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Build #3, Thread #1: My New Thinline Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freekmagnet, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I spend the afternoon filing the finish off the binding. Came out OK. I have a couple of spots to touch up. Next time, I might try masking the sides instead - filing that finish off wasn't easy!


    [​IMG]
     

  2. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Alright, I polished it up today and just for the heck of it, I attached the neck.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The finish is not my best work. I struggled pretty much through the whole experience from beginning to end. For starters, dust was a big issue. Most of the specks I could get out, but there were a few I just couldn't get out. Next time I spray a body, I'll have to move my operation into the garage.

    The next really big issue was the binding. Ugh. I chose to spray over the binding and the file off the finish afterward. Big mistake. First off, the ABS binding is not as tough as the finish. Needless to say, it was pretty hard not to file into the binding. Even then, the finish was thick enough so that I was left with a definite "lip" that ran around the entire perimeter of the body - which, by the way, let to a number of sand-throughs that I had to repair along the way. IN the end, the lip is still prominent enough that it's a thing. I don't know that masking would have been a better approach, but I'll probably at least give it a try next time.

    The one that really got me was two fold. Put it this way: I have a new rule. When doing color coats, paint until it looks good and then add another coat. I applied about 5 layers of color and I though it looked good. Once I started sanding the clear coats, I started seeing a lot of little spots where I didn't get complete coverage and I could see dark spots of wood peeking through. I don't know why I couldn't see them, but I think it may be a because the color layers were flat as opposed to gloss and and maybe that concealed those bare spots. I dunno. Like I said, one extra coat from now on.

    And lastly, right around clear coat 7-8, that nice salmon color just started looking washed out. I think maybe this will darken over time. The Profinisher still performs better than Varathane using lighter colors; the Varathane doesn't work at all.

    There were a number of moments I considered sanding it to bare wood and having another go, but I decided not to. I still have another body, and I kind of resigned this body to being a trial run. In the bigger picture, I have to see if my neck is playable and if my ideas work as a whole.

    I have questions for you more experienced luthiers. For reference, I will attach these two photos:

    [​IMG]

    The poplar body on the left is the one I just painted. The maple one on the right is the one I will be referring to.

    On the the maple body, I was thinking of doing that PRS-style faux binding. Here's a picture:

    [​IMG]

    The goal is to have the sides be flat. I want the mahogany to be darker color. I'll prolly use either stain or dye. The top, I'll paint with a solid color. Here's a schedule I came up with:

    1) Mask of the bottom, seal the top and binding with West Systems Epoxy and level sand. (Maybe hit it with a coat or two of Profinisher)

    2) Remove mask from bottom. Mask the top and the binding.

    3) Fill mahogany with grain filler or West mixed with a dark color. Sand it back.

    4) Stain with dye or stain. Seal with West and level sand. (If I hit the top before with clear, then do the same on the back)

    5) Remove all masking and prime the body with 1-3 coats of Profinisher. Level sand.

    6) Mask the binding and back. Spray color on front and color sand.

    7) Remove masking and clear coat.

    And lastly, has anyone attempted to wet-sand the Profinisher?

    Thanks ahead of time.
     

  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I can't answer any of your questions, but I really like how these bodies look.
     
    ModerneGuy and Freekmagnet like this.

  4. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Hey thanks!

    But yeah, I think I’ve created a huge problem for myself...
     

  5. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I spent the afternoon re-sanding and re-buffing. I started wet-sanding at 400 and worked my way down. Better, but still not my best work. I had lot more sanding marks than usual, which is odd because I was definitely sanding less aggressively than I usually do. I used a different buffing compound than my usual brand; perhaps it has a shallower cut. We’ll see. With the other faults this body has, I can live with it for now.

    [​IMG]

    I learned this week that finishing needs to be attacked with as much vigor as any other part of building guitars. I’m going to experiment with masking the epoxy. Just glancing over a few boat building and concrete finishing forums, it may be worth my while to do a quick test. I bought a few different tapes and I’m gonna check on a piece of scrap mahogany. I also got to think about painting the neck this week.
     

  6. ModerneGuy

    ModerneGuy Tele-Holic

    594
    Mar 9, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Probably nothing you can’t fix . Never tried the faux binding but wanna chip in and say that’s a great design. You can see the influences but it is “yours” and it is quirky without being unbalanced or weird. No mean feat! Cheers
     
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  7. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Wow, thanks! I couldn’t ask for a better compliment. That’s exactly what I set out to do when I started working on this instrument.
     

