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Workshop Notebook of the Guitarmakers   You are logged in as Guest
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estebanana

 

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Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

Workshop Notebook of the Guitarmakers 

We have a 'show your work' topic, and we have a 'share your tools' thread, it makes sense that we also have a topic on working methods.

Let's go!
______________________________________________________________

Here are some thoughts of mine on shellac work. I've been making videos instead of typing long explanations because you can see what is happening. Hoping it creates dialogs about methods.




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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2014 3:04:33
 
Leñador

Posts: 5225
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Next time HD!
Very interesting video. I'd love to see more Luthiers do stuff like this.
So to me the guitar looked fine before you started, do you have to french polish it more for proper protection or were there imperfections that I just couldn't see on the video?
Are those the Hitachino owls on the blanket?? Don't know why more sushi places in LA don't carry Hitachino…….Best japanese beer I've ever had, both types I tried.

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2014 6:14:14
 
n85ae

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Nice video! Thanks for posting it.

Regards,
Jeff
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2014 6:32:00
 
estebanana

 

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Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

You're welcome. I'l have to ask about the owls. I favor Ebisu Kuro- Ebisu is the brand kuro means dark. It's a lot like Guiness, but not quite the same tan foamy head.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2014 13:00:00
 
TANúñez

Posts: 2547
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
From: TEXAS

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Great great vid man. I like your method very much and will certainly give it a try. I like the idea that this may save me some time without sacrificing quality work.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2014 16:46:05
 
n85ae

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Actually the Assilex is something I'm glad you mentioned. I do a lot of painting, etc.
(aircraft, etc) and use some other finishing abrasives, and that system looks good.
Also Assilex is less money that some other systems.

Jeff
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2014 17:37:34
 
Andy Culpepper

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From: NY, USA

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

I will try the Assilex. I do my final leveling with 1000 grit wet-or-dry and it takes quite a bit of polishing with shellac and oil afterwards to fill in the scratches.
Thanks for the tip!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2014 21:40:16
 
estebanana

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

I have a friend mentor that does a lot of French polish, few years ago I gave him a few sheets of "asslicks" - I asked his recently what his method was and he said he dropped all the other abrasives and went with the Assilex.

If you have shoulder rotator cuff issues it will make things easier on your body too. Or help save you from future repetitive injuries that I've suffered. Part of the reason I gave up guitar is because if rotator cuff damage. That was easy to manage with the right therapy for about nine months, but I rely on the woven abrasives to keep it from creeping back.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2014 1:48:38
 
estebanana

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Since it's been positive I'll show the rest of them:

This video goes into further work with Assilex after bodying up and talks about looking for the final results when you are prepping the guitar with scraping and sanding. Most of this stuff you already know if you've done French polish so let it go to the those who have not.






Here I borrow a tool from wood block print making to create a hard backed muneca. Try this a let me know how it works. I find it to be a great help because it gives more control over the flatness and smoothness of the pad. By stretching the cover over the pad you can open the weave of the cover while at the same time making it flatter and smoother.




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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2014 2:28:04
 
estebanana

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

I do my final leveling with 1000 grit wet-or-dry and it takes quite a bit of polishing with shellac and oil afterwards to fill in the scratches.
Thanks for the tip!


I used to do that too, but you'll cut that in half if you use the 'asslicks'..haha

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2014 2:30:31
 
Jim Kirby

 

Posts: 144
Joined: Jul. 14 2011
From: Newark, DE, USA

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Thanks for the videos. I really do need to check out the abrasives.

I think the important advantage to FP is that you can do it on Saturday afternoons in the living room while watching John Wayne movies on the TV! (Only sort of kidding - I'm tired of toxic, smelly finishes.)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2014 2:57:20
 
HemeolaMan

Posts: 1512
Joined: Jul. 13 2007
From: Chicago, specifically 24.5 miles due west.

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Very informative. I'm actually only about 6800 miles away though.... Maybe other people you know are farther!

I like the muńeca idea and I had often wondered about some improvements. "use some old cut up wool socks or felt disks" I had always thought of cymbal topper felts off of a drum kit for some reason.

So we know that someone about your age who knows of julia child ordered a port orford cedar blanca from you..... mysteries!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2014 3:57:36
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3719
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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Not building myself, but just seeing how people exchange tips and help each other has nice vibes to it.

I have been helped great deals in the audio realm with highly useful knowledge shared by cracks, who instead of envyiously hiding their secrets shared with everyone. Makes you wanna embrace friendly spirits.
-

To the contrary of what´s routine around my place. Knowledge is little, seldomly regular, and guarded anxciously. Trainees will be paid either nothing or like 200 bucks monthly at best ( whilst usually relentlessly occupied for at least 10 hours / often 7 days), with the justification that they be using the know-how only to become future competition.

Employers showing mercilessly miserly like that often times are earning some hefty money in the same time, like say several tenfold of thousands of bucks per month. ( Like dental technicians I know of who produce some crappy stuff with least of know-how and means. - Very typically at minimal investment into special tools anyway.)

Just the more showing how special the intelligence of collegiality and support is.
The wisdom of understanding the universe of knowledge as great enough to nurse everyone, and the sourvereignity to share.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2014 9:53:35
 
El Burdo

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Very interesting Bananasan. I'm surprised at how long you're able to continue with that small amount of shellac and assume then, that there must be a fair whack of alcohol in it too, beyond the cut.
To date I just used shellac on the muneca and cut it with a couple of drops of alcohol and sometimes oil, but it runs out and starts grabbing pretty quickly. Your demonstration seems pretty light-touch.
I used to punish the surface with pressure to try and drive the shellac into the wood, nothing really happened, and at the same time the muneca was taking on a lovely deep french polished finish...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2014 16:51:04
 
estebanana

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Burdo,

The material and the folded shape of the pad make big difference in how the shellac flows. The regular muneca or fob as I call it in English will do it to a certain extent but the folded applicator does it better.

