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Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 14, 2014, 11:00 AM »
@40hz: I just listened to the tone test Superboyac posted, that'll save me a few bucks down the road.
On that same note, I thought we should pass along that Guitar Fetish has a small supply of the Epiphone "Lucille" rotary switches with 5 or 6 different valued capacitors. A sure way to extract a slew of different tones from your guitar (though I hope they have enough in stock for me to pick up a few after Christmas.)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 13, 2014, 09:43 PM »
@theGleep: this is concert weekend for us, so I haven't been able to get on here. Your calculations are right, one good thing about going brushless is you won't have the  brushstroke issues, so you will sand off far less  waste than I do. I, too, have a patience deficiency, and when the time is available for me to work on a guitar, I can't rely on Ohio weather, so I just resolve to brush and sand my way to completion!
Expect the first coats to dry quickly. Even with a brush, the alcohol evaporates very quickly, and I'm  able to recoat  in an hour. I like to give the shellac extra time to cure before sanding ng. With my multiple  coats of 10-12, I wait a week. With an airbrush, you will be able to sand in a day, two tops.
I haven't had time to touch my project since last posting, and it's KILLING me!!!!

If you're interested in how my son's Skynyrd/Allman Brothers first show went (at the school, really more of a dress rehearsal), the Mason School of Rock page on Facebook has videos posted. He's the really tall guitarist on the far right on "Sweet Home Alabama" in the white flannel with blue/black stripes. Oh, the outright beautiful Les Paul style guitar he's using? I only wish I could claim building it! It's a Raven West Guitar. I am going to overhaul it this spring, however. Stainless frets, all new gold hardware, Page style wiring with a kill switch hidden under the pickguard for that staccato effect. Maybe a stainless guitar nut as well. My guitars I make nuts out of fret material, kinda my 'thing.'

I'm going to try to send you a copy of the forms I currently use for builds after I clean the bird cages to see if you think they can be put on a computer or tablet type program, even iphone for that matter. If I don't get to it today, I'll try to get it sent on Monday (I need to switch to a laptop!)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 11, 2014, 06:30 PM »
@theGleep:  I've goy a dozen coats on this one, haven't used a cup. Especially since you'll be thinning it with alcohol to a 2 lb cut.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 11, 2014, 07:13 AM »
Should've proofread the last post, sorry for the many errors! ;-)

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 11, 2014, 07:08 AM »
@theGleep: The first instrument you (re)finish will always be one of your favorites, regardless of how refined your work gets down the road. My son's 12 string tele is far from pro grade, IMO, but the fact that I made it when even I had doubts on its outcome (and even though the finish is far from what I would deem fit for selling, it plays and sounds beautiful, praise God!), it is my first. I offered to refinish it now that I know more about what I'm doing, but even my son loves it for it being the first one.

I, too, used the hanger method, though I'm thinking about cutting a 6-8" 1X3 to fit in the neck pocket, and attaching it to a mic stand with some conduit straps (no idea of their real name--those straps that hold conduit against the wall). That way I can twist it around as I apply the finish, and loosen the straps to slide it off for sanding.ake sure the wire goes through the body with plenty of extra so it won't slip off as you spin it around. It's happened to me, and ales for extra work.

Jeans are fine. On a nice day, I've sanded plenty of times with the body sitting on my lap while enjoying the sun. Definitely do your stain prep (alcohol and sanding) with gloves, and don't handle it bare handed until you move into the shellac phase. Shellac has great adhesion properties, especially  de-waxed shellac, so you won't have problems past there.

Ever clear is a great choice, with no toxins (a must when I work inside, we have 5 parrots)

Lifting the grain with the alcohol and lightly sanding the grain down has to be done just prior to staining. I'd do the grain lift both just prior to your prep coat and prior to your stain, to be on the safe side, though not much lift will occur if you get it all the first time.

I advise you is dewaxed shellac, for the best results. If you use shellac from a can, Zinsser has waxed and dewaxed. Most premixed shellac is made in a 3 lb "cut," or 3 lbs of shellac flake per gallon of alcohol. Go to to read the proper conversion to dilute it to about a 2 lb cut (you can store it in a mason jar). This will give you thin, glossy coats. I put a good 10-12 coats before sanding, to give plenty to rid myself of brush strokes. Take care that you don't sand through all your coats and hit your stain. Too much shellac is not a problem that sanding can't remedy. Too little can make a grown man cry.

Use wet-dry sandpaper and a lubricant Like mineral spirit or even a few drops of olive oil. I'd wait a week after your final coat of shellac if you aren't sanding  a little after 3 or 4 coats, but doing my shortcut method of many coats and sand. Otherwise, you can sand a day later and reapply until you get it smooth as glass. Don't apply pressure other than the weight of your hand, and inspect the paper for buildup frequently. Buildup will mar your finish like a grain of sand.

When you've got it sanded smooth, work up to at least 1500 grit paper. You can  buff then with a quality car polish like McGuires and use their swirl remover to finish it up. Or, after the sandpaper, apply a few coats of varnish, sand some more, then buff.

BTW, Merry Christmas to all, should I forget to post that later!

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