Winter Buildoff 2022: Still A Diva

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by TerribleTim68, Dec 22, 2021.

  1. Yeah, same here. Luckily I have a lathe and a passion for Christmas ornaments, so the majority of our home made gifts this year are these -

  2. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
    I just searched for, found and looked through that entire thread. @mapleglo that build is amazing on every level. It will be invaluable as a reference and guide. As well as inspiration.
    That's my MO for this next build.
    We can just watch and feed off each other as we go. What could possibly go wrong?!
  3. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Love the beard guys!
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  4. Gnomes.....or if you're in the metric part of the world I guess they call them "Gonks". :eyebrow:
    If you feel like wasting 15 minutes of your life, there's this ;) -
    Rôckhewer and S-Bigbottom like this.
  5. So, going back to my ramblings on stains/dyes -
    Looks like the choices are -
    • StewMac for their "ColorTone" line
    • Crimson's "Stunning Stains" line
    • Keda has a limited selection that I can get through The Fretwire
    • Angelus has some stuff I can get through various places
    • TransTint has a limited selection I can get through LMII
    • Rockler has a product called "Mixol"
    It honestly looks like the bald cat with the head tats over there in the UK is the mot affordable option. they sell smaller bottles, so for a guy like me who will be doing a single guitar, I'm not left with half a gallon or whatever that will sit until it hardens in the bottle.

    Who has experience using some of these products?
  6. BishopJP


    Apr 5, 2019
    North Carolina
    I have used the Stunning Stains; they seem to work well enough. I have also used the Angelus but it was long enough ago that I can't really say how well it worked.

    I've got the purple and I have no plans to use it anytime soon; If it takes too long to get the Crimson stuff, I might be able to send you some. I have a few other colors too, don't remember which.
    TerribleTim68 and RichterScale like this.
  7. That's an awesome offer. Let's chat on the side. :thumbsup:
    BishopJP likes this.
  8. For what you’re trying to do I know how the Angelus dyes will work and interact with themselves on the body so I’d probably go with that or Feibings dye. I’m not sure if TransTint or Mixol works well as a dye or not. I think they’re more meant for tinting a finish. I don’t have any experience with the other products.
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  9. HECK YA!!! :hyper:

    LOVE THE GNOMES!!! :woot: :woot: :woot:
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  10. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    Angelus dyes are easy to use and work well for a rubbed burst once you get the hang of it. There's a guy on youtube who does a bunch, I think his channel is big D guitars or something like that. I've tried a few other dye type products and they're all fairly similar. You can hit the finished product with a quick dry spray of shellac and it locks it in, and then pretty much any finish can go on top of the shellac.

    But the challenge with dye on figured wood is that it "freezes" the figure. You'll get a pretty strong emphasis of the figure because the dye will soak into the ripple figure unevenly, but the emphasis is frozen. Normal flamed maple looks like it's moving when you look at it from different angles. Once the dye goes in, the figure looks more intense but it stops moving.

    The only way I've been able to get around that is to not use straight dye on bare wood and instead focus on a tinted finish over top of wood that's been sealed with something clear.

    Then again, lots of people seem to love the "emphasized but frozen" look and even go out of their way to highlight it, so maybe this isn't a big deal to most people.
  11. Yup, I've been watching Derek plenty over the past couple years and we also chat on the book of faces. He makes it look stupid easy, which I know it just...isn't.

    Yeah, I'm just not set up to pray a tinted clear. Don't have the gear. I do agree that the tinted clear is the way to go, because it ends up looking so much deeper and simply better. I'm just not set up for it.
    Matt Liebenau and dwizum like this.
  12. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    I got the best results with the dyes by sanding to a much higher grit than I normally do and raising the grain with rubbing alcohol then sanding it back several times. That cuts a lot of the fuzziness that causes the grain-freeze. I also tried doing a wash coat of shellac under the dye which really helped, but made the colors less intense since the dye didn't soak in as much. It's definitely a balancing act and takes practice.
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  13. I'm still fumbling through my thoughts on how to assemble this thing. :meh: :confused: :banghead:
  14. I’ve done both dye and candy spray. There’s not really “right” or “wrong” just different looks. Derek just posted a video with flame maple and a green “butterfly” burst that I have a hard time believing would look “better” if done with tinted clears. Different certainly, maybe more to one person’s taste, probably but that’s the only distinction.

