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Arkansas SM-D Kit Progress
Author
Post
David Bolin

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 28
Here's a few photos from my project so far. I'm trying to keep up with Nacodoches Bob. But I've got to go back to my real job in a few days. This project will slow to a crawl next week.

Gluing up the end blocks. I'll use a mold next time. This work okay, but the body is an 1/8th of an inch too long for some reason. And I forgot to do the board and block thing in the middle to weight it down.


Installing the kerfed linings. The dime store close pins were wimpy. Had to borrow real close pins from my wife.


Gluing up the rosette.


Gluing up the top bracing.


The nasty X brace joint patched and reinforced.




Gluing up the back bracing.


Gluing the top to the rim with a beefed up clamping caul. I hope this works out okay. I was nervous about the cardboard interior mold and a bunch of spool clamps. It seemed to me that the rim could easily be misaligned with a slight twist of the body. I added a 1/4 by 1 1/2 inch caul to the circumference of the work board to provide a relief for the top and clamped the rim face down on the work board. I should have cut a matching work board to use as a caul on the open back side of the rim. But I think this will work out just fine. We'll see tomorrow when the clamps are removed.




David



Dec 30, 09 | 7:43 pm
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
David, it's looking great! You're ahead of me so you can slow down. I'm hoping to box mine up this weekend.
Looks like you planned ahead well, and have it going nicely. Nice work. Keep it up.

Dec 31, 09 | 2:00 pm
David Bolin

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 28
I hope to glue up the back today. I'm almost there. Now I'm fretting (pun intended) over the type of binding. On one hand, I really shouldn't spend any more money on my first guitar project. It's probably not going to be my best effort. But, I really would like to do something different than the white binding. The white looks just fine, but I'm not sure I want the guitar to be a total Martin look alike. I'm considering black plastic with white trim or ebony with bass trim from LMI. I would also do an ebony peg head laminate, with a black heal and tail piece. I really like the ebony with bass binding but I'm not sure about bending it. I need to look around on the forum for some info on bending wood binding. Surely it's not a big deal.

David

Jan 01, 10 | 10:34 am
DanB

Total Topics: 50
Total Posts: 272
You 2 are getting it done. Way to be.

Dan

Jan 01, 10 | 3:38 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
You are making some serious progress, David. Mine came to a screaching halt once all the in-laws landed. As opposed to your project, mine will get underway again beginning Monday! Always nice to have something to poke away at, though. Then before long, you have a guitar!

Ken

Jan 02, 10 | 11:58 am
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Shoot, I am still just "Looking" at my wood!
Great going so far David. There are lots of ways you can bend the bindings. Get yourself some small diameter pipe, and stick a torch in one end. Lay a wet rag on the pipe, and bend over the rag. The binding will bend like butter.
If you think you want to bend sides for your next guitars, build an electric pipe bender. Check out the tools section and you can see the thread where I made mine. Works great!

Kevin

Jan 02, 10 | 6:06 pm
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
David, what's up?

Jan 12, 10 | 3:03 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
David -- I would appreciate it if you did not post all of the photos of your build. This is the kind of thing most guys start their own blogs for.

Just the highlights please, since we've all been there. I understand that it's exciting, but it is also expensive for bandwidth for the forum owner ... that's me.

Thanks for understanding ...
Bill

Jan 12, 10 | 3:07 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
David, from your post title I would guess you are from Arkansas. I also live in AR......grew up outside Morrilton and now live in Springdale. Thought I would say hi to a fellow Arkansan.

Jan 12, 10 | 4:14 pm
David Bolin

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 28
I'm ready to spray this weekend. Can someone tell me the pros and cons of taping versus stripping the sound board under the bridge and fretboard? My guess is that taping would be less likely to damage the finish than stripping and less work. But the bridge position could be adjusted after the finish is applied with stripping whereas it could not if the location is taped. Any words of wisdom?

David

Mar 05, 10 | 3:00 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
The Martin factory uses a mask --- I hear they are pretty good at making guitars!

