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> The (hopefully Not To Embarrassing) Refurbish Thread
Spock
post Apr 9 2014, 01:52 AM
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Win, Lose or go down in utter humiliation, I'm going to diary the progress of this $200 1996 or 1997 Jackson Dinky transformation.

I found out today the wood is Indian Mahogany. (Or that was the guys best guess).

1) So, this is what came out of the box:
Attached Image


2) Had to use a heat gun to loosen and chip up the thick poly finish and paint. Came to find out there was a very thin veneer covering the top of the body, I singed the veneer off with the heat gun and scraped it - at this point I thought all was lost:
Attached Image

3) I took a damp rag and wiped the saw dust off from a quick sanding. The scorch marks had me thinking of going in a relic direction.
Attached Image

4 & 5)The sides were not that difficult, except for the curves of the horns. The veneer was on the back too, but I realized I could use the heat gun for the finish, and sand the veneer off. It took some elbow grease, and the process to this point took about 6-8 hours. These next two pics are after the first round of sanding with a 50 grit sandpaper.
Attached Image
Attached Image


6 & 7) I worked on it for about 2 hours tonight. I used a Dremel Tool to sand inside the crevices, the horn arcs, as well I had to sharpen the body top edge angle to the sides and started round the edge angle to the back of the body. I went over the entire guitar again with a sander and was able to get most all of the scorch marks out. Also, on the front and a couple of places on the side, there was a gap where some of the wood came together. I filled those in with a wood putty and will let it cure for 24 hours then sand off the excess. I am also going to close up the neck pickup cavity - so I wood-glued a piece of wood in the hole. Once it is dried, I will build up the wood putty around the crevices and up over the top of the body, then sand off the excess to make it smooth. This has to be done in layers as it take a a while for wood putty to harden, and it tends to shrink when drying, so this process may take a few days. I am also going to cover the hole for the tone knob and the pick-up selector slit.
Attached Image
[attachment=36631:7.jpeg]

8) I have purchased the wood sealer, stain and a satin clear coat. Once the front of the guitar has been filled and sanded smooth, I am going to stain the sides and back of the mahogany and to the front of the body add a light colored birch burl veneer. This will get a natural sealer/finish; sand the edges down smooth to the body and start apply the first coating of satin lacquer. When the first coat dries, I plan on putting a 1/4" accent line in between the 2 woods with vinyl tape, then start coating the lacquer up over that until I get a thick shell. The tape will give a nice accent in between the woods, since it's not possible to put a binding on the guitar and best of all IT'S CHEAP!!!
Attached Image


The birch veneer measures 16" x 60" so there will be plenty left over and I won't need to bookend two pieces down the middle.

So, at this point, that is the plan and the progress. I'm really just doing this, just to see if I can.
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Todd Simpson
post Apr 9 2014, 03:32 AM
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Best of luck with all this. Thanks for sharing as you go!!! Are you just going to glue a pre cut chunk of the veneer to the top of the guitar and sorta bind it all together with clear coat?
QUOTE (Spock @ Apr 8 2014, 08:52 PM) *
Win, Lose or go down in utter humiliation, I'm going to diary the progress of this $200 1996 or 1997 Jackson Dinky transformation.

I found out today the wood is Indian Mahogany. (Or that was the guys best guess).

1) So, this is what came out of the box:
Attached Image


2) Had to use a heat gun to loosen and chip up the thick poly finish and paint. Came to find out there was a very thin veneer covering the top of the body, I singed the veneer off with the heat gun and scraped it - at this point I thought all was lost:
Attached Image

3) I took a damp rag and wiped the saw dust off from a quick sanding. The scorch marks had me thinking of going in a relic direction.
Attached Image

4 & 5)The sides were not that difficult, except for the curves of the horns. The veneer was on the back too, but I realized I could use the heat gun for the finish, and sand the veneer off. It took some elbow grease, and the process to this point took about 6-8 hours. These next two pics are after the first round of sanding with a 50 grit sandpaper.
Attached Image
Attached Image


