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How about those Partscaster Strats?
Old 1 week ago
  #121
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PdotDdot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Life has its ups and downs for sure. I've lost everything at least three times (and I mean everything) and then there's the hard times where the gear list has consisted of a Hondo Fame where I cut off part of the plywood body so that it would fit in a Silvertone amp in the case and a guitar cable.

I'm fortunate these days, and gun shy. I don't take anything for granted and try and appreciate the fruits of lots and lots of hard work and hard times.

Glad you have a nice strat and hopefully still have the house!

Cheers,
Brock
Thanks for sharing your tale. Yeah, I miss my other Strat big time but it allowed me to make a major life change that was crucial and yes, I have the house.

May we both have good luck from here on out!
Old 1 week ago
  #122
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Second coat rubbed in with 1000 grit. Straight boiled linseed oil
Attached Thumbnails
How about those Partscaster Strats?-afd2e0c6-8962-4f1a-9cc3-3bf919e5a9e8.jpg   How about those Partscaster Strats?-5e3297dc-ee18-49fd-a274-0bc52541f328.jpg  

Last edited by Bstapper; 1 week ago at 04:29 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #123
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Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Second coat rubbed in with 1000 grit. Straight boiled linseed oil
The grain has more depth now. Really nice work.
Old 1 week ago
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
The grain has more depth now. Really nice work.
thank ya! It's so friendly it makes me wonder why I was killing myself with nitro-cellulose all of those years.
Old 1 week ago
  #125
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Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
thank ya! It's so friendly it makes me wonder why I was killing myself with nitro-cellulose all of those years.
There's nothing like a hand rubbed finish. Mitro is awesome too, don't get me wrong. But for a DIY finish, hand rubbed finishing is such a fun process that usually yields fantastic results.
Old 1 week ago
  #126
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But nitro becomes "one with the wood" and sounds best, or something like that, right?
Old 1 week ago
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
But nitro becomes "one with the wood" and sounds best, or something like that, right?
It’s a great finish.

I personally can’t stand sprayed poly. It’s not as clear and feels like plastic. But it is way more durable and the difference in respect to other parameters on an electric guitar is certainly debatable.

Lacquer is easier to touch up. Easier to get a nice finish. But time intensive and takes some life out of me.

There are parameters to weight when deciding what to do with a certain piece of wood and no universal answer. You choose what you want the result to be, how much time you are willing to invest, and what elements you are willing to compromise and that will tell you what finish to use.

And that doesn’t even take into account that if you are a commercial operation the answers to those questions are going to be completely different than someone like me that finishes an instrument a year or so.

If I were a commercial operation I would simply pick the hardest water based finish I could find. Solves a lot of problems.
Old 1 week ago
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
It’s a great finish.

I personally can’t stand sprayed poly. It’s not as clear and feels like plastic. But it is way more durable and the difference in respect to other parameters on an electric guitar is certainly debatable.

Lacquer is easier to touch up. Easier to get a nice finish. But time intensive and takes some life out of me.

There are parameters to weight when deciding what to do with a certain piece of wood and no universal answer. You choose what you want the result to be, how much time you are willing to invest, and what elements you are willing to compromise and that will tell you what finish to use.

And that doesn’t even take into account that if you are a commercial operation the answers to those questions are going to be completely different than someone like me that finishes an instrument a year or so.

If I were a commercial operation I would simply pick the hardest water based finish I could find. Solves a lot of problems.
Thanks. But in an ideal world, not having to consider the difficulties, wouldn't you say that nitro tends to be the best sounding in view of the "one with the wood over time factor"?
Old 1 week ago
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Thanks. But in an ideal world, not having to consider the difficulties, wouldn't you say that nitro tends to be the best sounding in view of the "one with the wood over time factor"?
I have no idea what that is.

And there is a lot of mystique about nitro that is unfounded, a lot that is personal preference, and plenty that is solid.

Is it the best sounding finish? I'm gambling that less is more on this one and that the oil finish will be optimal. Unless you are willing to refinish a guitar twice and measure the difference it is all conjecture. Do I personally think it is better than sprayed poly for tone? Yes I do. There are plenty of solid arguments against my personal opinion. There is no contest when comparing how if feels to the hands and looks to the eyes so nitro beats poly in those departments.

When you discuss things as subjective as tone and sound there simply isn't a "correct" answer other than what works for you personally.

