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Thread: ST-1 Custom experiement

  1. #51
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It's pretty easy to scrape finish off the fingerboard with a flat blade. You can of course sand it back as well, but scraping is quicker. But if there's a lot of finish on the edge and the finish is quite brittle, I'd probably sand rather than scrape, as you may get chipping if you scrape.

  2. #52
    Member lunaticds's Avatar
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    The first coat on the pickups was pretty average. Seems to have picked up some dust.
    I've sanded back with some 1200 grit so I didn't murder the poles.
    Funnily enough, getting things sanded nice and smooth, one pickup shows most of its posts are level at the surface and are still covered, whilst others are sitting a bit proud and the sanding has cleaned them off.

    When the garage picks up a few degrees I'll take them back out for another coat. When I started sanding I thought I might have gotten away with just a coat of clear coat over it, but the edges started showing white really quickly. I'll go with the least amount of black coats possible, then maybe throw a coat of clear coat over the top just to protect it a bit more.

  3. #53
    Member lunaticds's Avatar
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    Well, painting the pickups was a pain in the rear.
    They're not perfect, but they're painted. It took a couple of attempts to get them right. I think I like 'em more than the white.
    I did manage to get a wind up with a line buried in the clear coat across the pick guard - just showing how slow it is getting that stuff to harden. I wound up having to sand that area back, respray, resand and polish to get it back. There's still a few spots that are just too deep, but it's not so noticable. I'm not feeling terribly perfectionist, so I'm happy to leave it like that at the moment.
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    The rest of the body has moved inside under a heater vent. I gave it over a week to dry and still wound up seeing the pattern of the cotton sheet pushing into it. I might just leave it there for a few weeks then come back to it.
    The neck is mostly finished, complete with tuners installed. Also not perfect, after reworking the clear coat a couple of times managed to get it looking half way decent, then was able to polish it up reasonably well to a half decent gloss.
    The back of the neck was sanded down and wiped off given I'd used gloss clear coat but wanted to avoid the gloss in the end. Not polishing gave it a reasonable feel without the poly gloss stickiness. A bit of wax over it and now it feels reasonably playable.

    The fretboard cleaned up pretty well. The edges were sharp from the poly build up, but I took them out carefully with a blade, then gave the whole board a light rub with 0000. A good coat of lemon oil later and it looks good.
    I think there's a slight bow to the neck. I didn't notice it until I started checking the fret level and realized there was a bit going on.
    Not sure if I should attempt to correct it first, or wait to see what happens when its strung. I don't see any point in touching the frets unless the neck is straight.

  4. #54
    Mentor Andyxlh's Avatar
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    In the old days when respraying a car or bike you could reassemble in a few days but must wait a month before using a cover. Iíd say that applies here too!

  5. #55
    Member lunaticds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyxlh View Post
    In the old days when respraying a car or bike you could reassemble in a few days but must wait a month before using a cover. Iíd say that applies here too!
    Yeah, I'm not even sure that's long enough with this much clear coat
    Ballarat only has 2 seasons. If it's not summer, 15C is a hot day That makes drying anything... challenging.

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  9. #57
    Member lunaticds's Avatar
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    Over the past few days I made an attempt to try to loose some of the discolouration on the body. It's been a little inconsistent, so I sanded it back a bit.
    Observations:
    - The effectiveness of well used finer grained papers is low once they're well used. Especially when you start with a fresh bit of 320.
    - The above wasn't entirely obvious until I started polishing - that started highlighting the sanding marks from the coarser grains that I couldn't see.
    - Clear coat burns through way to easily with my polisher.

    I've got some finer grained paper coming. When that gets here I'm going to go back over the body and see if I can pull out some of that coarser sanding as polishing it out is just too much.
    I've also got some new polishing wheels coming. These are setup for a drill. My polisher, even on its lowest setting is just too fast. I've been using a fairly mild polishing pad (foam) with it which is pretty good for flat surfaces, but as soon as you get near any edging it seems to start getting hot spots and tearing up the clear coat.
    I think I'll use a combination of approaches - resand to get rid of the coarser sanding marks again, re-polish the front and back starting with the foam polishing pads as it makes light work of it, then leave all of the contoured and horns for the new polishing wheels. There's a variety of sizes, and I'm hoping a couple will fit nicely inside the cut aways. I was debating throwing these on the drill press - it's a lot slower compared to the polisher so I might have some hope of being able to use that to some benefit.

    I doubt I'll get complete consistency with the clear coat on account of just how much of it there is. Still, this build is experimental and having it look aged fits nicely.

    I finally pulled out the neck level earlier and it appears to drop off around the first fret. I'll have to tinker a little later and see if I can straighten it out a little before I get on to cleaning up the frets.

  10. #58
    Member lunaticds's Avatar
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    99% Done.

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    The bad:
    - The driver skipped when I was putting the bridge screws in, putting a hole into the finish below it. It's gonna take some time to fill and polish it up.
    - The string ferrules - I didn't quite have enough space between the holes, so they're overlapping in a couple of places.
    - I broke the 1st and 2nd string intonating. I don't care. They were kit strings. DR Black Beauties will go on it when I'm ready.
    - I'll need to pull the spring off the 6th to get it to intonate. It's close... but I need just a fraction more out of it.

    The electronics work, though the tone controls don't seem to make much difference. The volume at least does.
    The body is actually damn near liquid shiny.. except for where you can see my fingerprints. It could do with a little more polishing, but I'll get to that when I finish dealing with the unintended hole.

    For the TL;DR readers, the body was actually gloss black, now it's an interesting colour. There are a lot of layers of cl
    ear coat, and it does start to discolour. The pickguard is a great example of that - it was white, and it's only had a fraction of the coats the body has had. The stickers on the front are buried fairly deep. There's a few edges sticking out, but across the top is buried fairly well. Edging is more obvious on the back. The discolouration was starting to get a bit much and was rapidly going from sun aged discolouration to just a nasty brown-ness to it that wasn't even consistent, so I called it quits there and pulled it back as far as I game with sanding whilst ensuring the stickers are well protected.

    I don't think I'd rush out to do a finish like this again in a hurry. Still, it was an experiment, and I don't hate the end result.

    It's been a fair journey so far - 40 days since the kit arrived and still a few days before I can finish it off.

  11. #59
    Mentor Andyxlh's Avatar
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    Looks awesome.
    Iím guessing you have the single coil tone capacitor on humbucker pickups so the tone isnít working much

  12. #60
    Member lunaticds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyxlh View Post
    Looks awesome.
    Iím guessing you have the single coil tone capacitor on humbucker pickups so the tone isnít working much
    Honestly never paid that much attention to it - the electronics were all pre-wired. Sooner or later my Epi LP will get its humbuckers ripped out, so I'll take care of it when that happens. Not feeling inclined to push my luck too much until that finish has had quite a bit more time to harden.

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