Renk - Siren Build Thread

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by Renkenstein, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    I once sealed the edges with Tru-Oil and not even taped it off when I hit the top with dye ...
     
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  2. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    It costs more up front to go the polyurethane+BLO+mineral spirits route, but you get a lot more for your money. Tru-Oil costs as much as $4 per ounce. So you can get a 3oz bottle for ~$12. If all you will ever need is 3oz, it's a better deal.

    But if you plan to use a lot, buying a quart each of Wipe-on Poly, Boiled Linseed Oil, and Mineral Spirits will cost you in the neighborhood of $40, but you get 96oz of finish, so it's more like $0.39 per ounce.

    Tru-Oil has a relatively short pot-life. I've used it on two projects. The jar I used for the first was no good by the time the second came around, so I had to buy more. That was annoying.

    You can mix your own finish in very small batches as needed, so it will last a lot longer.


    Plus, tru-oil is mostly BLO+poly anyway.
     
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  3. immortalx

    immortalx New Member

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    Heretic, so true! I had the same experience and discarded my first TO bottle!
    Since then, I just poke a small hole instead of peeling the aluminum inside the cap and store it upside down.
     
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  4. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    I was going to go the small hole in a Tru-Oil bottle, but I'd honestly rather mix something similar up myself. I'm on the fence with Tru-Oil. Like you said, it's expensive for what it is, and the shelf life once opened is wack.
     
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  5. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    After the 2nd application of dye was dry, I sanded a bit to blend the transitions. I'm happy with the fade, but I'm not satisfied with the level of black.


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    I applied more black, letting the darkest of the mixed dye I prepared sit a while on the edge. Blended in with some medium black in the middle, then just plain water on the right edge. I blended it all together and let it dry. I'll sand it again tomorrow to blend it and see where I need to go. I'm pretty happy with the level of black on the bevel edge. Oh, and I considered the shellac masked bevel a complete success, so I didn't tape it before this application. I wanted to slop some dye on it "accidentally" to see just how resilient the shellac is to the dye.
     
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  6. immortalx

    immortalx New Member

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    Wow this is gonna ROCK under a finish :yesway:
    And a big thanks for sharing every bit of your finishing process in such a detailed manner. :yesway:
     
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  7. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    Very nice color! This guitar is going to look awesome!

    So you hit already dried dye with water again?
     
  8. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    Yessir! After sanding a little, I pre-wet the surface the second time to reactivate the dye and blend a little more. I then went back over the edge and middle with more dye, letting the darkest dye sit unmolested for a couple minutes on the edge. It really soaked in and made it BLACK. I'm having a lot of fun with this stuff. It's a lot less difficult than I thought it would be.
     
  9. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    Welcome, buddy. I pretty much just make notes for myself for repeatability, and just copy/paste all my notes from my albums. So many builders on these forums have helped me out of tight spots, and shared knowledge freely. It's only right for me to do the same.

    I'm not really doing any breakthrough shit here anyway, and most of y'all already know what I'm doing, so I'm not revealing any proprietary Renk secrets(not that there are any).

    I'm kind of a long-winded guy and I like to talk...typing is no exception. I get carried away pretty often. :rofl:
     
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  10. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    So much work over the weekend!!! I finished fretting the neck, put her together, and played her Sunday morning.

    I've got the body and neck completely ready for taping and dye. I had to reshape the neck heel a bit and the neck carve a lot. She's got an offset carve that favors the bass side now.

    Heretic...I also bought boiled linseed oil and wipe-on satin poly. I've got the first coat of the spirits/oil/poly mix on the test piece. We'll see how that turns out instead of the Tru-Oil. I'll have a LOT of it, but I think that's a solid process, so I'm all in.
     
  11. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Created a recess for a ferrule plate. I made one last build out of necessity, but I rather like them, so I'm using one for this build as well. Used the string thru holes as pilot holes, and drilled to a marked depth with a forstner bit. Cleaned up with a chisel.


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    Fret wire arrived!



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    Pressed in 24 EVO frets. I don't have any end cutters, so I tried with those pliers shown there. Yeah...that didn't work very well at all and hurt my hand. I took the neck over to the band saw and carefully(and easily) lopped each one off. EVO is a brittle metal, I noticed. RIP Megadeth lighter. Ran out of fluid.



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    Filed the fret ends flush and put a slight bevel on them.



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    Woke up Sunday morning on a mission! Installed the hardware from the original Siren and strung her up.



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    Busted out my favorite licks and riffs and threw her in front of a black curtain for a photo. She plays nice, but there's a double chin on this girl's neck. Now that I know the neck/string/bridge alignment is all good, I can make adjustments to the neck profile.



