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Advice / Help with my first go-round
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:36 pm    Post subject: Advice / Help with my first go-round Reply with quote

Hello fellow posters! This vibrant community is very informative, and I would like to ask for some help from those that are more experienced with this topic.

The build is an ES-3 kit I picked up from theFretwire.

https://thefretwire.com/shop/featured/diy-electric-guitar-kit-jazz-style-trapeeze-style-bridge-hollow-body/

The body is basswood (I believe the maple listed is just the neck enclosure), the neck is maple, and the fingerboard is rosewood. Currently the guitar is in the shop having the neck set by someone with far more experience and expertise than I, but I'm trying to get a handle on the products / process before I get the guitar back. I will post pictures if more information is needed as soon as I can.

My questions are these: What is the process? What materials should I go ahead and purchase? Will I need Sand and Sealer if I have an initial coat of shellac?

My current list of things to buy: Sandpaper (#220 [for initial wood preparation], #320 [for sanding back after coats], and #400-#1000 [for final polishing], Shellac Flakes, Alcohol (to cut the shellac), Sand and Sealer (not sure if I need this if I'm using shellac?), 2X4 (for sanding block?), Clear Coat, mineral spirits, naptha, and maybe Alcohol Based Dye?

Currently bought: Water Based Dye (from what I can understand this is not recommended for basswood?)

Let me know if that list is skimpy, exhaustive, or just right.

This is the process broken down from as much as my brain has taken in reading over the last couple of weeks.

1) Dry sand body to #220 with sanding block
2) For washcoat use shellac. Allow to dry a few minutes. Then second coat of shellac. Allow to dry overnight Sand to #320. Repeat this step once more.
3) Dye. Using alcohol based dye (not water?), dye the body. [want to do a blue fade ala PRS / but maybe a blue burst].
Dye process - this seems to be just work the fade darkest color to lightest??? (mix the dye the night before seems to be the safest bet, and wipe with a cloth prior to) - allow to dry overnight
4)Wet sand (with mineral spirits as basswood is thirsty) with #600 any large particles.
5) Have a second go 'round on the dye job. Let dry overnight.
6) Lacquer it up round 1. Dry Overnight. Lacquer it up round 2. Lacquer it up Round 3.
7) Dry for 3 days
Cool Soak #400-#2000 overnight with mineral spirits. Sand block with battery in successive grits.
9) Polish.
10) Don't touch for about a month or two as I'm too accident prone to trust myself with a sensitive finish.

Okay so that's the process I have mapped out in my head, but I may be totally off the reservation there. Let me know if that's the case, and where I should think about course correcting. The one caveat to include here is that I am in an apartment and don't really have a good place to use aerosol spray. I can potentially go outside, but my plan is to keep this done by hand.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help!!
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gkyhn



Joined: 14 Sep 2005
Posts: 3207
Location: Central California

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd move the 30 days from step 10 to step 7.

Spray your clear coats, let it cure for 30 days, then sand and polish.
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! I will do that.
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright so I said I would post pictures.

Here is the guitar



Headstock and fretboard



Closeup of the sides



Closeup of the face of the guitar



I don't know if it shows up well, but there are definitely small "gashes" in the wood.

I'm thinking of going with sanding sealer as opposed to shellac to start off. Will sanding sealer fill these "gashes" in the wood?
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for back to back posts, but as I was sanding the headstock tonight I noticed some gaps in the body. Now this is a basswood body, so I wasn't thinking I would need to use grain filler, but should I fill these with grain filler?



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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I decided I needed to go ahead and jump in to this project rather than sit on the sidelines for another week.

First up: A hook for drying. I was a little worried about the center line and the hook not holding. It seemed to stay put when I hung it, and the center line I'll find out later on in the build.



I snagged some wood filler to mask that gap in the body. Might have gone a little overboard.



But at least when it was sanded off it was not as noticeable. We'll see if it holds up with the shellac coat and staining. Here's to hoping.



