|Once the binding was in place, we had to
focus attention on providing a cool finish.
|Here is a shot of the FM3's top with about three coats
of white BINs shellac primer from Lowe's. Because of the damage on the
top, it was critical to get a proper base coat prior to the gold topcoats.
This is a recommended step in the ReRanch instructions, and I couldn't agree more. Be sure to feather the shellac down near the binding to ensure that the white doesn't shine through after you're done scraping.
|Here is a shot of the guitar with a few coats of gold
ReRanch paint. The white primer made the gold look very "alive". Use
the Mr. Lester instructions on ReRanch -- you can't go wrong with it.
Notice I "counter-sunk" the bridge bushings. The Stew-Mac bushings have a flange that sit flush with the top. Using a mill file and some sandpaper (with my Delta Drillpress), I ground the flanges down and discovered a more Gibson-like appearance -- don't forget to ground the bridge!
Note: My luthier mentor Jim Grainger has told me the horror stories of trying to clean a spray gun full of goldtop bronzing powder. This is an alternative for anyone wanting to spare themselves the cleanup duties.
|As noted in the photo above, I painted over the binding
on purpose. While you'll see some folks use thin 3M tape on the top binding, I
didn't use it here because I wanted a uniform binding width around the guitar, and the
tape kind of screwed-up another guitar I was working on.
This is personal preference, but the paint came off of the binding very easily, and as you can see in the next photo....
|...The binding looks pretty uniform.
Two critical tools for binding: the "indexed razor blade" and the good old single edge blade. Very inexpensive tools for making your binding look "bootiful".
The indexed blade is a piece of cardboard superglued to a razor blade. The cardboard keeps the scraping surface of the blade at a uniform depth around the guitar, thus providing an even appearance for the binding.
Clean-up any leftover paint with the regular razor blade.
Remember -- if you don't take your time here you may be asking for a complete strip and
respray of the top.
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