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so... how much does it actually cost, and how much time does it actually take?


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so lately how much i spend on guitars has been under the microscope (by me, not necc the wife - she lets me get away w far too much!)... I suppose partially due to prices/inflation/gas etc... but also because I get a few asks here or there to buy a guitar I've made.  not really interested in selling, I don't build with that intent... but at some point all of us probably have to consider just tossing more money at guitar builds or perhaps selling off an old build in hopes of recouping some cash to finance future builds.  Also, perhaps to prove a point... maybe only to myself.  I think in general most of us would be surprised at what we actually spend building a guitar.  I know I was surprised at what I spent on kevin's tele for sure. 

With that in mind, I wanted to track actual costs on a future project as accurately as possible.  I also would like to track my hours.  

so I've started a spread sheet for a future lp build, not going with the cheapest of parts... but also not going overboard.  just middle of the row stuff - stuff that I would actually buy.

I'd be interested to know what you think of it... just honestly how it hits you.  I did not factor in shipping costs... and I'm guessing some things are missing... but an honest attempt at figuring actual cost for a prospective build.  Have any of you done a similar analysis?  What did you find?

further... how many hours would you guestimate to actually make a lp standard with single binding, typical 14 deg headstock, trapazoid inlay?  I'm told the avg tele takes 50 hours... my guess is a lp would be near 90.  I don't know what I spent on my baritone tele/paul... but I'd bet it's even more than that.

 

 

WOODS: COST: SOURCE:
body blank - mahog $35 peterman
neck blank - qtr sawn mahog $35 peterman
top - flamed maple $65 jlcraftwood
fretboard blank - ebony $30 unknown
     
HARDWARE:    
gotoh bridge std post gold $34 stew mac
tailpiece gotoh gold $30.08 stew mac
tuners - gotoh sd90 mg sl gold locking $59.99 amazon
pickups - seymour 59s used $89.99 craigslist
fretwire - evo gold med $17.99 philledelphia luthier
truss rod - allied flex strong spoke $43.00 allied luthier
     
ELECTRONICS:    
pots - bournes long shaft 500k (2x) $15.18 amazon
push-pull - bournes long 500k (1x) $8.30 amazon
rotary stew mac 4p6t $17.39 stew mac
3-way toggle switchcraft $24.59 stew mac
out jack - switchcraft $4.69  stew mac
wire - braided, solid-core… $4 stew mac
preamp $50 me
     
MISC:    
ctrl cavity pguard - all parts w toggle cover 14.95 guitarelectronics.com
toggle cover   n/a see above
toggle ring 3.89 stew mac
out jack plate allparts cream $7.99 sweetwater
scratch plate 8.99 guitarelectronics.com
scratch plate bracket gold 6.49 guitarelectronics.com
binding - cream (x3 11.34) 34.02 rothko and frost
pickup rings 9.79 amazon
inlays - gold pearl 27.99 j/n pearl on ebay
headstock inlay $5  
strap pins 10.03 sweetwater
nut - bone 9.99 amazon
pickguard screws $3 guess
     
ADDNTL MTRLS:    
wood/ca glue $3  
sandpaper $12  
carpet tape, masking tape, binding tape $12  
tool wear $25 fret slot bit, whiteside 3-wing, 1/4 endmill, 1/4 ball nose
shielding paint $20  
mohawk seal/clear $20  
dye $8  
pore filler  $4  
     
TOTAL: $810  
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Don't forget a set of strings.

Tracking your time and money is an interesting exercise. There's probably a 'clock-on/clock-off' app out there somewhere you can stick on your phone that you can smash every time you head in and out of the workshop.

Generally your raw material costs highlight some of the regional differences there can be pursuing this guitar building interest of ours. I couldn't get mahogany, maple or ebony for those kinds of prices down here. Conversely however, I can see some savings I can make against your table - I wouldn't buy an Allied Lutherie truss rod for example, as IME it doesn't give you 8x the performance for 8x the cost of a ordinary double acting rod. I'd also make a scratch plate from a large sheet of raw pickguard material rather than buy a pre-shaped one. 

