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Thread: My first build (SV-1)

  1. #11
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    I'm getting there. I always knew this would take a while but it really is taking some effort.

    Good news - I emailed the Pitbull team and my tuners have arrived in the UK. I also took the plunge or getting custom pickguard, trem and truss rod covers made - with a completely bespoke petal-ish type shape for the truss rod cover. I held off for ages as was concerned about putting the actual guard in the post but it was fine:

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    I mentioned before that I had a problem with dust - can be seen here:

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    Well, I decided to sand that back and, for a brief time, thought I'd ruined everything. I referenced this video and worked from 400 to 3000 grit - plus applying some car finishing compound to finish. The result was certainly flatter but also dull and spotted with shiny dots. I couldn't really capture it on camera but it's sort of visible here:

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    And that was roughly what I was expecting - I just had to apply a final gloss coat of oil.

    Unfortunately, that barely improved things - not what I was expecting. Even worse, lots of small scratches from the sanding, that I had not even seen before, were suddenly really obvious. Faced with either restarting or just carrying on I decided to just keep going, and thankfully things started to improve. After the next coat things got significantly better, with a real smooth shine starting to appear. I think I'm up to about six now and I'm really happy with it (although I've still got to deal with the dust).

    And at some point I did three coats of the penetrating oil on the neck (this also shows how rough the body was after sanding):

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    I've done with the oil so the plan is to wet sand that with the polishing paper just to remove the dust. Hopefully that should be good enough to try and buff this time. And then I think I'll actually be ready to start putting it together!
    Last edited by Greg Stanley; 25-02-2021 at 04:13 AM. Reason: Link formatting

  2. #12
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    I found a better picture of the dust:

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    It never looked quite that bad in reality, the string down light really makes the specks stand out.

    And then this one actually shows the 'post sanding' appearance - there's a really dull bit along the edge.

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  3. #13
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Still chugging along! That's great!

    I have not used the Crimson finishing oil, but my understanding is it's very similar to Tru Oil. If that assumption is correct, 6 coats is very few IMO if your goal is a nice full gloss finish. Especially considering most Tru Oil users are applying 30-50 coats before wet sanding and polishing (my personal target in minimum 24 - which I generally exceed).

    The appearance you're getting with 6 coats is pretty much what I would expect with 6 coats of Tru Oil. It's only just beginning to develop some sheen but not really a gloss. The hand applied finishes tend to build very slowly and require time and patience. That's kind of the trade off if you don't have facilities to spray finishes that will build faster.

    My advice is keep going!
    Let the coats build up more before sanding and not after every coat. When you do sand, go very lightly so you're only knocking back any little nibs, not trying to level the whole surface with each session. Don't do your final sand/wet sand/polish until you have enough coats that don't risk sand-through.

    You'll get there!
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  4. #14
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    Yep, still going! Thanks so much for the reply. My understanding is that the Crimson oil is directly based on Tru Oil and modified slightly specifically for use on guitars. I have two - 'penetrating' and 'high build' (the names are fairly self explanatory!). Having never used Tru Oil though I can't compare but they seem pretty good to me.

    Alas I've clearly not done a very good job of explaining and mixing up the order of the pictures probably doesn't help either.

    So the image above is after 14 fairly thick coats and a light(ish) sand. For those coats I literally poured on the oil, spread it around, left it ten minutes, and rubbed it down. The result was a bit shiny but not flat and had a lot of dust in it, which make sense as I'm just in a house, but wasn't an issue I anticipated when I started (now I know it's clear that this is a pretty standard thing to have to deal with). So I sanded it back a little. Not loads, but I did remove some of the thickest parts of the oil. That left it significantly flatter but, without pressing far harder than I was comfortable with, I couldn't get a uniform appearance.

    I then did the six 'thin' coats. For these I've been putting a tiny amount of oil on the cloth then wiping it on so it looks like the surface is just greasy. It was after the first of those that I panicked as it didn't immediately remove all the patches, however, each subsequent coat started to improve things, after three the patches had gone and after six it looks really smooth and shiny. And I actually have some pictures this time:

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    I've got through more than half of both my oil bottles so there's a lot of oil on there. Was it just my bad explanation or do you think it still needs more?

    Take care

  5. #15
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Ahhh, those pics look better! Nice gloss there. That should polish up like glass.

    Whether you stop or do more coats is entirely up to you. This is definitely a case of more is better. The hardest part of doing any finish is patience. A quality I generally posses in short supply! (but am improving with age)
    More coats will add a depth to the appearance, but I've never made it to 50 as others have!

    One tip I'll offer, if you're concerned about sand-through on the edges, don't sand them! Or just lightly kiss the edge with the sandpaper/pad/cloth. They'll polish up fine with your final steps. The larger flat areas are where the light will reflect from the most.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  6. #16
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    Looks fantastic! Nice job. I finished mine today. I'm in Seattle, USA so I went with a Seattle Sounders color scheme that's similar to yours. I'm really happy with this guitar EXCEPT when I plugged it in, it is just loud humming noise. Not sure what I've done wrong but something is amiss. Sounds like when you grab the end of a guitar cable that isn't plugged into the guitar yet, just the amp.
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  7. #17
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    I think I can declare this project a success - I actually finished it about four weeks ago and have been playing it at every opportunity since! Some shots of the finished product:

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    @wschwisow - looks great, I hope you managed to resolve the sound issues.

    Thanks to Pitbull for the great kit and to those who helped along the way, much appreciated. Time to start planning the next one.

  8. #18
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    Looks great!. That mirror scratchplate really sets it off.

    I'm not normally a fan of green guitars, but I'd be very happy to have one like that.

  9. #19
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
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    That polished metal really lifts it. I thought this was heading towards a glam rock look, but the leafy theme works well and is more to my taste. Well done, overall I think itís greater than the sum of its parts now that itís all come together.

  10. #20
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Very nice. Hope it plays well too!

    Looking at how the strap is adjusted, you must be really tall or you play it slung really low!
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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