6 & 7) I worked on it for about 2 hours tonight. I used a Dremel Tool to sand inside the crevices, the horn arcs, as well I had to sharpen the body top edge angle to the sides and started round the edge angle to the back of the body. I went over the entire guitar again with a sander and was able to get most all of the scorch marks out. Also, on the front and a couple of places on the side, there was a gap where some of the wood came together. I filled those in with a wood putty and will let it cure for 24 hours then sand off the excess. I am also going to close up the neck pickup cavity - so I wood-glued a piece of wood in the hole. Once it is dried, I will build up the wood putty around the crevices and up over the top of the body, then sand off the excess to make it smooth. This has to be done in layers as it take a a while for wood putty to harden, and it tends to shrink when drying, so this process may take a few days. I am also going to cover the hole for the tone knob and the pick-up selector slit.
Attached Image
[attachment=36631:7.jpeg]

8) I have purchased the wood sealer, stain and a satin clear coat. Once the front of the guitar has been filled and sanded smooth, I am going to stain the sides and back of the mahogany and to the front of the body add a light colored birch burl veneer. This will get a natural sealer/finish; sand the edges down smooth to the body and start apply the first coating of satin lacquer. When the first coat dries, I plan on putting a 1/4" accent line in between the 2 woods with vinyl tape, then start coating the lacquer up over that until I get a thick shell. The tape will give a nice accent in between the woods, since it's not possible to put a binding on the guitar and best of all IT'S CHEAP!!!
Attached Image


The birch veneer measures 16" x 60" so there will be plenty left over and I won't need to bookend two pieces down the middle.

So, at this point, that is the plan and the progress. I'm really just doing this, just to see if I can.



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Spock
post Apr 9 2014, 10:26 AM
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Essentially yes. You have to put a thick coating of veneer glue on the body and on the back of the veneer with a glue roller. You trace an outline of the guitar on the veneer and leave an overhang of 3/4" to 1".

I local luthier said he would apply the veneer for me, he's just a kid in college but he has built some beautiful guitars from scratch. So I'm hoping he has some better tools to form fit it to the top contour. If it's too expensive (I don't want to put much more money into this guitar), then I will use bags of sand to weight down the veneer onto the guitar front contour - let dry for 24 hours.

Then you flip the guitar over, use a sharp blade to cut just up to the edge of the guitar, leaving a tiny overhang, then sand that down with a very fine wet sandpaper - I got a 600 grit for that. You use an exact knife to cut through the pickup, tremolo cavity and slowly carve to the edge, where you sand it down. The volume knob hole you just put a tiny hole with the exacto knife - then use a round metal file to GENTLY open it up.

The kid that is going to help me with this, is not a fan of doing things this way, as he builds exceptional instruments, but we have talked a few times and he understands it's a project, and I think he is interested in how it can turn out too - understanding it is not ideal. He's been very helpful to me.

Check out this fretless bass he built...

Attached Image
Attached Image

And here's a guitar he built...

Attached Image

Granted - my project will turn out nothing compared to those, but he's good inspiration. The kid is still in college, and he is awesome to be so young - but he did go to some luthier school in Atlanta - I'm sure you may be familiar with that place? I would love to do that, I think working alone on building guitars and basses would be a dream job. I have thoroughly enjoyed this project so far - even though I have no idea what I am doing other than asking people tons of questions, reading lots of threads and watching lots of videos. I've never been a wood worker - but "spiritually" it feels just like working on art - which is what I do for a living.

This post has been edited by Spock: Apr 9 2014, 10:30 AM
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bleez
post Apr 9 2014, 12:44 PM
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man, that bass looks great. Love the wood he's used for the neck.

Looking forward to seeing how your refurb goes. really interesting smile.gif


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Spock
post Apr 9 2014, 05:25 PM
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Looks like there is a problem. Not sure if it can be overcome. The thin veneer that was under the paint which I stripped off, looks like I lost about 1/8", which means that will somehow need to be built back up. with another piece of wood. Not sure how to do this - and this could be a deal killer for me. Only other solution would be to build it up with wood putty of bondo, cover it with the veneer and hope for the best.
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Caelumamittendum
post Apr 9 2014, 08:58 PM
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QUOTE (Spock @ Apr 9 2014, 06:25 PM) *
Looks like there is a problem. Not sure if it can be overcome. The thin veneer that was under the paint which I stripped off, looks like I lost about 1/8", which means that will somehow need to be built back up. with another piece of wood. Not sure how to do this - and this could be a deal killer for me. Only other solution would be to build it up with wood putty of bondo, cover it with the veneer and hope for the best.


I'd say don't let it kill it off for you. See where you can go from there and learn from the experience.


