I'd like to share this project of mine which took course over the summer...
I never planned to have it documented like this so I didn't take any progress pictures for which I am sorry. I also didn't take any before pictures but I did find the exact same guitar that I started with online so here we go.

When I was just a kid I one day saw a specal offer for a classical guitar being sold about ten miles from where I live, so on the day of the sale I took the first bus possible, went to the store, waited an hour before they opened and got myself my first ever guitar. A 50$ classic made by Clifton.

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The guitar sounds great, well it did and it still does. So much actually that even though my hands have played four different guitars in the mean time it still remains my main guitar. When I became really good with it I began playing for others, especially for girls. And because nowadays you meet girls at parties I began bringing this guitar with me and kept it in the car in case an opportunity would arrise. The problem was that a 50$ guitar looks like a 50$ guitar. It had a thick lacquer coating on it's front and everything else was a shiny black. I honestly thought it was all plastic except for the front. In no way, regardles of my playing skill was it okay to be seen with the guitar. At least not in public. It made me sad because this guitar, my guitar, deserves better.

When I one day bumped it on a table and scraped the paint away I noticed that it is in fact, wooden. I was of course completely ecstatic and that's when I decided to customize it. I think it came out really well and this is how I did it.

1. Sanded the whole guitar with 180 grit sandpaper. Took long hours since it was all done by hand.

2. At this point I figured out that I hate the standard classical guitar look. The guitar body is round, the sound hole is round, the bridge is square, the fretboard is an indented circle with two spikes and the head is something out of an architecture textbook. I was especially bothered by the head because it had so much excess wood from where the last tuners sat and the head ended. I sat down behind my computer, opened an image manipulation software, loaded an overview of a simmilar guitar and played around with the features. In the end I decided to round the edges on the bridge, to round off the fretboard and do the same with the head. That way I'd be making it all nicely round and pleasant to look at.

3. Well it seemed nice on paper but in practice it was a nightmare. It must have taken me days of work with a steel pile rounding down everything. The main issue was, since I was working with an already built guitar, rounding off the edges on the bridge and the fretboard. The way I did it was that I put a piece of paper under the pile and then piled with the side of the pile, carefully making sure that the rest of the pile is flat down pressed to the surface. That way I was able perform quite accurate movements without damaging or scratching the guitar.

4. When this was done there was noticable discoloration of the wood where the fretboard extended to the soundhole in the past. There was no real way of solving this issue, but at that point I decided to redo the sanding with progressive increasing of the paper's grit. I sanded with 320, 500 and finally 1200, hoping that it would blend the wood colors together atleast a little. It didn't and generally concerning the whole guitar I now know that 1200 was absolutely redundand.

5. My guitar was ready to be painted. Now, I forgot to mention, the guitar had two black plastic edges running on the sides of the body, as well as the neck. It's the same lines you can see on it now. There was no way for me to remove these lines since they were obviously structurally important so I opted for black paint on the rest of guitar, to make it all work together. One thing was certain though, I wanted to keep it mostly wooden.

6. I went into the store and bought a bunch of lacquer stains. Since my guitar was 50$ it was of course all made with the same wood so I needed to change the color in some places so that it would appear as though several different woods were used. The sides were left as they were, because I really like the yellowish look they have. The back was darkened once. I didn't have a clue how much this would effect the whole guitar in the end so I stopped at one. I now understand that I should have done atleast two, maybe three coats. It looked well to me and my mind agreed with me that with the neck I should go even darker.

7. I used two coats of the lacquer stain on the neck and it appeared very dark which I found to be very appealing but at the same time frightening since I began fearing that if I do another coat, I'd lose the wooden finish. I didn't want that, so I stack with two.

8. The front was to be a little more special so I used a large platter to line out the upper and bottom lines, giving the guitar a sort of a cutaway and armrest look. Then I darkened the front wood plate with one coat as done with the back. I used tape to outline the marked lines prior to staining. When I removed the tape some of the lacquer stain got lifted with it and it still has a bit of an edge to it but from a distance it is not very noticable. The stain also helped a lot on the area where the fretboard used to be but it has in no way concealed it. I didn't mind however, because I knew that when the guitar gets stringed it will appear only as dust and nothing else.

9. The fretboard was to be black of course and I painted it thick because this area gets a lot of use from my fingers. I wanted for the paint to stick as long as possible.

10. The bridge was painted black in the same manner and by now the whole looked absolutely amazing. The head of the guitar was still bothering me a little though. It was too plain, I felt.

11. I decided to carve my signature into the head just as a company would brand its logo there, but it was a very messy job and honestly didn't look very appealing. The way I fixed it was by painting the top plane of the head by the same black and leave just the deep carves of my signature unpainted. I think I saved it there a little.

12. When painting I had the can of paint on the floor so I wouldn't accidentally spill it over the guitar, for a good reason too. As expected and being clumsy as I am I spilled some of it onto the newspaper that was covering the floor. I remembered back when we were kids, how we used to paint using our hands and I wondered how dipping my palm into this thick liquid would feel. Well, tell you the truth, it felt amazing.

13. Clear coat at last. Using some lacquer from a spray paint can I did great work with the guitar. Now, I didn't want to make it too thick because I was affraid of muffling the sound so I didn't make as many coats as I was instructed by the paint guy from the store to do, but it was a nice shiny finish all around.

14. When I was looking at the finished product I began feeling like I've done something horrible to what once was, my trusted main guitar, my friend. This new thing that emerged might as well be a different guitar, a new one. I hated the idea. Well mainly I hated the shine. In the end I decided to give it a worn out look. I did that by sanding it with some of the left over sandpaper. Nothing below 320 grit though.

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Here the pinky that comes from grabbing those gnarled bars.
Nice work
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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