Nearly there….

This thing is really beginning to look like a guitar…

The inlays are levelled and polished, and the frets installed, levelled, crowned, dressed and polished:

The neck is carved, sanded, polished and finished with thinned plastic coating. This seals and protects the wood, without building a high-gloss lacquer finish, leaving it super smooth and with a beautiful satin sheen - ready to be fixed in place. To dress up the neck joint a little, a madagascar RW heelcap is added (cut from the same piece as the head veneer) with a constrasting maple line to match the neck laminations.

Before gluing the neck in, I buffed out the guitar’s sides (easier without the neck in the way) and one of the cavity covers. The other cover needs to be sanded back to grainfiller and recoated, since the finish festered. The covers were sprayed together, with the same finish from the same gun - one’s like a mirror, theother’s like a pizza - Huh?! This is the same problem I had with some spots on the body, and is the first difficulty I’ve encountered with the Rustin’s Plastic coating.

With the neck glue thoroughly dried, I buffed out the body to a high shine, and fitted the pickups. The pickup rings are milled from Wenge (to match the binding) on my benchtop milling machine, and are sanded in place to match the contours of the carved top. The blue masking tape stops the nice shiny top getting scratched during sanding.

Still to do: install the tremolo springs and strap buttons, apply the headstock decal, lacquer the headstock and re-lacquer the tremolo cover, drill for the controls and wire it up, install machine heads and string it up!

22 Responses to “Nearly there….”

  1. Rafael Says:

    Man, the top looks beatiful with the finish. Your work looks neat and the guitar is begging to be played.
    About the strange behavior with the Plastic coating (I liked the name “pizza effect” ahahahah), I had a similar problem here in Brazil and I figured out it was the natural oils in the wood itself; with nitro lacquer I never had this problem, but I needed to put the guitar in direct sunlight (I know it sounds stupid and dangerous) while it was raw, rough wood. I got this tip from a violin luthier that lives nearby; leave the body on the sun for 15 minutes (Brazil sun is quite strong) - take a fresh rag with naphta on it and clean it. It works well. Good work!!

  2. Ant Says:

    I think the problem with the plastic coating was recoating too soon. apparently PC goes through a critical period where it’s too dry to melt in with previous coats, but still soft enough to be attacked by the solvents in the new coats This makes it wrinkle up and look like crap.

    Still, touch wood it hasn’t happened before or since.

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