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Spock
post Apr 10 2014, 12:47 AM
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I'm a bit more optimistic now. I purchased a piece of mahogany veneer - 1/16" and found out that is all I lost. I can easily build that back up. All together with the finish, paint, sanding and veneer, I lost about 3/16" of an inch. I can router out the neck joint 1/16" and reset the neck, then build the rest up with lacquer at the veneer.

I read on another forum that Jackson will put a veneer on guitars that are painted and pieced together with multiple pieces of wood. This hides the seams once everything cures and ages.

As of right now, it still looks like a dog, but getting soo much smoother. Once I sand this filler off tomorrow, I'll go to a higher grade sand paper and make the entire body as smooth as silk. Then apply the wood sealer on the entire thing. The back is looking really, really great right now.

To be honest, I am SHOCKED this wood turned out to be mahogany.

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Mertay
post Apr 10 2014, 02:29 AM
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I love watching these sort of topics smile.gif and yeah it seems to be going pretty good wink.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 10 2014, 02:49 AM
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So you work on art for a living? Mind sharing a bit more on that? Are you in art restoration by chance?


Best of luck with the veneer! From what I understand, they typically use a complex system of clamps and heat to set the wood? I've never heard of using sand bags, but hey, every step in this is a learning experience so it's got value by itself!


QUOTE (Spock @ Apr 9 2014, 05:26 AM) *
Essentially yes. You have to put a thick coating of veneer glue on the body and on the back of the veneer with a glue roller. You trace an outline of the guitar on the veneer and leave an overhang of 3/4" to 1".

I local luthier said he would apply the veneer for me, he's just a kid in college but he has built some beautiful guitars from scratch. So I'm hoping he has some better tools to form fit it to the top contour. If it's too expensive (I don't want to put much more money into this guitar), then I will use bags of sand to weight down the veneer onto the guitar front contour - let dry for 24 hours.

Then you flip the guitar over, use a sharp blade to cut just up to the edge of the guitar, leaving a tiny overhang, then sand that down with a very fine wet sandpaper - I got a 600 grit for that. You use an exact knife to cut through the pickup, tremolo cavity and slowly carve to the edge, where you sand it down. The volume knob hole you just put a tiny hole with the exacto knife - then use a round metal file to GENTLY open it up.

The kid that is going to help me with this, is not a fan of doing things this way, as he builds exceptional instruments, but we have talked a few times and he understands it's a project, and I think he is interested in how it can turn out too - understanding it is not ideal. He's been very helpful to me.

Check out this fretless bass he built...

Attached Image
Attached Image

And here's a guitar he built...

Attached Image

Granted - my project will turn out nothing compared to those, but he's good inspiration. The kid is still in college, and he is awesome to be so young - but he did go to some luthier school in Atlanta - I'm sure you may be familiar with that place? I would love to do that, I think working alone on building guitars and basses would be a dream job. I have thoroughly enjoyed this project so far - even though I have no idea what I am doing other than asking people tons of questions, reading lots of threads and watching lots of videos. I've never been a wood worker - but "spiritually" it feels just like working on art - which is what I do for a living.



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Spock
post Apr 10 2014, 03:17 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 9 2014, 09:49 PM) *
So you work on art for a living? Mind sharing a bit more on that? Are you in art restoration by chance?



I think my Official Title is "Graphics Whore". I "Will Design for Food".

I've been a graphic artist since 1989. After numerous jobs; years of doing automotive dealership ads in the southeast, print shop work and newspaper work,etc. I somehow lucked up and landed a position as a marketing director for a southeast based food service company. I stayed there for 8 years, then left to start my own business with a partner. Our corporate motto was, "All it takes to succeed is 1 half ass designer and a bullshit artist" and for 2 years, that philosophy proved itself. One of my customers stole my partner in order to open an Apple Store (iPlace) - this was before a real Apple Store came to Greenville. I did not have time to go to meetings, do the work and everything involved, so in a panic, I asked my largest customer if he would hire me - that was the best move I ever made, now working for the best company I could have prayed for. I'm the art director there now, and I take care of their website design and marketing materials, displays, etc. All in all its a great job with great people, but after all these years, I think I am just a little burned out on designing. I use to enjoy freelancing for extra cash on nights and weekends - but now days the LAST thing I want to do when I get home is open anything licensed by Adobe.
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Spock
post Apr 10 2014, 02:42 PM
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The setback I ran into yesterday I think has been solved. As I said I lost about 1/16" of an inch by taking the veneer cover off the guitar body. So when I placed the neck back into the neck pocket, it seemed way too high off the body.

