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Thread: My First Guitar Body - Telecaster

  1. #16
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    I finished the rout out and the neck fit ALMOST perfect. I had to tweak it a bit.

    Next came drilling the holes for the neck. I'm kind of going in reverse here so I took the original body and laid it on top of the new one and used transfer punches to lay out the holes. This Tele has three screws, two wood screws and one machine screw that is received by a threaded washer routed in the neck. After I drilled the holes I went to attach the neck and THEY DIDN'T FIT! I found the holes in the original body were drilled slightly askew and by the time the point of the transfer punch hit the new wood, they were all off.

    So I had to drill out the holes to 1/4" and glue in dowels. Then I measured all of them with a caliper and marked the locations with a scoring knife. The dowels will be hidden behind the plate so I'm not totally bummed.

    Once the neck was attached I discovered the neck extension on the body was a bit wide (the pitfalls of using the body to make the template) so once the neck came off I trimmed that area to be flush with the neck.

    I reassembled the guitar back to its original form and gave it back to my son. I figure once the final finish is applied, I'd like to wait 3-4 weeks for it to fully cure before replacing the old body.

    I don't want to use nitro because I'll be spraying indoors. Someone suggested Target EM6000. StewMac sells Target 7000HLB for guitar finishing. So I guess they recommend that over the 6000, which they don't sell. Anyone use WB finishes on instruments? Should I go with the 7000?

  2. #17
    I don't know why SM changed to 7000. 6000 is repairable....7000 is not. I would use 6000. It has a good history as a guitar finish. I've used it myself. I switched back to nitro, but 6000 would be my second choice if I couldn't use nitro.

  3. #18
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    Thank you John! I had no idea 7000 wasn't repairable. Considering the nicks in my son's guitar body (that's how this all started) I would have been pretty upset with myself finding that out after the fact. Thanks again!

    BTW, I'm curious why you switched back to nitro. If it's more durable, I may need to reconsider the WB route and try to figure out how I can spray nitro before spring arrives.

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Moriarty View Post
    Thank you John! I had no idea 7000 wasn't repairable. Considering the nicks in my son's guitar body (that's how this all started) I would have been pretty upset with myself finding that out after the fact. Thanks again!

    BTW, I'm curious why you switched back to nitro. If it's more durable, I may need to reconsider the WB route and try to figure out how I can spray nitro before spring arrives.
    Nitro looks better. Simple as that. I got the 6000 looking pretty good. Using a coat of shellac underneath really helps, though you should use freshly mixed shellac if you do this. People have reported crazing problems over Zinnser SealCoat, and Jeff from Target says it's due to pH problems.

    The 6000 can be made to burn in to itself after it's fully dried (more than a few days, for example) I think Jeff suggested that after the open time, you should lightly rough up the old finish a little and then apply a little alcohol to prepare before applying more, but I forget exactly. When you do it right, though, you will end up with no witness lines, even on a finish that is years old. Jeff says that the 7000 does not behave like this. When its open time is up, that's it...you're done. I think new finish can be made to stick, but it witness lines will show up at all the edges and anywhere else you have a transition from old finish to new. Blech.

    All that said, 6000 is a fine finish and would be my first choice if I didn't want to spray something hazardous. You still need a respirator if you're spraying, of course, and good ventilation. It doesn't blow up, but it still has solvents in it and they're not something you generally want to breath in, nor are the solids of course.

    As far as durability, the 6000 is pretty tough! It's not a waterbased finish. It's a waterborne acrylic. The solvent (glycol ether, I think) and acrylic solids are delivered to the item suspended in water. The water evaporates, and the small bit of solvent reflows the acrylic. I suggest practicing spraying it on scrap. When you initially coat the piece, it will look HORRIBLE....it will be milky white and orange peel like you wouldn't believe. After about 10 minutes, the water will go away and the finish will be MUCH smoother and clear. It's a completely different experience than spraying lacquer. You really need to practice on a piece of scrap to get the feel for when it's right, and when you hit the real thing you just need to trust your settings and your technique.

    It CAN take on a slightly bluish tinge, especially on dark woods. You won't have this problem. Still, I always mixed in just the tiniest drop of transtint amber on the final few coats to warm it up a bit and give it a nice, warm glow. It just takes the tiniest little bit. Again, a little practice will guide you

    Once it's fully set....after a week or two...it's very durable and a fine choice for an instrument.
    Last edited by John Coloccia; 12-09-2013 at 12:50 AM.

