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Let's do a Sharp dressed Strat.....

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Ronkirn, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hopdy... I don't know what to tell ya... since you're alergic to the solvents, I would suggest ya farm it out. If I recommend something, and you have a bad reaction, and turn into a Barry Manilow clone, well I don't wanna get sued for bad info.

    Were I you.. I'd really stay away from the spray room.

    Ron Kirn
     
  2. Arlo

    Arlo Friend of Leo's

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    I sent ya a box of 11 CD's and a DVD on the 3rd. Just looked at the delivery date and it said delivered on the 9th.

    It wasn't much just a bunch of my old albums.

    Me thinks it went to the wrong place.

    I just called FEDEX and put a tracer on it. :rolleyes:

    No big deal I will make you another if they can't find it. Some lil ol lady is rocking out to Rattlesnake right now. :p

    OR: She thinks she got a bunch of nice beer coasters. :lol:
     
  3. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That is the oldest trick in the book, how many sets did you really send out Arlo?? :confused::D:confused:

    Did she sign you when you did the follow up call? :lol:
     
  4. Beatbx

    Beatbx Tele-Meister

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    Ron do you find excessive humidity a problem when spraying/drying finish? Great thread once again, and thanks.
     
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Oh yeah.. I forgot about it... I put them in the car to listen to instead of Rush when I'm cruising around.... I just haven't been out in a few days...:oops:


    Humidity... dammmm ... it ticks me off...... yep it really screws with lacquer.... down here I cannot spray until mid afternoon, and only then if the afternoon shower hasn't dropped...

    Some days, I have prepped everything for a good day of squirting.... and I walk out... and the humidity has dipped all the way down to 93%.... grrrrrr..

    Ron Kirn
     
  6. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

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    Darn, Ron, I just noticed you're in Jacksonville! I used to haul there when I was OTR trucking. There are several big grocery warehouses and freezers there. I would haul pork down and orange juice back. Many's the night I spent in a truckstop there. If I had known, I might have given you a call.


    I'm enjoying the devil out of this build, but it would have been even better to meet you in person.
     
  7. Arlo

    Arlo Friend of Leo's

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    Cool, so you did get them. :cool:
     
  8. dougk

    dougk Tele-Holic

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    That looks amazing Ron! You've confirmed in my head to stop and sand around the half way mark on my lacquer schedule. Everyone just says lay it on and on and do it all at the end but seems counter productive to me.

    I didn't catch it but you said you were using sherwin williams dyes and such, are you using SW lacquer too?
     
  9. old_picker

    old_picker Tele-Afflicted

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    why dont you post this as a new topic?
    dont want to hijack this thread
    but i have tried alternatives to the smelly gut rotting nitro
     
  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yep... the FedEx guy came today to check to be certain.. I'll have to take a ride to listen to 'em.

    Here's the deal on the multitude of finishes... if it's not commonly being used, it sux... there is something wrong with it. Most often it doesn't provide adequate protection, it wears off too soon. That's why I don't use tung oil, danish oil, or any of the "off the wall" finishing systems.

    When a large manufacturer introduces a "new" finish, it's only for one of two reasons, either it speeds up the manufacturing process, or it's for marketing reasons. They aren't ever going backwards regarding finishing technology, ever...

    Not that doesn't mean other finishing systems will not suit your needs, it's just that I build guitars to be around for a few years, and I want the finish to be there for the long haul.

    Throughout the guitar's history virtually every type of finish has been tired, those that work well, are known, those that didn't are long forgotten as a bad idea.

    If ya wanna do it right, then do it right, but if you want to experiment, have at that too, that can be a lotta fun too.

    Ron Kirn
     
  11. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    never would sue someone giving advise, have to use my own head to, but thank annyway, learning a lot of your topics!!!
     
  12. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Strat 2-33

    OK, back to the task at hand…. As I mentioned, I jumped on finishing the neck with out thinking. My wife will kindly remind ya, that’s not at all uncommon for me. So she’s all lacquered and ready for the fret leveling wet sanding and polishing….

    This is what she looks like before the final assault.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  14. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    First thing, I remove the lacquer build-up from the frets. The tool is a screwdriver I reshaped the tip to cradle the fret, as I scrape the soft lacquer from the fret.

    [​IMG]

    I use the fingerboard protector to prevent the inevitable slip…

    [​IMG]

    Once the majority is removed, I go back gently scraping each edge of the fret.

    [​IMG]

    I don’t have to be NASA clean room certified here, the fret leveling, and polishing will remove the remaining residue. Some will not remove the lacquer at all. But allow the fret leveling to “clean” the fret. I do not, because I feel that allows the lacquer to remain far to high up the edge of the fret. It will eventually separate, chip, and look rather messy.

    Now I want to adjust the truss rod to bring the neck to as level a state as possible. Many often ask, why in heck do I level the frets on a brand new neck. Here’s the reason. When a fret is pressed into the wood, via any method, the fret encounters lumber of varying densities up and down the neck. To use “plucked from air” numbers, say it takes 10 pounds to seat one fret, it may only take 9.0876488344 pounds to set the next to exactly the same height, and the next may require 10.0000045899900 pounds to set that one. The point is, each one requires a different pressure. Therefore it doesn’t matter if you use a Fret press, Hammer and Caul, or whatever, it is impossible to regulate the pressure exerted to seat the fret exactly the same as the previous one.

    Therefore once the neck is fretted, some will be microscopically higher or lower than the mean average. If you like very low action a fret leveling is paramount. As an example, if the 13th fret is .001 Higher (that’s 1/3 the thickness of one sheet of the paper you have in your trusty printer right now) than the 12trh fret, you will have to raise the action about 1/32 inch at the 12 th fret to keep the 13th from buzzing. That 1/32 is a bunch. Particularly if you like ‘em fast.