And now we have a whole new world of water-based friendly finishes that have not necessarily seen the light of day on musical instruments in a broad sense. Just as with vintage solid color instruments you are really talking about enamels yet nobody argues about the virtues of enamel paint on electric guitars.

Bottom line - Nitro is delicious goodness as long as you aren't the one having to deal with the health hazards. Yet you will find famous founders of mass-produced popular instruments that will argue that there is absolutely no difference on an acoustic guitar and that all of the Nitro love is unfounded. If I were making hundreds of instruments a day I would be making that same argument because there are way too many advantages as a manufacturer for using a finish that has less dry time, less time between coats, is less expensive from an environmental regulation point of view, and has superior hardness.
Old 1 week ago
  #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
I have no idea what that is.

And there is a lot of mystique about nitro that is unfounded, a lot that is personal preference, and plenty that is solid.

Is it the best sounding finish? I'm gambling that less is more on this one and that the oil finish will be optimal. Unless you are willing to refinish a guitar twice and measure the difference it is all conjecture. Do I personally think it is better than sprayed poly for tone? Yes I do. There are plenty of solid arguments against my personal opinion. There is no contest when comparing how if feels to the hands and looks to the eyes so nitro beats poly in those departments.

When you discuss things as subjective as tone and sound there simply isn't a "correct" answer other than what works for you personally.

And now we have a whole new world of water-based friendly finishes that have not necessarily seen the light of day on musical instruments in a broad sense. Just as with vintage solid color instruments you are really talking about enamels yet nobody argues about the virtues of enamel paint on electric guitars.

Bottom line - Nitro is delicious goodness as long as you aren't the one having to deal with the health hazards. Yet you will find famous founders of mass-produced popular instruments that will argue that there is absolutely no difference on an acoustic guitar and that all of the Nitro love is unfounded. If I were making hundreds of instruments a day I would be making that same argument because there are way too many advantages as a manufacturer for using a finish that has less dry time, less time between coats, is less expensive from an environmental regulation point of view, and has superior hardness.
As always, thanks for the even-handed discussion on these topics. I guess I'm interested in the idea that it said to kind of bond with the wood more than other finishes, and that there seems to be some sort of intrinsic advantage there.

But yeah, I am sure there are issues. I know the guy who refinished my Fullerton 57 Strat reissue was camped way out in the desert in California, where he said was the only place they would let him spray the stuff. It seemed to be affecting him with a bit of a cough.

Seems to me there is probably a safe way to do it, but most of the guys don't bother to protect themselves for some weird reason.
Old 1 week ago
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
As always, thanks for the even-handed discussion on these topics. I guess I'm interested in the idea that it said to kind of bond with the wood more than other finishes, and that there seems to be some sort of intrinsic advantage there.

But yeah, I am sure there are issues. I know the guy who refinished my Fullerton 57 Strat reissue was camped way out in the desert in California, where he said was the only place they would let him spray the stuff. It seemed to be affecting him with a bit of a cough.

Seems to me there is probably a safe way to do it, but most of the guys don't bother to protect themselves for some weird reason.
I remember accidentally walking into the spray-booth when my luthier was spraying one of the bodies. I was out of there in .5sec, but it took me another 10min to recover. Never again. I know my guy uses full suit (like for asbestos recovery and a full mask (like a diving mask). Every mm of his body is covered. He said that his mentor couldn't work any more at ~50 mainly due to continuous exposure to that stuff. After my "accident" I believe him
Having said that i find lacquer superior finish over most others as it does not inhibit wood vibrations that much. But I have guitar with gun-stock type matt finish and its great too
Old 1 week ago
  #132
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My question is about the angst against "poly"; what "poly" are you talking about? Is it polyurethane? I ask because it seems to me that thin coats of polyurethane aren't much different than lacquer in feel, and I've not noticed any perceivable difference in tone. Now, some of the "coated in plastic" guitars, such as inexpensive ones from overseas, don't feel as good to me. But I like thin-coated polyurethane, as it's clear and hard, doesn't yellow as much over time, and seems to protect the wood a little better.

One thing I *have* discovered: I want someone ELSE to finish the guitar - I @#$%ing HATE doing that...
Old 1 week ago
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
My question is about the angst against "poly"; what "poly" are you talking about? Is it polyurethane?
Good point on the nomenclature. Sometimes I'm typing with thumbs on here and sometimes via keyboard so typing polyurethane gets a little cumbersome.

