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Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 06, 2014, 02:52 AM »
@theGleep: No worries on the time it took to get those loaded. I'll get on my desktop in the morning for a better look, but from my iPhone with the pics maxed out, it looks like it is probably alder, at least that's my guess. Alder's grain is usually rather plain, without dramatic color differences between the dark and light lines. That's not to say you can't get good looking grain, but the darker your stain, the more blended together it will be.

The strat build I posted pics of is an alder body. When I was sealing the wood with shellac, I noticed it had a nice flame pattern wanting to peek out, so rather than considering what color to paint it, I finished it in a satin French polish, and showed photos to the buyer, who liked it as it was. I wanted to put a high gloss on it, but he shot that down. It turned out very nice, especially under stage lighting. Before that build, I had always gone with a rather popular opinion that alder is no good for anything but paint.

If you want really dramatic woodgrain, and you have a woodworker's store like Rockler in your area (where they sell veneer), you can usually find a hobbyist willing to put a book matched veneer on the front for little to no cost other than supplies. That said, I think you will find alder has a bad rap as a paint only wood, but I've found that to be misguided.

I hope you don't forget to post pics here when it's done--I can't wait to see it!

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: November 30, 2014, 08:57 AM »
@TheGleep: Yhanks for the link, I'll definitely check it out. So far, I've wired a strat a la Clapton, Brian  May, and David Gilmour.  I have a collection of wiring schematics for Les Pauls as well, but haven't really messed with them yet, so I'll definitely give it a look. I'm considering a setup for my son's, which he plays so much I need to re-fret soon (stainless this time), so I'm going to revamp all the guts and give him a Jimmy Page model.

The stain won't be a problem. Your main worry lies in the wood type. If it's a genuine Fender, most likely its alder, which can take stain directly, but doesn't have much drama in it's pattern. If you can post a pic, I can take a stab at guessing.

I'm a big fan of Guitar Fetish as well. Their True Coil pickups are in a couple of my builds. The bass I'm building is getting their Redactive EQ-switchable active pickups. This is my first foray into active pickups.
Another quality pickup maker is ToneRider. Great sound can be had without great cost.

Gotta get to church! Enjoy the last day of Thanksgiving weekend!

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: November 26, 2014, 04:32 PM »
@theGleep:  I know Rockler carries the General Finishes line (I'm fortunate to live in the greater Cincinnati area, which has a Rockler store, but they have a website as well).  De-waxed shellac has excellent adhesion properties, so you can use it over oil or water based stain, so you won't have problems using it with the stain. Be sure that you've lifted the grain of the wood by wiping the bare wood with a rag dampened with water or denatured alcohol (if you want it to dry faster), allowing it to completely dry, and lightly sanding it with 220 sandpaper. Do this about 3 times, also only handle the wood with latex or rubber gloves to keep the oils in your skin from affecting your stain coverage. Some woods take stain great, others are horrible.
I'm new at posting advice, so excuse my jumping around. I wanted to advise you to be sure you use DE-WAXED shellac--it's properties for hardness, shine, water repellence, and adhesion make it far more guitar-friendly!  As for wood preparation, Zinssler has a dewaxed version of their shellac, which is a wood prep. It may be what is in the Minwax wood prep as well.

The only fault you will find with shellac is, once it is in liquid form, it has a definitive shelf life. Commercial shellac cans should have a date on them, either when it was made or an expiration. I prefer buying shellac flakes and preparing about 16 ounces at a time, which I use up long before it begins to go bad. sells the flakes as well, and YouTube has great videos covering all phases of shellacking from prep to finish.

My experiences with Minwax has varied, and  as I used it at the start of my woodworking experience, I can just as easily blame my knowledge base at the time as I could the product. It's been so long since I've used their products I cannot give a fair evaluation.  I'll leave that to the many great advisors here.

Hats off to 40Hz as well, I can tell he has been helping pass information on to forum users for quite some time. Maybe in time mine will be laid out and as clear as his!

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: November 26, 2014, 12:02 PM »
Hi Gleep!

If you want high gloss, I would go with something like Arm-r-Seal, made by General Finishes. It will give you a super high gloss shine, and it's a tough finish, protecting your wood from liquids. Underneath that, you can level any deformities with a de-waxed shellac. You can use amber or clear to add some warmth to the wood. With both shellac and the Arm-R-Seal, they can be applied with a rag or brush. Great for new woodworkers.

If you plan on keeping your guitar, and don't plan on gigging with it, the shellac can give you an awesome finish alone, but beer, the bane of instruments, can mar the finish. The best thing about shellac is in de-waxed form, it is water resistant, but even if somebody does scratch or mar your guitar, shellac coats applied over old coats melts right into the old finish, making repairs easy.

I have used lacquer in the beginning of my restorations and builds, but have come to prefer shellac and varnish finishes for their look, and oil finishes like Tru oil just doesn't harden enough.

I'm biased, but that's the best part of opinions!

I'll get with you after the holidays regarding the program/app I'm hoping can be made, thanks!

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: November 25, 2014, 10:37 PM »
Thanks, 40!  It's probably more due to my methods being slower than using lacquer, but I'm not complaining. Premier Guitar is my favorite magazine, the only one I pay for a hard copy subscription.  I'll definitely give Joe's YouTube and tonefiend site some long looks, thanks.  I like Wait' s music, love the blues along with good old classic rock.

I'll throw some pics up here as I finish my builds, if you're interested. The tele is going to be really cool, I'm hoping.  I was just in the shop working on the bass body,  which I'm hoping to finish up in 3-3 weeks. 

Again, thanks for the info!

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