Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Replacing Guitar Case Latches, Pt. 2

You may be wondering what happened to the Ovation and Fender Flame projects.  I know I am. 

Here's the story:  I left the stain on both to dry so I could proceed with the lacquer drop fills.  The Ovation is looking good - I started with the lacquer a couple of days ago.  But the Fender - well, the stain was not dark enough.  So I hit it up with a darker stain.  Now it has to dry for a few days.

So I continued with the interim projects - putting new latches on the old Oahu case. 

This is a test fit.  The new latches are a bit smaller than the originals, but they'll work fine.  Since the case is fairly beaten up, I think the fact that they're not exact replacements fits the whole vibe.

That's my excuse, anyway.

They are also super shiny. 

I got this handy rivet setting tool off the interweb.  Is there anything the interweb can't do?  I also got a whole bunch (100) of sordid brass and nickel rivets as well.

Here's how we drive (set) a rivet.

Use something to hold the head of the rivet.  I used a nail setting tool.   I suspect there is an Official Tool for this, but the nail set worked fine.

Position the setting tool on the split side of the rivet.  Then whap the tool with a hammer.  That's it.

I wedged the nail set tool between me and the case.  After setting 12 rivets, I can say that this is not the best method.  The tool will pop out frequently, land on the floor, and you will go hunting for it.  Next time: different method!

However, my method did work well enough to rivet in the new latches.  I think they look pretty good.

But they are really shiny.

I had to pull out some of the case lining to get at the old rivets.  I wound up pulling most of the top lining out as it was sagging. 

So I used hot glue to glue it all back together.  Worked great.

Here's the reglued lining. 

I kept looking at those shiny new latches and decided to 'vintage' them a bit.  I hit them with fine sandpaper - 400, 600 and then 800 grits.  They're still somewhat shiny, but not as super brassy as before.

Since the finish got mostly knocked off, I needed to protect it.  (The irony: I knock off finish to make them less 'new' looking, then put on a new finish to protect them.).

So I put on two coats of clear lacquer.  It's still drying as I write this. 


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