Yesterday I posted about the Guitar Shelf I made Zach for Christmas. Today I’m going to tell you what I wish I had done differently…in case you decide to make something similar.
- First! I read some other tutorials that said they had used an all-saw or hand-saw. I don’t know what the difference is compared to a jigsaw (as I said yesterday, I don’t own power tools). You may want to keep that in mind, though. Because the jigsaw caused it to chip a lot.
- Sand before cutting, I think. Probably what also caused some chipping was the saw cutting through the finish. The finish came off, taking little chunks with it. So we probably should have sanded before cutting. And then sanded again to smooth down the rough edges.
- We really should have used a clamp. The whole time I was worried Jenn was going to cut her leg off. Safety first, guys.
- I also would have sanded the back of the guitar. The reason we didn’t do this was because we were feeling tired and lazy by the time we got to it. And we thought, “Why paint it? It’s going to be against a wall, anyway!” The sweet temptation of Christmas movies, fleece blankets, and pumpkin spice tea was luring us back into the house, you see. So, yeah, we got lazy. And we paid for it. There are some mistakes in the paint on the back of the guitar–because I did decide to paint it after all. I fixed them for the most part and you have to look very closely to see them. But they’re still there. So if I had to do this again, I would have sanded the back.
- As I mentioned yesterday, I would have not put silicon caulk in there. That set me back nearly two days. And it looked fine without it. The shelves were perfectly stable–I don’t know why I did it. A Momentary Lapse of Reason, I suppose. If I could do it all over, I would have just drilled some screws into the back of the guitar to make sure the shelves were completely secured and let it be that. C’est la vie.
- Another thing I think I mentioned: I would have taken the screws and tuning keys off of the headstock at the very beginning and put them in a plastic baggie until the end of the project. Putting them back on would have been the last thing I did. Because I didn’t do that, I lost one of the screws and had to superglue a couple tuning keys in place (because the screws keep them from falling out). It looks fine and Zach didn’t notice (though I’m sure after he reads this, he’ll come home and take a look), but it bothers me on a, “I wish it could have been perfect” kind of level.
- If you’re concerned about the polyurethane yellowing over time, use polycrylic. The kind that brushes on is best. It also doesn’t smell nearly as bad.
The only way I could see you needing primer is if you’re going to paint your guitar all one color instead of using multiple colors like we did. In that case, I would use it to be safe, because your wood shelves and your guitar will probably be made from different woods and the paint might look a little different on them (that was a problem I noticed at first with the inside of the guitar, but after we sprayed it with the polyurethane and I added more coats, that seemed to help). The primer will make it look more uniform. That’s also helpful with the neck, since it’s difficult to sand…which is why we didn’t sand it.
I hope that helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! =)