No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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epizootics
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No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by epizootics » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:07 am

It seems there will be no winter in Lyon, France this year - temperatures never dropped below 0°C, which is quite strange when they normally go down to -20 at least once or twice. The apocalypse appears to be drawing near and what better incentive is there to get back to work?

So. Two guitars and a bass. 2 x 24" scales for the former and 32" for the bass. Two of them are for a friend who just sold his flat and wanted to invest in my wobbly operations, and the remaining guitar is a gift for a certain noise-punk band I like very much, meant as a thank you for making me feel like guitars still have their place in today's music.

Those two are for my friend:

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and this one is for the band:

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This'll be my first venture into the realms of painting guitars. I'm going to refinish my main gigging guitar first to get a bit more confident with the process. It'll have to be rattle cans since I don't have the funds - or room - for a proper spraying setup. I will give the German Belton/Molotow Premium a go, since they are nitrocellulose-based and widely available over here. I have used cans for clear before and (famous last words) hope it won't be too much harder than getting a spotless natural finish.

To assist me in the woodworking part of the operations, this little guy just showed up in the mail:

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I'd been after one of those for a long time and a pretty good offer showed up on eBay. It made my dad laugh - "hey, that's what I used in the 80's, they still haven't come up with anything better than that, have they?"
It purrs like a kitten and was well-looked after. I'm just waiting on my bits to come through the mail now.

I have most of the parts, all of the wood and a couple of weeks of free time. Wish me good luck :)

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by antisymmetric » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:55 am

I like them all, but especially that last one. Does weird/good things to my eyes. :)
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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:40 am

Yes!! All awesome! I'm definitely watching this!!
Pickup Switching Mad Scientist
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=104282&p=1438384#p1438384

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by HNB » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:36 am

Nice!
[Christopher]
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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by ChrisDesign » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:08 pm

What’s your band? What kind of music?
"I own a '66 Jaguar. That's the guitar I polish, and baby - I refuse to let anyone touch it when I jump into the crowd." - Kurt Cobain

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by epizootics » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:15 pm

Cheers guys! For now, I'm knee deep in MDF, making all the templates and itching as hell (it seems I've developed an allergy to MDF in the last year or so). I hope to get started on the neck today. Movingui, padauk and wenge fretboards to slot. Necks will be French walnut, movingui and rowan, respectively.
Last summer I visited a cabinet maker's workshop out in the sticks in the South of France. Its owner was in the process of retiring and was getting rid of his huge stock of wood, most of it walnut and oak. He told me I might be interested in this African wood he had been using to make windows and doors, which turned out to be movingui. He gave me a large piece of it to try out and told me he'd hang onto the rest of the boards in case I liked it. I don't necessarily believe in a correlation between tap tone and the final sound of an electric guitar, but boy, that thing just rings like a Tibetan singing bowl when you hit it, a bit like padauk but glassier. I'm very curious to see how it turns out.
ChrisDesign wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:08 pm
What’s your band? What kind of music?
Huh, that's always a tough question. My own bands tend to waddle in the Nick Cave/Bowie/Scott Walker side of things. Here's my old band from Manchester, where I stuck to vocals and saxophone:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PxMSXO298U

And that's my Lyon-based band, where I do vocals, guitar and sax:
https://soundcloud.com/sharontatemodern/midnight


However, that second guitar is a gift for a much better known band - they are friends of a friend, and I don't necessarily want to spill the beans until the thing is done, but I've been raving quite a bit about them on this board :)

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by epizootics » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:26 am

* sunrise on what's gonna keep me busy into March *

Image

I spent a few days at my parents' place down South, which meant I got to make a bunch of sawdust in my dad's workshop. I actually put him to work - he cut the bodies & necks on the bandsaw and I routed the outlines. Prior to that, we hit his stash for a large board of wild cherry from the Alps (felled and milled by my uncle in the '80s). While I was there, I thought making FOUR guitars wouldn't be that much more work than making three, so I made an extra body & neck.

I took it all back to my flat and got to work. My friend's guitar has a neck pocket and the neck is under way. Then will come the bass. Then the other two. :whistle:

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by Steadyriot. » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:49 am

I've had good experiences with rattle can finishes if taken the time to prep and polish.
Image
Image
Image
I don't know what happened to the focus on those photo's; they're fine on my phone & Google photo's...

I can't speak on the Molotow cans (but I bet they are similar) as I've used Montana cans (the competitor.. ;)) for the color coats.
The clear coat is a local company's Nitro so it's hard to speak on that. I've used Montana's aged clear and it never seemed to dry (went gummy on me). But the holo-flake on that body is suspended in clear too and that dried rock hard so it's hard to put them down on one bad experience.

Make sure you get enough clear on there (2 cans) so you can cut down the orange peel by wetsanding. After this a swirl remover and polishing compound and you'll be flat as a mirror. Don't forget to use a block for the sanding otherwise you'll get a wavy finish and more risk of sand throughs.
Here you can see a sanded part (center between the pickups) and what I had to cut down from below it. The holo flake layer made this worse ofcourse, as it ads bumps of heavier metalflake:
Image

Finishing isn't hard it's just tedious.
You can even get tru-oil to a high gloss if you put in the work..
Image

Good luck on this new endeavour! Looking at your previous builds I'd not be worried if I were you. You build some awesome guitars!

