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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
purchased a beat up hamer slammer at the pawn for $40 a few weeks ago. Figured I'd sticker it up, use it as a strap mule at an upcoming trade show, so I didn't have to bring my nicer guitars for folks to relic.

Anyway, another forum I frequent has a sudden rash of unmaskings, so I got the bug. Haven't refinished a guitar for quite some time, but I have done several - I quit mostly due to all the chemicals, spray etc. But, when you get the bug, and the season is right, it's kind of addicting.

So, first I figured I'd try to solve some comfort and playability issues, then I got busy with the sander. First some help from Count Rasputin - once I got a look inside the neck pocket, I could tell that it wasn't plywood... so worthy of more attention.

Access granted to the wheedley-wheedly zone!



OK, now the problem with DCs for me is the slab body. That can be fixed front and back with some serious abrasion.





so once I got an idea of what kind of wood I was dealing with after cleaning up the ergonomic carves, I decided I might as well keep on keeping on.



ended up being a nicely matched two piece body. Well, sonofagun... I should go buy a lottery ticket!



Was considering a TV yellow finish, but now I'm thinking a mahogany sunburst, triple double/double kind of theme
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
After a bit of scraping, I found the neck is a match, baby!



I don't pretend to know wood but I doubt a $120 entry level guitar is African Mahogany. But what I will openly declare is it is definitely... uh.... mahoganesh?

Scraped and sanded the neck last night. The nut was freaking epoxied into place.



So was thinking with this bonus wood I'd do transparent finish, and wanted to grainfill everything evenly ( including my ergonomic cut ins) so I got busy last night and this morning to sand all the sealer off until I hit red dust.



Anyone Who has undertaken this will understand the sheer wil and determination required to remove the tough thick coat of Impervium these guitars usually have hiding under paint. Mission accomplished, but my hands hurt, and my arms is tired!

 

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1) Great score! I thought I had a great one when I snagged an old Vantage for $80 recently, but this is even better.

2) Since my last name is Hammer, I feel a sort of moral obligation to get a Hamer or Slammer at some point.

3) It never ceases to amaze me how often beautiful wood gets hidden underneath paint that is less appealing than the underlying wood. A couple years back, I refinished my parents' old bedroom set. After stripping the paint off (and it came painted, back in 1950-whatever), I discovered beautiful mahogany veneer, and after stripping and shellacking it, it looks like a million bucks. A late friend of mine had a habit of picking up "bargains", one of which was an old Westone painted black with a bunch of stickers on it. When I stripped the finish, underneath it had a body identical to this one.


4) I see this has the same sort of bolt-on neck arrangement as in the Vantage I bought. The neck tenon extends under the neck pickup, so that you get the pickup-placement advantages of a set-neck format without the price of a set-neck.

5) I love mahogany necks. I find when you play loud enough (and it doesn't have to be all that loud), you can feel the note through the neck. I find it brings out the inner Paul Kossoff in me, and improves my finger vibrato.
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Vantage is hot! You are correct about the neck pickup, I'm no set neck/neck thru snob, bolters are so much more suitable for a hobby finisher, and plenty of good notes are in those necks as well.

I don't want this to be a money pit refinish (guys who've done this before will surely understand), so I am going to try to stay mostly with in-stock materials to complete this - though I do have a lot of stuff on hand from various other projects.

I have decided on a hybrid Mary Kay meets TV yellow finish, a bit more on the cream side than mustard, with as much grain representing as possible behind the semi transparent paint. Mostly due to the form factor, and it's initially why I bought this thing. Wish it had p90s.

I get the notion the Neck is super flamey by looking at it already so most likely tru-oil only for a twist - Probably traditional black headstock.

I've sworn off spraying anymore, so probably a paste wax finish.

My aggressive sanding did a real number to round-overs, well everywhere. That and removal of the remaining sealer between the horns is tonight's project.

Considering trying the egg white grain fill method, with stain of course.
 

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Considering trying the egg white grain fill method, with stain of course.

Don’t do the egg whites..... that snake-oil technique..... get a small jar of Timbermate wood filler at the very least. Even some drywall compound or spackle tinted dark brown or black will do a much better job than egg whites.
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Too late!



Headstock with one coat tru oil. Might go black headstock so this was a good place to test



But I think I will take your advice for the rest, it was not ideal. I think I do have some mud on the paint shelf if it ain't all dried up. I knew you could use that stuff, just forgot all about it.