Tallying labour costs only make sense if you intend to sell the product you're building, otherwise it's more of an academic exercise. But assuming you were interested in tracking it you'd typically set them to something that covers your 'hidden' expenses (power, insurance, heating, website maintenance, advertising, use of the car if you need to go to the shops to make purchases etc) and then apply a fixed factor to allow you to make a profit off your work (2-3x is pretty normal in any industry). Once you start tallying it up it can be quite shocking how much you should actually be charging your finished products out at; you might find that the $810 guitar you built should probably be sold at $3-4k.  

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25 minutes ago, curtisa said:

Don't forget a set of strings.

Tracking your time and money is an interesting exercise. There's probably a 'clock-on/clock-off' app out there somewhere you can stick on your phone that you can smash every time you head in and out of the workshop.

Generally your raw material costs highlight some of the regional differences there can be pursuing this guitar building interest of ours. I couldn't get mahogany, maple or ebony for those kinds of prices down here. Conversely however, I can see some savings I can make against your table - I wouldn't buy an Allied Lutherie truss rod for example, as IME it doesn't give you 8x the performance for 8x the cost of a ordinary double acting rod. I'd also make a scratch plate from a large sheet of raw pickguard material rather than buy a pre-shaped one. 

Tallying labour costs only make sense if you intend to sell the product you're building, otherwise it's more of an academic exercise. But assuming you were interested in tracking it you'd typically set them to something that covers your 'hidden' expenses (power, insurance, heating, website maintenance, advertising, use of the car if you need to go to the shops to make purchases etc) and then apply a fixed factor to allow you to make a profit off your work (2-3x is pretty normal in any industry). Once you start tallying it up it can be quite shocking how much you should actually be charging your finished products out at; you might find that the $810 guitar you built should probably be sold at $3-4k.  

very thankful to have your input as always.  good call - set of strings... I'm guessing there are 30 other things I'm forgetting and would love to hear more if you or anyone else sees a hole - will add that one asap.  

well... I'm not sure my raw material costs are reflective of what it would cost me today... but at a certain point you have to just put down your costs and let the chips fall where they may.  

the allied truss... I think it's a very reasonable point... cost/benefit.  That said... when you are talking about a 900 investment and 95+ hours of your life... I'm not sure truss rod is the place I want to save $30.  the allied truss is braised instead of welded... the metal is really high quality stainless, there is 1" of block at either end, the threads just feel like precision, and the spoke nut is much smaller than the Chinese variations of this rod.  afa I know the cheapest dual action I can find is bitter root for approx $13 so not 8x but perhaps you weren't trying to be literal.  I guess if one was seriously considering mass production that would be a good place to cut some costs tho so - good point.

tallying labor - well if I trade/sell a build I'd like to know at what point it would be "worth it" for me and for me... that would include my time.  That said I'm more curious than anything else.  I'd also like to know how fast/slow I am compared to others (would love to know if anyone has an idea of how long various builds took them).  I guess with cnc in the mix it's going to muddy the waters... but also I'd like to know what percentage of my hours is just running the machine vs working the parts/assembly.

I suspect actually tracking my hours would be a real eye opener.  the tracking app is a good idea.  I think I might try to setup a camera and turn it on every time I work, but the track app would be a good fallback plan.  

 

thank you again for the input!!

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I think your numbers are all low, except for the 3-way switch - $25?

As for time/effort/cost etc,, I think it is a losing proposition. This is a labor of love. Recoupment is possible, profit is fortuitous for the unknown and non- mechanized builder (a cnc machine does help)

I learned to work with guitars by buying $100-300 guitars and seeing how close I could get them to sound and play to my Tom Anderson and PRS guitars. IMHO, I got darn close, and certainly more than enough for the player who is more interested in playability than name and how thick the figured top is. It caused me to ask myself who would ever want to build a guitar, a question I still ask myself, often in the middle of a frustrating build. The answer I came up with is someone who enjoys it, which I do, right now.

Since then, I stopped thinking about the cost. The build provides satisfaction that cannot be purchased. Even if I sold a guitar for cost, I would be happy knowing that guitars I made were making music and making players happy. I like seeing them on my wall and knowing that I created it, similar to the feeling of many jobs I can look over afterwards and appreciate as a job well done. Unfortunately,  I don't enjoy playing them as much as I should (too critical of my own work)

You are an artist brother. Create for art's sake.

