Page 1 of 4
#1
So it?s school break and after surfing, Judo, BJJ, Muay Thai, and goofing off, I?ll have lots of time to finally do something about the guitar mod envy that was inspired by the following talented UGers: Props to Mathamology, Steph Betts, Teleprompters, Tedrick, slashnmash, lespaulmarshall, CorduroyEW, ClaptonRules, Dookie_1988, pacman-man, mutated_riff, Calum_Barrow, twelvestringtex, CorduroyEW, Schecter-06, ormsby_guitars, etc. I know I missed some other UGers but I will edit this entry to acknowledge them

The plan is to totally change the look and tone of an old and blah-looking Black Stratocaster. I?ve started sanding the body, by hand, and I plan to sand to bare wood. If the grain looks outstanding, I plan to do it in Transparent White:



If the grain is blah, It?s going to be Vintage White, black PG, and an older 70s-style maple/rosewood that I'll ebonize:



So, the project will be:

· Fender Strat from the 80s
· Upgrade pick-ups to Fender Lace Sensors (new old stock since they?re no longer available from Fender)
· Change the pickguard to Black or White Pearloid or Gray Pearloid
· Change the neck from vintage maple/rosewood to a new maple/maple from Musikraft
· Clearcoat the maple fretboard and use 100% Tung Oil for the back of the neck
· Upgrade to Kluson® tuners
· New, simple paint job OR do some graphics (assuming I get brave enough to go for it)

The guitar is an old MIJ Fender from the 80s, based on the serial number. It has the old, vintage PUs that sound pretty outstanding. The neck is in very good condition but I?m thinking of changing it. My camera is the suck, so here?s the current headstock:



The front and back:



Here?s the wiring diagram, the strap, and the Schaller strap locks:



Another shot of the strap (with Bunny) and the Fender Lace Sensors that will go with this guitar. The Lace Sensors are Fender-branded so this makes them old stock:



Here are the pickguards I?m considering and the second bowl of tuna (protein and minimal carbohydrate for me this summer):



That's all I've got so far. This is a huge step from just swapping out PUs and necks. Tell me what you think. Comments, suggestions, and criticisims from respected modders/builders are always welcome.
Last edited by Ippon at Jul 14, 2006,
#2
hahaha dude u gota go with the tuna

I have a feeling this will work out really nicely, and i say go with the first pic dude

EDIT: oh and you got inspired by me
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It's pretty hard to find someone as hardcore as Tom. The race for hardcore supremacy would be pretty close but i think Tom's got his nose just in front for now...
Last edited by lespaulmarshall at Jun 22, 2006,
#4
Mmmmmmmm, Tuna *drools*

Seriously, you certainly sound like you know what you're doing.
Good luck.
Populus vult decipi. Decipiatur.

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If you cut down on these costs students won't learn so well, effecting the "quality"...
#5
i would keep the body black, and use the grey pearloid pickguard.

and ka pai for eating tuna.
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I'm homeschooled because I got tired of the corporate conformist administration.

So I have a pretty crime free school, unless i decide to kill someone.



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#6
I'd say you should do the 1st idea, but....that headstock has so much mojo it's untrue.
Keep the neck, and refinish it to the 1st paint idea.
"Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care"

Fender Strat/Tokai LS80>few pedals>Orange Rocker 30
#7
Thanks guys!

Tuna yeah! For proteins, I'm trying my goshdarnittoheck best to shift from eating too much burnt animal flesh to fish.

Fatt Sorum, as far as keeping the body black, I already have another Fender Strat that is black with black PG. So looking for a minor change here.

R_H_C_P, I'm definitely going with the 1st option (Transparent White) if the wood is attractive enough. As far as neck mojo, I'll still have the option to re-use the existing neck ... all the necks I have are the 4-bolt kind. I don't have one of those big headstock 70s style yet so I'm looking to one of those.

BTW, it only sounds like I know what I'm doing because I've read enough modding threads here ... thanks to all the talented UGers mentioned above. I have a TBX pot for the treble/bass cut, so I may end up needing some electrician's guidance.

