Currently in the process of repainting and building an old start knockoff I had lying around. (Msrp: around $100)
I know I'd probably be better off just buying a cheap fender, but I wanna see what I can do with this.
Any luthiers or Guitar players have any tips or suggestions? I have yet to decide on all of my new parts, or even how I'll paint it.
Is a new bridge important? I also heard people saying to replace the pots for the controls, so that's a consideration.
Pic related is its original appearance with all the old parts intact.
As for pickups, I was originally planning on getting the fender vintage strat noiseless pickups, but a much cheaper alternative would be better.
Up to here, there was nothing too fishy about this guitars construction.
Sorry, should've clarified.
Going for under $100 in terms of new parts.
Probably gonna go for a cheap GFS setof pickups
I use my actually good tele for blues and lead stuff, so hoping to use this for more shoegaze, drone music.
I'll post another pic after work, started peeling the paint off and found something unusual.
That's not odd, most cheap strats have that routing, and even some more expensive ones. Places like warmoth offer it on custom bodies that can cost upwards of $600. It would allow you to change pickup types later on with a pickguard change.
Is the odd thing you found 2 pieces of wood glued together, or a laminated body of several 1/2 inch thick pieces? Or is the wood incredibly ugly at the corners where grain doesn't show through? That's not odd either on cheap guitars. The better quality and the larger a piece of wood is the more it will cost. The name "plywood guitar" comes from somewhere. A lot of them use the same principle, layer a bunch of thin cheap pieces together to make a large, cheap, stable piece of wood. There are different grade of woods, ranging from paint grade to select and better.
If the wood looks good(or good enough) you can use aniline dye and spray lacquer. If not automotive paint and spray lacquer will work too. Duplicolor is pretty solid. Some guys just use tung oil.
As for parts, there's no point in say buying a $50 dollar bridge because there won't be much of an improvement, if any. They might be identical in quality and get the markup to influence you to just buy a new guitar. The gear industry is famous for shady marketing tactics. Especially when options are limited.
If you really want to build up the guitar maybe consider doing it in phases, but good parts every 2 to 3 months when you have enough extra money to get something good.
I'd start with pickups.
Fair enough for the routing.
I may just buy a new bridge because there's all sorts of small problems with this one. I'll post more about it later.
The company advertises the guitar as a solid wood body (Ashbury eg-100, I think the company has since disappeared), and its three pieces together from what I can tell.
But then I realized that what I for some reason thought was the wood grain showing through as stripes in the finish, was just something that was painted on.
There's some weird material plastered onto the wood that I can't make out. Has a weird almost soft feel to it. (See the top left where the wood and the material differ)
I finished peeling off the paint on the top.
Think I should try and sand that white stuff off? Seems like a relatively thin layer, so I hope it doesn't mess everything up.
And on a side note, I really like the worn out, beigish colour. Might try and replicate it
You have a foto flame guitar. It's a cheap vinyl sticker to make guitars look like they have expensive flamed maple tops. No idea what the other layer of crap is, but its what they stuck the sticker onto so they could cut it and glue it to the rest of the body.
sand down, then prime?
what colour are you thinking for this?
i got my cousin's snaped epi SG for christmas.
the neck was snapped right at the top nut, so i glued it back on with wood glue.
the thing is, he spraypainted it black.
i got it off with steelwool and soap, but now its ever so slightly scratched up and not as clear.
any ideas on how i can clear up the lacquer with too much trouble?
Should have just left the paint as it was and work on getting it playing well instead. A DIY paintjob wont be much good.
How much do you know about luthiery stuff and setting up a guitar? Throwing money at it wont make it play much better unless you can actually set it up and sort out all the problems it has.
Ah thanks, that makes sense, didn't know that was something that manufacturers did.
Yeah, will do that. Probably paint it beige or white.
As for your epi, what part are you trying to clear up? The back of the neck?
I'm not a fan of the strat jack position either, but is there a particular reason? It would be a lot of excessive work, and Id have to go somewhere to get it done.
The paint job is because the guitar is hideous, I wouldn't dare be seen playing it as it was. Not to mention, its a fun experience.
I do plan on fixing its playability as well though.
Although most of my experience is through watching others, Im definitely fixing up as much as I can, and I'm gonna start work on the neck as soon as I get the right equipment.
>As for your epi, what part are you trying to clear up? The back of the neck?
all of it, the entire thing was spraypainted black, which i got off with steel wool.
much less scratching than sanding, but still a little scratching.
if you look up close you can see scratches in the surface and it doesn't 'gleam'.
its just cosmetic really, waiting for a new nut in the mail too.
got proper potknobs in the mail a few days ago and i put some p90's in.
it looked like crap when i got it and its looking a lot better now.
pic from when i got it.
the skull is a bit silly, but its there for a reason.
the thin wood the jack was mounted to broke, so he made this skull plate.
that's superglued on so i dont want to mess with it.
a more recent pic.
intonation is a bit weird, but i can adjust it.
i wont bother to get the intonation 100% before i get the new nut
Nice work so far.