Sorry for the long non-answer!!

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38 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I'm not sure truss rod is the place I want to save $30

I reckon you'd be surprised how prevalent the cheaper rods are in commercial builds. Allied rods are (for me at least) around $80AUD each once I factor in the exchange rate and shipping in one-off quantities. A basic Chinese rod is about $12AUD in single quantities. Even if I buy a bunch of cheap ones, test them all before using and throw away the ones that fail (which I am yet to have one fail...so far...), that makes it a simple choice in my head.

FWIW, I did buy a 3 or 4 Allied rods when the exchange rate was much better some years ago, and one of them gave me grief with rattle after installation which eventually led me to scrap the neck it was in. Maybe I just got unlucky, but 1 in 4 fail rate isn't good for a premium component, and led me to reconsider exactly how important price vs function was to me for a component like that.

 

46 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I guess with cnc in the mix it's going to muddy the waters... but also I'd like to know what percentage of my hours is just running the machine vs working the parts/assembly.

If you were to factor in builds that are based off templated designs (either from physical routing templates you've made/bought, or CNC code that you've previously developed), you can increase your speed and cost margins significantly. However if every build you make is a bespoke, one-off custom, that's where the biggest hit to your margins and speed can occur. If you didn't have a CNC you'd be spending time and money making new MDF templates from scratch. If you did have CNC you'd be spending time and money doing all the CAD and CAM from scratch. Naturally in those situations you're going to take longer to build the guitar and (should) increase your sale price to cover the extra cost.

Realistically even if you had perfect CNC code you're still not going to hit 'play' and walk away - you're probably going to keep an eye on the machine and supervise its operation in case something unexpected happens. Your time is still being expended in that case, even if it's just sitting on your bum watching cat videos in the background on Youtube ;)

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10 minutes ago, curtisa said:

I reckon you'd be surprised how prevalent the cheaper rods are in commercial builds. Allied rods are (for me at least) around $80AUD each once I factor in the exchange rate and shipping in one-off quantities. A basic Chinese rod is about $12AUD in single quantities. Even if I buy a bunch of cheap ones, test them all before using and throw away the ones that fail (which I am yet to have one fail...so far...), that makes it a simple choice in my head.

FWIW, I did buy a 3 or 4 Allied rods when the exchange rate was much better some years ago, and one of them gave me grief with rattle after installation which eventually led me to scrap the neck it was in. Maybe I just got unlucky, but 1 in 4 fail rate isn't good for a premium component, and led me to reconsider exactly how important price vs function was to me for a component like that.

 

If you were to factor in builds that are based off templated designs (either from physical routing templates you've made/bought, or CNC code that you've previously developed), you can increase your speed and cost margins significantly. However if every build you make is a bespoke, one-off custom, that's where the biggest hit to your margins and speed can occur. If you didn't have a CNC you'd be spending time and money making new MDF templates from scratch. If you did have CNC you'd be spending time and money doing all the CAD and CAM from scratch. Naturally in those situations you're going to take longer to build the guitar and (should) increase your sale price to cover the extra cost.

Realistically even if you had perfect CNC code you're still not going to hit 'play' and walk away - you're probably going to keep an eye on the machine and supervise its operation in case something unexpected happens. Your time is still being expended in that case, even if it's just sitting on your bum watching cat videos in the background on Youtube ;)

no, I actually am fairly aware I guess... our own lef guitars uses them.  Probably the majority here use them as every build I see seems to have one.  Its just that I think the allied rods, and the lmii for that matter, are worth the small difference (in the context of the build).  I have four left from the 5 I bought when I did the dano style... probably use them at some point to.  

oh, if I factored the cad/cam into the equation... esp given the learning curve for me... they'd be...

56384fd578f33efe06b14663469bc8e7.jpg

I generally wouldn't walk away from the machine unless I was very confident in what I was doing... ie it was simple... I have a camera on it and freq have that on my phone while I'm in my office goofing around... but you are right - those hours factor into the real 'expense' of a guitar for me.  