The manual sanding with a block is hard work so I'm treating it as an exercise I'll post pics later when I go on my next break.

BTW, any graphic ideas? I'm not too keen about faces or live figures (animal or man) ... I kinda like what Crash did for Clapton's Crashocasters. Thanks again.
#8
Quote by Ippon

BTW, any graphic ideas? I'm not too keen about faces or live figures (animal or man) ... I kinda like what Crash did for Clapton's Crashocasters. Thanks again.




#9
Update: The front and back are down to bare wood but the "horns" are posing some challenges. This project is teaching me patience, among many other things.

There's a 3/4" gouge/dent on top of the horn about an inch from the strap. I didn't even notice this because the black paint somehow followed the small, fingernail-wide gouge into the wood. I've managed to scrape off the paint.

Question 1: Will the base coat/sealer be enough to not cause future finish problem OR should I get some wood filler?

The wood grain (what is the official term) looks really blah so I might go with the Vintage White finish.

Question 2: Is there a way to make the "grain pop so a transparent white will show them as in the Pic 1 above?

I'm pretty handy with the paint brush since I paint with acrylics BUT NOT with spray cans. If I get adventurous, I'd probably go for something similar to Clapton's Crashocasters. Here are the 3 I like. Let me know what you all think.

Maybe 1:



Maybe 2:



Maybe 3:



Comments, thoughts, critiques, and all that? Thanks.
#10
I think you stole the first pic from me and my fender rebuild whch will be done tomorrow when i go to get my pups from my local tech (custom overwounds with a reverse wound in the middle and they are at 18 K like the DiMazarios (SP) i forgot which model)

lol, great to finally see that youve got your rebuild started...man Ill be following up on this as I helped Inspire you to build...lol..yay for me..

I suggest before doing anything to the finish post some pictures of the body with your bare wood (grain) id like to see it,

1st Question: Is this a Fender or a Squire becuz if its a fender then the body is alder...and once cleaned up properly it will look good, take a look back in my thread and view the pic where i showed the back before i sanded the front and then look at it again on like the 3rd page or so.....

Good Luck, check back for updates on mine tomorrow or saturday and keep this thread alive, dont let it die!
#11
Quote by Schecter-06
I think you stole the first pic from me and my fender rebuild whch will be done tomorrow when i go to get my pups from my local tech (custom overwounds with a reverse wound in the middle and they are at 18 K like the DiMazarios (SP) i forgot which model)

lol, great to finally see that youve got your rebuild started...man Ill be following up on this as I helped Inspire you to build...lol..yay for me..

I suggest before doing anything to the finish post some pictures of the body with your bare wood (grain) id like to see it,

1st Question: Is this a Fender or a Squire becuz if its a fender then the body is alder...and once cleaned up properly it will look good, take a look back in my thread and view the pic where i showed the back before i sanded the front and then look at it again on like the 3rd page or so.....

Good Luck, check back for updates on mine tomorrow or saturday and keep this thread alive, dont let it die!

Why yes! In fact I stole and will continue to steal shamelessly from all the UGers doing mods/builds. I don't see a noob like myself not continuing to steal/borrow ideas/tips/tricks from those who went through the process. The DM VVs are awesome for the blues-type deal and on a Fender tube ... glorious!

You obviously have great taste as far as color choices since I ended up doing something similar to yours.

Yes, it's a MIJ Fender and it looks like the Alder wood of my other MIJ Fender - really light, transparent, honey blonde. I plan to review your thread where you responded to my questions, along with the other threads I've saved. For example, I remember reading how to highlight the grain but forgot how it was done ...

This thread will be updated with milestones so hopefully it won't end up on page 2 and forgotten. Looking forward to your updates!

mr_hankey, I actually have a folder for Jimi's Monterey Strat! I could probably do a decent copy except I want something slightly different but along the same design concept. Instead of nail polish, I was thinking acrylic, for consistency of materials.

Thanks again gents! Looking forward to more ideas.

