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Thread: "Blue Heeler" Bondi Blue GR-SF1: Pt1 Aspirations, Procrastinations, and Consequences

  1. #51
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    Exclamation "Blue Heeler" Bondi Blue GR-SF1: Pt7 A Longer Wait, Cain't Wait No Mo', First Finish

    A longer Wait
    Waited another 2 days (10 in total) since the 3rd intensifying, intensely dissatisfying, unintentionally disrupting coat. But it was still sticky. Had a gutfull, so I told mah'self ...


    Cain't Wait No Mo'
    ... and thus I hit the top's surface with some aerosol canned eucalyptus oil and a rag. Actually, first I tried using the steel wool. Not effective. It's like peeling those crummy rubberised coatings off headphones and guitar tuners etc. I left the eucalyptus oil on for barely several seconds, and only in relatively small patches. It cleaned the intensifier off nicely, fairly easily. The oil itself is relatively volatile and was being sprayed on lightly and not left to penetrate, I suspect (and hope) that it didn't harm the glues binding the ply layers.

    Goodbye, stuffarama-inducing 3rd intensifier coat, and welcome back blu ... !!! Bondi Blue must've given up on ever being seen again ... and that's how it will remain.
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    In my internally quelled sub-rage-level discontent I started cleaning up the intensifier from the binding. I actually liked the blue-smoke of a filthy old diesel engine look for my binding. However, it was "inconsistently applied". Namely, accidentally and sloppily. I could've gotten away with it if too -- "if it weren't for those meddling kids" (Scooby-Doo)" -- and if I'd deliberately smeared what came into contact with it immediately.

    Tried a blade edge. Surprised it worked to the extent it did. Couldn't be bothered (personality flaw) doing much and didn't have a decent blade for the purpose, so I tucked into it (against wise men's advice) with steel wool and 360 grit. I'm content with the imperfect result -- more on that later.

    The eucalyptus oil clean-up left the body feeling nice and dry! Oh, happy day. I felt it time to smear a clear without any fear.

    First Finish
    So I applied a thin coat of finishing oil to the body and neck. I am happy with how that turned out. Also. I am a little . I believe I should've bypassed the intensifer altogether and gone straight to the finishing oil. I would have my little "Blue Heeler" (or faded denim jeans) and -- theoretically -- complete the job sooner with much less hassle, frustration, and self-doubt. The finishing oil is a satisfactory intensifier for the Bondi Blue stain kit ... but the kit's intensifier product itself is not suitable (imo) at all.

    "Do you have any wise words for other kit builders?", you could mockingly inquire. No. good sirs and madams! I've broken so many rules of thumb, guides, suggestions, good advice, experiential snippets and gentle prods that I consider myself unwise as well as unworthy! I might try to write a "summary of sillinesses", though I've seen elsewhere on this site a good list of "do's and don'ts".

    Here are a few of the first finish coats;
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    NOTE: Crikey, that top looks ... rustic. Didn't expect to age it 50 years. Further comments in the next thrill-less instalment;

    NEXT: Pt8 I Hate It, I Love It
    Last edited by Honkenstein; 12-02-2020 at 12:03 PM.

  2. #52
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    "Blue Heeler" Bondi Blue GR-SF1: Pt8 I Hate It, I Love It

    I Hate It
    There are some reasons why I hate it;
    • it looks like the body has passed through a fire ... NOT unscathed
    • that it was just rubbed down a little afterward and not cared for
    • there are patches of stain/darkness inconsistent with the timber
    • the binding looks older and damaged
    • the f-holes are scummy with intensifier


    I Love It
    There are some reasons why I love it;
    • all of the above
    • AND the fact that it is so uglified and thus a little unique (see picture below)


    "Ugly Bat Boy" the cat and just about any old Chinese Crested dog with some years on it
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    And another Chinese Crested for good measure. It's worth looking up ugly ones in a general browser search.
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    Additional Reason To Hate It
    This next reason is a bit unfair to the guitar -- if I may anthropomorphise the kit -- and I feel twinges of guilt for airing my feelings about it in an open forum. But here's why I hate it;

    Yesterday, I took my only steel string geet-tar to Chris Melville for a refret and comprehensive setup, as well as a couple of minor fiddly-farty bits needing attention. I'd paid $1500-ish (RRP ~$2200?) some 10 years ago for my Ayers ACSR (Auditorium Cutaway Spruce Rosewood). Chris indicated that the guitar was worth doing the work to because of existing solid construction and its potential to "sing" once he'd done what he does very well.