I was all ready to dive right in when I started to think about double checking the ingredients on the shellac. Then of course I noticed that this was a water based shellac. And as basswood and water apparently don't mix I had to pump the brakes on getting too far in today. I'll go snag some aerosol, alcohol-based shellac tomorrow and post some updates!
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I decided to get de-waxed shellac flakes over using an aerosol spray. This allowed me to know what the mixture was, and also just rub on the seal coat. Unfortunately I got a little excited and didn't tape up the fingerboard. A little bit may have made it's way on to the fingerboard.



Is there a way for me to remove this shellac that has soaked in to the fingerboard????

UPDATE: Denatured alcohol and 000 steel wool took out the shellac. Yay Very Happy


Last edited by nedonnelly on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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statorvane



Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Posts: 1949
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Dye process - this seems to be just work the fade darkest color to lightest??? (mix the dye the night before seems to be the safest bet, and wipe with a cloth prior to) - allow to dry overnight


I've never wiped on an alcohol based dye over a sealed body. I've always sprayed it on using a spray gun & compressor. If you go this route, you'll want to dilute the dye mixture quite a bit and apply multiple coats to get your desired inner burst color. Then you can spray more dye on the edges of the burst to get a darker variant. ReRanch 101 has some good mixing suggestions.

I think you can remove the shellac from the fretboard with alcohol.

Hope this helps.
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Jazzmeister



Joined: 29 Apr 2007
Posts: 1439
Location: The Hawkeye State

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks cool. I'll be anxious to hear how you like the guitar...those kits are pretty nice looking for the money!
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

statorvane wrote:
Quote:
Dye process - this seems to be just work the fade darkest color to lightest??? (mix the dye the night before seems to be the safest bet, and wipe with a cloth prior to) - allow to dry overnight


I've never wiped on an alcohol based dye over a sealed body. I've always sprayed it on using a spray gun & compressor. If you go this route, you'll want to dilute the dye mixture quite a bit and apply multiple coats to get your desired inner burst color. Then you can spray more dye on the edges of the burst to get a darker variant. ReRanch 101 has some good mixing suggestions.

I think you can remove the shellac from the fretboard with alcohol.

Hope this helps.


This does help! Very Happy

I had already started to lean towards applying the dye with a Preval unit over wiping on. I am too worried that rubbing the dye on would rub off the shellac coat. My neighbor suggested spraying near the pool, so I may just have to hope nobody can identify who made the giant stain on the wall. Embarassed
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it's time to tape! I was getting pretty excited, and then the smarter person in the house said: "Hey what about the bubbles in your tape job?"





Now I was thinking I could just take a razor edge to any spots on the binding that may get some of the stain, but I'm not positive about this solution. Should I be worried about my poor tape job?
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statorvane



Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Posts: 1949
Location: Upstate New York

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to tape the top of the binding. I've done exactly what you were thinking, scraping the top with a razor blade - sharp.

have you already sealed the body? No need to tape anything except the fretboard before sealing the body.
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Jazzmeister



Joined: 29 Apr 2007
Posts: 1439
Location: The Hawkeye State

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, don't bother with the tape, especially on the top and back. I had luck on a bound body with some 3M striping tape on the side only, then I scraped the top edge with a razor blade after the initial flash of the paint. This is the way the big companies did/do it.
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright so now we get to play the game of "Where did I go horribly wrong?"

First coat of color going on the body and this was the result





Overall everything was pretty runny, which surprised me. I expected the mixture to have some stick to it. This is a wood dye, mixed with denatured alcohol. Underneath are two coats of shellac (also alcohol based).

My biggest worry is the neck, where the stain seemed to have seeped through the shellac and on to the wood.



My assumption is that there is no coming back from that, but maybe the rest of the body is "save-able". Thoughts, and suggestions are welcome Very Happy
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nedonnelly



Joined: 05 Aug 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm thinking I'll dry sand down this first color with 600 grit, and then try again in a more "controlled" setting (not hanging) so if the stain runs I can wipe off any excess.

I'm not sure if the uneven stain is due to me not going over with shellac a 3rd time, or if it was due to the shellac. I strained the solution with a paper towel, and I think this may have influenced the final product as well.

Anyone have more informed insight as to my folly?
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