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Messages - theGleep [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: April 20, 2015, 01:15 PM »
@tjbray:  I can understand far, I'm just doing "refurbishing" as a hobby...but if I get to where they're really nice, I might see about buying cheap, doing the work, and selling them again.

One thing I'm doing with my strat is that BHMay wiring kit.  There is an *amazing* range of sounds available from that mod...and the $35 kit is REALLY affordable.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: April 19, 2015, 09:48 PM »
... and the back ...

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: April 19, 2015, 09:47 PM »'s been a long while, but it's finally together. 

And it looks great!  If I took the close-up pictures, I could point out all of the flaws, but at a distance, I'm getting lots of compliments.

Now I'm stripping a Mexican/Korean Strat to do the same treatment with...and probably a year or so (maybe less), I'm going to take the top coat off of this one (polyurethane is lots softer than I thought or wanted!) - and take it in to an auto body shop to have them put a clearcoat on.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: January 05, 2015, 10:32 AM »
@tjbray:  Good idea!  That'll be lots easier.  Once I find my c-clamp :)

As to this point, I don't have much actual flat surface, so I'm mostly finger sanding, but being careful to be a super-light touch.  As such, I don't tend to "dull" the whole surface.  Which is part of why I want to do the "flat" pass :)

I *am* finding it's pretty shiny even without doing all of the buffing. 

But I am considering a nitro-celulose top-coat, just to be careful (I *KNOW* I'll be bumping this thing against tables or whatever when I play it...I want as much protection for that as I can get :)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: January 05, 2015, 09:37 AM »
@tjbray:  I'm liking how the airbrush works out.  Except for sag - but that's my lack of skill. :)

I'm thinking that what I'll do for the last few passes is to "hang" the body flat so that the shellac smooths itself out.  I plan to do this by putting the strap screws in (well...spare strap screws), hanging it from the screws and putting a hook of some sort to keep it stable.  If I'm spraing the front, the hook would be through the "pot holes" (heh-heh), and when I'm doing the back, I'll move the hook to one of the neck-mounting holes.

How many coats, overall, should I expect to do?  And would I double the number of coats since I'm using half-strength shellac?

Congrats on the hobby making enough money to sustain itself!

I've a couple of questions on the "app" - I'll email those offline.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 30, 2014, 08:44 AM »
@tjbray:  I'm actually using an airbrush - the $10 from harbor freight, with 5 changeable bottles; the air blows over the nozzle for the bottle and sucks the shellac out.

It seems to work pretty well.  I've managed a few layers (6?) before I came down with the flu.  It seems to go pretty well - half a bottle (about 1oz bottles) per coat.  I'm still learning - got some sag, and bits of dust here and there; but I'm knocking it down with 400grit wet/dry.  As it gets thicker, I'll be moving up to 600 grit...maybe eventually something even finer.

I think I said before - I did one-pound cut for the airbrush.  Also, I'm being careful to clean out the nozzle each use by swapping to a bottle of just alcohol and spraying that for a bit.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 26, 2014, 01:05 PM »
@40hz:  Sounds interesting!  I tried some of the "young leftovers" in banana cream pie.  Worst batch of pie I've ever made.  I forgot the salt, and the liquor is too present.  Maybe if it sits a while longer, but I doubt it. :)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 23, 2014, 09:16 AM »
@tjbray (and anyone else following the story :) - So I got my shellac soon as I got home, I put them into ever-clear (190 proof grain alcohol, in case you were raised by teetotalers like I was).  It's FULLY dissolved and I can't wait for my daughter's boyfriend to wake up (he sleeps in the basement where I'll be doing the work).

For my first batch, I went with a little less than a cup of alcohol (everything in the little $5 bottle) and an ounce of flakes.  Very near a 1lb cut. 

I will probably up it to a 1.5 cut for the next batch.

