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> The (hopefully Not To Embarrassing) Refurbish Thread
Spock
post Apr 12 2014, 07:56 PM
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Thank you sir. I don't know if it will ever play again, but I'm enjoying the experience and the next time around will know what initial mistakes not to make. I'm just anxious to see how the body turns out too. I plan on doing the headstock as well.

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Spock
post Apr 13 2014, 04:29 AM
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okay so...

It's 11:22 p.m. and the veneer still is not right - I sprayed it down and put it under the sand bags at 6 a.m. this morning, so it's been 17.5 hours. It is pliable, but it's sort of wavy, even though it's been in the sun under all that weight. I guess I will move it inside to the kitchen counter for the night and see how it is in the morning.

I watched one video where the guy said he was going to leave the saturated veneer in the vacuum bag for 24 hours - so I have to think that the vacuum seal is a better and quicker option than sand on a thick board. Of course, I am impatient, but I will just wait it out and see if it continues to flatten.

Worse case scenarios are: I have to spray it down again and repeat the process, put it on while it's a bit damp maybe, or, put it on with waves and hope the veneer glue secures it tight.

My hope is that waiting it out will eventually bring it to a flat, pliable sheet. And the only way to know is to wait until it is flat again, and see if it's pliable.

This post has been edited by Spock: Apr 13 2014, 07:08 PM
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Spock
post Apr 13 2014, 07:02 PM
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This has been the absolute hardest part so far. There are a few lumps in the veneer in between the pickup and the neck, but nothing major and the quilted grain in the wood hides it well. When you hear people say a quilted look gives a "cool" 3-D effect, well, this one will have more than just the effect - but shouldn't mess with anything too much, and could still dry out more.

I had a lot of trimming to do and also because of the runs from the veneer glue, I had to sand the entire guitar to get it off, so I'll have to stain the back and sides again, after more sanding.

Cutting out the pickup hole and the tremolo area were tedious. But the exacto knife did a great job and I found cutting along the edge of the guitar to be simple - relatively speaking.

So - I went ahead and put the neck back on and put the pickup and tremolo in the hole just to give a vague idea of the finished product. This has no sealant or lacquer on it yet, and I want a black tremolo, knob and I have another pickup instead of that one seen here. Also, i just placed the volume knob up on the body, it's not over where the hole for it will be, I haven't cut that out yet.

Still got a lot to do - but getting there. Personally, i already like this better than when it was just black.


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Spock
post Apr 13 2014, 07:43 PM
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It's personal preference, but I do love the wild wood look, and to me, I don't care much for solid black - unless it's matte black, love that.

So far...

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Spock
post Apr 13 2014, 09:08 PM
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BREAKING NEWS!!!

The veneer is flattening out! I pushed at the lumps best I could and could still feel the moistness in the wood. But this is the first time I have had the veneer out in the air for any length of time since placing the sandbags on it. And it appears, the dry spring air is working on the wood and flattening that area.

Anyway - I guess I'm cataloguing these events because I'm sure there is someone out there that wants to do this too, and maybe this will help them through the process, because I was not able to find a specific thread or video to do what I am trying to do here, just pieced information together from multiple sources on the net, understanding this could still end in complete catastrophe.

But with each set-back, there has been a way to recover, and I stay wholeheartedly optimistic.

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Spock
post Apr 16 2014, 04:57 PM
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Because of the runs of veneer glue, I had to sand off much of the stain from the sides and back - not all the way off though, just to make it even. I did not want the stain soaking into the top, so I taped it off just short of the edge of the veneer and stained again. This left an unfinished line between the top and sides...

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Above was still raw wood.

I've used 2 coats of satin lacquer and then 1 coat of wood sealer. Sanding lightly after each coat of lacquer.

This gave a thin poly type finish - making the base to adhere the fake binding - which is black "3M" 471 conformable vinyl Tape.

Next, I'll put on another coat of the water based satin lacquer.

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when that dries I'll do 1 or 2 coats of shellac. This will create more of a shell barrier to insure the tape "binding" stays secure.

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After that dries - I'll apply 8 to 12 more coats of the vinyl lacquer.

Here is the key, you can't use water based lacquers on top of shellacs that contain wax. The lacquer will not stick or bond to the shellac. The brand posted above contains no wax in the aerosol can version. But if purchasing, just make sure that it does not. This is not a necessary step to take - but I like the slight amber glow the shellac will give, and under another 12 coats of satin varnish, it should not come across plastic looking at all. I did test this on scrap wood and tape before attempting on this guitar.


