We wrapped up a knife block for my friend Jon this week using cherry and bocote with a tung oil finish. The cherry was a couple of left over scrap boards that were not in the best of shape, the adequate for a small project like this. I left all of the boring sanding work to Jon, and he shaped the legs on the belt sander. It turned out nice and now he has a place to park that $200 chef's knife.
I should have the trim completed later today and then it will be time to spray. I am continuing with the two part process using Chemcraft's water based system for anything that is being exposed to the sun, or that has to match the beams. The "heart" brackets are ready for glue up and I think they are going to look really nice. Once the spraying is done on the trim I can install and then get the furniture in the front room back in place. Then comes the hard part, the construction of the four sliding panels. I have the cherry ready for pickup in Michigan, and I will try to get out there this week. I got a great deal from Hickory & Oak and they have been kind enough to hold it for me because of the emergency trip to China. But in the mean time I needed to mill up the old lumber and make room.
While I was in China the roof over the garage developed a leak near the chimney and leaked water over the lathe. Removing rust from a lathe bed is tricky because you cannot remove any metal or the lathe is no longer accurate. What I chose to use was phosphoric acid and a white scotch pad. Paper towels were cut to match the ways and then phosphoric acid was dripped onto them and allowed to set for 60 minutes. Then the paper towels were removed and the white scotch pad was used gently. It worked out well and between that and the bottoms of the tail piece, tool stay etc the lathe was fixed in less than a day. Fixing the ceiling took quite a bit longer and I did a temporary caulk job to hold until the roofer can come out for a permanent repair.
After a year and a half (sigh), I finally put together a quick page that consolidates the Cornscala build. You can view it here.
I am working feverishly to complete Telecaster #2 for a friend's son and Telecaster #3 for a future buyer. Both guitars are still a ways from completion but the quality is first rate. The finishing process has been tricky but so far I am very happy with where it is. Initially I did a pore fill with some of the Bartletts I have saved over the years.
Pore filling on Telecaster #3 was done very differently, using tung oil and 220 grit sandpaper. I applied the tung oil with the sandpaper and used it to create a slurry that was pushed down into the pores.
After the pore fill on Telecaster #2 I shot it with yellow TransTint dye using denatured alchohol as the carrier.
Followed by shooting the back with TransTint orange, carrier modified with 30% RO water.
And then each coat was repeated using TransTint and laquer.
I had a small get together at the house for some guys who are into DIY audio. They were gracious enough to come out, bring some of their own speakers, and then do an analysis of my Cornscala's.
I finished fabricating a second pair of grills for the lower cabinets on the Cornscala's. I ruined a yard of fabric and lost a day or so by not sizing them correctly. I am just not a great upholstery guy, and I still am not happy with the results. But for now they will do and the woofers are protected. Not sure yet what I will do about the uppers. The fabric is from Bob Crites and is the same as what is currently used on the Klipsch Heritage series speakers.
I tried two techniques for doing the textures for the Cornscala's. I knew that the textured area would be problematic for cleaning, and I wanted to try and solve that. I also was looking at what the difference would be like between using a truck bed liner versus a pebble spray. And last I had to make sure the various layers of products would all be compatible, especially as the assembly would be complete and irreversible before the final laquer process.
This picture shows the sample piece, with the pebble spray texture on the left, and the truck bed liner on the right.
This sample sat in the corner of the shop while I finished spraying the Cornscala's, so it was covered in dust and grime. I wiped it down with a regular paper towel and Endust. It came away completely clean with very minimal fuzzing from the towel. The products and order of application is below:
I chose to use the textured paint for the speakers. A couple of things to think about. Doing it again I would go to 3 coats and maybe 4 of the Multi-Color Texture. The whole idea is to get a uniformity of texture and color so it has a nice finished look and feel. You get a much nicer even look by doing multiple light coats of the texture. The Varicure is tough as heck, and will stand up to a lot of household cleaners even though it is a laquer. I don't know that I would go wiping it off every day, but for normal cleaning I would think it should last for a very, very long time.
The truck bed liner is a good option, but it is hard to notice the texture without angled light. It ends up just looking like flat black paint from a distance. I tend to want a more grainy surface and now that I am comfortable with being able to clean it this is a good choice for me.
Getting ready to do the neck pickup route on Telecaster #3. This body is black American walnut over mahogany. I would like to do a Lollar pair in this, maybe with a humbucker in the neck position. I need to finalize that choice today so I can finish the neck milling and move on to finishing both of these guitars.
I really want to do a long post or project page and explain exactly how these all went together, but there is just no time at all for that now. Here are a few pictures. They sound so, so good.
I love the backs. The whole design has this vintage feel, and they sound great with many types of music. I still need to break them in to see what I really have, and I would like to get someone to measure them sonically.
The little mini audio stand works well and it gave me an extra 5 inches or so on the front so I could tighten everything up.