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Finishing

Preparation

I will be using Tru-Oil, so the preparation needed to be really good. I sanded with 120, 240, 320, 400 and 800 grit, getting rid of all the scratches and marks. I then masked off the fingerboard and a few other areas.

Sander/Sealer

I applied the Tru-Oil sanding sealer with a bit of old t-shirt:

Tru-Oil

Again it is applied with an old t-shirt. Here it is after 6 coats of Tru-Oil:

I put on a total of 12 coats of Tru-Oil. I then rubbed down lightly with 2000 grit wet-and-dry, used wet and buffed it.

Wax Polish

I put on two coats of Colron wax polish. I will put more coats on over time...


Wiring

Pickups

I am using Seymour-Duncan SH-1s ('59s), a SH-1n and a SH-1b, essentially PAF-type pickups. I really like their tone - they are quite warm. They are only single wire plus earth so no coil tapping.

Wiring

I am using one tone with a .02 uF capacitor and two volume pots (all 500k log) and a three-way switch to control it. I wired as much as possible up on a wooden block before mounting it in the cavity.

Shielding

I used sticky-backed copper foil. I lined the pickup cavities, the control cavity and the control cavity cover. This is to reduce extraneous electromagnetic interference.

As a belt and braces approach, I also soldered wires in each compartment to maintain a common earth (the pickup shielding would probably have done this, but it can't do any harm and may do some good).

Earth The Bridge

I attached a wire to the bridge mounting post by drilling a hole in the bottom bit and soldering a wire to it. The wire was then attached to a screw in the control cavity that is common to all the shielded cavities and the common earth.

Control Cavity

The following image shows the control cavity wired up.


Setup

The setup was a very similar process to the OM guitar. I again notched feeler gauges with a file to act as a nut file and set the action at the nut. I then set the overall action at the bridge and then the intonation. Finally, I adjusted the truss rod.

The only major hassle was in levelling the frets - I needed to relevel them at this stage - not really too sure why - could the fingerboard have shrunk a little with the oil or finish ? Who knows.... Anyway I ended up with a really low action that I am happy with...


Finished

Feel

It plays really nicely with a very low action - I am pretty pleased.

Sound

It sounds amazing - there is absolutely no hum whatsoever - I have never played such a noise-free guitar. I think I am going to have to look at my other electric guitar and shield that now !

I really like the neck humbucker (SH-1n). I am less convinced by the bridge pickup - I can't put my finger on it but I don't like the sound anywhere near as much. It sounds ok blended with a little bit of the neck or with the tone rolled off a little. I wish now that I had put separate tone controls on each pickup - oh well, live and learn...

Images

The following are a few photos of the finished guitar: (there is a bit of an optical illusion with the grain and the angle of the bridge - it looks as if the stop tailpiece and pickup rings are not true - they are !).