The Workbench

Tele scratch build thread

126

Besides sanding, is there bleach type product to lighten wood?

127

Great job. I thought multi bindings were applied together on the guitar but I guess there's more than one way to skin a cat.

BTW, who skins cats anyway? I've always wondered, not to derail a great thread.

– Suprdave

Thanks! Yes there are more ways to do the binding, this way seemed to be the logical approach for me so I can focus on one thing at a time (and we have seen that even then it's easy to mess up, haha) It can be done at once direct onto a guitar but I can imagine you'd need a lot of experience, knowing how the materials react to the acetone and each other. You'll have to work real fast and going in unexperienced you get the feeling you need four hands at least to do the job.

I have no idea who skins cats, maybe it has something to do with allergies?

128

Besides sanding, is there bleach type product to lighten wood?

– NJBob

I have come across this topic in my preparation search on how to color wood but I can't remember if people were succesful with that and what products they had tried.

129

I have come across this topic in my preparation search on how to color wood but I can't remember if people were succesful with that and what products they had tried.

– Mike2000

I googled and found a site with methods that looked credible. “3 simple ways to lighten dark wood stain” wikiHow.

130

I googled and found a site with methods that looked credible. “3 simple ways to lighten dark wood stain” wikiHow.

– NJBob

I found the site and those techniques seem like they could work well on furniture. I'm not sure if it would work on something as delicate as a guitar neck.

Now getting back to square one with the neck carefully sanding the stain off. In this pic the color doesn't look that bad but it really was.

Stain is as good as gone but there are places where it penetrated a little deeper into the wood, especially in the endgrain. You can't see that when sanded but when you make it wet, or put lacquer on it, it will pop back up. It will also darken when there's a new layer of stain on top of it, so I had to be careful not to make it blotchy. I think that is also the hard part of staining wood, making the color even.

Lets try again!

Aaaand... that looks so much better!

Still fingers crossed because the lacquer will reveal the true color...

131

Found some time to work on the project again. I made the decals and put them on the headstock. I just have to bury them in lacquer after they've completely dried.

Might as wel give it a serial number, since the body for the next project is already cut.

I think it's looking good!

132

I think it's looking good!

So do I!

133

Which grit of sandpaper did you start out with when removing the neck finish, and which grit did you end on?

134

I think it's looking good!

So do I!

– sascha

Thanks!

135

Which grit of sandpaper did you start out with when removing the neck finish, and which grit did you end on?

– Troy6120

I think I started with 240 followed by 400 grit. Most of the stain is easily removed but it does get into the grain which isn't easily sanded out. It's not visible when sanding but when wet it pops up. The end grain parts ended up way darker then the rest of the neck.

I did put some nitro lacquer on real thin to seal in the stain and sanded that with 800 grit before I put the decal on.

136

I haven't had much time to work on the project but I managed to get some things done last week. It was time to install the frets.

Frets organized and cut slightly oversized.

In order to keep me from having to file too much off of the side of the fretboard I cut of the tang ends. Filing to bare wood would take out the stain so tried to minimize that.

Preparing the fretboard by cleaning out the fretslots.

Glueing and hammering in the frets, halfway there!

And the last one is in!

Happy the frets are in, but on closer inspection...

137

Don't leave us in suspense, Mike! ... Am I seeing they are sticking up a bit?

Your neck color situation reminded me of when I finished my Cabronita neck. I tried using a Behlens Starcast Amber toner (in a spray can) that went on too blotchy. I was glad I had put down a couple coats of clear nitro first (over vinyl sealer) so I was able to wipe everything off with lacquer thinner without having any stain in the grain of the wood, and start over. I ended up spraying the toner, mixing it into the clear lacquer and sprayed it with my gun to get the hue I wanted. I still went a bit too far but was happy with it. On a Strat I did afterwards, I used Behlens Jet Spray Maple toner that gave a really nice tone to the wood and went on really well. Again, I sandwiched it between coats of clear nitro lacquer.

Your project is looking great!

138

Don't leave us in suspense, Mike! ... Am I seeing they are sticking up a bit?

Your neck color situation reminded me of when I finished my Cabronita neck. I tried using a Behlens Starcast Amber toner (in a spray can) that went on too blotchy. I was glad I had put down a couple coats of clear nitro first (over vinyl sealer) so I was able to wipe everything off with lacquer thinner without having any stain in the grain of the wood, and start over. I ended up spraying the toner, mixing it into the clear lacquer and sprayed it with my gun to get the hue I wanted. I still went a bit too far but was happy with it. On a Strat I did afterwards, I used Behlens Jet Spray Maple toner that gave a really nice tone to the wood and went on really well. Again, I sandwiched it between coats of clear nitro lacquer.

Your project is looking great!

– Metman

Thank you!

The frets are not sticking up, it's just trickery of the lighting. Except for the first fret which just wouldn't sit because there was a bit of the tang left so it could not sit flush with the fretboard. I also used ca glue to fixate the frets so a bit fiddly to remove it again haha. I also hammered the fret ends on a couple of other frets too hard which made them bend too much. So I had to replace those too...