    I always set the truss rod so the tension is pulling the neck to the correct setting as opposed to releasing the tension to do the same.

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Using a straight edge… thanks to Tom Osuch….I check to see which way to go..

    [​IMG]

    Be certain to position the straight edge down the center of the fingerboard, the radius can throw ya wayyyyyy off.

    [​IMG]

    And continue adjusting the truss rod until it is as level as possible. You almost certainly will not be able to get it “dead” level, that’s why we do the fret leveling..

    [​IMG]

    If the last handful of frets fall away, this is not a problem. The trend today is to have the last several frets lower than the others to facilitate modern playing styles…

    [​IMG]

    I’ll address that later….

    Ron Kirn
     
  16. madmark

    madmark Tele-Afflicted

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    You do beautiful work. Is the guitar sold already ?
     
  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Oh yeah, the tape in that last shot is to hold the straight edge in place, darn near impossible to do when a camera is occupying one of my two hands..

    Now secure the neck whatever method you choose, I run a wood screw through one of the tuner holes into the workbench after I have pressed the heel into a neck pocket and pulled it tight.

    [​IMG]

    Now, I recommend taking a marker, and coloring each fret… this makes seeing what you are doing much easier… and you can fine tune you truss rod leveling…..

    [​IMG]

    Place your leveling tool on the fingerboard and give it a shove, remove and check the marked frets… it the end frets have been scraped and the middle ones not, then tighten the truss rod a touch and repeat. Continue until the frets toward the center of the fingerboard are being “hit” too. Now re-coat all the frets with the marker, and recheck. If the majority of the frets show exposed metal from the fret leveling tool, you are ready to rock.

    Now using your fret leveling tool.. oh… here’s how to make one……. Use any good flat material…. Corian is great, but plexi-glass (1/2 inch thick) works or MDF… cut you a strip about 2” wide by about 18” long….. then cut a second similar strip… glue, screw, or whatever it to the first in a “T” configuration. This makes it rigid. Now check it with something of known flatness. A cast Iron table saw table is perfect, but a piece of glass on a flat surface works too. Using spray glue, 3M-77 is what I use, glue a sheet of sand paper to the flat surface, now take the “T” shaped tool you have made, and run the working surface across the sandpaper until the entire surface has been sanded. That’s flat enough. Now using the 3M-77 glue a strip of something like 180 grit wet or dry paper to the tool and you are ready.


    Now begin scrubbing the frets…. I use relatively short circular strokes allowing the tool to roll with the fingerboard radius. You will see the tops of the frets being exposed.

    [​IMG]

    My tool is a machined piece of steel, with 180 grit shop cloth 3M-77ed to the working edge

    [​IMG]

    Now, you continue until every fret has “SOME” of the crown exposed through the marker ink you applied.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sold?? yeah.. this one's headed Down Under....

    Ron
     
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    This is what you are looking for..

    [​IMG]

    IF your neck has the last several frets falling away… that is lower than the rest of the fingerboard… take your fret leveling tool, press down on and over those last few frets from. Say. The 17th on… and level those. This will create a natural incline up to the 16th and lower…. If this is more advanced than you are comfortable with… try this… eBay is loaded with bunches of junk necks….usually under 50 bux.. buy one and learn on that….it will need plenty of work… and the money spent will save you bunches once you get the “hang” of leveling frets.

    Why is this important? If you have ever picked up a guitar you thought you were familiar with, one that perhaps you have played other’s like it, and found it played, felt, sounded incredible…. It almost certainly was nothing more than a good setup which includes the fret leveling. A good leveling, crowning and setup will do more for your guitar than ANY other mod you care to mention. Ya just can’t see it. It’s not shiney, and it doesn’t have some artist’s signature on it, so it doesn’t get the respect its due.

    If I were a playing professional, and a Genie popped out of the air and granted me one of these 3 wishes, either the most awesome pickups ever made, or the most toneacous bridge the “Gods” could create, or a first rate setup…. Guess which I’d go for…

    Anyway…. ‘nuff of that….. once the frets are level.. let’s crown ‘em… a Crowning file is one tool you cannot make, ya cannot find something else and make do, you gotta go buy one… so do it…. I’ll wait….. Laaaa, Laaa, dooo, deeee, dooo, Hummmm Hummm*.. oh ya back, that was fast….

    Watching the marks left by the sandpaper on the leveling tool, crown the frets…. Rocking the file to allow for the radius of the board…

    [​IMG]

    If you’re good, or crazy, I’m not sure.. you can do it like above, risking scratching the fingerboard, or you can use the protector, as seen here,

    [​IMG]

    Continue on each fret until the scratched from the fret leveling tool are ALMOST gone… just a faint hint should remain… do all the frets the same way..

    They should all look like this…

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  20. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I make a habit of saving used sandpaper from about 300 grit to 500, I use it to rough polish the frets….

    [​IMG]

    I cut ‘em in to small pieces, and give each fret a good going over… watching the reflected light off the crown to see when all the tooling marks are gone..

    [​IMG]

    the tape above is to hold the proctor down while I took the photo with the hand that would normally hold the protector… this stuff is complicated ain’t it….

    Once that is done, I move on to wet sanding the neck. I just use 800 grit here with mineral spirits as a wetting agent and a small, about 1 ½ inch square block..

    [​IMG]

    I think I have mentioned this before, but there is a considerable difference among the various brands of wet or dry sandpaper. Some of the types available at your local hardware or Home supply store may be inferior to the good stuff, which is why the good stiff is called good… I use 3M Imperial, it cuts fast and lasts long….

    I begin on the face of the headstock… wet it with your wetting agent of choice and give ‘er a go…

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
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