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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:34 am 
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Walnut
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Location: Northwestern Ontario, Canadda
First name: Doug
Last Name: MacDonald
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Hi everyone. I'm new to this world of guitar playing and lutherie. I have two projects underway as my first build. Actually, you could say I have two and a half as one of them is a replica of a Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck. The second guitar is a Saga Les Paul kit.

The Saga kit comes pre-sealed and I would like to do a cherry burst on it. I have the Stew-Mac spray can lacquer kit for finishing but have a question about how to deal with the binding. The binding has a heavy coat of sealer on it already and does not appear to be practical to strip it down to bare plastic. How should I keep the color off of the binding? Should I mask it off? Should I attempt to remove the heavy sealer coat and then use the scrape technique? Should I just let the binding be covered by the cherry red lacquer and not worry about it? Are there any options I have not thought of?

Once I have these two kits sorted out I am thinking of a mostly scratch built 12 string Telecaster. I have the curly maple for the face of the body already. The Tele won't be for a few months though, too many other projects to finish first.

Anyway, looking forward to exploring this new hobby.

Doug M


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Koa
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dougsnash wrote:
Hi everyone. I'm new to this world of guitar playing and lutherie. I have two projects underway as my first build. Actually, you could say I have two and a half as one of them is a replica of a Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck. The second guitar is a Saga Les Paul kit.

The Saga kit comes pre-sealed and I would like to do a cherry burst on it. I have the Stew-Mac spray can lacquer kit for finishing but have a question about how to deal with the binding. The binding has a heavy coat of sealer on it already and does not appear to be practical to strip it down to bare plastic. How should I keep the color off of the binding? Should I mask it off? Should I attempt to remove the heavy sealer coat and then use the scrape technique? Should I just let the binding be covered by the cherry red lacquer and not worry about it? Are there any options I have not thought of?

Once I have these two kits sorted out I am thinking of a mostly scratch built 12 string Telecaster. I have the curly maple for the face of the body already. The Tele won't be for a few months though, too many other projects to finish first.

Anyway, looking forward to exploring this new hobby.

Doug M


I'm not sure if this helps, but normally the entire guitar gets a coat or two of sealer, then the burst is sprayed over the top and binding. The binding can be masked with pin stripe tape (available at an auto parts store) - the top is usually just scraped back to bare plastic, then the clear coats are sprayed. They will blend and cover the little edge left by scraping. Thats the way the old Gibsons were done and it works pretty well with plastic binding. With wood binding you need to seal it very carefully so that color does not bleed into the wood.

Here was the finishing stages of an LP that I built a couple of years ago -

http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Electr ... 21/page/10

(if you go back a couple of pages in that thread you can see the whole 'burst process - I use both stains in the wood as tint in the finish coats). Dan Erlewine's book from StewMac has pretty good information about doing 'bursts. I'm not sure how easy it will be to do with rattle cans - I would practice before shooting the actual guitar.

btw - even tho you are building a kit, this is a legitimate question for the Electric Guitar subforum and you will get a lot more responses.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:13 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Location: Northwestern Ontario, Canadda
First name: Doug
Last Name: MacDonald
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Country: Canada
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Thanks for the feedback Freeman. I've been reading your build blog. Wow, awesome job. I hope my kit turns out even half as nice as your project did.

Doug M


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:12 pm 
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Koa
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Since it already has sealer on it I would carefully mask off the bindings with some tape as mentioned around the top and paper off the sides. Spray out your base toner and burst and let it flash off good but don't let it cure all the way. Pull the tape, always back and away from the edge so you don't lift the burst off the top. Then I burnish the tape ridge down with a hooked razor blade, same set up as for scraping but used backwards and at an extreme angle to smash down the ridge left by the tape. A careful wet sand around the edge with a small cork lined sanding block and some 600 grit wet/dry to level a bit and even out the toners if needed and shoot the clears. I run an extra pass around the edge with the clear to get enough build that I don't sand through to the color when I wet sand and buff.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:40 pm 
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I put together a Saga LP.
http://www.guitarattack.com/saga/2011_3/2011_3.htm
Be very careful if you wet sand to keep water out of screw holes, tuner holes, etc.
Water in these holes will cause the veneer to bubble and lift.
I sanded off the sealer and found out the veneer is very thin.
Cut the connectors off the ends of the wires and solder the wires directly, and twist the wires from the pickups. This will eliminate a lot of hum.
Try a Guitar Fetish kit: better quality than Saga.
Just my two-cents worth.
Dan

