The Buttercaster Project

Buckocaster51

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eryque said:
Are you sure that the packing tape isn't going to pull off some wood when you remove it? Makes me cringe just thinking about it.

I don't think I would use it on spruce, but this Telewood has proven to be pretty tough. No problems so far.

Actually I switched over to the strapping tape not because of its stickiness but for the fibres that keep it from tearing when I pull the binding into place.

Now back to the "glue bench" again...
 

Buckocaster51

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This has been going surprisingly well. The checkerboard is in pieces about 20" long. I have to make sure that I get "black" next to "white" (or visa versa) at the joins. (Some "chucklehead" that you all know managed to forget that little rule on a Gold Sparkle he did last year.)

The real "hard part" lies just around the next bend.

slowbutsteady500.jpg


Of course the REAL hard part will be scraping these bindings clean after the color coat is applied.
 

Clive Hugh

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Buckocaster, You have inspired me to do what I have often thought of - building my own, yesterday I ordered a template from Ron Kirn and am now rarin' to go. Thanks
 

frank6v6

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Ahh...this is cool....

I'm currently in the middle of a similar undertaking. I've currently have 4 guitar bodies on the workbench in various stages of development:

1. Swamp Ash Telecaster - almost completed. need to decide whether to double bind or round over.

2. Alder Telecaster - just pattern routed. going to be double bound.

3. Alder Stratocaster - just pattern routed.

4. Alder superstrat - just pattern routed.



It's a bit overwhelming having 4 bodies in construction at once...and at one point I almost shelved everything except the swamp ash tele...but the way I figure, I'd rather get the guitar bodies done asap...so I can seize the opportunity when I get warm weather for shooting nitro...

-Frank
 

Buckocaster51

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Just back from the HS football game. The kids won. 8-0 now. Playoff bound. Not bad.

Time to coax a bit more that binding/purfling stack to bend around some of those bends. Just a little bit at a time. But it looks like we might get this finished tomorrow.

stillbending500.jpg
 

guitarbuilder

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The Buttercaster Project.

A nice thread. Where did you get the checkerboard binding? By the way your router was my first router in 1980, A plastic refurbished B and D from the B/D outlet store. $14 dollars if I recall correctly.
 

KokoTele

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Lookin' great so far!

FWIW, I found that scraping binding was a lot harder than it looked. A LOT harder. During one of my finish attempts on my last project I had a couple of mistakes that I'd managed to hide fairly well, but when I screwed up scraping the binding it was a good enough excuse to strip it and spray the color again.

The best method I found was to use 3M's fine line masking tape, which was the perfect size to mask the binding. After removing the tape I had to scrape only a little bit to clean up the line in a couple of places.
 

sean79

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One of my favorite threads - it's looking great. I learn a lot here.
Of course the REAL hard part will be scraping these bindings clean after the color coat is applied.
I know I could wait until the steps and pictures are posted in this thread, but I'm a curious guy... What is the process for finishing a guitar with binding? Is it sanded flat with the sides of the guitar before finishing (can it be sanded)? Do you mask it for the color coats? Do you spray clear coat over it when clear coating the guitar? What has to be scraped from the bindings (and is it easy to damage the binding during this process)? I know these are a lot of questions, and it's not my thread, but you guys started it with all your talk about "scraping the binding." --Sean
 

KokoTele

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Sean, there a couple of different ways that people usually deal with bindings.

First, yes, you can sand binding, and it is sanded flush with the wood before anything else is done. There will often be a little bit of glue on the surface of the wood, so sanding removes that as well. You can also scrape it if you have a lot to remove and then sand the tool marks out of it. You'd have to be really, really clumsy to damage binding very much while doing this. And if you use the typical binding material you can repair it pretty easily by melting a glob of binding with acetone and patching the damaged area.

The way Gibson finishes guitars with binding is to spray color over the binding, scrape the color off of the binding, then spray clear over all of it.

The way I do it is to mask the binding when spraying color, then remove the masking tape and spray clear. A little touch up with a scraper is usually required to clean up the line before spraying clear.
 
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Buckocaster51

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sean79 said:
... but I'm a curious guy... What is the process for finishing a guitar with binding? Is it sanded flat with the sides of the guitar before finishing (can it be sanded)? Do you mask it for the color coats? Do you spray clear coat over it when clear coating the guitar? What has to be scraped from the bindings (and is it easy to damage the binding during this process)? ...

