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#1
-UPDATE 8/11: CLEARCOAT HELP-
-UPDATE 8/6: PICTURES OF "SECRET" STENCIL, READY FOR CLEARCOAT-
-UPDATE 8/6: WIRED PICKGUARD, QUESTIONS re: KNOBS-
-UPDATE 7/31: MANY QUESTIONS FOR WIRING-
-UPDATE 7/23: ELECTRONICS CAME IN; READY TO WIRE-
-UPDATE 7/14: I'M BACK V2-
-UPDATE 9/17: I'M BACK!! -
-UPDATE 8/21: PICKGUARD CAME IN TODAY, PICS ON PAGE 3, AND A QUESTION (HELP PLEASE)-
-UPDATE 8/15: HEADSTOCK PICTURES PAGE 2-

Let me get the backstory done and then I'll have some questions.

Just like all the other Squire Modding threads, I decided to mod my Squire Strat to make it into a bit better guitar. I also wanted to learn about the inner workings of the guitar and what not (pickup wiring, etc.).

It was an Affinity model Squire. Supposedly those have better wood than some of the other ones. It's your basic black Strat.




As it turns out, it was already routed out for HSH, saving me the trouble of potentially messing something up.

Sanding:




Don't worry, I sanded everything, not just the front and back.

Priming:



Now at this point I was going to swirl it and make a swirling tutorial out of it. I made a thread on here about it a few months ago (don't feel like diggin it up) showing the progress and testing swirls.

I then dropped that idea because I didnt have enough time to invest in getting all the variables right for the "perfect" swirl.

continued below (b/c of picture limit)...
Last edited by jumi1174 at Aug 11, 2009,
#2
...continued from above

So instead I decided to do the UK flag design. All the paint is in satin finish and were put into a spray gun (off of stew-mac).

Base Coat of White:


(Looks the same as priming, but ever so slightly different)

Now here's where it got tricky. I am a perfectionist, not trying to toot my own horn because it sucks being one, and I'm very meticulous (sp?) when it comes to stuff I want done right. It's almost like mild OCD, it's that bad.

So to make sure that the stripes on the guitar were absolutely perfect, I basically studied the geometry of the flag until I knew how the lines and stripes were laid out in relation to each other.

I then drew out a correct scale flag on a piece of cardboard and then traced the guitar on it to see where I would be taping it. I **** you not, it took me at least 5 hours to draw this thing up. I had a ****load of lines going every which way.

Here is said template: (Some of the lines might be hard to see because they were done in pencil, only the guitar outline was in sharpie)



These pictures give it no justice whatsoever.

Anyway, after taping and re-taping and re-taping some more to make sure the stripes were perfect, I finally got the guitar taped up for the red stripes.

Ready for Red:



and finally...

...red is done.

continued below (b/c of picture limit)...
Last edited by jumi1174 at Aug 9, 2008,
#3
aha....

EDIT: looks sweet i want to be like you
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#4
...continued from above

But wait, somethings wrong batman...the lines, the lines that were supposed to be straight as a razor's edge, the lines that I painstakingly taped over and over and over again to make certain that they were straight, weren't...


-only one example, but there are others that are worse.

To you, eh whatever, but to me, WTF!! WHY WHY!! WHAT HIGHER BEING DID I DISAPPOINT?

Did I spray too thick? Did I not let it dry long enough? What did I do wrong?

I was so close to sanding the whole thing over again and starting from scratch.
But I moved on, i figured at the end of it all i would light sand and touch up the red lines because I sure as hell won't make the same mistake twice, right? We'll see...

Blue:
Again, after painstakingly taping for perfect lines, here is the guitar with the tape still on after it has been sprayed.


So I let this one sit for a lot longer to dry then for the red, figuring maybe that was why the lines were bad.

And now after it was all said and done:



So much for not making the same mistake twice...
The blue lines came out bad too. And then I figured out what I did wrong. I sprayed the paint way too thick. The paint got gooey around the edges of the tape, making it not come off clean.

When the tape was pulled up, it stuck to the tape and slowly tore apart, kinda like when you see a cheese commercial and they show a grilled cheese sandwich being pulled apart.

