Other Guitars

It starts with a slab of mahogany…

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I did something a little crazy today.

After sanding the nitro flat, I decided I would much prefer a surf green guitar to another wood colored guitar.

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This color is hard to photograph!

Actually part of the reason is that I had I had some tear-out on the edges that was too deep to sand, and the filler wasn't hiding as well as I wanted. After the coats yesterday, it stuck out like a sore thumb to me, and I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it. Luckily I had this surf green reranch nitro. The world doesn't need another boring maple/mahogany sandwich, it needs more surf green!

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Time to make some pickguards! These will be similar to Gretsch pickguards: clear acrylic (Lexan in this case) backed with metallic paint.

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Chomp chomp! The shavings look like rice (or lice)

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We leave the plastic film on both sides of the Lexan so none of our shiny surfaces get scratched. This is three guards: two for the guitar (one is a backup in case I mess something up) and one for the bass.

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Hopefully "Any Surface" includes Lexan

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Peel the backing and paint!

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While waiting for various paints to dry, I used the spare pickguard as a template to do my wiring.

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And done!

1 Volume, 1 Tone, 3-way Switch, nice and simple.

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So people recommend waiting 1-4 weeks to let the nitro cure before polishing and assembly... I lasted 6 days.

After wetsanding with 800 and 1500 I buffed it with this stuff and then a squirrel remover​. Finished with SC Johnson Paste Wax.

Because I didn't wait long enough, the finish is going to continue to shrink in the coming weeks and sink into the spots where I didn't do a good job of filling in the grain. We'll see what happens. I can always spray more clear later on and give it a proper cure, but I want to play it tonight.

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Shined it until I could read the fine print on my beer. It's way more reflective than this photo shows. I think the overhead light saturated the photo.

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One final step before assembly was drilling a channel for the ground wire.. This is a really long drill bit

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With my favorite Tele neck and a set of 11s, very satisfying. The neck pickup is to die for, warm and glassy. I've definitely learned a lot in the process, and I think the next one will be even better.

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Close-up

It's a cut-off Tele bridge with compensated brass saddles. I'm top-loading the strings to keep a little bit of the Danelectro "thunk" rather than the Tele "twang". I'm tempted to add a Bigsby, but I've never gotten along with the B5. I might could chop up a B16 to fit

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Nice job otter. I love the surf green with that shape and the pickguard looks really cool too. Not such a fan of the knobs and black switch tip though

After a few years of through body stringing on my La Cab I changed to top loading and I much prefer the tone and feel. I have no idea why, but top loading makes the guitar feel slinkier and it seems to chime more.

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Otter- That looks great! I dig the surf green. Awesome job! Shuggie- Funny what you say about the top loader. I find my Cabronita not as slinky as I'd prefer, and I think the top loader may give less break angle than what I have, with the bridge I'm using and the through body stringing.

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Shuggie, the knobs are just what I had around. I think they look fine, but I'm not terribly attached to them. What would you suggest?

Here's the rest of my knob stash:

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I recorded a quick demo. This is plugged into a Silvertone-style amp I made, with a WGS Green Beret speaker, close miced with a Peavey dynamic mic, recorded in Ardour with a Behringer USB interface (yeah I spend thousands on guitar stuff, but I cheap out on recording equipment).

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And here is the bass, awaiting electronics and strings.

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Am very late to this thread, but Surf Green's my favorite solid color for electric guitars, and your finished product both looks and sounds terrific -- congrats!

Oh, BTW, I vote for the cream-colored, "chicken head" knobs...

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The off-white Fender cup-cake amp knobs would look great on this. Like the knobs you see on a blonde Bassman.

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This guitar looks and sounds awesome. I also vote for the chicken head knobs. They compliment the lipstick pickups.

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Haha, it's hard to do volume swells with a chicken head. I might look into the blonde Fender cupcake knobs.

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I think ivory Harmony cupcake knobs would look awesome on that, but the set I got from allparts are much too yellow for the surf green and silver


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