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Thread: Pathfinder 01 - Explorer with upgrades (1st build)

  1. #51
    I made some rookie mistakes with the shellac. I try to list them here for others to follow, do not make my mistakes.
    1) rubber gloves are a must
    2) the first sealer layer is the easy part, no biggie
    3) subsequent layers become more tricky: the main thing to keep in mind is that pressure on the surface can be pretty bad - go lightly againts the wood and only apply force on the application pad to squeeze out the solution!
    4) I tried bigger and smaller pads: smaller works much better for me: less wasted material in the drying out pad and I am also less likely to push it against the surface too much to damage the already applied shellac layer. I use now an approx 6x12cm textile, this makes it possible to pinch the whole pad to force out the juice without pushing against the surface.
    5) Shellac can fill small pores - but more layers are necessary
    6) Buy pumice. It is for minor repairs, so I figured/hoped I will not need it - I do.
    7) Give time for one side done to cure. When it seems OK for the touch, it can still get damage if you turn it around to work on the other side.
    8) waiting for the shellac to cure is frustrating, but well worth it

  2. #52
    Third layer of shellac on the back and sides today.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #53
    3rd shellac layer on the front.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I noticed very small bumps here and there - some are visible in the light relflecting area. Any ideas what causes those? Looks like the wood itself protruded somehow? It is not caused by stuff being attached to the surface, it seems to be a bump of the surface itself... I am puzzled. Anyway, I am overall quite satisfied. I am planning more layers still, so will see.

    As for the minor scratches on the front due to my being impatient and turning the body over when the new shellac layer was dry to the touch but still soft enough to collect some dents from the weight - they completely dissappeared during the normal padding session without pumice, so actually I am happy I bought pumice for no reason.

    Anyway - if anyone worked with shellac on ash, do you have any idea about those tiny bumps?!

  4. #54
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    Looking great Lappa, love the finish. We are just at the stage of measuring/trying out scale length in prep for gluing, having spent lots of time on arctic white nitro and lacquer. But I really need to go and buy a 1m straightedge, dicking around with a normal tape measure is definitely no good (of course, I hear you all say). Current scale length measurement is 625mm with the end of the neck hard up against the pocket and all the saddles screwed forward. Am I right in thinking this is pretty normal for this kit and I should make a temporary 3mm packing piece to push it forward & keep it in the right place for gluing? Also - dumb ass/contentious question I know - did you put your bridge on with screws pointing towards the neck or tail? Tail seems logical

  5. #55
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    On my EX-1, I positioned the neck so that the end of the fretboard was about 0.5mm back from the neck pickup rout, so that I could rest the edge of the pickup ring on the small lip left and not show a gap into the pocket. The intonation turned out fine, but the neck alignment with the saddle slots is off very slightly. Currently got extra slots cut in the saddles to fix this, but I will probably get another bridge with un-notched saddles and cut my own notches.

    ABR-1 T-O-M bridges normally have the screws facing forwards, Nashville T-O-M bridges normally facing backwards, but they work both ways round. on an ABR-1, the screws sit near the top of the saddle and can get in the way of the strings as they leave the saddle, so the screws generally get faced forwards as a result, On a Nashville, the screws are smaller and lower down, so dont get in the way and being lower, are easier to access if facing rearwards.

    The main thing to consider is the saddle orientation when you come to intonate. Flat side facing forwards allows more forwards movement; the flat side facing backwards allows more rearwards movement. It used to be that T-O-Ms came with the 3 top saddles facing forwards and the bottom 3 facing backwards, but now they often all have them facing the same way. On ABR-1 bridges, its easy to remove a saddle and rotate it. On a Nashville style TOM, there's a very small circlip to remove to free the saddle which is almost impossible to do. There are YouTube videos on it, but whilst I've once managed to remove a clip, I've never managed to put one back on.

  6. #56
    @rudyrudyrudy - The scale length is about the same on mine - so I will have to be careful, not to push it all the way in to achieve the recommended 628mm. And yes, a metal straight edge does help.
    I am unsure about the 3mm packing - unless you can make one that gives you the perfect scale length AND neck alignment at the same time.
    @Simon Barden, thank you for the clarification about the direction of bridge screws!

    In the meantime I did a stupid mistake again: shortly after applying a layer of shellac, I tried to use a clean soft cloth to get rid of the oil on the surface. The whole thing went totally matte *facepalm* -
    Luckily, the fourth layer brought back the shine...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #57
    ...at this rate, my 2020 Xmas present will turn into my 2021 Xmas present : 😂🤣

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Lappa View Post
    ...at this rate, my 2020 Xmas present will turn into my 2021 Xmas present : 😂🤣
    But it's lookin good!

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