Tung oil & colors project progression

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Strat project based on a Warmoth cored construction with mahogany base / rosewood top

I have gotten the colors using 5 shades of artist's pastels which I found lock well into the finish if applied after wiping down a coat, I can rub in the pastel and by the next day, it's fully incorporated into the hardened layer of oil.

This is a dozen+ layers of pure tung & colors + 5 applications of polymerized tung. I also used a sealing shellac in the electronics cavity to form a base layer for painting on conductive / shielding paint. I know this won't be the most durable finish ever made, scratches are likely going to take off some of the color and for now I'm cool with that, I figure I can always decide later to go to shiny with either nitrocellulose or e.g. Epiphanes spar varnish. For now, i want to have the feel of the wood.


TL;DR: here's the state of the body today, I'm going to add a labrys and black triangle eventually to the face, however, with 6 weeks of finishing work in, I am ready to be done for now and finally be able to hear her sing -) The gold-leaf triangle on the back of the body is a lesbian symbol. The real version will be carved into the face eventually and I expect the gold to wear off some as I play the guitar


uc

uc

uc


The above images are all unedited, many of the ones that follow, I tweaked saturation etc to get a better representation of the colors I'm aiming for.

Body from Warmoth with first coat of tung and a test of colors in the back cavities before committing to applying to the main surfaces of the body.

uc

uc


First layers of color down, before sending off for re-routing
uc

uc


Lollar routing done (Senn-One, Novel Foil, El Rayo humbucker) apx 8 layers of pure tung
uc

uc


A few more layers of tung oil and with the neck I'll be mounting up (It's a low-profile 1.75" at nut -I have fiat fingers-, that I've been playing on my regular strat for a few months, neck is by Musikraft) You can see the PTO isn't working so well on the rosewood, this is about when I started looking for  something that would buff out more consistent and settled on polymerized tung oil for the finish layers.

uc

uc

 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
stratamania said:
Welcome to the forum...

Thanks for posting your progress so far.

Thanks for the warm welcome! As I researched in preparation for this, most of my answers have come from this forum, I'm glad to be able to show off what I learned from y'all!
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,204
Sadie-f said:
stratamania said:
Welcome to the forum...

Thanks for posting your progress so far.

Thanks for the warm welcome! As I researched in preparation for this, most of my answers have come from this forum, I'm glad to be able to show off what I learned from y'all!

Sure look forward to seeing your progress  :icon_thumright:
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,226
That's some crazy work there - I've never seen colourized tung oil used as a finish before.  It looks pretty cool.

That triangle real gold leaf?  Yea I'd be tempted to get that engraved in sooner rather than later because it likely won't last long under normal use.

Please keep posting your progress!
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Mayfly said:
That's some crazy work there - I've never seen colourized tung oil used as a finish before.  It looks pretty cool.

That triangle real gold leaf?  Yea I'd be tempted to get that engraved in sooner rather than later because it likely won't last long under normal use.

Please keep posting your progress!

Thanks and to be clear, the pigment isn't in the oil, I tried that and got no control. What I'm doing is thin layer of oil, let that soak the normal 20 minutes, wipe off and then rub in color, see photo below. It hardens into that layer of oil and can't be wiped back off by the next day. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Yep that's gold leaf and while it's now under 7 layers of polymerized tung and quite stable, I expect it to wear off in time, actually want that :).

The engraved triangle 🔻(iridescent black) will go in the red side of the face, near the controls, and a gold leaf filled labrys (🪓) engraved into the blue upper limb, above the fretboard.

Thanks, I will post updates, today I epoxied in base mounts for the bridge p'up, mounted the trem bridge and setup rough gauge length of the Ghost piezo pickup saddles. Hoping for some early sounds maybe this weekend.
 

Attachments

  • 16281133932300.jpg
    16281133932300.jpg
    78.8 KB · Views: 147

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
I strung her up yesterday, got action & intonation to a good place, she sounds great even before adding the pickups.
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
The last week was busy and I finally made progress over the weekend. Mounting pads for all the pickups in at something close to their final heights, 10-way switch and volume installed.

I think the biggest surprise is how good the setting sounds for all three parallel N, M, B (bridge humbucker split to work as a single). N&B combined is also surprisingly sweet.

So some finish work still to go & electronics tweaks, but I'll probably spend a week just playing her first :).

Also, we had a heat wave last week and I had the opportunity to play her sweating profusely, water just beads up on finish. A quick wipe after and it's like it was never there, I think it's as impervious as any varnish (just took 20+ applications :).
 

Attachments

  • 16291683404230.jpg
    16291683404230.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 145

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
I've played the guitar for a couple weeks and adjusted the PU mounting pad heights to where they're balanced and optimally clear toned. Now it's time for some more finishing work, and wiring up the ghost piezo-acoustic saddles and preamp.

Here's the current state, with the pads finished to contrasting & matched colors. I've also got a mahogany rear cavity cover from @DrSeb (beautiful work!), I'm doing the finish work on that in parallel with the pads.
 

Attachments

  • 16306154113230.jpg
    16306154113230.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 156

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Thanks guys, I'm developing ideas for the next one, to be quilt & birdseye maple.
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Applying the same idea to sinking pigments into the grain of some figured maple with Tung.

The trial piece is a few different makeup colors in different orders. The blue is the same artist pastels, the rose color is NARS blush in their well known Orgasm color. I think that's what I'll be using for at least part of the next guitar, have to do more steps to get a better feel how to execute.
 

Attachments

  • 16311140971080.jpg
    16311140971080.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 114
  • 16311143716911.jpg
    16311143716911.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 118
  • 16311143916292.jpg
    16311143916292.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 114

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
The last finish step on this will be the face carving with gold leaf I described in the OP.

First photo is of a failed and then repaired attempt. Teach me to read carefully, the leaf I could get at our local art shop turned out to be
(golden) copper / brass, about 5x thicker than the real thing, so my first attempts went poorly.

I ordered the real thing and the second two images are done in rosewood (so similar to the real thing when I do the guitar face).

Narrow grooves are a lot harder to leaf correctly, so I'll probably make the final go with shallow rounded cuts.

Quite pleased with how this is going, I intend the fully finished axe to be competitive in the next owner-done GOM :).

 

Attachments

  • 16329343371402.jpg
    16329343371402.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 113
  • 16329342828601.jpg
    16329342828601.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 106
  • 16329342388660.jpg
    16329342388660.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 113

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Got back to work on her, here's the start of a black triangle (this is how wwii concentration camps marked lesbians, anarchists and other "undesirables").

Had plenty of trepidation on taking a chisel to the face, quite glad with the result. Still to come will be marking out the edges in gold leaf. And maybe tonight I'll add the labrys to the upper limb.
 

Attachments

  • 16353376111500.jpg
    16353376111500.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 125

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Next, near final steps, I've picked out the triangle edges in gold leaf, added  and leafed the labrys, and gotten started finishing up a rosewood selector switch in the same blue as the upper bout.
 

Attachments

  • 16363147093771~3.jpg
    16363147093771~3.jpg
    800.7 KB · Views: 95
  • 16363146303740~2.jpg
    16363146303740~2.jpg
    749.8 KB · Views: 98
  • 16363211041860.jpg
    16363211041860.jpg
    1 MB · Views: 93
Top