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Old 05-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #1
Rocket-Man66666
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Epiphone Korina refinishing

Hi guys,

so bought an ebony Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer a while back and I've decided to make this my next project.

I've been looking at a few things to do with it, but still haven't made up my mind about a few things. So maybe some of you guys could help me out?

Anyway, I've been looking into the Wudtone finishes. Really like how they look (just google it and you will see what I mean). Thing is, that since they enhance the grain I really have to know whats underneath that nice ebony finish. So started sanding it of today. All by hand. The entire body. And it's terrible. Worst idea ever. It's messy. It takes forever. And it hurts your hands.

Positive thing is that the body looks very nice underneath. It's quite hard to tell, but from the looks of things, I think it's a 2 piece body. Or it's a 2 piece veneer. But then again, why use veneer on a solid colored body? The cath is that there's a clear coat under the actual color coat. I'm guessing that it's sealer or something. All I know for sure is that i'ts hard and thick and it's a pain to get off... I also know that for applying a Wudtone finish, the wood has to be bare otherwise the dyes don't soak into the wood.

I've attached a few pics the proces. Not really sure what to do with the neck really. I don't think I want to sand it, but since it's set it's kind off in the way...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Explorer as is.jpg (78.8 KB, 313 views)
File Type: jpg Explorer Stripped.jpg (70.5 KB, 274 views)
File Type: jpg Explorer sealer.jpg (65.2 KB, 253 views)
File Type: jpg Explorer sanded.jpg (77.0 KB, 341 views)
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:41 AM   #2
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I just realized that this thread doesn't look to appealing. I am as hoping the attachments would show in my post as a pic instead of just al link.
So how can I make it look fancy?
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket-Man66666
Hi guys,

so bought an ebony Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer a while back and I've decided to make this my next project.

I've been looking at a few things to do with it, but still haven't made up my mind about a few things. So maybe some of you guys could help me out?

Anyway, I've been looking into the Wudtone finishes. Really like how they look (just google it and you will see what I mean). Thing is, that since they enhance the grain I really have to know whats underneath that nice ebony finish. So started sanding it of today. All by hand. The entire body. And it's terrible. Worst idea ever. It's messy. It takes forever. And it hurts your hands.

Positive thing is that the body looks very nice underneath. It's quite hard to tell, but from the looks of things, I think it's a 2 piece body. Or it's a 2 piece veneer. But then again, why use veneer on a solid colored body? The cath is that there's a clear coat under the actual color coat. I'm guessing that it's sealer or something. All I know for sure is that i'ts hard and thick and it's a pain to get off... I also know that for applying a Wudtone finish, the wood has to be bare otherwise the dyes don't soak into the wood.

I've attached a few pics the proces. Not really sure what to do with the neck really. I don't think I want to sand it, but since it's set it's kind off in the way...




Should've used an orbital sander and some 60 grit pads. That sealer coat is a pain, but if you're patient then you will have a nice canvas to work with.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket-Man66666
Hi guys,

so bought an ebony Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer a while back and I've decided to make this my next project.

I've been looking at a few things to do with it, but still haven't made up my mind about a few things. So maybe some of you guys could help me out?

Anyway, I've been looking into the Wudtone finishes. Really like how they look (just google it and you will see what I mean). Thing is, that since they enhance the grain I really have to know whats underneath that nice ebony finish. So started sanding it of today. All by hand. The entire body. And it's terrible. Worst idea ever. It's messy. It takes forever. And it hurts your hands.

Positive thing is that the body looks very nice underneath. It's quite hard to tell, but from the looks of things, I think it's a 2 piece body. Or it's a 2 piece veneer. But then again, why use veneer on a solid colored body? The cath is that there's a clear coat under the actual color coat. I'm guessing that it's sealer or something. All I know for sure is that i'ts hard and thick and it's a pain to get off... I also know that for applying a Wudtone finish, the wood has to be bare otherwise the dyes don't soak into the wood.

I've attached a few pics the proces. Not really sure what to do with the neck really. I don't think I want to sand it, but since it's set it's kind off in the way...




Should've used an orbital sander and some 60 grit pads. That sealer coat is a pain, but if you're patient then you will have a nice blank canvas to work with.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:25 AM   #5
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+1 on the sander and I've already been using 60 grit paper. But as you already mentioned, I just have to be patient and stick to it!

Also been thinking about the finish. I think I'm gonna go for a reversed red/black burst. Since I don't want to touch the neck it will remain ebony colored. So I want to make the area where the neck is attached to the body black and then make it fade to red on the outside egde. Maybe with some darker 'highlights' like seen on James Hetfields' Woodgrain explorer.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:50 PM   #6
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So here's an update on the sanding proces:




I've finally managed to get the sealer off! Then I found out that there IS veneer under the sealer
Sanded that off, got to the glue layer (which was a real pain as well) and than finally some real wood! As it turns out, it was a 2 piece veneer and the body is actually made out of 5 pieces But as you can see in the pics, it's quite hard to notice. Only the corner with the toggle switch is a little darker and I'm hoping this won't be to noticible after I put on the finish; so fingers crossed...

This is how the glue came of:


And someone actually wrote something under the sealer:


I've also placed an order at wudtone. Andy Preston hooked me up with a custom kit, containing 2 burst kits (Dark onyx and Carmine Gypsy) with some Black Magic Woman to darken some area's and a top coat.

I also want to make it a string through guitar (don't ask me why) so I have to fill the tailpiece holes. I've ordered a hardwood block and a plugcutter. Since I want to mask the holes in a cool way, I'm thinking of placing a wood inlay over the holes. Something with a nicedesign. Not quite sure what yet, though. I also have to fill and re-drill the bridge holes. Since I want to put in a Schaller roller bridge (simply because it looks great) and the studs bushings are a lot smaller, so this is also why I need the hardwood and the plugcutter.

