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Jeffrey Stephenson

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Hit it with a couple of coats of brushing lacquer but I don't like the brush. I'm currently shopping for something more appropriate for this project. 





It's all about the width and how much lacquer the bristles can carry. The brush stroke has to be one long continuous motion with an even application start to finish.






I made the mistake of editing my render to show black decorative elements instead of my standard aluminum. I thought it looked interesting and my people now prefer it. My wife says I'm not fooling anyone with the fake aluminum anymore. Maybe it's time to try fake plastic. Here I'm trying out different paints on different woods with some tape thrown in for S&G.


Life just got more complicated.





Glued up pieces of the bumpers. Talk about delicate. Sheesh. 




Fitting the bumper







Thanks for looking!

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I use samples made up at Home Depot for this kind of painting. The interior structure will be painted this French Silver to help simulate the look of a painted steel chassis instead of chunks of lumber.





Taped off the edges where the outer shell makes contact. I've learned to not paint sliding surfaces because they usually don't slide very well after a layer of flat latex is applied. If the fit becomes sloppy from use I'll just hit these areas with paint and it tightens right up.





Bumper work.









Just to prove that these elements are still removable at this moment. Much easier to finish the detail work and paint when they are "off chassis".





Bumpers are finished and ready for paint.





The waterfall grille has already been started. The grille will consist of nine vertical "slats" two of which are already placed in these photos. You can see them on the outer edges. The remaining seven will be equally spaced to span the top and front vent holes.






Thanks for looking!

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I think it is time to spill a few beans. Inspiration for this project is a 1940's Canadian radio made by Addison. The Model 2 is one of the most valuable and sought after collector radios in the world. It's main decorative feature is the waterfall grille which gives the radio its nickname...The Addison Waterfall. Two examples....









Painting the interior a color called Lava Gray. First coat. I'm avoiding surfaces that mate to the interior box because they have to slide against each other Also avoiding the mesh screen areas because they have a gluing event in their future. 





Actually this is just an excuse to interview a possible color for my external bits. I love Lava Gray because in my opinion it pairs perfectly with mahogany.





Interior box painting continues. Areas taped off include future gluing surfaces.



Splotch is a shadow. Possibly a carpenter bee trying to supervise.



So the big question is color choice. Short list is Aluminum, Gloss Black, Flat Black, Lava Gray, Butterscotch and Lime Green. Yes....Lime Green. My good friend and insider Alfred Poor who has seen the final renders e-mailed me last night "Wow. I think you could paint it lime green and it would still look awesome." :D


Any opinions?

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Glued a scrap piece of 1/2" square wood to the back of the bumpers near the balance point.





This temporary painting handle will be snapped off and cleaned up later.





Taped up the back of the bumpers to keep the wood raw for gluing. I like to trim a 1mm space back from the edge to get a cleaner paint edge and so the tape won't interfere with sanding along the edge.





Wrap a plastic grocery bag around my hand and grasp the handle. This gives me the control I like to have for spraying.





90% finished with the trim paint...or...just got my aluminum pieces in from the CNC mill guys.





Semi-final installation of equipment. The wood panels still haven't been glued together. Access is so much easier with the separate panels. The video card will be swapped out next week and I'd like the room to work that.




Power button in the back where I like it.





Had to do some shimming to the SSD mount. Also took the opportunity to extend the mount for greater support. The additional piece is unpainted in this photo.





The corners are raw wood and will remain that way. I even put a coat of paste wax on them and their corresponding outer box surfaces.






Thanks for looking.

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Four blocks of wood located at each corner of the inner box structure.





Corresponding four "frames" at each corner of the decorative box interior.





To secure the cover in place the blocks tightly mesh with their custom frames. The meshed parts are also painted so a solid friction fit is achieved and easily maintained





The base of the grille is nearing completion after many, many coats of paint. The paint dries completely in 15 minutes and I do my best to sand it all back off between coats. The last 5 coats I allow to build up with a light sanding between with 1500 grit sandpaper. 85% of what you see here is masked off sections. Only the outer edges that border the mahogany are being worked.


The idea is that after this piece is glued in place and the surrounding mahogany is masked off I won't have to spray paint directly into the "border" region. By pre-finishing these border edges it should help solve my masking tape paint line problem. 





After sanding the finish back to raw wood three times and starting over I'm thinking the fourth might do it. 3 coats of semi-gloss brushing lacquer lightly sanded with 400 grit sandpaper and buffed with #0000 steel wool. This is a dark photo but I like the reflections.


Thanks for looking!

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Sanded off the finish on the gluing surfaces.





Clamp scheme.





This was the edge I was looking for. Hoprfully I can keep it this way. These photos were taken before gluing so there is a tiny gap.





More tape testing. Everything I read said to not leave the tape on a lacquer surface for more than 24 hours.  I'll probably need more time than that. I suspect the 24 hour thing is BS and this will prove it.





New thing I learned from a guitar finishing site. Keep your masking tape in plastic bags and be careful where you set the rolls down. Helps keep lint, sawdust and funky liquids off the tape edges. Love to learn new things.





Once it is finally glued down I pack the now mated holes with wood filler. There are three layers of wood that need to look like a single layer.







Sand the wood filler down to get a smooth surface.





The only photo in this sequence shot in direct sunlight. Makes a difference. Here I am laying down my first grille slat straight down the center.





Instead of measuring I like to use physical spacers to get my positioning correct. Four identical pieces of wood take the probability of error down to near zero.



After this I took the piece indoors and finished the grille work.





Cloudy, overcast day so I'm back to monkeying with the fill light. The remaining grille structure is complete.







The 1/16" x 1/4" slats are backed up by 1/4" x 1/4" pieces of basswood to get the depth I need.





All of these pieces are hand cut and sanded to fit.









Thanks for looking!
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Taped off using a nice old thick paper grocery bag I had stashed away. After a single coat.





Fifteen coats and a day later. Sanded down 100 grit, spray, 220 grit, spray and 400 grit, spray.





Painted the back of the slats with a brush-on aluminum paint and then backed up the holes with pieces of cardboard.






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Waiting for new, upgraded equipment and a few knobs to select from. Been concentrating on the photo shoot setup and lighting.
Photo number 350
4-way! In case anyone thought I was kidding.
Solar light tent setup. PVC pipe, ripped bedsheet, clothes pins and a table cloth stolen from a Las Vegas nightclub.
Knobs arrive Friday, video card ships tomorrow and Far Cry 4 releases on Tuesday. Gonna be close. :)

Final photos coming soon. Probably late Friday. These are my knobs. They are made by a German company named Schaller who specializes in guitar parts. These knobs were originally intended for a Fender Stratocaster.
The left knob operates the left one and the right knob operates the right one. I recommend operating both at once for maximum effect.
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