EDIT - I have done this - scroll down to see links to pics!

Hey all!

I just had an idea whilst restringing my guitars, and I'm just wondering if anybody could fill me in with any info they might know before I destroy a guitar.

I was given a tele knock off quite a few years ago, the make is Acepro I believe. Its basically a pretty dire guitar that I never use and affectionately call it my 'Shitecaster'. It pretty much just sits there with 5 strings and is never really used. It is ok to play, but the electronics inside are pretty bad.

Well I've been meaning to mod a guitar for a few years and this seems like a great excuse. I think what I would really like to do though, is gut out the components, remove the neck and just set the bugger on fire before re-assembling it - making it a true Shitecaster.

Now note I'm not a fan of needlessly smashing instruments, in fact I hate it. An instrument is still an instrument at the end of the day. But I'm not going to be too bothered if it all goes pear-shaped (literally) as it really doesn't mean much to me. I wouldn't go outside and needlessly smash it against a wall, but hopefully setting it on fire for a bit could(...) make it look pretty bad ass (if it works).

So I'm just wondering, does anybody have any experience of this? The finish on the tele is of the kind where it is like thick layers of varnish (blue) that you probably need a pickaxe to put a dent in. I assume its not going to react to the fire well at all...will it just go black and gloopy/should I chisel it off?

Also, I'll video the whole process if I do it and upload it here for everybody to see!


Cheers guys!
Last edited by Sir_Tmas at Sep 20, 2013,
This sounds fun
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If you really want to make it look like a shitecaster then hit the current finish with a low grit sandpaper (likes 80 grit) to chunk a bunch of it off as its probably a poly finish. Once you have mangled up the finish that way get one of them little propane torches and burn the living shit out of it. This will melt and destroy the other finish while charring the wood. Once you get it to a level of 'distressed' that you like let her cool off, hit it with a higher grit sand paper (like 800 grit) to smooth things out and then leave it as is or clear coat it to keep it from getting shit manky from the burnt wood. You don't have to remove all of the finish but as you figured you probably don't want thick chunks of it on there as it will just make a mess of your guitar body.
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If you're going to burn it do it outside and don't inhale the smoke or vapours! No telling how toxic they will be.
Moving on.....
...aaaand keep extinguishing gear nearby.
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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Use lighter fluid on the body. Toss a match on it to light....

Outside in a fire safe spot.

Remove all hardware.

Remove neck.

Remove pickgaurd.

I would try to put out fire with a damp towel or something similar. Extinguisher/water might adversely affect the wood. As if the fire didn't alreaDy!
You gotta post pics after.
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You could control the damage a bit if you use a blowtorch, rather than just setting it on fire. I imagine that fire would destroy edges rather than flat areas, and probably ruin important functional places like where the neck connects, the strap nut, the bridge mounting, etc. You still want to use it afterwards, right?
Thanks guys for all your interest/help!

I found another thread similar to this one (http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=641043) and IMO some of the finishes look amazing. I don't know if you guys have seen the Nash 'Firecasters' but I think they look awesome. I'm expecting mine to come out nowhere near as cool, but I guess that's the beauty of it - each guitar will be totally different (if they don't fall to pieces).

I don't really fancy blowtorching it to be honest, that seems far too sensible and controlled...

I think I'd have to put out the fire with a wet towel too as I don't think the landlord would be too impressed if I used the fire extinguishers in the house on an idea like this...

I'll probably burn a little bit on the back tonight (without removing any of the finish) and see how that goes. I'm assuming I'll have to follow ne14t's advice though and sand it down a bit first. If that's the case, I should be able to do it next week at some point.

I'll take some pics of the unburnt tele later and upload them. If I do burn the back tonight, I'll upload some pics of that for you all too. I'll probably get somebody to video the entire burning process too and link to that...

Getting pretty hyped!
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Will a burned guitar smell so bad that you can't keep it in the house?
I'm intrigued by this. I think, if you knocked back the plasticy finish, then burnt it and then sanded it flat, that could look amazing.
I once suggested burning my guitar. My bandmates like it. In fact, one of them said, "The way you play, that's a brilliant idea."
Quote by The Dimery

Gilby Clarke's burnt les paul looks so badass.

But it's his Unocal/76 shirt that's the most rock and roll.
Hey there guys, this is just an update - below are pics of the guitar I'm messing up. I've been sanding it for the past few hours, my housemate is giving it a go too right now.

Here are pics of the guitar! (Pre wrecked)

The guitar as a whole...




Headstock - Note that this obviously isn't a Fender! There are a lot of quick house burglaries around here so the idea was to badly fake the logo and leave that downstairs so if we ever got broken into, somebody would see that, hopefully swipe it and leave quickly thinking they've made some money!


The true brand...


The Jack


Jack zoomed in, in all its glory.


So that's that for now!

Hopefully, we can get most of the finish taken off tonight. I have badly sanded off the fake Fender logo and will either a) carve in 'Shitecaster' with a soldering iron, or b) carve it in with a screwdriver, apply lighter fluid where its been carved and light it for a bit, to try and burn it in. I think the latter may not work too well though!

I'll upload some more pictures of the job so far tonight. As I was sanding off the poly finish, a guy from over the road came over and had a bit of a go at me for not wearing a face mask and told me I was wasting my time sanding it, I should get a heat gun, should take out the electronics if I'm working on it e.t.c - he turned out to be a luthier. I didn't have the heart to to tell him I was going to set it on fire! He was right about wearing a face mask though - I've been blowing blue paint out my nose for the past few hours. We are using my dirty trousers as a dust mask for now until we can think of something better.

I'll upload some more pics of it sanded down tonight - see you then!
Well guys, it is done! We basically got bored and just went for it. After trying multiple times to light it with lighter fuel (which burnt too quickly), we covered bits in kitchen roll, doused it all in lighter fluid, and when it looked like it was going out just spray a bit more fluid on from the tin.

Sadly, I forgot to take pics between the sanding and the burning. We basically just took off as much paint as we could be bothered (not much), put it on its back and kicked it across the floor to eachother for a bit. We also left all the hardware/electronics on whilst it was on fire - we hoped to melt the plastic p'up and burn the scratchplate a bit - the p'up is pretty much undamaged and we got a bit of brown on the scratchplate, but we figured we should probably quit whilst we were ahead, as we thought it actually looked pretty good. The neighbors were also starting to get pretty suspicious...

Here are some pics for you all! I'm sure lots of you will hate it, but we think it looks pretty bad ass

Guitar on fire (these pics are awful, my phone was bugging out)




Then, we kind of sanded away most of the ash, and here is the finished product!





I still haven't got round to carving in the name yet, I'll get round to it tomorrow after I've picked up a soldering iron and post that!
Didn't get round to buying a soldering iron - going to order one off eBay tomorrow!
Lol it looks more expensive than before


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