Budget Sunburst hardtail

tfarny

Senior member
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4,481
I'm gonna start this thread about doing my first sunburst, the last of my three summer projects. This is for a friend, it's an under-$600 no-compromises hardtail strat.
Alder closeout body, (4.5lb?) maple closeout neck  - SRV, 6150, corian. Just over $300 for the pair.
Painting with stew mac spray nitro finishes - I probably could have got the paint for less somewhere else, but this seems to be working out so far.
This photo is after sanding to 320, three coats of colortone 'vintage amber tint' and one clear coat. I'll spray a second clear coat and the (brown) burst tomorrow hopefully, once I find a good way to suspend the body in a better position for that work. For the neck, I'm deciding between just a thin gloss or using some of the amber first.

Not bringing the bling, but this should still be nice when I'm done.
 

kboman

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2,378
Obviously this is down to personal taste, but I'll never understand why anyone would want to ruin a lovely colour tone like that with a sunburst.
 

DocNrock

Senior member
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4,295
Looks great!  It would look good with or without the burst.  I personally would leave the maple neck with a clear coat, but its all personal.  Since you're using nitro, it'll amber over time, right?
 

jackthehack

Senior member
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5,630
"Since you're using nitro, it'll amber over time, right?"

Most likely not... Pretty much all Nitro lacquer sold these days, and absolutely everything in spray cans has UV protectorant in it's formulation. If you search Tonar's posts, he uses a certain type that's still made without it that will yellow nicely, but it only comes in 1 and 5 gallon cans and you'll need a compressor/proper spray gun to shoot it. Fender Neck Amber from StewMac works great to "vintage" up a maple neck; gets darker the more coats you spray.
 

-CB-

Senior member
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5,427
they also have an "ambered" lacquer from ReRanch that is lighter than vintage neck amber... more suitable for "Aging"
 

Tonar8352

Senior member
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2,195
I clamp mine in a vice off a workbench I use.  I know there are better ways, look up midirose posts and see the contraption he built to do his.  It looks like a guitar rotisserie,  but the vise works fine.

IMG_0298.jpg


I always make sure to load the corners and the horn with extra dark color. I found that after I started shooting clear I could see through it to the yellow.  I take a flash light and make sure that I have no yellow showing through before I shoot clear.

I also find a picture of a burst that my customer or I like and keep referring to it as I shoot the colors.  It helps for reference on the widths of the bands. Good luck, I can’t wait to see you finished burst.

 

tfarny

Senior member
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4,481
Thanks everybody, sheesh expectations are high around here! Tonar, this is just aerosol nitro burst, it's not going to meet your high standards probably. Pic #1 is of my first atttempt, an uneven screw-up. I let it dry, sanded it mostly back, and did again.
 

tfarny

Senior member
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4,481
I don't know why it looks like there's dust all over everything here; it's actually pretty clean. I'm ready to call this 'good enough' once I hit the sides (tomorrow) and go over with steel wool removing overspray.
 

Tonar8352

Senior member
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2,195
Your doing fine, do not take steel wool to it.  Leave it alone and keep going.  Make sure to do your sides and then let it set a day before you start with the clear.  Do you first coats of clear kind of light and dry and then start giving it full wet coats. You may want to give it a light dusting with a really soft bristle brush to knock off the over spray dust but don’t use any thing else.  One you start putting clears on it will start looking much better as everything melts together. 

Don’t worry if it is not perfect.  Look at the early Fender sunbursts and you can see all kinds of splatters and uneven lines.  I think they were hung over a lot during those days so the paint jobs are all over the place.  Part of the beauty of those things is they were just inexpensive workingman planks, nobody had any idea they would become so valuable.

 

bpmorton777

Senior member
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1,651
hey

looks great Dude!. Did you have to use grain filler on that Alder? Are yoo spraying outward or inward with the burst?

Brian
 

tfarny

Senior member
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4,481
Thanks Tonar! I appreciate the tips. Yeah you can tell it's hand work but it seems to be going well so far - better in person than in the pics. I think I did better on the back than on the front though. Bursting is a bit harder than the other methods I've done, but a cool challenge. Nice to know that I'm up to 50's Fender quality in your opinion!  :toothy11:

Byte: I saw that but it seemed a bit like cheating, and I wondered if I could get the more 'gradual' bursting effect that I wanted. That way seemed like it would give a 'harder' line.

Brian: thanks! No grain fill - so far, it's just three coats of amber nitro, two coats of clear, and then then tobacco brown burst. I'll follow with sealer and more clear. I think it's more common to do the sealer first, but I'm not sure that it matters a lot. Alder doesn't really need fill, and especially with this particular one, I won't mind if the finish sinks in a bit and makes it look old prematurely. Alder and maple are the easiest, by far, woods to finish that I've seen (ie compared to mahogany, walnut, korina, and especially swamp ash).
 
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