[edit] sorry for the thread take-over.. I just realised how big this post is. I'll edit it out if you want. It's your party, not mine! ;) [/edit]
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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by Rgand » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:17 am

Wow, four at once. I like to have a couple going but haven't done four yet. Sounds like a lot of fun. Looking forward to progress photos when you can post them.

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by epizootics » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:35 am

Well, I'm all over the place right now - making a lot of jigs, adding new shelves to my tiny work room, doing finish tests, etc. In all logic I won't be done before this time next year :fp:
Steadyriot. wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:49 am
I've had good experiences with rattle can finishes if taken the time to prep and polish.
Image
Image
Image
I don't know what happened to the focus on those photo's; they're fine on my phone & Google photo's...

I can't speak on the Molotow cans (but I bet they are similar) as I've used Montana cans (the competitor.. ;)) for the color coats.
The clear coat is a local company's Nitro so it's hard to speak on that. I've used Montana's aged clear and it never seemed to dry (went gummy on me). But the holo-flake on that body is suspended in clear too and that dried rock hard so it's hard to put them down on one bad experience.

Make sure you get enough clear on there (2 cans) so you can cut down the orange peel by wetsanding. After this a swirl remover and polishing compound and you'll be flat as a mirror. Don't forget to use a block for the sanding otherwise you'll get a wavy finish and more risk of sand throughs.
Here you can see a sanded part (center between the pickups) and what I had to cut down from below it. The holo flake layer made this worse ofcourse, as it ads bumps of heavier metalflake:
Image

Finishing isn't hard it's just tedious.
You can even get tru-oil to a high gloss if you put in the work..
Image

Good luck on this new endeavour! Looking at your previous builds I'd not be worried if I were you. You build some awesome guitars!

[edit] sorry for the thread take-over.. I just realised how big this post is. I'll edit it out if you want. It's your party, not mine! ;) [/edit]
Nope, that's great! Thanks for the input, that guitar looks incredible. The work-in-progress sanding picture is impressive, that's a lot of texture to take down to a nice shine...Did you use Montana Gold paint/clear? I've heard a lot of contradictory stuff about'em cans on the internet. They are available over here too, although a bit pricier.

I got started on my test piece of wood this afternoon. First coat of nitro sanding sealer. I'll add another one later today. The cool thing with cherry is how smooth it gets on its own, no need for pore filler.

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by Steadyriot. » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:53 am

epizootics wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:35 am
Well, I'm all over the place right now - making a lot of jigs, adding new shelves to my tiny work room, doing finish tests, etc. In all logic I won't be done before this time next year :fp:

Nope, that's great! Thanks for the input, that guitar looks incredible. The work-in-progress sanding picture is impressive, that's a lot of texture to take down to a nice shine...Did you use Montana Gold paint/clear? I've heard a lot of contradictory stuff about'em cans on the internet. They are available over here too, although a bit pricier.

I got started on my test piece of wood this afternoon. First coat of nitro sanding sealer. I'll add another one later today. The cool thing with cherry is how smooth it gets on its own, no need for pore filler.
No I used this from a Dutch luthier webstore for the clearcoats. Just your basic nitro.
Here in the Netherlands all those cans cost pretty much the same; about 4 to 5 Euro's at most.
I've had mixed experiences too; the holographic glitter is suspended in clear and that dried great, the metallic black undercoats dried great too but I've used the "vintage" varnish which for one doesn't look like old nitro and didn't fully harden. Now; I must add I went a bit willy-nilly with painting that neck so it could have been user error but I'm skeptical about those specific cans now.
I have a few cans of Montana clear laying around that I'll hopefully use this year and I'm not afraid of using them but going with a test piece wouldn't be a bad idea just to be sure.. The clear cans are Acrylic based FYI, not nitro as far as I know. The color coats are a nitro-mix (smelled and worked like nitro to me..).
"If someone duetted with a Bald Eagle, they could rule the Country charts from here to eternity." ~shadowplay

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by epizootics » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:01 am

Some progress on the guitar...

Image

No light to speak of today, sorry :)

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by Rgand » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:33 am

That headstock really matches the body. Nice progress.

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by epizootics » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:33 am

Slow but steady. Got the fret marker dots installed (just a shade of green lighter than the faux Surf Green body paint), sanded/polished the control plate (...stainless steel of course, 'cause I like to suffer), cut out the arm and belly contour, routed a 1/4" roundover.

Image

I also got started on the test piece of the finish, so far so good...Nitrocellulose primer (Hampshire Sheen brand, a woodworker friend of mine gave it to me 'because it stank too much'), then a light coat of that Molotow green. I left the can to heat up in hot water from the tap for 20 minutes or so, shaking it once in a while. The old timers are right - it really get the paint flowing a lot better.

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Re: No rest in January - Two guitars & a bass

Post by antisymmetric » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:31 pm

I love the way the lines work together on this- body shape, pickguard, control plate, everything. The centreline still visible on the body, plus what looks like some experimenting, sanding(?) on one side makes me think a 2-tone paint scheme based somewhere around the centreline could be a thing (maybe dark/light variations on the surf green?)..... Or I could be insane. ;D
This is going to be a very cool guitar. :-*
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