#13
yay i inspired you , and it would be good if you used a black grain filler to make the grain stick out more, i dont know if thats what you were talking about but ive heard that done before, not sure where to get it either but im sure you can find it somewhere

i might actually finally get back to my strat this weekend to route out the cavities, especially since my baseball season is almost over, this will be pretty cool though

id say for the pickguard you use black with white knobs, switch, and pups as you have it in your first and second pics, ebonizing the neck should be cool and i like the bigger headstock in the second pic, MIJ strats

and are you doing transparent white or just a clear?

and you dont need any grain filler on alder (you could use it though) but you need to use sand sealer and then paint then clear, and of the clapton-ish ones i like the second one the best, and to fix that 3/4 gouge just try and find some alder if possible and stick that in there and then sand it down evenly, if you cant find get any alder than just use whatever you can get that isnt pine or something soft and paint it a solid color probably
Last edited by Teleprompters at Jun 23, 2006,
#14
Teleprompters, it's cool you'll get back to your project, about time IMHO Tell me more about the black grain filler.

I finished sanding to bare wood last night and getting the horns cleaned up was no picnic. As I suspected the grain is blah. I really want to make the almost invisible grain pop out so I can do a transparent white. If anybody knows any tricks or materials to make this happen, that'll be great! I want one of those Ash bodies.

Will get new batteries for the cam to show the sanded body. In the meantime here are some pics of the older guitars I considered for a makeover. From L to R: My favorite Strat, a MIJ Squier that is older than me and most UGers, currently has Texas Specials; Explorer with Burstbuckers; very light Honey Blonde MIJ Fender with Red Lace Sensors; and, a MIJ Fender Hotrod HSS, Fender-stamped Floyd Rose, DiMarzio bucker and Virtual Vintage singles:



More:



In other news, would you pay $100 for a burger?

Florida restaurant offers a $100 burger



The Old Homestead Steak House in Boca Raton, Fla. unvieled its pricey 20-ounce, $100 slab of ground beef, billed as the 'beluga caviar of hamburgers' Tuesday, June 20, 2006. The burger combines the most expensive of beef from the U.S., Japan and Argentina. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)
#16
BTW, I LOVE the "Crash" Clapton guitars, most noicably the second one you posted (and the third one too, but not as much). I'm slowly collecting pictures of them from all angles so that when I get round to doing one it should be exactly the same. If you want pics of any of the last two just give me a shout and I'll give you what I've got.
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
#18
Quote by Fast_Bear
And I know a few good artist you could always comission for a design.. <_<
Additional kudos to Fast_Bear! His brave posts actually made me jump into finally doing my own mod. BTW, hook me up with the artist who did this:



Quote by Calum_Barrow
BTW, I LOVE the "Crash" Clapton guitars, most noicably the second one you posted (and the third one too, but not as much). I'm slowly collecting pictures of them from all angles so that when I get round to doing one it should be exactly the same. If you want pics of any of the last two just give me a shout and I'll give you what I've got.
That'll be awesome. I sent you a PM. Thanks.


I've seen 2 of the Crash Strats on eBay. Both ended with Reserve not met. Buy it now was set at $14 or 15K.
#19
XD
Oh
And also
If you can learn ANYTHING about my build, TAKE YOUR TIME WITH SANDING! AND DON'T BE AFRAID TO PUT MONEY INTO SANDING!

I can't get the URL of the artist at the moment.. DeviantArt is being ****tarded... <_< But I know a couple of artist you could comission. And a few that would hand paint their design on your guitar for you! Just tell me, what kinda design do you want?

*edit*
DA is working again w00!!
http://morthonkdgoblinator.deviantart.com/ That is the artist I asked to design for me a creature. He isn't there at the moment. Though I think he would be very enthuiastic. But you woudl have to wait untill he is atleast a few months into colleage....
Last edited by Fast_Bear at Jun 23, 2006,
#20
Update:
Finally finished sanding the troublesome horns to my satisfaction. I can actually see the grain but they?re too tight/close together. I ran a semi-wet sponge in the lower section, just above the horn, and also under the bridge slot ? looks blah.



