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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 3 May 2022 9:48 am    
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Bob this is going to be a long post so if it does not fit or work for you please delete or move it where you see fit...thanks.

I was looking around the shop... cleaning up and such, and thought I sure have a lot of steel guitar parts that I have collected over the years. Maybe I should build a steel guitar. I could do a detailed build and include my fellow forumite's as well. Since I have been away for the last five years, this should be cool. So here we go. I will keep the 1st post going and updating it as we go through the process. I wanted to do something a little different. I could built a Frankenstein guitar. However I wanted it to be a bit unique.

The undercarriage would be in the style of a MSA, Linkon etc. I had a lot of these type parts in stock. So the question was...how to make it special and different...


Cut and satin polish cross shafts, bell cranks etc.


How about rare woods. I started out with some hard rock maple for the body, aprons and necks. I got my hands on some maple that was raised from a transport ship that went down in the Great Lakes decades ago. Carter Steel guitars was exploring this as well in there final years in business. This maple is hard to cut without burning it, so after some research, buying new saw blades and a lot of sweating bullets and multiple cuts I got it done. Since I did not have a good thickness plainer. I got a shop in Ontario Canada that deals with rare woods to do that work for me.


Next what to do about the fret boards. I tossed around a lot of idea's since this is a Frankenstein. Maybe Carter boards? Mullen? ...Maybe Emmons? Shobud?...Nope I happened to be rummaging around in my (Smoke Pole room). For those of you that knows what that means. I found 2 pieces of African Black Wood or (Ebony) Laying around for some grips I was going to build and never did. So lets inlay steel guitar frets and trim and bindings.... I did not want the square looking fret boards...it had to be unique as the guitar ...So inlay them completely across the necks. A bunch more research and cutting very slowly 3 more sets of neck blanks (crap) and some steaming and SWEET.


Next I have dry fit everything together as seen in the above picture. Once it was all fitted and adjusted. Time to take it all apart and Lacquer it. Prepped, taped, painted where it's needed. I figured out the fret markers would be my company's logo, laid them in the necks and were off. The next pictures are at the mid stage of lacquering. In this picture they have had 14 coats of lacquer at this point will probably add another 6 coats before I'm done.



...to be continued...
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Last edited by Wayne Brown on 5 Jun 2022 3:00 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Barry Coker


From:
Bagley Alabama, USA
Post  Posted 3 May 2022 11:10 am    
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Looking Good I'll be watching this one.

Barry
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post  Posted 3 May 2022 4:48 pm    
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Looks great! Kudos on inlaying your frets!
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 6 May 2022 2:42 am     frets
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thanks...laying those frets...well lets just say it was a nightmare. I had to get the formula for the frets.(where they had to be to be in tune)... then i physically matched the formula to a Carter fret board i have here (just to double check). I had to figure out EXACTLY where my blade was cutting. then i had to make sure the frets were the thickness of the blade, then the depth i needed, and last but not least I had to router the necks for there shape and then the binding inlay. Oh ya did i mention one mistake and i would have to start the necks completely from scratch all over again. LOL i redid the necks three times...ouch, but i went slow, worked out the problems and i finally got it.
thanks
wayne
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Last edited by Wayne Brown on 5 Jun 2022 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 8 May 2022 3:47 am     steel guitar
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I was thinking on a side note here I have two different pickups at my disposal. I have two new George L's E-66's and two original Emmons LaGrande pickups. Still trying to decide which ones I should use...When the time comes i'll probably try them both out and see which one i like best with this guitar.

...still continuing...
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 13 May 2022 8:24 am     steel guitar
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I have to wet sand the lacquer to flatten it out before the next round out spraying. Sanding with 800 grit now, however when the spraying is all done I will be at 2000 grit or higher before I start to cut polish the guitar to a deep mirror finish.

Moving Foward...
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J D Sauser


From:
Wellington, Florida
Post  Posted 18 May 2022 8:21 pm     Re: steel guitar
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Wayne Brown wrote:
I have to wet sand the lacquer to flatten it out before the next round out spraying. Sanding with 800 grit now, however when the spraying is all done I will be at 2000 grit or higher before I start to cut polish the guitar to a deep mirror finish.

Moving Foward...


I LOVE that maple and "ebony"-inlayed fretboard.

... J-D.
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__________________________________________________________
A Little Mental Health Warning:

Tablature KILLS SKILLS.
The uses of Tablature is addictive and has been linked to reduced musical fertility.
Those who produce Tablature did never use it.