The solution is to router down the base of the neck pocket by 1/16". Once the new veneer is applied and the lacquer has built back up. That should solve the problem. I'll just have to make sure that when fastening the neck back to the body, that the screws are so long as to come through the fretboard.

FYI - the inside arc looks much cleaner now then when I took that pic yesterday morning.

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Todd Simpson
post Apr 10 2014, 09:42 PM
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hmm. Deepen the pocket? It's looking like you may have to cut your loss on the body and chalk it up as learning experience? The rest of the bits still work so you could buy an unfinished body from warmoth or some chinese body off ebay and move forward that way?


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Spock
post Apr 10 2014, 10:20 PM
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I've considered that and it's very possible. But I still have hope. I'll post another pic in the morning with some finer sanding completed - it is so close - plus I got my veneer in today.

I've been reading a thread about this sort of neck issue thing ( http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/...eck-pocket.html ), people shimming necks and also lowering pockets. I've learned that you don't want to cut into the neck, and the luthier guy I talked to said I may not need to lower it at all - but I think I will have to.

Anyway I have hope, and this is just a project on a project guitar. I got in my new Jackson about an hour ago and I LOVE IT, everything about it! Sure, it's not a USA custom, it's a Japanese model, but the neck feels great, it looks great and it will be set up great with some hot active EMGs and a D-Tuna on the Floyd Rose. So I'm tickled over that - and this project is relaxing to me and I am enjoying learning (finding my zen) - even if I end up really screwing the pooch and getting a Warmoth body. At this point, I am truly amazed at how far it has come since that first picture where it was burned to a crisp.

Plus I have enough veneer and products to screw up at least 5 more cheap bodies. smile.gif
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Todd Simpson
post Apr 10 2014, 11:18 PM
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Great to hear your new jackson is working out smile.gif You never know when you "buy before you play" so it's great that it's a keeper smile.gif Before you put the stock emg81/85 in, try to see if you can play an axe with their newer offerings if possible. They have a new set with alnico mags that retains the emg punch but doesn't sound all compressed as emgs are prone to.

The EMG 57/66 combo is one that many players are switching to these days. It's got a great sound to it and is very dynamic. I had a few guitars with 81/85 sets and eventually moved on to passive/alnico pups but I'd have gone for these if they were available at the time smile.gif

ANDY JAMES uses this set and I can see why. "Better" is a loaded term, but I'd go so far as to say these are just "Better" pups than the standard 81/85, which haven't changed much since the original.

Here is the info.

http://www.emgpickups.com/guitar/humbuckin...bucking/57.html

Attached Image
Attached Image

QUOTE (Spock @ Apr 10 2014, 05:20 PM) *
I've considered that and it's very possible. But I still have hope. I'll post another pic in the morning with some finer sanding completed - it is so close - plus I got my veneer in today.

I've been reading a thread about this sort of neck issue thing ( http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/...eck-pocket.html ), people shimming necks and also lowering pockets. I've learned that you don't want to cut into the neck, and the luthier guy I talked to said I may not need to lower it at all - but I think I will have to.

Anyway I have hope, and this is just a project on a project guitar. I got in my new Jackson about an hour ago and I LOVE IT, everything about it! Sure, it's not a USA custom, it's a Japanese model, but the neck feels great, it looks great and it will be set up great with some hot active EMGs and a D-Tuna on the Floyd Rose. So I'm tickled over that - and this project is relaxing to me and I am enjoying learning (finding my zen) - even if I end up really screwing the pooch and getting a Warmoth body. At this point, I am truly amazed at how far it has come since that first picture where it was burned to a crisp.

Plus I have enough veneer and products to screw up at least 5 more cheap bodies. smile.gif


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Apr 10 2014, 11:20 PM


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Sensible Jones
post Apr 11 2014, 11:38 AM
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QUOTE (Spock @ Apr 10 2014, 01:42 PM) *
The solution is to router down the base of the neck pocket by 1/16". Once the new veneer is applied and the lacquer has built back up. That should solve the problem. I'll just have to make sure that when fastening the neck back to the body, that the screws are so long as to come through the fretboard.