    That’s kind of the long way around saying to use the finish techniques and materials you have at your disposal and get good with them and the bass(es) will look great regardless of the specific process.

    Beej, dwizum and TerribleTim68 like this.
  15. dmarino


    Jun 1, 2019
    I've used the Stew-Mac color tone stains with water a couple times and had good experiences.
    It's not the cheapest stuff, but a little goes a long way.
    This photo is water-diluted color tone under varathane
    Beej, dwizum, Matt Liebenau and 3 others like this.
  16. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    Color tone and mixol both work well.
    Beej likes this.
  17. Winging It -
    Okay, a little more progress today. We got off work a couple hours early so I used that free time to jam on this thing. I had planned on adding a strip of purpleheart between the neck blank and the body wings. So basically like another stripe of purpleheart on the neck core. So, let's get that all jointed and glued up -

    It'll probably make more sense as I get farther into it. For now we'll let that sit overnight, then unclamp it tomorrow and see if I can find time to flush cut it. I have not rough cut the body wing shape yet, it's still a big rectangular block.

    Sticking My Neck out -
    Okay, I need to get brave and start cutting on this neck blank! I marked out a centerline, which meant sticking the truss rod in the slot, running a strip of tape down the middle and marking on the tape. I needed the truss rod to hold the tape up. Then we can mark out our neck taper by measuring from centerline of our full scale drawing and transferring that to the real thing, then using a very long straight edge, run a line down it connecting those measurements. Then make some marks where our body wings will be, roughly speaking, and head to the bandsaw. :eek:

    Honestly, these steps scare the beejesus out of me still. It's one of those moments where you can make real expensive firewood. Luckily, my bandsaw was nice to me today, that 1/2" resaw blade stayed fairly straight and I took my time. I also remembered, we're working with wenge again, which is basically made of concrete and hatred. If you ever decide to build a guitar or bass, I'd suggest something like ash. :meh: So. Many. Splinter! My god this stuff is evil. But hey, YOU chose this crap Tim, get to work! So now our neck blank looks kinda like...well okay, exactly like this -



    I'll need to do some cleanup at each end, but that was as close to my line as I dared go. I'm probably gonna use Mapleglow's method of a straight edge and pattern router bit to do the final straightening of each side. But I will be leaving the headstock ears and the body joint area rather rough for the time being. I need to get some things to sort of dowel/pin the wings on as we go through this, so that area won't come together for a while I suspect.

    Let Go Of My Ears, I Know What I'm Doing -
    It also became apparent that I was gonna need to glue ears on the heastock anyways. So I cut some purpleheart strips and grabbed a spare piece of wenge. We'll deal with that later. I also cut a piece of the flame maple to go on the top of the headstock too -

    I know, this maple doesn't look very "flame-y", but there's a little bit there. It's what I got man, don't look at me like that. :laugh:
    For those who are on the Facebook, here's a quick vid I made of this top a while back -

    So yeah, some progress. Not much, but some. If I can find the time, I'd like to get the body wings rough cut tomorrow so I can start holding them up to the neck blank and dreaming about how cool this thing may some day be. I can also rough cut the fretboard too. I'm still trying to decide on a solid method to sort of pin it so I don't have to full on glue it just yet. Has anyone had success with that staple method? I hear you can tap a staple in, then cut the "top" off it, leaving behind two little pins. Anyone done that with success?
  18. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
    I'm using a regular ol' piece of maple for mine. It actually has some nice figure for being maple, but no flames or quilts or eyes. I dunno, I kinda like it. I love the heavily figured/quilted, etc stuff, but sometimes subtle is nice too. Especially when you have other stuff you want to contrast or draw attention to.
  19. Yeah, I mean, I know it isn't a super highly figured piece. This was "a reject from a local guitar factory" that my Rockler affiliate store had for $20. So, "local guitar factory" could be either Warmoth or Sound Guitar Works, both are literally 15 minutes from my house. My guess is it wasn't good enough for them and they ditched it. But for $20, my wife was willing to give it new life and brought it home for me one day. So yeah, the tossed maple top is a rebirth as well I guess. As long as I don't screw it up. :roflmao::meh:
    Beej likes this.
  20. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
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