decided to hit it with some synthetic wire wool and put another coat on that I had thinned 50% with turpentine. It went on much easier, and certainly looks better than it did prior to that coat.

At this point I really feel like I just picked the wrong finish for this build. It looks a bit dull and lifeless to me. The whole thing is maybe a bit muddier than I had imagined. I think this finish would be more suited to a more highly contoured carve on the top. It would catch the light better and look more vibrant. I like the way it looks in the area of the hook scroll/cutaway, and if the whole top was similar I think I would be much happier with it. I also think it would pair better with a darker wood like walnut, it's just not adding much to the maple. 

So at this point I'm leaning toward just futzing with it a bit more; a few more coats, some additional burnishing, etc. And then just finishing it up and moving on. The result should still be quite nice. But I've still got a lot going on, so it will be awhile before I make any additional progress.

Here's a fairly crummy picture of where she stands right now:

PXL_20210625_013901859.thumb.jpg.07a5cf91926a604ad670fe88e4a70bcb.jpg

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2 minutes ago, mattharris75 said:

It looks a bit dull and lifeless to me. The whole thing is maybe a bit muddier than I had imagined.

Oiling is a dark art but for what I read you're on the right track. The amount of thin layers should finally build up a shiny level surface. A satin sheen should be even easier to achieve. For what I've experienced with Crimson Guitar Finishing Oil (which I've heard is basically counter-engineered TruOil which in turns is a tried old mix of oil, lacquer and turps) it just takes forever. A dozen layers rubbed on and wiped off seems to be just the start... The thicker stuff should actually build up faster but the surface will still look dull until you buff it after the final coat has properly cured. Applying a layer of good wax will improve the shine but even that seems to take quite some time to settle. My semi hollow LP shaped one with the Ovangkol top has only recently started to really shine. It's not glossy like a clearcoat but the wood seems to have some sort of internal glow without no visible glass like layer on it.

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I've achieved really good results with Tru Oil in the past on several different builds, but this product, Tried & True Oil, is a bit different. It's just boiled linseed oil and bees wax. I probably should have stuck with Tru Oil as I'm pretty comfortable with it, but I tried something new and it hasn't gone as well as I'd hoped...

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38 minutes ago, mattharris75 said:

I've achieved really good results with Tru Oil in the past on several different builds, but this product, Tried & True Oil, is a bit different. It's just boiled linseed oil and bees wax. I probably should have stuck with Tru Oil as I'm pretty comfortable with it, but I tried something new and it hasn't gone as well as I'd hoped...

I can't say I've run across that stuff, but it sounds like it's acting like boiled linseed oil all right. Burnishing helps after it's had plenty of time to dry.

I'm sure you end up with something remarkable.

SR

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9 hours ago, mattharris75 said:

I've achieved really good results with Tru Oil in the past on several different builds, but this product, Tried & True Oil, is a bit different. It's just boiled linseed oil and bees wax. I probably should have stuck with Tru Oil as I'm pretty comfortable with it, but I tried something new and it hasn't gone as well as I'd hoped...

Ahh, the "Tried" is part of the name, I thought you just added it, possibly remembering you being the guy with experience with TruOil...

Since it's just oil and wax it might behave a bit like Osmo which also has no solids as far as I know. BLO will build up by itself, although very slowly. As @ScottR said burnishing it when it's properly dried can help. If you leave the surface "live" getting it to shine may be a bit tricky even if you apply wax as the bottom of the grain and pores stays untouched. A brush (like a shoe shine brush) will polish even the deepest grooves.

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