'92 Re-deux (My 1st refinish)

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by BrianB, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    EDIT/NOTE to readers of this thread. As of 7/7/17 Photobucket changed their hosting policies essentially becoming a pay site. I'll be working to get the pics for this thread hosted elsewhere and back online again soon.

    Brian

    7-10-17; Beginning the conversion to imgur... Working on it. :)

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    I've been working on this project for a while now, and I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I've got about a week or so left, waiting on a couple more parts, wire it up, and then reassemble.

    I was a lurker here for a while before I joined up, and I've had the pleasure to read a great many refinishing thread on this site. To those who have gone before, I bid you thanks for sharing your thoughts, wisdom, and pics. I learned a great deal from them, and this enabled me to have my project turn out better than perhaps someone who's never refinished a guitar before should have... :thumb:

    Speaking of "Who" and gone before, one person I'd like to thank immediately is Who... Who posted this right around the time I got my 1992 Studio.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/gib...-studio-stripping-back-sides.html#post4284259

    Seeing you strip your Studio down and do what you did with it gave me a bit of courage to do the same. Thanks man!

    Also a shout out to smorgdonkey, who took the time to answer a mess of my early questions.

    Anywho....let the journey begin!!

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    I got a Les Paul that Gibson painted black,
    Back when in '92, the front, the sides, and back,
    I see these threads go by, strippin' 'em to wood,
    I want to do mine too, 'cause yours came out so good...

    (apologies to the Rolling Stones)

    So, I picked up a Studio off Craigslist a year and a half ago... $460. It had it's share of bumps and dents, but the neck was straight, the frets were good, and everything worked. It was the first Gibson I'd had in 15 years, and my first LP (I had a pair of SG's in the late 80's/early 90's). It was all original.

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    Functional, but...meh.

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    Two of the things I didn't like about it here; The high E string seemed really close to the edge of the nut/fretboard, and the truss rod cover was right up against the nut. IMHO, there should be a little space between them.

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    First changes I made was to take a white Sharpie paint marker and highlight the edge of the pickguard, and change the knobs. Poor Man's Custom?

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    I ran like that until Christmas, when got a set of crème plastics under the tree... Poor Man's Standard now....

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    I ran like that until May, when I finally said it's time to make this what I want it to be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    TP6, 1981 LPC and Who like this.
  2. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    I got a can of acetone, and was going to strip it that way.

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    One thing that concerned me was an unusual mark in the paint in that all too delicate neck spot... I started there, and *whew*, no cracks or old repairs....

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    I then started hitting the back with the acetone, where I found the nitro a LOT thicker than I expected... It took a fair bit of work/time to get a square patch on the back down to wood using the acetone, rags and then a plastic scraper....

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    That's when I went for the chemical stripper. Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Stripper (Home Depot). Things moved along quicker from there...

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    One thing I knew going in, was this had a three piece top. I was leery of what I might find under the black, and considered just stripping the sides and back only. When the moment came, I just dove in and stripped the top first...LOL Here's what I found;

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    For sale, Gibson nitro paint, gloss black, used once.

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  3. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Once the stripper did it's job, I cleaned up what was left with the acetone. Bare wood, no sanding required. Nice an smooth too... :thumb:

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    Obligatory "on the bed" shot (there's a few of these...LOL)

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  4. pietro

    pietro Senior Member

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    cool! keep us posted with updates, please!
     
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  5. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    The veneer I used was their "'59 Historic" one, and it's a bit oversize. The common point between the two is the truss rod cutout, so I glued it on based on that reference point.

    I happened to have some plexi kicking around from my computer hot-rodding days (Pentium 4's, water cooled and overclocked like mad). I used to mod the cases to put windows in them. I carved off a couple slices and on went the Titebond.

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    I opted for the version without tuner holes, just incase things didn't line up...

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    Here you can see just how oversize it is. In every direction, nut slot too...

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    Once I had things trimmed to shape, I clamped on a piece of sacrificial pine from the scrap bin to prevent tearing out as I punch through, and drilled out the tuner holes.

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  6. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Looking a bit better...

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    While all that was going on, a big ol' box of goodies arrived... (StewMac)

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    The new nut came with the rattle cans. Note that with the new veneer, I was able to relocate the truss rod cover a trifle north. It's now a good 2 to 3mm off the nut. I'm good with that. :)

    And...I'm still arguing with myself about tuners....LOL

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  7. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    And....the winner is;

    Squaring them up. Curiously, the screw holes didn't line up with the original Klusons. So I plugged the bottom set and drilled new holes. I left the top set open in the event I ever change my mind again...LOL. They'll get filled in with grain filler, clear nitro, or both.

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    These goldies are just placeholders for now...I'm converting the hardware over to nickel. Gold just isn't in the plan.

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    With all the woodworking done, it's time to break out the masking tape, and into the grain filler and rattle cans!

