Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adobe Guitars

Did you know that adobe clay has great tone and sustain? Of course it doesn't! I'm just pulling your leg. The guitar pictured above looks like it was molded from adobe clay, but it is actually Honduran Mahogany coated in tinted TimberMate grain filler.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two Necks On Deck

I like the look and feel of a bound neck. It's so clean and smooth. However, next time, I'll glue on the fretboard and sand the seam flush with the neck BEFORE I install the fret wire.

This neck was made with Honduran Mahogany and a Rosewood fretboard bound with white ABS. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Binding a Fretboard

Today, I bound a Rosewood fretboard with some white binding. After scrapping off the excess, I  sanded the bottom true so it will sit nice an flat on the neck. Before I install it, I'll add some mother-of-pearl marker dots and the fret wire.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Thin Neck Is A Sexy Neck!

1/2" thick at the 1st fret!

Slightly thicker at the 12th fret.

It only took seconds to carve the volute with my new Iwasaki Files.

Here is a closeup of the files.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tired of Breathing Dust!

I added a couple of items to the shop this weekend. The first is a big dust hood to collect chips from my drill press and router. The second is a downdraft table, which sucks the dust from whatever I am sanding. Next up is a dust and chip separator. This consists of a 30 gallon trash can with a special lid that will catch 99% of the dust and chips before going through my dust collector. Finally, I have a heavy duty air filter on order from Grizzly. Later this coming Spring and summer, I plan to build a new shop in my basement.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Build Updates: Both Envirocasters Get Their Final Coats of Finish

I hate wet sanding, however, it is a necessary evil if you want a glass-smooth finish. For these two guitars, I'm trying a slightly different approach that will hopefully dramatically reduce the time I spend wet sanding.

What I did was spray 7 coats of water-based lacquer. After they dried over night, I dry sanded with 320 grit. Then, I sprayed another 7 coats. This morning, I dry sanded with 400 grit and began spraying what I anticipate will be a total of 5 light coats. The first is very smooth. If I can keep it that way with each coat, I hope to be able to wet sand with only 2,000 grit. We'll see, but I'm optimistic.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Highline Envirocasters and a Highline Legato

I know it looks bad, but trust me, all is well. After 14 coats of water-based lacquer, I dry sanded the finish with 320 grit paper to smooth things out. Then, I sprayed five more coats. Tomorrow, I'll dry sand both Envirocasters with 400 grit and follow with a couple of light finish coats. Both guitars will sit for about a week before I commence with the final wet sanding and polish.

Up next is a Highline Legato. That's a one piece slab of Honduran Mahogany.

The top will be bookmatched flamed Maple.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Build Update: The Highline Envirocaster Blue

After seven coats of water-based lacquer, the Envirocaster Blue is starting to come to life.
Tomorrow, I'll add at least seven more coats.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The New Envirocaster Has The Blues

First I mixed some Timbermate wood filler with water and black acrylic paint to form a thick soupy mixture. Then I brushed it onto the body with the grain and then across it. After the surf dried overnight, I sanded off the excess, which popped the grain.

My goal is a deep blue color about the same as the word Rit on the box. I mixed a tablespoon of Rit powder into a cup of denatured alcohol. Then, I poured the mix into another container to separate it from the dregs.

I used a brush to test the tint on a piece of scrap. When I was happy with the color, I brushed it onto the body.

The result will be ready for clear lacquer in a few hours.

Friday, November 4, 2011