Here the guitar body as of right now, a lot more lacquer and sandings to go, but still very pleased with how it's turning out.

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Blister
post Apr 16 2014, 05:59 PM
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I just saw this thread today. I love before & after stuff as well as seeing the process. This is a great project & thanks for sharing! smile.gif


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Spock
post Apr 16 2014, 07:43 PM
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Thanks Blister. I hope this thread will maybe help someone else out in attempting the same thing. Buying a cheap used guitar and making it better.

I have learned more about the anatomy of a guitar, along with wood working and finishing in the last 2 weeks than I have ever known in my entire life. And - it's tremendously fun, tedious and rewarding.

I can guarantee I will be refinishing another guitar soon, but next time I may do a bass - I would love to get a hold of an old Fender Jazz for about $150 to $200 and give it a wood finish.
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Spock
post Apr 17 2014, 10:59 AM
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Since that last picture I've added 3 more coats of lacquer - 9 or 6 more to go, depending. I want a barrier of at least 8 coats above the tape. I put today's first coat on at 5 a.m., and I have my stuff to take to work with me. Hoping to put on a new coat every 4 hours.

It is popping right now, and each coat makes the over-all project look more and more professional.

I just hope this thing will, not just play good, but play at all!

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F.Y.I. The wood on top is called "Karelian Birch Burl" - I love this pattern personally and picked it over quilted maple - because each piece seemed so unique to itself. Although, I would like to do something with a thick sheet of quilted maple one day.

Here is a drum done with the same wood - and this color is a better representation of the color of the front of the guitar - the picture I posted is showing more reddish-yellowish hues from the dimmed kitchen light.

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Sensible Jones
post Apr 17 2014, 05:31 PM
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It's looking good mate!!!
It will look killer with the Headstock done and all black hardware!!!
Congrats on your first one and may there be many more to come!!!
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

PS. When doing veneers like this in our W/shop we use Leather Bags filled with sand, exactly like your bags, and then it would be put under a press for added pressure. This may have helped with that moisture lump issue. To do it in your home/garage or wherever, place a piece of MDF/Ply on top of the Sand Bags and then place all manner of heavy objects on to the board to press the bags right into the shape of the body. Leave for a day or so and voila!!!
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif


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Spock
post Apr 17 2014, 11:39 PM
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That makes perfect sense S.J. Adding the weight on top of the sand bags - and using leather. I considered pouring the sand into a very large bag, bought thought it may run down the sides and not leave enough on top.

I found out a valuable lesson today. I have been sanding between coats with a 320 grit sandpaper, which keeps taking the lacquer down to the wood in spots. Finally realized to use a 600 grit and do it wet - which worked perfectly. So I am hoping this lacquer drying on the back is my last application - except for one spot where I had to actually touch up stain a tiny bit.

I finally realized to raise the body off the surface of what it is sitting on, and tape the bottom edges to keep the lacquer from running down the sides and puddling under. I wish I had known all this when I started - but next time I will.

Also just got in my TINY, ITY BITTY 1 oz. bottle of Hum-Bugger conductive paint to paint the guitar cavities with. Evidently you need this to shield electronics and reduce humm - it acts as sort of a faraday cage.




I decided to go with a Single Locking Floyd Rose "Licensed" black tremolo and parts. I figured the easier to string up, the better, plus I got it brand new from ebay for $24. May not last long, but it should look cool even if I have it locked in place.

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Sensible Jones
post Apr 18 2014, 12:50 AM
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You're fine using one or more bags for the sand, just as long as the whole surface area is covered!
This guy shows how to Wet Sand really well:-


You could also use adhesive Copper Sheet for shielding as I did HERE
Single Locking is fine but you may decide you need Locking Tuners after a while!!


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Spock
post Apr 18 2014, 02:12 AM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Apr 17 2014, 07:50 PM) *
You're fine using one or more bags for the sand, just as long as the whole surface area is covered!
This guy shows how to Wet Sand really well:-


You could also use adhesive Copper Sheet for shielding as I did HERE
Single Locking is fine but you may decide you need Locking Tuners after a while!!



GREAT VIDEO!!! And thanks for posting this here. Wish I had watched this one before I started. My guitar will not turn out anything near as immaculate as his, but learning all these tricks along with practice is the key.

So tomorrow, back to the store for 400 and 2000 grit paper!

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Spock
post Apr 18 2014, 11:00 AM
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Just applied my last top coat. This stuff dries and hardens really fast, so I hope to take it to work with me today and dry sand it exactly as that video showed. All together I got 10 coats on it before I ran out. I did the back and sides last night and they were beautiful once it dried and I flipped it over to do the front.

