#1
I finished this around Thanksgiving, and it turned out as amazing as i wanted it to.



before I started
I purchased this guitar off of ebay for under a grand and the guitar was in about the condition you would expect. There were surface scratches everywhere, and the occasional dent and deeper scratch. Around the tem cavity there were some minor chips in the edge of the cavity that I had to sand out.





I didn't like how my Nightswan fit my body, and how bulky the heel was. I originally purchased this guitar because of its smaller scale , and pick-up configuration, however once when I finally sat down and got past the initial "getting to know" stage I still didn't like how the guitar sat against my body (I'm use to playing Roads style guitars), so I reshaped the cut out to allow for a more vertical playing position, and shaved down the heel to accommodate for my smaller hands.


Sander Sealer Applied


Black coat applied (you can also see the modified heel and tummy cut)


I also decided to scallop the fretboard and it turned out amazing.
As with any good refinish I also leveled the frets.


And here is the finished product.
-I shielded the cavities with copper tape
-Installed the included emg 81 for the bridge pup and an emg 89 for the middle pick-up (powered by two 9V batteries ((both vintage EMG's)). Instead of a push pull pot I decided to go with a switch to select between the 89's humbucker and single coil pick-up mode placed in the original pick-up selector position.
-also wired in a kill switch, volume knob, blender pot (to select between pick-ups) and a switch to turn on and off the LED's under the tremelo.
-Another modification (not easily noticeable) I made was recessed the strap buttons. I drilled out a hole that fit the base of the strap button. I don't really have a good reason for this other than its different. lol
-I also blocked the trem so when no string tension is present the trem doesn't rest on the body.
-I also refinished the neck. I sanded the neck super smooth up to 1200 grit sand paper and then laid down a fresh layer of tung oil. I also buffed out the headstock and painted every other tuning head the colour of the polka-dots.


Here is a close up of the LED's under the tremelo. The LED's are on a separate circuit powered by a 9V battery. I had LED's under the pick-ups too, but they didn't have much an effect so I took them out so they don't drain my battery as fast.

My final verdict is that the guitar turned out amazingly. The action is super low, and the scalloping feels great. The pick-up selection allows for a greater variety in sound, and the modifications made to the body improved the guitars playability (at least for me) not to mention I love the colour scheme.
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
Last edited by keabler at Dec 28, 2008,
#2
That. Rules.

I love how you went with a spin on the old Vivian Campbell finish. Very, very cool.
#3
looks nice, but imho the original paint job was better.
Just call me Bobby
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by mikeyElite
you build guitars worthy of sexual favors

Quote by Invader Jim
if this party gets any livelier a funeral is gonna break out.
#4
Quote by JablesII
That. Rules.

I love how you went with a spin on the old Vivian Campbell finish. Very, very cool.


yeah dood. I loved the polka dot graphic, but I wanted to make it more personal. The colour scheme is actually pearl black and candy purple. The pearl paint is so different that my colour blind friends think its green lol. You can't really see it but I ended the polka dots where a binding would be. Its not that big of a deal, but I did pay close attention to the small details. One of my original ideas was to use some gold flake for the polka dots, but i decided against it.
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
#5
Quote by metalwarrior40
the original paint job was better.


+1.

The pic of when the sanding sealer applied is amazing, as is the original finish.
#7
Quote by dandadog
+1.

The pic of when the sanding sealer applied is amazing, as is the original finish.


thats what i thought
Just call me Bobby
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by mikeyElite
you build guitars worthy of sexual favors

Quote by Invader Jim
if this party gets any livelier a funeral is gonna break out.
#9
4 neck bolts I had to cut one down so it wouldn't stick through the neck (it is just sunk below the wood on the body ((does not hold on the neck plate)). I cut the neck plate to fit the new heel shape and the remaining 3 bolts hold the neck plate on. sry for no pics I took the pics in a hurry. I'll probably post some later. Oh and another sweet thing I put a delorean DMC sticker on the back trem cover ... its pretty sweet. lol
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
#10
Quote by metalwarrior40
thats what i thought

the pictures dont do it justice. Like i said I used a pearl paint, and a candy paint. They both reflect light in ways my camera cant pick up in detail. The pictures give the illusion that the black isnt verry black, and the "purple" isnt verry rich. However the purple in real life looks a lot more purple (not quite as purple as I hoped because I used white primer) and the black is brilliant and boasts a deep shine, and that subtlety sparkles in the light due to the pearl paint.

