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Author Topic: Bettering a Beater  (Read 9312 times)
Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2011, 07:41:53 PM »

Try This or This

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Roger


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BenF
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« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2011, 07:54:10 PM »

Thanks Roger. I had thought that would be too abrasive, but I'm new to this, so I'll go with it. Should be fun anyway.

Appreciate all the help everyone. This forum is awesome!!
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Ben
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« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2011, 08:45:28 PM »

   The compound Roger showed is what I would choose on a thick beater finish. It may even help give you the satin look you want, by not polishing it back out too much with the final buffing.
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« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2011, 11:44:49 PM »

I would still wet sand it first though, with the grain. And we are talking an inexpensive guitar here, you can't mess it up that bad.

 Just stay away from that 100 grit sandpaper.   
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« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2011, 02:52:16 AM »

Ha ha, yeah, that would look nice. I was thinking of kicking off the process with a millstone first to save time.  I've borrowed a donkey already.
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Ben
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« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2011, 11:03:23 PM »

Bone saddle blank arrived. It was about the size of a house brick  ohmy

Ended up roughly sizing it using a concrete slab in the garden!! Now I have my first ever made from scratch triple compensated saddle. I'm pretty proud of it really. Intonation is perfect too!

What an improvement in tone and sustain!  It sounds guitar like, rather than a big fat 6 string mandolin. Really really pleased with the increased volume, sustain and tone.


I had a good look at the neck, and decided to be aggressive due to the number of small dents and dings in the finish. I took the gloss off with 800 grit, then 1200 grit, then 1500 grit sandpaper, used dry. The initial result looks and feels like a very smooth satin finish. Certainly much less 'sticky' and easier to play. I'll do the back of the headstock to match when the new tuners are going in.

I'll post some pics and a video clip tomorrow if I can.
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Ben
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« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2011, 03:31:52 AM »

Sounds like everything is working out for the best.Congrats.Oh ya I think it my be time to buy a belt sander,mostley because if it rains yoou won't be able to work on making saddle's.
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« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2011, 06:10:36 AM »

Ha ha Rob. It took me about 45 minutes, in about -5 degrees and foggy, in the dark. I was dreaming about belt sanders the whole time!!!!!!
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Ben
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« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2011, 08:01:26 AM »

Sounds like everything is working out for the best.Congrats.Oh ya I think it my be time to buy a belt sander,mostley because if it rains yoou won't be able to work on making saddle's.
  AH... The smell of cow bone on the belt sander in the morning 
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« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2011, 12:27:46 PM »

And now it has a strap button at the heel, just because I had one and I could, ha ha!!
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Ben
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« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2011, 03:03:36 PM »

 
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« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2011, 04:19:33 PM »

Hey Ben, Do you have any pictures of your final product? Im going to shape a saddle next week for my old guitar and was wondering how much of a process it is to compensate it. I loved checking out your project, Im a chronic tinkerer myself (things can always be made better, right?), as well as a lover of satin finish.
Bill
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« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2011, 04:29:37 PM »

I haven't got any further due to having the flu. I hope to pick it up again in a few weeks. I am waiting for tuners to arrive from Ducktrapper, and then I'll strip it down and have a go at the finish work at the same time.

I find shaping the saddle quite easy to be honest. Keep the old one as a template for the height and radius, Mark the string positions on the side in pencil, and then keep working away until the compensation takes shape.

I'll try and post a pic of the finished saddle later though.
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Ben
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« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2011, 05:28:45 PM »

Awesome, thanks
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BenF
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« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2011, 06:27:28 PM »

How difficult is it to photograph a saddle?!?

Here are a couple of pics, showing the bass side and treble side each focussed seperately.  The high E is a little high still, but it is very playable as it is.  The intonation is spot on right up the neck with the saddle shaped like this.

Work the rough shape with 200 grit sandpaper, rolled up (or round a fat pencil for example), and keep checking the overall radius matches the old saddle.  Once there is a ridge along the top, and the radius is OK, tidy it all up with 800 grit and then 1200 or 1500 grit sandpaper to polish it off.  Make sure there are no sharp edges to snap strings.


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Ben
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« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2011, 08:56:30 AM »

Here's a cover of Brain Damage by Pink Floyd to show a mix of picking and strumming. 

Still sounds pretty thin, and the first fret is very worn, so it plays better with a capo on the first fret.  It is ultimately a plauable guitar, and the improved action makes it far nicer for picking than before.  The 'satined' neck seems to be lasting too, not glossing up again too quickly.

When the tuners arrive, I'll strip it down again and attack the finish too, to see if i can't make it look a bit better too.
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Ben
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« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2011, 03:05:13 PM »

Here's a cover of Brain Damage by Pink Floyd to show a mix of picking and strumming. 

Still sounds pretty thin, and the first fret is very worn, so it plays better with a capo on the first fret.  It is ultimately a plauable guitar, and the improved action makes it far nicer for picking than before.  The 'satined' neck seems to be lasting too, not glossing up again too quickly.

When the tuners arrive, I'll strip it down again and attack the finish too, to see if i can't make it look a bit better too.

 afro cool
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« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2011, 06:01:43 PM »

Great job. Ben.  Now all you have to do is throw in some maniacal laughing in the appropriate places. 

Kurt
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« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2011, 08:47:02 PM »

Great job. Ben.  Now all you have to do is throw in some maniacal laughing in the appropriate places. 

Kurt

Hmmmm, could sound a little too realistic!!! I don't want to be carted off to the loony bin!!!

This song makes me feel sad for Syd Barratt.
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Ben
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« Reply #59 on: March 20, 2011, 11:34:25 PM »

Well, she's done. The tuners from Ducktrapper (thank you again sir) arrived 2 weeks ago, but I only found them this morning. My wife tells me she told me, but my mix of morphine, codiene, anaesthetic and goodness knows what else after a trip to hospital with a busted appendix deleted a couple of days from my life.

I stripped it down today, found tge Larrivee pings were indeed a straight drop in replacement for the really cheap and broken unbranded ones. I reshaped the top of the headstock because it was ugly and full of dings. It's a bit larrivee like now, only narrower and more curved.

I sanded a huge amount of the thick plastic finish off the body and headstock with 240 grit sandpaper, taking out all the scratches and most of the dings. I then gave it a thoughrough going over with 1000 grit paper, and finally simply polished with 0000 steel wool. No chemicals or polishes at all. Just elbow grease.  I must say the result is pretty good. Very similar feel to the larrivee satin, albeit slightly noisier (kind of creaky, especially the neck)

It makes a huge difference that it stays in tune now, and the pickup works a treat (huge thanks to unclrob for the endpin and info from a few months back).

I'll add some pics tomorrow. I need to do something on the top of the headstock to try and match the finish. I'll see what's in the shed tomorrow!

Thrilled to have a perfectly serviceable guitar from a pile of junk, thanks to the contributions in parts and knowledge from this fine forum. I've learned a good bit along the way too. Next job is definitely to refret it, but I'll enjoy it for a bit before I tackle that job. I never thought it would be worthwhile to refret it, but now I think it might just be.

Thank you everyone.

Pics tomorrow.
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Ben
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