  5. #20
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    Thanks (again! ) John. I don't know if the EM6000 behaves anything like EnduroVar from General Finishes but much of what you describe as to how to work it and what to expect sounds like they are similar. I sprayed over 30 kitchen cabinet doors and half as many drawer fronts with a satin EnduroVar and got the hang of both the sprayer and the product. I wouldn't call myself highly skilled with it but I'm comfortable with it. I'll still do some test pieces with the 6000 but don't know if my son will be patient enough to allow those to dry so I can see how they buff out and wait until I find something that works, do the final steps on his guitar.

    I've seen a number of videos where they use a detail sprayer to give that burst effect and of course that's what he wants. I kind of doubt my spray gun can do that but I'll play around with it on some scrap. Right now, this is fun. I just hope to do enough research and testing so that I can still say that when I've got the final product in my hand. (Fingers crossed!)

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Moriarty View Post
    Thanks (again! ) John. I don't know if the EM6000 behaves anything like EnduroVar from General Finishes but much of what you describe as to how to work it and what to expect sounds like they are similar. I sprayed over 30 kitchen cabinet doors and half as many drawer fronts with a satin EnduroVar and got the hang of both the sprayer and the product. I wouldn't call myself highly skilled with it but I'm comfortable with it. I'll still do some test pieces with the 6000 but don't know if my son will be patient enough to allow those to dry so I can see how they buff out and wait until I find something that works, do the final steps on his guitar.

    I've seen a number of videos where they use a detail sprayer to give that burst effect and of course that's what he wants. I kind of doubt my spray gun can do that but I'll play around with it on some scrap. Right now, this is fun. I just hope to do enough research and testing so that I can still say that when I've got the final product in my hand. (Fingers crossed!)
    You'll be able to do it with your gun. I've done them with rattle cans, and I've seen people do them with cheap, Harbor Freight, suction feed guns...these things are meant to spray whole rooms, but they work. Personally, I use a DeVilbiss EGA detail gun for sunbursts. It's essentially a huge airbrush, with exceptional control and a price tag to match. That's totally not necessary, though.

    One thing I used to do under 6000, and don't take this as a recommendation because I don't know that it's the right thing to do, but it worked well for me, is I did all of my colors mixed in with shellac, not the 6000 product. It's hard to judge the colors in the 6000 because it's milky going on, and they recommend mixing in the colors with their water clear sealer. I've tried the sealer and have personally found it to be an absolutely useless, runny mess of a product. The shellac is nice for a sunburst because you can turn the flow way down and basically just shoot continuously. It dries so fast that you can basically keep going over the same area quite a few times in one session, and if you really want it to dry fast you can just blast it with a little bit of air from the two stage trigger on your gun. Then you let it dry for an hour or so and go back in with an even finer mist to really refine the edge. Of course, to spray shellac you need to be concerned with removing the vapors so they don't ignite. I know people have mixed color in to the 6000 product with great results, and in fact there is a member here that does that, I believe....I wish I could remember his name, but it escapes me at the moment. He builds very nice guitars, though.

    I would just go solid color for #1. That will be enough of a challenge. I say #1 because there's mostly two kinds of people who build guitars....people who never finish their first guitar, and people that go on to build many guitars. That's just how it is.

  7. #22
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    While we're waiting for parts & pieces, I've already started the Strat body. Last night we made up some 3/4" MDF templates from the Kirn templates. My son seemed to really enjoy it. I told him, "If you find joy in this kind of work, someday this may all be yours," as I spread my arms out around the workshop. He actually smiled. The first of my children to show any interest in what I do.

    I'll have to do some experimenting with the spray gun. I've got the Fuji XPC spray gun and it seems pretty flexible. Maybe with the waiting time we have I can find my groove.

    I already ordered the sealer with the 6000. Oh well... I was thinking of going along the lines of shellac but I really don't have much experience with mixing things. I've always stayed on the safe side and used compatible products from one manufacturer. I sent an email to Target before all this started and asked them for some help but they never replied.

    We have a friend in CT we visit once in a while. Maybe next time we go to see her I'll stop by your place and you can give me some lessons.

  8. #23
    I'm always happy when a creeker drops by the shop

  9. #24
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    Having this project done for Christmas is looking a little bleak. Yesterday the package arrived that was supposed to have a Fender trem in it. Instead it had a Gotoh fixed bridge. Two completely different animals. The packing slip was correct, but whoever filled the order must have failed to read it.

