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Tales from my workbench


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12 minutes ago, slingblader said:

Time to glue on the top. I like to use urea formaldehyde glue for larger areas where I need more working time. 

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Once the top was dry, I flush trimmed the edge, then routed the binding rabbet. I had to install a temporary spacer in the neck mortise to make this come out correctly.

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I decided to install black binding for more "stealth" look. :D

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Cleaned things up and rechecked the neck fit. Of course the neck needs to be trimmed to width at this point.

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Mounted the control cavity pin router template and cut the cavity.

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The fretboard got black binding as well. Needs a little cleanup here. :)

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That is pretty much where the LPS is sitting presently, and I need to jump back on it.  In the middle of this build, I also built a candy apple red Precision bass and also completed shooting the finish on the Strat. I'll put up some pictures of some of that stuff soon.

 

Damn. You got waaaay more hours in your day than I got in mine.

That looks fantastic.

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1 hour ago, hamerhead said:

 

Damn. You got waaaay more hours in your day than I got in mine.

That looks fantastic.

Well, to be fair, this took place over several weeks. :P

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22 hours ago, Drew816 said:

Awesome thread, thanks for sharing. Our Covid starved minds appreciate something fun, let alone projects as cool as this and so expertly done!

Keep them coming...

 

19 hours ago, specialk said:

Good lord what a top! And beautiful work on your part. Don't keep us waiting too long for the next installment. 😀

Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I don't want to bore people to death with too much detail, so somebody please tackle me if I'm getting out of control. :D

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OK, back to the Strat project for a while. 

Located the trem stud locations and drilled them. This is always a butt-puckering moment for me. I hate drilling holes in a nearly finished body. If they're wrong, it's a PITA to fix.

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Sizing a bone nut blank.

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I made a pickguard out of WBW plastic, then wired it up with some StewMac Strat pickups. Added some shielding and wired it up.

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Gotoh locking tuners were installed.

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Nut was slotted.

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Assembled and strung up for the first time.

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I also used these roller type string retainers. I'm never sure which direction they should face... is this correct? 

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I got to this point with the Strat in late March. It pretty much sat in my basement like this while I worked on the P bass project. I finally shot the finish in June. That's where I'll pick up the story next.

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, slingblader said:

I also used these roller type string retainers. I'm never sure which direction they should face... is this correct? 

 

 

 

z0WqZXG.jpg

Looks ok to me. That’s how Fender installs them.  

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7 hours ago, slingblader said:

 

Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I don't want to bore people to death with too much detail, so somebody please tackle me if I'm getting out of control. :D

We're used to detail. BCR Greg's posts developed our appetite.

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When I got that Strat assembled and playable, I took a quick detour and made the Precision bass which I already posted, but just for the hell of it, here's a quick picture of the end result of that build. 

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But back to the Strat. I had been wanting a classic 50's Fender 2 color sunburst, but I hadn't ever done one. I have a decent spray rig and I'm pretty comfortable with most spraying operations. I had some doubt about doing a sunburst over a cherry body. For one thing, the color is going to change. It just will, and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. Once it begins to age, oxidize, etc, that cherry will get darker. When cherry is freshly sanded, it's sort of a pale salmon color, but will quickly begin to darken especially with direct sunlight. A finish will slow this process, but it is pretty much inevitable. 

The classic 50s Fender 2 color sunburst is a very light yellow-brown color in the middle, and a very dark brown (not black) around the edges. I say not black, but the brown gets so dark at the edges that it pretty much looks black. You can perhaps understand my apprehension with shooting this finish over a cherry body. In the end I went for it, but I have no idea what it will look like in a year. LOL

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I shoot nitro lacquer and I've been using Mohawk products pretty much exclusively. I use gloss piano lacquer, nitro instrument sealer, reducer and retarder products. So the first step was to shoot some nitro instrument sealer on the neck and body. I think I shot 1 coat on the neck, and 2 coats on the body to get started. 

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Nitro lacquer ages in a very cool way due to UV exposure. I always keep a small amount of "UV aged" lacquer around. (OK, it's a Vlassic pickle jar with some lacquer that I put next to the patio when I need it.) Anyway, a few coats of this stuff give a lovely bit of ageing to any clear lacquer finish. I shot some of this on the neck to give it some color.

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Just starting to shoot the yellow-brown background color on the body here. 

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Background color shot on the front. You can make out the shadow of where the pickguard was installed for a couple of months. I didn't sand aggressively enough to get rid of that. It really won't matter once everything is assembled.