    Meantime, he let wifey and I play with an Eastman that he'd done the comprehensive setup work on already. "Oh, my!" I thought to myself as every note rang out clear and true and with such volume/presence for such light action and plucking. Now everything else sounds like rubbish to me. Well, at least every other guitar in *my* household! ...

    And that's why I hate it!

    Additional Reason To Love It
    But I still love this kit because I've invested my self in it -- whether competently or otherwise -- and my primary reason for buying it was actually to do the setting up myself. Well, that's still a little ways off at present, but I've bought the basic tools and practiced a bit on wifey's Kasuga "Hummingbird" clone. And I truly like that rustic look. I "caused" it. It's its own signature now.

    Eventually upcoming: Pt9 More Coats
    Last edited by Honkenstein; 12-02-2020 at 12:43 PM.

  3. #53
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
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    Itís growing on me. I think once the pickups and knobs are on it will look quite interesting.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkMark View Post
    Itís growing on me. I think once the pickups and knobs are on it will look quite interesting.
    Glad to hear it! Hasn't gone to plan, nor conformed to hopes. It's dodged my expectations and shattered my small-time dreams. But the struggle will be worth it in the end. If it isn't, then my optimistic inclination will demand that I tell myself that the struggle itself was actually the reward and the fact that I get a guitar at the end of it is simply a bonus ... icing on the cake!

    I love the look of your 3 guitars! Oh, the gloss ... but the effort. I was glad to read of your work on the fret board. Love that Japan Brown on the GR-1SF. The natural colour of the ES-3 is very appealing too. Makes me want to try TO next time ...

    My guitar might eventually look "interesting", but I've not the inclination to beautify it to the best of my ability. Sorry, guys. I feel like a real cop-out here. 8( You all seem so passionate, dedicated, and methodical. And dogged too! (That's a compliment, btw)
    Last edited by Honkenstein; 13-02-2020 at 02:56 PM.

  5. #55
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    We all make mistakes and get frustrated with our builds. It's all the stupid things that make it worse, like saving 30 seconds by not getting out the masking tape and covering up the finish near an area you're working on, and then a screwdriver or spanner slips or a blob of solder falls off and sticks to the finish. So even though you learn, there is still that temptation just to get on and do something quickly than do it properly.

    And then there are the days when nothing goes right, so its best to acknowledge that and wait for another day.

    Just be aware that you are certainly not alone in feeling frustration and angst with your build!

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  7. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    We all make mistakes and get frustrated with our builds ... And then there are the days when nothing goes right ... Just be aware that you are certainly not alone in feeling frustration and angst with your build!
    Thanks, Simon! 8) Yeah, I was drained of "pride" in this project when it took me 2 years to start it. But your words make me feel a bit better.

  8. #57
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
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    Donít worry, nothing goes to plan. Keep rolling with the punches, and thanks for taking the time to have a look at my build diaryís.

  9. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    We all make mistakes and get frustrated with our builds.
    Literally, about an hour ago, I let my orbital sander drift ever so slightly from perfect plane (wrist droop) - I *KNEW* better than to orbital sand the finish coats of veneer that I personally applied on an acoustic. But I had gotten away with it before, and I'm on my 4th coat of tru-oil at that point so <shrug>...

    Routing binding scared the hell out of me, worked great. Gluing it in worried me. Nailed it. Quilted maple veneer I cut and installed on headstock, turned out great. Finish coats looking better and better. And then... I took off about 1/16 inch wedge of veneer on the top right of the headstock in milliseconds. It is *ALL* that I can see now. Can't wish it back

    I can't stress enough how great I felt to know that even the super-great luthiers out there feel the same way. Highly recommend this guy's book. Made me realize I wasn't crazy. https://www.lospennatoguitars.com/th...guitar-making/

  10. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by agus View Post
    Literally, about an hour ago, I let my orbital sander drift ever so slightly ...
    Man, I am so sorry, Agus! Does "mah po' li'l hart" good to see the wink emoji you used after, "Can't wish it back". Your stoicism in the face of self-reprimand and resignation is inspirational. I also wish it didn't happen to you. Alas ...

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