  8. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I ran a little test last night. First, I laid a few different tapes down to a piece of poplar sanded to 220. I burnished then down with a scrap piece of garolite. From there, I slathered on some West Epoxy in varying degrees of thickness. I made sure to wipe both across the grain and across the tape seam.

    [​IMG]

    I let it dry overnight and pulled the tape. I was surprised the tape pulled up no prob! I think maybe the epoxy was like 85-90% cured. It had been sitting maybe 8-9 hours.

    [​IMG]

    Aside from the duct tape (no surprise) and the packaging tape (surprise), they all held up pretty well!

    After closer examination, it looks pretty promising - a couple of these tapes rendered a pretty sharp edge.

    [​IMG]

    The next thing to do is pick up a can of stain. I’m concerned about the stain seeping underneath the epoxy and leaving a fuzzy edge. I’m looking at the General Finishes stains - they have a dye-based with the bomb colors, but it looks like their regular water-based stain is thicker and will be less likely to seep under the epoxy. I suppose once I apply the stain, I’ll have to see if the epoxy will go over the stain.
     

  9. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    The results are in:

    I slathered the stain directly onto the bare wood. I figured that would be the worst case seepage scenario. I taped one side and left the other without tape. As you can see here, the tape might not have been necessary.

    [​IMG]

    And actually, if you look at it here, it looks like the green tape help up pretty good on the on the top parts where it covered bare wood instead of epoxy!

    [​IMG]

    The edge on the left is a little cleaner than the right, but I think that I might just have to be more careful about burnishing the tape. I’m surprised by how well the line on the left - the Scotch tape line - held up.

    I’ll have to do a couple more tests, but I’d say the initial results are promising! One thing for sure is that I won’t be laying the stain over the epoxy - it did not penetrate at all.

    I have a couple more experiments coming up - I bought a bottle of this irridescent medium - supposedly you can mix it directly into the paint for metallic effects. However, metallic finishes seem to be contingent on getting perfectly smooth finish - something I have yet to achieve using these WB paints. I’m going to mess around with it though - I’m thinking that if I’m hitting just one side with color, that level finish just might be within my grasp. I’ve got to get started painting that neck this weekend - perhaps while I’m doing that, I’ll prep a few test panels.
     

  10. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    [​IMG]

    On to finishing the neck. I’m using the General Finishes WB Milk Paint mixed with Profinisher and Floetrol. I have to sand it back and hit with some more color, but it’ll look good by the time it’s finished.
     

  11. Hallo Spencer

    Hallo Spencer TDPRI Member

    64
    Apr 13, 2011
    berlin
    Bump to force the OP to show some progress... ;-)
     
    Arch Stanton likes this.

  12. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Does that actually work? o_O
     

  13. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    That test looks exactly like I've pictured it in my head a thousand times. Now I'm really curious as to how it turned out. My son says he wants a, gulp, blue guitar...ugh.... with stripes. I'd live to do it with stains and toners rather than opaque paint. for some strange reason I think an almost Van Halen like paint job with stains on figured maple would be totally awesome. It will also probably take a year to finish!

    Here's another bump for progress . . . .:D
     

  14. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Sorry to keep you guys waiting - I do appreciate the update bumps, although to answer the @Jupiter question, no I don’t think they work. The forum doesn’t give alerts for update bumps, and unless you happen to have that page open and refreshed you don’t really have any way of knowing that someone has posted on your thread. I’ve been kind of hanging out at the “Finely Finished” section lately trying to do some research.

    I haven’t updated this thread in a while, but not for lack of progress - or rather, I had made a couple steps forward and took a big one back.

    Basically, things went south with the pink body.

    To start off, I loved the color, but I didn’t like the finish. It wasn’t shiny, there were several spots where the wood showed through the supposedly solid color and there were a couple of sand-throughs. On top of that, I did a terrible job with the binding - it just looked like a dog had chewed on it.

    Despite these defects, I was willing to live with the finish. However, when I took the body down from the shelf where I had it safely stored, I noticed that there were deep impressions in the finish where the bass made contact with the nylon shelf. It appears that the Ben Moore house paint mixed with ProFinisher never really hardened and was nothing but a soft layer beneath the harder clear coat. What I couldn’t live with was a finish that got dinged up just sitting there. I decided that was the last straw and I would re-do the finish I didn't like to begin with.

