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Thread: Green and gold GR-1SF

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    Green and gold GR-1SF

    Hi everyone, my name is Gerard and I am living in the Netherlands. A few weeks back I ordered the GR-1SF kit. Truth be told, I am actually a drummer who sometimes picks up a guitar to play at home. This hollow body build might not be the easiest, but with some patience it should be a very rewarding process. I was inspired to building my own guitar after restoring a really nice but also very beaten-up drum kit and a set of hifi-speakers recently. Perhaps later there will come a time to build a decent guitar amplifier, but first let's focus on the instrument itself!

    For anyone interested when it comes to shipping to the Netherlands: the kit arrived within one week upon ordering, quicker than expected. The customs fee was €68, to be paid at the post office.

    This is what it looks like straight out of the box:





    The neck and body fit tightly and i am very happy with it. Minor scratches on the wood will be removed when sanding. The bridge pickup almost fits into the pocket, so it needs a little adjustment to make the gap a few mm wider.


    In the next posts i will show some ideas for the finishing that i have in mind and probably will ask for some advice from the more experienced builders!

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    So the type of finishing that I am going for is inspired by the following examples. What I really like is to still see the grain of the wood. The dark green would make a nice contrast with the gold coloured hardware.



    I got two colours of water based stain from Clou: black and bright green. I got some wood from the local hardware store that matches the colour and grain of the guitar pretty nicely and use this for testing before ruining the real thing.
    The two bottom areas are stained green and black without any pore filler. First one is stained green and then attempted a burst by adding in black from one side. The colour is much brighter than i am going for. On the right bottom, it is first a black stain, sanded back and then a green burst onto it. Does not work.

    On the third area I applied a wood filler mixed with the black stain powder. Then sanded back and added the green stain (three layers).



    After that, some teak oil to see how that would turn out. The satin shine is quite nice, but i might also choose a glossy lacquer instead. Would love to hear your opinions!
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  3. Liked by: Tadhg

  4. #3
    Hi Gerard,
    Greetings from the UK.
    I have to say that when I read the heading for this, I didn't think it would work at all but seeing what your aiming for, I think it's a beautiful combination of colours.
    In my opinion, I think you've nailed the colour stain on your test piece.
    I'm looking forward to seeing the project as it goes on this journey.
    There are loads of very helpful people on this forum who will willingly share their knowledge and insights to help you on your way
    Cheers buddy

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

  5. #4
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
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    Nice colour, Gerard. Nice looking kit. Good luck with the project.

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    Thank you guys! About the finish, the idea is to grain fill with a dark colour as on the test piece. A subtle burst effect could be created by sanding the grain filler down more cleanly in the middle than at the edges of the guitar.

    The hardware store over here did not sell special grain filler, so I used white wood filler mixed with the black stain powder. It seems to work okay, when diluted with some water. But then again, I have never used grain filler so is it recommended to go buy that from a specialist shop instead?

    The teak oil seems to bring out a bit of a yellowish warm tone in the stain, which I like. I have been reading on the forum quite a bit and noticed many builders choose a Tru-oil as their finish. In what way is Tru-oil different than other types of oil used for furniture?

    Do people use an oil finish mostly because spray-painting is difficult to get perfectly right, or is it mostly for aesthetic reasons?

    I have used hardwax oil for wooden floors on my drums, creating a very durable matte finish. I assume tru-oil is not entirely comparable with this type of hardwax?


  7. #6
    Overlord of Music Dedman's Avatar
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    I did an ES-5V in a green burst with gold fittings, its a great combo.
    http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=5943
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    Hi Gerard, I have just finished building my GR1 SF. I was going to try for a green or white guitar originally but when I got the kit I just kept it natural as mine was supplied with a mahogany body. Yours is going to look fantastic especially with the gold hardware. Good luck with the build

  9. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Is that one of the mahogany ply kits rather than the standard basswood ones? Mahogany will need grain filling and will take the grain filler, whilst basswood is a closed-pore wood so doesn't need grain filling and you won't really get any benefit from using it as it will almost all sand off. Grain filler uses finer grains of filling material than wood filler (which is designed for big holes), so you really need to find some proper grain filler and avoid wood filler.

    Be careful when sanding back. The top layer of ply is very thin and it's easy to sand down to the glue or even the next layer, especially on all the convex curves where its easy to apply a lot more pressure by accident.

    Tru-Oil is often used because it can be done indoors without any special equipment. It's not hard at all to get a good spray finish but it's not something you really want to do indoors. You also need to wait until its quite warm and not too humid for best results, so unless you've got a well ventilated workshop or garage, you probably need to do it outside - which relies on having good weather. A lot easier to find that in Australia than northern Europe!

    It's normally best not to try and mix finishes. Some may work, some may not, so if you plan to, then always try them out on some test pieces first.

    Tru-Oil is based on Linseed oil mixed in with some solvents, so it's similar to Danish and Tung oil - which all first let the solvents evaporate, and you then wait for the linseed oil to chemically cure and harden. Other furniture oils or finishes are either just oils, which soak into the wood but don't harden, or (like French polish) based on shellac in solvent.

    I'm sure you could use a hardwax floor oil on a guitar, but you might have to re-apply it quite often as there are going to be areas under your right arm and on the neck that are going to get a lot of wear, sweat and finger oils, which can be quite acidic. Apart from setting up/breaking down your drums, there's very little physical wear on the shells themselves when playing.

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    Thanks for your answers. Yes, this is the ‘mahogany’ version, so it really does have those pores to fill. In fact, i think the actual wood is okoumé: the colour and grain pattern seem to match. Okoume is sold here in hardware stores as a premium quality multiplex but is less know as a wood species for musical instruments. Online sources say it is very much like true mahogany, but lighter in weight.

    I will follow your advice and get myself a proper grain filler and post the results here.

    With springtime on its way and a shed available, i think i will go for the clear lacquer spray cans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dedman View Post
    I did an ES-5V in a green burst with gold fittings, its a great combo.
    http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=5943
    Nice job! I will read your diary carefully.

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