A close-up example of the bad blue lines:



So now, towards the end of painting, I decided I'm going to lightly sand the edges of the lines and repaint it to make them straight.

For the other mods of the guitar:
-Pearloid pickguard
-HSS pickups courtusy of Cord from rockmonkeyguitars.com (he's a UG member, I'm not advertising)
-New Knobs
Little stuff, nothing major except finish and pickups

After the epic adventure of this modding tale, i now have questions.

The front of the guitar is the UK design, but it only comes down about 1/4". The back is a mix of light red and blue overspray, and the sides are white.
I don't know what to paint the back/sides and I need some opinions.



1. Paint the design on the back and let the stripes wrap around the sides
2. Paint the back solid blue (w/ or w/o painting the sides blue aswell, specify)
3. Leave it as is
4. Paint the back white

And now for the headstock:


The front and back will be painted with that design, but should i:
1. Go around the sides with the blue ?
or
2. Leave it natural?

tl;dr - How should I do the back/sides and the headstock?

Thanks in advance. Any help is appreciated.

Also, credit to TFBISE16 for inspiration on the UK design. If I wouldn't have seen his guitar I proboaly would still be trying to settle on a finish...
Last edited by jumi1174 at Aug 9, 2008,
#5
well first of all:

no pickguard, i don't know if it will look cool.
keep the flag in the back as well it will look cool.
don't go around the sides with the blue.
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#6
The wood ain't bad on the affinity... but the hardware could use some attention. The tuners and bridges, and PVC nuts bother me. Once you swap those out, you have a pretty nice guitar.

On a side note, its Squier with the I before the E. If you use a spellchecker it will correct you to the proper word... but the name is not spelled like the word. (everyone makes this mistake)

Use vinyl painting tape to make sharp edged lines. Masking tape doesn't work for that. Go to a paint shop to get it. It's whats used to two-tone a car, for example.

Here's some on my guitar:



If you get that and do the stripes again, it will come out a lot better. (although I'd probably not feel like sanding it back myself)

As far as the headstock, I really prefer to paint the sides. I think it looks a lot better, giving it a 3rd dimension where if you only do the surface, the sides make the surface look thin or something. I'm looking at one of my black headstocks right now wishing it were black all the way around.

On the body, I'd wetsand the back to get the overspray off and leave it alone. Looks cool like it is.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
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#7
Instead of giving it a huge pickguard, get a sheet of blank white pickguard material, and cut out a shape that will fit exactly over the controls. Then glue/screw it on, and continue the stripe that you stuck the pickguard over, painting the stripe onto the pickguard.

As for the back, wrap-around flag, I say!

Headstock: sides natural.

Nice guitar, very nice.
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#9
The hell with that... they should be proud to see an American flying their colors.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
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#10
Looks good, but I don't really like patriotic guitars... How long did this take?
Last edited by supergerbil at Aug 9, 2008,
#11
Thanks for all the replies so far everyone.

But now I'm really confused with all this conflicting advice...

@magnum 1117: How would I do no pickguard? I'd have too fill in the holes and what not...that's too much...

@zeroyon: Yeh I heard after the fact that car detail paint would have worked better.

@Invader Jim: Yeh I'm American too, and it doesn't really bother me, but I see where you're coming from. That thought crossed my mind too. The American flag just doesn't translate well to a guitar w/o looking like a redneck (imo...)

Again thanks for the replies again so far.

EDIT:
@supergerbil: The prep took the most time, about a good full afternoon for setting up the template. About a day each for each color, with taping and letting dry.
The various "setbacks", if you will, (deciding what color, what pickups, etc.) took the most time.
Last edited by jumi1174 at Aug 9, 2008,
#12
I honestly don't think anyone from the UK on here could be annoyed at you doing the Union Jack after you put so much effort in to get the dimensions right, I sure as hell don't mind. It looks awesome, could you not get some acrylic paint and finely touch up the sides of the flag with a little paintbrush? Or are you going to respray it?
#13
+1 I don't mind as long as you get it right.
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#14
Planning and Meticulousness to the point of slight OCD FTW!!!

