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Thread: My ES-1Q Build

  1. #11
    Mentor Trevor Davies's Avatar
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    Looks nice with the first layer of clear coat!
    PitBull Builds: FVB-4, LP-1SS, FBM-1, AG-2, TB-4, SSCM-1, TLA-1, TL-1TB, STA-1HT, DSCM-1 Truckster, ST-1, STA-1, MBM-1.

    Scratch Builds: Pine Explorer, Axe Bass, Mr Scary, Scratchy Tele's.

    The little voices in my head keep telling me "build more guitars"

  2. #12
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    That's gorgeous!
    Please tell me what you did before the first application of stain - I have the version with the trapeze tailpiece, and want to go for a deep sunkist-yellow transparent stain.

  3. #13
    I tried a few application methods on a veneer plywood offcut. Full strength, diluted, 5 minute soak, 1 minute soak and rub off, sand back with 320grit...

    Eventually found the combination that left enough colour in the wood without being too dark. (I was looking for that sunlit look but I didn't want to sand through the veneer.)

    I did use an orbital sander to sand back the center of the burst - but only about 30 seconds. I was really nervous about sanding through!

    YouTube advice suggested using a brown stain rather than a stronger, darker black base for a tobacco burst. I used the darkest blue in my burst as my base coat to minimize sanding.

  4. #14
    Is the veneer thick enough to use a orbital sander? May I know What grit pad did you use?

  5. #15

    More Clear Coat!

    Continuing with clear coats to build up a base before wet sanding. I'm using a water based lacquer that's really thin and I was getting brush strokes in each coat.

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    The product suggests laying it on 'generously' so I gave it a go. Better! It levels itself when there's more of it. I realized the viscosity would be influenced by temperature so I plugged in a brick heater to get the ambient temperature of my workspace up 10 degrees or so while I'm working there. That seems to be having the desired effect.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm going to get a few more coats on the sides then let it sit for a week or so - as long as I have the patience! - then figure out 'wet sanding'...

  6. #16

    Wet Sanding - and Deciding When Enough is Enough

    After 7-8 layers, the clear coat is about as smooth as it's ever going to be. I've been knocking down brush strokes between coats with 320 grit to keep it level. This coat had a couple runs down the side that I could shave with a boxcutter knife. Let it sit for a week...

    [Tom Petty was right: the waiting is the hardest part.]

    Wet sanding is a whole new thing for me. Never done it before. I've used 600 grit wet-dry sandpaper to get a good finish on metal parts but soaking the paper...? Actually using water on the clear coat...?!

    Well, the guitar is well protected so...

    I soaked 600 / 1000 / 1500 / 2000 grit paper (all North American grades) for an hour.
    I used a small block and fingers to follow the contours of the ES-1 body.
    I used a small spray bottle to add water as I worked my way around the body.
    I rinsed my paper regularly to shake off the sanding product.

    It didn't take long to see a change! The first change was scary: your gloss coat goes to satin as you add all the sanding marks. But the brush marks slowly disappear. You can feel when the paper engages in a rough surface and you can see the removed material clouding your water bowl. All very satisfying!

    I dried it all off regularly to see the progress. Then started again. Eventually I was starting with the 1000 grit, then focusing on areas with the 1500 grit. Then taking long wipes with the 2000 grit. I even used a slurry of toothpaste for a rubbing compound!

    It's still not perfect. I can see ripples in the surface when I hold it to the light, and there are micro-scratches when I look close enough. But this is my first try on a gloss finish. The surface is smooth and relatively consistent. If I wanted more, I would need to go back to applying clear coat and sanding back with 320 until I removed all the ripples from the rough coat.

    The Blue Dot isn't perfect but it's looking like the image I had when I started. Time to lay on some polish!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #17
    OK, compromise! I went back to sanding with 2000 grit. VERY gently and/or using a worn paper. Working over those micro-scratches until they fade back. Now I need to lay on some polishing compound. Ahem, toothpaste. The tartar removing, whitening stuff. It's actually working!!

    Just going to go back to it over a couple evenings to remove the 2000grit scratches. Finer than the scratches from before, but giving a 'grain' to the semi-gloss that's coming up. Then I'll go to the Meguiar's polish and a clean micro-fiber cloth.

  8. #18

    Wiring Check

    Ready to start pulling the wiring harness into the body but... WHAT is going on???

    I'm getting continuity at the jack again. Suggests I have a stray wire, right? Bad jack, bad switch...? But continuity changes based on the VOLUME pot!!

    It's a 2V-2T with 50s wiring so the volume wiper goes through the .047cap to the tone pot - so it goes to ground eventually. So maybe there's some logic to this.

    But how do I test the circuit? I'm going to put it aside for today and have a very close look at the wiring diagram tomorrow. Try a couple other tests, search through the forum to see if there's something else I can do.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #19
    Reading through some advice on the Wiring Pickups tab. I'll try measuring resistance through different parts of the circuit so I can differentiate between zero, infinite and pot resistances.

    I think I'll also step back and include the pickups to get the 'real' circuit.

  10. #20

    Looking like a guitar!

    Spent the evening dressing the frets and treating the fretboard with Dunlop lemon oil. (I put that stuff on all my fretboards!) The build is all coming together well!

    Theme night: the Blue Dot guitar, Joni's Blue on the turntable and a Blue Buck bzzr at hand.

    Click image for larger version. 

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