@40hz: (re vanilla) - So, I gave out little 1oz bottles of vanilla to my co-workers (wife did the same).  So I think I'm on to something.  Here's my recipe:
* Vanilla beans - I buy from Vanilla Products USA via Amazon (1/2 lb for around $35 ... I'm gonna email them and see if I can get a return customer discount...maybe even a referral discount.  Tell 'em I sent you and deserve it :) - the batch that did so well was "Madagascar grade B"
* 80 proof vodka (around $13 for the really cheap stuff, here in Utah)
* Clean 2 quart bottle (6 for $15 at the local wal-mart)

I used roughly 3 inches of bean for every tablespoon of vodka.  Didn't split them, just cut them into 1-inch (or less) chunks.  (this next time, I will put them in a food processor with the vodka and chop them up that way...not puree, just lots faster and a bit finer chopping).  I put that in the bottle - and *CLOSED THE BOTTLE* (maybe that last is obvious to everybody but first batch I wasn't sure, so I put cheesecloth over top of it ... just didn't taste the same).

Wait a year or so.  Shake a LOT the first couple of weeks...then shake it whenever you remember about it.

When I was dishing it into the 1oz bottles, it smelled like alcohol instead of vanilla.  But the next day when a co-worker opened the bottle?  Oh, YUM!!!!

My wife said "Let's do that again...triple batch this time."

One last note: I put a couple of chunks of bean into each of the 1oz bottles so it would keep ?fermenting?  ?proofing? ?steeping?  Whatever it's I was doing so, I noticed a couple of them actually had vanilla *syrup* dripping out the ends.  So I "squished" the beans as best I could into the remaining extract, added an extra $5 bottle of ever-clear (see above) and this time I put the cheesecloth on it (figuring the overdose of alcohol would really need to burn off).  This was a week ago, and even in the big bottle it's starting to smell really really good.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 22, 2014, 08:46 AM »
@tjbray:  Thanks again for all the advice.  You have mail.

I'm thinking that what I'll do for the shellac is 3 coats per day, with a graduating "cure" time.  15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour...(I guess that means four coats... :)

And do a "block sand" each morning before starting again.  And I'll be trying for really thin coats. 

I have two HF "guns" - one big siphon feed HVLP spray painter (like, huge...this is the one I got to spray spider-killer around the exterior of the house).  The other one is th $10 airbrush - the one with multiple bottles, and the air blows over the spout in the top of the lid to suck the paint out.  This is the one I'm thinking to use for the bass.

I'll let you know how it goes - I *SHOULD* get my shellac today; but with mixing and dissolving time, it'll probably be Wednesday before I get to using it. :)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 15, 2014, 03:45 PM »
@TJBray - I'll look forward to getting the forms (Might even have them already - haven't checked my messages). 

And I'll plan to do the airbrush thing...we've mentioned my patience deficiency, right?  But I'll be doing the work in my basement...probably really dusty, but I can actually *do* it :)  I'll just expect to have to sand dust bumps out.

If I'm airbrushing, should I maybe even go with a thinner mix?

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 12, 2014, 03:34 PM »
@tjbray:  OK, I ordered 4 ounces of flakes...should have them within the week (I'm thinking Tuesday, since they're just a state away).

So - when it's time to apply, I could get thinner coats if I use an airbrush, right?  And they'd dry faster since they're thinner, right?

I'll be looking forward to your opinion on "noob using an airbrush to apply shellac" :)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 12, 2014, 09:49 AM »
@tjbray:  Well, that's good to know.  I suck at math, so I'm not sure - but 2oz of flakes gets me 2 cups, right?  I think I could afford that! 

At least to get started.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 11, 2014, 11:42 AM »
Uh-oh.  I don't know if I can afford to do shellac much would I actually need?  Is there another option that would be cheaper?

*** I could probably afford it if I were patient enough to wait for *next* payday.  But I think I've established my position on patience.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 11, 2014, 10:56 AM »
@tjbray: Thanks for all the advice.  I read it three times.  I asked questions.  I re-read it.

Then I got so excited to get the job done that I just followed the directions on the MinWax cans...

That was before your last post.  :)

It's hanging in my basement right now, stained and dry ... I plan to start shellacking using an airbrush this weekend.