So that's it for now, the next update will follow after I receive the tools and wood to fill the holes...

EDIT: Crap, the pics didn't work...

Last edited by Rocket-Man66666 : 05-27-2013 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:39 PM   #7
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Make sure when you're messing with the bridge, you get the end result to work with the original neck angle. You can't exactly go shimming the neck with a set neck guitar so don't go lowering or raising the bridge too much.

As for Wudtone, I finished a guitar with their stuff a while back. It does work very nicely but you have got to make sure you have gotten right down to the very bare wood. Even just a thin layer of sealer will repel that stuff. You also need to remember that with a wood like korina, which has such uniform grain, you're going to get a very flat finish, almost like a satin solid finish. 'S why Wudtone show off all their finishes on ash bodies, which have that really obvious grain.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:21 AM   #8
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So here I'm back again with my next update.
I've received the different bottles with the Wudtone dyes.

I've been testing the finishes on a small piece of wood. I've put a little dyed epoxy on the wood (which I'm going to use for the inlays and plugs), and some other stuff which I think I'm gonna use to draw my design onto the guitar. This is all as an experiment to see how the different things interact. I don't have any pictures my experiment, just yet.

Here is the design I've come up with:

I'm gonna make the moon and the ground an inlay to cover up the tailpiece holes.
As you can see, I also plan to sink the top string ferrules and make slots for the strings. Something like this:

I had to test if I was able to draw this, so I tried it with a simple ballpoint pen on a piece of paper and I think it looks great!


Furthermore, I've received my wood and the plugcutter which I've already used to make my four plugs to fill the bridge and tailpiece holes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Make sure when you're messing with the bridge, you get the end result to work with the original neck angle. You can't exactly go shimming the neck with a set neck guitar so don't go lowering or raising the bridge too much.


I've measured the string heigth at the bridge before I removed it, so all I have to do is measure how much I sanded off and add that to the total height. This should work out, right?
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:31 AM   #9
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Here I am with yet another update!
I've scaled my design to make it fit nicely on the guitar:


I'd reveived the schaller hardware which, with the Vintage Copper finish, looks great! Since I wanted to sink the top ferrulers, I had too test how deep they could go without touching the back of the bridge. Turns out I can't sink them...
Not quite sure yet, but I guess I'm going to go for a similar effect by darkening the area where the slots should have been.


Anyway, my dad helped me with the holes for the string trough. Because the arm on our drill press was to short, we used one at his work.

In the next pic I had also drawn the location of the inlays:


I've routed the cavities for the inlays:


And have made the moon(!):

I'm still working on the ground inlay. It's quite tricky because it is very narrow. I have to be really carefull not to break it...

I'm actually very proud of my inlay work. It was the first time I tried it, but I think the result looks pretty good. There are just a few minor gaps, which I think I can get rid off using a glue/sawdust mixture. But I'm not really sure what I could use best...
Would it be better to go with a CA glue (super glue) or an epoxy?

Last edited by Rocket-Man66666 : 06-17-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:58 PM   #10
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Fill the cracks with tightbond 2, then sand with an orbital @150 grit. It will blend flawlessly.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
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Do I still use sawdust with the tighbond? And is there a reason you use the number 2, instead of the number 1?
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:40 PM   #12
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Do I still use sawdust with the tighbond? And is there a reason you use the number 2, instead of the number 1?

Dont use wood glue for those types of applications... Use sawdust and epoxy.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:26 PM   #13
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this looks amazing man....
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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Dont use wood glue for those types of applications... Use sawdust and epoxy.


Wood glue works just fine. Fill the cracks with the glue, then use an orbital to sand while the glue is still wet. The sawdust created by the sanding is more than enough for the glue. I use this technique daily at work to hide cracks and seams.

Any reason to use epoxy? I haven't ever used it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:31 PM   #15
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Haha so now I'm still not sure what to use
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:38 PM   #16
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Looks like its gonna turn out awesome! Cant wait to see the results
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:08 PM   #17
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Haha so now I'm still not sure what to use


You have both readily available test each one to see which you prefer. The glue technique is very easy and stainable. I doubt epoxy matches as well as sanding the sawdust back in.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:34 PM   #18
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I'm afraid that when I start sanding when the glue is still wet, I might rub it around other parts of the body and end up having to redo the finish because there are some parts where it doesn't sink in...
But you are right, I should test the few options I have on some scrap.

Actually, thinking about it, I doubt that it has to match seamlessly. All it really has to do is blend with the surface of the wood, since the edge of the moon will be black. If it's smooth I can draw over the gaps, completely camouflaging them under the ink.

I think this is also alot easier. I know the Wudtone finish won't stain the glue, making the gaps a lot more obvious. And since I have to apply the deep colour coat first, so that the ink won't bleed in the grain while drawing, I first have to glue in the inlay so that I can sand it smooth. This means that I can't stain the glue up front. Mostly because I have no idea to what color I have to stain it and because I don't want the stain to bleed into the unfinished wood.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:04 PM   #19
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The glue thins and dries quite quickly when you sand it in. I do it for fine furniture building. I trust it more than any other technique. As for the finish your using, no. It won't stain the glue, which is why you fill the cracks and then sand them while its still wet. It hides the glue leaving a layer of stainable sawdust on top. The crack will be filled 100% without a single gap. Requires very little skill. I'm not sure about the epoxy and how difficult that will be.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:44 AM   #20
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Like I said, I'm going to test the different ideas and see how they react to the sanding and finish.
I let you guys now what I find
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