Archive for November, 2009

Kit guitar finished! (for the most part)

So I decided to wrap up this guitar finally. Christmas is coming and I figured what better time to deliver a gift to someone?

I gotta say that I am not totally pleased with my finishing job. The shellac that I used had very strange characteristics when I was sanding. Also, I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with the sandpaper that I was using, I don’t really know why.

Also, the setup is a bit wonky. The string spacing is waaaaaay too high, I tried to counter it by messing with the truss rod. That didn’t get me anywhere. So I just sanded down the saddle more, it helped.

The guitar has a fair amount of settling to do. It is still making creaking and popping noises. Hopefully they will stop in time.

Anyway, that is enough trash talking this guitar. Now for the pics.

Custom Guitar #1

Sure, the last guitar that I made was “custom”, but I didn’t start from scratch. A lot of the legwork was done before I touched it.

I decided while waiting for the finish to cure on the kit guitar, to start on the next one.

I don’t have an exact plan on this one, I’ll just play it by ear. I wont make it a habit of winging every build, but I will be tooling up during the process of making this guitar, so I cant make a lot of decisions anyway.

This stage of the process required me to purchase some hand planes. I bought some cheapo Stanley planes at Lowes. I cut the shape of the guitar with my electric jigsaw. I also made a make-shift shooting board so i could glue it together.

Shooting the sides of this thing was a huge learning process. I still dont think that i have it…

I made some attempts at thicknessing the back with the plane. As you can see, it’s horribly mangled. I’m not sure what to do just yet. I think I’ll just sand it until its un-mangled. Then i get to decide what to put as the marriage strip…


Epoxy: The new filler on the block

Ok, the studio is back up and transmitting. That just means I have stopped stuffing my mouth with Halloween candy long enough for me to make another post.

Epoxy. Or should I say Z-poxy.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Wood CAN be very poreous. If you look at some of the closeup pictures in my other posts, you can get an illustration. From what I understand, if you finish a guitar without filling those pores (or gaps) then you end up with a guitar with a bad complexion. What happens is that the finish gets sprayed on, you sand it, and the wood sucks in (or absorbs) the finish and the finish then gets sucked into the pours. That is a theory that I think I read somewhere…. I could be totally full of crap, though.

Enter Z-poxy. Z-poxy is an epoxy finishing resin. Most epoxies are for adhering things to one another. This epoxy is for finishing. Basically, you just apply the epoxy to the wood and it fills the pores… simple as that. Simple, yes! Messy? very.

I use gloves to apply the stuff. If it gets on your hands you’ll be using sandpaper to get it off after it dries.

The first few pictures are my first attempt at pore filling the back of the guitar and the headpiece. A lesson learned on this application is that the more you leave on the back, the more you will have to sand off. So my next attempts consisted of applying the epoxy and then scraping off the excess. For the back, I used an old Subway (eat fresh!) card. The subsequent applications were used with some clay modeling utensils.

You see all that epoxy globbed on there? It took me soooo long to sand that off, even with an electric sander.

You can see the epoxy reflections in the pores of the wood here.


From what I have read, 3 applications of the epoxy should be enough. Epoxy, sand, epoxy, sand, epoxy, sand, done.

On to finishing the rest of the guitar.


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Bailie Guitars Blog

Greetings! This is a blog about my adventures in building guitars. I hope you enjoy!