The touch is light, not pressing to hard, yet the shellac layers bond because of the speed in which you can lay down several layers. The passes 'burn' in together because the shellac remains tender and the solvent does the work.

The amount of alcohol is something you experiment with, you can use fairly heavy cut shellac and still do this, but a 'wetter' shellac lays down flatter because it flows out faster before it sets.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2014 0:24:18
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3719
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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Question:

With other materials like say polymere ( too much monomere leaving it porous / fragile after polymerizing out ) or plaster / clay ( too much vaporizing water weakening the final material too) using more of solvent may easen the application, but will give less stable results.

I speculate a lengthy hardening time of shellack to allow for compression / sealing of the pores from the solvent? Or is it rather that the super fast evaporation of alcohol through the still liquid blend will make a thinner mix no problemo?

Just curious.
As a kid I used to watch an old man finish his inlayed coffee tables with shellack.
( Until the grumpy guy kicked me out of the wood shop. :O/ )

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2014 9:53:23
 
SEden

 

Posts: 837
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Pretty much how I have been polishing for years now. I still use a pad though same deal but I don't have to top up very often. No circles or figure of eights just straight movments with the grain. I also don't use any oil in the process nice!

I also use automotive abrasives. The ones I use are around 1500 and 2500. Very easy to use. Just recently I have been sanding flat with with a used 2500 pad and buff straight up with a liquid buffing compound called Farecla G10. No more spiriting off! Just body, body, body, buff then your done!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2014 11:29:07
 
El Burdo

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to SEden

I think another thing that held me up was my pad - cotton wool in a ball in a cotton cover. It just soaked everything in and held it. Looking forward to trying the pad and the hard internal blank.

Vis a vis abrasives - do 'micro-mesh' abrasive sheets use the same principle as Arseillex (as it's sold in the UK)? I seem to remember the use/lack of use of 'grit' is different. The gradation is different - I have 2800 to 12000 unknown units. (Actually there is a correlation with grit, I'm joking).

We were given some 'King of Sponge', originally a German invention, but Japanese kitchen stalwart, some years ago. It's an abrasive foam so has a short lifetime. This had a stupendous effect on removing surface stains, light plaque so it might have a use in FP.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2014 15:03:36
 
estebanana

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to SEden

quote:

buff straight up with a liquid buffing compound called Farecla G10


Where do you get this stuff? I'm always looking for better rub out compounds. I find that the most difficult material to secure.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2014 13:08:20
 
keith

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Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

ebay has it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2014 13:16:28
 
pjn

 

Posts: 113
Joined: Mar. 23 2009
From: New York

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Stephen no kidding, for a total non-builder like me these vids are really enjoyable. I definitely remember the Julia Child shows; they were a must see for my mother and aunties.

Of course you'll remember that Julia was prone to sample the wines and cognacs she was cooking with -- I guess the alcohol you're using is different, huh?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2014 3:32:49
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7502
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Yeah I don't imbibe and make guitars, I save that for cooking as Julia did. She was wonderful, launched a whole lot of people in the right directions. At the end of the day once a month I might be topper in the studio with a beer or two, but I pour a beer or shochu or three at night.

If I had a lot of money to waste I would make a guitar making TV show with a lot of sarcasm and really good guitar players.

Anyway I hope some others put on their studio moves here.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2014 12:58:59
 
pjn

 

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From: New York

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

A reality TV show in which 4 guitar makers have to live and work together while competing to finish an instrument in time for the GFA competition where they will be judged by Paula Abdul, Donald Trump and Ruben Diaz -- title?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2014 16:03:08
 
SEden

 

Posts: 837
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

I don't have a particular source for it as it lasts so long that by the time I need some more I have completely forgotten where I got it from. I just search and buy what ever is cheapest at the time. Sorry I can't be much more help than that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2014 18:18:31
 
El Burdo

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

Well, I used this method on my recent attempt. No oil at all and the pad against the barren or a simple fold of cloth. It's come out pretty well, though like everything I do, it's french polishing but not as we know it, so I felt able to use a 'burnishing cream' (from D Dyke). The biggest insight was to stop when I'd done enough for the session, then start when it had dried enough. Easy. And impossible.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2014 10:50:54
 
estebanana

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

I'm glad it worked- it saves on oil which means you don't wipe your hands through your hair and get it oily which in turn means less hair washing thus saving money on shampoo.

Remember that shellac continues to shrink as it dries for a few weeks. You can level it and then return a few days later and find it seems less smooth, level and the film is thinner. The shellac continues to lose solvent for quite some time, so you want to build it up enough to level it well.

It helps if you don't have time constrains to let the shellac sit for a week before you level it for the final time. A couple days seems sufficient, but I like longer time if I can get it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2014 20:18:05
 
benros

 

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RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to estebanana

hello stephen,
i couldn't play your videos on fp. have you deleted them?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 19 2019 16:00:38
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1313
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Workshop Notebook of the Guitarm... (in reply to benros

All of the videos seem to be unavailable to me.

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I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 24 2019 4:03:38
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