May 4th, 2012, 11:31 PM
I am delving into the world of building guitars. I've been trolling these forums for about 2 weeks and the informitave posts on here have convinced me I can go it alone from scratch.
Just got done building a work bench, which I will post pictures of later. But I've always liked Fender style guitars. At the same time, I am particular with my style and features. My main axe, is a 1995 MIM Strat that started life as a HSS setup. I put it in layaway after I sold my 60s Epiphone Wilshire, for way too little money. I worked in a deli for 2 months to pay it off and finally take it home. Been in love with it since. Currently it is setup with vintage noiseless SSS. But it has transformed many times over the years.
Several years ago, I decided I wanted a Les Paul. I found an Epiphone in trans black, fell in love with the look, but could never motivate myself to play it. I can never get comfortable with it. Wanting that humbucker sound, I ended up buying a blacktop Strat with HH configuration. But no one carried it in a maple neck, so I had to settle for rosewood, as I will not mail order a guitar. It's nice, but the MIM quality seems a little lacking. I don't like the 22 fret rosewood neck, and the neck profile is slightly off compared to my 1995.
Learning from this, I want my first tele, but I will not settle for store options. I am going to make my own tele(s) and strat(s)
But I have a greater plan for all of this. I also plan on building my 2 kids each an heirloom quality guitar, specialized for them. My 6 yo is a lefty, so that'll be hard for me, as I won't be able to play it when I'm done, but I also plan on making one for each of my nieces and nephews. My little sister's boy is one year old, and her husband and I play music together.
Thank you guys for giving me an information and courage to do this.
May 5th, 2012, 12:40 AM
Welcome to the forum. There's no lack of talent, inspiration and experience to tap into here. Enjoy!
May 5th, 2012, 01:30 AM
I speak from experience that you will find the members of this forum very helpful! You'll probably be able to find an answer to about anything by using the Google search feature on the forum masthead, but if you can't just post it and everyone will be very helpful. I also love the intent of your Journey and wish you the best of success.
May 7th, 2012, 09:33 PM
I've got a question.
I have this inclusion in the top of my first build. I'm planing on a blue burst finish. How should I handle it?
May 7th, 2012, 09:45 PM
Like the heirloom idea. Thought of doing the same thing
May 7th, 2012, 11:17 PM
After doing a first sanding and wetting down to raise grain, I'm thinking more of an amber burst.
May 9th, 2012, 09:38 AM
I played with my Brother-In-Law last night and got a chance to get a picture of my current electrics together.
The when I got home, I kissed my kids goodnight and got back to work. I filled the walnut grain on the back with some TimberMate ebony. I really like working with the stuff as it really seems great. It has a familiar smell I can't place yet.
May 9th, 2012, 11:53 AM
For the inclusion I would fill it with epoxy. I would put a sealer coat of shellac or clear finish on the wood first so that any epoxy that gets on the surrounding area does not stain or alter the color of the surrounding wood. You could also fill it with CA glue.
May 10th, 2012, 06:52 AM
Put a good night in. Worst thing about finishing a guitar is all the waiting in between.
Sanded the entire body again and removed all the pore filler. Then i needed to cut the truss rod access slot. The pull saw i got really worked well along with a sharp 1/2 chisel.
Then I put a coat of black Transtint on the entire body.
Next I taped the bottom sides and sanded the top. I'm using a Minwax Express Emerald Green.
Looks like it's working. Got a little touchup to do near the neck and on the lower body side. Next comes some shellac.
May 10th, 2012, 06:56 AM
One question, would another layer of black transtint on top be a disaster?
May 10th, 2012, 07:19 AM
Wouldn't be a disaster, but weren't you going for an amber burst?
May 10th, 2012, 08:21 AM
I was. Getting tape, saw the color, picked it up. It's a moving target.
May 15th, 2012, 04:10 PM
Well, the green minwax was a disaster with the maple top I had. There are several regions that would not accept stain at all, and it pretty much looked like crap. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go opaque on this top. I appreciate your guys help so far. Going home to sand and prime and sand again.
May 15th, 2012, 04:40 PM
NOOOOOO!!!! Dont do that the tops fantasic, try sanding and restaining before you cover that thing up, did you sand it properly before staining? Try sanding the tricky areas while the stain is wet, just try plaing around a little leaving the stain for longer in certain parts, adding a little more and such, it just seems a shame to cover that up, take a look at the challange thread, a few guy's did green and had a few probs,emoney's thread in particular, but they came out great in the end.
May 15th, 2012, 05:30 PM
There's not a reason in the world to paint over that. Get out the sander and clean it off.
After you get it cleaned up fill that inclusion with superglue and sand the top as you go. After a couple applications it will fill in and then you can sand everything smooth.
It looks to me like your top wasn't sanded very well and some it was across the grain instead of with it. Start with 220 till the color is gone and then switch to 320. Use an RO or vibratory sander if you have one.
Now, back to that amber burst you so wisely chose the first time. Wipe on some amber and tobacco brown (and get some analine dyes such at TransTint, you bee happy you did), let dry and sand back, then apply the amber stain till you get the color you want. Then spray your clear.
May 15th, 2012, 09:30 PM
Sorry guys, I sanded that top with 120, 220, 320 I could not get that minwax out of the end grain. I wish I could have. The top had a lot of hard spots that would not accept stain at all.
You can see it with the pic with the black transtint.
This is a learning guitar for me, as I'm getting familiar with the processes. I sanded and restrained that top 4 times and got frustrated.
Amber burst is my next guitar. It'll be made from scratch by me.
The hardware for this one will be here in a couple days, this one will be fired up this weekend. Then it's on to the next.
May 15th, 2012, 10:27 PM
Hmmm, maple takes stain pretty evenly (although this sort of stuff is why I don't use water-based dyes, why raise the grain after all that sanding?). Try shooting a clear coat on and see what that looks like, a lot of the time it will look better than when it's 'dry'. Also, after a clear coat is on you can add more stain if you still need to smooth it out.
I think that's top's worth trying to save.
May 15th, 2012, 11:17 PM
It's too late now, sorry to disappoint. But I kinda dig the new top color. I will upload some pictures in the morning when I get to my computer.
Maricopa, thanks for your insight. I have some plans for some big builds. This is just the beginning. I've already bought some wood, truss rods, and am working on my templates. I have just started building, and aside from this one issue, I am having a blast. I am also planning on building all my hardware (except tuners, switches, potentiometers). I also am thinking of a stainless tele, the deloricaster. I think big, hopefully I can realize my dreams.
I do commercial doors for a living, and maple is the veneer that give us the most problems due to staining issues. Like you, I have had issues with water based stains over the years. The next builds with definitely go more oil based.
May 21st, 2012, 10:00 AM
Well I've got it finished.
Learned a lot about paint and finishing. I also learned a lot about setting up guitars because of this.
Can't wait to start on my next one.
Now for the guitar porn.
iPads and iRigs work pretty good for setup.
May 21st, 2012, 11:17 AM
The gold looks great, it needs black tuners and strap buttons to complete the black hardware. Nice flame on the neck. I have been wanting to do a gold top tele.... still it is a pity to cover the flame maple with a solid color.
May 21st, 2012, 11:26 AM
I had some vintage style black tuners, the holes were too big. Could find some chrome pings at Guitar Center that were reasonable. Gonna order some black replacements on my next supply order. Also got some locking Schaller strap buttons on another guitar I'm gonna swap over.