maybe when I take a pic of the neck plate I will attempt to take better photos of the polka dots too.
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
#12
The action at the 12th fret for the high E is about a milimeter and a half, however i just checked my truss rod adjustment (haven't check it in a while) and i noticed that it does need to be adjsted so I can probably actually lower the action a little more. I couldnt get a good picture of the action, however I did get a pic of the neckplate, and one that makes the paint look a little better.




the polka dots still look really pink.
nd the DMC sticker is chrome vinyl so it looks cooler in person as well
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
Last edited by keabler at Dec 28, 2008,
#13
okay, that looks alottttttt better, i'll give you that,.
Just call me Bobby
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by mikeyElite
you build guitars worthy of sexual favors

Quote by Invader Jim
if this party gets any livelier a funeral is gonna break out.
#14
Quote by LP Addict
the action looks super super high too, and its not from the scallops, whats it at at the 12th fret?

If your looking at the lowe E string yes the action is super higher on that string. I put a taller (im not sure what its called) trem saddle on that string because all i had for strings was super lights and I play this guitar in drop C a lot. So the low E is a bit higher but the rest of the action is super low. about a milimeter and a half on the high E and about 2 milimeters on the A string. The low E string is at about 3 milimeters, but once I fix my truss rod I should be able to lower the action a little more. I'm at home over x-mas beak and dont have a truss rod adjuster with, so I will have to do it later in the week.
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
#15
just a suggestion..

Fill those neck mounting holes and go with ferrules, your back is painted a solid color anyway. Other than that this looks very good! good work.
#16
Quote by carousel182
just a suggestion..

Fill those neck mounting holes and go with ferrules, your back is painted a solid color anyway. Other than that this looks very good! good work.


never thought of that thanks, however I dont think I want to go through the work of filling the holes and repainting the back, also I wanted to keep the orig neckplate, and the original serial number.
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
#17
Yeaa it would be a little bit of work, you'd only really have to repaint the neck pocket area though. I just think that the screw directly in the wood looks a little shoddy.. Maybe you could just use a ferrule for that one screw, I don't know.
#18
Quote by carousel182
Yeaa it would be a little bit of work, you'd only really have to repaint the neck pocket area though. I just think that the screw directly in the wood looks a little shoddy.. Maybe you could just use a ferrule for that one screw, I don't know.


yeah I know what your saying, I feel the same way, its a little ghetto. I thought about maybe getting some cork or something and painting it black to put in the screw hole, but this last semester was ridiculously busy I had a lab that I spend a solid 8+ hours a week on out side of the 5 hours allowed in class to do the labs. w/e though i love physics haha. I think my next project is designing an amp and developing a directional speaker for practising. I also want to look at the frequencies, and overtones between nickel and stainless frets. But I probably wont have time, I'm currently tutoring math and physics, and I'm working with another dude on a segway skateboard project (a segway without a handle).
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
#19
wow lol impressive.
I was just saying the rest of the refinish looks really good so its a shame to let one thing be anything less than perfect
#20
Quote by carousel182
wow lol impressive.
I was just saying the rest of the refinish looks really good so its a shame to let one thing be anything less than perfect


Thanks i appreciate your comment (I worked really hard on perfecting the finish, and spent a lot on the paint. I even painted the pick-ups with the pearl black paint, and then put a coat of ultra violet reactive paint over them so they look blue under black lights. But the hole is very irregular in shape so the options to reinforce it are very limited. IDK maybe I will think of something to unghetto the shortened screw's hole.
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
#21
you could shift it over a little bit and make it so that the ferrule is just covering the end of the hole. you wouldn't have to do any new paint and you'd have a ferrule.
#23
Quote by divinorum69
How do you do the Polka? How did you make em?

I used painters tape, and a big hole punch
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab
#25

heres a pic of the backplate once i cut it and ground off the sharp burs. for the finished guitar I painted over the backplate with pearl black paint, but you can still see the serial number.
my gear:
Jackson Roads Pro
Gibson Explorer Pro
Fender American P-bass
Squire P-bass
Fender rumble 300 bass amp
Peavey 6505 head
Marshall special edition red cab