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Andyjr1515

Veneer Job for Rog

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Hi All

Having finished the Yew SG-style guitar, it's still lockdown and we're back to basses!  :) 

I've got a couple of smaller jobs that I will be kicking off and one of them is doing 'something special' with  @Roger2611 's lovely Status Bass :) :

TuwqYeMl.jpg

Xrc8LHBl.jpg

XFrK7vSl.jpg

And what's with the red knobs?

Well - what Rog has asked me to do is one of my veneering jobbies.  With this (bookmatched) on the top:

gRaulLZl.jpg

In this kind of colour for the top...

ZVKb1KEl.jpg

...with natural (walnut?) on the back and sides, with a bit of this as a demarcation line between the two:

qd50GCkl.jpg

 

:)

 

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Woo hoo, another @Andyjr1515 build thread 🙂

 

I love this pandemic, you're all building stuff so there's lots to follow 😉

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Nice!

what’s with all the ikkle pots and bowls on the sideboard? Does one of you throw shapes too?

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20 minutes ago, Daz39 said:

Nice!

what’s with all the ikkle pots and bowls on the sideboard? Does one of you throw shapes too?

MrsAndyjr1515.  Though she doesn't make enough of it (she's very good but doesn't think she is) and certainly not enough to keep me in the manner I would like to get accustomed to... ;) 

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10 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

MrsAndyjr1515.  Though she doesn't make enough of it (she's very good but doesn't think she is) and certainly not enough to keep me in the manner I would like to get accustomed to... ;) 

Does she have her own kiln?

I used to do enamelling on copper sheet.  It's something I'd love to do again, especially when doing name plates for my own projects (maybe others' too).

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MrsAndyjr1515 needs a supportive, slightly loopy, collection of admirers of craft to sell her bespoke wares too - Potchat (wait, too weedy), Kilnbuzz, or Clayreka - drum up some interest in curious little bowls you can fill with M&Ms and have on the coffee table when friends come for a socially distanced soiree.

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I’m sure that there’s a whole bunch of BCers who’d be interested to see some of this pottery within the OT pages. We are, if nothing else, an eclectic bunch.

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So today was the stripdown.  Noting that all of the screws were Pozidrive (these things matter) I first took the neck off, the bridge and the rear hatch.  Always a quick photo of what's in the chamber and where it fits.  Never think "Oh, I'll remember that!" ;)

VJ6SPL4l.jpg

And likewise a shot of which side of the blend pot is attached to which pickup:

sSkAJ9Fl.jpg

 

and, lastly, a useful way of keeping all the wires where they originally were - it is remarkable how quickly they twist and tangle up otherwise!

eQoxK9Fl.jpg

 

Finally, drove out the neck screw bushes and we have a body ready for initial sand-down:

EA9RsjCl.jpg

vvBtxuVl.jpg

Rog and I had a discussion about the wood - walnut - and whether it had been stained.  I thought it had, based on the top colour.  And now I look at it here, I wonder if it is just the top that has had maybe a tinted finish to lessen the contrast of the centre section.  In real life, it is certainly an unusually muddy colour for walnut.   Of course, it is academic to a certain extent because the top will be veneered, but there will remain the question of what to do with the back and sides.  We'll know better when the finish has been sanded off - which will probably be tomorrow :)

 

 

 

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I think the quilted maple in it's natural state would compliment the Walnut quite well

gRaulLZl.jpg

vvBtxuVl.jpg

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Finish is stripped - to be honest, it was an easy job.  It had only had a light coat (not sure what Status use/used) and was off pretty easily.  While I was there, I sanded out the dints and scrapes from the back and the sides.

Here it is in bare walnut:

MJlKWwql.jpg

C7fgMNwl.jpg

Clearly, that is fresh sanded.  The best way of telling how it will look with any standard clear finish is to simply wipe it with a dampened cloth.  Based on this, I reckon the original finish was just clear without any tinting:

G20COv0l.jpg

When I have both veneers on the top, Rog and I will be able to see better what he prefers me to do with the back and sides.

