rock

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 Grand Unveiling

Here’s what arrived for me in the post courtesy of Stormbeard Arts

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The artwork on the box was an awesome touch to build the excitement. When I opened it, it was securely wrapped up with bubble wrap and in this cool flag.

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I had no idea what to expect. I gave full creative control to Stormbeard Arts, not giving any suggestions or ideas about how I wanted it to look. His artwork is so awesome that I trusted him to do his thing.

He really delivered, and then some.

I started the assembly and wired it up that night. I installed a Seymour Duncan little 59 for Tele to give a bit of diversity to my tele collection. I’ll add a video soon.

It wasn’t long until it had its first photoshoot

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What a journey this guitar has made! From a natural finish, all chipped and scratched with bits of lacquer missing to a grey beast and then to this masterpiece.

Needless to say, I love it.

Thank you Stormbeard Arts

 

The Grey Transformation

I’m very excited about this post. I’ve wanted a custom painted/artwork guitar for a while. When I was 18 I tried painting a strat copy guitar in a similar style to Eric Clapton’s SG from Cream. That was my first experience of customising a guitar. Now, it has been done properly and professionally.

A few posts before this one you will find “the Grey”. A beast of a tele that looked badass and has had on-stage experience. It was a trustworthy axe until the white one came along which, quite frankly, I preferred. They grey has a cool story behind it. Check out the 2 part post about it further down my blog.

Here it is, stripped back of all the electronics and hardware on the body.

stripped back

It was posted back to me in a box that looks like this:

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I was super excited to open it. It was all I thought about while staring at the clock at work, waiting to come home and check it out.

And here is a little teaser of the final product:

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More to come!

 

Homemade guitar Live

Sorry it has been a bit quiet here. There are more updates coming soon.

For now, I am unashamedly plugging my band – we played a gig last week and I had to use my homemade guitar as my White Tele packed up – I will try and do a how-to-wiring guide for it in the coming weeks.

Anyway, the guitar sounded great. I was going through a great amp to be fair, but it sounded awesome. May be using this one live more often!

Take a look:

 

 

 

The Grey – part 2: Assembly

In my last entry about this grey Telecaster I explained how the choice of colour was a very laid back decision – the primer/base coat was grey and we liked it. Telecasters are awesome because they are simple machines, and the colour selection process was much the same!

This will be quite a brief post, just about the assembly process. Unfortunately, last year when I was putting this guitar together, I did not document it too well. But as you will see, I need to return to it for some minor adjustments which I will document with better detail for this blog.

Anyway, here we go:

First things first…get yourself one of these:

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Any large toolbox will do. This is assuming, of course, that you do not already have a workshop or shed just for these projects, and need a small space to keep everything. I definitely fall into that category!

Here is an update with all the hardware (minus pickups) screwed on.

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The neck was another £20-30 ebay buy. It still holds up great today. Such a bargain! They do need a bit of tidying up to start with e.g. filing down some sharp fret edges, but only minor adjustments!

The picture above shows the slight problem though. You can see that the bridge plate is at a very slight angle! Now, the intonation is fine and the bridge is in an accurate enough location, but that angle presents a slight problem that I only noticed when I put the humbucker in (a single-coil-sized humbucker).

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Very sorry for the blurry picture. I will take a better when for a final blog entry on this guitar.

You can sort of see in the pictures, though, that one of the rails on the humbucker does not sit underneath the 6th string. I think that this is the reason why the 6th string sounds a little quieter than the others. This is a problem for my rhythm work, as hard-rock style riffs often rely on the heaviness of the 6th string.

I have two options:

i. raise the bridge pickup by only tightening the screw under the 6th string. This might affect the tone of the guitar, however. Or,

ii. re-position the bridge (the solution I know is the right one). I can just fill in the screw-holes with toothpicks and wood glue, then drill new ones. This is a relatively easy procedure and the more I am typing, the more I think I will do this.

Maybe I will tackle it next weekend. Depends on the weather!

As things stand now though, the guitar does play well (aside from the ever-so-slight volume dip in the 6th string). It was my main guitar for a while last year when I was in a band. I’ve gigged with it only a couple times, but it was my main rehearsal guitar.

I will put a short video demo of this guitar when I’m done with it.

Homemade guitar bridge pickup

A short video for a few months back of me noodling around on the Homemade guitar from my previous blog entries. This was after I replaced the Seymour Duncan hot rails with an Irongear Hot Slag pickup, a very hot pickup!

This is not meant to be a review or anything, as it was recorded on my phone. I can tell you though, that I am extremely happy with the Irongear pickup and I have installed it in three guitar projects now. It is my go-to inexpensive-yet-awesome bridge pickup.

I’m going through a Fulltone OCD into a solid-state amp, which tbh sounds fine and it is loud. All you need from an amp really. I only use it for clean settings and put a pedal in front for overdriven sounds.

“The Grey”

I mentioned in a previous post that I ended up buying an old, beat up telecaster for £40, just for the neck. Here it is as I bought it:

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The neck is fine, it feels good actually. I initially had it on my homemade guitar (on my previous entries) as a replacement for the first neck I had on it which was warped. I ended up then replacing it on that guitar too (as mentioned in my previous post) and now I have it lying around my room spare, calling at me to use it for another project 😉 one day I will put it to good use!

For now, I’m going to add a brief couple entries about “The Grey”, my first telecaster. The first of many! I am now hooked on telecasters and I have this £40 beat up guitar to thank 😀 Unfortunately this project was not documented too well, so it is up to my writing to fill in the gaps of what happened.

The body needed a lot of work. It was in no where near as good a condition as the neck. But the fix was quite simple. This was early on in my guitar project days, I had finished the first look of my homemade guitar, so I new a thing or two about putting guitars together, but not about repairs. I worked with my godfather on this one and have learnt a lot which I’ve applied to other builds/projects.

Firstly, I needed to sand off the clear finish and get to the wood. Some serious scrubbing but I got there in the end.

The thin piece of wood between the neck pickup and the neck was loose. I initially thought it wasn’t important and felt like just scrapping it an leaving it without it. The pickguard would have hidden it anyway. We decided to keep it in though, as it is important that the neck wedges in the pocket tight, with good surface connection to the parameters of the pocket. So, we glued it in place. Pretty simple, and not much hassle either.

I didn’t want a natural finish, which is good because a lot of areas needed some filler to patch up the dents. I started with a grey primer, purely because that was the colour my Godfather had on him.

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You can see my spooky reflection in the second picture there!

Anyway, the grey colour looked awesome. We decided just to keep it! It has a cool greyish-blueish colour, like a shark.

We just gave it a few coats. It really did not need too many as the baseline colour from the primer was awesome enough.

I’ll upload the assembly a little later, but I actually need to come back to this guitar and to some adjustments. I’ll explain more in my next post.