Finishing support

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Finishing support

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:53 pm

Since the finishing step is getting Real Close Now (just need to drill a few more holes for pots and such), I spent some time today designing and building this support.

I expected to have to brace this underneath the table top, but surprisingly this is extremely rigid in the vertical plane. The rail on the end of the table is about 3" wide, and seems to provide a sufficiently large bearing surface that the vertical plane is actually the most stable. The moment-arm around the point where the guitar body is held does allow the end of the neck to wobble around just a bit, but won't be a problem at all when applying finish with a brush.

It needs a little tweaking, as the "brake" on the end isn't quite as secure as I'd like it to be. It certainly isn't going to suddenly come loose, but the rubber that I attached to the pipe with CA glue is actually allowing a bit more oscillation around the horizontal support than I'd like. I'm going to attach a wood disc to the end with a pipe flange, and drill indexing holes to allow the support to be rotated and "locked" into any position.

The best part is the mounting to the guitar body. The brass bushing is glued into the oak block with JB weld. Before attaching the 1/4" pipe nipple on the right-angle pipe assembly into that brass bushing, there are two 1/4-20 set screws running at 45° in the ends of that block that tighten into the pickup cavity. The right-angle pipe assembly then attaches to the horizontal 1/2" galvanized pipe support using a union which tightens up just fine by hand.

Finishing Support 1.JPG


Finishing Support 2.JPG


Finishing Support 3.JPG
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Re: Finishing support

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:32 am

That is a great idea! By the way, beautiful top wood, what is that? I just sprayed the finish on a walnut set neck like that, and I can tell you, finding a way to hold it with one hand while spraying with the other is a workout!
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Re: Finishing support

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:49 am

I used to always hang guitars from a hook in the ceiling in front of my spray booth, but I had trouble getting sufficient lacquer on the top and bottom of the rims. On my current project I placed a stick handle attached to a false dovetail installed in the body. Being able to move the body around on a stick is allowing me to get a much more even coat. However, it is a small and light body. Doing a dreadnaught this way may be too much to ask.
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Re: Finishing support

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:54 am

Christ Kacoyannakis wrote:That is a great idea! By the way, beautiful top wood, what is that? I just sprayed the finish on a walnut set neck like that, and I can tell you, finding a way to hold it with one hand while spraying with the other is a workout!

Thanks, Christ. The body and neck is ribbon-stripe (quarter-sawn) sapele, and the top, headstock and back strap are pommele sapele veneer. It's really stunning when wetted with some mineral spirits. Hoping to start grain-filling today!!
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Re: Finishing support

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:33 pm

Steve, that is stunning. I didn't notice it before, but looking at the pictures more carefully now, I see some very cool stuff on this guitar, like using different colored woods for the headstock and heel. So the neck is sapele too. Is there a light sapele, or is this heartwood? The jig looks great too.
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Re: Finishing support

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:43 pm

Christ Kacoyannakis wrote:Steve, that is stunning. I didn't notice it before, but looking at the pictures more carefully now, I see some very cool stuff on this guitar, like using different colored woods for the headstock and heel. So the neck is sapele too. Is there a light sapele, or is this heartwood? The jig looks great too.

:lol:

About that neck - yeah, I planned it that way!! ;)

Actually, it's completely serendipitous! I originally cut the pieces for the neck out of the same 8/4 hunk of sapele that I used for the body. As often happens, once removed from the surrounding stock and glued up, stresses in the wood caused the neck assembly to twist. There is a thread somewhere around here where we discuss what to do with this. I decided that the advice to start over was good, since the stability of the neck was suspect. I went to the local mill and purchased another hunk of QS sapele, and it turned out to be much lighter. It isn't sapwood, just came from a different tree hence colored a bit differently. I was a bit concerned about this, but as you can see, it actually kinda works! :)

As to the pommele sapele veneer, here is a shot if it with wet epoxy squeegeed over the surface. Hints of things to come!!

Finish Support 5.JPG


And as to the jig, that small improvement I mentioned works well!

Finishing Support 4.JPG
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Re: Finishing support

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:30 am

That top looks great. It will be awesome. So, is it a flattop veneered, or a carved top veneered. I have seen both done.
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Re: Finishing support

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:20 pm

Christ Kacoyannakis wrote:That top looks great. It will be awesome. So, is it a flattop veneered, or a carved top veneered. I have seen both done.

It's flat.

My first build was the absolute easiest first-build (a Tele) and I didn't want to take on too many new techniques for this one, since I still have a lot to learn.

  • So first it was going to be a set-neck instead of a bolt-on.
  • Then, let's do a chambered body - it's just some band-sawing, right?
  • Then I decided to veneer the body (which isn't new to me, having done a lot of veneering) but then I realized I'd have to bind the body. Add that.
  • Then I figured, as long as I was binding the body, I might as well bind the neck.
  • Oh, and the headstock would look nice veneered; and bound.
  • How about MOP FB inlays? Yeah, lemme try that...
  • Hmmm..I wonder if I can pull off a volute?
  • Uh. That volute would benefit from a back strap...

And here I am!! The only thing I didn't do was carve the top!! :lol:
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