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Thread: Dora the EX-4plora

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankenWashie View Post
    I know your pain Rabbit. I think there are many who do.
    Unfortunately, the pain only got worse . Lets see... the body is Basswood, which is only one step up from Paulownia. There are a couple of minor dings on edges. In addition, base coat is very fragile. It cot scraped a few times, both the base, and the primordial graphics. I tried to touch up with the air brush, but the colour from the same paint came out lighter, it was just too obvious . This mean that any touch ups had to be done with the mini gun, with the extra paint consumption and cleaning that goes along with that.I also had bleed issues underneath some tape ups a couple of times, so more back masking and touch ups. I managed to stop the bleed issue part way through the second time by spraying some clear basecoat first to fill in any creep spots and stop any colour from going in there. It's been a case of two steps forward and one step back just about every step of the way .

    So here's where I am at, which is just the scaffolding for the next step. Until this thing is cleared, I have to be oh so careful .

    @Lappa: Thanx! it's metallic copper flake

    Back:



    and front:



    I'm hoping my PUPs move soon. They went from Berlin to Frankfurt in a day, and have been stuck at Frankfurt for nearly a month . I guess global pandemic trumps German efficiency !

  2. #42
    Metallic copper flake kicks ass!!

    It is great to see your story of perseverance unfold, great results so far!

  3. #43
    Let me tell you a story to chill the bones.......ok, warning, this may be long!

    I finished the graphics and decals yesterday, and cleared the body today. things did not go well with the clear. there was stuff falling on it as I was spraying ( I probably should have tried to do a makeshift spray tent), some of which was coming from the air, and some of it from the gun . The clear was accumulating on the nozzle and then landing on the body as dried chunks. then after a few coats of reasonable smoothness, I managed to get runs on the side because on that coat, I put it on too wet . I should have enough thickness to be able to sand some of the crap and drips out.

    OK, so on to the art work. I'm no airbrush artist, and haven't touched an air brush for more than 7 years. In an attempt to get around this, I used stencils and tape work to get things done. With some stencils, you just put it down, spray over it and job done! . With air brush stencils, this is not the case. Good ones give you a scaffolding of the basic form, and a few lines to indicate where some shading might be to give the art work definition. Then there are places where you need to join things up because things don't just hang there on a reusable stencil like they can do with a vinyl, plotter cut, one off stencil. Separating teeth on a small scale can be a bit harrowing! So here's what I ended up with for the back:



    For the front, I used a multi stencil system to get the basic reaper down. They came with no instructions, so I had no idea which order to use them. I had to experiment, both with the order of the stencils, but also the colours and an idea I had to get Dora's face on there. Originally I tried black pearl as the darkest colour, copper flake, as the next, then something else and silver. I didn't get the right order, and trhe something else disappeared.. I'm not sure what it was! I also tried putting a decal of Dora's face on there. Stuff printed on clear film like decals and transparencies come out too translucent unless black is used,
    so the kinda disappear, and you see what's underneath them instead.

    Next experiment I had a good look at the stencils, worked out how they work, then started with a pearl white. That gives you the high lights. The next stencil covers up those highlights, so when the next colour, silver, is used, when the stencil is taken away, the highlights are there and the stuff that aren't highlights are covered by the darker silver, the next stencil was pewter, then black pearl. I used pewter instead of copper, because the copper on the copper back ground looked daft. The perter was too gold for my liking, and the white pearl directly over the copper looked too much like silver. I used the equivalent to a photographic technique called dodging to mask the area for the face so the background was the pearl white. This worked!

    The final experiment before doing the body was to lay down white first and then pearl white, then move on to the next stencil. I also masked the area where the blade of the scythe is, because I didn't like the shape, and the shading from the stencils was too busy and unnecessary. I followed up with silver, then charcoal pearl, and finally black pearl. I added my own blade to the scythe, then detailed the edge, added the face, then blended it in with the hood. Finally I tried to soften the edges on the lower half a bit. I also experimented with an idea for Dora's face. happy with how things looked, I then did this on the front. See if you can spot the extra bit . :



    Now to wait for the clear to harden up so I can sand and buff!
    Last edited by Rabbit; 05-02-2021 at 08:55 PM.

  4. #44
    Ok campers, I went through the sanding and polishing phase, so I started assembly, It's beginning to look like an instrument!

    Since I got a Babicz 3 point bridge, and they are supposed to be "full contact", the normal position as drilled would have the heads of the posts sitting on top of the body. This in turn would have the bridge floating a couple of millimetres off the top of the body... hardly "full contact". I took the body to the Men's Shed and used the drill press and a step drill to countersink the heads. I then put one of the original bridge screws into a post and belted it into position. I used a small length of enamelled copper wire with the enamel stripped from a section and curled around the inside of the countersink before driving in the post for earthing the bridge. With all 3 posts hammered home using a rubber mallet and a bridge screw, it looked something like this:



    Some people had commented that with the hollow body and semi hollowed body kits that use the three point bridge that the posts were a little loose and the bridge had a tendency of pulling out. There was no such fear here, the fit was very tight and the posts needed to be belted in.

    I flipped Dora over and soldered the bridge wire to the control cavity shielding:




    A quick test with the multi meter showed continuity between the bridge post and anywhere in the control cavity. Looks like I got lucky and the tape that I had had for years (I use it when welding stainless) happens to have conductive adhesive.

    I attached the neck, input jack and strap pins. Now it looks like something! The bridge was another issue... sort of. As others have posted regarding the three post bridges, the bridge holes are sometimes off by a tiny bit. this turned out to be the case, and I didn't pick it up earlier because I didn't want to fit the posts till the body was painted and cleared, and it would be problematic to remove the posts once in place.

    The up shot of this is that instead of the three screws going nicely into their respective recesses within the bridge, only the front one does. The two side screws snug down on top of the bridge. The bridge is still functional, but would look better if the screws were recessed.

    I suspect that to get them to fit, I'd have to turn the heads down all the way to the shaft, and then they would no longer be able to hold anything down!

    So now it's a case of hurry up and wait for my pickups to arrive from Germany. The irony is that I have the pickups for my next two projects.

  5. #45
    Mentor JimC's Avatar
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    Think the screws are usually a standard metric thread. Worth getting a couple of plain steel ones and experimenting with how far they need to be turned down to fit? Or even stainless steel which isn't a disaster with chrome? After all the screws don't need that much head grip, the big loads are in sheer.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4
    Build #5, Lockdown Mandolin
    Build #6, Sixty six body for Squier
    Build #7, Mini Midi Bass

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by JimC View Post
    Think the screws are usually a standard metric thread. Worth getting a couple of plain steel ones and experimenting with how far they need to be turned down to fit? Or even stainless steel which isn't a disaster with chrome? After all the screws don't need that much head grip, the big loads are in sheer.
    Unfortunately, I'm not cleared yet to use the lathe at the shed. Still have to work out who I need to see about that. But what I got is a cordless drill and a bastard file! I took one screw out , slowly filed it down and just kept trying it till it fit, then screwed it down and did the same for the other one. Tomorrow I'll spray the filed edge with black metal paint (the bridge and screws are black, only the posts are chrome).

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