Bar top Les Paul project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Steve Blackdog, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    No quite so quick - I had a few months between my original post and getting down to business with the build.

    Won't be long now though - famous last words no doubt! More haste less speed.

    I had a bit of an accident today. Luckily the only thing I damaged was my pride. I splashed shellac sanding sealer down the front of my trousers. I should have been wearing my work clothes, but you know how it is!

    Even if I get the shellac out, I fear I may be left with a crusty white deposit at the top of the thigh of my left trouser leg. Not a good look. Now I know that The Lemon Song was talking about a workshop accident with some French polish
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  2. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    IMG_0356.JPG IMG_0358.JPG Hello Folks,

    I have now completed the neck, save for frets. I have gone for a good thick neck on the basis that I can always make it slimmer, but not the other way around.

    I have also rounded over the bottom of the body with a router 1/4" radius. Although I would have preferred to do this by hand, the router gives a nice clean look and feel.

    I have taken a couple of hours on the neck pocket fit. A little bit, a little bit and so on. Now that is ready for glue up.

    I have stained the back with Rustins Brown Mahogany, which I used to cut the grain filler, killing two birds with one stone.

    I also gave the headstock veneer a walnut stain. I had though I should go with a black veneer, but this ain't a Gibson, so why conform to convention:)

    I have decided to make the top a warm amber colour, a bit lemon drop, sort of style.

    More soon!

    All the best

    Steve
     
    Kris Ford, dixiethedog and bhmcintosh like this.
  3. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    IMG_0359.JPG IMG_0360.JPG IMG_0361.JPG One last one for today- neck glue up.

    Well worth the time spent on the dry fit.
     
    1981 LPC likes this.
  4. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    Oh, a quick question...

    Do you drill your bridge and stop bar posts perpendicular (if that means 90 degrees!) with the back, or do you take account of the neck angle?
     
  5. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    170
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Perpendicular to the back. Use a drill press if you have one. :)
     
    Steve Blackdog likes this.
  6. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    Thank you!
     
  7. dixiethedog

    dixiethedog Senior Member

    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    I think Ive been to the Lamb Inn before when over in the Lake district on my motorbike.
    I would have no doubt seen the wood you have used on your beautiful guitar.
    If when you are finished should you need anybody to come and play "bar" chord's on the guitar I would volunteer. ;)
    I dont know if you have the amber for the top but I can heartily recommend the stuff available from (I think?) a man called Steve (?) from Manchester guitar supplies.
    I probably have that wrong, but Im sure somebody will correct me. :)
     
    Steve Blackdog likes this.
  8. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    N IMG_0381.JPG IMG_0382.JPG IMG_0383.JPG IMG_0384.JPG Hi Folks, me again!

    I thought I would give an update about curing cock-ups.

    Even the most experienced wood finishers will tell you that French Polishing a Shellac finish can be a mare. And so it has been this week.

    I'm using button polish, which is golden brown shellac. when I prepared the surface of the top I dipped into below the shellac sanding sealer in a couple of places.

    Is that important, surely not? But it does seem that the areas where the sanding sealer was breached were more vulnerable to "rubber burning".

    For the uninitiated, rubber burning has nothing to do with burning rubber. However there is a good analogy. Screeching off in your car says the tires/tyres are slipping because they do not have enough friction to stay on the road. When you French Polish, if you go at it without care and attention, you won't get the right balance between downward pressure and forward motion.

    You will get the same "stick-slip" with the FP rubber as you get with the tyres on the road. Rather than a smooth action, you get a jerky action. The FP rubber the stays too long on the surface and the alcohol in the polish reacts with the shellac on the surface causing the surface shellac to stick to the rubber and leave a bare patch.

    Now when you are working with a coloured shellac such as Button Polish, it is often best to remove the finish and start again. It is very hard to make the burn hole invisible.

    What we tend to do is work on the bald patch trying to build up the finish again, often with far too much polish on the rubber, and hey presto, we've made the bare patch bigger.

    So this is what happened to me!

    In the hope of saving the surface, I have brushed on several thin coats of Shellac to the bald area. Basically I want enough finish on there for me to sand it back and polish over the whole area. This is a balls-aching job as it is very easy indeed to cock it up completely.

    So here are some photos of my attempt at saving the finish. You can't see the shellac gradually building to match the colour and thickness of the surrounding finish. You get a puddle effect because the new shellac melts the existing surface. I hope to be able to flatten those marks away, but I can only achieve that if the shellac is allowed to get properly cured and rock hard.

    I will leave this now for a week to give it the very best chance of hardening enough to cut it back without tearing the finish off.

    I will let you know how I get on.

    By the way, what do you think of the lemon dropish colour I am achieving?

    All the best

    Steve
     
    1981 LPC and cain61 like this.
  9. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    So today, I have been learning how to wind a pickup.

    I managed to ruin one of the coils when I attempted to mod a 2 wire hum to a 4 wire. Rather than bin it (it was a decent Tokai pup) I decided to have a go at rewinding it.

    I bought a coil of 42AWG poly coated wire. The original was enamel coated, but having discovered to my cost how difficult it is to solder, I figured best not be too ambitious.

    After a trial run, I managed to fill the bobbin. I do a bit of wood turning, so I used the lathe. Not that bad a job!

    I potted the coil in a foil bath tray over a tea light candle. I didn't have any beeswax, so I went for paraffin wax with a touch of Barbour thorn proof dressing.

    3.6 ohms on the split coil and 7.3 for the whole humbucker.

    Nothing now for a week!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. C_Becker

    C_Becker Dat Gibson smell Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,769
    Likes Received:
    1,552
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    The lemon color looks nice, it fits the figuring very well.
    Hate to be a smart-ass, but its kilohm, not ohm. 7.2 ohm would probably be a very quiet pickup ;)

    Was it hard to keep the windings tight around the bobbin ?
    I'd be scared of the tiny wire breaking
     
  11. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    Well just goes to show - there's always something to learn.

    On my first attempt I did break the wire I got carried away and wound it a bit quickly. I put the spool on the floor between my legs and ran it through my fingers. Guiding rather than gripping.

    There are plenty of good tutorials on YouTube.

    I didn't bother counting the winds. There are tutorials for making counters. I figured I would wind it until it was full. When it got very full the wire kept coming off the bobbin and snapped. I thought-ok, that must be about it!
     
    C_Becker likes this.
  12. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    IMG_0410.JPG IMG_0411.JPG IMG_0412.JPG IMG_0413.JPG IMG_0414.JPG IMG_0415.JPG So, apart from a fret dress, a good polish and a bit of finiting, we're all done. Still wondering whether to make a custom shaped truss rod cover, or buy a Gibson one.

    I am going to make some rear cavity covers from mahogany. If I make a truss rod cover, it will make up tiny piece of book matched maple for contrast.

    So here it is. Plays nicely, even before the fret dress

    Thanks for the moral support!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
    Kris Ford likes this.
  13. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    Likes Received:
    861
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Brings new meaning to the concept of "toasted" wood. Older mahogany is a wonderful material. Presumably this stuff hasn't absorbed enough liquid to require time to "dry out." Your build is zooming along nicely. And French Polish is a good idea, both as a sealer -- it's even alcohol based, in keeping with the pub theme -- and because th finish itself is excellent musically and (to my eye) gorgeous, with a vintage luster rather than relic blemishes.
     
  14. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Great work! Congratulations!
     

Share This Page