Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About TripleFan

  • Birthday 10/08/1973

Profile Information

  • Location

TripleFan's Achievements


Enthusiast (6/14)

  • First Post
  • Collaborator
  • Conversation Starter
  • Week One Done
  • One Month Later

Recent Badges



  1. Fantastic work! I especially like the look of the worn hardware. May I ask if you got the trem that way or did you treat it to get that look?
  2. In the end I cleared the neck with 4x2 coats and scuffed it after two weeks with 6000 grit of StewMac´s 3M Polishing Paper. Feels pretty good but it´s not exactly what I want. I´ll try progressivly coarser grits until I get there. The final task was to make cavity covers from 2mm aluminum and paint them black. After half a week curing time I put on copper shielding foil and put them on the guitar. DONE! Specs: body shape: Ibanez RGA body wood: alder scale: 670mm bolt on neck: maple with bubinga fretboard: maple headstock: maple 3+3 with volute fretwire: NS extra jumbo bridge: Schaller Wraparound 455 tuners: Wilkinson EZ-LOK pickups: Seymour Duncan Blackout electronics: 3way-toggle, Vol, Tone finish: body Clou Füll- und Hochglanzlack; neck Clou SprayTec satin clear binding: white, body, fretboard, headstock I´m pretty happy with the result. Sound and playability are very good. I especially like the unplugged sound because its very open sound which has quite some bite. Amplified the actice pickups dominate of course. Here I like the clean sounds in particular. In HighGain-Mode I´m a bit torn. The sound really cuts through without being harsh or brittle. I miss a bit of that deep punch however; it seems that this guitar is more for lead playing than the ultimate rhythm machine. On the other hand I have to admit that I´ve yet to dial in my amp on the guitar. All in all I´m not really sure If I like these active pickups. Whether it´s that they compress more than passive pickups or if it´s just their voicing I can´t quite say. Playability is fine. Maybe not as good as on the best guitars I own but not too far away! I definitly can say I made a step in the right direction and I´m getting there! I chose the slightly longer scale to make down tuning a bit easier. It doesn´t impact playability but you can tell that there´s noticeably more tension on the strings. The worst dissapointment is definitly the clear coat. The paint fell into the pores even after three weeks curing time. Additionally it looks cloudy in some spots. Admittedly I put on the paint with a roller instead of spraying it as written in the manufacturers instructions. Nevertheless I hoped for a better result; above all taking into consideration that the guitar already has the first tiny scratches while the clear is called "nano antiscratch". I´ll definitly redo the clear eventually. The satin clear I used for the neck is alright. Again there is no way to let the paint build up - at least not with one can. The satin clear looks nice however and time will tell how good it will hold up. The color of the body looks really good in the sunlight - exactly what I hoped for. With artifical light it looks a bit dark however and the grain gets lost somewhat. This all isn´t that bad like it may sound. I´m very satisfied with the result but there points I can improve and I´m aware of them. All in all it´s a nice guitar with some minor flaws but I´m proud of it nonetheless!
  3. Yeah, meanwhile I finished another guitar with an alder body, maple neck and SD Blackouts and it sounds quite OK. I´m not sure if I´ll ever be a complete fan of actives but on the other hand I still have to dial in my amp on them. All in all it seems that this wood/pickup combination makes a good lead instrument and then that´s what the KH-2 is all about. Yesterday I took neck templates from my 1992 RG. I used some kind of epoxy putty to take the shape. This stuff conforms nicely to the neck and dries pretty hard. I use some thick veneer as base and cut in the neck shape with oversize. I pack the neck in saran wrap and place some of the putty at the desired fret. Finally I stick the prepared veneer into the putty. When the epoxy has cured I trim the overhangs so that they are level with the fretboard edge. I also thin out the putty to 4-5mm and finally label the templates. Consequently I shaped the neck today. First I rasped the curve of the volute between the apex and the first fret. Then I shaped small sections at the 1st, 4th, 7th and 12th fret. These sections were then easily connected with straight cuts. Finally I finished the volute between the first fret and the apex. Additionally I marked the neck to body transition on the backside and started to rough it out. The tools I use for this work are just rough, medium and fine rasps. The fine rasp is a hand-cut one comparable to the dragon rasps StewMac sells. Awesome tool! Now I give the neck a few days to settle in case it moves a bit. Then I can continue work on the fretboard.