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Just getting started on the burst here. Getting the edges darkened. I increase the pressure at the gun to around 20 PSI with the trigger pulled, very low material flow and smallest round patttern that I can get. I use a small Iwata gun to shoot most of my nitro.

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I build these very, very slowly and I have to show a lot of patience. This is starting to look right. :)

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Then, a few quick coats of clear gloss over the top and it's done. I'm sure it's not quite like Fender used to do them. The pattern may be wrong and I used TransTint dyes mixed with nitro as a toner, which isn't correct. IDK, I think it came out OK. I had done some Gibson styled bursts, but this was my first shot at a Fender burst.

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Hung it to dry for a few weeks.

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More later. :)

Edited by slingblader
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On 7/30/2020 at 11:50 PM, RobB said:

Wawaweewa! More!

LOL, OK!

On 7/31/2020 at 12:51 AM, Ua D said:

You have a fine set of skills sir.  Truly appreciated. 

Thank you very much. :)

On 7/31/2020 at 3:53 PM, Drew816 said:

Hooray, an update! 😉

Looking great, awesome work.

 

Thanks!

On 7/31/2020 at 9:46 PM, BCR Greg said:

Fantastic work.

Thank you, I'm not worthy. :D

23 hours ago, ArnieZ said:

So jealous!! I can't imagine how long it would take me to get even halfway to where you are at. I’m sure I would ruin many necks and bodies just to figure out what I was doing wrong!!

arniez

Well, trust me, I've ruined some things along the way. But I had been into woodworking for a while, so that helped me a lot. I have to say that I don't think I've got an extraordinary amount of talent of anything, I think if I can learn it, so can anyone else.

When I first took an interest in this hobby, I read forums and watched videos (while acquiring tools and materials) for around 3 years before I started my first builds. So, during that time I was able to ascertain which methods would likely work best for me. There are many approaches to nearly any of these tasks, and it can be overwhelming.

Get yourself a kit to start out and give it a shot!

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OK, so after the guitar hung for around 4 weeks to cure. I level sanded, buffed and polished it. The next day I assembled it and performed a final setup. Here's how it came out.

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For my first Strat, I'm happy with it. The StewMac pickups sound good, but a little warmer... maybe boomier, than I was hoping for. No biggie, I can change those out later I suppose. 

 

More updates on other projects soon. :)

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5 minutes ago, slingblader said:

OK, so after the guitar hung for around 4 weeks to cure. I level sanded, buffed and polished it. The next day I assembled it and performed a final setup. Here's how it came out.

T0XnLNL.jpg


FCgD4aY.jpg


iNHqpW2.jpg


OvZa5vk.jpg?1


kpOetZ0.jpg


s7Z6uZC.jpg


5rocTC1.jpg


3PGHdgJ.jpg


Ls7eqmI.jpg

 

For my first Strat, I'm happy with it. The StewMac pickups sound good, but a little warmer... maybe boomier, than I was hoping for. No biggie, I can change those out later I suppose. 

 

More updates on other projects soon. :)

Fantastic work!  Love it!

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Back in April, my buddy Mike convinced me to make a Strat for him. I was neck-deep in other projects, but I finally got started on it in June. Not sure if I mentioned it earlier, but when I started my first Strat project, I made two necks. So, I was able to save some work for Mike's guitar.

I was hesitant to build an instrument for anyone else to buy, so we agreed that he would just pay my actual material costs. It would let me gain some experience and he might get a decent guitar out of the deal. :D To keep costs down, I had him choose wood from material that I had on hand. He loved the look of the 5 string bass that I had made which had a ziricote top. So, we landed on a cherry body with a ziricote drop-top. Did I mention that I'm allergic as hell to ziricote? 

Cherry body was roughed out.

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Starting to shape the forearm contour with a Stanley #3.
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Did I mention that I'm seriously allergic?
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Cutting a chunk of a very large ziricote board. This will be resawed for the drop top. (with a lot left over for more tops)
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The top was resawed then run through the drum sander. Glued and clamped up here.
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After the top dried, I ran it back through the drum sander. Here I'm starting to make some relief cuts on the back side to help it form around the forearm contour.
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I sorta overdid the forearm contour. Very concerned about bending a brittle rosewood like ziricote around this.
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The top was cut oversized, then screws were run in so that it wouldn't slide around during the glue up. Here I'm soaking the outside with a wet towel to help in the bending process.
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Apparently I wrote this on June 30.  :D
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I used urea formaldehyde glue to join the top. I ran in the screws and threw it into the vacuum bag keeping my fingers crossed that the drop top bends the way that I'm hoping for. 
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More updates soon. :)

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