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Pine body (re)finish excercise

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by tklaavo, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Hi,
    I want to learn some proper finishing skills. Too much hassle and disappointment with spray cans etc. so I bought a (cheap) spray gun, and will borrow my dad's compressor and stuff to re-paint my first tele body properly. This will be the story, and it begins like this:

    The red tele body I did last autumn. 3-piece pine.
    [​IMG]

    Spray can finish, you know how it looks when you just shoot it on the wood:
    [​IMG]

    I don't mind it looking like that, but I want to learn and don't want to build a new guitar for just practice, so I'll strip this and go from there. I will also correct some things that are a bit out of place. The old template was a bit too large in places, and the neck pickup cavity is 2 mm too far from the neck pocket, leaving a gap between neck heel and pickguard.

    I start with my new, better, refined template and route around so I get the shape closer to right - and save a lot of sanding!
    [​IMG]

    The body is also about 2 mm too thick, so to save even more sanding I used the brand new router planer jig to shave it just a bit on both sides:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I filled all the screw holes, as I'm also going to change the bridge and drill string-through holes.
    The rest was sanding.. And now I'm outdoors, getting it smooth. I use dewaxed shellac as a sanding sealer, and need to do it a couple of times before it's smooth:
    [​IMG]

    Gonna need to grain fill maybe?
    [​IMG]

    This sort of grain gets rough after each shellac coat, and needs some careful sanding with a hard block to get it smooth:
    [​IMG]

    There's still some work to do to make this perfect. My plan is to do a solid red and clear on top. I'm looking at some alkyd paints and "urethane-alkyd" lacquers, now I don't know what these are called in other parts of the world, but I know they're compatible and durable products.

    I guess it would make sense to shoot a coat of clear lacquer and smoothen it before starting with colours, am I correct on this?
     
  2. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Personally, I would not. Lacquer is good on the outside of things but seldom under things. The least that might happen is your follow-on coats may have lacquer thinner and cause the color coat to melt into the clear thereby changing the color. At most it could crinkle and spoil everything :(
    I would continue with shellac and start wetsanding after each coat until it is smoooooooooooooth :), then anything you put over it will not only be compatible but smooth as well ;)
     
  3. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Ok, thanks Dave, that sounds reasonable. I'll have to do some tests with the spray gun and the paint to get a feel of it. A lot of scrap wood will be painted sooner or later.
     
  4. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    tklavvo-- you can also apply a good color coat by tinting and spraying shellac. You've got a good start with shellac, and can build the color intensity and shade you want by shooting multiple coats. Then clear coat of your choice over it. (Shellac is pretty good with almost anything over it.)

    Check out how Robert O'brien and his associate use shellac as the medium to shoot color on the sunburst video on the LMI video. (I keep referring people to it, but it worked so well for me, I'm just sold on the technique)

     
  5. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Hi, thanks for the video link and idea. I guess it works better with a translucent finish? I think I'm going to do this more traditional way to get a solid, opaque color and glossy lacquer on top. But that shellac-based way is definitely something to try, on some other guitar with nice wood to show. This one's pretty rough on that sense...
     
  6. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    First try with spray gun and primer. Needs more filling and sanding. And spraying practice..

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Collette

    Collette TDPRI Member

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    If you remove thickness from both sides to get rid of the extra 2mm, will you need to reroute cavity depths? Maybe it would be easier to take the full 2mm off the back?
     
  8. fretman_2

    fretman_2 Friend of Leo's

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    Yes...shellac is the way to go. I've used it as a base/filler/sealer coat for two guitars and, once it's sanded level, is a wonderful finish to put either lacquer or poly on top of.


     
  9. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    A mm off the from won't make you need to route the cavities again, and by doing both sides he eliminated a lot of sanding. That could be a cause for worry though. :p
     
  10. Collette

    Collette TDPRI Member

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    Bentley, yeah, I couldn't see the pictures earlier and didn't quite get the whole story. Missed that he already started refinishing also. 2mm is hard for me to imagine (silly American.) This is looking good though.
     
  11. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, I took more from the back and just a hair from the top, now the thickness is close to 1.75"
    I'm gonna swap the bridge too and made string through holes. I always felt the neck pocket was a bit too deep, so it should be closer now.. must check with the new stuff when time comes. There's almost always enough adjustment with the bridge and pickup height to compensate a 1mm difference in the neck pocket height.

    First gotta fill and sand - with that white primer I really can see all the little imperfections. My shellac solution was probably a bit too thin too. I read that when used as a sealer it should be thin, but I went bit too far.
     
  12. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Today I finally got to the point of shooting another primer coat. I had made a lot of sanding / filling inbetween. Also got the paint / thinner / air pressure etc. formula much better today.
    [​IMG]

    (that's my duo sonic build on the right)
    There's no visible grain / holes / scratches on wood which is nice, but some orange peel. Should I worry about that at this stage? I guess I'll sand it VERY lightly before shooting colour.

    Still practicing.. but happily!
     
  13. tklaavo

    tklaavo Tele-Holic

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    Today: the colour coat #1. Looks like this:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Kinda candy again, thought it would be warmer and darker. But I'll keep it like this. Some thoughts and concerns:

    It looks nice except a couple of "dust particle bubbles" or something, small imperfections. I'll wait a few days, then sand lightly and see if I need another coat.

    I'm going to spray clear on top and wet sand + polish. How perfect do you pro guys do the colour coat? My reasoning says that even if it's not totally perfect and glossy at all places, the clear coat will bring the gloss.

    In other words - if I sand lightly on some imperfections on the colour coat surface, do I have to shoot more colour to get a nice evenly glossy surface, or can I just go on with the clear?

    Or should I sand the whole thing matte first?

    The paint is Alkyd-based, from regular hardware store ("Miranol", for those who know Finnish paint brands..) and the clear coat will be Urethan Alkyd ("Unica Super"...)
     
  14. Robbied_216

    Robbied_216 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm learning from all this too! Thanks!!
     
  15. DD8194

    DD8194 TDPRI Member

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    Good luck! Why the nails???
     
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