I've used Blue painter's tape and even cheap Dollar Store masking tape with success. The trick is to go through the edges with a fingernail (not too much pressure or it'll gouge the relatively soft paint) 3X, at least. It ensures that the next layer of colorcoat/paint won't seep under and ruin the razor sharp edges or curves.

When pulling off the tape, do it at an angle to the line or curve. I'm not sure why it works better than pulling it straight, for some reason, it just does!

Question: After laying down each color, the Red, then the Blue, did you lightly wetsand the edges with high grit? This ensures that there aren't any transition/demarcation lines that you can feel (bumps) since successive layers will amplify the unevenness, especially as you lay the multiple Clearcoats.

For multiple color applications that crisscross each other, it's easy to make the surface uneven, not level. The above allows you to "correct" the gotchas easier because now you have a level surface. You can re-tape and re-spray/re-touch the areas with the Ooops/blotches.

I tend to go OCD during the planning stages but since I'm quite impatient, I don't over-analyze it when something goes WTF wrong. Chances are, I already know what to do if the Ooops happens.

#15
Quote by Invader Jim
I've always wanted to do that flag on a guitar, but I'm afraid that I'd piss off the entire UK community of UG if I did it, me being American and all...


lol, I'm American and i'm obsessed with everything European. Go figure.


I want to paint up one of my cheapo strats like this guitar.

Cheers!
Surf Rock the World



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Coming soon.
#17
Quote by Invader Jim
I've always wanted to do that flag on a guitar, but I'm afraid that I'd piss off the entire UK community of UG if I did it, me being American and all...

I'd be more worried about pissing off the american community
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#19
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Pff. Screw them.


Amen.

Cheers!
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Coming soon.
#20
nice...and good choice on the RMG pups
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#21
Wow, I've tried responding 5 times already and it freezes everytime. I had to split the post up because it froze everytime I tried putting it all together.

Thanks for the replies thus far everyone. I appreciate the positive comments on the design choice.

Quote by xharass_natox
I honestly don't think anyone from the UK on here could be annoyed at you doing the Union Jack after you put so much effort in to get the dimensions right, I sure as hell don't mind. It looks awesome, could you not get some acrylic paint and finely touch up the sides of the flag with a little paintbrush? Or are you going to respray it?

Yeh, I didn't know if any people from the UK would feel offended with a yank like me calling the flag the Union Jack. Like not showing proper respect or something...but I guess it's ok.

Anyway, yeh, I'm going to lightly sand the edges and paint them with a paint brush sponge (paint sponge brush?) to make the lines straight

But yeh, when I first saw the messed up lines I was dead set on sanding the whole thing down and starting from scratch again, but after I cooled down, I decided not to.

Quote by Ippon

Question: After laying down each color, the Red, then the Blue, did you lightly wetsand the edges with high grit? This ensures that there aren't any transition/demarcation lines that you can feel (bumps) since successive layers will amplify the unevenness, especially as you lay the multiple Clearcoats.

For multiple color applications that crisscross each other, it's easy to make the surface uneven, not level. The above allows you to "correct" the gotchas easier because now you have a level surface. You can re-tape and re-spray/re-touch the areas with the Ooops/blotches.


I haven't sanded the edges yet, but that's next right after I do the headstock.

Speaking of the headstock, I'm going to paint that with the paint sponge brush instead of spraying it. See how that works out.

But back to Ippon^, I thought that the clearcoating would even out the surface? I don't know, I'm a novice at painting.
Last edited by jumi1174 at Aug 11, 2008,
#22
^Continued from above, sorry for the double post, but everytime I tried posting all this as one message it would freeze. I had to write this thing like 5 times...

Now to the back/sides, I know I already said the options, but with conflicting advice, I don't know:


The one all the way to the left is how the guitar is now.
1 - Paint the Union Jack on the back aswell, but leave the sides white
2 - Paint the Union Jack on the back aswell, and wrap the design around the whole guitar (Basically connect the front and back)
3 - Leave the back plain white
4 - Any other ideas you might have...

