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Thread: Greg's Second Build - STA-1 Ash #234

  1. #1
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Greg's Second Build - STA-1 Ash #234

    The GAS kicked in and the postman delivered a very nice looking STA-1 with blemish free Ash body and Rosewood fretboard.

    I decided to spend a bit of money on this one to find out a bit more about the technology and upgrades you blokes talk about.

    I have plan in mind. The inspiration came from me playing Hank Marvin / The Shadows stuff as I can't sing so the guitar has to do it. You can guess RED but not Hank red. I am going dark wine red (stain with TruOil) again with black fittings all round. If anyone in WA sees Hank please tell him he is welcome to try it out - 'hihi'. It will have a whammy bar.

    The upgrades are as follows:
    Black upgrade, Electrics upgrade - PB stuff, Tonerider TRS3 Classic Blues,
    Grover Rotomatics upgrade, Babicz FCH Strat Tremolo

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

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  3. #2
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Should look good with the colour scheme you have in mind.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
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  4. #3
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Finally, after 18 months, I have managed to get back to my STA-1. Have had all sorts and minor issues, nothing to serious, hail damage to the house, a couple of trips to NT and Arnhem Land, and lot of guitar practice trying to justify another guitar. One interesting one was pulling up a small section of rotted flooring for a new carpet. I pulled a big section and got a face full of dust which must have been full of microbes, fungus spores etc. Guess what? No mask and I came down with a sort of asthma attack that evening. Took the doc about 4 monthe to sort it out. Motto -Always where a mask. I now have plenty in the garage. Anyway enough of my minor irritations, back to the important stuff.

    I have competed the following tasks:

    1. Fitted the neck. The fretboard would not fit into its socket. So I had to sand it very carefully to ensure it stayed straight in the slot.
    I mentioned it to Adam who was pleased about the tight fit because he had been talking to the manufacture about some loose fitting ones.

    2. Cut the shape in the head. Tried to come up with a custom shape but failed. So I went for the standard Stat shape.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    3. Sanding 120,180,240 grits. Sure makes it easy not having to worry about a veneer like the LP1-MQ.
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    4. Grain filled with Timbermate. After the first coat was sanded off there was still a lot of TimberMate in the grain. I applied a second coat to ensure a good fill. I think I will need to take it off with 180 grit to get a lot more timber colout and then finish it off again with 240 grit. Let me know if this is not a standard practise.

    The photo is taken after the first sand off. Second coat is currently drying.
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    Another Question: When do you drill the screw holes for the scratch plate , fittings etc? I intended to drill the screw holes after finishing the staining. ( Dark Wine Red ColourTone and TruOil). I was looking at some photos on PitBull and it appeared that on some builds the screw holes were drilled early in the process. I can understand it for paint jobs but I thnk the holes would be a nuisance in my build where there is so much sanding.
    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

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  6. #4
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Hi Greg. Welcome back!

    I think I will need to take it off with 180 grit to get a lot more timber colout and then finish it off again with 240 grit. Let me know if this is not a standard practise.
    I wouldn't go below 240. 180 will just make more work by leaving swirls behind as well as pulling out the grain filler you've just put in!
    Yes, 240 may take longer to get down to the bare timber between the grain, but it will leave a much smoother surface and leave the grain filler in place.

    Grain filling ash can regularly require 3 (or 4) applications. Basically, it takes what it takes if you're goal is glass-like finish.

    Are you thinning the Timbermate? My first time I didn't thin it quite enough, and that stuff sets like a rock, so it took a lot of sanding.
    Eventually I worked out that thinning it a little more and doing extra applications was actually easier than sanding off a thick layer of grain filler.

    When do you drill the screw holes for the scratch plate , fittings etc? I intended to drill the screw holes after finishing the staining.
    With staining or painting I drill all my holes beforehand. Stain is surprisingly superficial, in that it doesn't seep in as deeply into the timber as you might think. Drilling after staining can still result in tear-out, and drilling after clear coating can result in chipping.
    With grain filling, I would do it afterward, but before staining. I have done it prior to grain filling and plugged the holes with tiny bits of paper towel to minimise the filler setting up in the holes, whilst effective, it can get a bit fiddly.

    Another thing I do with all my holes, is put a slight countersink (bevelled edge) on them to prevent a "lip" of finish building up around the inside edge of the hole. This is more helpful when spraying, but can be beneficial even with a hand-applied finish like Tru Oil.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  7. #5
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply McReed

    I will take your advice and do 4 applications of TimberMate and sand it off with 240 grit. I water the TimberMate down to a honey like consistency and rub it in with a rag. Leave for 24 hours to hopefully prevent and shrinkage.

    I like your suggestion to drill before staining. It does give a bit more wriggle room and not worry about scratching surface when siring the components. My last guitar, the LP, was already drilled, so wasn't and issue. All good experience. I also like the countersunk idea.

    Thanks again

    Greg
    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

  8. #6
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Just a word of caution if you plan on doing any wet sanding as pre-drilled holes can easily absorb water and swell the timber hence why I always drill last when attaching all the hardware.

    Cheers, Waz
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

  9. #7
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Hi Waz
    Good to see all the regular names still about.

    I knew I would get some counter arguments. hihi.

    I can't stand the thought of wet sanding with water on wood. I did two wet sands on the LP with turpentine, The hole problem would still be applicable. I guess. I was super careful because of the quilted veneer.

    I did have a thought of drilling after finishing but using the drill in reverse for the first touch on the finish to reduce risk of chipping.

    I will have to give this careful consideration.

    Regards

    Greg
    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

  10. #8
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Just a word of caution if you plan on doing any wet sanding as pre-drilled holes can easily absorb water and swell the timber hence why I always drill last when attaching all the hardware.
    A valid point.

    However I avoid the swelling issue by rubbing a small amount of bee's wax into the holes before I start the wet sanding process.
    It doesn't require much and the small amount that may smear around the outside of hole will wipe off with bit of rag dampened with metho.

    Once the wet sanding and polishing is done, the wax can be extracted with a toothpick. Any residual wax inside the hole makes a great lubricant when the screws go in.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  11. #9
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Call for quick help.

    Should I stain and eventually true-oil the fretboard slot/socket? I have been looking at lots of pictures and there does not seem to be a rule. The STA-a is screw on fretboard. I know to leave the slot clean on a glue on.

    Greg
    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

  12. #10
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Quick catchup

    I have sanded, filled the grain with black Timbermate and sanded again and again >>>>>

    Next job was to find a colour. I wanted a dark red to go with black fittings. After many trials with Colour Tone Red Mahogany, Cherry Red , Black and Blue(makes purple - not quite what I had in mind.), I decided to go with raw Red Mahogany. There are a couple of nice examples on the web. So I am hoping for the best.

    I have now given the body three coast of 1:15 stain to metho. And so far I am happy. First coat of Tru-Oil tomorrow.

    Of course after the first coat that elusive glue spot appeared. I had been looking for glue spots for days while sanding and then two rubs with metho to raise the grain. Anyway I was able to quickly remove most of the glue with Goo Off and then used a piece of sharpened fine wir and magnifying glass to scratch out the little bit of grain that remained. Turned out successfully with just two small bits of grain scratched out that will fill with the 30 coasts of Tru-Oil.

    The spot in the right-hand corner of the photo is after the first coat and after the Goo Off and has now disappeared.

    My photos after the last coat of stain are pretty crappy so I will have to try again after a few coats of Tru-Oil

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    Greg
    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

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