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Andyjr1515

Tom's African Build 2

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Posted (edited)

I've spent quite a bit of time getting the neck pocket right.  Quite tricky as the wood is of uneven thickness either side of the pocket and is wavy!  As such, getting a router to produce a nice flat surface at the right angle was a bit of a challenge!

In the end, I finished it all off by the time honoured method of using school chalk to identify the high spots as mechanics do on metal joints with Engineers Blue.

The added challenge is the brittleness of the wood - if the chisels aren't razor sharp, any cut will ding off a chip, particularly on the edges.  The result of this was a couple of chips at the edges of the fretboard end where it partially sinks into the top.  With things like this, it is a case of either hide it or flaunt it! ;)

So I opted to flaunt it.  I tried a number of options with some black grained veneer cut out with scissors from straight infill:

seBiQG1l.jpg

To an angled infill, with the grain matching that of the headstock (it will be wenge and so will match both the headstock and the pickup rings).

owjqWvLl.jpg

To an angled infill, with the grain direction matching the pickup rings:

zUrE701l.jpg

Difficult to see on these shots, but in real life this last one looked the best.  

So sharpened the chisels again, honed them, tested them with the 'remove the hair off the back of your arm' test and cut the shallow chamber for the 2mm wenge to fit into.  Cut some matching wenge and glued it in:

aepJ55sl.jpg

 

So the body is now ready to start finishing.  And while I'm doing that, I'll do the final tweaks on the neck profile and sort the trussrod cover (a smallish one in matching wenge) and then it's just a case of waiting for the hardware from Tom's supplier :)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
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What an incredible amount of inventiveness, time and effort going into this build.

While I'm sure there is considerable satisfaction from sorting out the many problems this build presents, your commitment to producing the best result possible, while retaining the uniqueness of the hand carved body is outstanding.

I take my hat of to you sir. 

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Posted (edited)

My normal warning -  I will always describe what I do but for you never to assume this is how it's supposed to be done ;) 

The refinishing of the body has started.  I will be doing a variation of the Tru-oil slurry and buff, but using the thinner version of the Osmo ranges, their 1101.

Other than the full gloss - which personally I don't like - many of the Osmo products are a guitar/bass builder's godsend.  Low odour, wipeable, great finish.  There are apparently some issues with thicker coats (it's a hardwax so can sometimes remain dintable with your thumbnail) but applied thinly, I personally find it an excellent finish.

 

So, other than some kitchen roll to wipe-down, this is my finishing kit:

wKC0W6Kl.jpg

For the initial coats, I put a generous amount of the Osmo on with a brush and use (proper woodworkers cover your eyes), yes, 120 grit as the wet in a wet 'n dry sanding approach.  For a softer wood I would probably use 240 grit, but this particular wood is very hard.  

The slurry of finish mixed with wood dust effectively fills any pores and small voids (but remember that I am not trying here to end up with a fully sealed, flat, flawless finish).  I finish by sanding the slurry along the grain to remove any swirl marks.

And then I wipe it all off, again (in this case) wiping along the grain.  If I was looking for a smoother finish, I would wipe off across the grain to leave the maximum amount of slurry filling the grain lines.

After the first coat, it looks like this:

Ewn3yEzl.jpg

7lTnw7Fl.jpg

I will leave this a full day before the second coat.  This first one will have soaked into the surface and pores of the wood and I want it to have chance to fully dry before I add another coat.

Tomorrow, I will repeat the process, but slurrying with a finer grade (probably around 240 but maybe as far as 400 - I'll see how the wood responds) and again wiping off the excess but leaving it to soak in.

Friday, I will decide whether to slurry and buff, or just apply a couple of very thin coats with the fan-brush.

And for the enquiring minds amongst you, why is handle of the fan brush (Hobby Craft Artists section) cut short?  Because I've decanted a cm or so of Osmo into a jam jar to use and can pop the brush in there after each coat and close the lid so it doesn't need to be cleaned or dried before its next use (because trust me, that's where many of the dust buggies come from). 

While this is drying, it seems to be an ideal time to do the final sanding of the neck!  :)

 

 

Edited by Andyjr1515
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Probably got as far as I can go at this stage.  Other than applying the finish to the neck maple (which will darken and amber it a touch) and fitting the trussrod cover, this is now pretty much just waiting for the hardware.

Just for @SpondonBassed ;)  :

wAARejZl.jpg

 

The Osmo has come up nicely.  Just one more slurry and wipe with 400 grit and then two more very thin applications wiped on with kitchen roll has given just the level of sheen I was after:

zpBupuAl.jpg

 

The pickup rings will be properly lined up when the final install is ready to be done but this sort of gives the vibe:

Ohfyxmzl.jpg

 

It's not over until, etc, etc, but I'm really pleased with how this has turned out :)

 

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Posted (edited)

@Andyjr1515 that is a stunner!!  I love the way you took something that looked a little “meh” (the body) and turned it in to a showpiece!!

Edited by Pea Turgh
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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

wiped on with kitchen roll

Can you suggest a more affordable alternative? Chamois? Parchment? A page of the Dead Sea Scrolls?

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Can you suggest a more affordable alternative? Chamois? Parchment? A page of the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Actually, with the present relatively insane bulk buying going on, the value is going up even more xD

Edited by Andyjr1515

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