I'm just really curious how long it takes me... as for the most part I'm doing one-offs... and this is def NOT the way to do them to make money... nor really is my design... but I'd still like to know the awful truth of how long I actually spend on them.

 

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3 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I'm just really curious how long it takes me... as for the most part I'm doing one-offs... and this is def NOT the way to do them to make money... nor really is my design... but I'd still like to know the awful truth of how long I actually spend on them.

As would I as well, so I'm curious to see what you get if you decide to record your hours. Like you, I've never worked it out exactly; I've always just assumed it was hovering around the 80-100 hour mark.

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36 minutes ago, curtisa said:

As would I as well, so I'm curious to see what you get if you decide to record your hours. Like you, I've never worked it out exactly; I've always just assumed it was hovering around the 80-100 hour mark.

that's a good guess.  I've read over on tdpri that the typical flat top tele is generally 50 hours and that's a really simple build.  I've read at mylespaul that the typical standard is 85hrs.  I wonder how much of an under estimate that is for me!

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I recon my lp specials I have been doing are around 45-50 hours maybe slightly more. I kept a bit of a casual timesheet on a semihollow carvetop build I did back in 2020 and stopped counting at 150 hours though, so how long is a piece of string. A lot of the labour really depends on the process though - You can be cooking the dinner while your CNC is operating where as I have to make sure I'm not stabbing myself with a chisel :D I have sped up a few processes though, table saw for slotting and decent buffer must have shaved 10 or more hours off a build for me. 

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6 hours ago, RVA said:

I think your numbers are all low, except for the 3-way switch - $25?

If @mistermikev has listed prices he's paid or prices as currently quoted (single quantities at retail), I'd say his numbers are bang on. $25 For a Switchcraft toggle is about right, particularly if Switchcraft are struggling, like most other manufacturers, to overcome supply chain issues since the start of the pandemic and the Russian/Ukraine conflict. $24AUD ($18US) was about what I'd pay for a Switchcraft toggle before the world was put on pause. Local prices for me are now $45AUD!

Although I would say $34 for binding and $20 for shielding paint seems a bit of overkill, so who knows 🤷‍♂️

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Telling the exact prices for parts is a mission impossible, at least for me. Exotic or otherwise fancy wood is one thing and I can't help wondering how the Far-East bulk manufacturers can sell guitars featuring figured tops for 100 money! Here a simple body blank can easily cost that much.

Speaking about truss rods, I've bought them from China for a fiver or less, the prices have come up a bit since then after they started adding VAT for all items outside the EU. So it's about the same as @curtisa mentioned. The same rods cost a tenner or more at a Finnish luthier supplier. The same applies with most of the parts, domestic or local suppliers cost double compared to the cheapest online vendors.

Regarding the total cost... The workshop/course alone is €165 for 70 hours divided into 5 hour sessions on Saturdays. But that includes tools I never could afford or fit anywhere plus a bunch of fellow builders to help if needed. It's a hobby and most hobbies come with a price tag. Plus it frees me from the household chores on those Saturdays! Anyhow, I could have bought the half a dozen guitars I've built for a quarter of the cost... Who cares!

 

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6 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

I recon my lp specials I have been doing are around 45-50 hours maybe slightly more. I kept a bit of a casual timesheet on a semihollow carvetop build I did back in 2020 and stopped counting at 150 hours though, so how long is a piece of string. A lot of the labour really depends on the process though - You can be cooking the dinner while your CNC is operating where as I have to make sure I'm not stabbing myself with a chisel :D I have sped up a few processes though, table saw for slotting and decent buffer must have shaved 10 or more hours off a build for me. 

