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OK... so I promised... here ya are. . . .

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Ronkirn, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Scotland

    Scotland Poster Extraordinaire

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    This thread just gets better and better. It's like reading a great book, you are tired so have to put it down, think about it all next day then start where you left off with occasional look-backs to remind yourself how that part developed. Ron, you are now an author. :lol:
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well, I was outside, spraying, taking photos, and I realized... there isn't anything to show... ya just squirt, wait for paint to dry, and repeat, over and over….

    I put down about 5 coats of lacquer on the whole neck, note, 5 coats of lacquer gives a film thickness about equivalent to one coat of a enamel, poly, etc etc…

    I let it dry then lightly sand the decal, to reduce the obvious hump the lacquer leaves… then I will resume coating only the headstock face and resident decal.. again about 5 coats, allow to dry a day or so, sand, then finish with 5 coats….that will take me through the weekend, but .. the body’s about ready to polish, so I’ll be getting to that….

    Ron Kirn
     
  3. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ron, I just want to throw in how appreciative I am for a peek into some of the things I'd like to do in the future. I've been building from parts (but I do that with cars as well) but I think I can afford the tools to do a lot of this stuff. Might give it a try. My wife seldom complains about me buying tools, especially when they save the day.:D
     
  4. tuuur

    tuuur Friend of Leo's

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    Ron, many thanks for sharing the wet layer spraying tip. That made the headstock I'm working on so much better!
     
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    If y'all have any questions, leme have 'em... I've been doing this so long a lotta stuff I do is just automatic, I don't even think about 'em, so they're so far off the radar, they don't get mentioned.

    I'm sure there's something I have forgotten to 'splain how I do..

    Ron Kirn
     
  6. electricbody

    electricbody Tele-Afflicted

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    Ron,

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and spirit with us.
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    After a little wait, I wet sand to reduce the film thickness over the decal get it approximately level with the surrounding area…

    [​IMG]

    since I’ll be pitting about 5 more coats on ‘er it doesn’t need to be perfect at this stage

    [​IMG]

    I do this to any decals that are applied, and check to see it there are any areas with serious “Orange Peal” if so I’ll sand them not too, but not to the level I’ll do when I’m ready to polish.

    [​IMG]

    I do the back of the neck too, since it a large flat area, it just makes final wet sanding that much easier..

    [​IMG]

    After this interim sanding, it’s back to spraying for a few more coats…

    I’ll be attacking the body this weekend. . . stand by for more.

    Ron Kirn
     
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    OK… that’s long enough… time to scratch ‘er up a little……When wet sanding, the choice of grit is really a matter of taste. I’ve heard of some beginning with 320, moving up to 400, then 500, and incrementally working up to a paper of several thousand grit…. When I hear that, I wonder what made ‘em stop…

    Seriously, there is no reason to go through all that. The finer grits will only reduce the time it takes to polish and buff the finish, but is won’t make it any shiner. I use 500 or 600, then 800 on nitro. On harder finishes, I may take it one more step to 1200 grit.

    But here, I’m using 600 first….

    [​IMG]

    Another thing that may help. . . I see some using a block that is way too small, I wouldn’t use anything smaller in flat area than, say. . a credit card. The large flat area helps “block” the surface to a very flat condition. Here, I’m using a piece of Corian that’s about 3 ½ by 4, more or less. I do “relieve” the edges with sand paper to reduce the chance of a slip-up gouging the surface.

    But using mineral spirits as the wetting agent, I use circular motion watching the reflection of the lights overhead in the wet surface.

    [​IMG]

    After a few minutes, wipe the surface, allow the residue to dry, and check in natural light.

    [​IMG]

    You are looking for a nice even matte appearance., no glossy spots should remain.

    [​IMG]

    Here on the back, I have stopped early to show how NOT to do it. While this could be corrected as I move up to the next grit, that would be slower cutting, resulting in more work.

    So go back, wet it again, and continue sanding until the surface is completely matte.

    Ron Kirn
     
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    To do the edges, on a Strat since about everything else is a curved surface, I go to using my hand, this allows great control and feel.

    [​IMG]

    One thing you must be careful about, on the rounded edges, the small area where the paper actually makes contact can come under pretty significant pressure. The paper will cit the lacquer MUCH faster than the large flat area using the flat block, so watch what you’re doing. Get careless, and you will be saying words your Mother didn’t want ya to learn.

    ON the inside areas, you will find them a bit more tedious to sand, but stay with it until the entire surface is matte.