This stuff is amazing. When it goes on it's milky and just sort stands on the top and drips down the sides, you can see brush strokes and everything. But as it hardens it binds together and creates a smooth even surface with no brush strokes of any kind. With the exception of the feel, it's hard to tell that anything has been put on it - which is a far cry from when you're laying it on thick like these last coats...


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I've been saying lacquer this entire time, but I was wrong, it's actually a High Performance Polyurethane Water Based Top Coat which was suggested to me by a member of the local builders guild which builds cellos and violins - of course, he wouldn't put this much on a resonate instrument such as those, but he has watched this guitar transformation since I took it in charred to a crisp.

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Sensible Jones
post Apr 18 2014, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (Spock @ Apr 18 2014, 01:12 AM) *
GREAT VIDEO!!! And thanks for posting this here. Wish I had watched this one before I started. My guitar will not turn out anything near as immaculate as his, but learning all these tricks along with practice is the key.

So tomorrow, back to the store for 400 and 2000 grit paper!

I'm only sorry I was a bit late in posting it!
I'd also suggest an intermediate grit, like an 800 or a 1200 too. As is pointed out in the Vid, you don't want to 'burn' through the built up layers now!!

I have to say though, I love your choice on the veneer and your placement of it! I think if I'd have had it here I may have been tempted to stain it, I reckon that piece would take it really nicely!! Especially a Black stain to start with, just to accentuate those grain swirls before adding a colour!!
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

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Spock
post Apr 18 2014, 04:02 PM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Apr 18 2014, 10:08 AM) *
I'm only sorry I was a bit late in posting it!
I'd also suggest an intermediate grit, like an 800 or a 1200 too. As is pointed out in the Vid, you don't want to 'burn' through the built up layers now!!

I have to say though, I love your choice on the veneer and your placement of it! I think if I'd have had it here I may have been tempted to stain it, I reckon that piece would take it really nicely!! Especially a Black stain to start with, just to accentuate those grain swirls before adding a colour!!
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif



I wanted to do that. My idea was to go with a light amber, then sand it off and go with a natural, that would have popped the quilt, but my fear was how thin the veneer was and how deep the stain would go. I played it safe by not doing it.

My fear now is that I am hoping the last clear coat i put on this morning was not too thick. It's almost dry, but it has never taken it this long, and it has been almost 6 hours since I put it on.

I guess I won't be sanding and buffing today as I eagerly hoped - I'll need to let this extra thick coat cure first.

Impatience gets the best out of me every time.
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Spock
post Apr 18 2014, 10:14 PM
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WELL DAMN!!!

The front looks great now, but the top clear coat leaked through my tape and built up, and dried, in little puddles and bubbles on the back and sides - and the back and sides were PERFECT!!!! So I had to shave some of that off with a blade, then sand down other areas, and will have to put a light coat of poly on the back and sides again tonight. I'm glad I still have a little left.

This is monotonous. I have to somehow insure that the painters tape is secure enough not to allow the poly to leak through - which it did not last night, but did this morning.

This is what happens when you're an amateur.
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Blister
post Apr 19 2014, 04:37 AM
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"It's not a problem to make a mistake. The problem lies in when you continue to make the same mistake rather than learn from it."

Not exactly how it was originally worded but I love that quote! smile.gif

Keep up the good work, Spock, we're cheering you on!


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Spock
post Apr 19 2014, 05:34 AM
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Thanks man!

All is good tonight. I fixed those areas and removed the painter's tape from the cavities to paint black tomorrow. Once it dries I'll do the wet sand and wax.

At that point it's just putting the parts on. The tremolo should be here sometimes this week - I think Wednesday, put I can go ahead and put in the pickup and volume knob <---- which will require more you-tube learning lessons.
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Spock
post Apr 19 2014, 06:45 PM
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READY FOR HARDWARE!!!

It screams amateur in places - but from 2 feet away, it looks really, really good.

I won't use vinyl tape for faux binding next time I take on another of these projects. The tape does the trick, but when you stare at this from close range and pour your heart and soul into it, you know you want more - I guess it's like music or any other art form.

However, I am VERY, VERY pleased with the outcome.

After yesterday's catastrophe, I came home, cut, sanded, touch-up stained, recoated, re-sanded.

This morning I wet sanded with the 400-grit sandpaper and then the 2000 grit, then shined with Turtle-Wax auto wax. Still need to buff it better as I just used a dry cloth, but I'm okay with this to present as "Ready for Hardware".

These pictures are not wet, or after being wiped down with water - they are true to the finish and the auto-wax I used on it.

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