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Thread: First Build GS-7Z

  1. #1
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    First Build GS-7Z

    Hi all, I got this kit as a christmas present to myself and have been doing bits and pieces in between spending time with the family. As mentioned in my welcome thread i noticed some tearout on the back of the headstock during my initial unboxing which unfortunately isn't completely covered by the tuners so will need some filling.

    Now that I've spent more than five minutes with the kit I've also noticed some other issues that I'll have to address throughout the build including a crack in the fretboard, gaps in the corner of the binding at the end of the fretboard, glue squeeze through all over the veneer on both the headstock and body, and what looks like a glued crack in the body near the neck pocket that doesn't want to sand out as cleanly as i'd like.

    Attached are some pictures from my test fits and some of these issues, since this is my first build if anyone has any advice it will always be appreciated!
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  2. #2
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    A few more pictures of the glue in the pores of the veneer, they show up more clearly as white spots after a wipe down with white spirits.
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  3. #3
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    So in between my impression of fret levelling (ie hacking at the frets) I've played around with a few different methods to try and remove some of the glue spots on the body as the intention is to have a transparent finish. I've tried using a warm damp cloth to try and soften the glue before using a brass brush to try and scrub some out, and I've also tried scrubbing after using goof off. Unfortunately neither seemed to have much of an impact.

    I have had some very minor success trying to scrape some out with a razor blade, however its incredibly slow and there so many that I could probably spend weeks doing this and barely make a dent. I've attached a couple of pictures of the top after a wipe down with white spirits after trying all of this, unfortunately still very evident.

    My next thought is to find a grain/ pore fill that doesn't ruin the look of the veneer, and then move on from there.
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  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Zebrawood is open pored, so in theory it needs grain filling but I'd avoid it if possible. The open pores are probably why the glue is so hard to remove, as opposed to say closed-pore maple. The glue can hide and grip to the inside of the pores, rather than just stick to the surface on closed-pore woods.

    I'd try and find a clear sanding sealer or even use shellac to fill the pores. They don't look to be particularly large and I'm not sure what grain filler would do to the looks. It would need to be a fairly light brown colour to avoid spoiling the striping, though it may help fill in some of the edge areas by the binding. But you've probably sanded, scraped and scrubbed a fair bit in those glue areas, and filling and sanding back becomes quite risky in those places. You can do it, but you'd need to be very gentle especially around the edges.

    You've done well to remove the glue you have done. There's not a lot left and you wouldn't notice it from a few feet away, but you know it's there, which is hard to ignore.

    I'm set up for spraying, so if it were mine, I'd probably spray a very fine brown sunburst around the edge and live with the glue in the pores. I might try and colour over the larger pore marks with a suitable colour Sharpie or maybe mix up some artist's acrylic paint.

    What were your plans for an overall finish? TruOil, nitro, poly, acrylic?

  5. #5
    Mentor JohnH's Avatar
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    +1 for touching up the spots with acrylic paint. I'm not sure how confident you are matching colours but if you're not super confident there are some good youtube videos.

    A very fine brush and a small set of process colours won't cost much (if you don't already have any). With the process colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) + white you can match almost anything you need to.

    One good trick (if you're not confident matching colours, and have access to some photo editing software) is to load a photo of the guitar, select the colour you want to match, and then simply read off the % of each process colour. I have a friend who is an amazing artist, but colourblind. He matches colours using photoshop and just mixes using the cmyk % he reads off the screen
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice! I hadn't thought to use acrylic paint and using photoshop to colour match is definitely not something I would have thought of.

    I think you're right Simon, it's probably safe to say that its become more of a sticking point than necessary because I know they're there.

    I had been planning on using crimson finishing oil or tru-oil, but the more time i spend with it the more I've been toying with the idea of either a brown to whiskey/amber fade or a brown sunburst. I'm more or less a complete rookie when it comes to finishing but from my understanding spraying a tinted nitro would probably be the easiest way to do so.

    I'm waiting for some zebrawood veneer that I ordered to arrive, I'm planning on using it to toy around with some of the stains and dyes I have to see how the wood reacts. If I don't like how it looks, I'll probably go with an oil finish.

  7. #7
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    Found some time in between work and family duties to grain fill and stain the mahogany back sides. Filled with black timbermate, then stained with FW Black Japan. Fairly happy with the results, the back turned out well, and although the sides are darker then I would have liked I can live with the results.

    Interestingly, the stain revealed a crack extending into the body from the neck carve that wasn't visible on the back previously, although it could be seen in the carve. Still very minor though and really is only obvious when looking closely.
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  8. #8
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    Body and neck are now stained, and both have come up fairly well. Unfortunately the vinyl tape I used to mask the binding allowed some stain to bleed through, which was then absorbed by the multitude of micro cracks in said binding.

    Short of learning how to re-bind a guitar, I am testing a few oil based paint markers to see if they yield a fix that I can live with.

    I've also changed my mind on the finish, I'm more than likely going to use cabothane clear satin to clear coat everything.
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  9. #9
    Get a sharp razor blade - the black should scrape off from the binding pretty easily.

  10. #10
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    That was my first thought too but unfortunately most of it isn't on the surface it's been drawn into cracks inside the binding. There are still a few small spots where glue on the binding has absorbed some but that is a pretty easy fix like you said.

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