    [​IMG]

    Now, once that’s done, it’s time to move up to the next grit…. I’m using 800 here, which will be the last….

    [​IMG]

    now just repeat all the above, but you will see, it takes much less time and effort. Just go over everything, watching closely.

    [​IMG]

    since you cannot really “see” the difference between the matte surface resulting from the 600 grit, as compar4ed to the 800 grit, it’s just a “feel” thing, and if you miss a few areas, you can correct as you’re buffing… Just to put things in perspective, I’ve seen guys that wouldn’t go any higher than 400 grit… then buff away….

    Ron Kirn
     
  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Strat Build 57

    Now, get in some quality lighting. I prefer the sunlight….check for any areas that may have been missed. They will appear glossy.

    [​IMG]

    Give it a good look….

    [​IMG]

    If any areas still have glossy spots, go back and correct them, ,

    [​IMG]

    It doesn’t matter how small, they will stick out like a lunar crater in the finished body.

    You should now have a smooth, evenly matted surface, ready for the buffing wheel..

    Ron Kirn
     
  11. milkshape

    milkshape Tele-Holic

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    thanks again RK, the picture where you stopped early to show the glossy and matte really helps.
     
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I neglected to mention, there is considerable difference in the various brands of sand paper. There’s Norton, Gator Grit, Mirka, Klingspor, 3M and on and on…. I have found that the 3M imperial is about the best, fastest cutting around.

    So we have a nicely sanded body, waiting for a chance to shine….. I “charge” the buffing wheel with tan buffing compound….

    [​IMG]

    This product it available from Grizzly.com. It’s not as messy as the liquid compounds…

    Then just press and keep it moving….

    [​IMG]

    This took about a minute… really…. About a minute….Ok, Ok… so I lied, really about 68 seconds..

    [​IMG]

    This is about 10 minutes into it…

    [​IMG]

    The only caution with lacquer is that it will soften due to the heat generated by friction. This is a “double edged sword”. The soft lacquer takes a polish very fast, but soft lacquer can scratch quite easily too. Jut be careful..

    Ron Kirn
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    One of the areas that usually get less attention is the inside of the horns; they can be rather tedious to polish. If using a power buffing wheel you must be careful not to allow the wheel to burn through. Particularly on the sharp corners around the neck pocket and heel.

    [​IMG]

    Just take it slow, I usually reduce the wheel speed to the lowest setting.

    [​IMG]

    It’s attention to detail in these areas that reduce that much adored “Home made POS” look to a minimum.

    [​IMG]

    Once this area is completed, I work around the outside edges. Watching, the reflections in the gloss on the body, much like looking at a reflection in a mirror, this will allow you to see any abrasions remaining from the wet sanding, and address them.

    And this is the finished product…
    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
    P Thought and mrz80 like this.
  14. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    And the back……

    [​IMG]

    at this point the body is complete… I will take a good car wax and give it a good polishing.

    Next. . . . it’s Pickguard time.,….

    Ron Kirn
     
  15. Flat357

    Flat357 Banned

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    Great stuff Ron .

    Regarding the compound , we used to use the wheel for buffing up acrylic , and we'd find that you had to keep adding it ( we called it soap in those days ) so as not to burn the acrylic .

    Same with a guitar body ?

    Also , do you use some sort of cover for the wheel when not in use ?

    I can imagine a bit of something landing on it to be a nightmare if not seen in time .
     
  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah, I put a trash bag over it and tie it up.. I have nightmares of a bit of grit being lodged in that thing and making a nasty scratch...

    and you're right about adding more.... I forgot to mention that..... every few minutes I'll hit it again..

    rk
     
  17. davidbob

    davidbob NEW MEMBER!

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    Wow, I have a table saw, but never built from wood to guitar, until now! Thanks for posting this.

    David H.
    Fort Worth TX.
     
  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Welcome David..... your are in the greatest forum on the net..

    rk
     
  19. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

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    Man that's a beautiful thing... Thanks again for sharing this with us...
     
  20. BAW4742

    BAW4742 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi Ron,

    Nice looking work here.

    I'm trying to get a feel for finishes and this is a nice step by step. I have a much better idea of how things should look now.

    I'm curious - about how much time do you spend on sanding to get the results that you do here? An hour or two? Longer? I know this is going to depend on how smooth you spray the nitro too.

    How much time do you spend on buffing? And how often do you have to reload the buffing wheels?

    Thanks.
     
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