hehe, cooking dinner.  one of my thoughts getting into cnc... was that it would keep my fingers away from power tools... and ultimately be safer given that it is easier to take very small bites of wood.  I'm not sure how valid that is.  that said... idk about cooking dinner.  It could throw a workpiece at you pretty easily, or start a fire... so I'm pretty much watching it full time.  I think ultimately, w/o even factoring in the design time... I would bet it actually takes significantly longer to do a one off on cnc vs by hand.  I don't have a bit changer and so the time I spend changing bits after each operation, plus the time I spend aligning things... plus factoring in that you almost have to do a prototype operation for every actual operation... if you are really lucky at best you build two guitars... but more than likely you toss 35% of your first operations.  I would bet the break even point is building 3 or 4... cause by #3 you know your code works as intended and can just run it.  slotting and inlay especially.  those operations take forever on cnc.  that is part of my motivation here... I'm curious how much more time it actually takes.  I def feel like my building has slowed down drastically since I started cnc... but it's hard to tell how much of that is just learning curve.  

afa chisel... um... a while back I damn near cut my index finger off with a util knife so... there is still plenty of that in my life!  150hours... so you figure a grand in parts... and 150 hours of build time... if you paid yourself a meager $20/hr that's a $4000 guitar.  If you look at what it costs to get a guitar made by 1 luthier from fender tho... that'd be entry level custom shop... which starts at $3400... and even then a lot of the prep work is done by the factory so... pretty much on target. 

thanks for you feedback - very much appreciate it!!

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9 hours ago, RVA said:

I think your numbers are all low, except for the 3-way switch - $25?

As for time/effort/cost etc,, I think it is a losing proposition. This is a labor of love. Recoupment is possible, profit is fortuitous for the unknown and non- mechanized builder (a cnc machine does help)

I learned to work with guitars by buying $100-300 guitars and seeing how close I could get them to sound and play to my Tom Anderson and PRS guitars. IMHO, I got darn close, and certainly more than enough for the player who is more interested in playability than name and how thick the figured top is. It caused me to ask myself who would ever want to build a guitar, a question I still ask myself, often in the middle of a frustrating build. The answer I came up with is someone who enjoys it, which I do, right now.

Since then, I stopped thinking about the cost. The build provides satisfaction that cannot be purchased. Even if I sold a guitar for cost, I would be happy knowing that guitars I made were making music and making players happy. I like seeing them on my wall and knowing that I created it, similar to the feeling of many jobs I can look over afterwards and appreciate as a job well done. Unfortunately,  I don't enjoy playing them as much as I should (too critical of my own work)

You are an artist brother. Create for art's sake.

Sorry for the long non-answer!!

shit I'm sorry, I somehow missed your post.  yes, that's the switchcraft premium.  I'm well aware of some decent less expensive options.  that said... I love the feel of switchcraft and oak grigsby.  both have a stiffness you just don't get anywhere else.  Both def things that would be easy to save money on if your main purpose was profit or just keeping costs down.  

I think one of the mistakes many builders make is comparing their build to mass produced.  It'd be like comparing a painting done by banksy to a lithograph.  As I said to AD... you don't get a guitar built by one luthier from fender/gibson until you go custom shop... and those start at $3400 and probably average $5000.  These are not customized models... these are production models made by the custom shop... and you aren't going to find anything but switchcraft, honduran mahog, 5A tops, etc on those builds.  

I certainly am building for the love of it.  cnc actually takes way more time unless you are producing in large numbers.  I probably have spent 60+ hours just on cad/cam, and another 120hours building each of the recent teles I did.  Of course I wouldn't go through that if it wasn't satisfying to me... and it is most def that.  I love this hobby so much it has consumed me... and I have about 50 guitars I want to build... but I've recently come to the realization that I don't think I'll be able to afford all the things I want to build without at some point, to some degree or another, considering selling some of my completed builds or doing some builds for others.  If you figure an avg of 800 each minimal parts/materials cost... don't even think about my investment in tools... that's around 7 grand.  Nothing wrong with building cheap... it just doesn't suit my tastes.

thank you again for taking the time!!

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3 hours ago, curtisa said:

If @mistermikev has listed prices he's paid or prices as currently quoted (single quantities at retail), I'd say his numbers are bang on. $25 For a Switchcraft toggle is about right, particularly if Switchcraft are struggling, like most other manufacturers, to overcome supply chain issues since the start of the pandemic and the Russian/Ukraine conflict. $24AUD ($18US) was about what I'd pay for a Switchcraft toggle before the world was put on pause. Local prices for me are now $45AUD!