Thanks again for the interest people. Some CA glue is setting up so I'll tell you the plans.

First you have to realize that I'm not a luthier nor do I play one on TV - I'm making this up as I go along. ;) But... (you knew was coming) between acoustics and electrics I have bound about a dozen guitars...so what I am making up is working for me.

After the binding is in place I sand everything down - wood and binding - with 80 grit hoping the glue doesn't let go or the binding melt. Once that is done I go up through the grits to 220. At this point the edge of the binding is probably pretty "square" or "sharp" and will need to be gently knocked down.

Finishing process goes as normal, depending upon whether it is solid or natural. But someplace along the line, before the final clear is put on, and it goes over everything, including the binding, the binding needs to be "scraped."

Scraping the binding is just like using a scraper to scrape wood - sort of - but nobody does that much these days ...

A sharp edge is held more or less perpendicular to the binding and "scraped" along the surface - removing the layers of finish that have built up - and (hopefully) leaving behind a nice SMOOTH layer of plastic that is much smoother than you can get by sanding. Tools I have used to do this include: the sharp edge of a razor blade, the unsharp edge end of a razor blade, a #11 razor knife blade, a utility knife blade, and my current favorite - a glass microscope slide (I am a HS science teacher after all ;) ) - with all of these, liberal application of masking/duct tape is needed to cover up the sharp finger-slicing edges.

They all seem to work - sort of.

It is really a a learned skill. I bet the workers in factories can do it almost with their eyes closed. The part that is most frustrating is "getting close" to the plastic/wood boundary without going over. Scraping through the color and into the wood pretty much means you're going back to the paint booth. I try to fashion "guage blocks" around the scraper at the appropriate distance to scrape most, but not all, of the finish off the binding. I've used masking tape, and duct tape (sometimes reinforced with a drop of CA) for this...just wrap it around and around to build a "ledge" that will keep the end of the scraper in the right place. Usually sort of kind of maybe works.

I have had mediocre success at masking off the binding before the color coat. That's how I did the binding on the acoustic OM in my avatar. Masked it off with 3M striping tape. If you look closely you will see just a little bit of white peaking through and some finely feathered edges where I sanded through...didn't try to fix it because by then I was punch drunk on that little project.

buckom500.jpg


buckom.2.500.jpg


Wow! Look at the action on that guitar!

Doing this does keep me out of the bars.

Of course there are other approaches to binding. Some people mask off and spray on solid color bindings. Some PRS guitars I've seen have "binding" that is the masked off, natural, wood showing through the translucent color coat. You can even use vinyl tape to create the entire binding.

'Tis loads of fun.
 

Buckocaster51

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During the time it took to write that last epic post, the CA hardened, and I was able to go back and finish it up.

That little "return" on the upper side of the neck is the hardest part for me.

Time to get out the big hardware and the "high tech" binding form.

bigclampclose500.jpg


I'll bet Gibson doesn't do it THAT way. ;)

and here she is...the naked Martycaster. All I have to do is sand it. Sanding/sealer it. Prime it. Saphire Metalflake it. Scrape it. Clear it. Polish it. And then put the hardware on it.

bigclamp500.jpg


It even has a decent looking "flat spot!"

That's all.

Of course that's all I have to do to the Buttercaster and the Orangecaster (maybe the Mandarincaster?)

Thanks again for letting me take you along for the ride.
 

do not be afraid

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it seems to be coming along great, buckocaster51. i like the way it looks now, actually, without a finish. kind of like a maple-glo rickenbacker with checkered binding, but a telecaster. i'm sure the metal flake will look great too, though.
 

Buckocaster51

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We played the Elkport-Garber (IA) Fire Department dance last night. Didn't get to sleep until almost 0400. You can guess how much I have gotten done today...

But I do have everything sanded to 220 grit. They are ready for the first coat of finish - which in this case is going to be DEFT Sanding Sealer.

Here is what they look like right now.

3done.1.500.jpg


3done.2.500.jpg


3done.3.500.jpg


You know, upon further review, it's beginning to look like I have three different woods there. The top one is Alder and is destined to become the Orangecaster. In the middle we have Poplar that will become the Buttercaster. On the bottom is the Martycaster. That sure looks like Ash. Very closed grain. It might not even need filler.

I should keep better records.

:rolleyes:
 




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