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Thread: First Build- Tele Deluxe GTH-1

  1. #1
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    First Build- Tele Deluxe GTH-1

    It took longer then I had anticipated, but I was finally able to get started on my guitar kit today. I had previously done a mock build to ensure everything was included, so today I worked on doing some initial sanding, and getting the neck to fit into the body. It took a little more work then I had hoped to sand the neck pocket so the neck would fit in, but I am happy with how it fits, and I think it has a good fit. Aside from fitting the neck, I started sanding the body of the guitar, I started with a 180 grit, and after that, I used a 320 grit. I am planning to do some more sanding with higher grit, the next time I do work on the guitar.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on how high of grit I should sand with prior to starting the finish?

    I have uploaded a picture of the guitar I am planning to model my guitar after, and there are a couple things I was hoping to get some suggestions on.

    Does anyone have any advice on what product to use to get the body a solid black with a high gloss?

    Is there a product that can give me that vintage yellow finish for the neck and fretboard, and depending on what I use on the neck and fretboard, do most products come off the frets easily afterwards while polishing the frets?


    I appreciate any suggestions, or advice anyone has.
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  2. #2
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    I noticed on my guitar body that there was no hole for the ground wire to go to the bridge, do I just need to drill a hole for that, or is there another way a should be going about it?

  3. #3
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Polyurethane will work on the neck. It will yellow over time, but some people will do a yellow stain to make it look more vintage straight away. It cleans off the frets no problems. Most products will as it quite difficult to get any paint to stick to metal without good prep work.

    Yes it looks like you will need to drill a bridge earth hole, just make sure you mark where the bridge is first and drill from the top of the guitar into the cavity.

    320 grit is fine as you are going to need to prime the surface to do the solid colour. Be patient allowing the primer to cure as if you don't it will sink back and show the grain later. This is also a good time to make sure all the main surfaces are super flat, any wobbles will be very evident in a gloss black finish. My technique in this thread:

    https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...ead.php?t=9001

    For high gloss black I would use automotive acrylic. You can get 400g Septone gloss black from Supercheap. Build up a number of coats over a couple of weeks. Let it cure and harden as long as possible. With your nose right up on the surface of the guitar you shouldn't be able to smell any solvent. Putting a fan on it once it's tacked off is a good way to evacuate solvent from the surface and speed the process up a bit. Then you need block it back with a firm flat block and wet and dry sandpaper, being extremely careful not to get any moisture in any holes or cavities (the wood will swell and crack the paint). I normally go from 800-2000grit avoiding any hard edges as they are very easy to break through. Then using an electric buffer ideally, cutting compound, then cut and polish, then swirl remover and you should end up with something like this:



    Be warned, high gloss black is one of the most difficult finishes to get looking good.
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  4. #4
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    I recently completed a test fitting of the neck and bridge in place, and installed the high E and low E strings to see how they lined up. I was happy with the alignment of the strings and how the neck fits

    My finishing products should be arriving within a day or two, and then I will get started on grain filling, sealing, before I do the primer and solid color.

    How should I be applying the grain filler, do I just use a high quality brush?

    If anyone has done the Tele GTH-1 and has a wiring diagram or suggestions with wiring, that would be great to look at.

  5. #5
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    How should I be applying the grain filler, do I just use a high quality brush?
    Hi Ben.
    Different products are going have different application methods. Some are paste-like and others are more liquid. So depending on what product you you're going to use, see what the manufacturers recommendations are and go from there.
    If it's a product that's available here in Australia, and one of us has used it, there will certainly be some advice offered.

    Look forward to seeing your build progress.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  6. #6
    Mentor ozzbike's Avatar
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    Black is hard to do.

    I have a gloss black body tele bass, with a yellow coloured maple neck and fretboard.

    My build diary here....

    https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...ad.php?t=10588

    Sonicmountain is really good with his advice on painting, body prep and finishing....have a read of some of his posts.