On my previous (kit)build I used lacquer for the neck, I wanted the amber color I ordered but it turned out way too orange. I had foreseen there could be some trouble with spraying so I sprayed clear lacquer first. I sanded the orange off and replaced it with see-through-yellow, much better. I learned a lot from fixing these little mistakes and will try to do things better on a next project.

139

On closer inspection I noticed some of the fret ends were bent a bit too far making them crooked. So I had to take those out again. I used ca glue when putting them in so I had to heat the frets up with a soldering iron to remove them.

I took three frets out with minor chipping so that worked out fine.

Once I replaced the crooked frets I cut them all about flush to the fretboard.

Then I filled the fretslots with sawdust and ca glue. It did not turn out invisible as I hoped, this is not the right technique for maple. I removed the fret tang so I would not have to file the edges too much but I had to sand and scrape the filling and try to keep the stain in the wood. This also didn't went as well as I had in my mind so some retouching was necessary to make it work. But that's for next update!

Carefully filing the fret ends to a slight bevel trying not to touch the wood too much, ahum...

141

Thanks!

Getting on with some small but very time consuming steps. I scraped off the excess glue from the fretboard. Trying to get it as clean as possible.

I rounded over the fretboard by carefully scraping off the somewhat sharp edge. In this process I took out some of the color so that is something that I had to figure out how to fix properly.

When evening out the filler in the fretslots I also lost some of the color even though I was very careful...

I guess this is one of those pickles I seem to be getting myself into in this project.

I used a waterbased stain for the color of the neck and it could be tricky to put moisture under the lacquer. Thankfully the stain could also be mixed with alcohol so there wasn't any trouble with moisture getting trapped under the lacquer since the alcohol evaporated quickly. I went real easy with mixing the tint, starting very light and adding layers on the neck until the color matched.

I think it turned out quite nice!

Hopefully it will blend in once I spray the nitro... Fingers crossed!

142

Those closeup pics of fingerboard edges and fret ends always look a bit scary when you got to the bare wood. But mostly it's not overly hard to touch that area up and make it invisible again. Still filing there needs some amount of patience which I don't have.

Looks mighty fine so far. We are getting closer, aren't we?

143

Those closeup pics of fingerboard edges and fret ends always look a bit scary when you got to the bare wood. But mostly it's not overly hard to touch that area up and make it invisible again. Still filing there needs some amount of patience which I don't have.

Looks mighty fine so far. We are getting closer, aren't we?

– sascha

Thanks!

Yes, it was a bit scary getting to the bare wood again knowing that it could be difficult to match the color with the touch up. I'm also happy to have found the tip to use alcohol in stead of water to mix the stain. I try to keep my patience and don't rush anything but that can be difficult haha.

Getting closer but not quite there yet. It still needs lacquer when the humidity and temperature permits, and lots of sanding. I need to make a bone nut and after that I can level, dress and crown the frets... And then on with the body...

144

Watching nitrocellulose lacquer dry, in my very professional €12,50 Euro spray booth! I've been spraying three layers a day when the humidity was somewhere around 55%. Sanded with 600 grit after three layers. I have the decals pretty much buried and they are invisible now. I think I'll do three more thin layers before letting it cure for at least two weeks.

146

I like the spray booth. Where did you get that thing Michael? At an outdoor shop?

147

I like the spray booth. Where did you get that thing Michael? At an outdoor shop?

– MaBerY

Thanks guys!

The spray booth is an Ikea wardrobe, haha! I got it when it was on sale over a year ago and just assembled recently for this project. I hope it will be possible to disassemble it when I'm done but I think the seams won't hold up after a couple of times but that will be fixable.

148

Watching nitrocellulose lacquer dry, in my very professional €12,50 Euro spray booth! I've been spraying three layers a day when the humidity was somewhere around 55%. Sanded with 600 grit after three layers. I have the decals pretty much buried and they are invisible now. I think I'll do three more thin layers before letting it cure for at least two weeks.

– Mike2000

This is so cool.

149

Thanks Sascha!

Time to work on the body! I cleaned the pencil lines off of the body, a normal eraser didn't really work so I used acetone which got rid of most of it.

I rounded over the edge on the backside by hand with sandpaper.

I cut the binding channel to three millimeters in three steps, with the last step 0,5 millimeter to leave a nice clean cut.

I carefully scuffed the channel with sandpaper and cleaned it up.

Let's do this! Although the binding didn't end up as neat as I would have liked. The fix I did previously still had a bump on the backside that needed to be flattened. And there's another little piece that seems to be warped, with the inner black layer a little fatter, so I'll have to see how that turns out...

I have a small table in a small room so I had to figure out where to put all the pre-cut strips of tape. I don't like to put them on the edge of the table because I will probably lean against it making the tape unusable. I put a straight edge vertically in my vice to hold my tape and that worked well, though it didn't hold enough pieces of tape.

Binding installed with acetone, all taped up and leaving it to dry over night. Fingers crossed!

Hopefully this goo will clean up nicely, we'll see!

I'm glad I got this nerve wracking task out of the way and hopefully it turns out fine!

150

Haha, spiders decided to live in my paintbooth...


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