 

Next job is to add the maple demarcation veneer on the top.  All being well, should be able to do that before the end of the day :)

 

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I'm assuming that you're doing the PVA ironing method of veneering?

How will you stop the demarcation veneer glue from softening and moving when you put the top on?

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3 hours ago, Si600 said:

I'm assuming that you're doing the PVA ironing method of veneering?

How will you stop the demarcation veneer glue from softening and moving when you put the top on?

Yes.  And next post I'll cover the basic method for those who weren't at the Midlands Bass Bash ;) 

While it may soften, it won't move - it can only move if ALL of the area is soft (which is relevant in the next post too!)  But there is a challenge - how do I have a white maple demarcation when I am going to stain the top veneer....  

...and I'm hoping that over the next few days I come up with a cunning plan.  Or any plan, really! :)

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So - the PVA ironing method.  Actually, having done some trials, this time round I am going to use Titebond wood glue, but usually I use the Evostic 'Compound W' Wood Glue (the green bottle sold in Homebase etc).  Both work the same.

Normal reminder - this is how I do it but, always with me, never assume that "this is how it should be done" ;) .  There are other ways, but personally this is how I find best for me and my limited facilities.

Basically, I turn wood glue into an iron-on glue.  Proper woodworking PVA and also products like Titebond melt when they are heated.  That's why you can remove a fretboard with an iron.  So this method uses that principle but to glue the veneer in the first place.

Now it is a luxury that I am doing a demarcation veneer.  Firstly, it's been a while since I've done a veneer job.  But also different veneers have different characteristics and while the top veneer will have its own, nevertheless both the demarcation veneer and the top bookmatched are maple and therefore in some respects will have similar properties...which is useful to know when planning the all important bookmatched top! :D

 

But an essential first - it will become impossible to find the bridge holes once you have veneered - so I do a simple paper template with my fingernail.  When it's veneered, I will line up with the neck pocket and control pot holes and then I know where to plunge my centre point to re-find the bridge holes and earth wire hole :

quGJ2fUl.jpg

 

Then this is essentially what I do.  I use a gloss paint small sponge roller to apply the glue both to the body and to the veneer :

WcpGup9l.jpg

ColpPhxl.jpg

It is ESSENTIAL that there is glue at all of the edges.

Same with the veneer.  If you do nothing about it, then the moisture from the glue will make the veneer start rolling in on itself:

Lnm71mSl.jpg

And so I use a little travel perfume spritzer bottle from Superdrug to spray water on the other side - that side then expands too and, hey presto, it flattens by itself:

9P50e5yl.jpg

Now remember that bit - the veneer tangibly expands due to the moisture of the glue.  With this method, that is an important thing to understand...because the amount it expands, depends on the wood type

Then, I let the glue dry.  Takes about 20 minutes, but now it means I can position the veneer on the body with ease, dry glue next to dry glue.

To get it to bond, I heat it with an iron.  Any household iron will do (but use it dry - don't use it on a steam setting).  I happen to use an old heat-shrink iron but that is simply because MrsAndyjr1515 is a very scary woman who, I discovered, objects strongly to me getting PVA on the soleplate of laundry iron.  :)

So, I position the veneer and then, starting at the join line and working outwards, iron it on.  I hold the iron in an area for a few seconds, then use an old duster to put pressure on that area for a few seconds until it cools enough to hold together.  This process is completely repeatable, that is, you can go back and redo - it will re-melt and then re-cool.

Dv0RAS0l.jpg

When the main area is secure, I work on the edges, pressing hard with the iron to make sure the glue is fully bonding the veneer:

oMD0f58l.jpg

And that's that side done!

Now - this whole technique takes a bit of practice, and not least cutting the excess.

I use a Stanley disposable knife or a Swann Morton disposable hobby knife and use a sawing motion, using the body side as the blade guide.  I remain acutely aware of where a split will run so always cut 'downhill' to the grain:

1xrCYIVl.jpg 

 

By the way - the other side is glued - you can see here just how dry it can be before you apply the second veneer sheet!

And repeat the whole process and finally sand the edges:

MjyXdKdl.jpg

Now - for the top veneer, this wouldn't be good enough - see the gap in the middle?