    [​IMG]
     
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  12. mr shankly

    mr shankly Member

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    Oh! That is just gorgeous. Stunning!
     
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  13. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Mr Shankly!

    Summoning Heretic....come in Heretic...

    I've been working with that oil/poly/spirits concoction, and I've come to the conclusion that's all that Tru-Oil is. It looks exactly the same, maybe just a bit thinner, but that a good thing because I thinned Tru-Oil for application. I've got 4 coats built up so far. I'm probably going to go with 6-8 coats on the test piece before polishing.

    I'm thinking of getting a can of the gloss poly and test that with the mix...see if that doesn't make it shine more. Have you tried this yet?
     
  14. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Adam mentioned I needed a better way to hold the neck when carving, so I whipped together a little carving buck that can be held by my vise. Used an old MDF fretboard template, an offcut of mahogany, and a bit of cork to protect the frets. I carved the neck some more, giving me an offset profle that's a bit thicker under the bass strings, with a lot less shoulder under the treble strings.

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    You can kind of see the offset in the curl of the maple.

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    Adjustments required tweaking of the heel and volute transitions.

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    Back to finishing. On the left, 1 coat of an oil/poly mix finish that I rubbed on. On the right, 3 coats of spray shellac that I'm using as a spray finish example.


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    Bottom, Oil....Top, Shellac. I like the warm tone of the oil over the black, while the clear coat sample seems like a much cooler tone. With all the warm amber of the maple binding and bevels, and the complex browns and reds of the mahogany, I'm thinking the oil over the black will look a lot better. I'm going to do a couple more coats of oil on this sample piece and then I'll be ready to do something crazy.



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    After finish sanding, I taped up the top and the mahogany portions of the body and sprayed a couple coats of shellac to seal the bevel binding from dye.



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    Did the same for the headstock.



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    4 coats of oil on the left. Same spray shellac on right...no change there.



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    The oil is getting there, but the reflecting ability of the shellac just destroys the oil. I did wet sand the shellac, while the oil is still in the application phase, so there is that. I may try using gloss poly in the formula and testing before moving on to finishing the guitar.



    [​IMG]


    Removed the masking tape. Any shellac that made it under the tape got sanded off the top using a corian sanding block and 220. I also wet the top to raise the grain and knocked down the fuzzies by sanding. I'll be slingin dye tomorrow morning!
     
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  15. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to this :) Nice neck heel transition btw.
     
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  16. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I've been experimenting with all those corian offcuts I got a year ago from a local kitchen and bath place. I've been using it to make nuts for practice, but I've got some bigger pieces that would never get used up in this manner. I started cutting them into random shapes that I need for jobs as they arise. I made a sanding stick with a half round on one face, while the other is perfectly flat. I sticky some 80grit to that and I'm able to shape away.

    With your clean work, it's obvious you use sanding blocks...I highly recommend getting some scrap corian for this purpose. They flatten easily on a granite slab and sandpaper. The only downside really is if you drop them, they tend to explode. Haha.
     
  17. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Dye Day #1: A Leap of Faith.
    I left the shellac coated bevels untaped to apply dye, still have a clean line. It's a little sketchy at the butt-beak, but I think dye is just sitting on the shellac and I didn't want to wipe it and risk cocking up the dye on the top. I taped up the edges to prevent dye from getting on the mahogany, but it was unnecessary. Letting this sit overnight.


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    Not going for the burst to natural on the headstock. It'll just get a normal black burst, so I slopped some medium black in the middle and went around the edge with dark black.



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    I think she'll look really nice. Lots of grain peeking through the darkest dye. That's a good sign, right? Pretty flippin jazzed about how clean the dyed edge is. I was really worried about that. After I snapped this pic, I took a bit of water and a cotton rag-ball thing and drew some of the black into the center from the medium to the natural and from the dark into the medium just to get the transitions started a little earlier. I'll be sanding and blending(and reapplying) tomorrow.
     
  18. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    Interessting ...
     
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  19. mr shankly

    mr shankly Member

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    Love that headstock design - have you managed to achieve straight string pull. You really should be doing this for a living! Come on non builders, get your orders in!
     
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  20. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Sanded back the first layer of dye.


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    Applied more dye to get the edge darker.



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    Sanded back the dark stuff and blended further.



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    Burst finalized and ready for finish. The black/gray beard approves of the black/gray burst.



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    Mixed up some oil/poly/spirits according to The Drunken Woodworker's formula and applied the first coat. Interesting observation. Water based dye is not 100% safe from being lifted by oil. There will be a little color difference, and I did notice a bit of the black being lifted on the application rag.



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    The oil made the mahogasapele look REALLY nice.



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    Finished the neck with the same stuff, but I left the fretboard untouched. I'll be applying fretboard oil to that.
     
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