I say it humorously, but I mean it.
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 21 May 2022 1:54 pm     steel build
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LOL thanks J-D ...Stay tuned, the paint booth is ready for the next round of lacquer tomorrow morning. Should be around 6 coats, which should bring the total up to 20 coarts in total. I will post some pictures once it is safe to do so.
thanks
wayne
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Johnie King


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 21 May 2022 4:04 pm    
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Beautiful !!! Congratulations!!
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 22 May 2022 12:31 pm     steel guitar
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Ok here we go. The last of the spraying has been done. The 1st picture is when there set up for spraying. The rest of the pictures were taken after the final coats and of coarse time to set up. That will bring a total number of coats to 22. I don't think the guitar would take anymore LOL. Now for the body ...it has to sit for at least 1 month to cure properly. The lacquer I am using is phenomenal, however you really have to be patient with it. But it will give you great results every time. Now I guess onto the next step which is a disgusting job. polishing aluminum. Dirty, dirty job. Oh well it has to be done. I will post pictures of this process.



onward and forward...
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Greg Forsyth

 

From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 22 May 2022 2:57 pm    
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That's a mighty fine looking finish on your build, Wayne. How are you going to keep your hands off of it for a month?
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 22 May 2022 6:17 pm     Lookin' Good
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Lookin' Good!
I think your going to have a fine D-10 from the way it's going. Very Happy
Keep on posting the progress... Love those cow skulls.
Best wishes,
Andy
_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
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J D Sauser


From:
Wellington, Florida
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 6:44 am     Re: steel guitar
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Wayne Brown wrote:


...



Looks like you plan to mount the changer ON ("bolt-on" or better "bolt-thru") neck. I like that.

I assume the changer will but horizontally against the recess in the string's tension direction.

Question: are you planing to have the key head but firmly, maybe even be bolted against the other end of the neck?

... J-D.
_________________
__________________________________________________________
A Little Mental Health Warning:

Tablature KILLS SKILLS.
The uses of Tablature is addictive and has been linked to reduced musical fertility.
Those who produce Tablature did never use it.

I say it humorously, but I mean it.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 8:21 am     steel guitar
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Greg it will be hard but if i want it pretty i'll have to say away...however... i do have a small distraction...LOL


Andy thanks The cow skull is my company logo and I've owned it since 1991 when I bought the black Angus steer at auction and ate great for 2 years Very Happy . Also on a side note i am following your build as well...I like your inlays, nice color. what lacquer are you using.

J-D Yes the changer is a direct bolt through including the neck and body. The roller nut is mounted to the neck and the key heads are bolted through the body as well. And it is up against the roller nut too. So i guess i'll start polishing all the aluminum some time this week when i can find some spare time. But i have a month now so, no rush.
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 23 May 2022 12:09 pm     Longhorn Ftreboards?
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Hi Wayne,
If you ever need to do an inlay we already make these.


I've also already worked up a design for a longhorn fretboard.

Let me know if you'd like the drawings sometime.

Thanks for the comment about my PSG build.
A friend is sending a nice block of Quilted Maple and some strips of Curly Koa for the pickup/changer block.
Best wishes,
Andy
_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 30 May 2022 3:07 am     steel guitar
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Well those sure are nice Andy, maybe down the road if I do another guitar. However I do have a funny story about those long horn logo's. Years ago when Out West Pak-Seat was up and running we went to the Dallas Steel guitar show as a vender to sell our seats and cases. I ran into Jerry Fessenden. He told me that I stole his logo. I asked him if his was a Texas long horn and he said yes. So I told him that I couldn't have stolen his logo as mine was a Black Angus and I harvested it myself in 1993, and it sure did not taste like long horn LOL. To this day I do not know if he was joking or not. However he did seam like a very nice fellow though.
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 1 Jun 2022 4:01 am     steel guitar
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Have you ever had a itch you couldn't scratch. I had one with this steel that has been bugging me from the start, and well...I just could not let it go. You can see the seam in the front view pictures above and because of not having all the precision machines that are associated with a true wood working shop, the front apron joint was not totally unnoticeable...and that was driving me nuts so, today I came up with a plan. I have some ebony left over so ...LOL ...more inlays WOOHOO and now the joint is covered...here are a couple of pictures on the inlay and i will add some more as this step progresses as well. Also yes the front apron has been sanded and the whole body will have to be covered so I can re lacquer the front.


