I've been very busy at work and with the Military, But that's not an excuse as I have also been Very busy in the shop.
One of the restoration projects I am working on is an old Guild Aristocrat. The guitar has aged terribly but there is still a spark in there that I can see. The Binding around the body and neck have shrunk so dramatically that it was falling off. The original Inlay's have dropped out and disappeared.
In Pic 1 you can see where I have begun replacing the inlays with Pearloid Cellulose Nitrate. This is the material that was originally used. I found out the hard way how intensely flammable this material is. Be Careful handling this stuff. It does not take that much heat to set it off.
In Pic 2 I am creating a custom binding to match the original. I have 3 colors and thickness of binding. Cream, Black, Cream. I apply Acetone as I pull it through a Silicone impregnated block that I purchased from Stew Mac. The plastic has to cure for 24 hours, but once cured it can be bent as if it was one piece of plastic binding.
Still working on the Les Paul Juniors, in Pic 3 you can see my progress on the necks. I used a spoke shave to cut away a little at a time until I achieved the profile I was looking for. I cut the heal and the head stock heal with a rasp file. I then finish sanded to 80 grit. I won't final finish the profile until I glue up the fret board.
Below in Pic 4 you can see my partner Steve and I are working on the next Freestyle Guitar. This one has a finish made from Urushi. Urushi is a traditional Japanese finish that is made from tree sap. You can see examples of Urushi on Classic Japanese furniture, Musical Instruments and Wood Sculptures. We actually shipped the body to one of Steve's friends in Japan who applied the finish and sent it back. We are thinking of going with brushed Aluminum hardware. Gold hardware is on the table, but I'm favoring the Aluminum.
Cheers Until Next Post!