Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center

Tales from my workbench

Recommended Posts

A few more steps completed...

I installed the tuner bushings.

Aligned the tuners and center punched the screw locations.

Mounted the tuners.


Also drilled for the neck screws and got the necks mounted.

Bridge installation and nut slotting is up next. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Dutchman said:

Lemme guess!!! You're gonna do a Tele with a Floyd!!!

LOL. Nah, the tape was on there to mark the bridge location and neck alignment, etc. I wasn't trying to cover up a big surprise. :D

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are a few more steps completed. There will probably be a few posts with relatively small steps completed... just takes me longer to keep all three at the same stage, so from my perspective, I've done a lot. :D

Aligned and mounted the bridge.

Drilled 1/8" string holes about 3/4 of the way through the body. I left the bridge mounted and used it as the pattern for the holes.

I mounted a 1/8" pin in my spoil board which aligned with the drill bit. I installed a much smaller bit to drill the pilot holes for the string ferrules.

Because of the configuration of my main drill press, I could not go to directly drilling the ferrule holes to final size. (not enough height for the correct bit) So, I drilled small pilot holes using the pin through the top of the body for proper alignment. 

Then I took the body to the other drill press and drilled for the ferrules just using the pilot hole to locate. (Yes, I should have just used the second drill press to begin with, but it's really janky and I hate it with everything I've got) Finally, I finished the string holes all the way through with a 1/8" bit by hand. 

Group shot.

Up next, more hot nut action. :D

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next was nut cutting. I start by installing the E strings. I mark their outside edge at approximately 1/8" in from the side of the fretboard, then cut starter slots with a razor saw at both locations.

I align a string spacing rule and mark the remaining string locations, again following up with the razor saw. 

Slots are then cut in with the appropriate sized slotting file.

And another group photo. :)

I do a very quick and dirty setup at this stage as well for a little peace of mind. 

Next I'll be breaking these down and doing touch ups, final sanding and a little finessing where needed. Hoping to be shooting finish in tandem with the warmer weather that should be rolling in next week. 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2021 at 8:31 AM, Drew816 said:

Looking great!


On 11/5/2021 at 6:40 PM, a.bandini said:

Wow.  Your work is awfully impressive. Thanks for these updates. 



Thanks, guys. Much appreciated. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The weather will be warming up for a few days. That will make it easier to keep the garage at a suitable temp for shooting finishes. So I've spent the last couple of days in a marathon prep session. Lots of sanding, finessing and running in circles.

Brought the nut profiles down a bit, glued in place with a couple dabs of glue and filed flush with the neck.

Here is the whole pile (mostly) ready for finishing

Started shooting some sealer coats. Always exciting to see that maple pop. :) The headstock faces will be matched to body color, so that bit of figure will be hidden.




Sealer coats on the bodies aren't so exciting, but hey, it's progress. The body with the checkerboard binding wasn't quite ready for sealer coats tonight.


More soon. :)

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Progress update on the Telecaster builds. 

Wow, where to start? This has been a crazy week. I'm trying to keep up with work while still finding enough time in the garage to get the majority of the finish work done. I'm also in uncharted territory for me in terms of the finishes that I'm dealing with. In a nutshell, I've made decent progress, but it hasn't been without some issues. I'll make several posts over the next day or two to catch up to current state. 

OK, so when I last left off, I had shot clear sealer coats on everything. Here is the overall rough game plan for these finishes:
- Mask the bindings
- Shoot a black base coat under metal flake areas. This is to achieve a high contrast look. I'm shooting for near 100% flake coverage, but not quite, I want some of that base showing through.
- Pull mask
- Mask again for flake
- Shoot flake in multiple applications
- Pull mask
- Cleanup masked edges
- Bury in clear coats

Let the masking begin! 1/4" vinyl tape on the sides, 1/16" on the top edges. The tricky part is to be sure that you don't completely cover the bindings, you need to let the base coat overlap, just a smidge.

Black base coat applied. I used some of the StewMac pigments mixed with my sealer for the color. The coverage was excellent.

Here is the one with the white binding with the mask freshly pulled.

And a video of that process for those of you who find that oddly satisfying... you know who you are. :D



Here is the one with the checkerboard binding masked up. 1/8" tape was used on the top sides of this one. 

Group shot.

Headstocks were masked and shot the same way.

Those were all left to dry overnight. 

More soon. :)


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/11/2021 at 3:44 PM, Drew816 said:

Oh yeah, looking great!


On 11/11/2021 at 4:55 PM, specialk said:

Jeez, man. Fine work!


On 11/11/2021 at 4:56 PM, stedge said:

Your work is inspiring. 


Thanks, guys. I appreciate it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The next steps were to get the metal flake applied and pull the masking. I had bought a gun with a large enough needle to handle the flake size that I was using, but still had issues with the passage clogging. I think this was partly due to the viscosity of the lacquer as well as the flake size. 

So, I ended up using a hybrid method of spraying some flake and sprinkling some flake by hand. This was certainly not ideal as sprinkling adds quite a lot of rough texture, not to mention that it's never as even as I would have liked. But I soldiered on, hoping for the best, and overall they came out pretty OK. Again, some spots not as even as I would like, but I'm satisfied with the overall appearance. 

I was just finishing up metal flake application to the "gold" one, and shooting a couple sealer coats over it before I pulled the masking. My wife comes out to the garage and says, "hey I like that green one". Uh... What?!? 

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm definitely "color deficient", but I can see all colors given enough saturation. My main problem is that I don't pick up on subtle shades, especially green and red. A light shade of pink may register as gray to me, especially in low light. My brain just automatically makes an assumption about light shades.
So, after looking at it more carefully and in the sunlight, I totally saw it. Definitely green/gold. I even went back to the container to check the color name... there it was in black and white, Citron Gold. I mean, for Pete's sake, it literally means lime gold! I felt like a complete dumbass. I'm not sure if I'll keep the color, or strip it next summer. It's growing on me I guess, and it's definitely a bright color, but NOT what I had intended. :D

Here are some photos of the initial flake application and mask pull. 







So, I guess this has really taught me a lesson to always show all of my colors to my wife before committing to them. :D

I should mention that a good friend of mine came over last night (who has good color vision) and said, "I love the gold one!". Maybe it's the lighting, who knows, but he saw it as mostly gold with a hint of green. I felt a bit vindicated. Regardless, have a good chuckle at my expense, it's OK.

Anyway, not sure how much my camera and our screens show the true color, but let me know what you think. Keep it, or strip it? 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chartreuse Metalflake may be my favorite.  Top 3, for sure!  


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...