  4. I finally got back to this build. The old fretboard came off nicely with an iron and a sharp putty. After truing up the surface of the neck and filing down the trussrod a bit everything was set for a second try. I opted for one of StewMac´s EIR boards. The wenge fretboard I prepared again had some fret slots which where just a hair out of position. I might use it for a bolt-on neck, this way I can throw it out without too much loss if it doesn´t play properly. The Stewie-fretboard arrived readily slotted with a fender-style nut slot and a 12" radius which I changed into 16" right away. Before I glued the board to the neck I took down the area in front of the nut slot to form the ledge for the lock nut. The area around the fretboard was protected from glue spillout with masking tape. All went well: the board is even without voids or other irregularities. If something had went wrong I´d been in trouble: the thickness of the neck is already spot on and there´s not enough wood left to remove the board and level it once again. On the pictures the neck was already cut back to the taper of the fretboard with rasps and files. Finally I took down the remains of the nut slot with a chisel and drilled the holes for the lock nut from the backside. This is it with the temporarily mounted lock nut:
  5. Today I started clear coating the neck. I put on two coats fifteen minutes apart followed by a second double coat two hours later. Now I´ll let it cure overnight. Tomorrow I´ll scuff it and take out some small runs before I put on two more double coats. Depending on the outcome I´ll then scuff one more time and spray a last coat. I read that a satin clear usually is sprayed on and left as is. With my projected approach I hope to battle orange peel without the need to sand and polish. That´s how the neck looks at the moment:
  6. The last few days I made a replacement fretboard but again ran into trouble. This time the I had severe tearout while tapering the board. It was my own fault however as I tried to take off too much material in one pass. I think I got it fixed pretty good. There´s hardly any trace seen from the top and the side. I think I´ll glue it on within the next days. In case it goes wrong once again I´ve already ordered a EIR board.
  7. Thanks RAD. It looks pretty good from a meter away like on the pics. Up close it´s obvious that it´s not a professional paint job. Unfortunately the finish still kept sinking into the pores a bit. It´ll have to do for the moment... Anyway, the maple boarded neck should have settled by now. Therefore I want to move on and finish that sucker. Prep sanding is mostly done including scraping between the frets. I already redid the headstock binding some time ago. The finish I planned is a 2part satin clear rattlecan finish. Can anyone offer some advice how to finish such a clear coat? I read that the final coat is sprayed on after level sanding and left as is to achive that semi gloss. Is that correct or should I consider another course of action? Sand and buff? No buffing? MicroMesh? Steel wooling?
  8. Well, now I can definately scrap the fretboard! But first things first... I started to glue the fretboard. To hinder the trussrod rattling I put some foam in the channel. Before glueing them I trued neck and fretboard on some sandpaper taped to a flat surface. Since the neck settled less than one tenth mm in the last year trueing was done in just a few minutes. Next I taped two hardwood bars to the neck which act as clamping cauls. This way I can concentrate the force along the outer edge of the board and can at the same time avoid to distort the neck during clamping (as long as the clamping base is flat and even). Then I put some masking tape on the trussrod, spread glue on the neck and finally clamped down the fretboard. I used a solid aluminium beam with a piece of plywood on top as base. The plywood helps that the hardwood bars don´t fall in the channels of the beam Additionally I placed a piece of insulation foam under the locking nut ledge to get even pressure in that area.. When I took the neck out of the clamps 24 hours later I sighted along and immediately spotted a backbow. A short investigation showed the reason: the fretboard split down the middle!!! Now I can look how I get the fu...r off... This is the second time the board split on me like that! I wonder: I´ve never seen wenge cut like that when used as a fretboard. Could this actually be the problem; is wenge too fragile to be used as fretboard when cut like that?
  9. Inspired by a thread in a german guitar builder board I decided to mill out the faulty fret and patch it up with a leftover piece of the fretboard. I taped the fretboard and two support board down. The boards also act as guide for the router bit bearing and are alligned that only the damaged fret is routed out to the depth of the fret slot. This is the result after routing and the thicknessed patch. You can still see the remains of the wrong fret slot. This is after I glued the patch in and sawed new fret slots. The grain alligns pretty good. Even on the side you can hardly see that it´s patched. I hope the scratches on the surface will sand out. Finally I started to route the ledge for the lock nut. I didn´t route the whole area because this would interfere with the holes for the fretboard allignment during glue up. I´ll have to finish this by hand with a saw and a chisel after the fretboard is glued to the neck. The setup for the router was basically the same like when routing out the damaged fret. After all I´m still a bit undecided if I should use the board. There are a couple of slots that are off by a few tenths. Time for some measuring I guess...
