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Thread: First time thinline tele builder

  1. #1

    First time thinline tele builder

    Hi All

    I've finally ordered a kit from Pit Bull after many months of uhming and ahing, having never built a guitar before (although I've modified a couple and have built some amps)

    I've gone for a quilted maple top and plan on a blue stained finish (i'm in the UK and planning to source strains and finish from Crimson Guitars). I have a couple of newbie questions for you experienced people:

    1. To get the figuring to really stand out should I be staining it black first and then blue? I'm planning on using water based stain.

    2. I'm assuming that I don't need to use grain filler for the top, but would it make sense for the back and sides? Or would it affect how the wood takes the stain?

    Thanks in advance for your warm welcome, I'm sure I will have many more questions!

  2. #2
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    First, welcome aboard!

    1. To get the figuring to really stand out should I be staining it black first and then blue? I'm planning on using water based stain.
    That technique would be better suited to a solid top body IMO. I'd be a bit dubious doing it with a veneer though.
    Another common method is grain filling with a contrasting filler and then sanding back before applying stain/dye. Again, typically on solid timber, I wouldn't do it with veneer. The veneer is only .6mm thick. Quite easy to sand through.

    Personally I would think quilted maple should have plenty of character on it's own. If you want to get an idea of what the veneer grain will look like, wipe it down with a rag dampened with methylated spirits (or your UK equivalent) it will stay wet long enough to darken the veneer and enhance the grain without raising it (much).

    2. I'm assuming that I don't need to use grain filler for the top, but would it make sense for the back and sides? Or would it affect how the wood takes the stain?
    As far as grain filling back & sides, it depends on what timber you have. You didn't say which kit you got, but I'm presuming an ash body (?).
    For the most part, grain filling is only necessary if you want a smooth as glass glossy finish. If you want a more rustic, textured finish, you can go without. You can also grain fill for contrast as I mentioned earlier.
    Timbers like ash and mahogany will require filling if the smooth finish is desired. Basswood, can go either way depending on the individual piece of wood.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  3. #3
    Many thanks for your advice, the guitar that I'm hoping will arrive in the next few weeks is the ATL-1QW so an ash body. My plan for a final finish is a clear oil finisher. I'd like to leave the maple natural on the neck, but would people suggest a light amber stain to give it a bit of colour, or will the oil provide adequate tone? I'm planning on using this - https://www.crimsonguitars.com/store...finishing-oil/

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    I'd like to leave the maple natural on the neck, but would people suggest a light amber stain to give it a bit of colour, or will the oil provide adequate tone?
    If by "natural" you mean the natural colour (without stain) that's absolutely fine. If you mean natural as in no finish at all, that's highly discouraged with maple.

    As for tone, and this is a contentious subject amongst some, IMO finish has nothing to do with it on electric guitars. Acoustic instruments, yes, but not electrics.

    With the ATL-1QW, refer to my previous post regarding smooth vs rustic finish for the ash. There's no right or wrong here, just what you want and how much work you're prepared to put into it.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  5. #5
    Ha ha! My poor choice of words sorry! When I said "tone" I meant the colour of the wood (rather than audible tone). I an definitely planning to finish the neck, i was just wondering if others thought a little amber stain on the neck and head would provide a warmer look to the wood

  6. #6
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    I'm in the process of a danish oil finish on my maple neck, will send you photos once its is finished! Also on a thinline build...

  7. #7
    That would be great, thanks

  8. #8
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    Ah yes, "colour tone"!

    In that case, if you're going with the natural ash colour on the body, my vote is just clear on the maple too.

    That was easy!
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  9. #9
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    It's still drying from *hopefully* the final coat. A few things I learnt using danish oil...
    - It is easiest to apply with your fingers, one drop at a time.
    - Sand to 600-800 grit between coats.
    - Apply thin coats (I did 6 coats), leave for 10-15mins before wiping off excess with a lint free cloth and then leave overnight. If you don't wipe the excess it will be super tacky/sticky (learnt that the hard way!)
    - the last coat I rubbed in with 800 grit wet and dry before wiping off excess.

    Currently it has a nice satin finish, not glossy at all but feels very smooth!

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    Last edited by joshyouare80; 14-04-2020 at 07:45 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by joshyouare80 View Post
    It's still drying from *hopefully* the final coat. A few things I learnt using danish oil...
    - It is easiest to apply with your fingers, one drop at a time.
    - Sand to 600-800 grit between coats.
    - Apply thin coats (I did 6 coats), leave for 10-15mins before wiping off excess with a lint free cloth and then leave overnight. If you don't wipe the excess it will be super tacky/sticky (learnt that the hard way!)
    - the last coat I rubbed in with 800 grit wet and dry before wiping off excess.

    Currently it has a nice satin finish, not glossy at all but feels very smooth!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Well that looks lovely!

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk

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