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EthanB08 last won the day on September 29 2015

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  1. Yes indeed, oil does wonders for an enhanced natural looking wood finish. Weight is around 10.5lbs without pickups and tuners, so I imagine it will be 11lbs-ish or so when fully together. Which I imagine is normal-ish if not slightly on the plus side for explorer shapes. The strap on it has a bit of surprisingly comfortable padding, and I'm fairly use to explorers so it's all good with me (age might change my mind in the future). Plus with where the strap locks are positioned it balances the neck slightly up in a rather comfortable way. I'll have to get it together and play it for an hour to really tell though.
  2. Yeah, it came together better in different lighting and with more coats. In the future, a darker first coat and sprayed test pieces will be for sure. Well 160 hours later and I could start wet sanding and buffing. So here we are!!! The back Some reflection. Little bit ripply with the figure, looks mostly flat, iIm guessing minor finish shrinkage. 5 coats of tru-oil sanded to 2000 grit and then gone over with some 0000 steel wool. Feel's like butter, but like not like a gross handful of butter, like a metaphorical smooth butter that isn't messy. Some interesting ripply looking zebrawood. I'm not sure if this is some sort of micro figure as a result of interlocked grain (which this piece indeed was interlocked) or some other phenomena, certainly not machine marks, it was sanded plenty and mostly hand tooled. And finally a little put together. I'm still waiting on pickups and some cavity cover screws which should arrive some time this week.
  3. Thanks guys! So I started spraying earlier, the target EM6000 is water based, so I was expecting it to go on clear, and it did, very clear. However it didn't give the stain as much of a soaked or wet look as my brushed test pieces did. I assume this is because it was sprayed rather than brushed. So I was anticipating a little more contrast in the maple, a little more similar to the wet (2nd) picture in the last post. That having been said, it sprays nice, I got a little thick on my first coat which makes it look milky, but it was a wash coat so it soaked a decent amount and the milky-ness disappeared as it dried. Any ways in future builds I will likely use this target EM6000, but I will perhaps do a darkend/black coat first or second during the staining process to get more depth/contrast. The only reason I didn't this time is because my test had convinced me otherwise, along with being use to having solvent based/nitro coats darken the stain. Live and learn. Any ways I snapped some pics, you can see some milky-ness on the back where it got a little thick in some spots. Also notable this is outdoor lighting so the blue is a bit brighter than it typically would be. Any ways that's two coats for now, then on to grain filling... mind my boney toes
  4. In some of the blog photos it looks like it's Makore maybe? Trial and error, it's a great way to learn things fast! It's kind of a necessary part of any craftsmanship, expanding ones knowledge of what doesn't run smoothly helps one identify what does. Good luck with your project.
  5. One day I'll build a bed I figure, and matching night stands. I've thought about it for a few years now but I'll have to acquire more tools for such a project, and muster up enough motivation to not just do another guitar! Plus come up with a plan or find a design I like. Tools are great though, I really enjoy jigs and figuring out the millions of ways one can use a router, my favourite tool, can do anything with em! ...maybe not resawing... Plus all the sorts of bits, for planing, shaping, and templates. Plus all the solid carbide bits available now really make working on all sorts of woods easier. I'm mildly allergic to wasps so I can certainly believe that instinct, but yeah, did nothing to ward me off lol. Any ways I got to some staining today. I applied 2 coats of Target Coatings EM6000 water based acrylic lacquer by brush to where the maple top and the black limba meet (first time using this finish). I let that dry overnight and masked the limba off with some frog tape and the whole back with some plastic and regular masking tape just to avoid any accidental stains. I did three coats, sanding back after the first two, and wiped the top with some distilled water after the third to just to lighten some of the lighter spots. I took the frog tape off and it worked pretty decent, nice sharp line for all the straight(ish) runs. There were a few spots on the curves where the stain leaked through the frog tape but sanding took care of them. On to the pictures!
