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Thread: TLA-1 First Build

  1. #11
    Moderator dingobass's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    An old credit card works well as a scraper too.

    There is always a workaround for glitches, mistakes and other Guitar building gremlins.....

  2. #12
    Member Ralphile's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Bayswater WA
    Grain-filling and final sanding are done! I went with the Timbermate 'Walnut' colour. Overall the effect of the grain fill is pretty subtle - not sure if I'd do it again on a future build, but I might change my mind once the stain goes on.

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    Tomorrow I'm hoping to apply the first coat of 'Coolangatta Gold'.
    - TLA-1: Just getting started...

  3. #13
    Member Ralphile's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Bayswater WA
    Here's the body after applying the 'Coolangatta Gold' stain. It's a bit more orange than I was expecting but I'm still pretty happy with the result.

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    There is a small patchy area on the front of the guitar - I'm not sure what has caused it, or whether it's just part of the grain? It wasn't noticable after sanding but has shown up once the stain went on. I'm not too concerned but if anyone has an idea of what casued it or how it could be treated then I'm all ears.

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    Might be about time to have a look at the neck while the stain dries.
    - TLA-1: Just getting started...

  4. #14
    Overlord of Music Fretworn's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Hornsby Area, Sydney, NSW
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralphile View Post
    It's a bit more orange than I was expecting but I'm still pretty happy with the result.
    I think that is all part of the fun. Waiting to see what colour the stain will end up as when it reacts with your bit of wood.

    First Act ME276 (resurrected curb-side find)
    Scratchie lapsteel
    Custom ST-1 12 String (to be converted to 6 string)
    Scratch Lapsteel
    Meinl DIY Cajon
    Cigar Box lap steel

    Scratchie 12 string
    Open D/Standard Double 6 twin neck

  5. #15
    Member Island_Moose's Avatar
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    May 2015
    Cambridge, New Zealand
    Those lighter patches are evidence of the stain not being "taken up" in those particular spots. For some reason in those areas the stain did not penetrate. The most likely cause is residual glue in the wood fibre. You can open up those fibres gently using a brass toothbrush, and re-apply the colouring in those areas carefully to blend them out.

    Id be tempted to attempt another application on the right hand side of the body as well, as that slab is considerably-lighter than the other.
    aka John

    Completed Builds:

    FS-1G "Starcaster" Tribute - G.O.T.M October 2015

    Current Build:

    TL-1 "Indian Chief"

  6. #16
    Member Ralphile's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Bayswater WA

    Fretboard Finish Question

    Itís been a while since I updated my build diary so hereís a brief rundown of what Iíve done:

    - Tried to use the wire brush technique to open up the grain on the patches in the body finish, but without any success. There doesnít seem to be any residual glue so it might just be a quirk of the wood grain.
    - In any case, Iíve moved on with another coat of stain to the lighter side of the body as suggested, and put on a couple coats of intensifier (I think one more this weekend should do it).

    - Shaped the headstock and sanded the neck, and have applied the first coat of colourless finish except on the fretboard.

    Which leads me to my query Ė how do I finish the fretboard? Iíve poked around on several forums which suggest that wax is not enough, and that maple fretboards need a harder finish otherwise they can absorb sweat and warp. Should I be putting the clear finish on the fretboard as well?

    I'll post some photos of the progress soon(ish).
    - TLA-1: Just getting started...

  7. #17
    Member Ralphile's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Bayswater WA

    The finished product...

    It's been a long time since I posted here what with everything going on, but in the last couple of weeks I've had some time to pull everything together! Getting the finish right on the front side of the body was very problematic but I managed to get it somewhere near where I wanted it - good enough for a first build. Here's some photos:

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    I'm still working at getting the action and feel right, but getting there slowly. One problem I'm having is the A string going out of tune as soon as it is fretted close to the nut, unless I press very lightly. I think the issue may be with the slot in the nut - it seems very high compared with my other guitar (an old Strat copy), in fact all the slots seem a little high. I guess I could file them down or something?

    Also the frets are high above the fretboard compared with my other guitar, but that may be something I have to get used to.
    - TLA-1: Just getting started...

  8. #18
    GAStronomist wokkaboy's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Perth WA
    Hi Ralphile, build looks excellent. It will take a little while to fine tune the axe and for the neck to set in.

    So presume this is the stock plastic nut ? To lower the slots you can use the top 3 strings E A D like dental floss and file them down a little. If you think all the strings are too high at the nut end then best you remove the nut and run it over 80 grit paper on a flat surface to lower the profile of it. If you remove the nut you might as well upgrade to a bone nut will sound heaps better.
    There are about 3 or 4 different profile and width frets and I'd say your strat copy frets are worn down. There is small, medium, large and jumbo and different widths available. Your tele build frets probably seem high as they haven't been used and worn much.

    Did you manage to get some stain on the fingerboard between 15th and 16th fret ? You should be able to sand or steel wool this off, wrap some 1200 paper around a rubber eraser works well.
    Looks like you evened up the stain depths alot closer on each sides of the 2 piece body.

    Have you intonated the bridge yet ? could be the reason your low fretted notes aren't in tune. Hopefully the bridge saddle screws are long enough as you haven't modified the bridge pup cavity so the bridge plate moves closer to the pickguard
    Last edited by wokkaboy; 19-01-2016 at 08:19 AM.
    Current Builds and status
    scratch end grain pine tele - first clear coat on !
    JBA-4 - assembled - final tweaks
    Telemonster double scale tele - finish tobacco burst on body and sand neck

    Completed builds
    scratch oak.rose gum Jazzmaster - assembled needs setup
    MK-2 Mosrite - assembled - play in
    Ash tele with Baritone neck - neck pup wiring tweaks and play in

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