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Working with Walnut

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Smelf36, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    im about to start building my first body from scratch, well nearly, I'll be using a body blank as I don't have a planer/jointer.
    The plan is a for a natural finish walnut tele with binding (binding a bit ambitious maybe for a first attempt, but hey go big or go home lol)
    Any advice on using walnut, does it work well/easily. Is tear out likely when routing etc?
    All help gratefully received
     

  2. ryunker

    ryunker Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    53
    Feb 18, 2014
    Crystal Lake, Il
    I have a walnut strat body two piece from Warmth. as far as finishing, no big deal. Walnut has grains that required grain filler, multiple times.

    WIN_20170915_17_36_17_Pro.jpg

    I do like the natural finishes, but I chose smooth and shiny. I did it in blue lacquer with green pearls. Topped it with clear nitro.

    Please keep in mind, with walnut, these guitars are very very heavy when done. I do like my walnut strat.
     
    Smelf36 likes this.

  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014
    Michigan
    .

    Sand then use damp cloth to raise fibers (that got pushed into the pores) then sand again. Otherwise you'll put finish on and the knocked down fibers curl up and make for a rough finish. As you do the finishing you might plan for that so a light first coat to raise the nap and then sand smooth as a "sanding sealer"; this would be after the grain filler step.

    Use a mask when sanding as walnut dust is listed as worse than many woods (toxic).

    As for routing, move the router around the profile like petting a dog, you don't want to pet against the lay of the fur. Example is go left to right from the jack area of the lower part of the guitar until you get into the knee rest area, then right to left from the outer lower horn to the knee rest area. Routers don't like to go right to left but you'll have much lower tear out problems. Hang on to the router tight and don't try taking too much off per pass (use the saw to cut close to the router lines too).

    I have used walnut as fingerboards, a great local substitute for rosewood.


    .
     

  4. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    Cheers for that, my plan is to finish with tru oil, I've used it on a gun stock and neck so Im happy with it and I think Im right in thinking I'll be able to wet sand with it to grain fill?
     

  5. Phat-O-Caster

    Phat-O-Caster Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    56
    860
    Apr 16, 2008
    Colorado
    I’ve done a lot of inlay & shaping walnut rifle stocks & forearms. The way I was taught to “whisker” the wood was to wet it as mentioned above & then run a torch flame over it to burn off the raised hairs of wood rather than sanding that can sometimes just lay them back down again prior to grain filling. Tru oil is fine & easier to apply/maintain but I like the way a French polish brings out the figure of the wood and adds depth. Good luck & have fun.
     
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  6. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    with regards to the binding, what would you all advise to use as glue, I'm worried that super glue will stain the wood, this is no good as it wont be painted? Acetone - if so where can I get that in the UK?
     

  7. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member

    Not sure about the glue question, but I've heard Titebond works pretty well on most woods. Shrinks as it dries and is stronger than the wood itself.

    In addition to respiratory protection, also wear gloves as walnut will stain your skin purplish.

    I finished a gunstock with Tru Oil, and it really brought out the figure in the feather crotch it had been cut from.
     
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  8. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 3, 2009
    Mobile Bay
    Is that English walnut or black walnut?
     

  9. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    Whatever I can get. Not a lot of options it seems in the UK, well not in my price bracket anyway - unless someone can recommend a good supplier of body blanks here?
     

  10. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    FA58B450-005D-42C8-B02D-471C3311FD0F.jpeg So quick update on the walnut tele. Built my template with plans from the tinternet and printed using Inkscape (brilliant by the way). Routed the body, couple of tear outs sorted with dust and glue filler waiting on the neck to rout the bridge pickup to make sure the intonation is correct and today I have successfully bound the body using acetone, worked a treat and I would definitely recommend it, so far chuffed to bits
     

  11. papergoblin

    papergoblin Strat-Talker

    Age:
    36
    323
    Sep 21, 2017
    Alabama
    Looks good, I don't know if it might give you ideas and such, but have you ever watched Crimson guitars channel on youtube?

    They did a series on a tele kit guitar, it was pretty interesting to show the small details and such. They also did a 5 layer binding on it I think.
     

  12. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    The EU

  13. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Fa-ra-ra-ra-raaa, ra ra ra raa! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    red barn, USA
    upload_2017-11-23_10-11-0.png
     
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  14. CigBurn

    CigBurn Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jun 22, 2014
    The Shed
    Looks like it's going to be a beauty, gorgeous piece of wood there. I bought a black walnut tele body and finished it with tung oil, it's definitely one of my favorite guitars. Looking forward to seeing the progress on yours. So far though looks great!

    T5.jpg
     
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  15. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    Cheers Yeah, love that guy, l’ve learnt every thing I know from youtube, another top one is fletcher guitars. Aussie bloke, that’s where I learnt about acetone for the binding.
     
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  16. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    Thanks mate, yours is a beaut, I’m going with tru oil and gold hardware like yours, looks great against a dark wood. Got the blank from the guys at guitarbuild. You can pay a bit extra to choose the wood, highly recommended.
     

  17. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas New Member!

    6
    Jun 26, 2014
    New York
    I built a Walnut Strat a while back and finished with Tru-oil. Didn't care for the look, so I sanded it back and sprayed Lacquer over the top.

    IMG_1771.JPG

    IMG_1781.JPG

    Yours is looking great!! Love the binding!
     

  18. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    Thanks mate, yours Looks amazing. What lacquer did you use, nitro?
     

  19. Smelf36

    Smelf36 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    47
    85
    Jul 17, 2016
    UK
    2363238E-E2C9-4826-A685-94A83FA676FF.jpeg So the head veneer has gone far better than expected just got to open up the tuner holes. Bit nervous as the veneer is pretty brittle, don’t want to chip it out now!
     
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  20. CigBurn

    CigBurn Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jun 22, 2014
    The Shed
    Man that head stock looks really nice! Was hoping we'd get to see some updates on this project. :)
     
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