Electric Guitar - Part 2


Part 2

In the first phase I took the project all the way from concept to something that was playable as a guitar. But I was not satisfied, and I wanted to fix some of the problems.

Some of the things I did in this phase were:

  • Shape the body
  • Get rid of most of the candy apple finish
  • Get rid of the recessed acrylic pickguard
  • Discard metal cable-routing pieces

Second Body


Approximate look of phase two
Beat-up electronics in a dull blue body

In the first phase I had cut the body to a decent outline, but I had not done enough shaping of the body. During this phase I worked the wood to reduce the volume and make the shape more sculptural. Reducing the edges of the body is something good that came from this phase.

There is a weird slot-like routing on the face of the body. There was also a routing along the bottom edge of the guitar. These were leftover from the first phase. In the second phase, I did not take time to cover up or deal with these extra routings. Instead I left them exposed.

I think I was hoping for a derelict or artifact look for the body.

Second Finish


The body at the end of phase two

I had not been happy with the red finish and thick topcoat that reminded me of a candy apple. This time around I opted for blue dye. The blue dye looked good at first.

Then I made another mistake. I decided I would finish it with linseed oil, which would not possibly be thick and glossy. I was right about that, but totally wrong when I saw how the linseed oil yellowed and darkened the blue color.

The body wound up being a dull navy blue, not at all what I was hoping for. To make it worse, I had not removed the red around the edges, either out of laziness or a misplaced sense of design. