#1
Ok, well I have to do a senior project to graduate, and Im choosing to rebuild a Squier Strat that my friend gave me. Anyway, Im doing all the repairs and replacements at a local music store, so their helping me a little bit by teaching me how things go where, and the techniques, as well as letting me use them to order parts. So far, what I have planned is:

HH setup with a Dimarzio Tone Zone in the Bridge and an Air Norton in the neck
chrome Diamond Plate pickguard
single volume knob
killswitch
coil tap for the neck pickup
block off the trem
paint it flat black with some kind of design on it

Heres some questions that I have that the people at the store arent 100% clear on.

To do this I have to rout out the pickup cavity so the neck can fit a humbucker, strip the wood, and repaint it. also, I dont really like the stock Squier neck. I was wondering if I got a 24 fret neck with the same scale lengh, would it fit on the guitar? or would the extra overhang go too close to the neck pickup? Lastly, I cant think of any paint ideas to go with the guitar because of the diamond plate pickguard, but I want to do something maybe with airbrushing. Can someone think of any cool ideas? Also, the laquer that is on the guitar is insanely thick, and it would be a bitch to sand it all down. I was wondering if anybody that had any previous experience with rebuilding/painting one of these that used any method other than sanding, suck as a paint thinner or stripper that could tell me what kind would work on the clear coat?


Anyway, heres some pictures of my little progress that Ive made


The guitar with all the electronics out of it. At the moment, it also doesnt have a bridge or input jack, and the neck is detached.


These are some of the parts that I need to do this. I have everything but 2 toggle switches for the killswitch and coil split, and I need to return the tuners, because they gave me 3+3 instead of inline tuners.


The Tone Zone mounted into the pickguard. Also, the volume pot is in. Im putting it in the second hole because when I palm mute normally with my strat, I tend to bump the volume knob turning it down a little.


Back shot of the pickguard with the pickup selector in place. Its just a 3-way selector.
Last edited by thetoastinator at Aug 5, 2008,
#2
The extra overhang will be just about where the neck pickup is now.

If you want to strip the finish, you'll need a polyurethane stripper. It will also strip away the conductive painting in the cavity, if there is any in there, thus giving you a good reason to sheild the cavityies.
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#3
no, a 24 fret with an overhang would just go over your neck pickup. 22 fret is the most to go without covering your neck pickup.


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#4
Also, the laquer that is on the guitar is insanely thick, and it would be a bitch to sand it all down. I was wondering if anybody that had any previous experience with rebuilding/painting one of these that used any method other than sanding, suck as a paint thinner or stripper that could tell me what kind would work on the clear coat?

Stripping Paint
Using Heat This tutorial explains the use of a heat gun to strip paint off the body of a guitar.
Using Chemicals This tutorial explains the use of chemicals to strip paint off the body of a guitar.
Using Sandpaper This tutorial explains the use of sandpaper to strip paint off the body of a guitar.

#5
Cool, thanks guys. Im thinking that I may just get a 22 fret neck off ebay or something, and maybe scallop the last 5 frets or so, just to do something different. Anyone know how to do this? Do you use a dremel or something, or do you scrape it out? Also, in the tutorial that Ippon posted, it doesnt really say what kind of stripper to get , it just refers to it as "stropper." Anyone have any brand names I could pick up at my local hardware store? Thanks.
#6
uh... to scallop the fretboard, u just use the circular file thing.

at least i would.


if i ever get around doing such a shredder thing.
Call me "Shot".

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#8
^I thought about that but decided against it because I dont want to have a lot of thick layers, because the glossy finish that is on the guitar right now is very thick. But I went to Lowes yesterday and got what I need to strip the paint. I got the stripper, some gloves, and then I got some flat black for the body, as well as satin clear coat. Thats what I need to clear coat it, right? because I dont want it to be super glossy like it is now.
#9
Hey, its been FOREVER since I have done anything with this guitar, but I finally got around to doing a little tonight. I bought stripper, and decided to strip it tonight. Its a bitch to strip due to the thick laquer, and I have to be careful using a metal scraper, because if I scrape too hard I gash the wood. But I got the top half of the guitar stripped enough to be sanded now. I also messed around with the stock neck, and cut out a headstock design. Im going to try to finish stripping the guitar this week, and then sand it down. I also found a cool guitar pinstriping design that I would like to use on the guitar. I dont really know how to pinstripe, but I may just paint red, then tape off what I want to stay red, then spray the rest the flat black. Heres some pics:


Sketch of the headstock's cut


Cut headstock


Top half stripped


And heres the pinstriping design I have. I only want the part that has the silver shiny part in it, but minus the silver. Ill either paint that in red and have it thinner, or have the red, and black center. Suggestions?
#10
Holy ****, I want that whole design. Looks amazing..

How would you get something done like that? An airbrusher or something?
#11
Awesome neck, awesome pickguard, awesome design. But here's an idea: Paint the whole design, get a transparent pickguard and put it over it!
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#12
Well I already bought the $55 pickguard, so I'm leaving that, plus I don't think I could pull off that entire design even if I wanted to. And to injected, Yeah, Im sure you would need to pinstripe the design first, then airbrush the skull looking things, then the silvery stuff is silver leaf im pretty sure.
#13
I love that pickguard so much and that mock up paint job ^^ is to die for i would love that on my guitar.