Test Fitting:
I test fitted the rosewood late 60s or early 70s neck and even unplugged, this wood is very resonant. It doesn?t have the typical skunk/walnut stripe and the pic is before I ebonized it.

The maple/maple neck underneath was test fitted earlier and it also has the late 60s/early 70s headstock. The front was clearcoated, as recommended by a couple of experienced UG modders, while the back had 4 layers of 100% Tung Oil, which took a little over a week to dry. Even though it?s a C to V taper, it?s actually pretty fast ? not quite as fast as the slimmer profile on the MIJ Squire Strat in Candy Apple Red above, but the Tung Oil makes it faster than the Poly or Nitro used in most necks.



Ebonizing the Rosewood Fretboard:
The neck before and after the ?ebonizing? process. The ebony treatment is actually way darker/blacker than captured in the picture. I specially liked this process because I learned quite a bit about what not to do, how to do it next time, the proper tools for ensuring a clean project, etc. I?m thinking of rubbing a second coat after 24 another hours. It?s pretty dry now, as in it no longer smudges, etc,

The smudge to the left of the jackplate hole is from a drop of BBQ sauce that came with the world-famous Arthur Bryant BBQ of Kansas City, Missouri. Lesson learned: Don?t eat food with sauce while working with a guitar body that has been sanded to bare wood, and all that.



Another Test Fitting:
Here's yet another test fitting, this time with the ebonized rosewood neck (will do a second coat). It?s really darker than it appears in the picture. I?ve re-wetted the lower portion of the body, again with an almost dry sponge, to show the tightness of the grain.

For those who recommended a Transparent White finish, I think it won?t be as impressive as I initially envisioned. It looks like I might go with the Vintage White finish, ebonized rosewood neck, black PG with Red (B), Blue (M), and Hot Gold (N) Lace Sensors (the hotter bridge version) instead of the Fender Lace I was originally planning. An all black PG area might be more attractive. Now I need black covers for the Hot Gold since it?s white now.

Question: Is the above the best configuration for the Lace PUs? The Red is the hottest, then the Hot Gold, then the Blue. This Strat will be for SRV, Gilmour, and Clapton type music.



Additional PU Info:

Lace Sensor - Red: The hottest output of our Sensor Series. Perfect for the bridge position when fat, punch humbucking output is required.

* Postion: bridge
* Resistance: 14.5k
* Peack Frequency: 1850
* Inductance: 8.12 henries

Lace Sensor - Blue: Slightly increased output with the warmer 50's humbucking sound in a single coil configuration

* Postion: neck, bridge
* Resistance: 12.8k
* Peack Frequency: 2100
* Inductance: 6.58 henries

Lace Sensor - Hot Gold: Upgraded hotter Barium Ferrite magnets, Patented Lace Micro Matrix Combs for killer Vintage tone, available with an optional Hot Bridge 13.2k for more power and cut for harder rockin' and searing solos. Or the Standard Set all 6.0k's for neck, middle and bridge for that traditional Stratocaster vibe.

* Position: neck, mid, bridge
* Resistance: 6.0k
* Peak frequency: 3600
* Inductance: 2.2

Attention dog lovers: This is Sam, my 7-year old Great Dane, keeping me company while I was doing the sanding work.



Again, what do you guys think about the Red-Blue-Hot Gold pick-up configuration? That's bridge, mid, neck SSS.

I look forward to your comments, suggestions, critiques, and all that. BTW, I'm till open to design ideas. Keep them coming. Thanks.
#22
ya the grain looks almost non-existent so i think a white finish would be much better looking, i think the pups you have in that order seem nice, should get a nice slightly overdriven blues sound when used on a clean channel and an all black pickguard area might be good, otherwise it would be cool to have white everything on a black pickguard
#23
Yea, I think white covers and a black PG would be more attractive, so I definitely need to get one with SSS.

