Yet Another Standard Faded Top Refinish Thread......

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by jbutler, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    After spending many, many hours going over threads and having quite a few of my Newbie questions answered (Thanks, Larry Corsa, Last & Roman Rist!) I've started the process of refinishing the top of my new Standard Faded.

    Originally it was a "Tobacco" Burst, though it seemed to have more red than brown to my eyes:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    It looked like one of the better Faded series factory finishes and I was tempted to leave it as it was, but I actually bought it with the idea of doing a refin. I've REALLY wanted an amber topped LP for a long time...... Maybe I should go "unburst"? Not sure if I should try that my first time out though.

    So as per Last's advice, I hit it with 150 sandpaper last night. It took about five hours to get it to bare wood and then I hit it with 400 grit (because that's what I had in the house!) at this point, it's incredibly smooth to the touch. Not the best pics; I'll take better ones later:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Just ordered the stain and I plan on taking my time with this in order to get it right.... I'll periodically update for anyone who's interested in this sort of thing like I am.

    AND, any help, advice or comments along the way will be VERY appreciated!!!!


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Cpt_Gonzo

    Cpt_Gonzo Senior Member

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    If you are trying to get the paint of the sides and back, don't use a powersander.
    Effed up a Vintage V100 Icon that way.
     
  3. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    Thanks Gonzo...... I'm doing it all by hand and I'm only refinishing the top so it shouldn't be an issue here.... but I'll remember your advice when I start my next project, a total refinish of an SG.
     
  4. Roman

    Roman Master Luthier V.I.P. V.I.P. Member

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    Get more sandpaper. No matter how smooth it feels, going from 150 grit to 400 grit, you are going to have some scratches in it still.

    They will all show up once you hit it with some stain, then you'll have to sand all over.

    150 then 180 then 220 then 320 then 400.

    Take the time and you will be proud.
     
  5. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    Thanks for the advice Roman..... And Congrats on the baby!

    I was actually on my way out to the hardware store before I read this so now I'll make sure I pick up more sandpaper.

    And rest assured, I plan on taking this project VERY slow.
     
  6. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    Can any of you guys tell me what the deal is with the really tight grain by the bridge mounting?
    It looks almost like miniature flames within the flame...
    There are quite a few spots on the top with it.
    It didn't show up too much on the original finish but I'm wondering how much it's going to show up when I stain it myself.

    [​IMG]


     
  7. Les Gear

    Les Gear Junior Member

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    Two tricks:

    a) To get a good idea of what a piece will look like with (clear) lacquer on without causing any harm, wipe on turpentine.

    b) "Raise the grain" by wiping on water before you finish sanding. If you don't, your first spray-coat will raise the grain and your finish will look amateur.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Dkr84

    Dkr84 Banned

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    I'd unburst it, I love lemondrops. And Trans amber.
     
  9. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    @Les Gear: I tried that last night with a light coat of naptha as per Roman Rist after posting... it really does show the grain nicely..... and those tight grain areas don't look bad at all! And I'm just waiting to get the dyes before the final sanding/grain raising.

    @Dkr84: Yeah, I'm going for one of those two... just not sure which yet... I'm kinda' tired of sunbursts and since my 86 plaintop LP is a cherry SB, I want something different with this one.....
     
  10. ledlover01

    ledlover01 Senior Member

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    are you going to lemon drop it like mine? Its gooing to come out great either way its go a amazing top!
     
  11. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    Still deciding...... I only just ordered the dyes today (vintage amber and honey amber to begin with) and I need to find a piece of curly maple to experiment on first..... but I'm leaning towards going for a lemon drop/Peter Green type look.
     
  12. ledlover01

    ledlover01 Senior Member

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    Doin a burst staining is hard cause once the wood gets stained it soaks in real deep.Theres really no going back.But the results are great if you can pull it off!
     
  13. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    First stain before re-sanding..... using Vintage Maple dye instead of going with black like i've seen some do to really pop the grain..... i want to keep it kinda' subtle..



    [​IMG]From Les Paul Refinish


     
  14. ledlover01

    ledlover01 Senior Member

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    now hit it with like 260 and are you going to stain again?Did you use water or alchohol?
     
  15. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    Yes, I'll be staining again but with a lighter color....going for the next sanding tomorrow.... i used water with the transtint dye.
     
  16. ledlover01

    ledlover01 Senior Member

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    takes a long time to dry then,and you have to sand the raising grain.Looks like you got a great color working there!
     
  17. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    The color is actually more of a light brown than the pic shows... but that's a base so it should be cool.....yeah, I knew it would raise the grain..... but i'm surprised by how much..... how long would you give it to dry?
     
  18. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    So after getting busy with other things for a while, I finally sanded her down and re-stained.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. zues

    zues Junior Member

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    Looking sweet!! Are you going with a faded satin type finish or gloss? Either way it'll be a sharp looking LP!
     
  20. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    Thanks Zues.

    I'm just doing the top and I'm going with a gloss. Still figuring out if I should hit it with a few coats of amber nitro before the clear coats. I want it just a bit darker but no too much.

    Originally I was trying to match it with the Peter Green/Gary Moore 59, but getting that exactly right is beyond my skill level at this point..... It looks like it'll be in the same ballpark and that's good enough!!!

    I'll be swapping the BB's it came with with the Skatterbranes from my old sunburst plaintop and wiring it 50's style with pots and caps I just ordered from Jonesy.

    With any luck, it's gonna' be one nice LP when I'm done.
     

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