well neck is off the jig. I worked up to 1500 grit then finished with 000 and 0000 steel wool. Tried to round the fret ends a bit. Yeah... that one may take time to get good at. I'm using the recommended file from stewmac that has the smooth bottom but I still dug in to the fretboard a bit. may be able to scrap it with a razor blade and hide some of those parts or just leave it and know its part of learning. Heck, I've gotten guitars back from techs with slight marks there too so even those who do this for a living aren't perfect all the time. Got a thinner version of the oil finish I used on the last neck that I'm trying on some scrap walnut.
Side note that I'm not surprised by... Light wood with deep grain as a fretboard mixed with fine fret dust is not a great combo. I guess I knew that going in but oh well. Thats what compressed air is for. I think some of it is going to get stuck in the grain. Just hope once I put the finish on, it won't be as obvious.
Also on the fence for the finish on this neck. I’m going to stick with my no solvent no VOC angle but may try a product called osmo polyx. Sound similar to the odies oil I used but maybe a bit harder surface finish. It also says it’s sweat proof so that’s a good start. The guy I get my walnut from uses it for tables and counter tops and has some walnut finished in that I may go check out tomorrow.
got my order from bootstrap in. Ryan did a great job with pickups once again. Even was gracious enough to send black and cream covers as I couldn’t make up my mind. Went with a set of mean 90s for the blue guitar and then a mean 90 neck and overwound “pepperjack” pretzel pup for the bridge on the natural guitar.
Also got two body blanks made up today from some old pine boards I salvaged from down the road.
finally got a can of that Osmo polyx finish from a local wood worker to try out this weekend. Really liked the finish on the parts he showed me. Also found a few videos online of folks using it on guitar necks so feels promising.
Two coats of polyx on this neck and it’s really starting to pop. Almost too nice for the vibe I’m going for but I’ll take it. Now to wait a few days for it to harden a bit more before putting tuners on and such. Gives me time to finish up the body. I’m really looking forward to this one.
Also got the first guitar back from my tech. Other than a few recommendations he gave it a clean bill of health and it plays great so that’s good! For what ever reason he slammed the pickups down. He had the neck pickup at 3/8” from the strings and the bridge pickup at 1/4”. Going to have to change that....
Thank you so much! yeah its really all fall together nicely.
Nut is black tusq xl. I love bigsbys so even though this one doesn't have one...yet, the bridge I designed and built for this allows for easy addition of the bisgby in the future. But anyway, I go with the black tusq xl as its supposed to be slippery.
Should probably give a run down on the latest build:
pine body with a ply top, semi hollow with raised center section.
4 (5 at the headstock) ply walnut neck with hickory finger board and walnut inlays. 9.5" radius with fender medium frets. neck and finger board are finished in two coats of Osmo Polyx hardwax oil finish. Really becoming a big fan of this style of finish.
tusq xl nut and hipshot open gear locking tuners (love these things!)
3 way rotary switch with my own 3D printed lever. 250K pots with tone cut. was going to run 500K but its plenty bright (which is saying something for me as i like it bright)
bootstrap mean 90 pickups
custom stainless steel bridge that I had laser cut from .060" sheet stock. Allows for the addition of a bigsby down the road with ease. Wilkinson compensated brass saddles.
Also cut my own stainless neck plate. Will likely engrave later once I come up with a logo or name for my builds.
acrylic pickguards that were rear painted with gold paint. Thin satin ink blue paint that will wear in nicely with age.
Guitar 3 and the final one for this thread. Had some spare parts and a neck I started a while back and will now finish for this guitar. Also wanted to try some of the bootstrap humbuckers and make a solid body version of this design so here we go.
so far I cut the body out. This was from old reclaimed pine. Cut ok. Should have used a down cut bit for the top half and switched to an up cut for the bottom to prevent some of the tear out. Luckily this will be painted satin white or charcoal so I can fill some of the bad spots. Overall quite happy with it.
got the frets in the neck. Getting better at this but still not 100% happy with the process I’m using. The thin CA I use on the frets works great but wicks in to the hickories open grain and is hard to sand/scrap completely away. It pretty much disappears once a finish is applied but you can still see it if you look closely. I may try diluted titebond next time and just keep the frets clamped overnight. Also this neck was fretted after the fretboard was glued on. Not a fan. I’ll stick with my fret before gluing to the neck like I did the first two guitars. Guess you can’t find your preferred methods without doing something you don’t like first right?
anyway, hope to level the frets this weekend and get the neck finished. I really LOVE the Osmo polyx that I did on the last walnut neck. So easy and looks and feels great.
Ok so been a few months. Life gets crazy around the holidays, yeah?
anyway, number 3 of 3 is finished. I kind of stalled out on it the last few months but finally strung it up yesterday. Overall I think it’s the best looking of the 3, but I like all my children equally (that’s what you’re supposed to say right?)
Ended up trying a powdered milk paint on this one. Mix one part powder to one part paint and stir a LOT. Not sure I’ll use it again. Honestly I hated it at first, I sanded it back and sealed it with shellac to start over but decided it looked kind of cool and went with it. In the end I’m happy I did.
Walnut and hickory neck like the last build. Though this one is a one piece flat sawn walnut vs the laminated “quarter sawn” of the last one. I think I’ll stick with the laminated moving forward. Looks cooler and is technically stronger. Grain feels better too since I use a thin finish. Neck and fretboard is finished with Osmo polyx. I REALLY like this stuff. Goes on easy, easy to touch up, natural and super low VOC. Leaves you with a raw wood feel but is sweat and water resistant.
My custom bridge plate as before. Went with bootstrap vintage clean pickups with the raw nickel covers. Really love how those look.
honestly I think the overall look is just perfect and balanced.
going to take a break from building and start lending the guitars out for feedback to see what I could do better. Also it’s winter in Michigan and my shop is in a big un heated pole barn so can’t do much. I’m sure I’ll be tempted to build another though as I have half a telemaster I started for a friend on the shelf...