The fake ebony turned out better than I expected, it's not shiny and it drinks in all the light. Question: Should I clearcoat it after the second layer?

I should be ready to lay the first coat of sandable sealer in a few, hopefully finish 2 layers tonight and start painting tomorrow.

I also have some gold Fender hardware: strap knobs, jackplate, and whammy bar so I'm thinking of getting the gold Wilkinson bridge and tuners from GuitarFetish. This will definitely make the guitar look like it belonged to a slut, so I may just stick with the old chrome hardware. Thoughts?
#24
i just remembered the sexiest strat ever made, gold hardware looks awesome with a tortoise pickguard gold hardware is the best, maybe white with one of these pickguards and gold hardware, here look at the blonde one:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Deluxe-Players-Stratocaster-Electric-Guitar?sku=511597

EDIT: i updated my strat build
Last edited by Teleprompters at Jun 26, 2006,
#25
Quote by Teleprompters
i just remembered the sexiest strat ever made, gold hardware looks awesome with a tortoise pickguard gold hardware is the best, maybe white with one of these pickguards and gold hardware, here look at the blonde one:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Deluxe-Players-Stratocaster-Electric-Guitar?sku=511597


I've been wanting to do that to my already, light blonde MIJ Strat, see the group shot on page 1.



It's either tortoise or tobacco (more on the brown side). WIll now definitely order the gold Wilkinson hardware from GuitarFetish and start hunting for the tobacco/tortoise PG.
#26
looks great!
i have one question:
can you explain alittle more about the fake ebony please?
Quote by Guitardude19
The world is a fucked up place.


Tele's

"Oh I'll play the blues for you"
#27
i like the 2 clapton insopired designs, i think they may all be but i kow the last 2 are cause i saw those designs in the crossroads dvd. they look pretty bad ass tho, maybe even a little complex. cant wait to see how it turns out. shoud look sweet
Du Hast Meche

Member 21 of "I Survived UG Pwn Day"

Quote by HugoMadizon
What is a pup?


Quote by azn_guitarist25
sir, are you a retard.
#28
Quote by Blurry 505
looks great! i have one question:
can you explain alittle more about the fake ebony please?

"Ebonizing is the process of staining a wood to the point of it turning black and appearing as though it is ebony wood. In this case it can also be called Faux Ebony."

Ebonizing Tutorial

metalmilitia74, the 3 Clapton guitars are probably for a future project. I don't think I have the chops to attempt something similar at this point. I've been practicing with the spraying, masking, feathering, blending, etc. using spray cans, just like Crash.

The cool thing is that I've learned how to do those cool circular patterns, squares, etc. and I'm getting comfortable with the masking, specifically, cutting the patterns with the blade, for example, the eyes and hair in the picture posted earlier.

Update:
It was frigging hot last night so after Judo, went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream instead.

Anyway, I'm going to add an image similar to the following (Japanese for Judo) on the back tremolo cover ... kinda an homage to my instructors and all that.

#29
Update:
Before I applied the sand/sealer/primer, I filled the scratches/grooves with wood putty, dried, then sanded smooth. I applied the first sealer, dried, sanded, then the second sealer, dried, and sanded. Looking closely after the second sealer sanding, I noticed pinprick holes in certain spots.

Questions :
Do I need to apply filler on those tiny holes? Or will the color coat make them inconsequential? Or will the tiny holes cause obvious finish flaws later in its life?

I will need another can of sander/sealer if I have to re-sand those areas with the pinprick holes ... which I don't mind doing. I also need to do another Kisekae since my color choice has shifted, again.

Attention Experienced Finishers:
1. Suggestions about the holes, please; and,
2. Should I clearcoat the rosewood fretboard that I ebonized?

kmuchosthanxbye!
#30
Everything i have heard is the more work you put in before paint the better the paint job. I think that those little holes will show up when guitar is clear coated (if you are going to be using a glossy finish). I would fill them with filler, if you are not going to have the grain show through.

