project guitar

The Green

Alright, so it’s been 9 months since my last post. Quick update with some photos of the Green tele I made for my friend. DSC_8323DSC_8325DSC_8339

Really happy with how this turned out.

Pickups are: Bridge – Irongear Hot Slag & Neck – Irongear Rolling Mill. Both great pickups, and the coil split (or tap?) means you can turn them into single coils. The Hot Slag pickup as a single coil sounds great. A really sharp, aggressive single coil sound. In full humbucker mode it is a powerful pickup. Highly recommend.

I have parted ways with this guitar now. It was a great feeling giving this to a close friend. He really loves it, and I really miss it! He lives abroad so I haven’t seen it since.

Anyway, it has a new home now. One day I’ll see it again.

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The Latest part 3

I’ve put together a video of applying the stain onto the back and front of the guitar and applying the logo onto the headstock via water transfer.

Yes, essentially it is watching paint dry for the first half but I’ve added some music courtesy of BearWolves to liven it up a little.

If I make more videos in the future I promise they will be more interesting.

For those interested, here you go:

 

 

The Latest part 2

This guitar was built as a gift for a close friend. It was kept a surprise, he had no idea I was even putting another guitar together and I deliberately didn’t post about it on here to keep it away from finding anything out.

It is really fun trying to design a guitar for someone else; to think about their style of playing, the music they listen to and what they might be inspired to write on it. It got me thinking that a standard T-type guitar just wouldn’t cut it. I had to dual humbucker this guitar to give it the muscles to create some hard hitting riffs. This was going to be a rock beast straight from the get go.

Step 1: route out a socket large enough for a humbucker in the bridge position. Exhibit A:

20150919_125637Not my neatest job. This blog is just as much about highlighting my mistakes and learning as it is about detailing and showcasing my projects. I hope people learn from these small mistakes that have big consequences.

I didn’t actually have the humbucker I was planning to install at the time of this routing job, which meant I didn’t have the reference point for whether the hole was big enough and whether the position was perfect. I didn’t pay attention to this and just ploughed on with the project which it turns out didn’t harm anything, it just meant that after I had dyed it, lacquered it up and finished it, I then realised I had to go back to do some more routing! A potentially messy job but I’m glad to say it didn’t actually affect anything. So the take-away message: plan this all in advance! Get all your bits, measurements and hardware jobs ready first.

Back to the project:

So I had the dual humbucker sockets ready. I sanded it down and as the body was bought pretty much complete, I just had to dye it. I knew there was only one colour for this. A badass green to match the badass tone this beast would give.

Stain 1

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Stain 1 – back

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Stain 2

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The colour got more and more intense with each stain. It was perfect, exactly what I wanted. Once each stain dried the colour faded quite a lot. These photos are immediately after the dye was applied. You can see some darker patches. I put this down to the basswood’s qualities but a light sanding with steel wool between the stains really helped even things out.

More to come in the next post!

 

 

The latest

My posts have been few and far between in the last few months, apologies for that!

I’ll be adding some pictures and videos of my latest project. One that, I must say, is my favourite finish so far (From one I have finished – see the previous post for an awesome custom finish Nick of Stormbeard Arts did for my old grey tele).

So, it starts with gathering all the parts!

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Pretty much all from ebay.

I had a vision in mind for this one, so the body needed a lot of work to match it up. I knew I wanted dual humbuckers in this so the bridge had to be routed and the body sanded before applying any hardware or finish.

It was really hard finding a humbucker sized bridge that wasn’t through-body stringing. I do not have the tools or skills yet to drill perfect holes for through-body stringing. Obviously, as the picture shows, I found one eventually.

More coming up shortly, stay tuned – it will be worth the wait!

 

 

 

The White One – repositioning the bridge

It’s been a few weeks since my last post.

I’m posting about this white guitar I put together as I also had a similar problem as with “the grey”, where the bridge wasn’t placed accurately enough. I chose to re-adjust this one rather than the grey as it was more of a problem on this guitar – playing it was actually pretty difficult.

I was given the body pretty much as it is in the first picture below (minus a few coats of paint) and bought another cheap neck from ebay for less than £30. Here are some pictures of it before I show the bridge re-positioning

I think the body came with a white primer coat already on it, so I just bought some white spray paint and kept it that colour. I initially wanted a white pickguaurd but changed my mind when I saw this tortoise shell one.

To date, this is still my favourite guitar I have done. I love the look and it is getting some scratches and signs of being used which I think makes it look cooler. No where near a relic look yet. I do want it to get there but I don’t want to cheat and relic it myself with some sand paper. I will let the aging process take its natural course.

Anyway, you can see the problem with the guitar in the photos above. The bridge is too far to one side. This is because there were already marks for the bridge and rather than do the wise thing and double check they are accurate, I took the lazy route and chanced it. Well, I’ve learnt the lesson. The low E string was at such an angle that at around the 12th fret it was almost off the neck. I actually left it like this for about a year because I have been too scared to move the bridge and just adapted my playing!

20151115_140456In this photo above you can see the tools I used.

1) I unscrewed the bridge.

2) using a Stanley knife I shaved off the wooden skewers so they fit in the screw holes

3) I marked the depth of the hole on the skewer with the Stanley knife but just slicing a little cut into it, this way I could easily break off the skewer once I had placed it in the screw hole

4) Once narrow enough to fit tight, I dipped the skewer in wood glue and placed the skewer in the hole, then broke it off.

5) This was quite messy but doesn’t matter, because when it dries you can easily sand it down flat.

6) I followed this process with all three.

For smaller holes you can use standard tooth picks dipped in wood glue to fill them, but I needed something thicker for this.

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Once this was completed, I measured out where the new position should be. I had to use the router to make the pickup cavity larger as I had to move the bridge and pickup forward a few mms. I therefore had to detach the pickup and solder it back in place after. This gave me the opportunity to make better connections as my soldering is improving.

So, here is a (very blurry) picture of the result:

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If anyone is interested, the pickups are Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders and they are awesome.

So there you have it. I hope anyone with a similar problem reads this and sees how easy it is to fix. The moral of this story is always take time to do it right the first time. Don’t make shortcuts or pick the lazy option!

I will find some footage of me using it to show you how it sounds.

Thanks for reading 🙂