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Drak Build: Beryl (2011 Doublecut)


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The name Beryl is from Galaxy Quest and the Beryllium Spheres, which the figure reminds me of.

Beryl is a bookmatched Myrtle Burl, front and back, with a Walnut core.

I started Beryl in 2011 and 'finished' it sometime last year. These things do sit around sometimes...

I got it up to 2400 MicroMesh and just stopped, I just wasn't 'feeling' it. An hour short of being completely finished and I said NO.

So I re-calibrated and told myself I could do better. Something I would like much more than the caramel look.

It only needed to have the finish stripped, quick sandy-sand clean-up, and a re-shoot, which I did today.

Shot it (dye) and had time to get 4 quick clearcoats on it before it got dark.

Still have to do the back, but I do like it much better than it sat previously.

First time around was straight clearcoats, then all shader coats over clear.

This time it was all straight onto the wood, wiped, sanded back, then gunned on.

Beryl:

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You're right, the wood was gorgeous to start with but it was just a piece of figured lumber. The middle version somehow reminds me of the covers of the Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman, both because of the gloominess and the figuration, just beyond being able to actually see what the picture is about.

There's been several threads about removing the finish but your method beats them all!

And... the end result is fantastic! There's stories untold starting from the Big Bang, the all-seeing eyes of an Almighty Creator, their will stirring swirling Galaxies from the flaming Chaos in the Infinity - and from those macrocosmic views you suddenly can find human size campfire stories, a bit scary but safe to be heard within the sphere of light and warmth.

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10 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

There's been several threads about removing the finish but your method beats them all!

I think its because I'm a straight lacquer guy, lacquer responds easily and well to a heat gun approach.

And I've stripped so many finishes off, being picky, I'm kind of practiced at removing it now.

10 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

And... the end result is fantastic!

 

Well thank you! I always loved the interaction of trees, lumber, and my interpretation of what's 'in there' to work with.

I always try to work with wood, as a kind of partner, its a mutual back and forth thing.

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So I figured I better get the back shot before too much time passed to make sure it turned out close to the top.

So I shot it yesterday and got a few clearcoats on it.

Totally happy with it, very close and similar to the front.

If I had to do it over again, I would probably have extended the yellow section 'down' into the second layer of burl figure.

But I was concentrating on laying it down just like I had done the top and wasn't completely aware of the possibility.

Oh well, still looks great to me.

At this point is where any shader coats would come into play, if there was anything that needed 'fixing' or 'touching up'.

I would do that with a shader coat, but I don't see any need on this one, just do a thin darkburst around the sides and that's about it.

I'm pretty sure black hardware for this one.

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Holy Mackerel! I repeat the Big Bang reference, with the addition that there seems to be fiery fumes blown out amidst the burning moustache the flame-eyed Creator!

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

Holy Mackerel!

I repeat the Big Bang reference, with the addition that there seems to be fiery fumes blown out amidst the burning moustache the flame-eyed Creator!

Ha! Yes, certain woods can be like a Rorschach test, yes they can.

I don't even know how to categorize this one.

It's not exactly what a heavy metal crowd would go for, or a jazz crowd, or a blues crowd, or a country crowd, ...you get the idea.

It seems to have no particular 'association'? Except the fact that I built it and I love it, which is all that matters in the end I guess.

Wood, indeed, is cool stuff, I never get tired of admiring what it has to offer.

Funny how a little bit of color in the right places can affect things.

The 'caramel' look, I don't think, would have elicited such grandeur thoughts!

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41 minutes ago, Drak said:

It seems to have no particular 'association'?

Definitely not, at least not any of those mentioned, or rather all of those. There's every myth and story ever told in that figured colouring. The spiritual aspect of Creation was already mentioned, equally it could illustrate a post-industrial Mad Max by night or any sort of apocalypse. Despite all of the flames and smoke I wouldn't call it a weapon of Doom, though; the fire is elemental and pure like a volcano, deadly but not evil.