    I ordered it ten days ago. Before I ordered this, I called around and nobody seems to sell this locally. So I'm stuck with having to order it again. Ten more days and the 2013 Christmas will be history.

    I've been waiting for this part so I can do the cuts and make sure everything fits before starting the finishing process. I haven't been able to locate a template that I can rely on to make the cuts so I can just go ahead with the finishing either. It looks like Santa's bag will be empty this year.

  10. #25
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    PM Julie, I'm a dealer for most all guitars MFG's. Let me know if you nee something.

    Do you need a vintage or standard Fender trem?
    Thanx,

    shotgunn

    -----------------

    More is DEFINITELY more!!!

  11. #26
    There's no way you could possibly get it done for Christmas. It will take at least 3 days to spray on a finish, if you don't make any mistakes, and at least 7 days to allow the 6000 to fully harden/shrink and be ready for leveling and buffing.

  12. #27
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    Another option for the neck reinforcement is static reinforcement. By means of using carbon fiber inserts. The result is a MUCH more musical sound as there isn't a piece of metal rattling around in a dado in the neck. My first build has 3 1/8"x3/8"x18" (can't remember the length.

    It is a 7 string baritone. 27" scale length. Not yet complete...
    Thanx,

    shotgunn

    -----------------

    More is DEFINITELY more!!!

  13. #28
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    A flat sawn neck is definitely stronger than a quarter sawn one,though with proper truss rods,it may be a moot point.

    Years ago,"Fine Woodworking" published an article about the stiffness of wood in different grain orientations. This was when I was still the Musical Instrument Maker. Someone in the shop had decided in his own(erroneous but hard headed mind) that quarter sawn wood was stiffer. He said"It's like bending a stack of paper edge on."

    To prove this article to myself,I carefully planed a piece of spruce to exactly the same 1/4" of thickness in both directions. It was 2 feet long. I used a micrometer to check the thicknesses both ways. The grain was exactly quartered. Then,I clamped the stick at an upward angle over the workbench top. I set up a ruler vertically to measure deflection. A small weight was hung on the end of the stick. I took great care to clamp the stick just the same way in both directions,and to apply the weight the same both times. I always proceed in the proper scientific manner,of carefully introducing only ONE variable at a time in experiments. Sure enough,the stick sagged less when weighted in the flat cut position. There is no doubt in my mind,therefore,that the FWW article was correct. Mr. hard head shut up about his self made up theory.

    It also makes sense that the spruce in a guitar top should be oriented quarter sawn. It vibrates better that way. Fortuitously, the quarter sawn wood is more attractive,and more stable about not bowing across its width. No wonder people have been making their tops oriented this way for many hundreds of years!! And,violin makers have made their necks flat cut for just as long. Even back in the late 40's,an article was written in a Popular Mechanics magazine that showed how to make a guitar. The neck was specifically drawn and stated to be oriented in the flat cut position. So,even they knew best!
    Last edited by george wilson; 12-17-2013 at 2:12 PM.

  14. #29
    George,most interesting . News to me.

  15. #30
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    The old Danelectros were made of masonite with cheap pine interior parts. Old Dan glued the cloth around the edges to hide the glued up pine blocks. I guess he also knew that the glue lines would telegraph through finishes. He made EVERYTHING out of masonite!! Amplifier cabinet parts included. He bought out a large over run of lipstick tubes and managed to built pickups inside them. His guitars cost $40.00 in the 1956 Sears catalog. I remember that my best friend bought one.

    The old guitars had 2 bars of some kind of hard,cast metal set into them. These bars were a bit hour glass shaped in cross section. They did very little good in keeping the necks straight. I used to see them hanging in pawn shops here and there,with their strings 1/2" off the curved fingerboards at the body end of the necks.

    I have a new one,just for fun. Chinese made(or somewhere in Asia. I'd have to go look). It is VASTLY superior to the originals. MUCH better finish(the old ones looked like spray can jobs). The new ones actually have real truss rods which work!!

    I think the frets have no tangs,and are glued to the fingerboards. On the sides of the fingerboard are ink lines SIMULATING the tang slots which aren't there!

    The guitar is fun to play,and if I turn the treble pickup all the way to bass,and play with both pickups on,the guitar seems to sound like a "supercharged Telecaster". That's how I'd describe it. And less than $300.00!!

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