Id still be pretty wary of that neck though.
Nonetheless, I would sand it down with a real high grit and get rid of the scratches, then apply an oil or something, depending on what you want with the rest of the body.
Also, id personally make a small circle to cover the skull
I rebuilt a guitar and painted it and getting a satisfactory paint job was really expensive, time consuming and difficult. In hindsight I would have rather spent the time and money on better components and playing it.
I went down the wood grain filler/sealing, sanding, cellulose primer, sanding, colour coats, sanding, lacquer, sanding then polishing compound route. I went to an industrial paint supply place that mixes their own stuff and got a custom shade, ended up needing twice as much as I thought, ended up needing like 5 cans of fucking lacquer compared to the 2 I budgeted for.
I think that acoustically the paint job has made the guitar sound worse. It is nice, how I want it, but man was it expensive and time consuming. I had to set up a little area in a spare room to spray in to avoid air born dust/pollen and shit ruining the finish which was also a pain in the ass.
Also the lacquer finish on the neck is REALLY important for how it feels to play. So many mist coats, curing time etc.
Kept the stock fender pick ups, new pots and switches, resistor and caps. Fitted a fixed bridge, new tuning pegs, new pick and scratch guard, pick up covers. It is still just a cheap squire.
While the fotofinish on the top came off easily enough with just a hair dryer, I'm gonna need a heat gun for the rest, so until then I'll work on other things.
Do you guys think copying the strat headstock shape is a bad idea? Should I try my own shape? Id prefer to just copy the strat shape and stick a fender decal on there, but I'm sure people will call that cheap.
The headstock is massive so I have room to work with.
Have always envied the look of the small strat headstocks
I'm making a rough estimate here, also the place refilled and pressurised cans and supplied new nozzles so the price fluctuated a bit depending on what I was doing, but I think it was like.
7 for the grain sealer, fillers
6 for the primer
28 for two cans of paint
30 for the 5 cans of lacquer
Few pounds for the wet and dry sandpaper in various grades and polishing compound.
Just remember at the time thinking man this is a lot of fucking money and effort to do properly instead of rattle can and chill.
No they'd fill cans. Cans are pretty expensive stuff anyway and the fact you need so much of it. The fact it was all cellulose primer/paint/lacquer pushed the price up too.
I put down paper and an old bit of carpet. Built a box frame out of clothes airers and taped that up with paper to form an area to spray in. Hung the guitar body and neck with wire so I could work all around it at decent angles.
You've got to do so many fine layers with almost perfect control. If you over spray you get paint build up and you've either got to sand it out or try and compensate as you work further layers (usually a poor idea).
I think an expert could have gotten away with less paint and lacquer, maybe I did more sanding than was needed. Also the body finish is important. Any old dings/dents in the wood want filling and detecting at the primer stage. They'll show up like a bitch when you start building up a deep lacquer coat and when you come to polish you'll be pissed.
>I'm not a fan of the strat jack position either
whats wrong with the jack position?
the problem with this setup is the same as my SG.
the pickup selector is under the strings, i hit it when i strum.
there is a reason why les pauls have it on top
Tuners are generally sucky in cheap guitars, but if it holds you shouldn't bother replacing them.
If the brigde lets you set up your intonation and your string action the way you want it, dont swapt it either.
Why don't you try shielding? I don't know if it works but sounds fun.
I've always wanted to install one of these.
if you want a fun thing to mess with, take the 5 way switch out, drill a tiny hole in the middle of the slot, and one on each end, then you can get 3 dpdt miniswitches from radioshack or online for cheaper, and screw around with different pickup combinations... could pretty easily set it up to do all three pickups in parallel with any of the three in or out of phase with the others... get the ones that are middle position off and you can still retain all of the original options of the 5 way switch, (neck, neck middle, middle, middle bridge, bridge) and also have all of those in or out of phase, plus neck bridge, and all 3 on at once in phase... pretty cheap to do especially if you buy the switches in bulk... also maybe spring for some shielding? it's fairly cheap and can help quiet noise from other sources.... also since your body is routed out that way it's less annoying to put in since you have fewer curves nooks and crannies to get through there... also maybe consider getting some hardwood shims and getting the neck as tight as possible in the socket... but that all depends on how tightly it fit to begin with....
Wow. As nice as that sounds, I don't have the skills or knowledge to do it,and I doubt it'd come to use for me though. Post demonstrations or pics if you have em though, I'd like to see.
Tuners are pretty ugly and wobbly so I think I'll swap them. Seems like the washer bit is glued down to the headstock though in pic related. Any clues on how to remove those?
And I guess noiseless pickups aren't that much of a priority for me, so I can just try shielding if necessary.
As far as I can tell, it fits fine. I'll get a proper template later to make sure.
The only question is whether or not I want the strat headstock. I don't really like and slightly different designs that I've seen so I might use it.