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New LP Build (PIC Heavy)

 
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BrightKJ



Joined: 13 Sep 2008
Posts: 342
Location: Midlothian, VA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:48 am    Post subject: New LP Build (PIC Heavy) Reply with quote

I've been a lurker/poster on here for a couple of years now. I'm no luthier and I'm definitely no expert by any means, but I do enjoy a good guitar project and have built 8 or 10 over the last 6 or 8 years. This place has been a wealth of information and I've tried to pass along what little bit of knowledge I have when I can.

You can follow along on IMGUR as well -- https://imgur.com/a/K4Trj

For this project, the first person I want to thank is Marksound. Your work is an inspiration and if I hadn't seen your posts on these kits, I would have probably never known about them (see URLs below).

http://reranch.com/reranch/viewtopic.php?t=59930&highlight=gfs
http://reranch.com/reranch/viewtopic.php?t=59985&start=0

I ended up picking up a pair of them for both me and my 17 year old son. This post is about mine.

Here's the source -- http://store.guitarfetish.com/Unfinished-Flamed-Top-Glued-In-Neck-LP-Style--Fully-Assembled-and-Finished-_p_19491.html

They also have the same thing in quilt maple as well.

On first inspection of the kits, they were nearly identical except the one my son gets (heh heh) has a quarter sized knot in the side of the body, but it should be fine since his is going to be a solid color back. The back of mine looks to be a three piece, but fairly well matched up.

I'll be using all nickel hardware and Seymour Duncan Slash signature pickups (this thing will be a rocker).

Here's the top wiped down with a little bit of naptha... I'm glad I did this, because much like the two bodies Marksound finished, I could immediately see where there was some glue either on or showing through the veneer. Time to get out the sandpaper. I used 320 grit to take off as much as I could.



I mixed up some Transtint purple dye in a 50/50 mix of distilled water and denatured alcohol. My exact dye recipe was 3 Tbsp of DW, 3 Tbsp of DNA and 10 drops of transtint purple. I mix my dye in small batches.

In case anyone is wondering, no I am not spraying this. It is all being done by hand. I don't have the equipment or space for spraying equipment. I found out a few years ago that a 50/50 mix gives you the ability to blend the dye but without having to wait hours upon hours for it to dry. It also helps when you're working with veneer to not be putting all that water directly on it.

The color was way too light, but it was enough to highlight where there was still a lot of glue that I missed, especially along the fretboard/binding on the upper bout. Time for more sanding.



Added 10 more drops of dye to the mix. Still not dark enough and glue is still showing. A little more sanding.



Added 40 more drops. This is the color I was looking for. I could have stopped here and been very happy with it.
Now, time to mess it up...



If you've ever seen Gibson's new blueberry burst finish, I'm going for something similar, but not exact. Now the real fun begins... trying to create a burst by hand. It's all going to get sanded back, but I wanted to get an idea of the shape of the burst that I'm going for.



I could have stopped right here and been perfectly content with this. It was really pretty cool looking after I wiped it down with Naptha.


This is after the naptha dried, so you can see how much lighter the purple is. Here's the first application of blue dye for the center of the burst. This was a 50/50 mix of 3 Tbsp each of DW and DNA with 10 drops of Transtint blue dye. I believe this may have been after the second application of blue.



This is after the blue had a chance to dry. I dumped about half of what was left (saving some for the headstock) into another baby food jar (great for small dye mixes) and diluted it down with just DW. I don't want it as dark as it was before I sanded it back... just enough to bring back the purple color for the burst. Remember, less is more at this point. Trying to get the dye on without overlapping too much into the blue, but also trying to avoid a hard line in the dye between the two. When you think you're there, STOP. Let it dry and then wipe it down with naptha so you can see what it will look like with clear on it (or at least pretty close).



I let it all dry, wiped it down with naptha and realized very quickly I had made a mistake. I got a little careless when I was putting the blue dye on and let it get down into the burst area for the purple. I needed to smooth out the transition area between the two colors, so no major disaster.



I wasn't trying to take a lot off, so I switched to 400 grit paper at this point. I was just smoothing things out between the two colors.



I went back and forth with both blue and purple dye -- just a little bit at a time to bring the two together. This is really just by feel and trial and error.



I let it all dry in the sun for about 15-20 minutes and here's the final burst... I scraped the binding and retaped it at this point.