Here's an easy way to make the bridge mask

http://www.kennethmichaelguitars.com/bridgemask.html

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Mar 05, 10 | 3:19 pm
DanB

Total Topics: 50
Total Posts: 272
Only thing I didn't like about the finish when I taped my first one was the hassle around the tape. When I finished the sealer and wanted to sand it down, the tape was in the way, when I sprayed a couple coats of laquer the tape was in the way, and after it was all said and done, I ended up using stripper on the bridge area to get ride of the littel that leaked through.

Next one I'm going to just strip from the start so I can see which way I like better. Maybe I did something wrong when I taped it, but I just wasn't a fan of how it worked out for me.

Dan

Mar 05, 10 | 4:07 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Dan,

I mask as Ken suggests. Yeah it's really hard to sand and level right up to the tape, so I don't sweat it. I sand and level as close as I can get to the mask. When I am all done spraying, I score around the mask, remove the tape, and then level the finish around the bridge area. I have never tried stripping after the finish is applied, but I don't find Ken's approach troublesome at all.

Ken

Mar 05, 10 | 4:23 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Please this is not "Ken's way" --

"Tape was in the way" ?

Just sand the finish off the tape too. Certainly is a preference but masking an area so it does not get covered with finish is a "universal practice" art work to furniiture to automobiles --- why would a guitar be any different?

Get some stripper on the finished top or a slip of hand with a scraper and you'll know why I'd not consider any other way then a mask.

http://www.behlen.co.uk/media/Behlen%20Guitar%20Finishing%20Instructions%20Using%20Aerosols.pdf

Ken

Kenneth Michael guitars est. 1978


Mar 05, 10 | 5:27 pm
DanB

Total Topics: 50
Total Posts: 272
The tape just left a lip around the tape as tall as the tape was, and when I was sanding "over" the tape, it was pulling the corners/edges of the tape up, and that's where the lacquer/sealer had leaked into the bridge area that had gotten me to use the stripper in the first place.

The masked way worked for sure, don't get me wrong there, I just haven't tried the stripper/scraper way yet to see which one I prefer. I was just stating the cons from when I masked my bridge off. I'm going to try stripper this time, because I didn't see the point in all that hassle around the taped off area, when I went ahead and taped around the area and stripped anyhow. With my turn out from the last one, I SHOULD have stripped it from the beginning, would have saved me trouble. Next time I try to mask, who knows maybe it will be different.

Oh, another thought is maybe since I brushed my sealer on that is a big reason why I didn't like it. Brush tends to pool up on seems and what not thicker than the spray wood.

Dan

Mar 05, 10 | 5:34 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
I would suggest that the blue or tan painters tape from Depot or Lowe's is NOT a good choice for fine work like this, use at least the Light Green 3M or pin stripping tape form the auto paint supply, there are even better grades but they actually stick too well and are tough to get off. I find the green stuff works very good with WB or Nitro lacquer and I use the fine/thin pinstriping tape to repair the mask if I damage it during the sanding operation.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Gutiars est. 1978

Mar 05, 10 | 6:01 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
Martin stopped masking off the bridge area and now route out the area for the top. Masking is fine and you can tweak things on final setup.

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Mar 06, 10 | 4:04 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
That's not at all surprisng -- I believe Taylor does the same on their CNC equipment -- Someday I'll get up the nerve to try it in our shop using our big CNC, but the economy of effort (set up, prototypes, bit selection etc.) still makes the mask the best system for us.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Mar 06, 10 | 4:37 am
David Bolin

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 28
Okay gentlemen...I'm spraying today for the first time in thirty years. And that was on cars back then, and I wasn't very good at it. I seem to be doing ok. I've got three coats of EM6000 over the System III epoxy. Plan to do one more later this evening. Then round two tomorrow.

But I've got a problem I'm not sure how to fix. There's a tiny strip of grain on the rosewood peghead overlay that's not taking lacquer. It's about the size of half a toothpick. I rubbed it down with alcahol between coats two and three and that helped a little. But it still not taking. How do I fix it?

