Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ready for some paint

Now it's time for a bit of pain spraying. I did try wood stain first, but that didn't turn out so well. So, rubbed the body down some more and bought some paint instead. All nicely taped to protect the bits that I don't want painting ...

After a few coats ("apply many thin coats rather than few thick coats" was the advice that I aimed to follow) of paint, and it's looking quite good. The pics don't really show it, but there's a nice glossy finish.

In fact, I was so pleased with the way that the body looked that I thought I'd try a matching area of colour on the headstock, so a bit more sanding, a bit more taping off the "no paint here please" bits, and out with the spray can again ...

If it's all turned out well, there should be some future posts with pics of the completed body.
If it doesn't turn out so well, only the neighbours will see the result ... coming out the top of our chimney!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This weekend, I have mainly been sanding.

Then I tried some staining ... which led to some more sanding!

My original idea was to stain the 2 routed front sections in a different/contrasting colour. I had some wood stain around, so tried it. And it looked badly horrible. So out came the sanding paper again, and I rubbed a few more fractions of a mm off the top of the body. Now I'm trying to work out how to finish it.

A quick test fit of the various components, just to make sure that all was OK (I'm using different pickups to the originals)

Both the pickups are humbuckers from Iron Gear (thanks to Keith at Axetec again). The neck is a Rolling Mill 2 (a mini HB as you can see), and the bridge is a Steel Twin (2 stacked coils). The mini toggles will split both of the pickups, and I've got an active tone control (a "Vintage Tone Booster no less!) to add in as well.
That lot should make for some interesting sounds from this guitar, as well as the standard Tele twang.
I'm thinking about leaving this guitar in open G permanently, with some heavy strings (12-52s ?), for a heavy Stones-esque rhythm machine ...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Today I have mostly been in my workshop

Seeing as how it's no longer freezing out there, I decided to start my £100 challenge guitar, #2, today. Only 2 weeks late.

I was going to start yesterday. But apparently yesterday was "Valentine's Day". Which meant an 8am trip to Tescos' flower department, and a hurried lunch reservation. So, no guitar work yesterday. Excellent lunch though.

I'm basing this year's guitar on last year's. After I built the Cherry Tele last year, I really didn't play it. It wasn't really a great guitar. It wasn't really good either.

So, I decided to try to make it into a better guitar as part of this year's challenge. The work will involve:
- making the guitar look a bit more interesting
- making the guitar more comfortable to play
- making the guitar sound better

I have a vague plan, and I've ordered the bits from Keith at Axetec. All I needed was some new p'ups (Iron Gear again) and a stereo output jack.

Here's some progress pics ...

The "plan" is to stain the freshly cut areas (which are currently very white!) in a contrasting colour to the rest of the body, and to do the back of the neck in a similar contrasting colour.
The neck p'up will be a mini HB, coil split via one of the new switches. The bridge p'up will be a Tele shaped/sized stacked HB, again coil split via the other new switch. I've then got an active tone control which will replace the standard Tele tone pot, with the battery going into the rear cavity.
That should sound better. Or different.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The challenge returns

Some daft bugger decided to re-visit the £100 challenge, and suggested that we do it all over again.

So here I am, completely not ready, with no time available, but what's a challenge if it's easy!

Just to make the odds a little better, I'm going to cheat ever-so-slightly.

My last £100 build has lain, largely unplayed, neglected and unloved, since I built it. Mainly because Mr PRS (only SEs!), Mr Godin, Mr Yamaha, and even Mr Gibson (no, really!) can turn out better guitars than I can. Way better when I only have £100 to spend, and one month to build it. Way, way better when it was my first build.

So, I took it apart, just to save space really:

So, my challenge to myself this time, is "can I turn my original £100 challenge guitar into something halfway decent?". I'm not going to build another one from scratch - because I don't have the time - but perhaps I can tweak my first-born into something that I'll actually play in future.

And not take apart again!

The guys & girls (and inbetweenies for all I know!) at Music Radar are taking a little more interest this time too ...