Although I would say $34 for binding and $20 for shielding paint seems a bit of overkill, so who knows 🤷‍♂️

even before the pandemic... the cheapest I could find switchcraft was philli luthier... $22.  binding... well for a lp build getting thicker binding is key... and the best I could find (w/o looking around too much) was $11+ each.  you figure you'll need at least one for the body, one for the neck, and probably half of one for the headstock plus some slop.  

shielding paint... the only way I can save money there is buying a big can of it.  I did that years ago when I was building partscasters and even keeping the can in a plastic bag it dried up by the time I got done with 4 guitars.  at $50... that's about $13 ea.  I now buy little bottles from mg chem and they are about $30 plus shipping... and with 3 coats you get about 1.5 guitars out of them.  that's a 1 oz bottle.

thank you for the thoughts... def some places I could shave a few bucks here or there.

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3 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Telling the exact prices for parts is a mission impossible, at least for me. Exotic or otherwise fancy wood is one thing and I can't help wondering how the Far-East bulk manufacturers can sell guitars featuring figured tops for 100 money! Here a simple body blank can easily cost that much.

Speaking about truss rods, I've bought them from China for a fiver or less, the prices have come up a bit since then after they started adding VAT for all items outside the EU. So it's about the same as @curtisa mentioned. The same rods cost a tenner or more at a Finnish luthier supplier. The same applies with most of the parts, domestic or local suppliers cost double compared to the cheapest online vendors.

Regarding the total cost... The workshop/course alone is €165 for 70 hours divided into 5 hour sessions on Saturdays. But that includes tools I never could afford or fit anywhere plus a bunch of fellow builders to help if needed. It's a hobby and most hobbies come with a price tag. Plus it frees me from the household chores on those Saturdays! Anyhow, I could have bought the half a dozen guitars I've built for a quarter of the cost... Who cares!

 

well for the record... this isn't really about trying to make or save money... on some level, perhaps subconscious... I'm trying to dissuade myself from being so "into" it by knowing what it's actually costing me!  do I think I could give it up completely if I wanted to?  no, probably not.  At the least it will make me more learned, and that is never a bad thing.

thank you for the thoughts sir!!

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2 hours ago, mistermikev said:

well for the record... this isn't really about trying to make or save money... on some level, perhaps subconscious...

Yes, that was clear. My attempt was to accentuate that, maybe not so clearly.

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2 hours ago, mistermikev said:

shielding paint... the only way I can save money there is buying a big can of it.  I did that years ago when I was building partscasters and even keeping the can in a plastic bag it dried up by the time I got done with 4 guitars.  at $50... that's about $13 ea.  I now buy little bottles from mg chem and they are about $30 plus shipping... and with 3 coats you get about 1.5 guitars out of them.  that's a 1 oz bottle.

Just wondering: Would it be usable longer if you divided the can into smaller bottles right away, to minimize the amount of air the unused paint is in contact with? I know it works for whisky... But the shielding paint I bought from Crimson hardened in the tiny bottle as well before I could actually use it. I wonder if their recipe is similar to the DIY one: Choose conductive lumps of coal, grind it to powder and mix with water and white glue. At least it smells a bit like Titebond!

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8 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

Yes, that was clear. My attempt was to accentuate that, maybe not so clearly.

well my powers of observation are somewhat lacking sometimes!

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2 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

Just wondering: Would it be usable longer if you divided the can into smaller bottles right away, to minimize the amount of air the unused paint is in contact with? I know it works for whisky... But the shielding paint I bought from Crimson hardened in the tiny bottle as well before I could actually use it. I wonder if their recipe is similar to the DIY one: Choose conductive lumps of coal, grind it to powder and mix with water and white glue. At least it smells a bit like Titebond!

that is a great suggestion to the tune of "why didn't I think of that".  it is def the air trapped in the can that did it in... perhaps I should get some plastic containers that I can squeeze the air out of and close.

afa diy... I've read quite a bit about diy and commercial shielding and seen a number of shootouts.  you get what you pay for.  from everything I've read the versions with actual metal in them are by far the best.  stew mac is very good... but mg chem super shield consistently gets higher ratings.  I don't use metal based all the time because they are silver in look... so sometimes go with mg chem total ground if it's going to be visible... but I'm convinced the silver look is something you have to suffer if you want better shielding. honestly copper is best but all my ctrl cavities tend to have irregular nooks and crannys that make that impractical so my compromise is shielding paint and copper on the cavity cover.  ymmv.