  6. I spent about 2 and a half years in 2 cabinetmaker shops, the latter of two was more custom and hardwood oriented so I learned a lot there, and also conveniently spent a lot of time in the spray booth. I only did my first year of trade school at NAIT, we built tool boxes out of baltic birch and had the choice of cherry, oak, or our own wood, so I went with zebrawood and walnut and snagged the top mark in the class. Aside from that I built my first guitar in my high school shop class in 2007 and snagged the top mark, and this is my 5th build overall. A few years ago I left the trade for a higher wage in waterwell drilling, which I saved up some mulla and quit last year to focus on some builds (including this one) After this I'm either gonna go back part time to drilling if possible and start a small custom shop on the side. Honestly I'm ambitious and I do my research and I love it, I read, test and test some more and learn quickly, and when I make mistakes, which I do, I hide them as best as I can, although I've been pretty lucky so far! As for the driver, I actually have the dewalt set (not the hammerdrill though) lol, it was $250CAD for the impact, drill, a light, 2 batteries and a charger. It's what we used at the second cabinet shop, both the 18 and "20" volts. I found the 20 volts to be lighter and more comfortable to hold, they have lights and I feel the batteries charge faster and the power doesn't taper off as drastically as it does on the 18s. The first shop had Hitachi's which were alright and porter cables which were garbage. A friend used some makita's and swore by them but they aren't quite as competitive price wise. I don't really pledge any allegiance to any specific colour or brand. I pick and choose what I like/have experience with or if I'm unfamiliar I follow the reviews. I have a bosch JS470EB jigsaw for a lot of the rough cutting and it cuts a lot squarer than any jigsaw I've used before. A Milwaukee 2-1/4 Max HP EVS BodyGrip Router which I love for both comfort when hand routing and ease of accurate adjustment compared to other plunge styles and I made my own table to mount it in for those kinds of needs. Aside from that I have a mini craftsman 3 wheel band saw (one day I hope to get a 12" resaw bandsaw, I miss that about the cabinet shop), a small benchtop drill press from my gramps, and a mastercrap oscillating spindle sander. I also have access to a table saw, scroll saw, radial arm saw, mitre saw, and general 14" bandsaw at my uncles shop, although I can handle most stuff with my tools. I also have a handfull of hand saws, chisels and sharpening tools/stones, and will definitely get more into planes and carving tools for future builds. Here's my tool box. Oh I also live in a log house, so that might have some sort of subconscious effect/appreciation for wood and wood projects...lol
  7. Well, the back strapping went well. I used a 3/4 round over to make a clamping block for the curve which worked well. I brushed it before I clamped the rest of the "veneer" and cracked it a little but it didn't cause any major problems other than a little disappointment at the moment. So here it is now cleaned/sanded, definitely helped sleek the look of the back of the headstock a bunch, that and it was a learning experience.
  8. I ended up testing on some scraps I made, both the zebrawood and limba. Zebrawood didn't like to resaw (as the blade would lead and often cut angled) as nicely on the bandsaw (given the hardness) but I can combat this with a thicker resaw and router plane it thin. I ended up boiling each scrap in a pot of water for 5 minutes each and rolling/bending the end of each with a small soup can with minimal issues. The zebrawood (to my surprise) bent very easily with no cracking, I tried clamping it to back of the headstock to see how it would fit at the curve and it was tight. I tried the limba via the same method after and it bent easily as well, but gained some minor cracks in the rolling/bending process. When clamping, it tightened up nicely like the zebrawood. Ultimately I figure I could go with either wood with successful results, so now I just have to make up my mind. Leaning more towards Limba at the moment, cause it will tie in with the back of the body better, in regards to the hue, despite lacking notable streaks. Feel free to chip in. here's my test scraps
  9. Perhaps I will try a backstrap, never done it before but it does sound like an intriguing option, and this would be the build to try it. I have some scrap cut off black limba which is lacking in grain figure (from the upper section of body) and I have a chunk of zebrawood larger than the headstock that could be resawn and ideally lined up. I imagine Limba would be an easier bend than zebrawood given the difference in density and zebrawoods generally interlocked grain/pain in the ass to work with spirit. Although I may as well prepare a chunk of both and just see what looks better. Ideally the limba would tie in nicely cause it's the body material. The scrap I have leftover is lacking any notable grain streaks though. So another option is zebrawood, which given the nature of the spring wood and summer wood rings has a similar nature of contrast to the limba body. However the zebrawood springwood isn't quite the same hue as the limba springwood, and it might reintroduce issues of lining up grain with the neck stringer. I also have a slightly figured chunk of myrtle wood, the only reason I would use this is because it smells like kraft bbq sauce when it's being cut and sanded, which is nearly enough of a reason Here are the pieces in question.
