The Workbench

Tele scratch build thread

151

It's been a little while since I last posted but I did manage to get some work done. Here's some of the progress of the binding.

The body, here I just removed the tape off of the binding after letting it dry for a day or so.

It looks a bit messy but I'm happy the binding sticks! Though close inspection reveals some parts which were bent too far and had a little opening between the wood and the binding. There was no way to add acetone and push it against the wood because the bottom of binding already got stuck to the body.

I figured it would be fixable, so I melted my last pieces of black binding in acetone to make a filler. I also added some black side dot material since I didn't have enough of the black binding left.

I put the filler in and left it to dry overnight. Next I started scraping the binding flush with the body. That stuff gets everywhere...

I can understand why it costs so much to have a binding job done by a luthier...

152

Thanks for not hiding the obstacles you encounter. That’s where the magic lies. We’re still watching.

153

What a job Mike. Every time you get a setback, you just persist it into success.

154

I agree with Ade. This is a very interesting thread. I love these.

155

Thanks for not hiding the obstacles you encounter. That’s where the magic lies. We’re still watching.

– Troy6120

I totally agree, it's nice to watch a little ingenuity when it comes to problem solving!!

156

Great progress, Mike! Looking good! Yes, glad to see you show the challenges as well, and how you've overcome them. Great stuff!

Les Paul said, "Every setback might be the very thing that makes you carry on and fight all the harder and become much better."

157

Thanks guys!

Well I gave up on expecting to do everything right the first time, haha. Now it's part of the fun to figure out how to fix things once I get over the frustration, although it does mean that the project will take longer to finish.

Here's how the filler turned out so far:

Still needs some fiddling to make it look right but I'm quite pleased how it turned out so far. I did manage to scratch the wood (aaargh!) but hopefully it will sand out. The scraper I used was a little too big to do precision work. I have smaller scrapers but they didn't work well on the plastic so I'll have to get one that's right for the job.

Besides the scratches there are more fixes coming up haha!

158

A luthier friend of mine once told me that a big part of the job is learning how to rectify your screw ups.

Having recently bound my second Les Paul body, I know that binding a guitar is not an easy thing to do. Acoustics and Gretsches tend to be easier, but I suspect 'perfection' will always elude me.

I really appreciate it when people like yourself provide an honest document of what this type of work entails. Great job and thanks for sharing

159

Thanks!

Yes, fixing the mistakes is a big part of the learning process. I agree doing the binding isn't easy and I also made it a little harder by making a 4-ply myself. I also strive for perfection, or at least as perfect as I can get it. I hate it when I see imperfections I could have fixed when everything is done.

Here some more 'getting myself in a pickle' fixups I needed to do. I probably had to let it dry/cure for more then one day before I started scraping.

I got a tip on a luthiers page on facebook to put a piece of binding in acetone and use it as a fix-up stick, wiping the molten plastic in the damaged area's. It did work but it's something that needs some practice.

The holes filled up:

After letting it dry for a couple of days this time, I sanded it flush.

Pleased with the result!

160

Repair came out great, Mike! Nice!

162

Great thread. I feel a huge sense of satisfaction every time I put new strings on a guitar with vintage style Fender tuners without screwing it up, so this is sorcery to me.

163

Great thread. I feel a huge sense of satisfaction every time I put new strings on a guitar with vintage style Fender tuners without screwing it up, so this is sorcery to me.

– Scorpio

Haha, those vintage style Fender tuners had me puzzled the first time I encountered them, and that was after twenty years of guitar playing. In the mean time a was almost able to one-handedly and blindfolded change strings on a Bigsby equipped guitar. Next time I'll have to change strings on those Fender tuners I'll probably be checking a how-to video on youtube... Feeling stupid, haha.

Thanks all!

Oh, there's a slight change of plans coming up on the build...

164

It's been a little while since I last posted but I did manage to get some work done. Here's some of the progress of the binding.

The body, here I just removed the tape off of the binding after letting it dry for a day or so.

It looks a bit messy but I'm happy the binding sticks! Though close inspection reveals some parts which were bent too far and had a little opening between the wood and the binding. There was no way to add acetone and push it against the wood because the bottom of binding already got stuck to the body.

I figured it would be fixable, so I melted my last pieces of black binding in acetone to make a filler. I also added some black side dot material since I didn't have enough of the black binding left.

I put the filler in and left it to dry overnight. Next I started scraping the binding flush with the body. That stuff gets everywhere...

I can understand why it costs so much to have a binding job done by a luthier...

– Mike2000

Imagine the complexity if you had to preserve an original finish.

166

Imagine the complexity if you had to preserve an original finish.

– NJBob

I can imagine that! But I also think that it is learnable to do a decent job, with a lot of patience, persistence and the right tools ofcourse. I still have the old Annie which is in desperate need of new binding, and which I am determined to do myself. It was that guitar that got me really started into fixing up my guitars which then led me to finally do a complete build. When I'm confident enough I'll start planning the steps to fix the Annie, but first I'll need some more experience.

167

I’m just catching up on this again but the work and body look great!!!

168

Thanks!

The binding is pretty much done, and I sanded the body again. It cleaned up really nice!

Almost time for the finishing process!

169

Loving the progress.

172

Thank you! I'm kind of surprising myself during this build and getting excited about how far I have gotten this project up to now!

Getting close to putting the finish onto the body so I did some more testing of the stains I intended to use.

BUT...

I did NOT like my test strips, they were a little bigger then last time so I can get a feel of how it would turn out on a larger surface. The color I was getting is somewhat close to what I would find acceptable, and with some more mixing I know I can get the color right. But the stain just would not hold deeper in the grain and that is something I can't live with. I did some testing with colored porefiller but that also did not give the desired effect. I also tried another color to make sure that it wasn't the green stain that didn't hold but the red one turned out the same. This is pretty annoying because this was the only thing that I knew I wanted when I started this project, a translucent green...

Here you can see little bits of bare wood coming through.

And the pinkish red.

So... CHANGE OF PLANS! Now I'm looking at rattlecan lacquers to see what's available. I'll keep the stains and will test them some more for future projects, I think they will work better on wood with a tighter grain then on my ash body. To be continued!

173

Can't you stain, and if you don't like then cover it with paint?

174

Can't you stain, and if you don't like then cover it with paint?

– NJBob

I could do that but there wouldn't be much difference with the test piece I did. It's an off cut from the body so it's the same wood with the same treatment. If I can't get a testpiece to my satisfaction then it's not worth the time and material. I bet the stain would work great on a figured maple top! In the meantime I'm looking for a cool color in nitro for this project.

175

I think I know what color it's going to be! Green top, and translucent brown back and sides. And hopefully I can get the binding a little less white, slightly yellowish off-white but that's something I need to test.

For now I've started the pore filling process. First layer:

And sanding it off...

And filling up the low spots.

And sanding it flat again...

There's a lot of sanding to do in such a project, a LOT!

There's still a few low spots I need to fill again and (ofcourse) I sanded a couple of spots a wee little too much so that's gonna need a little touch up, and then some more careful sanding until it's absolutely flat and level.


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