Trying To Build A Partscaster . . .

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Ray Stankewitz, Mar 11, 2021.

  1. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Okay, so I ordered a kit from The Fretwire to build a Strat with particular things in mind. IT was going to receive a Mighty-Mite maple/maple neck, some GFS pickups and a few other things. It was to be the experiment into water-borne finishes. The end result was to have some passing resemblance to a '59 Tahitian Coral Strat. Also, it will have a Linden wood body. It has some weight to it and it rings when I do a tap test. Might be a keeper, although I need to plug some of the pickguard holes, they are not all in the right places. Yeah, no surprises there. Too bad, the routing is crisp, spot on and the neck fits like it should.

    The kit came, and after looking through the hard parts they sent, well, I kinda wished you could get the kit just body and neck. The neck that came with the kit (maple/rosewood reverse headstock) is going on an ash hardtail body with two humbuckers. Always wanted a hardtail HH Strat.

    I sat down and ordered parts, only to have the first order (Musiclily) for a trem, 52.5mm Wilkinson, cancelled on me as out of stock. Okay, second time all I could find was a MIM big block trem. That, too cancelled, not in stock. Now on my third order from a more-local to me source. Let's see if that one comes through or not.

    I may have to change to gold hardware(!) just so I can get everything I need. Grrrrr! Danged Covid-19!

    Anyway, anybody interested in a buildup series? Note, the finish came from Crystalac Company so you will see what happens when I do the deed, no punches pulled. I paid out of pocket for the products so I will give an honest evaluation, even if it's a hard evaluation.
     
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  2. Luvs2yoko

    Luvs2yoko Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2014
    Pa
    Sounds like a fun project. I just did a build with a water based stain, came out pretty good. I went with a faded pink with a satin laquer top coat.Good luck.
     
  3. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    50
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Sounds like fun! Keep us posted with progress and lot of pictures. I, for one, love that kind of stuff. And if the gold hardware works with the color you are using, go for it. Strats with gold hardware are kind of rare and normally look real good.
     
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  4. JurnyWannaBe

    JurnyWannaBe Squier-holic

    Age:
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    Feb 14, 2019
    30808
    This is gonna be good. Keep us posted :)
     
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  5. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Squier-Nut

    Age:
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    521
    Dec 14, 2009
    Mount Airy, NC
    Sure, I like to watch a good project.
     
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  6. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Okay, the third attempt at buying a bridge still seems a go at this point. No cancellations and I have a delivery date of the 16th of March. I wanted to put the thing together before finishing, just so there are no surprises after the paint work is completed.

    Crystalac has warnings about using stearated sandpaper. Did some digging, since they only offer 220 and 400. Found out 3M 216U series Fre-Cut Gold is not stearated. By the way, stearates are basically lubricants, meant to keep your sandpaper from clogging. Some manufacturers such as Norton use a silicone-based stearate so you could see what that would do to water based finishes. The 3M Gold are good and once the finish is cured, you can color sand with 3M Tri-m-ite papers.

    Anyway, enough rambling. I will do the initial trial assembly as soon as I have the MIM Fender trem that's on its way by USPS cheapest shipping.
     
  7. Kinnon09

    Kinnon09 Squier-Meister Gold Supporting Member

    438
    Mar 8, 2021
    Scotland
    Is it gold?? Or did you get the one you where after?
     
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  8. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Well, looks like a chrome trem bridge did ship, headed to me. USPS says it's in Indianapolis, about 30 or so miles from me. Oddly, it won't make it to my house until Tuesday, according to the USPS gods. Also, it made it to Indy from Central Michigan overnight. Go figure.

    So, looks like it's going to wear chrome hardware unless we have a major cluck-up of some kind.

    Got a chance to do a test layup of the Crystalac 3'n1 basecoat. Because it's a water-based finish, it played hell with the grain of my Doug Fir test piece. It was quarter-sawn so the softer wood raiesd pretty badly. Mind you, I used no sanding sealer first, just to see what would happen. Seems three coats will be a good basecoat, next test will involve sanding sealer, basecoat, then clearcoat. When we get to that point, it will be two weeks to allow the clearcoat to cure fully before cut and buff. LMI has a YouTube video of the sanding sealer and clearcoat being tested on rosewood and spruce.

     
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  9. Kinnon09

    Kinnon09 Squier-Meister Gold Supporting Member

    438
    Mar 8, 2021
    Scotland
    It's always the same when you are waiting on something. Sounds like you are getting on with it? Looking forward to some pics.
     
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  10. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Doing some minor test fitting and studying the possibility of combining a TBX tone circuit with an Oak-Grigsby 6-way switch. All the Srat sounds plus bridge and neck together. Seems I will need a set of resistors to try on the TBX circuit, since I'm not using a Clapton Boost circuit. Still not sure I fully understand the TBX ckt, though. Oh well.

    So far, all the finish products seem to clean up fully with soap and water. Also, almost no odor at all, and what little tiny bit it has is not objectionable. Always fun to try something new that actually seems to work.
     
