Tuesday, 20 August 2013

ES175 Hollowbody - New kit started from RM Olson

With the 335 12 string all but completed, I now feel justified in starting the other kit that I ordered from RM Olson Guitars (www.rmolsonguitars.com) in the USA. The kit is a full hollow body ES175 kit in flamed maple. Out of the box the kit looks well made and sports the flamed maple veneer top and bottom - a detail often overlooked by other kit makers. Like the 335, the fixed neck also came pre-assembled - something that I am very thankful of Robert (Olson) for. All in all, a great kit and I couldn't wait to get started.

I'm planning to go with an orange dye job with this one, in the hope of emulating the classic  look of the Gretsch orange hollowbody guitars. Initially, I hit the kit with the 240 and 360 grit sand paper to remove any glue and machnn marks. With these initial sandings were complete, I decided to do a trace dye - a step I was not able to complete with the 335. The aim of the trace dye is twofold. Firstly it enables you to detect any patches of glue that were missed by the initial sanding, and it also allows colour to soak deep into the figured parts of the maple veneer.

Using Colortone orange from Stewmac, the initial trace dying did indeed highlighted a couple of regions where glue had squeezed out around the bindings, and in particular where the fixed neck was attached.  I was able to concentrate on a couple of these glue spots (mainly at the top and bottom of the veneer-join) as I took the majority of the dyeoff again with 360 grit.

The trace dye seems to have done its job and the figure is standing out nicely. Now for more sanding, from 400 to 600 grit, to smooth the surfaces before the final dye job is done.