    To remove the finish, the first thing I tried was the heat gun. Didn't work. The paint just kind of turned into roofing tar and by the time it was soft enough to scrape off, the wood underneath started burning. I didn't really want to use chemicals, so my next mistake was to attempt to sand it off. That didn't work either - as soft as it was, the paint was tougher than the poplar underneath it. By the time I got the paint off, I'd taken a good part of the wood off with it. The top was basically ruined.

    To make a long story short:

    [​IMG]

    This came together pretty quickly; it really just took a few afternoons. I have to shape the tummy cut, clean the fuzz off the routed edges, route the channel and install the binding and give the whole thing a good sanding. I should be ready to start painting it late next week. The back has a nice grain to it. I'm going to try doing a two-tone finish and use dye stains on the back. I'm going to pre-finish it with de-waxed shellac cut with denature alcohol. I did some tests last week that looked great, although I'm a little concerned with the end grain. I'll try it out on a piece of scrap. The front I'm going to paint with GF Milk Paints, and I'm confident that they will work really well for this application. I think I can mix a similar color to the last one fairly easily using the stock colors. I'll clear coat it with ProFinisher.

    I'll report back when I get closer to painting this body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    Barncaster likes this.

  15. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    I love GF milk paint, did you know you don't really have to mix the original solid colors to get different shades? The Dyes and Stains can be mixed with the Milk Paint too. I topped the 2 I did with the Milk paint with Arm-R Seal from GF. The only draw back to that stuff is that it yellows.
    I dig the new body!
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.

  16. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I did not know that. That’s really good to know, actually. Thx! It figures, though - as far as colors, General Finishes really has great line of products with a really cohesive selection of mediums and hues. I haven’t messed around with their clears yet, largely because they seem kinda pricey for what they are.
     

  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I'm thinking it's the white binding that's making the Salmon look washed out. A Tort or Black binding would've looked better IMO. Maybe a pickguard in one of those colors will help.
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.

  18. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Going in for round 2...

    [​IMG]

    I masked the sides and back with tape and applied a coat of West System epoxy to the front and the sides of the binding. So far so good, although there was one small snag. To patch a few minor imperfections in the ABS binding, I melted scraps of the plastic in acetone and dabbed it into the problem spots. For some reason, the epoxy pulled some of the patches up and exposed a few pinhole-sized dots. When the epoxy cures, I’ll probably scrape away the epoxy and leave a slight bevel in the binding and re-patch if necessary. I’ll also scrape the epoxy off the sides with a razor blade. I don’t think coating the ABS with epoxy is needed - I just figured that I’d at least try to coat the entire instrument evenly.

    Two side notes - for one, I used the 3/8” tall plastic binding. The idea was that since the cap is 3/8” thick, that the binding would cover the seam. Naturally, it didn’t quite work out that way, but the seam will not be visible enough for me to worry about. And two, I’m actually glad that I’m re-doing this body, I did a way better job this time, most notably around the neck pocket where the sides meet the neck.

    Tomorrow, I will sand the top, mask it and prep the back for staining. I’ll be hitting it with stain either Friday afternoon or Saturday AM.
     

  19. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    215
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Today I stained the back of the body.

    First, I masked the front and did a pre stain treatment using Seal Coat dewaxed shellac cut 3/1 with denatured alcohol. I gave the end grain an extra coat or two. I basically sanded it with 220 and did the ends with 400. Then, I’d spray it with water and the parts that still soaked it in I would hit with more shellac.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to spray the stain on. I used GF dye-based stains - Amber mixed with 25% medium brown. Here’s a picture of it sprayed. If you look closely, you can see a fly passing through the photo.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I took the tape off and cleaned up the binding.

    [​IMG]

    Then, I gave it a coat of epoxy. I’ll probably give it a couple of coats of epoxy, ‘cuz I’m paranoid about sanding through. If I’m feeling saucy, I’ll lightly sand with 220 between coats.

    [​IMG]

    I’m really excited about this. My stain job turned out both not as good as I’d expected, but way more awesome than I’d imagined. After consulting with the L’il Lady, I’ve decided that I’m going to paint the front a Sonic Blue. I was really digging that light salmon color, but I don’t know if it’ll look good against that golden brown color. Either way, Sonic Blue is cool - not as strident as pink, but you gotta do what works.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
    sergiomajluf likes this.

  20. Hallo Spencer

    Hallo Spencer TDPRI Member

    64
    Apr 13, 2011
    berlin

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