Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Ash Mosrite: Polishing & Wiring

Big strides forward on the Ash Mosrite build the last couple of days, with the body finally cured and the polishing completed. To get the clear coats to their final state is a 4 step process. Firstly the body is wet sanded all over with 1500 grit. At the end of this step the body is completely level once more with no shiny spots at all. The surface is completely matte and ready to shine!

Then comes the 2000 grit wet sanding to remove all the scratches left behind from the 1500 grit. As the 2000 grit is applied, the surface slowly becomes more and more shiny. With the 2000 grit complete, the third and fourth steps are the application of cutting compounds - specifically Meguiars Ultimate Compound and then Meguiars Scratch X2.0 to complete the job.

Meguiars Ultimate Compound does it again.
After all four rounds the surface was as shiny as it was ever likely to get, and that's very shiny indeed! With the polishing done, I set the body aside and let the surface rest; concentrating instead on wiring the pickguard. I do love these builds with all the wiring on the back of the guard. So straightforward!!

I began by shielding the back of the pickguard using copper tape - specifically "Slugga" slug control tape from Bunnings. It's cheap and it works perfectly for shielding. With the pickguard shielded I added back all the components and soon had the simple 2PUP, 1Vol 1Tone 3-way switch circuit (one of the simplest) all soldered up.

1Vol 1Tone, 3way switch circuit.
Pickguard shielded and the 1V1T wiring complete.
With the pickguard completed, I went straight on to inserting the earth wire into the bridge post and shielding the control cavity. Slugga also made short work of this task, and I quickly had the bridge ground wire soldered to the shielding, and from the shielding to the back of the volume pot.

Cavity shielded and grounded to the bridge.
With the shielding and circuit grounded, It was time to assemble the guitar, screwing the neck and pickguard to the body. It was here that I came across a stupid mistake that I made during clear coating. Having attached my hanger using neck bolts in the usual way, I neglected to mask off the inside of the neck cavity. Although the hangar protected much of the cavity, about 1/4 of the pocket at the heel end was covered in acrylic clear. In effect these clear coats creating a neck shim and threw the whole balance of the neck and bridge out.

With a razor blade I set to scraping the clear coats back out of the pocket and with a little patience the problem was solved (phew).  The neck is now sitting nicely in the pocket and the assembly can continue.

Pickguard and neck screwed into place.
With the neck and wiring complete, the guitar makes noise and can be played. The action is still not so nice, and the whole thing desperately needs a fret level/re-crown to start playing nicely. The neck has a 0th fret, so although I don't need to make a new bone nut, I do need to file down the existing nut slots so that the 0th fret can come into play. That's the last step in this build and I can't wait to get her finished! Stay tuned for the final chapter.