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Thread: SSCM-Q1 First Build

  1. #1
    Member LachlanM's Avatar
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    SSCM-Q1 First Build

    Hi folks.

    I'm just starting my first build using the mahogany/quilted maple les paul kit. Done the basic checks and everything seems fine to get started.

    I'm starting with the back side of the body and doing what I hope is a fairly basic finish after watching a heap of youtube. Going with Ebony Timbermate grain filler, followed by Danish Oil, and then a wipe on poly. Happy to hear any feedback on this strategy. Possibly thinking about adding a black stain to the oil.

    A couple of questions I have so far.

    1. Do many people use multiple coats of grain filler?
    2. If using a random orbital sander, what grades/stages do people use them for verses hand sanding?


    So far I'm on my first coat of grain filler and hand sanding everything, 120,180, 240 - grain filler - 240.

    Not finished this sand, but this is the body so far. Yes, the front and binding are taped, I think I should tape the cavities once I clean that filler out too.

    Thank you for any feedback.
    Lachlan.
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  2. #2
    Mentor nitroburner1000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LachlanM View Post
    Hi folks.

    I'm just starting my first build using the mahogany/quilted maple les paul kit. Done the basic checks and everything seems fine to get started.

    I'm starting with the back side of the body and doing what I hope is a fairly basic finish after watching a heap of youtube. Going with Ebony Timbermate grain filler, followed by Danish Oil, and then a wipe on poly. Happy to hear any feedback on this strategy. Possibly thinking about adding a black stain to the oil.

    A couple of questions I have so far.

    1. Do many people use multiple coats of grain filler?
    2. If using a random orbital sander, what grades/stages do people use them for verses hand sanding?


    So far I'm on my first coat of grain filler and hand sanding everything, 120,180, 240 - grain filler - 240.

    Not finished this sand, but this is the body so far. Yes, the front and binding are taped, I think I should tape the cavities once I clean that filler out too.

    Thank you for any feedback.
    Lachlan.
    Hi mate, welcome. Just a word of warning, i dont know if your model has a veneer top but if it has they are extremely thin, do not in any circumstances sand too much. Ive never had one but ask for advice before starting any sanding, staining or coating.
    There's lotsa guys on here that have expert advice on this topic. One will answer you soon.
    As to orbital sanders....they are a no no as the score across the grain. Even if your not staining and just painting, do all sanding by hand, as a little too much pressure with a power sander and you might do irreparable damage.
    Slow and sure is the best approach.
    It looks great so far. The grain should pop for sure. Cheers. Mitch
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  4. #3
    Member jonwhitear's Avatar
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    I'm watching this with interest, as I'd like to build one of these as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by LachlanM View Post
    Hi folks.
    1. Do many people use multiple coats of grain filler?
    Yes, you may need more than one. Mahogany's quite porous, and I think Timbermate does shrink a little, despite what it says in the jar.

    Best thing to do is to put on a coat (diluted/mixed with water to the consistency of honey works for me) let it dry and hand sand back with 180 then 240. If you can still see the pores after that, give it another go.

    I haven't used Danish Oil - I don't know if you can/should follow the oil with poly. Either way, the more level the surface before you start applying oil, the less coats it will take to build a level finish. I have used Tru Oil over stain over Timbermate on Mahogany on an AG-1. I put a couple of coats of FW sanding sealer after the Timbermate to get a really nice level surface and ensure that I got even take up of the stain.

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  6. #4
    Member LachlanM's Avatar
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    Body and neck prep.

    Progress to date.

    Body
    Pre-sand to 240
    2 x Ebony Timbermate on back/sides, sand to 240
    3 x Feast Watson Scandinavian (Danish) Oil

    Neck
    Shape headstock (might tweak it a little more tomorrow), remove plastic nut.
    Pre-sand to 240
    2 x Ebony Timbermate, sand to 240
    1 x Feast Watson Scandinavian (Danish) Oil

    Next coat of oil I will try a 600 wet sand with the oil. Read somewhere to do a wet sand every 3 coats to help/improve the grain fill so will give this a go. Not sure how many coats at this stage, but will keep going for at least a few repeats.

    The body timbers are quite different so will be interesting to see how the appearence changes as the oil layers build up.

    Didn't buy neck glue with the kit, so planning to use titebond, any thoughts on this? Also, what sort of glue do you use for the bone nut?

    Thanks
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  7. #5
    Member Trevor Davies's Avatar
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    Hi Lachlan,
    Looking good.

    I have not done a set neck yet - but I'm sure Titebond is good.
    I use a couple of drops of CA glue to hold the nut in place.

    Regards
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  9. #6
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Didn't buy neck glue with the kit, so planning to use titebond, any thoughts on this? Also, what sort of glue do you use for the bone nut?
    Titebond for the neck is the most common and broadly recommended. As for nuts, Titebond works also but I prefer PVA. However I would advise against CA (sorry Trevor!).

    If (more like when) the nut needs to be removed (for a refret; or repair etc) CA can result in tear out from the fret board or nut slot. PVA will come out cleanly and has a quicker set time when installing the nut.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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  11. #7
    Member LachlanM's Avatar
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    Dying the front

    Good morning.

    Since my last update I've mainly been coating the back of body and neck in oil. Probably up to about 12 coats by now. I've also put the new bone nut on using titebond.

    I decided to dye the front last night/this morning. I'm using Angelus leather dyes going for a black and oxblood as per

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBgl_w2RA1o

    You can see from the attached photos there's one really nasty piece of glue below the neck join, but fortunately that will be covered by the fretboard. There's a couple of other weird spots behind the bridge, but they might just be the timber.

    Sanding back the black dye took a whole lot more effort than I expected, and I was very hesitant to go too hard based on what I read about the thinness of the veneer. Started with 240 but had to go back to 180 just to remove enough dye without taking forever. Ended up going 180-240-400 before adding the colour layer.

    Colour is now drying for the day before I do anything to it again, so a few questions.

    • Does it need another coat of red? I know this is subjective, but trying to understand what will happen to the colour as I continue the process.
    • Do I just rub this back a little with some 400 or something higher?
    • The video suggests a spray on sealer to lock in the colour, is there an equivalent here that I can pick up from Bunnings?
    • Can you apply oil over the top of the dye, or should I go straight to a wipe on poly (looking for gloss finish on the front)?


    Any thoughts and feedback are always appreciated, so thanks in advance.
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  12. #8
    Member dozymuppet's Avatar
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    I think you can go straight to wipe on poly (or tru oil) from there, and you'll start seeing the depth appear. No need for any other oil between the stain and the clear (unless I'm missing a trick).

    The only caveat is that a can't quite see how even that colour is applied. If you were to apply another layer of stain, if at all possible I'd sand back the existing layer ever so slightly and carefully. I put a massive asterisk on this advice though, as I don't want you ruin your veneer.

    Edit: Looking great though! Gives me hope for my current project.

  13. #9
    Member LachlanM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dozymuppet View Post
    I think you can go straight to wipe on poly (or tru oil) from there, and you'll start seeing the depth appear. No need for any other oil between the stain and the clear (unless I'm missing a trick).

    The only caveat is that a can't quite see how even that colour is applied. If you were to apply another layer of stain, if at all possible I'd sand back the existing layer ever so slightly and carefully. I put a massive asterisk on this advice though, as I don't want you ruin your veneer.

    Edit: Looking great though! Gives me hope for my current project.
    Thanks Dozy,

    Gave it a very light going over with the 400 and added another coat of red to give it a darker look. Who knows what it will look like once it gets some clear on it, but it's in the ballpark of what I was going for so happy to have got this far without destroying the veneer.

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