First build: Picklecaster, a poplar Telecaster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by brandonh, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    That green is fantastic!
     
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  2. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Meister

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    I love the color, and that decal will look great!
     
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  3. brandonh

    brandonh TDPRI Member

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    My fretting tools came in. I got the Hosco crowning file and a set of their electric guitar nut files.

    2-22-1-bevel.jpg
    I rigged up an ugly side bevel file using some scrap oak and put it to use. My patience for making jigs and tools dried up somewhere around the drill press table, so I was putting this off.

    2-22-2-level.jpg
    I got to work leveling. You can see I had a spread of really high and really low frets. I used 220 on the leveling beam, and that had it taken care of in short order.

    2-22-3-crown.jpg
    Crowning. This step was satisfying! I'm glad I shelled out for the Hosco file instead of getting a cheapie.

    2-22-4-dressed.jpg
    I cleaned up and rounded the ends with automotive sandpaper. I think I took this up to 1000 grit. I have some 3M lapping films and Simichrome paste, so chances are I'll polish them up to a mirror shine.

    Back to finishing:
    Thanks! The Duplicolor paint has been very forgiving. Unfortunately, when I sprayed my first coat of lacquer last week, I got a run on the horn cutout. Then I sanded it back too far and ate through some paint. Then I repainted with the last of my spray can and got a really uneven and blotchy coat. I just got more paint in and sprayed again, and I think I’m happy with it.

    I got some shop rash on the neck heel and head because I didn't lay down padding for these fret work steps. I don't mind scratches and dings once it's done, but I want to start with a clean slate. I sanded back the scratches, and that put me back to square one with the Tried and True oil. Lesson learned.
     
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  4. brandonh

    brandonh TDPRI Member

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    I put one more light coat of paint on this week and liked what I saw, a really even coating of glitter flake. Then I put on three light coats/passes of lacquer with no problem. I sprayed a heavy fourth and got some blushing. After half an hour most of it had gassed out, and after another hour it had gone away completely. I dodged a bullet there!

    I got some pollen or other small dust/debris, though, so I let everything sit 24hrs. I very lightly wet sanded with 1000 grit and it knocked everything down. Somehow, inexplicably, I managed not to burn through to paint. I cleaned up with naphtha and it looks pretty good! Twice lucky. I'm aiming to get another four coats tomorrow and a final four on Saturday. The Tried and True varnish oil is starting to build up on the neck, too.

    Paint pic pre-lacquer:
    2-28-1.jpg

    And after first day of spraying lacquer:
    2-28-2.jpg
     
  5. brandonh

    brandonh TDPRI Member

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    I got four wet coats of lacquer sprayed yesterday. I hope I can get the last coats on in the next few days.

    This was my first foray into waterslide decals (my brother was into models but I preferred LEGO). The first attempt was crooked and wrinkled but the second came out much better. I'll start burying it after it dries out.

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    3-4-5.jpg
     
  6. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    nice job.
     
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  7. brandonh

    brandonh TDPRI Member

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    The good:
    The headstock decal is starting to disappear. I’m using aerosol lacquer to bury it. I’d be here forever if I tried to bury it with this thin varnish I'm using.

    3-7-1.jpg

    The bad:
    On my last day spraying the body (outside), I got a big hunk of oak pollen/spores landed on a wet coat. That’s no good.

    3-7-3.jpg

    And I got a run.
    3-7-4.jpg

    And a lot of blushing. Nice!
    3-7-2.jpg

    So I let it sit overnight as I thought what to do. This lacquer has been good about fixing my mistakes, so I decided to spray another coat and see where that got me. It evened it out to this. Better, but still bad.

    3-7-5.jpg

    So I wet sanded with 600-grit paper. Not bad!
    3-7-6.jpg

    And the ugly:
    Since I’d sanded so much on the front already, I decided to wet sand all the orange peel now instead of when it hardens. When I pulled the tape out of the neck pocket, I also took out a few chips.

    3-7-7.jpg

    3-7-8.jpg
    I didn’t curse or throw anything!

    My first reaction was to spray a few coats of clear and be done with it. Then I thought this is a mistake I can fix. Nothing has cured up yet. I still have a can of paint. I’m using Minwax off-the-shelf spray lacquer. So off to the hardware store I went. I got a quart of the brush-on Minwax lacquer. I know this isn’t the same formula as the aerosol spray, but I’m guessing they’ll be compatible.

    How does this sound as a play of attack? I drop-filled clear lacquer, and will keep doing that until I get built up about level. Then I’ll mask off the body and spray a few light coats of paint. Once I’m happy with that, I’ll hit with the same aerosol spray I’ve been using to even everything out. Any problems here?

    I was really not looking forward to painting, but everything from the primer to paint to clear coat have been very forgiving up to now. I’m hoping this little hiccup won’t skunk the whole finish.
     