Trying to keep it cheap - dang egg cost me about twenty cents!
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Basecoated with oil rubbed bronze metallic paint. Did some other stuff.




Grain filled with exotic dancer dust and some other stuff. TV Yellow, meet the TV Voodoo finish!

Premature mockupulation...



It's rather on the fabulous side, but I can live with this.
 

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Great looking guitar, but be careful. Here's how it's gone for me:

1) look for cheaper project-type guitar to have something that's disposable, that I don't care about
2) find a guitar that is a really good deal
3) clean up guitar, set it up, make it mine
4) fall in love with guitar and find out I can't replace it for 5X what I paid for it (so not so disposable).
5) repeat step 1

Good luck with rest of the project. Looks like you're having fun.
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Don't I know it! This will be my seventh guitar reno and I've kept them all
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
We are in the rather boring clearcoating stage on the body, but the neck is going rather well.

Got eight-ish coats on, sunshine and breeze cured for a couple days, the rubbed satiny smoov with brown paper.

I used to make waterslides for myself and plenty other forum brothers ... gettin' lazy in my middle age... found this kicking around my shop and started to wonder...



Then got some scissors out... and almost spelled "kid loco"







Works for me!
 
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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Yessir! a lone wolf often shown as gold and black, seemed fitting for this unique tvvoodoo golden wolf finish
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Yessir! a lone wolf often shown as gold and black, seemed fitting for this unique tvvoodoo golden wolf finish
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
And, over to Akela, who has suddenly turned very dull and uglyfied...

Five coats of clear down... since I am brushing, time for a little evening-out. I don't like wet sanding at this stage, but a little dry sanding with a light hand
is fun. Grain is almost all gone, some small divots, I kind of like that deal though. Not really going for a perfect mirror, just smoov and shiny will be alright by me.
Cut it dry with a light hand, don't like the risk of water getting in the holes and wrecking progress so far.



Continuation of the clearification, buy the way I am experimentally clear-coating with Pledge/Future acrylic floor finish just for a lark, because I have always wanted to try it - it's real big in the hobby world for rockets and models for final clear coats, making fake lakes, water and stuff.

Lots of info on how they are using it but I don't think anyone has been goofy enough to try to do a guitar with it.
Great gloss, it sands obviously, and will buff out, and is pretty darn hard when fully cured, (seven days, as I understand it). Doesn't feel sticky.
I am brushing it on, one coat a day. It's really nice to work with, non-toxic (though I wouldn't drink it), no spray, self-leveling and easy to clean up.
Sands down real nice too. Bonus is, it has a great gas-out smell too, almost like nitro. LOL! Plus it's cheap, and "supposedly" won't yellow, though my heart
wouldn't be broken if it did. The bottle I have had is about six years old and has yellowed a bit. I have refinished many guitars, and basically I've
just plain had it with spraying can after can of clear.

Is Future tough enough to stand up to playing? Jury is out on that, but it's a floor finish, so gotta be plenty tough.
I rotate through so many guitars now, none of them will see much if any wear. If I decide to put poly it down the road, I just
cut this finish a bit with vinegar, wetsand to 400, and wipe on poly it up if I'm feeling it. No big.



Still just a bit of teeny grain indentation showing through not perfectly smooth -


Not even sure if I want that full mirror finish... plenty guitars in the store still have some small divots. Another layer of more future down. Not so ugly no more... getting prettier and prettier as the finish begins to get some depth - Back isn't quite as nice as the front due to my alcohol mishap* and snap decision to overspray, but it's not terrible and kind of has its own distressy vibe goin' on.

Top from sort of players POV angle:



Another four or five coats, round of 2 sanding, then a round of final clear, light wetsand and buff, then put-together is the schedule.
 

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Very enjoyable, detailed and educational thread. Thanks for all the work you are putting into it for us.

The finish in the pics has a gold(ish) colour 'fleck' look to me. Is that just the lighting?

I have almost forgotten what the original guitar looked like..LOL
 

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Mad Strappier
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499 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
yes the grainfill is a combo of gold metallic acrylic paint, gold microsparkles and some other stuff.
In my shop you don't get the full sparkle effect. You get a small taste if you click on the photo and zoom in

but the rest of the base is also metallic as well. It's really something in the sunlight, almost too much really.

Folks who dig these sort of project threads, with some infotainment thrown in are welcome to check out
my main project thread HQ that I started about 8 years ago. In it i refinish several guitars, with varying levels
of success.

TVvoodoo's Insanitarium (slight return)
 
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