Here it is after the first coat or two of sanding sealer. I took a big risk here. I came across a stash of Deft lacquer and sanding sealer that I've had for 5 or 6 years. I had bought it for one of the first guitars I ever built and ended up not using it. They've been stored inside my house the whole time, so I figured, why not? I'm not going to use the Deft lacquer for the final finish. I have something else in mind for that, plus I've heard nothing but horror stories about Deft lacquer.



This is after three or four coats of sanding sealer. There's a little bit of grain showing in the veneer, so I'm trying to fill as much as I can with the sanding sealer. I'll probably do a few more coats, but I wanted to give it time to gas off, even though it dries fairly quickly.



You can see here where I was finally able to get the wood to accept the dye where the glue was along the neck binding.



Crap!!! I didn't see this until I was taking this picture. Just like on Marksound's project, the veneer started to delaminate a little bit. I'm assuming it was from the water in the purple dye. After it had a chance to dry for a couple of hours, it had almost gone away on it's own, but I may try and see if a little bit of heat will help it before I put any more finish on it.



Well, I left it sitting in the evening sun for about another hour and the bubbles went away almost entirely.

I couldn't be happier with how it has turned out so far.



I'm hoping to work with it some more this coming weekend. Will post more pics as things progress.
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Cross



Joined: 16 Aug 2017
Posts: 11
Location: Enumclaw, WA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!
Okay first, I am totally convinced on those guitarfetish bodies now, cheap, don't look too bad and with a little work, seem to turn out real nice.
Second, I am digging the purple colors. Lets just say I will be eagerly anticipating the next update on this guitar.

Edit: One question though, how does the core wood of the body look? Does it seem high quality?
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BrightKJ



Joined: 13 Sep 2008
Posts: 342
Location: Midlothian, VA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cross wrote:
Wow!
Okay first, I am totally convinced on those guitarfetish bodies now, cheap, don't look too bad and with a little work, seem to turn out real nice.
Second, I am digging the purple colors. Lets just say I will be eagerly anticipating the next update on this guitar.

Edit: One question though, how does the core wood of the body look? Does it seem high quality?


I was going to do the Slash AFD finish on it at first, but that Gibson Blueberry Burst keeps calling me.

The core wood is supposedly mahogany, but it's not like any mahogany I've ever seen. I would say the wood is #2 grade, but passable.

If I had to guess, I'd say this body is at least half the weight of my Epi LP. I don't know if they have some kind of weight relief routing in them or what. My body is 3-piece, but they are fairly well matched with only a slight variation in lightness/darkness. It's more white than red. The scarf joint for the neck lines up very neatly on the back of the headstock, but is clearly obvious and visible on the face. Fortunately, I'm going to veneer mine.

The body my son is finishing is also 3-piece, but not well matched at all. The only thing I can think of that I would do differently is to wipe the top down with distilled water BEFORE the first drop of dye touches it to find out where there are any areas that the glue didn't adhere and hit them with some heat per Marksound's suggestion.

Overall, for $159.00, I would have to say they are definitely worth it.
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BrightKJ



Joined: 13 Sep 2008
Posts: 342
Location: Midlothian, VA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:26 am    Post subject: Re: New LP Build (PIC Heavy) Reply with quote


I looked in on the body this morning just because I can't wait to get my hands on it and found the last thing I wanted to see. The bubbles under the veneer have come back. They're no worse than before, but they're definitely back.

The bubbles are along the binding from the center line to the bottom left edge of the body for about 2".

Looking for suggestions... the bubbles were definitely not there before I put the dye on, so I'm positive it was the water in the dye mix that caused it.

I know Marksound had a similar issue on one of the ones he finished and was able to get it to lay back down by heating it up, but does anyone know if I can still do that now that I have lacquer sanding sealer laid down on the top? I was thinking about laying a piece of aluminum foil over it and then hitting it with a dry iron (no steam), but I'm just hesitant to do it. Any ideas?
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marksound



Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 16668
Location: OKUSA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine came back, too. At the end of clear coats, I let a little clear nitro thicken in a can, then drop filled the low spots. After sanding flush, the warped areas were not noticeable.

https://i.imgur.com/aSSUWOf.jpg


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BrightKJ



Joined: 13 Sep 2008
Posts: 342
Location: Midlothian, VA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marksound wrote:
Mine came back, too. At the end of clear coats, I let a little clear nitro thicken in a can, then drop filled the low spots. After sanding flush, the warped areas were not noticeable.

https://i.imgur.com/aSSUWOf.jpg


Gotcha... Thanks for the info. I'll give that a try. I'll hold my breath and hope for the best. This thing is just going to be a beater for my own personal use, but it's still frustrating.
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