Preparing the neck by sanding and sealing with clear lacquer

I thought I’d demonstrate fretting a neck and finishing it with nitrocellulose lacquer. The neck I used was very nicely made, with a compound radius fretboard which progresses up the board from 7¼” to 10″ radius. The back is a nice soft V at the first fret, rounding out towards the heel. A compound radius isn’t …

Finished lemondrop refinish

The owner of the Vintage Lemondrop guitar that I upgraded some time back asked me to refinish the top. Thinking that the finish would be thin and strip easily, I agreed. I discovered however that the finish is thick, tough and difficult to remove. I stripped the top over a couple of weeks and probably …

Knot fill sanded smooth

I’m building myself a “La Cabronita” style guitar in black, with a very nice one-piece alder body from Phil at GuitarBuild.co.uk. I can’t stress enough the need for thorough preparation for a guitar finish to turn out well. Black lacquer is very reflective and shows every defect, so it is especially important here. Sanding sealer …

Close-up of the disressed pickguard

More as an experiment than anything else, I decided to have a go at relicing the body I finished in August. The first job is to add a few knocks and scrapes. I dropped a set of keys on the front and back and gently knocked the edges in a few places. Any damage on …

Finished Ice Blue Telecaster

Here is the Telecaster assembled. I’ve used the bridge from a Fender USA 62 Reissue, Fender jack cup, AllParts parchment ‘guard and some great sounding hot AlNiCo V pickups from The Creamery. I’m considering giving it the freezer treatment once the lacquer has hardened sufficiently.

Clear coats sprayed

Preparation Finishing alder is much easier than painting an ash body as the wood is more tightly grained. The reduction in finishing costs is why Fender used alder bodies for their solid colours and sunbursts from the late fifties. As with any wood however, preparation is absolutely fundamental to achieving a good result. If you …

Back of the butterscotch Telecaster body

Here’s how to get the ferrules into a Telecaster without chipping the lacquer. This only works for guitars finished in nitrocellulose. The heat of the soldering iron melts the lacquer which also acts as an adhesive holding the ferrule in place. You can probably see from my shaking hand that I’m exerting quite a bit …

Wet sanding the front of the body

I’m often asked how to spray a butterscotch guitar body so thought I’d put together a bit of a tutorial. Please note that I do not offer a refinishing service. The body I’m using is by Guitar Build who offer a range of CNC machined guitar bodies. I’m very impressed with the accuracy of the shape, which …

Les Paul Standard original Corian nut

A  regular customer of mine recently bought a 2006 Les Paul and brought it to me for a setup. As soon as I straightened the neck, which had been somewhat bowed, I realised that the 1st string was buzzing against the first fret as the nut had been cut too low. I suspect that the relief …

Completed nut with shallow slots

I have just refretted this maple board Telecaster. At the request of the customer I left the fretboard lacquer intact as it was virtually undamaged. I had hoped to get away without changing the nut but the 1st string slot was too low. The old nut tapped out easily enough and I sized a pre-slotted …