As for the fret board..... i don't know.
#31
Quote by Desk Jocky
Everything i have heard is the more work you put in before paint the better the paint job. I think that those little holes will show up when guitar is clear coated (if you are going to be using a glossy finish). I would fill them with filler, if you are not going to have the grain show through.

Agreed! Filled the pinprick holes and sanded again. Don't see anymore dents, holes, bulges, etc. I gotta buy another spraycan of sander/sealer for the final base coat. Then get a couple of color coats.

Questions
1. How many cans of clearcoat do I need? 2, 3?
2. In the US, what brands should I get for buffing and waxing and whatever else?
3. I don't have a buffer so I suppose I can get an attachment for the power drill? What about the swirls that form, etc.

Thanks.
#32
what happened to the Gracie chick??
Du Hast Meche

Member 21 of "I Survived UG Pwn Day"

Quote by HugoMadizon
What is a pup?


Quote by azn_guitarist25
sir, are you a retard.
#33
Quote by Ippon
Questions
1. How many cans of clearcoat do I need? 2, 3?
2. In the US, what brands should I get for buffing and waxing and whatever else?
3. I don't have a buffer so I suppose I can get an attachment for the power drill? What about the swirls that form, etc.

Thanks.

look on stewmac, they have some buffing stuff, i believe 3M makes a good buffing compound that is on there and they may have attachments for a power drill and if you find one post it because i need one , not sure on the clear coat but i bought one can of nitro form reranch and they said thats all i should need, i think its 16 or 20 oz.'s
#34
For buffing, 3m car stuff is the best.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#35
^ Thanks gents. Bought 3M's Gold sandpaper and Meguiars's silicone-free polish. The salesperson claims the 3M should last at least 2X longer than regular. They also ran out of the micro-grit wet sanders for scratch-free sanding. WIll get those later.

kthnxagainadios
#36
0630 Update:

I didn't accomplish much ... kept trying out different PU configurations on the 2 extra white PGs I had. These are used for testing miscellaneous PUs that didn?t come in sets ... in short, the "gimme-its" for helping friends and relatives (mostly my rich friend and her dad) tune, upgrade, whatever their guitars.



PG #1: DiMarzio VV Solo (B), DM VV Blues (M), and Texas Special for the Bridge but installed in (N) position. This is the best config for playing not so loud. When ODing the amp, swapping the PUs, so that the Texas Special is in the B and the DM VV Solo is in the N, is better.



PG #2: Has the standard Fender ceramic PUs in the bridge and middle and a Texas Special for the Neck in the neck ? vintage tone + hotter leads.



Sealing:
Accomplished 2 days ago and yesterday. from L-R: the 1st coat of the sander/sealer, 2nd coat front and back. BTW, those are toothpicks in the existing holes ?



First real challenge:
Here?s the tremolo cover after I cut the Judo kana from the model I posted earlier ... it will be sprayed black and clearcoated (is that OK?).

#37
looks cool as long as u mask the whole thing off, unless you dont wont th whole thing white except or the characters
Du Hast Meche

Member 21 of "I Survived UG Pwn Day"

Quote by HugoMadizon
What is a pup?


Quote by azn_guitarist25
sir, are you a retard.
#39
Quote by metalmilitia74
looks cool as long as u mask the whole thing off, unless you dont wont th whole thing white except or the characters
Yup ... only the characters will be painted.


Quote by Teleprompters
you have to use special paint that will stay on plastic i think, but im not so sure
Will buy

in Black
#40
0701 Update

SO far, none. Still staring at a bunch of spraycans in different colors ... still unsure of what color and what neck to use ... stick with the maple/maple with the regular headstock or go for the maple/maple or maple/rosewood with the big headstocks. Have some gold hardware but missing the important bridge and tuners in gold and no $$$ to spare ... OR just use the existing chrome stuff.

For lurkers who built up the number of clicks of this thread, if you haven't done a mod, go for it, it will teach you to think more and overcome obstacles/problems. For experienced modders, some critiques are welcome. OK, going back to Kisekae to get some inspiration.
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