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Agile LP Copy: Fabric Finish Project

 
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norwoodz



Joined: 13 Feb 2014
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:20 pm    Post subject: Agile LP Copy: Fabric Finish Project Reply with quote

Here's what we're starting off with. I was never crazy about that high-gloss finish, but I like the guitar.




A heat gun and scraper lift the finish and the thin veneer of wood.




Stripped top




Stripped back. The burn mark is where I first tried the heat gun. My technique got better from there.

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norwoodz



Joined: 13 Feb 2014
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sanded and cleaned up the back. Then Titebond.




Fabric glued down. This is a very thin polyester. I did samples to check compatibility. I also brushed a little bit of thinned out Titebond on top of the fabric to really penetrate the fabric.




After the fabric was dry and rough cut, I applied some Aqua Coat grain filler, let it dry, and brushed a few layers of water-based Deft polyurethane.

The plan was to build with water-based finish and finish with oil-based. I like the way oil-based poly levels out, and the samples I did dried very hard.

So here's the back a couple coats into the oil-based poly. I let the water-based coats sit for a week before switching over.

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norwoodz



Joined: 13 Feb 2014
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meanwhile, while the back was dry but not done yet, I flipped over to the top. Bondo spot putty to fill in any gouges.




Used a simple paper stencil to cut the fabric to fit around the fretboard.





Starting off with the same method on the top as the back.




Then back to the back again. A few more coats of poly and some sanding left me with a good surface. This final layer is satin, thinned out and brushed on.




And dry. Once this is cured I may hit it lightly with some steel wool and paste wax to knock off some little dust particles.




Black stain poly for the neck.

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jaybones



Joined: 22 Mar 2014
Posts: 426

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great!!!

Not to sure that pattern is something I'd want, it probably looks better in person at a distance. I've actually thought about using my family tartan plaid as a pickguard for a Stratocaster.

Thought I could get a clear PG and modge podge the fabric on the back side.

My tartan is Campbell, and that would look pretty sharp on an arctic white strat.
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Lon



Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Posts: 6085
Location: Stephenville, TX

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To each his own as far as patterns, but thanks for documenting the process for future reference for others. Nice work.
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BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1914
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice!

I'm a fan of alternative approaches to finishing.

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Basshappi



Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 957
Location: Tucson, AZ.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agiles are really good guitars.
Love the look of your material, very cool!
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norwoodz



Joined: 13 Feb 2014
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. Well, the black Polyshades didn't turn out. I've since read that a number of people despise that product. I'll still take credit for user error, but I'll be switching methods there. I've successfully brushed on black enamel to other projects and it turned out very durable. Giving that a crack. In the mean time, I've picked up a little temperature/humidity meter to set on the bench so I know exactly what conditions I'm working in.

As for the Polycrylic... I had used that for the first couple coats once the fabric was glued down. No problem there. Thin coats, and I gave good drying time between. Well, I became less and less of a fan of how the fabric on the top laid down - not quite even enough and I wasn't totally happy with the placement of the pattern. I figured it wouldn't kill me to remove the fabric and do it again. Then the Polycrylic came back to say hello. All over the surface of the guitar was this rubbery film: stretchy and soft, but just hard enough to be a pain to remove. Some major chiseling and some major wood filling to get back to another good starting point. No Polycrylic this time (I like to be open minded but I can more clearly see what people don't like about the stuff).




The back is doing fine. I hit the polyurethane with some wool lube and an ultra fine (gray) Scotch Brite pad. Nice even satin sheen, pretty much what I was going for.




As far as my limited experience product takeaways: I'm not a fan of the Polycrylic. Gummy, rubbery... at least for this job. The Polyshades probably involved some user error but I'll say tentatively not a big fan. The Aqua Coat grain filler did a great job of filling up the fabric and drying into a hard, clear, workable surface for clearing. The Minwax polyurethane is very sensitive to technique, but it dries nice and durable and scratch resistant, and it works fine for what I needed it for. I'd be curious to try other polys and varnishes, but I have no reason not to be satisfied with this product.
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