Maybe - if I can the right shellac, thanks to your advice in that last post.  Really.  I'll follow it this time.


Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 09, 2014, 09:33 AM »
Wow.  It's nice to know that my inability to sing and play at the same time isn't an anomaly! 

(Actually, I find that *SOMETIMES* I can sing while I'm playing...but it's often that it's just a couple of vocal lines, then I have to go back to just playing)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 08, 2014, 02:48 PM »
Would everclear (95% grain alcohol) work in place of denatured alcohol?

Yup! For shellac it does. IMMO it's preferable (far less toxic). Also a good excuse to hit the package store. ;)

I actually have a few bottles to help adjust the proof of my vodka for vanilla extract.  I'm looking for the *perfect* extract recipe.  I doubt I'll ever find it :)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 07, 2014, 04:40 PM »
@tjbray:  I'm actually fully prepared for this to not look as super-awesome-cool as it might if someone else did it - I'm gonna be proud of it because *I* did it :)

But I am hoping that the "character" the torch/heat gun added will help it look better. :)

Thanks and thanks in advance for all of your advice!  I will *definitely* post pictures.

So - I have stain prep, stain and shellac.  (Don't *have* the shelac, yet - gonna buy it just before I put it on).

I have a wire hanger I plan to hang it (through the holes that mount the neck to the body) with - should I hang it through the *whole* finishing process?  If I take it down to sand it (can't imagine *not* doing so), would it be okay if I'm wearing jeans, or should I buy a tyvek suit?

So far, I've been sanding "bare handed".  I have a box of neoprene gloves - should I re-sand with the gloves on before I stain prep?

Then, should I do the ((alcohol + sand) * 3) bit before the stain prep, or after, or both?

Would everclear (95% grain alcohol) work in place of denatured alcohol?

When it's time to stain, I should do the ((alcohol + sand) * 3) thing before I apply the stain?  Or should this be *after* staining, but before shellacing?

When it's time to shellac, I do a lot of as-thin-as-I-can coats, right? 

Thanks again for the advice!

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 04, 2014, 03:12 PM »
@40hz, @tjbray: It's only taken forever, but here are the pictures you asked for :)

Back: 20141202_191019.jpg
Front: 20141202_191036.jpg

@tjbray - I'm still hoping to help you with that app!

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 01, 2014, 08:42 AM »
@tjbray: It's an Ibanez ?GSK?

I kept thinking I'd get a picture during the weekend, but never got around to it.

Good to know I'm ok with the stain, thanks!

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: November 28, 2014, 06:00 PM »
@tjbray: So...I got home and took a look and what I've got is "wood stain".  How does that impact your advice?

@40hz: I'm gonna have to add that to my schematic collection.  I've got a strat that I did the Brian May treatment to, and I was REALLY surprised at the variety of tone.  Unfortunately, I used metal toggle switches - the kind that stick up about an inch?  Yeah...knuckle barking every time I get too excited.

So - I've bought the hardware to re-do it with low-profile black switches instead...but I have no idea when I'll get around to redoing it.. :)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: November 26, 2014, 03:20 PM »
@40hz:  Thanks for the info.  There is *one* thing I wanted to comment on..."more dent-proof than what's already on your bass"?  Ummmm...I already got rid of's pretty easy to dent, now!  (And I've got some interesting "character" added to the wood from trying three different stripping techniques...and learning how to properly use a heat gun.:)

@tjbray: Arm-r-seal, eh?  I'll look into that.  I don't know, yet, what I'll do with the finished product.  If I really like it, it'll probably become my "practice bass".  If not so much, I'll keep it at my church to be the "emergency bass".  I suppose that either situation would allow for a shellac-only option.  And if I liked it enough to really get into gigging with it (...*and* I actually did any gigging! :), then I could do a touch-up and then arm-r-seal it.

Sounds like I have a plan for moving forward!

Oh...I already bought some stuff from Home Depot; minwax wood preparation and some kind of stain ... but I don't remember exact details on them.  Does that ring any scarey alarm bells with you?

