Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Plotting the Iraqi-Caster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TRexF16, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    My StewMac order arrived on Thursday including the 250K solid-shaft push/pull pots. I got in some shop time today and got Uno all wired up and everything worked right on the tap test. It's standard Strat switching and a pull up on the tone knob adds the neck pickup to whatever is currently selected.
    Man this black shows every little smudge and fingerprint, and just the least little abrasion really telegraphs. I'll need to touch up a few spots with the polishing compound when I finish it up.
    It'll still be a couple months before the necks are finished. I guess I need to start working on getting Dos' body polished out and wired too, while I work on the necks.

  2. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    Hi Rex,
    So the necks are going to take months to do? There has to be a back story to this. Are you cooking up something special?
  3. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    No special backstory, I'm just letting the sanding sealer do the pore filling, and they have some big pores.
    Dos is about done and Uno may need a couple more coats. They have each gotten about 9 coats so far (plus those I put on before going to Iraq most recently), allowed to dry well and sanded back to just about bare wood between each three coats. They got coats #7-9 yesterday so I will let them hang this week then sand 'em back next weekend. Assuming they are well filled then, I then need to:
    - Clean out the fret slots and fret
    - Get a few coats of lacquer on the front and back pf the headstocks as a base for the waterslides
    - Let this dry enough to sand and polish flat, then apply the decals
    - Apply the coats needed to bury the decals. I wet sand these flat with 600 grit every couple coats so they bury more cleanly
    - Shoot all the rest of the lacquer on the necks
    - Allow to "mostly" dry (maybe a month?)
    - Do the fret levels and clean the rest of the lacquer off the tops of the frets
    - Install tuners and string trees
    - make the nuts

    The above assumes nothing goes wrong that needs fixing. With me this is a very shaky assumption. I'm thinking two months is a pretty conservative estimate...:(

    So that said, I am open to any tricks of the trade anyone may provide to accelerate any of this. Obviously there is no way the "pros" can put this kind of time into an instrument and have the whole endeavor pay the bills. So I know there are faster ways. Using grain filler would have been one but I tried that as an experiment on the back side of Dos' tremolo cover and didn't like it.

    Arch Stanton likes this.
  4. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    Hey Rex,
    All depends on your vision. I don’t mind open pore finishes at all. That and Tru Oil is just brilliant on a neck. Add a silk screen for the headstock marketing and this can be a weekend proposition. Is my NORCAL hippie showing?
  5. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    I took some time off over the 4th of July holiday and made some progress. The necks are mostly grain filled and I got the places where the decals go leveled and polished and decals applied:
    I'll have to fret, etc., and get the decals buried then let the lacquer dry enough to polish out.
    Dos' body is all polished out and the tremolo studs are in:
    I think I am really going to like this tremolo.
    I tried to take some pictures outside to capture how nice the pearl looks but it doesn't show in the photos. Maybe I can get some in different light. It really looks nice.
    This is the first time I have used the Duplicolor Acrylic lacquer topcoat and even though it has dried for 3 months, I was surprised at how soft it is. In wet sanding and polishing the edges, I normally clamp the body in the maple-jawed end vise on my bench, padded with a towel. This has never caused a problem with nitro, but after the polishing and swirl remover, I found five spots where the weave of the towel fabric had been pressed into the topcoat. I had to go back and wet sand more then re-polish. Now the good news is it wet sands and polishes like a dream, but I am a little leery about the softness. I'm wondering if it might be reactive with guitar stand padding, etc.
    Has anyone used this topcoat and had any issues? I went with the rattlecans on this one because I was afraid I might get some little specks or such through my spray rig that would show on the white - figured the rattlecan would be "pure." It was, mostly.

    I am really looking forward to getting these beauties in (Thanks again, Rob!!):
    Barncaster pickups.jpg
    But because Rob was really specific about string spacing no greater than 2 1/16" at the bridge, and having the strings centered, I am going to wait until I am able to at least test fit the neck with the two e-strings on to establish where the holes in the neck need to go, and then I will also set the Firebirds perfectly centered and drill for their pickup rings at that point. Otherwise I could finish up the body completely right now, wiring and all, just like I did with Uno.

    Cheers all, and happy belated birthday, America!
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  6. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    Beautiful finish work, as always.
  7. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    That looks fantastic!!
  8. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    I got a couple coats over the neck decals today, and wet sanded and polished the control cavity and tremolo rout covers for Dos.
    This first picture shows the shine but doesn't do justice to the rippling flame in the Movingui covers.
    This shows the colors better. It's going to look nice from the back when the neck is on.
    It's cool how the flame pattern ripples back and forth when I tilt the plates in the sun.

  9. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

    Mar 9, 2012
    New York
    That black one looks very classy!!!
  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Thanks guys! Much appreciated.
  11. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
  12. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu
    Never thought that scrap crap wood from a year ago in the desert would look that good. Both are bitchin! Love the pearl white.

    Nice job Rex!

    Once again on this web site any old board can become a glorious and beautiful electric guitar.
    I love this place.
  13. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    If things do not go as planned with the Croatian pups, happiness is just a rewind away. Yeknom is standing by at the controls if that is of any comfort...
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  14. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Tele-Meister

    Feb 2, 2018
    St. Louis
    You guys amaze me. Excellent. Really just fantastic. :)
  15. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    For those (like Mr. Yeknom) who are only following this thread for its natural history content, while I was grilling some steaks tonight our javelina herd paid their first visit since that last pic I posted . I am sad to report we lost one of the two older babies, but the younger two are still with them. Also, they have new male in the heard. He's the most blond javelina I have ever seen and very distinctive.
    About a half hour prior a fine mule deer buck, which is a much rarer sighting at our place, strolled by. Even in his July velvet, he was already sporting a big set of brow tines and his forks were just starting to bud. Like the pigs, he's just a "lookin' deer", but my neighbors may not share our sentiments. I believe I saw him three times last year and he was big then.
    And finally, and this actually has a modicum of guitar making content, has anyone who does their spraying outside ever noticed that nitro has got to be one of the strongest mosquito attractants known to science? I have noted it time and again. Tonight I spent just a couple minutes putting a new coat over the neck decals and I got swarmed and eaten up. It happens too often to be mere coincidence. Has anyone else ever noticed this?


    P.S. Despite the fact that with the immanent completion of Uno, I need a black-on-black three pickup Tele like I need a hole in the head, I may be about to join our TDPRI "Triple Tele" club (the one with the three CS Nocaster bridge pickups in a line and 5-way switching). A local fellow just offered me a fair price, and I think I am going to take it. It's just too unique to pass on.
    awasson likes this.
  16. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    LOL, you have the disease..
  17. s_tones

    s_tones Tele-Holic

    Nov 10, 2013
    central CA
    That is an INSANE finish!!!!
  18. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I have to spray outside too. Use mostly acrylic lacquer and that stuff will attract all kinds of bugs. Sweat bees and wasps like it too.
  19. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    I love those Movingui covers against the white finish. That's a very pretty guitar.
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