QzyUBC6l.jpg

  Yes it can be filled and stained, but it needn't be there.

I will show (hopefully) in the next post how this can be avoided.  But remember earlier - that the veneer expands with the moisture of the glue?  Well, of course, when you iron it dry, it shrinks again.  And now I know, for maple, how much it is likely to shrink.  And that knowledge IS part of my cunning plan for the next stage...applying the book-match quilted maple veneer ;)

 

 

 

 

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So the more important veneer - the top bookmatched one.

So the main learning from the plain maple was that it is likely to shrink a mm from wet glue to bone-dry ironed ;)

First, as with all bookmatching, was to work out which is the best way round out of the 4 options.  For this, I cut out a full-size paper template - it is amazing how often the nice figuring is not inside the body shape area!

This will work, though:

BmDfOvXl.jpg

So same process as the demarcation veneer - apply the Titebond to both the veneer and the body and let them dry.

When I applied the titebond to the plain maple, this happened:

fQV37xwl.jpg

So there was a patch I didn't iron well enough yesterday.  And is this going to be a problem?  Well, no.  Remember that you can reheat and remelt the glue as many times as you want.  As long as there is actually glue there (and I know there is) then I know that when I iron on the bookmatched sheet, it will remelt this area too and glue them both :)

 

So the first side gets positioned.  The great thing about the glue being dry is that you can take as long as you like making sure it is where you want it:

GXiTVS1l.jpg

So that one is ironed on and the bulk excess cut off.  Then for the second sheet, I matched up the figuring - but then overlapped the first sheet by 1mm.  With luck, it will then shrink by a mm and be a perfect centre join (fingers crossed) :)

 

Bingo! :party:

ewoLa8Dl.jpg

(Private "Phew!")

So am I going to finish sand the edges?  No - not yet.  This is my cunning plan to try to keep the demarcation veneer white, even though I am going to be dying the top red.  If I leave an overlap, then the dye won't soak into the white maple. 

Then I sand the edges of the dyed top veneer and reveal the white demarcation line!  :D

 

And (really) I have absolutely no idea whether that is going to work!! xD

 

 

 

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I have to admit I was unsure whether to keep looking at the thread as the job was progressing as I am looking forward to be blown away by the end result but, it is dead exciting to see it progressing and the processes being so well explained as they happen!

Andy, that maple top looks fantastic!

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48 minutes ago, Roger2611 said:

I have to admit I was unsure whether to keep looking at the thread as the job was progressing as I am looking forward to be blown away by the end result but, it is dead exciting to see it progressing and the processes being so well explained as they happen!

Andy, that maple top looks fantastic!

Phew!

However, the next bit is going to be a bit more tricky for you the viewer(s).  I will be showing the whole staining process to all - but be aware, in progress it will look nothing like it will when it has its finish applied!  As the famous phrase goes, "Don't Panic!!!!" :D

I have the advantage of knowing what it is eventually going to look like ;)

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54 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I have the advantage of knowing what it is eventually going to look like ;)

Then you sir, are a seer or clairvoyant. I have only a vague idea of what my projects are going to look like, knowing is beyond me.

Who wins the 3.30 at Kempston please?

:laugh1:

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15 minutes ago, Si600 said:

Who wins the 3.30 at Kempston please?

1st. Splendid Isolation: 24:3 Favorite

2nd. School's Back 6:1 

3rd. Live Gig: 2020:1

Going:  nowhere. 🙁

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2 hours ago, Roger2611 said:

I have to admit I was unsure whether to keep looking at the thread as the job was progressing

It's an Andy build!!  Best things on the internet.

You can't NOT follow them! 😀👍

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25 minutes ago, Richard R said:

It's an Andy build!!  Best things on the internet.

You can't NOT follow them! 😀👍

Exactly - even if you don't have a Kink for Clamps, it's exciting enough.

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1 hour ago, Richard R said:

Going:  nowhere. 

🙁

I'll stop hijacking now 😉

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2 hours ago, Daz39 said:

Exactly - even if you don't have a Kink for Clamps, it's exciting enough.

