New 24 Magnum Build in Memory of My Son

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Skyjerk, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    wrapped this bit up. After a week of being able to play this baby, I stripped off the hardware again to finish up all the inlay work and such.

    No need for explanations on the following, the pix pretty much speak for themselves...

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    This design is kind of odd in my experience. Well, its not actually the design that's odd. whats odd is the fact that I like it so much. I'm normally very anal about symmetry. Compulsive even. This design is obviously asymmetrical. Its an adaptation of a couple different clip art designs I found on-line so its technically original, but not really :).
    I put them together, fiddled with it, and wound up with this.
    The left horn is obviously split into two and the outer bit of it comes a good deal closer to the edge of the headstock than the right horn, so not only is it asymmetrical, but its partly off-center in the headstock even though the center of the symbol is on the centerline. Yet somehow this doesn't feel off balance or off center to me. I looked at it for nearly 40 minutes before deciding to go ahead and cut the pocket and put it in because intellectually I felt that it should feel off balance. It didnt though, so I went ahead and put it in and I'm happy with the outcome :)
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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  2. charisjapan

    charisjapan Silver Supporter

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    Agree with you, Chris ... I don't see any unbalance, just a pleasingly asymmetric design.

    Not to mention very, very cool.

    :yesway::yesway:
     
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  3. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Fine-tuned the top carve. Very happy with it :)

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  4. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Senior Member

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    Very nice, indeed!
     
  5. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Got some color on yesterday. This was stain black and sand back, red aniline dye in the wood, and then 2 coats of clear to seal it. Despite my precautions, there was some bleed into the binding area, but that'll be gone once I shoot the burst. I'm saving all other finish operations until after I've finished the inlay work on the back.

    I just had a hot day yesterday but the humidity was low so I took advantage.

    So this will have a black burst, not too wide, and then another 4 or 5 coats of clear.
    The body and neck will be natural, so it'll be a bit darker than you see here once there some lacquer on it, but thats about it.

    This is nitro BTW. Mohawk piano lacquer. Pretty nice build here for only 2 coats :)
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
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  6. yamariv

    yamariv Senior Member

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    Red was a good choice Chris! Lookin good!
     
  7. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Very cool, Chris. Looks awesome. That does look like a lot of build for 2 coats. Are you thinning the lacquer at all?

    Cheers Peter.
     
  8. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Nope. No thinning. It has about 30% more solids than other nitro's, and its made to shoot straight from the can.

    Been shooting it that way from day one at Freddy's recommendation. He wasn't kidding, its great stuff.

    It was also quite warm in my shop yesterday, about 87 F. and the stuff was flowing beautifully.
    As usual, a "coat" is 3 wet passes, so this is 6 wet passes total
     
  9. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Thanks - Yeah I do 3 wet passes per coat as well. How much time between coats? Do you sand in between? I might have to try that stuff. I get quite a bit of orange peel and it doesn't seem to build that quickly.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  10. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    I have not sanded between coats in the past, but I'm planning to do a level sand this time before shooting the last coat of clear and see how much time that saves me
    on the final sanding and buffing steps.

    I'll need to be careful though, this model has some ridges and contours on the top that I've not had to deal with on any previous build. I dont want to sand or buff through...
     
  11. Tweaker

    Tweaker Senior Member

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    That looks fantastic. I'm excited to see the finished guitar.

    Regarding leveling off the finish with sanding and buffing, etc, I've been having lots of trouble lately burning through the finish, particularly on the corners/edges of the headstock and the very edge of the fretboard/neck. How do you avoid burning through your finish, Chris?

    Also, how long do you have to let the piano lacquer cure? I'd hope it isn't 3 months..!
     
  12. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    That looks amazballs Chris. By aniline in the wood what are you refering to? Did you start with powdered aniline in denatured alcohol and rub that on or did you add it to nitro and spray it?
     
  13. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    On how to not burn through, when sanding or buffing, sand or buff off the edge. Dont buff parallel to the edge and definitely dont buff onto the edge. Dont apply too much pressure, go slowly, stop and clean off and check yourself often. Thats basically my technique.

    My first 8 builds I started at 600 grit and worked my way up to 2500 all wet sanding, and then buffed by hand. I freakin hated it. Then I bought the stewmac buffing machine. I level sand with 800 and then go straight to the buffer. 10-15 minutes with medium compound, then 10-15 with fine compound, and its like glass.

    The piano lacquer needs to harden for a couple weeks. I give it 4 weeks but I'm lead to believe I dont need that much. I give it 4 anyway just to be safe :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
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  14. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    In the case I used water based, powdered aniline dye from LMI. Dissolve in hot water and applied it directly to the wood.

    I'm only shooting clear lacquer on this build

    In the past I've also used trans-tint dye mixed in the laquer, but not on this build.
     
  15. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    Thanks this is great info for me.
    Im just about to do my first nitro finish, and you got the exact look im after in my head. I can get waterbaded aniline from my lee valley around the corner and ive got some mohawk fine instrument lacquer. Got it locally, Freddy said its good just doesnt build as fast as the piano lacquer.
    Ive done a few poly based finishes, a boat load if you count hardwood stairs and railings along with guitars. :laugh2:
     
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  16. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Bursted and another coat of clear over the top. Shot a coat of clear on the sides as well.
    It'll sit for a week or so waiting for the last inlays, then a few more coats of clear and it'll go hang for a while. I'll make my life a bit easier by sanding it nice and flat before shooting the final coat of clear

    I'm REALLY happy with the color. The pix dont really capture it. Its a deep wine/burgundy red and the figure has a lot of depth. The faux binding looks awesome. There were some spots where some of the red had leeched under the tape and was visible in the binding area. Couldnt scrape it because it was dye which had soaked in deep, not just sitting on the surface.
    When I masked the binding for the burst I took it bit closer to the edge and the black covered 90% of it. You can still see a touch of it in a could spots, but you have to look for it. Otherwise I'm really happy how it turned out. For my first faux binding I'm pretty pleased.

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  17. j.six

    j.six Senior Member

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    Looks great, man.
     
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  18. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Thanks dude :)
     
  19. Tonyd145

    Tonyd145 Premium Member

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    Looks really beautiful Chris. This is a great tribute to your son. I can't get over the top carve. You do fantastic work.
     
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  20. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    Thanks man! I like this carve a lot too. This is actually the 5th iteration of the body style. My initial design I had built for me by another luthier about 6 or 7 years ago before I tried my hand at building my own.

    It sucked. Mostly because of my design, and partly because of the builder.

    My goal was a PRSish style guitar that would not ever be confused with a PRS, and would also include my favorite construction methods, (Neck-through, laminate neck, carbon fiber rods, etc), stainless frets, all top,qualitymaterials and hardware.

    Numbers 2 and 3 were each a little better as I worked with the design, but both still sucked. Number 4 was the 22 Magnum I built last and it's pretty close. That one is where I finalized my top carve. I'll be putting lacquer on that one later this fall.

    This current model is the best yet and will remain the final iteration. Compared to the 22 Magnum, the upper horn on this one is a little longer and the lower cutaway a little deeper.

    So, took 5 tries, several years, and a bunch of money but it's finally the way I want it.
     
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