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  11. Kinnon09

    Kinnon09 Squier-Meister Gold Supporting Member

    438
    Mar 8, 2021
    Scotland
    https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/The_Fender_TBX_Tone_Control_Part_1
     
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  12. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
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  13. Kinnon09

    Kinnon09 Squier-Meister Gold Supporting Member

    438
    Mar 8, 2021
    Scotland
    Have fun tell us how you get on.
     
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  14. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Well, did a quick finish test with sealer, basecoat, probably not enough clearcoat then let is set for a few days. Did a color sand, started with 320(!), worked through 12,000(!!!!) rather quickly. The idea was to do it wrong for effect. Polished with Meguiar's #205 Ultra Finishing Polish followed by #7 Show Car Glaze. Yeah, jumped a few products there but again, it was to see what would happen.

    first impressions; the Brite Tone Gloss is a very hard finish. I put five coat on, probably would have been better with ten or so. According to Dorinda at Crystalac, I should wait ten days or so before cut and buff. She's the owner so she should know. Note the 3 in 1 base can't be color sanded and polished that easily. It seems to just want to be a satin finish regardless. Also, get all of your imperfections our of the color coat because the clear coat will telegraph all imperfections.

    We are progressing, a bit at a time. tomorrow is cut the headstock day so we shall see if I need to order another neck. I don't have access to a bandsaw or a scroll saw so jigsaw it will be! Might be a bad thing. Anyway, that's all for now. I'll try to post a pic of the neck and the test paint piece, once I can convince the camera to ignore the gloss and just take the pic, dammit.
     
  15. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Today was a bust. I did manage to do a good favor for my grandson, set up his new to him ESP-LTD Tele - seven string - 27" scale neck-through git. Fun stuff, at least it had locking tuners. That was the good. The bad? Spent seven, yes, SEVEN hours trying to get that blasted Oak-Grigsby 6-way switch working. All I can say is, don't waste your $$ and time on it. They made both sides of the switch not as mirrors, but the same layout. If you look at one side, turn it, it's the same. Can't get the thing to work as advertised and have tone on even two pickups. Utter junk. I"m going to Sam Ash tomorrow for a Fender 5-way.
     
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  16. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    It begins: Did a preliminary fit-up of parts, relieved cavities that weren't big enough, applied one coat of grain filler. Probably not needed with Linden (Basswood) but ya know, smoke 'em if you got 'em. In the process, 6-way switch was a bust, went to a standard Fender 5-way switch. All good now.

    Body, on the custom super-cheap sanding deck;

    [​IMG]

    Back view;

    [​IMG]

    And a full view of my super-cheap Sanding deck, courtesy Best Way Disposal and Scott Shop Towels.

    [​IMG]

    Sanded to 220, around baby butt smooth, now to add three coats of sanding sealer. That will be needed because the basecoat is water-borne and it will raise the grain substantially if you don't use the sanding sealer or at least something under it as a barrier.

    More to come.
     
  17. Kinnon09

    Kinnon09 Squier-Meister Gold Supporting Member

    438
    Mar 8, 2021
    Scotland
    Looking good well done.:)
     
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  18. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Just finished with coat number one of sanding sealer. If there's something to be said about these products, they have almost no odor and what little there is, it's not objectionable.

    And, the body is just sucking in the sealer like a drunkard on a pub crawl. I might be able to get two coats in today if I'm lucky.
     
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  19. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    We now have color but I'm fighting brush strokes in the paint and drips I didn't see until too late. Sanding out the brush strokes (orbital sander, 320 grit Norton diamond cut), it's revealing just how little paint is on the body, maybe 2 mil at most before sanding. Been building up where I went through the finish, carefully block sanding with 3M 400 grit from StewMac. Need to work on the runs along the edges next, should prove to be fun. Not. Also experimenting with thinning down the paint to make it sprayable. Dorinda from Crystalac uses water in a few YooToob demos so I'm trying that first.

    As an aside, 3M U216 grade sandpaper is next to impossible to find in my area. Going to have to go to Rockler in Indianapolis to see what they have.
     
  20. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Jammin' in my Music Room Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
    571
    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    And another update;

    Skipped trying to brush the basecoat, went to spraying it through my gravity-fed junk Harborious Freight touch-up gun. Would have probably been better with the correct thinner but it worked. Gun doesn't like water-borne products so it was a fight. Don't use a Preval sprayer, it's a straight up mess, making blotchy bloobers everywhere. It has about five good coats of color on it so now to clear it.

    Again, don't use the Preval for this unless you use their proprietary thinner. It will spray straight out of the can but not that well. Again, using the junk gun for this. It worked but it was a hassle. I will be going in search of a better gun that says it can spray water-borne products. Right now, I have about two ounces of clear on the body, I'll get pics tomorrow in better light. This Brite Tone gloss clear lays down and self levels like crazy. When the Preval bloobered the first coat on, it actually dried very level, surprising the crap out of me. Good stuff. There are flat and satin versions of the clear and I have heard of people wiping it on. Going to find that old T-shirt and try to wipe it on to a test board I have been using.

    Well, going to have to use the neck that came with the kit. The issue is, the neck and body are 'matched' at the factory. The height of the fretboard over the top of the body is correct but the neck pocket is too deep for any neck other than the one that's the mate to the body. It's going to be maple/rosewood with a reverse head stock. Gotta cut that head stock one of these days.

    Two observations so far; You only need 4oz of color and the 8oz mini jar of clear for a body and neck. The sanding sealer can be from Crystalac or you can use Bullseye clear shellac in a spray can. The grain filler is available in an 8oz mini tub, too. You will need to get non-stearated sandpaper such as 3M U216 gold to keep from getting fisheyes in the paint.

    I'll be back soon with more pics.
     
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