A long time ago, a friend of mine from a band that I run sound for gave me an old scrap, junk guitar that he had... messed up as a kid. Just yesterday, I remembered that it was under my bed... It has everything but strings and a pickup. Its body is strat style (I'll have pics up later today of all the pre-work stuff), but it has a 3x3 headstock.

Now, finish-wise. This whole thing needs some love. I'd like to practice some inlaying, so I was curious about de-fretting it. Only problem is, it has binding down the sides of the fretboard. Will this cause an issue? Will de-fretting eff everything up?

Another original intention I had was to sand off the paint, see what the wood grain looked like (it had been hand-painted construction-zone yellow) and then maybe just alter the body shape and work from there... that's just not gonna work I don't think. When I first began sanding, the yellow came off fast. Beneath that was some grey, splotchy material.. It was almost fiber-y.. unlike any primer I've ever seen. When I first started breaching that material, a coarse, linear, vibrant grain began to show through. It almost looked like zebra wood. I got the whole top sanded off, it was in pretty good condition too, ran the orbital sander down over and edge, and yeah... Sawdust. It's built like a desk: Particle board and cheap plywood body with just a tiny little layer of wood-like substance on top... I'll get pics of that up later too..

So at this point, I'm not sure if I should keep that body, and cut it into the mustang (or tele') -esque shape that I was originally considering, or if I should just start from scratch... I'm starting to think that scratch would be less trouble. If I do decide to start from scratch, then I have some lovely high-grade plywood (for a bass) and nicely figured cedar (for a top). I think it would make a somewhat sexy tele', especially with the headstock I'm planning, but then, if I keep the body, I won't waste any wood, and I can make the zebra-fur, pimp-type guitar I've been wanting to brag about for so long.

Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas
this sounds like a fun project and I like your ideas.

If I were you the body has to go... It will be more fun to make a new one anyway.

As for the Inlay Idea. Defretting is probably going to damage your fretboard so you must have some way of filling if you have to. Others will know more about that. Binding is usually not actually in contact with the tang of the fretwire because most people nip that bit of it out so that you get a seamless edge to the fretboard.

I know form experience that its a lot of fun to have a no-pressure practice build because it lets you try stuff without the mortal fear of f*%king up.

Oh and pics are VERY necessary
Regretting a bound board is more work than an unbound board. I would start with a new body and honestly only regret the neck if I really liked it.
defret it and re fret that neck. You can never have too much prep at fret work.
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I'm pretty good on frets ha.. I've been fretting alot of folk type stuff (Banjo... CBG...) I do like the neck. it's slim, it's straight, adjustable truss, bound. Just needs some polish.

And yes. That's just what I want ha. Something with no pressure and no "I can't believe I wasted all that time and money" afterwards.

So, if I do the fur, definitely keeping the old body. Making a new headstock though, and inlaying something on it. Here's a very rough very quick photoshop I did here at work. I'll get the real pics up when I get home.

The "V" will be inlay. Not sure outa what. Cream colored pickguard (to match the binding). Need to find a place with zebra fur... Maybe a rug would do or something. Rail pickup... cause I like them.. Other option for a pickup would need to be something with a chrome cover and very cheap, so if you know something hit me up.
Art is Vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it...
-Edgar Degas