Before and After pics of my Fender amp - shellac'n/relic'n.

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by gururyan, Sep 26, 2004.


  1. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    Ok, here is the "before" pic:
    [​IMG]

    And here is the "after" pic:
    [​IMG]

    And a close up pic:
    [​IMG]

    And for good measure, the back pic:
    [​IMG]

    ...and of course the pics don't show the "real" color...web photos are created with light so the true hues are off...like the grillcloth is not so "blue", it actually matches very well with the amber tolex. In fact, look at the grillcloth in the "before" pic as compared to the "after"...same grillcloth but you see the drastic difference in color. Anyway, the amp looks a million times better in real life. I am VERY pleased with the results.
    It looks better in real life, it's not so shiny and....I don't get it, but in person it's great.

    Anyway, there she is.
     
  2. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    That amp came out great! Which shellac did you use/how did you "cut" it/how many coats/buffing in-between? I ask because now you've got me motivated to try my hand at my own amp!

    [​IMG]

    P.S. I have a business trip to OK City the week after this one. Suggestions?
     
  3. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    Step 1
    Went to Lowe's and picked up:
    Zinsser® Bulls Eye® Shellac - Traditional Finish & Sealer - Amber (one quart) = $6.97
    Zinsser® Bulls Eye® Shellac - Sealer & Finish - Clear Spray (12oz) = $4.48
    3M® Finishing Pads (pack of 2) = $1.64
    3M® 3/4" Painters Tape (60 yds) = $1.96
    Wooster® 1-1/2" Dec. Choice Oil-Based Finishes White Bristle Brush = $4.96
    Hot Dogs w/mustard from outside Hot Dog Cart/Vender (2) = $4.00

    Total (less hot dogs) = $20.01

    Step 2
    Remove amp from cab.
    Remove speaker and baffle board from cab.
    Remove reverb tank from cab.
    Remove front and back Fender plates.
    Leave feet in cab, just tape off.
    (removing wood screws should be avoided, the others were all machine screws so no harm done.)
    ...you should have an empty, bare cabinet now.

    Step 3
    Clean tweed with warm soap and water (or carpet cleaner) and allow to dry, then vacuum.

    Step 4
    Apply first coat of shellac. Do it right, a thin, even layer. No need to gob it on, we want a nice finish. Be careful on the edges as you don't want a build up of excess shellac to accumulate...you will get dark spots. Allow to dry 30-60 mins.

    Step 5
    Sand with your steel wool or sanding pad and smooth out first coat of shellac. You don't have to be gentle, you will be able to feel the difference...not see it. After I would sand, I would take a damp sponge and wipe down the cab to remove any dust or pieces of the sanding pad. Then wipe clean/dry with a soft cloth or quality paper towel.

    Step 6
    Repeat Steps 4 & 5 until desired shade is achieved. (don't forget the bottom!)

    Step 7
    Give it another sand and prep it as if you were going to go for one more coat. Make sure it is as you want it before we apply the final layer.

    Step 8
    Time to use the Clear Spray. Hold can about 10-12 inches away and give one, good solid coat...not too much, just a nice coat. Allow to dry at least a full hour.

    Step 9
    Reassemble amp.
    Admire work.

    Step 10
    Turn on.
    Plug in.
    Rock out.

    Hindsight:
    Only need like a pint of shellac.
    Only used tape for feet, so you may not need some.
    3M® Finishing Pads are perfect.
    The Amber color I got is the BEST color.
    It took one afternoon.
    The brush is trash now.



    I will take some pics outside tomorrow so maybe the real color can be seen. Those I put up are not true to the color in real life.
     
  4. mtndog

    mtndog Gold Supporting Member

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    great job. It really has the cool vibe going now.
     
  5. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

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    Wow, great instructions, and of course the amp looks fantastic.

    I nominate this post for the archives. Well done.
     
  6. jaimo

    jaimo Member

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    Very, very cool. :cool:

    You did a great job!
    Yes. Definitely archive this one.

    jai
     
  7. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    Thank you!

    Here is the outside pic I promised:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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  9. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    I think I should replace the handle now with a leather one to finisher her off.
     
  10. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    Great work, gururyan, and I really like the color you achieved.

    Thought I'd add another reference put up by the forum's own jeffnmoe that shows his finish work on a 59 Bassman reissue. He went with Minwax for a butterscotch color, rather than the amber color that Zinsser gives you:

    http://www.jeffnmoe.com
     
  11. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    Yes, that is the man who inspired me. :cool:
     
  12. kgmessier

    kgmessier Member

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    Anybody know where this website moved to?
     
  13. 1guitarslinger

    1guitarslinger Member

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    An alternative method is to do the initial finish "build" with clear shellac, then do the final coat(s) with amber. This allows a lighter tint if desired, and is easy to do. It has been my experience that the tweed can soak up the initial coat of shellac unevenly, possibly causing "splotchiness" if tinted shellac is used. This method, greatly reduces the chances of this occuring.

    Here's a real 1953 Deluxe http://tinyurl.com/kvkta Note that it has been beat up a little bit, and is still not very dark.

    Here is a link with photos of various vintage tweeds with various amounts of wear.

    http://online.physics.uiuc.edu/courses/phys498pom/498emi_fender_amps.html
     
  14. Texasamp

    Texasamp Member

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    Nice job....
    Just a hint on doing this and the dry times.

    Cut you a piece of tweed tolex and set it aside. When you put your first coat on your amp apply it to your test piece of tweed as well. This way you will never have to touch or guess if the application is dry or not on your amp.

    My 2 cents-

    Regards,
    Darrell S.
    Texas Amplification
     
  15. TastyPasty

    TastyPasty Member

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    Shellacin' my Blues Deville tomorrow now...

    Did you do anything to the grillcloth?
     
  16. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    Not a thing!
     
  17. Fretts

    Fretts Member

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    I would like to add that shellac is sensitive to water, it turns white when wet because it absorbs it. Varnish does not do this. I would prefer varnish if I was going to do it.
     
  18. giventofly

    giventofly Member

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    Ridiculously good job!

    one question: i saw the hot dogs in the parts list, but didn't see where they were used in the laquering? did i miss something?
     
  19. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    OK now thats a project for me as I have one of those puppies! Very nice work guru!!!!
     
  20. Automatic S1im

    Automatic S1im Member

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    What a great job. This is my favorite post of the day. Great set of instructions too.
     

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