That's a band name, right there! 😄

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Often, depending on the wood and degree of figuring, the veneer will split and those splits need filling.  Now, as it happens, this veneer seems to be very crack resistant, so the only major area I will need to use filler to make sure there is no gap whatsoever at the join line.

For a natural veneer, filling is easy - pop some tru-oil on, slurry it up into a paste with some wet and dry and you have instant sandings-coloured gap filler.  But that's not so easy if you are staining.  For this job, this is wonderful, wonderful stuff:

MyQmBayl.jpg

Last time I looked, I had to search hard to find the stainable versions (there's a light and a med/dark) but decent builders merchants or joiners merchants should stock it.  'Stainable' here means that you can mix stain into it (water or spirit) and also, to an extent it will absorb stain in its dry form. 

The great thing is that it is easy to apply but dries rock solid (including in the opened tub!) but you just need to add a drop of water and it will soften up again.  So - as I have had this tub for a few years, I literally chiselled some scrapings of the solid filler into some of the red stain, and I instantly have a fully colour-compatible filler:

xLDfF7Il.jpg 

So I leave that to dry (about 30 mins) and then sand it down and any gaps are colour-filled :)

So what stains am I using?  Well, those who have followed my previous threads know that I favour inks.  Yes, yes, I know that everyone (especially guitar dye manufacturers) will say "They'll fade!"  And yes, some colours do.  But other colours are pretty stable.  Especially calligraphy inks, which are designed to remain fully legible for hundreds (if not thousands - think Lindisfarne Gospels) of years.  And the particular colour in the particular calligraphy ink that I am using for Rog's, I actually know, is fine. 

How do I know?  

Because this guitar that I built for our band's bassist, hmmm, 8 - 9 years ago?, and which is kept on a stand in his house next to a South facing glass patio door and which - before Covid - he was using to accompany my dubious sax and singing every week , definitely still looks like this...and used the same ink :) :

xRFarI3l.jpg

...and there are others.

So these are the inks I'll be using on Rog's Status:

TStEXJXl.jpg

 

I don't go for the technique of staining black, then sanding off - the results can look a little artificial and forced.  I just do a couple of coats, let them dry, and sand lightly to lighten the high spots in the figuring and then add the final couple of coats.

This is where @Roger2611 has to look away, because he will say, 'Where did that figuring go?  And know I said I wanted red, but that red is too...too...well, too red!!!' 

To which my answer is, "Don't panic." :)

E4d8QKDl.jpg

Because, with quilts, it ALL happens with the gloss coats.  And the more the gloss coats that there are, the more that happens ;)

This is just with the very first sealing coat - it's not even gloss yet... :

2ErbSbvl.jpg

When this sealing coat is dry, I will then sand the sides and see if my gamble well considered plan for keeping the light demarcation veneer light has paid off  :D

 

As always, thanks for looking :)

 

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Posted (edited)

And this is after just the second sealing coat. 

I must point out also, that CCD SLR chips are rubbish at capturing a 'proper' red.  This shows an orangey red - the thing in real life is a proper blood red.  Unfortunately, the only person who will see its actual colour (leastways until Bassbashes are possible again) is going to be Rog (which is fine :) ).  Anyway, wrong red or not, it's starting to look OK:

lJALXO2h.jpg

So this will harden overnight enough for me to start the delicate work of sanding the overhang off which is tomorrow's job.  Then the finishing can start :)

Edited by Andyjr1515
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The edges are sanded and I've put on an initial 'revelation' coat of clear varnish:

kbPVakOl.jpg

 

I do this coat, primarily, to reveal any spots of glue that haven't been sanded off the walnut at the edges.  They show up as white patches like this:

b4AD2Z7l.jpg

There are fewer than usual.  I think the titebond - while a little less 'grabby' when applying the veneer in the first place than my usual Evostick 'W' Wood Glue  - dries a little harder and is therefore easier to sand away from the join line.

When this coat is dry, I will give those areas a quick sand to get rid of the residual glue and then the finish gloss coating can start.

 

 

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