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5 hours ago, mistermikev said:

I don't use metal based all the time because they are silver in look... so sometimes go with mg chem total ground if it's going to be visible... but I'm convinced the silver look is something you have to suffer if you want better shielding. honestly copper is best

I tried to find a conductive copper epoxy but they all seem to be "silver coated copper" like https://www.mgchemicals.com/products/conductive-paint/conductive-epoxy-paints/copper-epoxy-paint/ which most likely is even more conductive. Then again, some of them were described as epoxy glues... Anyhow, if you're worried about the looks, there's tons of paints to hide the silver. Aluminium foil painted matte black will still create a Faraday cage if the cover and cavity shieldings allow metal to metal contact in a few spots.

Re small bottles, I'd recommend glass or metal. Plastic may allow some solvents to evaporate through. A friend used to study biology at the University and the budget being tight he opted for using clear plastic instead of glass for his preparates - and the spirit evaporated in a few years! Then again, if the original vessel is plastic, the same type of plastic should work until the best before date.

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16 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

I tried to find a conductive copper epoxy but they all seem to be "silver coated copper" like https://www.mgchemicals.com/products/conductive-paint/conductive-epoxy-paints/copper-epoxy-paint/ which most likely is even more conductive. Then again, some of them were described as epoxy glues... Anyhow, if you're worried about the looks, there's tons of paints to hide the silver. Aluminium foil painted matte black will still create a Faraday cage if the cover and cavity shieldings allow metal to metal contact in a few spots.

Re small bottles, I'd recommend glass or metal. Plastic may allow some solvents to evaporate through. A friend used to study biology at the University and the budget being tight he opted for using clear plastic instead of glass for his preparates - and the spirit evaporated in a few years! Then again, if the original vessel is plastic, the same type of plastic should work until the best before date.

right on, it's more that if I'm going to buy some... and I know I'm doing a guitar where at least one pu cavity is seen... I'm going to go w/o silver.  that said if i do buy a big can of silver based... I also have a spray can of carbon based I'll use at final i guess... or yeah, just spray some black in there.  afa aluminium foil... then you have to solder all sheets together... just not worth the hassle imo but I have done alum tape on the back of pickguards where I know it will have several contact points to ensure conductivity to all strips.  

the advantage w plastic in theory would be to get a tube where I could squeeze out any air as I use the stuff.  I think I would still store in a ziplock... but if you've got air inside the bottle... gonna have the evap problem.  I'm gonna have to see what amazon has avail afa a refillable container that one could squeeze to remove air.  super shield is water sol so should be fine w just about anything.  

edit - now that I think about it... might be best to get a small mustard bottle or something.  

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28 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

might be best to get a small mustard bottle

I have a bunch of polypropylene mayo bottles stored in my cellar to be used for my BBQ sauce... PP doesn't harden in the dishwasher like PET and it seems to keep things quite fresh, at least the edible ones.

I mentioned aluminium just for the colour and because it's the most common metal on Earth and thus available for everyone. Any silvery surface can be painted.

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Just now, Bizman62 said:

I have a bunch of polypropylene mayo bottles stored in my cellar to be used for my BBQ sauce... PP doesn't harden in the dishwasher like PET and it seems to keep things quite fresh, at least the edible ones.

I mentioned aluminium just for the colour and because it's the most common metal on Earth and thus available for everyone. Any silvery surface can be painted.

right on.  so you diy bbq sauce?  noice.  you just made me want to visit famous daves stat!

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  • 1 month later...
17 hours ago, Crusader said:

Keeping track of how long things take is one reason why I take so many photos. I never tally things up but its there if I want to later on

I used to take a lot more photos... but cnc has made the way I work so useless to others it seems.  very specific to me and probably boring because a lot of the interesting stuff happens at the design part... and mostly in my head... and taking photos of myself at the pc would just be silly!

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