#1
I'm giving this its own thread to avoid clogging up Quick Questions.

So: I don't like to waste things, and there's a difference between a new guitar, and a better guitar. Over winter break, I found out that my old Yamaha Pacifica 012 (my second guitar, came as part of a kit) still works decently, and I've been on this upgrading/redesigning kick lately, for some reason. So, I'm planning to upgrade that guitar.

This won't happen for a while, since I'm not coming back until March, but that just means more time to plan. I'm probably going to replace the tuners (which are unresponsive and falling apart) and put in a new bridge pickup at the very least (HSS strat shape). But on top of all that, I'm going to try refinishing it. The finish is fine right now, but it's a plain white-on-black strat clone. I have bigger plans for it.

The plan is to strip the finish/paint with sandpaper (or maybe a hand sander) and stain it, then buff off some excess dye in the middle to get a burst effect, like in this thread. But I want to try something different: use an inverse stencil to buff out a light spot in a shape of some kind (still haven't decided yet). That would probably involve two passes: one inside the stencil, and another without the stencil, shoring up the margins around the design. The idea came from Ville Friman's custom Amfisound guitar: http://www.amfisound.fi/amsnd/wp-content/gallery/classic/121.jpg (the birds on the body)
I'd also replace the pickguard to match the new finish. There's an eBay seller (99.8% feedback, so no sketchy stuff) that makes custom pickguards for the Pacifica, but they don't fit standard strat pickguards.

Here are my questions:
*Are tuners more or less interchangeable?
*Would this "stencil-staining" thing actually work, or would I be better off just spray-painting the stencils on, like it looks like Amfisound did?
*In general, how bad/misguided is my "plan" so far?

From another thread that just got posted:
Quote by Grovermans
I know this is all a lot for a beginner in guitar-modding, but I would really like to learn instead of paying someone to do it for me, so if there's anything anyone can help me with, it would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Cavalcade at Jan 12, 2014,
#2
1. Pretty much, although they have different shaft sizes so you may have to ream out or fit bushes to the existing holes in the headstock - it's not a big deal though.

2. No reason why you can't use a stencil in conjunction with stain but I would think you'd get better results with the more traditional method of bursting: start with a light coat and darken around the edges. You can then mask off your "birds" (or whatever) and just blob around them to get the effect. I'm not sure what you could mask with that wouldn't just sand away along with the finish if you were to try your proposed sanding mask idea. Practice a few different techniques before going for the real thing.

3. Nothing bad or misguided about it. All sounds perfectly achievable to me. Pacificas are fine guitars (or so I'm lead to believe).

That's my 2½p anyway.
#3
Quote by von Layzonfon

2. No reason why you can't use a stencil in conjunction with stain but I would think you'd get better results with the more traditional method of bursting: start with a light coat and darken around the edges. You can then mask off your "birds" (or whatever) and just blob around them to get the effect. I'm not sure what you could mask with that wouldn't just sand away along with the finish if you were to try your proposed sanding mask idea. Practice a few different techniques before going for the real thing.

Good to know, but I got the "put a ton of dye in and dab it off" technique from the linked thread (which I found in the hub sticky because I'm lazy). Is there that much of a difference? No problem with doing it the other way, though.

Also, I've heard French polishing is hard to master, but given enough time to apply all the necessary coats, would it be that hard for a beginner to get a decent finish? I'm kind of hesitant about wrecking the stock finish (which is solid to begin with, but mass-produced) if I can't improve on it.