Gear
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Carvin V3 and Marhall 1960A cab
2 B.C. Rich Ironbird Pro
Schecter Hellraiser 6
Boss ML-2

#14
Well Im not going to be doing that design now, because I put on the pickguard today, and I forgot that strat pickguards take up almost all the right side of the guitar... Ill find something cool to do. I went to the shop where all my parts are, and just placed them on, and made sure the tuning pegs fit, and measure for the pickup cavity that I cut out. I then took the guitar home, completely stripped it, and Im in the process of sanding it smooth now. Im sanding at the end with 220 grit, is that fine enough? Anyway, heres some pics...


The headstock with the tuners on it


mocked up with both pickups in. The neck humbucker cavity was too small, so the pickguard is sticking out a little.


back being stripped



completely sanded down to the wood, and the pickup cavity cut out.

So does anyone know of any cool tribal designs that I could put on this guitar, with the picguard in place?
#15
Hey, I am done sanding I think. Is 220 Grit sandpaper enough for a body that has already been painted? Also, I am wondering if I need to do a primer coat or not, because I am doing a flat black finish. Any input? Also, Im thinking about this design in red, painted on after the flat black. What do you think?

#16
Looks cool, you should paint the design in silver to match the pickguard. That would look awesome imo.
#17
id do a primer, black shows imperfections all too well
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#18
Looks Good! Th eonly thing would once again be the pickguard, maybe you can change your design, so that It won't look as if there is something missing, just under the pickguard
#19
Its comin good mate!

Gear
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Carvin V3 and Marhall 1960A cab
2 B.C. Rich Ironbird Pro
Schecter Hellraiser 6
Boss ML-2

#20
Hey, I am done with this guitar now, and I decided to raise this thread from the dead to see what people think. I gave up on pinstriping, as I would need to put in a ton of time and a good amount of money for tools and such. I finished painting, and put all of it together. It came out pretty damn nice and it plays alright. There are a few spots where theres some fret buzz, does anybody know how to get rid of it if its just in a few spots? Im thinking I may need to adjust the truss rod a little more as it was very loose when I adjusted it during the setup. Let me know if you have any ideas, and let me know what you think about the guitar!




The specs are:
Body- Alder (?)
Neck-Maple with rosewood fingerboard
Diamond Plate Pickguard, with Dimarzio Tone Zone (B) and Dimarzio Air Norton (N)
Grover Tuners
I added a coil tap for the neck pickup, and a killswitch as well.
#21
Good job! What about a black headstock? That would be awesome.
#22
I think you might've made the headstock thin off too much. I personally would've left a bit more meat on it. Another thing, the space between the two pickups looks quite bare. Personal recommendation: Put a single coil in between them
#23
^ In the last picture, it looks a lot thinner than it actually is. And I was thinking about that, but I would have to cut into that diamond plate, and I'd be too scared I would mess something up. Plus, I would then have to get a 5 way selector, and go through a lot of re-wiring that was a bitch to do in the first place.
#25
Quote by thetoastinator
mocked up with both pickups in. The neck humbucker cavity was too small, so the pickguard is sticking out a little.

You mean bridge humbucker

Quote by thetoastinator
There are a few spots where theres some fret buzz, does anybody know how to get rid of it if its just in a few spots? Im thinking I may need to adjust the truss rod a little more as it was very loose when I adjusted it during the setup.

NO, don't do that

ok. also, with the headstock i suggest you round over/ make the corner thing (mental blank) along the side. It sticks out to much for such a thin headstock (which looks horrible IMO.....)

Have a go with the pinstriping, it may turn out awesome!

You didn't really rebuild it.... you modded/ customized it. Its kinda a useless project for a graduation project (thats what it is isn't it, i haven't gotten that far in school yet )

Overall, the guitar looks good, but it could use a bit of fixing up to look awesome
#27
Quote by thetoastinator

HH setup with a Dimarzio Tone Zone in the Bridge and an Air Norton in the neck


I just put a Tone Zone, Air Norton S, and Cruiser Neck in my old Yamaha I just rebuilt. I absolutely love them.

The diamondplate pickguard looks pretty badass, if I do say so myself.
#28
Quote by thetoastinator

I added a coil tap for the neck pickup, and a killswitch as well.


good!!
i was very upset when i saw that there were two unused hole in the pickguard
#29
Quote by guitarcam123
You mean bridge humbucker

Naah, I had to re-rout the neck pickup cavity, because it was sized up for a single coil pickup. The bridge side stuck up because of it. And I like how far that thing on the headstock sticks out. If I were to sand it down, I think it would look too much like an Ibanez headstock. I wanted to make something that was unique and I think I got it with that. Also, how is there a difference between rebuilding a guitar, and modding it with brand new parts? I still had to do 100% of the wiring, assembly, and the only 2 things that were left from the stock guitar were the wood, and the nut.

And to Gratefulduck- Yeah, I made sure that I didnt have any random open holes. If that were the case I would have installed an extra tone knob