Again, thanks for the replies thus far. And more advice/opinions on the back/sides and headstock

Tomorrow I'm going to be painting the front of the headstock, possibly the back. I'll have pics by tomorrow, if not, defiently Tuesday.
Last edited by jumi1174 at Aug 11, 2008,
#23
I think leaving the back white would be the best idea, oh, and its the Union Flag, its only called the Union Jack when flown by the navy :P
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#24
^+1. It'd be pretty hard to make it match up that perfect on the back as well, not to mention painting it.

You could paint the back/sides blue as well...
Last edited by Invader Jim at Aug 11, 2008,
#25
As always, thanks for the replies.

I didn't get around to the headstock today, only primed and hit it with a basecoat of white. But tomorrow I'll defiently have pictures.

Quote by solid_moose
I think leaving the back white would be the best idea, oh, and its the Union Flag, its only called the Union Jack when flown by the navy :P

^Ha, aw well, already goes to show my ignorance on the subject. Sorry UK.

Quote by Invader Jim
^+1. It'd be pretty hard to make it match up that perfect on the back as well, not to mention painting it.

You could paint the back/sides blue as well...


I actually thought about doing the back/sdies blue, so that defiently is an option. But I still don't know yet...
#26
-UPDATE: HEADSTOCK PICTURES-

I finally was able to finish the headstock that I promised to be done by Tuesday...I'm not that far off, it's only Friday (well technically Saturday)

Alot of complications:
-First, remember the sponge paint brush I decided to try out? Yeah that didn't turn out good at all. Don't ever use it. It didn't spread evenly, there were lines.
- As soon as I did like 2 strokes I wiped it up and had to wait for the rest to try and then sanded down to almost wood
- After that fiasco and priming again, I ran out of the white satin base...someone doesn't want me finishing this guitar

But the front of the headstock is finally done:





And a mock-up of the "finished" product:


-Note that is not the pickguard that's going to be on the finished guitar

I still need input on the back/sides of the body and headstock.

Thanks in advance.
#27
Actually I say leave the back and sides of the headstock natural. They look awesome! And so does this axe! And I say try a wraparound union flag, that would look wicked.
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#28
That's actually really pretty cool looking mate, coming from a Uk'er. I think it'd look better with a maple neck, but that's not the point

You should mod the electronics to make it all nice and done up.
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#29
Thanks for the replies, as always.

@Kurapica: I am getting new pickups so most, if not all, of the electronics will be new.

Now for the headstock, the back and sides are natural and just the front has the finish on it.

Leave just the front with the finish and keep the back and sides natural?
That seems to be the general concensus here...

And for the guitar I'm leaning towards doing the Union design on the back and leaving the sides white.

However, I would like some more opinions and input from you all.

I also ordered the pickups today, should be in in about 2 weeks.

Thanks.
#31
@bellerophon:
I got a custom set from Cord. He's a member of UG and makes custom pickups, incase you didn't know.

His website is rockmonkeyguitar.com (not advertising, just showing)

But yeh this is what he whipped up for me:
Swingin cool neck
SG-CEW middle
Cool Heritage (overwound) Bridge

If you can understand it, more power to you. I basically told him my favorite bands and genre's and he figured it out.
#32
googled rockmonkeyguitar without success. checked on this site and theres an s at the end
(~~guitars.com) so checking it out now cheers.

...One letter out and google fails? My universe is unravelling...
#33
that paint jobs ****ing awesome
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#34
Very nicely done! We need clips when its done completely!
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#36
Thanks for the replies and support as always.

@bellerophon: My bad, sorry about that.

@theacousticpunk: When it's all said and done I promise I will post clips.

@Invader Jim: Ha, holy god in a good or bad way?

And how does everyone feel about the design on the back with white sides? Because that's most likely what I'm going to do.

Thanks.
#37
Hey! I'll just post my response to your PM here ... it might help some other re-finishers.

Quote by jumi1174
I don't know if you remember or not, but I have the thread where I'm paint the UK flag design on my strat (https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=931053&page=1&pp=20).