When I personally type "poly" I am referring to polyurethane. If I refer to something else that is a finish containing polymers I will refer to them as "wipe-on poly" or otherwise differentiate the fact that it isn't spray-on polyurethane.

As to thickness of coats - it is pretty much impossible to spray polyurethane on a body without it being too thick for my personal preference. Wipe-on poly is a different thing altogether. Anytime you see a "wipe-on" finish it is going to be a thinned version of its spray-on counterpart which allows for a much thinner application.

A lot of this depends on the wood and how difficult it is to fill the grain. Mahogany, for instance, is almost always going to require a thicker finish no matter what you do to fill the grain in the early stages (in my opinion and experience - someone else may have a better method than I do).

There is no question that poly is harder, protects the wood better, lasts longer, and is more UV resistant. I find nitrocellulose lacquer to be much more of a clear finish and to feel better to me. And it doesn't get easier to touch up a finish than with nitrocellulose lacquer as any new application "melts", or reactivates the evaporative curing process, of the old finish it touches. Well, oil is easier. That's why when you look at wood boat maintenance from the dawn of time to modern days it's a reapplication of oil and off you go.

As for imports having thicker finishes, it isn't just imports. If you look at modern Fender guitars that are finished with Polyurethane or modern Gibson instruments that are a modified poly there is so much material on there that they may have just as well dipped the guitar in a vat of plastic.

That works for them and there's nothing inherently wrong with those instruments (or at least if there is something wrong it isn't the finish from a technical perspective). From an artistic and personal preference perspective they feel all wrong to me. Others are quite satisfied.

They look fantastic and are going to look that way for a long time. The lack of quality wood in the exotic species is a bigger issue to me. It doesn't matter what you put on it if it is lower quality Mahogany that weighs thirteen pounds. Or some crappy variety they try to sell you as a "green" option (like Wild Cherry) or, like Pao Ferro, try to convince you it is a desirable alternative. Those woods make me feel like The Jerk. "Somebody put daisy stems on my roses"...
Old 1 week ago
  #134
Gear Maniac
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Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I have a "parts-caster just like that :-). I piece 3.4lb , 1-piece body. Nitro. Very thick rosewood FB neck. Callaham hardware, Amalfitano pickups. This is the guitar I'll take to my grave. Very affordable at the same time.
Will take some pics at the studio tomorrow. I prices the sme from fender custom-shop ,price was 7.5k$AU at the time
Looking forward to seeing that one Yuri.

I have a great strat, with an USACG neck from around 6 or 7 years ago. 7.25 to 9.5 compound, a John Mayer body, Don Mare pickups, Callaham hardware. Really cool guitar in “I;ll take it to my grave” category.

Where would you buy in London? Any good bodies and necks here anyone?
Thanks

Ale
Old 1 week ago
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alemarti View Post
Looking forward to seeing that one Yuri.

I have a great strat, with an USACG neck from around 6 or 7 years ago. 7.25 to 9.5 compound, a John Mayer body, Don Mare pickups, Callaham hardware. Really cool guitar in “I;ll take it to my grave” category.

Where would you buy in London? Any good bodies and necks here anyone?
Thanks

Ale
USACG was so awesome. It’s a shame that when Tommy left they turned into what they are now.

This one I’m putting together is because of a fifteen year old killer USACG neck I had laying around demanded I do something with it. And my main guitar is a neck and body from their prime time.

The folks running that place now are clueless.
Old 1 week ago
  #136
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On to the final rounds
Attached Thumbnails
How about those Partscaster Strats?-191b588b-5518-4d73-96d4-b58659f83281.jpg  
Old 6 days ago
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
USACG was so awesome. It’s a shame that when Tommy left they turned into what they are now.

This one I’m putting together is because of a fifteen year old killer USACG neck I had laying around demanded I do something with it. And my main guitar is a neck and body from their prime time.

