Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Destroyer Project (3): Paint booth

This project used toxic lacquer paints with noxious fumes so it had to be done outdoors. A painting booth protected the guitar from dust and debris while the paint was drying.

I built a paint booth that resembled a telephone booth. It's basically an open box covered in plastic. The ends were salvaged from an old coffee table. Some wood scraps and plastic sheeting from Home Depot completed the necessary supplies.

I put in a hook in a cross member in the top of the booth. There was another hook in the little neck stick in the guitar. This way the guitar could hang in the booth between the paint layers.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Destroyer Project: (2) Sealing and Priming

After the body is smooth then it is ready to apply the undercoats prior to painting. The goal is to smooth out the wood grain and to provide a surface for the paint to stick to.

First up is a lacquer sanding sealer. I brushed on 8 coats of sanding sealer, lightly sanding after each application. Basically, you keep putting this stuff on until you don't see any wood grain texture. You can still see the grain but you want to check the texture. This is a critical step. You don't want your guitar body to be all rough like an unfinished piece of plywood.

After the body looked good I moved on to primer. I used Duplicolor Filler Primer that I picked up at an auto parts store. Again, I used lacquer, since I planned on using the Duplicolor lacquers for the paint and gloss coat. Everything has to be compatible so it can all stick together.

Anyway, I put on so many coats that I used up the whole can of primer. Once the guitar turned gray I could see a few spots where wood grain was showing through. I just sanded through those and put on some sealer until it was good. For small grains I just gave it an extra blast of primer.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Destoyer Project: (1) Raw Body

It was time to expand my horizons and transition from guitar pedal projects to a full blown guitar project. I really like the look of the old Ibanez Destroyer style guitars. There is also the inspiration and homage to Ed Van Halen's early "Shark" guitar - though I don't yet have any plans to take a chainsaw to the guitar.

The project starts with a raw unfinished Perle Destoyer body. Loads of elbow grease and sandpaper are needed to make the body as smooth as possible. The photos shows the guitar with a "neck stick" and masking in preparation for the sanding sealer process. The short window of warm weather in Seattle is the time for body finishing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

New shop light for the shop

I utilized the holidays to upgrade the lighting in the Zorro Repair Shop. So far I've installed a new overhead fluorescent lamp. Helps brighten the work area so I can see all those teeny tiny electronics components and circuits!