  10. So I finished the necks shape, profile is a little bit v-ish/asymmetrical wolfgang blend, kind of an experiment really. I didn't go the conventional route of making a complete profile at the heel and the nut, kind of just shaped it as I went a long, I wanna see if I get any mojo from playing a profile out of my typical C-shape/asymmetrical profile. Honestly it came out feeling good from the heel to about the fifth fret, but beyond towards the nut, the V profile is maybe a little too pointed for my liking, so I'll spend a little more time sanding to see if I can make it feel a better. Any ways here's some pics of that. Rasp and spoke shave, birds eye is starting to pop a little. Giving the other side some love All sanded up and clean, a bit of mineral streaks on the lower portion of the headstock scarf. Some people like it, some people don't, I'm mostly neutral, but "defects" as such do add character. A little more sanding to go and a clean up around the heel and mini volute till its done done.
  11. Oh really? lol, I got my workers "crocs" on! I do all my work in a little room in my basement. So indoors I typically wear my crocs, not the safest but I don't imagine they make steel toe slip ons
  12. Got a little bit of work done, in the last few days. My 11mm router bit arrived so I could route the string plate for the hannes and drill the grounding wire channel to the control cavity. Made some reasonably matching black Limba cover plates, I might have to spend some more time sanding them to give them a little more wiggle room for shrinkage and swelling through out the seasons, we'll see. Any thoughts on that? And here it is sanded up to 360 grit, I'm sure I'll find a few more touch up spots, but otherwise I think the body is done until staining and finishing. My favourite colour is blue, so this will be stained some shade of blue... Just like the rest of my personal builds lol. In the coming days I will start shaping the neck.
  13. I used to work in a cabinetmaking shop and adding service material is a big deal when it comes to profiling, very valuable trick. As for the dents, I'll use a damp cloth and a clothes iron to raise the grain on all indents before the final sanding. My last two builds were alder and yes it sure loves to dent, the two before that were basswood, also a very ding-able wood.
  14. It's finally starting to look like a guitar now! Shaped with a template bit, and some of the parts set on top. Shaping the neck contour with a rasp. Cleaned up with some sanding. Here's the back chamfered, I might chamfer it a bit more, we'll see. and the front chamfered.
  15. Yeah I'm not personally worried about it, it's by no means a sloppy fit, I have had tighter fits, but I've definitely had looser fits on earlier builds . It's a bolt on so glue starvation shan't be an issue. But it is reassuring to hear that uber tight is not necessarily best practice as I have often been lead to believe. Anyway my bench top drill press is to small to reach into the middle of the body to drill the holes for the hannes bridge, so I ended up making a small 3/4 jig on my drill press with all the hole placements and used it (clamped in place) along with a bubble level on the back of my hand drill to drill the holes. Turned out great, the hannes fits and all the holes line up through to the back. One of the string holes is about 1mm out of line but it will be hidden under the string plate. Also routed the pickup cavities and applied a layer of conductive paint. Tomorrow I will likely rough cut the shape out and trim with the template and my trusty Milwaukee 5616-20 (She's a real beast).
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