You've commented in there before and also responded to another one of my threads asking about paint help, so I figure you're the go-to-guy for this stuff.

If you don't mind, I'd like some help please.

You may remember (or not) that in the first thread of mine that you responded to I was wondering about the straightnress of the lines and how to remove the "bump" from one color to the base coat.

I've painted the headstock, as you should see in the link, and the lines still are messed up a bit. I sprayed the coats very light but the lines still messed up. And I don't know what to do...

Now I'm asking this because I'm doing the back of the guitar the same design and I want the lines to be right on the first go round.

Also, I was under the impression that the "bumps" would smooth out after clearcoating... Am I mistaken? I don't know much about painting, as you should already know. How would I get the guitar smooth if the above is not right?

Feel free to respond here or in the thread. Thank you for taking your time to read this.

Thanks, jumi
I can imagine how bothered you must be because of the non-straight lines. I know I post it all the time but if I didn't post it in your thread, here it is: When laying the masking tape, go through the edges with your fingernail (not too much pressure) 2 or 3 times to ensure that the paint won't seep under.

When the oops happens and it does seep under making for crooked lines, wait until it's dry, carefully sand off the color that shouldn't be there, re-apply the tape on the other side where you didn't sand, then re-spray the color that'll cover the seepage (where you sanded).

My recommendation is to paint the Union Flag in the back and continue the lines on the side, instead of painting it White. Think about it: It'll look better and it'll be easier. When applying the tape to the side, you will need to compensate for the curvature.

I remember posting in your thread that you need to wetsand the edges with high grit to remove the bump from the demarcation line, all prior to clearcoating. With 3 colors, it will build up and the clearcoat won't level the bump.

Wetsanding also allows you to "correct" or re-spray, specially those crooked lines, if they occur, without too much paint build-up.

Remember, when you wetsand with a sanding block, it will take off more of the clearcoat layer where the bumps are, potentially exposing the colorcoat or leaving a thinner clearcoat.

#39
It won't let me put the entire message in this post...it keeps freezing

Thanks for the replies, as always.

Quote by Ippon
Hey! I'll just post my response to your PM here ... it might help some other re-finishers.

I can imagine how bothered you must be because of the non-straight lines. I know I post it all the time but if I didn't post it in your thread, here it is: When laying the masking tape, go through the edges with your fingernail (not too much pressure) 2 or 3 times to ensure that the paint won't seep under.

When the oops happens and it does seep under making for crooked lines, wait until it's dry, carefully sand off the color that shouldn't be there, re-apply the tape on the other side where you didn't sand, then re-spray the color that'll cover the seepage (where you sanded).

My recommendation is to paint the Union Flag in the back and continue the lines on the side, instead of painting it White. Think about it: It'll look better and it'll be easier. When applying the tape to the side, you will need to compensate for the curvature.

I remember posting in your thread that you need to wetsand the edges with high grit to remove the bump from the demarcation line, all prior to clearcoating. With 3 colors, it will build up and the clearcoat won't level the bump.

Wetsanding also allows you to "correct" or re-spray, specially those crooked lines, if they occur, without too much paint build-up.


Remember, when you wetsand with a sanding block, it will take off more of the clearcoat layer where the bumps are, potentially exposing the colorcoat or leaving a thinner clearcoat.



-I'm gonna steal your method for responding-

So say a red line isn't straight and there's some oopses, I sand on the white where the red is messy and then I tape the line on the white side? And touch up the red?

cont'd below...wtf is wrong with this? It keeps freezing everytime I try to post.
Last edited by jumi1174 at Aug 17, 2008,
#40
...cont'd from above

So I wetsand just the edges? But wouldn't the middle of the stripes still be raised although there wouldn't be a noticable "bump", just a general rise, correct? And how high of a grit?

Sorry if these are stupid questions, I'm quite the novice when it comes to this.

and

@Invader Jim: lol, thanks, I appreciate it.

@the spammer: lol, do people have nothing better to do with their time?

And what would be a good site to get odd and end stuff like knobs and whatnot?

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by jumi1174 at Aug 18, 2008,
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