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:49 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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Location: Northwestern Ontario, Canadda
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Last Name: MacDonald
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Well, I sprayed some paint today. The cherry on the neck was doing great until I hit it too soon with the satin clear and got a couple of minor runs on the side. I'll sand them down tomorrow after they have had a chance to set up a bit. I masked off the binding and sprayed the base vintage yellow layer. I followed it with the cherry burst and it didn't turn out too bad except for a bit of a sag. I haven't decided whether I'm too worried about the sag as it will be under the pick guard anyway. Any minor seepage onto the binding scraped off easily.

I am worried about the numerous sanding scratches that have appeared under the lacquer. oops_sign I went over the body with 220 then 400 then 600 before I sprayed the vintage yellow on. I thought it was perfect after the 600 but it really looks terrible with the color applied. Obviously the 400 and 600 sandings didn't get the scratches from the 220 out. Will the clear layers fill in these scratches or am I going to have to sand the colour back off and fix the sealer coat?

As for electronics, I'm planning on cleaning them up quite a bit from what came with the kit. I purchased a Switchcraft style switch and new wiring as I plan on running my own wire instead of the junk that came with the kit. I also have copper shield tape that I plan on using inside of the control cavity and behind the pickups. I'll stick with the Saga pots and caps for now but they can be changed out easy enough if they don't work well enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:33 am 
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Koa
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I routinely sand between costs with only 320 dry, done properly the scratches do not show through. There is no need to sand anything finer than 400 between coats of lacquer anything finer is generally a waste of time, with the exception of the ridge left by tape at the edge of a shaded top. I like a little more control there as sanding too far will result in taping off again and doing it over. Will the scratches you left show? That depends. If the toners have filled them in then yes they will always be seen. If the scratches are still present on the surface and still get filled in with the clear they will be less noticeable. The main reason you see the scratches in your sealer is that it did not function correctly with your lacquer. The lacquer should have "burned" into the sealer and leveled out the scratches. Do you know what type of sealer it was?

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You never know what you are capable of until you actually try.

Taylor authorized service
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http://www.brianhowardguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Howard-G ... 3702413493
http://howardguitars.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:01 am 
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Walnut
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Location: Northwestern Ontario, Canadda
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Country: Canada
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Status: Amateur
Thanks for the info Brian. No, I have no idea what kind of sealer was used on the guitar body. I was a little surprised the colour did not burn into the sealer myself. I think I'm going to sand the colour back off as I'm a little disappointed with the drip I got in the cherry anyway. I'll sand back to the sealer coat and then lay down a couple of coats of the Stew-Mac sanding sealer. This will give me a compatible base to work from. I think I want a couple of more coats of the Vintage Amber on there before I put the cherry burst on anyway.

This has been a great learning experience. I can't wait until I can try playing this guitar.

With the other project, I have two coats of sanding sealer on the EDS-1275 body and the necks are almost ready to apply the satin clear to the back sides. It will be interesting to try the 12 string. Given that I'm an absolute beginner at playing the guitar as well as building them I don't imagine I'll have much success with the 12 string but it will still be interesting to try.

Thanks for your help

Doug M


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:21 am 
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Koa
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You might consider going back to bare wood. More non compatible sealer may not fix the scratches as it will not burn in either. Always best to stay in one finish system. Those scratches you have had problems with are a big reason I recommend against using shellac as a sealer under a lacquer as so many seem to do.

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Brian

You never know what you are capable of until you actually try.

Taylor authorized service
Custom finishing and repair

http://www.brianhowardguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Howard-G ... 3702413493
http://howardguitars.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:24 pm 
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Walnut
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I've thought about going back to bare wood but I have repeatedly seen warnings about the paper thin veneer on the Saga kits and how easy it is to punch through into the plywood underneath. I'll try to get the base sealer as thin as possible and hope for the best. In the future I will avoid pre-sealed kits like the plague.

