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Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:11 pm

I brought the guitar home last month and sanded back one coat in the garage still at 240 grit. I also did a fair bit of drop filling with lacquer, basically dropping lacquer into all of the gaps that appear when you start sanding back. For example:

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That particular gap between the binding and guitar side was where I hadn't done a good enough job of cleaning up the binding channel. The sides are laminate and tend to split at the edges. I ended up drop filling that gap five times, sanding back each time.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:19 pm

Back in the workshop, I gave myself a break from sanding Frankenbro and test fitted the machine heads before I started getting any more lacquer on. I couldn't get any used ones that fitted in the timescale so ended up buying new Schallers. Probably for the best, worn machine heads can be a pain to live with.

The existing holes in the headstock were fine for the tuning posts but needed widening at the bottom to accommodate the base of the posts. Also needed to drill pilot holes for the fixing screws which were in a different position to the existing:

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And test fitted:

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:31 pm

Then sprayed a fourth coat - starting to see the finish build up now:

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This is the stuff I am using:

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Cut that coat back with 320 grit then sprayed again, then cut back again with 320 as there were still areas that needed flattening - each coat reveals more imperfections.

At this stage there was enough lacquer on to apply the waterslide logo, bought from Rothko and Frost:

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You can also see where the tuning post holes have been widened to accommodate ferrules, not strictly needed as the posts fitted well but they'll look better and Col had some in his box of leftovers.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:35 pm

That's it for this year. Sprayed another coat and have brought it home for cutting back with 400 grit (going very gingerly over the logo) and yet more (minor) drop filling.

That's the end of my spraying - my technique isn't good enough yet and the final three or four coats need to be put on nice and even, no runs, so I'm asking Col to do it for me next visit in return for beer and curry.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:40 pm

Keep going Adrian, you're almost there!
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:42 pm

Wonks wrote:Keep going Adrian, you're almost there!

Thanks!!
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:36 pm

The tuner strip reminded me that I was going to comment on how little tuner strips have changed over the years.

Last weekend I picked up a late 30s/early 40s regal parlour guitar for £100. Can't see any serial number on it so there's no no hope of an accurate date. Whilst the original machine heads work, two of the tuner buttons are very bent and there's so much play in the gears that getting it in tune and staying in tune was never going to be easy. So whilst I'll keep the original tuners safe, I went and bought a set of Kluson strip tuners.

These have exactly the same post centres, fixing screw locations and an almost identical mounting plate size and shape to the originals. And I expect the original strips were available from at least the 1920s (or before). So you can buy tuners today that will fit guitars made 100 years ago. And Gibson still use this strip size on their LP Jr and Specials.

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The tuner post holes should have pressed steel ferrules, which have obviously fallen out over time, so I've ordered some more of those. They don't have any splines, so really need a dab of glue to keep them in place. The Klusons came with bushings, but they were of a wider, more modern design, so won't be fitted.

The guitar itself has many partially loose battens, so I'm in the process of gluing them back before stringing it up.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby blinddrew » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:19 pm

adrian_k wrote:That's it for this year. Sprayed another coat and have brought it home for cutting back with 400 grit (going very gingerly over the logo) and yet more (minor) drop filling.

That's the end of my spraying - my technique isn't good enough yet and the final three or four coats need to be put on nice and even, no runs, so I'm asking Col to do it for me next visit in return for beer and curry.
Good work Adrian, looking forward to seeing more progress in the new year. :)
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:49 am

Still plodding on...

January visit saw three more coats of lacquer, first two cut back with 600 wet & dry, then I brought it home to cut back with 800 wet & dry. Here it is with the seventh coat of lacquer. It's looking quite good now I think... it's great how even a nondescript piece of wood once you've put some elbow grease into it will show some nice texture and grain. Subtle in this case I'll grant you though..

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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:52 am

And then we cut that finish off so that we can start again! It's a slightly frustrating process cutting back wet as you can't see where you've been..

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Ready for next spraying:

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@Wonks - how is the Regal coming on?
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:19 am

The Regal is waiting on me building some spool clamps as I'm planning on removing the back to glue the bracing back on properly and feeling well/bright enough to do so. Got all the bits for the clamps, just need time (and weather that's decent enough to work outside) to cut the circular bits of wood out. Been working on Arkieboy's guitars the past couple of weeks, so I keep putting it off.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Wonks » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:21 am

The resonator is looking good.
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby zenguitar » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:49 am

Nice work :thumbup:

And a handy reminder that finishing takes a lot more time and effort than people think.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:38 pm

You could say "it ain't finished 'till it's 'Finished'..." ;)
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Re: Build project - resonator guitar from recycled bits

Postby adrian_k » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:32 pm

True, but I think I can hear the large lady warming up....
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