Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

My first Tele partscaster build, from Warmoth body/neck

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by RLee77, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    My thinking was that the shellac would bring out the grain and give a slight tint, but wouldn't fill the open grain. The nitro vinyl sealer has a high level of solids and would be able to level the surface. I suppose I could have just gone all shellac and left the texture of the wood…
     

  2. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    From what I've read about the high solid content nitro vinyl sealer, it sounded like that could be used to get a fairly level surface pretty quickly… but maybe that's not the case.
     

  3. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks, I thought so too! I went with korina to get a distinctive body, and I wasn't disappointed.
     

  4. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    44
    Mar 26, 2008
    roanoke, va
    well you can fill the grain with shellac for sure. Anything you put on top of it, unless it's phenomenally clear, will dull the grain-enhancing qualities of the shellac. BUT--I've not tried what you're suggesting to do, so maybe it won't have any significant effect.

    Certainly, if you don't want the grain to affect the finish surface in terms of flatness, filling is important.
     

  5. OtherJMac

    OtherJMac Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Age:
    33
    103
    Sep 5, 2016
    Atlanta
    Technically you can fill with just about anything; it just takes way longer to get to the level stage with some stuff. Shellac is nice and thick, so it'll get there in 2-3 applications. In my experience, sealer is thin--has to be, to do its job and get into the fibers to stop absorption--so it'd probably take a while. But, hey, try and it and see! It's not like it'll hurt anything.
     

  6. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I'll likely start with shellac (spraying with the preval) and see how that goes. Then adjust the plan as I go. I could, as you say, skip the nitro sealer step, but from what I have read it has solids that help fill and smooth fairly quickly.
    The reason I wanted to top coat with nitro instead of just leaving a shellac finish (as I did with the neck) is that from what I've read, the nitro is more durable than the shellac and more protective, and also it can be buffed to a more glossy shine. But as I said, this is all a learning experience for me.

    Really appreciate the responses, the more info the better!

    This image demonstrates pretty well my state of mind at this point:

    dog.jpg
     

  7. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Yeah, I think you (and others) are right, this body is going to need a proper grain fill. I wiped it down with water today to raise the grain and do some smoothing, and it really revealed a lot of grain I didn't see before that needs to be filled. Just need to decide which type and shade of filler to use.

    Finally got the neck very nearly done, just needs final polishing. I'll put up a pic when that's done. Turns out that for me, the most difficult part of an all-shellac finish is the sanding. I kept getting small sand-thru on corners/edges. I finally wiped on like 18 coats on the entire neck, then sanded thru the grits with only one tiny spot of sand-thru, which I'm touching up now. Not sure why I had such an issue with that, maybe just inexperience.
     
    sosay likes this.

  8. sosay

    sosay Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Aug 12, 2016
    IRELAND
     

  9. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I've finally got the shellac finish on the neck done, and now I'm doing final polishing with some stewmac polishing pads. I'll put up some pics in a bit, when the polishing is done; it's coming out pretty nice. Relieved to be done with the neck, there were several cases of sand thru's that needed fixing.

    One thing that concerns me is the apparent "imprintability" of the shellac, even after a week of curing. While polishing the headstock, I was gripping the neck covered with a thin cotton rag (t-shirt), and after about 5 mins or so I noticed an imprint of the cloth pattern on the neck where I was holding it. It was previously polished, but now there was this imprint that felt textured. I'm thinking the heat from my hand did this. Not thrilled about it, obviously. I mixed the shellac myself from dewaxed flakes, so it wasn't old stuff from a can.
    Maybe this is why some people put a final coat of nitro over it?
     

  10. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Pics of the polished neck.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

  11. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Tried to fit the tuners in the headstock and as expected they wouldn't fit, since some shellac had seeped into them, and also some water from the wet sanding, which caused a bit of swelling. So I wrapped some 220 grit sandpaper around a dowel and cleaned them out.

    Then I went to drill out the tuner guide pin holes for the fender locking tuners, and discovered the drill battery was dead. Pulled it out to recharge it, and it fell apart in my hands. :eek:
    Now I'm faced with the horrible realization that I have no choice but to slog down to the Home Depot, wander around in the power tools area (I know many of you dread that experience as much as I), eagerly check out the bright shiny new bitchin' drills force myself to decide which drill to get, and slog back home. :D

    I'd like to get a small tabletop drill press, have to check those out. I'm not great at keeping a hand drill perpendicular.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
    rauchman likes this.

  12. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    44
    Mar 26, 2008
    roanoke, va
    That's interesting to me. I have never run into that, even after doing quite a few necks and two entire guitars only in shellac. The finish is quite hard and not at all and imprintable. Odd. Did the imprint last? If you check now is it still there? An overcoat of another finish won't solve a soft finish issue. It'll just complicate it.
     

  13. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    That's the weird thing; the finish itself feels very hard. Can't put a dent in it using my fingernail with moderate pressure. When the imprint happened, it was rough-feeling, and had to be sanded out using 1500/2000 grit sandpaper. The only thing I can think of is that the heat from my hands, along with pressure, softened the shellac enough to cause that.

    It's all polished now with 6000 micromesh pads to a mirror surface, and I'll see how it fares after some more curing time. Love the look; it has a nice depth to it, and really enhances the wood grain.
     

  14. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    44
    Mar 26, 2008
    roanoke, va
    You mixed from flakes fresh, right? It hadn't been mixed a while? I play my guitars frequently, including in summer, and have never had an issue with the finish getting soft. Really weird.
     

  15. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

    Age:
    71
    759
    Feb 4, 2016
    sw US
    Beautiful work! Please send me that contoured ash body, as I really need it! I will gladly pay the shipping and handling charges. Thank you. :twisted: :)
     

  16. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Yep, it was dewaxed super blonde flakes from shellac.net. Mixed using the Klean Strip green denatured alcohol.
    I suppose it's possible that shellac.net sent old flakes; however they dissolved with no issues, seemed fresh. And as I mentioned, the finish seems quite hard, does not dent.
    I noticed this thread that seems to describe a similar thing: http://www.tdpri.com/threads/issues-with-a-shellac-finish.526456/#post-6119045
     

  17. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks! It was a big learning experience for me, the next one will be easier. Now I just have to get the body finish applied. I'm enjoying the process, and especially the end result.
    I really like the look of that swamp ash body, but I'll probably not use it because of the arm contour. I may very well end up selling it. I will also probably sell the Babicz bridge, but not sure yet; have a Wilkinson I'm going to use.
     
    t guitar floyd likes this.

  18. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    44
    Mar 26, 2008
    roanoke, va
    Nah if it's in flake form it really doesn't go bad. Once it's mixed it has a shelf life of 4-6 months max, after which it won't dry as well.

    Only thing I could think is maybe the first few layers were thicker or didn't dry before later layers, and remain soft. But that seems odd. I haven't reviewed the thread: did you spray or wipe?
     

  19. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Wiped using a cotton cloth, using fairly thin (I think) coats.
     

  20. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    44
    Mar 26, 2008
    roanoke, va
    That's what I recalled. Thanks.

    Well I don't have any sage advice, unfortunately. You've run into an issue that I've never encountered!
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.