Friday, March 30, 2012

Testing the finish

The painting is finally done:

Each of the four square puzzle pieces has different type of finish applied. Going from top-left to bottom-right, these are:
  • sprayed 2 component polyurethane automotive clearcoat 
  • sprayed 1 component acrylic automotive clearcoar
  • no finish (just one layer of nitro sealer on left half of the square)
  • brushed water-base furniture lacquer
None of these managed to fill the spaces between the pieces, so I guess I'll just use more epoxy when gluing them to the guitar to partially do that. The water-base is already out of the game since it managed to dissolve the paint on the puzzle (maybe that's because I was brushing it on).

I will probably want to use 2K clearcoat for the final thing, but for now I'll leave these out in the balcony to take some sun/rain and we'll see how they hold up.

In the meantime I need to start looking for the guitar that will be the base for this project.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cardboard on wood

I am not aware of anybody else trying to glue pieces of cardboard to guitar body wood and calling that a finish.. as there are in principle many ways to do that, I'll test a few that come to my mind and see if any of them work.

This is my testing board:

I've epoxied four 3x3 square sections onto a piece of plywood. I clamped them overnight, now I'll let them set for some more time before applying different types of finish to each one.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Testing the layout

This is an old Mayones guitar body that I'm refinishing for fun - trying to put some dyed flamed maple veneer on it. As you can see from the picture, that project is currently at the stage of having the old paint stripped from the wood. As the shape is close to what I'd like to have for the final CMS Guitar, I'm going to use it for a test shot:

I was thinking initially of a HH (humbucker-humbucker) pickup configuration, but I'm leaning towards a HS set up, with a single coil neck pickup (or maybe a mini-humbucker) to maximize the central photo area.
This will probably mean I'll have to find a HSS body and fill the middle pickup hole. The bridge will be a fixed one - I'll need all the sustain I can get given what I plan to do with the fretboard...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The CMS Detector

While I'm doing all this, why not introduce to you the CMS Detector itself?

The photo I'm using for the guitar is a head-on view of this 14000 ton piece of some of the most complex and precise machinery ever made, spanning a cylinder 21m long and 15m in diameter. The photo was taken without the "lids" (or, as we call them, endcaps) in place, so you can see the cylindrical "barrel" part with layers of different particle detection devices arranged in circles around the center.

This central point is the Interaction Point where particle collisions take place. Protons accelerated in the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) accelerator are smashed head-on 40 million times in every second. As the energy of the colliding protons is converted into matter, a few to over a hundred particles are created and fly outwards in all directions. The role of CMS is to detect them and measure their properties. Based on this information us physicists try to figure out what happened in the collisions, with hope of finding something new and unknown...

The diagram below should give you a sense of the geometry - and the scale (see the little guy down there?) of the experiment:

For more info check out these pages, for example.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I had a special moment when the puzzle was nearly done and only one piece was left... and that piece didn't seem to fit into the one empty spot. (you probably can't see that in the picture...)

Anyway, after some investigation I located the piece that was placed incorrectly and the puzzle is now done. I'll now see how it looks on a guitar body (I happen to have one around that I'm refinishing in parallel) and I'll start testing some fininshing options on the pieces that won't end up on the guitar in the end.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Solving the puzzle...

Now before I go further with this project I need to spend some time putting the puzzle together...

Once this is done I can do a test run of gluing the puzzle pieces and clearcoating that on some scrap piece of wood.