  10. After almost a year I finally got back to this project. The next thing I had to do for quite some time was the fretboard radius. First I had to make two 'skids' for the router. I usually use beech for them because it´s reasonably hard and readily available in your local home improvement store. I cut the strip in two pieces the width of the router base. This piece gets taped to a flat base (a leftover piece of a kitchen counter top in my case) additional strips left and right for the router to rest on. The router is screwed to a piece of plywood with a nail as pivot point and one more piece of beech as spacer. Now I can route the needed radius in several passes. The finished skids get screwed to the router base, the fretboard is taped to the radius jig and I can route in 5 - 6 passes along the fretboard. Out of the jig the radius and the surface are already pretty good! Next I glued in the fret markers. That´s not too spectacular because they´re only boring 2mm plastic dots. Fill the hole with CA, stick the plastic in, snip off, next. After the CA had dried I pared them off with a chisel. Where I screwed up: On the outer edge of the fretboard I moved the router in the wrong direction and got major tearout. This calls for a lesson in advanced fill and patch up technics. Next time I have to remember to move the router in the other direction. Also taping the edge might help. Later my girlfriend spotted that the 10th fret was out of allignment. I tried to fill the slot with dust and CA and resaw it but messed up big time!
  11. Last week I polished the body. I went up from 1200 grit through the various MicroMesh grits all the way from 3600 to 12000. In the end the clear coat still looked cloudy and blotchy and had a fair amount of tiny scratches (I tried my best but they wouldn´t show up in the pictures). The next day I went to it with buffing wheels and polishing compound. I simply clamped my drill to the work table and put the wheels in the drill chuck. At first I was a bit anxious to burn through the clear or to send the body flying through the work shop but it all worked out without any problems. After a few minutes with both coarse and fine compound the scratches and the cloudiness mostly went away. The surface is still a bit uneven and obviously I wasn´t able to sand out all of the pores where the finish sunk into the grain, but for my first try at clear coating I´m more than satisfied. Next time I might alter my finishing schedule: after filling the pores and building up the coats I´ll give the finish time to cure and sink back. Then I´ll even out the surface and put on the last coats with approx. 50% thinner. I could imagine this might fill the last pores. Additionally polishing a clear coat with more thinner supposedly is easier. This is how the guitar looks a the moment. The neck is not the final one but the one with the kingwood fretboard. As soon as the maple boarded neck is cleared they´ll get swapped. Playability is rather nice taken into account that the frets aren´t leveled yet and the guitar is hardly set up. The neck with the maple board got straightened out in the meanwhile and will be clear coated within the next weeks. Then I can finally finish up this guitar.
  12. Haha, sorry MuffinPunch, but it went back into the scrap box. Actually my girlfriend didn´t like it as much as you guys obviously do... I´m finally finished with clear coating the body. In about three weeks I´ll start to polish and assemble. Well, hopefully that is... Actually I planned to prep sand the neck (the one with the maple board) this week and clear it during the weekend (matte 2part rattle can clear). Instead I noticed that the neck developed a solid upbow. When I lay a straight edge over the frets it gaps nearly 1mm in the middle! Damn, I just don´t get it! This neck was dead straight during all build steps (I wrote down all the measurement and movements of the wood in my previous posts). I checked and rechecked on every occasion. The only thing I could think of would be that the fretboard wasn´t completely dry before I used it. Now it may have shrunk in the relatively dry winter air forcing the neck into an upbow. Does that sound feasible? I´ll try to heat/steam the backside of the neck and clamp it down to a rigid metal beam. That´s the only possible solution I can think of right now. Are there any other possibilities I could try?
  13. Haha, don´t worry guys! It´s a reputable german tool vendor.
  14. I dyed the sides and the back and put on the first clear coats. I´m really satisfied! Fortunately the patched up pieces next to the binding blend in reasonably well. I masked the front so that I don´t get any dye and clear on it. Next I´ll damp and sand the front. Then I´ll mask the back and the sides, dye the front and put on the first clear coats. I do it this way because the clear dissolves the color of the front and I don´t want it on the sides and the back hence I sealed them with clear and will mask them. After I have three or four coats of clear on the front I can take off the masking tape and sand the body. After that I can proceed clearing the body.
  15. OK, the finish on the sample piece sunk a bit into the pores so I´ll wait one or two weeks longer after the final coat. In the meanwhile I installed the binding and started to prep sand the body. I cut the binding channel with this "Sloane" purfling cutter thingy and a chisel and the result came out as usual - butt ugly... Next time I´ll build a routing jig like the one StewMac sells or I´ll paint on a fake binding. I tried my best to fix it and hope it´ll blend in when the body gets dyed. The worst parts are the outsides of the cutaways.
  • Create New...