Doug M


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Or just avoid ones that have only a thin veneer. Depending on the sealer it may strip very easily with a solvent, just be real careful at the bindings, most chemical strippers will eat plastic bindings.

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Brian

You never know what you are capable of until you actually try.

Taylor authorized service
Custom finishing and repair

http://www.brianhowardguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Howard-G ... 3702413493
http://howardguitars.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:54 am
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Location: Northwestern Ontario, Canadda
First name: Doug
Last Name: MacDonald
State: Ontario
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I've got the guitar body back to the sealer coat. I can't believe I did that much damage to the sealer by going over it with 220 grit paper. Especially since I then did 400 grit and 600 grit before painting.

The red lacquer worked well as a guide coat as I sanded it off. I kept sanding until the red was gone from the bottom of the scratches. The surface looks and feels nice and smooth now, of course it did before too. I'm going to try spraying the Sanding Sealer I have and see who it turns out. Worst case, there's going to be more sanding in my future.

Thanks for your guidance.

Doug M


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:26 pm 
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dougsnash wrote:
Well, I sprayed some paint today. The cherry on the neck was doing great until I hit it too soon with the satin clear and got a couple of minor runs on the side. I'll sand them down tomorrow after they have had a chance to set up a bit. I masked off the binding and sprayed the base vintage yellow layer. I followed it with the cherry burst and it didn't turn out too bad except for a bit of a sag. I haven't decided whether I'm too worried about the sag as it will be under the pick guard anyway. Any minor seepage onto the binding scraped off easily.

I am worried about the numerous sanding scratches that have appeared under the lacquer. oops_sign I went over the body with 220 then 400 then 600 before I sprayed the vintage yellow on. I thought it was perfect after the 600 but it really looks terrible with the color applied. Obviously the 400 and 600 sandings didn't get the scratches from the 220 out. Will the clear layers fill in these scratches or am I going to have to sand the colour back off and fix the sealer coat?

As for electronics, I'm planning on cleaning them up quite a bit from what came with the kit. I purchased a Switchcraft style switch and new wiring as I plan on running my own wire instead of the junk that came with the kit. I also have copper shield tape that I plan on using inside of the control cavity and behind the pickups. I'll stick with the Saga pots and caps for now but they can be changed out easy enough if they don't work well enough.

Good plan, my switch and jack literally fell apart.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:33 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:54 am
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Location: Northwestern Ontario, Canadda
First name: Doug
Last Name: MacDonald
State: Ontario
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Progress is being made. I have applied two coats of sanding sealer on the body of my Saga. The front has turned out great and after a very light cleanup, it will be ready for finishing. The back has not turned out too bad either (with the exception of a couple of very minor drips). I'm going to let the last coat of sealer set up overnight before I sand anymore on it but I should be ready to lay down the amber coat tomorrow. Unfortunately, I'm getting low on Cherry Red so I will have to wait for my next Stew-Mac order to arrive before I can spray the burst.

The body of the EDS-1275 clone is turning out much better. I laid down two coats of sealer on the bare wood and then wet sanded the it with 600 grit before the colour coat. I have three coats of cherry red lacquer on it. Wow, it is beautiful. I am going to hit it with the first coat of clear this evening so the red has a chance to set up a bit.

The ease with which the EDS is taking the finish compared to the Saga almost makes me wonder if there is something unique to the sealer used on the Saga. The EDS is going so much better. Of course, it could just be I'm learning how to work with nitro lacquer but I'm going to blame it on the Saga kit.

Doug M


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:54 am
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Location: Northwestern Ontario, Canadda
First name: Doug
Last Name: MacDonald
State: Ontario
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Sorry to be so long without an update on my build projects but Stew-Mac messed up on the shipping for my order containing the second can of Cherry Red. I am expecting the order to arrive on Monday so I'll be able to get back to work on the Les Paul project.

On a side note, I have the EDS-1275 essentially done and playable. I need to tweak the nut slots a little on the 12 string neck and polish it in a month or two but otherwise it plays pretty well. I have no point of reference as to how good or bad the humbucker pickups are but I am reasonable happy with the sound. The 12-string sounds great.

I'll post a couple of photos of the two guitars when I have the LP finished.

Doug


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