It`s been an age since I built a guitar due to the amount of gear out there and the fact all my relatives and friends have been gifted!

As a result I decided to re-visit an old 3 stringer I built several years ago. It`s a guitar I was never really happy with but I was loathe to get rid.

So I stripped it back and added a radius to the neck and refitted the frets. I kept the old under saddle pickup and decided to change it from a red stained wood and black fretboard to a black body with a high gloss finish!

As I didn`t have any black dye available I decided to use an acrylic black paint but I added some silver to get a lovely grey finish. Similarly I didn`t have any high gloss cellulose spray for the body so I decided on a polymer lacquer. I had some yacht varnish and also some Danish oil. In a moment of madness I thought it would be a good idea to mix the yacht varnish and oil together so I could get a quick drying varnish that I could lay on with a cloth!

OMG! What a great finish! It`s had 2 coats and is nice and shiny. Still waiting for it to dry so I can take a photo or two to add.

I know there are a lot of you out there who have old guitars hanging around that you don`t use. Why not waste some of your lockdown time and try making improvements?

You could be very surprised ;)

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Comment by t-belly johnson on March 6, 2021 at 3:55pm

Most of my gits have a coat of wood stain of one shade or another. I generally stain and then use a teak oil to enrich the wood and finish with a coat or 5 of danish oil. With Danish oil I get a nice finish but for this revamp I wanted a high gloss finish so just went 50/50 with the yacht varnish. It was total guess work (usual for me) but turned out really good. As for the acrylic paint I was overjoyed with the result! I`ll be using it again I`m certain ;)

Comment by Grandpa on March 5, 2021 at 6:02am

t-belly, if you're playing on a revamped git, you aren't too busy...just preferably occupied! Bud, I re-read your post, and your comments about finishes got me thinking again.....I use stains, paints, spray on poly...I think these are the usual products that most git builders use. Cheap, readily available, pretty user-friendly. I have purpose-built  a couple dozen wooden git boxes for big bodied reso's, lpg's and such, using plywood, pine, oak, and a little cedar. Never tried using aniline wood dye....yet. You (or anyone else out there) have experience, good or bad, with wood dye? It looks good on git photos on Pinterest, and seems like a straight-forward process to really make wood grain pop. Changing things up keep the creativity up. Any takers?

Comment by t-belly johnson on March 5, 2021 at 4:59am

Glad I`m not alone. I think you can surprise yourself with how much knowledge you have gained by revisiting the old wall hangers ;) I certainly have! I haven`t posted a pic yet but I will. Too busy using the revamped git ;)

Comment by Grandpa on March 3, 2021 at 10:49am
  1. T Belly, I feel ya. I've built 140 cbgs and such over the past 5 1/2 years, and they were not all winners. Sold lots of gits, gifted a lot, too. But there a more than a couple that just languished around the edge of the garage, those I just didn't love. Now  the ones I loved most, played best, sounded really good...they all get to go into new homes pretty quick, so I keep building new favorites. Then, they leave, too. This past year I've rebuilt, re-necked, re-painted, refinished, and refurbished some of these old orphans, and with generally positive results. Better honed skills, better bridges, better built necks, and some new exteriors made some of these ugly ducklings into pretty nice gits, moving them back into the front row lineup. With 30 gits in the room, I just needed to take a bit of a break from new construction until the craft and art circuit opens up in So. Cal. Revisiting the has-beens and never-were's has been a fruitful and rewarding process. I recommend it to git builders to re-energize the juices. I still have a lot of boxes waiting to get turned into instruments, but a rebuild can inject some new love to the craft. Thanks for your posr

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