The folks running that place now are clueless.
Didn't some of the people from USACG go to that Best Guitar Parts place? Of course, not Tommy, since I believe he had a non-compete agreement, but others.
Old 6 days ago
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
Didn't some of the people from USACG go to that Best Guitar Parts place? Of course, not Tommy, since I believe he had a non-compete agreement, but others.
I know there’s a place they started up but I’m not positive on which place it is. The next time I need an aftermarket neck I’ll be hunting them down.
Old 6 days ago
  #139
Gear Maniac
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Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
I know there’s a place they started up but I’m not positive on which place it is. The next time I need an aftermarket neck I’ll be hunting them down.
When did those people left the company?
Old 6 days ago
  #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alemarti View Post
When did those people left the company?
It’s been a while. Don’t know the exact date but seems like a few years ago or maybe more. Four?
Old 4 days ago
  #141
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Many partscaster guitars are out there. They're only as good as the luthier who did the assembly and setup. Therefore most of them have unlevel, rough frets, cruelly fabricated nuts, and are otherwise poorly adjusted. A Squier Stratocaster is a better guitar then one made from the finest components which has been assembled by a novice.
Old 4 days ago
  #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
Many partscaster guitars are out there. They're only as good as the luthier who did the assembly and setup. Therefore most of them have unlevel, rough frets, cruelly fabricated nuts, and are otherwise poorly adjusted. A Squier Stratocaster is a better guitar then one made from the finest components which has been assembled by a novice.
Whatever. If they can't setup a guitar with quality components they aren't going to set up a Squire worth a crap.

so no - it isn't a better guitar.
Old 4 days ago
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
cruelly fabricated nuts
Always to be avoided, IMO.
Old 4 days ago
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
Many partscaster guitars are out there. They're only as good as the luthier who did the assembly and setup. Therefore most of them have unlevel, rough frets, cruelly fabricated nuts, and are otherwise poorly adjusted. A Squier Stratocaster is a better guitar then one made from the finest components which has been assembled by a novice.
Agree with you re novice "luthiers". But many parts, like necks from musikraft, bodies from MJT, Rosser, Wildwood.. are excellent and require very little finessing. On the other hand I have seen many Fenders (inc the ones made in the USA) which required LOTS of tweaking to be useful. Fender employees are far from experts, and Fender is a production line with many products reaching buyers with substandard assembly faults. That includes many Squires
Old 1 day ago
  #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Whatever. If they can't setup a guitar with quality components they aren't going to set up a Squire worth a crap.

so no - it isn't a better guitar.
yes it is. The average Squier right from the factory plays better than the average amateur-built partscaster. Therefore the Squier s the better guitar.
Old 1 day ago
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
yes it is. The average Squier right from the factory plays better than the average amateur-built partscaster. Therefore the Squier s the better guitar.
I would disagree. Also have a look at "guitars" made and played by Seasick Steve. Great sound
Old 1 day ago
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Agree with you re novice "luthiers". But many parts, like necks from musikraft, bodies from MJT, Rosser, Wildwood.. are excellent and require very little finessing. On the other hand I have seen many Fenders (inc the ones made in the USA) which required LOTS of tweaking to be useful. Fender employees are far from experts, and Fender is a production line with many products reaching buyers with substandard assembly faults. That includes many Squires
I agree that most factory guitars leave much to be desired in terms of setup and playability. But the average builder of partscasters does not even own a proper set of graduated nut files, and wouldn't know how to use them. Like I said, a partscaster is only as good as the craftsman who assembles and sets it up. Most are assembled and set up by amateurs, and it shows.
Old 1 day ago
  #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
I agree that most factory guitars leave much to be desired in terms of setup and playability. But the average builder of partscasters does not even own a proper set of graduated nut files, and wouldn't know how to use them. Like I said, a partscaster is only as good as the craftsman who assembles and sets it up. Most are assembled and set up by amateurs, and it shows.
Yes, agree with you there. Some "luthiers" with all the files ...at their disposal still manage to f**k up a nut job. Years ago I had one of those completely destroy a truss rod and somehow manged to get a warp in the neck. All I asked for is a 6-monthly setup adjust.
Old 1 day ago
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
I agree that most factory guitars leave much to be desired in terms of setup and playability. But the average builder of partscasters does not even own a proper set of graduated nut files, and wouldn't know how to use them. Like I said, a partscaster is only as good as the craftsman who assembles and sets it up. Most are assembled and set up by amateurs, and it shows.
I do get your point and I agree that if a person doesn't know what they are doing it is gonna' be sad. Sadder than a factory Squire. Although I don't find many Squires that are set up properly from the factory and they usually don't get better in the wrong hands. But your point is well-taken.

Cheers,
Brock
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