David

Mar 06, 10 | 3:00 pm
David Bolin

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 28
Never mind the last post. It appears that the fourth coat stuck. There's just a light streak left in the finish. No big deal. The EM6000 has been great to work with so far. The only regret I have is the denatured alcohol wash coat on the epoxy. I didn't notice a couple runs on the rim of the lower bout until they had etched a milky streak in the epoxy. I tried to clean it up with sandpaper but I was afraid I would sand through the epoxy. So I've got a couple faint milky streaks under the finish. Maybe they'll fade away with time....or not. But thats cool. It's my first guitar project. If I can make mistakes and correct them on the next one, I've learned something.

David

Mar 06, 10 | 5:17 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
David, you do want to sand through the epoxy....the idea is to completely sand back to wood and only leave the epoxy in the pores.

Mar 06, 10 | 7:51 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
And there in lies one of the problems with using boat resin for guitars ---- you both have sighted the process correctly depending on whom you listen to.. There are users and instructions that state the entire instrument needs to be totally covered with epoxy to prevent dark spots and blotchiness in the finish, even go back and add epoxy to the surface and others with their instructions that state that all the filler MUST be sanded back and only left in the pores – (actually what a pore filler is supposed to do) and interestingly there are (as far as I know) NO instruction what’s so ever on the product containers stating how it should be used as a pore filler since that is not what its designed intention.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Mar 07, 10 | 4:03 am
David Bolin

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 28
I've slept on it now and looked at those streaks in the rim. I can't stand it. I'm going to sand the rim down after church and start over. I won't be using epoxy again. Not that it won't work. As Ken Cierp pointed out, there are several experienced luthiers advocating epoxy as a pore filler. But if I'm going to have to wash it with alcohol to get EM6000 to stick, I don't want to use the epoxy. By definition, the alcohol is etching the epoxy. I don't see how that can do anything other than reduce the clarity of the finish. And if you let the alcohol run on the epoxy, you get nasty streaks. Now, anyone who might read this in the furture...be warned. I don't know what I'm doing.

David

Mar 07, 10 | 5:23 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
David, you could try spraying 2-3 coats of zinnsers shellac sanding sealer.....it's a great bond coat, and I have never had any problems with epoxy pore filler and finish when I have used the bond coat. Even if you sand it all off, you will still have it in the pores. If you are concened with it blotching and reacting to the finish, a few bond coats might be the ideal thing. Zinnsers shellac sanding sealer sticks to everything, and everything sticks to it. I love the stuff. I am using it is a building coat over epoxy pore filler before I wipe on tru-oil. Works beautifully.

Mar 07, 10 | 1:09 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Per Mike Doolin -- especially note last paragraph

However, epoxy is not intended as a finish product, so it doesn't flow out well at all and tends to fish-eye. The solution to this is to scrape it on with a plastic card, a business card or a single-edge razor blade, leaving as little as possible on the surface. I spread the epoxy across the wood surface and immediately scrape off as much as I can. This is a critical point: scrape off as much epoxy as possible! Don't leave any on the surface, just scrape it away and it will remain behind in the pores. That way, you won't have to sand it level later. On the other hand, make sure to get some epoxy on every square inch of the wood surface, to ensure consistent color and adhesion under finish.

The curves of the neck are a difficulty. I scrape it on with a flexible plastic card that will wrap around the curves, and scrape off as much as I can that way. Then I wipe off the little ridges with an alcohol-wetted rag.

The epoxy starts to set in a few minutes, so I typically mix one batch for the sides, another for the back and top and another for the neck. So, a few tablespoons of epoxy is plenty to seal and fill an entire guitar. If you do a careful job of scraping, making sure to cover every square milimeter but not leave any on the surface, you will completely fill the pores in one application. In practice, I almost never achieve a one-coat fill, so I apply another coat after at least 6 hours curing in my storage room. Temperature affects the cure too, so it's best to hang the guitar in a fairly warm room while the epoxy is curing, 70 degrees or higher.

Important: do not use shellac over or under epoxy, the two will not stick to one another! Either one works as a sealer and improves adhesion to the waterborne, but it's one or the other, not both. I prefer epoxy because it "wets" the wood better and acts as a filler as well.

All that said Doolin now uses Cat Poly not WB

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Mar 07, 10 | 1:43 pm



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