I'd say that guitar requires tunes with a meaning, performed with attitude in any style.

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  • 1 month later...

So I'm now working on three different necks to get things caught up a bit.

The Beryl build, the Sean Costello build, and the Sonic Crayon build.

So...I hit a weird crossroads with this one, either shit out some cool cosmic soup or get off the pot.

I did the headstock overlay out of a piece of flamed maple veneer and it came out exactly how I wanted it to.

But...I found it really boring and way too traditional, so I figured I needed to up my game and take some chances.

So I ripped off the maple veneer and looked through my bin of castaway wood pieces.

I pulled out about a dozen different pieces that were interesting, and finally decided on a piece of Buckeye Burl.

Now we have a chance to blow this build up a little and add some excitement to an already weird and cool build.

So here is Part 1.

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Part Two. A vision came to me and I saw it edged in blue, which I would have Never thought of doing.

Like, taking the 'GalaxyQuest' space-theme and pushing it out further.

Space is Blue, Purple, Black, not brown, so I decided to 'roll' with this idea.

But I also had to find a way to tie it in to the existing body so it somehow matched up.

The game was on.

When bursting, I almost always work from the inside to the outside edges.

But I needed to lay this blue down First and then assess how it looked to Then figure out what color to tie things in with.

This is the first clearcoat, just for reference.

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And here is the edgebursted blue. I dig it, and yes, it looks kinda 'cosmic', but Now What?

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So here's how I wrapped it up.

I used about 6 drops of both Cherry Red and 6 drops of Nutmeg.

And this is what I wound up with.

I totally dig it. The red doesn't even seem to have a straightline.

It seems to kind of waft in and out and come and go in places, which I totally love.

And there are even some small areas where the original Buckeye color is still presenting and showing through, which I also love.

I mean, the whole guitar kind of begs the reaction 'What The Hell'?

So the neck now just adds to the 'what the hell' aspect of it, but not in a clashy, unorthodox way.

I will find a way to bring some kind of blue to the body probably, maybe blue knobs, maybe spray the pickup poles blue...who knows?

But the hardware is going to be black, so I knew that when I was shooting this headstock, that it would have black tuners on it.

I think it'll look great.

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Well, consider me guilty of a Coverup!

I decided to 'blend' those colors a little, and the blue apparently has nearly vanished.

I added a few drops of Nutmeg to the mix I already had and just shot straight over the blue edges.

One pass all the way around, that was it.

I wasn't trying to totally cover up the blue, else I would have sanded it back and started over.

But it's pretty hard to see any obvious blue now.

It does match better with the body, which was the intended purpose.

But, I swear, you wouldn't even think there was blue there, and we're talking one pass with an airbrush.

Really quite strange, but it still has that 'cosmic' look to it, which is WAY better than that boring-ass flame maple veneer job.

Suits the overall 'theme' of the build perfectly.

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That headstock really matches with the body now, at least as well as the very original one.

The blue burst looked very nice and cosmic as well but as you said it now suits the overall theme. Another option of course would have been to apply a blue burst on the body as well, then again it may not have looked good against the yellow center of the body. Good choice!

Re the blue, done like that it might be a valid choice for @Nicco if he had a spray gun.

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11 hours ago, Drak said:

Well, consider me guilty of a Coverup!

I decided to 'blend' those colors a little, and the blue apparently has nearly vanished.

I added a few drops of Nutmeg to the mix I already had and just shot straight over the blue edges.

One pass all the way around, that was it.

I wasn't trying to totally cover up the blue, else I would have sanded it back and started over.

But it's pretty hard to see any obvious blue now.

It does match better with the body, which was the intended purpose.

But, I swear, you wouldn't even think there was blue there, and we're talking one pass with an airbrush.

Really quite strange, but it still has that 'cosmic' look to it, which is WAY better than that boring-ass flame maple veneer job.