  8. CraigB

    CraigB Tele-Afflicted

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    That sounds like a good plan. In the future, I'd recommend that you not let the paint build so much on the tape, or have no way to bleed underneath the tape. Only a couple coats, then while it's still relatively soft, but dry enough to handle, carefully pull tape and re-mask for the next round of spraying. Also, using the green 3M Automotive Performance masking tape is great for clean lines. Then use the blue painter's tape for coverage in areas away from the paint line. If paint or clearcoat is able to get underneath and you have a big buildup on top of the tape too, it's guaranteed to do what you have there. And if it weren't for the fact that it was green, I'd say that was one my pictures. Yes, the same thing happened here!
     
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  9. brandonh

    brandonh TDPRI Member

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    Thanks Craig! I've been drop filling with lacquer for the last four/five days. I sprayed the first paint this morning and started to blend the sharp tape lines mid-afternoon. It doesn't look great, but better than it was. I hope another coat or two of paint will build up the glitter and even things out.

    I sure wish I was more mindful and careful with the neck pocket tape!

    3-11-1.jpg

    3-11-2.jpg
     
  10. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Great color and thanks for showing how you rolled into (and out of) mistakes.
    Peace - Deeve

    BTW - I buried my decal w/ many coats of lacquer. Your logo decal is cool.
     
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  11. brandonh

    brandonh TDPRI Member

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    It looks like I got myself out of another pickle. I wasn't happy with the paint lines that built up after coats 2+3...

    3-12-1.jpg
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    ...so I sanded everything back flat and shot the top and side of the neck pocket without any masking. These were VERY short bursts.

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    I'm not mad about that! Once again, lucky lucky lucky.

    Edited to add comparison shot:
    Attachment-1.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  12. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Nice! I like that logo!
     
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  13. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Really like that metallic green!
     
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  14. CraigB

    CraigB Tele-Afflicted

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    Excellent save Brandon! Beautiful work you're doing!
     
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  15. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Nice save. Love the color!
     
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  16. 1stpitch

    1stpitch TDPRI Member

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    Great recovery. Watching this thing unfold has been a real treat. Keep it coming!
     
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  17. brandonh

    brandonh TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement, all! I was down in the dumps after seeing that first spray a few days ago. It was a relief to redo it yesterday without masking.

    I looked at it today and decided I’m done with the paint. The coverage is good enough, and there’s enough glitter standing up that I don’t want to risk another foul-up with an unnecessary second coat. There’s one small dip on the top of the neck pocket that looks like I over-sanded. It isn’t, I just had a hard time spot filling that chip right on the edge, so I’m not surprised it didn’t level out. There’s a little wave on the side of the neck pocket, too. Those will be my gentle reminders that mistakes happen.

    I sprayed my first coat of clear in the repair area today without insult or injury; no masking, just like the paint. The small amounts of paint and lacquer overspray will get wetsanded and polished out. I’ll do three 3-pass coats the next few days and take it from there.

    I’m going to put this on ice for now. There’s not much else to do until the lacquer cures—polish the frets, oil the fingerboard, read up on intonation and setup. More to follow in 3-4 weeks...
     
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  18. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

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    This is looking very nice. You're doing a fine job with the recoveries!
    Rex
     
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  19. brandonh

    brandonh TDPRI Member

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    Quick body follow-up: I ended up doing 4 coats of clear on the patch, followed by another good wet coat over the entire body.

    Neck finishing: I sprayed 8 coats of lacquer to get the decal totally buried (maybe 7? I wasn't keeping a tally). I only used lacquer on the front face. I wasn't happy with the way the Tried and True varnish oil was (not) hardening up on everything else, so I switched to Tru-Oil. It didn't take much Tru-Oil to get where I wanted with finish. I knocked it back with a grey scotchbrite pad and polished it up with a white scotchbrite.

    Which is what I did this afternoon. I wet sanded the frets with 600, 1000, grey scotchbrite and white scotchbrite pads. They didn't need much work to clean up. I may yet pull out the lapping film for a true mirror finish, but for now I'm happy.

    I got a set of radius gauges to help with setup, so I thought I'd see what the damage was on the fingerboard and fret radii.
    3-17-3.JPG
    Dead on at 9.5! Not bad for a home-brew radius sanding block and first time fret leveling+polishing job.

    Next, I outsourced the fretboard wood revitalization to my junior luthier in training. It only cost me a popsicle! I had a 4:1 mix of mineral oil and beeswax leftover from bread trays I made for Christmas gifts, so I decided to use that on the fingerboard. I love that she got to help out, and she thought it was a riot smearing it on.
    3-17-1.jpeg

    She does good work, too! She said, "daddy, this should be MY guitar!"

    I'm really digging the reds that the oil+beeswax brought out. Before and after pics:
    3-17-2.jpeg
    Finally, I countersunk my pick guard screw holes, something I didn't do before. I'm really at a standstill now until the lacquer takes hold.
     
  20. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    That Dupli-Color Metal Specks Green looks a lot like their Perfect Match Caymen Green Metallic with bigger flake.
     
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