More to follow and the polishing progress...
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 1 Jun 2022 4:15 am     Re: steel guitar
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Wayne Brown wrote:
Have you ever had a itch you couldn't scratch. I had one with this steel that has been bugging me from the start, and well...I just could not let it go. You can see the seam in the front view pictures above and because of not having all the precision machines that are associated with a true wood working shop, the front apron joint was not totally unnoticeable...and that was driving me nuts so, today I came up with a plan. I have some ebony left over so ...LOL ...more inlays WOOHOO and now the joint is covered...here are a couple of pictures on the inlay and i will add some more as this step progresses as well. Also yes the front apron has been sanded and the whole body will have to be covered so I can re lacquer the front.


More to follow and the polishing progress...


Well I sure hope Jerry does not think I got the idea from his design because he has done me a favor in the past. Also because he builds really nice PSG's.
I had an inlay customer ask us to make a longhorn inlay for him and we made a deal to do the work in exchange for us doing the same for our own website based business.

Still I'm enjoying seeing the work people are doing and sharing ideas on this Builders page.
Really thankful to Bob for adding this long over due page. Very Happy
_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 1 Jun 2022 4:42 am     steel guitar
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I totally agree with you Andy. This is a nice addition to the forum. I love this section. As for Jerry i'm pretty sure he was joking. LOL
thanks
wayne
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Jon Zimmerman

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2022 3:03 pm     Lacquer app.
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Most of us know “the devil is in the details” during project builds. I was curious if you could ‘detail’ the method of coating the finish, Wayne. I.E., Spray rig? Laquer type, or brand of product? Thinning, HVLP? if used? Anti orange-peel ‘flowout promoter’ (fisheye prevention) and your air comp. ‘moisture traps’ if needed? Stuff like that. And.., did you monitor shop air temp, humidity..? Thanks in advance, I will follow along as well. Best wishes!

Jon Z.
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2022 3:41 pm     steel guitar
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Well that part is easy Jon. I use a Devilbiss starting line kit. For this job i was using the touch up gun as the big one is way to much, and you want a smaller needle. The touch up has a 1.0 in it and works really well. With a HVLP gun it helps to have a good air tank capacity. I have a eagle 60 gal. I run the compressor at 100psi and the gun at 28psi. I try to get a 4" to 5" fan and a wet spray. The lacquer I use is Emtech Em-6000. This stuff is fantastic, and is made for musical instruments. Just stir it up pour it into the gun and your off to the races once your gun is adjusted. I shoot a coat let dry for 30 minutes and shoot again. with this method I can only get 4 to 6 coats depending on how heavy I spray them. after it hardens (I let it sit about a week) Then wet sand (CAREFULLY) with 800 grit, then tack and shoot the next coats. repeat this process until you get the desired coats you want. Then let it sit without touching it so it cures properly. As for the polishing, I will go explain that when I get to that stage.


On another note the front skirt has had 6 new coats of lacquer since i inlayed the ebony. will post pictures soon of this.
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Owner Former Out West Pac-Seats


Last edited by Wayne Brown on 6 Jun 2022 2:22 am; edited 2 times in total
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Jon Zimmerman

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2022 4:08 pm     Measure of success!
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Looks to me like all moves and methods are in place, Wayne. I will look into em6000 Acrylic..if I revert to a needle valve spray rig once more. My smaller projects (like guitar body coating) involved Stew-Mac rattle can kits. We’ll see. 👀

Thank you for taking time to provide good information. Again, All the Best.

Jon Z.
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2022 11:23 am     steel guitar
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Well here are the first pictures of the dirty disgusting job. I have all the sanding done and this is the first polish. I have 2 more polishing steps to go before this job is completed. I will post those once I'm done that job.


ok here the final picture, .... all the polishing is done...yeh. Now all as I need to do is wax the parts and put them away until the body is finished.

YEH.
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Wayne Brown

 

From:
Bassano, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 5:02 am     steel guitar
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Well here is the front of the guitar just before sanding with 800 grit. I'm getting ready to spray the last 6 coats of lacquer on it in the next couple of days. It already has 14 coats but I need to match it up to the guitar body itself. Then I am all caught up. As of the 20th of June I can start polishing the necks and the rear skirt, however the body will have to wait until then end of July due to the apron being redone and to let the lacquer cure.

I guess I'll have to do other jobs while I'm waiting...oh well....I'll update soon!
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Greg Forsyth

 

From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 7:59 am    
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Wayne,
Your fix for the itch you couldn't scratch looks fine. As a retired cabinetmaker I remember the talk in the shop was a good cabinetmaker was the one who could fix the screwups (not exactly that word though). Well done!
Greg
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