Suits the overall 'theme' of the build perfectly.

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Less cosmic, better match,

Although I do miss the bit a little.....

I have seen blue disappear unexpectedly quick from time to time myself. That quality often makes it a good choice in darkening or shading other colors.  In fact, artist's paints, there is a color called Payne's gray which is essentially a dark navy blue and is intended specifically for darkening other colors particularly in shadow areas. It does not muddy the color the way black does. Which brings us back to the advice of never using black as a sandback color. Use shades deepened with dark blue/navy. It will leave the wood cleaner looking. Use black all you want in the tint coat though. It brings out all the other shades with the contrast.

This is stunning Drak. I'm looking forward to seeing her with all her bling strapped on.

SR

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So, all is not completely lost.

The simple man-made camera cannot pick up the same level of  cosmic perception as the human eye receptors can.

So, it has become just like chatoyance in a high-caliber 3-D piece of figured Maple.

As you turn a figured wood to and fro, from side to side, the figure jumps out and becomes almost alive.

The reflections catch the light in a thousand different little variations and refract it outward in all directions.

And that is what's happening with this piece now, which the camera can't capture.

As you turn it and move it, you can clearly see the blue pop out 'from underneath'.

Like I said, I only did one straight pass around the houses with an airbrush, no more, and wasn't trying to obliterate the blue.

Its actually really cool and makes me like it even more now.

It adds to the 'What The Hell' flavor if you saw it in person.

Hell, maybe I should do a light blue pass around the outer body edge shooting for the same effect?

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15 minutes ago, Drak said:

So, all is not completely lost.

The simple man-made camera cannot pick up the same level of  cosmic perception as the human eye receptors can.

So, it has become just like chatoyance in a high-caliber 3-D piece of figured Maple.

As you turn a figured wood to and fro, from side to side, the figure jumps out and becomes almost alive.

The reflections catch the light in a thousand different little variations and refract it outward in all directions.

And that is what's happening with this piece now, which the camera can't capture.

As you turn it and move it, you can clearly see the blue pop out 'from underneath'.

Like I said, I only did one straight pass around the houses with an airbrush, no more, and wasn't trying to obliterate the blue.

Its actually really cool and makes me like it even more now.

It adds to the 'What The Hell' flavor if you saw it in person.

Hell, maybe I should do a light blue pass around the outer body edge shooting for the same effect?

I was going to suggest the blue around the outer edge of the body (even only the sides) to tie them together, but that was before the nutmeg. Now you'd likely need the nutmeg as well to get the same effect.

Isn't it crazy how sometimes the camera can see things the eye cannot and other times the eye can see what the camera cannot. I did a trial once for enhancing the figure and movement of some curly maple and when it was done I couldn't take a picture of it to save my a**. The focus was either on the surface of the lacquer or what looked to be the bottom of the curls in the figure.....and both were out of focus. when viewed.

SR

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1 minute ago, ScottR said:

I was going to suggest the blue around the outer edge of the body (even only the sides) to tie them together, but that was before the nutmeg. Now you'd likely need the nutmeg as well to get the same effect.

Exactly my thought in the morning when I first saw it, funny how a thought can travel around the world!

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Well, the Nutmeg is already there, on the darkened body edges.

Nutmeg is one of my absolute go-to colors for many jobs.

It's like the central character for most of the 'Cowboy Sunset' themes.

I use it a lot for the primary 'sand-back' color to enhance figure.

And with black pigment added for the darkened edgebursts a lot of times.

But I didn't use it as a central player for this job as I was trying to steer away from the cowboy thing.

It was a bit player for the darkened edgeburst on this one, that's about it.

So putting blue over top of the darkened edges is basically just a reverse application.

I'm game for it, I think I'm going to try it (with much caution and restraint, of course)

It can't be obvious, it has to be like a 'did I see what I think I saw?...kind of effect.

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