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  8. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    (for some reason, the image link I was putting here isn't working...it was a shot of the grain filler jar open...)

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    Curiously, I didn't take any other pix of the grain filler phase. I was kinda rushing thru this bit, and forgot. Oops. A bunch of it pulled out anyway when I forgot and wiped it down with naptha the morning after I sanded it off to prep for spraying the sanding sealer. :rolleyes:

    Anywho......

    I sprayed a couple coats of sealer on the mahogany and let it dry, then taped off to shoot the amber.

    One thing a wanted out of this was faux binding. I spent a fair bit of time with the tape, trying to roll the tape over the top a bit to give me three dimensional binding.

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    Let's see how this fares.....
     
  9. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Vintage Amber. Wooohoo! Finally spraying colour! :dude:

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    And then a couple more coats of sanding sealer, over everything.

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    Love the colouring in this wood.... :cool:

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    A couple days later;

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    Obligatory mock up (1st one...LOL). I almost wanted to stop right here and reach for the clear gloss. But, looking over at the rest of the paint spurred me on.

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    I will, however, stop here and leave the next chapter for tomorrow perhaps...

    Cheers! :cool:

    Brian
     
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  10. stephenwz968

    stephenwz968 Senior Member

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    Looks great!
     
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  11. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Thanks Stephen! :)
     
  12. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    After drying from the coats of sealer, it was time to tape off for the burst. I really took my time taping off the faux binding, moreso this time as I tried to exactly match the previous tape line in amber.

    And then I got to explain to the girlfriend why I had cans of spraypaint sitting in a pot of water on the stove (she was at work for the first bit of painting...LOL). The water coming out of the tap was actually a bit hotter than the 35c I'd read you should warm the cans up in, so I didn't turn on the stove, just put the pot on it. But the visual was enough to elicit a "Why are you cooking spraypaint?" look... :laugh2:

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    Cherry red! It's starting to come together!

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    When I did some test spraying on some scrap, I really didn't care for the way the red mahogany looked. I barely used any, and only on the tip of the upper bout and horn. Barely. I might have to get a used and abused SG so I can find a use for this can of paint.... :naughty:

    At this point I started shooting gloss clear on the headstock to get a base for the waterslide decal.

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    These next three are just prior to shooting the first coats of gloss clear on everything else.

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    Gawd, I love this picture.....

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    More soon!

    B.
     
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  13. Tenafly Vipers

    Tenafly Vipers Senior Member

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    Looking good. Is this your first burst finish?
     
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  14. Stoj

    Stoj Senior Member

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    Looking good, great job :cheers:
     
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  15. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Thanks! Yes, this is my first. With a bit of luck (knock on wood) it'll be strung up and playing within a week... I've been knocked on my arse the last couple days by a nasty cold. I'm hoping to feel well enough this weekend to try my hand at soldering the wiring together. :fingersx:

    Thanks Stoj! :thumb:
     
  16. Jackassrock

    Jackassrock Senior Member

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    Great job Brian. I've always been afraid to attempt a burst, but yours is inspiring !

    How did you manipulate the spray to get just the right fade?
     
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  17. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Thanks for the kind words! :)

    I've had a few "What the heck have I gotten myself into?" moments, but overall, it's been less daunting than I thought it might be.

    I did a LOT of research/reading beforehand, between this site, others, and Dan Erlewine's invaluable guide book.

    The trick to manipulating the spray is to spray off the body. You're spraying from the center out, never towards center. I started by spraying almost completely off the body, and worked my way in a bit with each pass.

    If you examine the 2nd picture in post #13 ("Cherry red!...."), you can get an idea what I mean. Note how there's far more red on the dropcloth around the guitar than actually is on it?

    And if you look closer, you can almost gauge the angle I was spraying at (certainly not straight down...LOL) by the thin band of almost no paint around the body. Probably close to 45 degrees.

    Cheers! :D

    Brian

    Edit; whilst there was a lot of reading that went on, there was also an element of trial and error on scrap wood, both with regular spray paint to get a feel for the effect of bursting, and a little bit with the rattlecan nitro to get a feel for the actual paint I would use.

    B.
     
  18. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    nice clean execution!
     
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  19. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Thanks Freddy! :thumb:
     
  20. BrianB

    BrianB Senior Member

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    Let's see....where was I before this dang fool cold hit... (scrolls back, re-reads......) Painted amber, yep...red, yep....shot a final coat of amber over the top to mute the red...ah yes. Here we go...

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    So after getting a few coats of clear on the headstock, I hit it with some 400 grit to smooth it out. I trimmed the decal as tight around the logo as I could, and followed the directions exactly putting it on.

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    From there, I started building up coats of clear on the headstock (whole guitar, really), and gently sanding where the decal is. Eventually I got to the point where the outline of the decal blended in.

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    Decal? Naaaah. :cool:

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    More soon....

    B.
     
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