...and I'll be looking forward to working out specs for an app.  I like having a specific goal when I'm learning new things.  It'll be great to have something I know will be useful before I even start with it.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: November 26, 2014, 11:35 AM »
Two things:

* I am in the middle of "recovering" a PJ bass I bought at a pawn shop; This is my first woodworking project, and I think I'm doing okay with it.  But I could use advice on how to make it less "dentable".  I want to show the wood grain, instead of just painting it.  So that means some kind of clear-coat.  What would you suggest?

* I'm a software developer - playing around with "hybrid" (web-based + mobile) applications.  I could probably whip something up for you in fairly short order...I just need some really clear specs.  If you're looking, hit me up (my email at yahoo and are the same as my login here).

My son's collection started with a 12 string telecaster I built from a hodgepodge of parts, which I fell back on my car painting days of the late 70's/early 80's and painted Ford Mustang red. I put a lipstick pickup in the bridge position and a hot Texas wound pickup in the neck. From there, we restored and rewired a number of guitars over the next 2-3 years, then I built him a strat wired with 6 DPDT switches to turn on/off each pickup separately and put in and out of phase like Queen's guitarist Brian May. I even hunted down a set of pickups with the same fat poles and specs as May's. That's when instructors, friends, and musicians began asking if I'd build guitars for them.
Just this Summer, my family and friends suggested I put my name on my guitars, so my hobby is now a VERY small business  I built a strat style guitar with a Fender TBX (treble bass expander) and an Atrec band control unit. The flawed fender tremolo was replaced with a Stetsbar unit. I have pics of that guitar.

I'm about 70% done with a PJ style bass with active pickups and a through the body bridge. I've dyed its swamp ash black, highlighted the grain with a silver powder suspension, and am French polishing the body now. The rosewood neck I've sealed in lacquer like Rickenbacker does. On deck for future contracted builds I've got a 50's tele style with the body made from a combination of maple, Honduran mahogany, and Peruvian walnut, and a few builds whenever no contracted work is in the making like an arch top with two TV Jones HBs and a barncaster from reclaimed pine that I intend to partially burn before starting.
I'm a retired cop, and this is far more relaxing than chasing bad guys!

That said, I should use this forum to see if anyone could whip out a couple of form apps or files, like an inventory list that I could use to see what it cost me, as well as a build sheet that I could spec the entire build out to provide an estimate sheet and an itemized bill of sale. I may do well as a luthier, but I rather suck at creating anything on my PC or my iPhone. (sorry it took so long to post this, have been away from my desktop for a while now...)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: October 27, 2014, 01:14 PM »
I'm a wannabe bassist.  Actually, I'm finding I'm not that bad at all...given a lead sheet and a run-through or two, I can hold up my part of a song.

I've not really been part of a "band" but for a while I did jam with a couple of guys.  We even recorded (sucky recordings) some of our jam sessions.  That was fun.  I wish I could find a drummer to just jam with again.

About once per month, I play for my church "backup team" so the "main team" gets a day off.  When the "main team" bassist can't make it, I get to fill in there, too.  Which is how I found out that I'm pretty good at "playing cold".  Because one day he ddin't show up, and they said "go get your bass" - and I did, and played well without any other prep or practice.

It's nice to feel good about my skillz. :)

I kind of keep an online diary thingy.  Here's my "Music" topic:

... and this page has links to the (pretty ugly, really) recordings of our practice sessions:

Anyone in SLC, Utah want to meet up to jam?  Anyone want to do online collaboration?  I'm really REALLY itching for someone to explore musicality with!  (And I've got MUCH better recording equipment now!!!)

I have found a decent alternative here: http://www.bill2-sof...smanager/index.shtml

The page is in French (for me) - I could swear it was in english when I downloaded it!

This one will also manage IO priority as well as process priority.

Developer's Corner / Re: Childhood games
« on: August 05, 2014, 05:26 PM »
They are *LONG* gone...

But I still think about how I'd do it if I did it over.  So far (mentally) I've done it in C, C++, C# and Javascript/HTML


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