    Can I recommend that you do not use timber pore filler at all. If you intend to paint then use primer....from filler primer to just primer. Spray....sand back...spray again....repeat.

    Paint works a lot better with paint...so primer works well with base coat.

    One piece of advice that Sonic has put in his black build.....he did not use a clear coat. He just did lots of build coats of the gloss black spray paint and levelled and buffed that.

    I am sure you have an auto parts chain in Canada that does paint like we have in Australia. But, really stay with automotive acrylic lacquers...e.g. acrylic lacquer primer and acrylic lacquer base coat.

    For the neck I used an alcohol based wipe on stain and then some aerosol (spray can) U.V. rated exterior grade Gloss polyurethane.

    Good luck...black is a tough job.

    EDIT:- For the neck.....StewMac in the USA has water based stains......

    https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tool...id-stains.html
    Last edited by ozzbike; 21-01-2021 at 10:20 AM.
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  7. #7
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    Can I recommend that you do not use timber pore filler at all. If you intend to paint then use primer....from filler primer to just primer. Spray....sand back...spray again....repeat.
    Ozzbike, if you're making this statement with Timbermate and the reported issues of shrinkage in mind, that may be a fair call.
    However I don't think that should be a blanket statement for all grain fillers or grain filling techniques.

    Ash will certainly take a lot of paint fill the grain until it's flat. Ben hasn't said what product he intends to use, so it's hard to offer specific advice. There are grain fillers available that definitely won't shrink, like CA or Glu-Boost or even shellac/slurry is an option.

    FWIW I have yet to have an issue with Timbermate under paint, but I will qualify that by saying that I also used shellac and primer over the Timbermate.
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  8. #8
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    You aren't wrong at all McCreed.

    The thing is with finishing is that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and it takes time to work out what suits your own process. Ozzbikes advice is correct for getting a good finish with acrylics on wood. It definitely works and if you use a 'high fill' product it will happen more 'quickly'. But you still really, really need to let it cure properly. The longer the better. And the same goes for top coats of acrylic lacquer. If you are patient the results can be outstanding.

    That said, grain filling is worthwhile, especially if you want a natural/stained finish (which I realise isn't the case here). I haven't used shellac for it (but I am going to give it a go at some point) but I have used CA (superglue) and it really does speed up the surface levelling. So it would also work for a solid colour. One of the great things about CA is that it's almost totally non-reactive to all finish types. One of the hard lessons people often learn is incompatibility between fillers/primers and top coats. I know this isn't a problem with CA.
    Last edited by Sonic Mountain; 21-01-2021 at 04:53 PM.
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    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  9. #9
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    I appreciate all the responses to this and the advice you have all given. I will take more time to read it all in more detail at a later time, but I just wanted to respond and say what products I am using.

    The finishing products I am using is a company in Canada (Oxford Supply Co.) that specifically makes products for guitar finishing, so I have been following the advice they have on their website for what products to use for my finish. So, I have a grain filler, sand sealer, primer, solid color, high gloss clear coat, and polish, as well as a neck amber. Since I haven't used the products before, I can't say how they will work, but I have been following a guy on YouTube who has recently started trying these products and talks highly of them, so I am looking forward to seeing what results I get.

    I plan to post more progress once I am able to get started on the finish, and hopefully will remember to take photos each step

  10. #10
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    One of the hard lessons people often learn is incompatibility between fillers/primers and top coats.
    Ain't that the truth! I think a lot of us have had that painful experience.

    re: Oxford Supply Co. - I checked out their website. Looks like they have everything you'd need to achieve a good result in their Deluxe Aerosol Finishing Kit. Having all products from the same manufacturer is a good start for eliminating compatibility issues.

    Also their grain filler is an oil based one and I'm guessing is a liquid or paste based on it being in a typical 250ml paint tin. Making that presumption, application would likely be a squeegee or brush depending on the consistency.

    Watching with interest.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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