You should be OK with the screw length, but check before you screw them in!
Depending how thick the body is at the Heel/Neck Pocket another option is to take a 1/16th off the back of the neck Heel or even to take a 1/32nd off both sides.
smile.gif


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Spock
post Apr 11 2014, 01:56 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 10 2014, 06:18 PM) *
The EMG 57/66 combo is one that many players are switching to these days. It's got a great sound to it and is very dynamic. I had a few guitars with 81/85 sets and eventually moved on to passive/alnico pups but I'd have gone for these if they were available at the time smile.gif



I wish I had heard of those I would have given them a shot. I just listened to them on some You-Tube vids and they would have been great, but I already purchased my Zakk Wylde EMGs and have them in house - the only thing I'm waiting on is the brass block which should be delivered today (I hope).



QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Apr 11 2014, 06:38 AM) *
You should be OK with the screw length, but check before you screw them in!
Depending how thick the body is at the Heel/Neck Pocket another option is to take a 1/16th off the back of the neck Heel or even to take a 1/32nd off both sides.
smile.gif



Good suggestions, my concern was that gap, but I am a little confused this morning. I wish that before I started this project that I had taken pictures of every nook and cranny of the guitar, so I would have known what to expect putting it back together.

It seems that my assumption that the veneer I stripped off as being 1/16" was wrong - it couldn't have been any thicker than the one I am about to put on it.

I have one more sanding to go. Last night I sanded with a 150 grit, tonight after work I'll sand it with a 220, get the edges of the body as uniform as I can, then it will be ready to stain and seal.

So - check this out. This morning I bolted the neck back on just to see. I placed the old pickup and tremolo in their cavities, and the pickup sleeve <---- not sure what it's called where the cavity for the bridge pickup use to be - and there is not much room left.

Everything seems to be fitting perfectly. Now, I can't swear that it will ever get and stay in tune again, but I think the parts will go back together nicely. But I can not understand that little overhang, I don't see them on other guitars just doing Google image searches, even on my new Jackson the bottom of the fretboard touches the body.

Attached Image

Attached Image


And here's the body as of this morning - with 1 more sanding to go. I also found out I need to get a little bottle of black shielding paint for the cavities (learn something new everyday)

Attached Image

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Spock
post Apr 11 2014, 04:34 PM
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While researching "staining mahogany" I found this video, and this guys fretboard has a gap to the body as well.




Plus I found this thread too talking about newer Fender Telecasters with the gap overhang - and since Jackson is owned by Fender now, I'm guess this is normal on many guitars.

Small gap between fingerboard and top of body.
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaster-disc...d-top-body.html
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Spock
post Apr 12 2014, 01:57 AM
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After 3 trips to Lowe's Home Improvement, 1 to Walmart and another to WoodCrafters - all today, I made the last sand when I got off work with 220 grit sandpaper and finally put the first coat of stain on.

I struggled with whether or not to put a coat of wood grain filler on or not, because it smooths out the wood to make it look pristine - like all PRS guitars, but since the front veneer is going to be so natural, lumpy and rustic, I decided to not do the grain filler and just go ahead stain.

After 1 coat, I think that is as dark as I want it, the hint of red is awesome and wood grain looks great. There are some spots I'll need to touch up, especially inside the lower arc, but all and all, I'm very happy with the decision to stay rustic - plus it makes mistakes appear more like character.

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This post has been edited by Spock: Apr 12 2014, 02:33 AM
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Spock
post Apr 12 2014, 11:26 AM
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Veneer


Rolled out the veneer and decided where I wanted to cut a piece from.
Attached Image

Cut out a piece roughly 2' x 2'
Attached Image


After totally saturating it with "Veneer Tamer", I laid out some plastic on a table, then some paper towels, then sandwiched the veneer between more paper towels, a heavy flat piece of particle board and put (2) 50 pound bags of sand on top of that. This is a poor mans vacuum press but should work fine, and the sand bags are also the way I will shape the veneer to the contour of the guitar. (24" x 24" particle board $4, 50# bag of sand $3.50 each, Paper Towels 88¢, plastic sheet - free scrap - Total: $12)

The Veneer Tamer makes the wood more pliable and less brittle. Supposed to allow the veneer to totally dry out this way, so it's 6 in the morning, I'm hoping by tonight it will be ready so I can apply it tomorrow morning.

Today I will spot stain some areas on the guitar body while this process takes place.

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This post has been edited by Spock: Apr 12 2014, 11:30 AM
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bleez
post Apr 12 2014, 07:39 PM
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man, its great how this is turning out smile.gif Im looking forward to seeing it with this veneer on.
impressive work so far mate.


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You say 'minor pentatonic ' like it's a bad thing
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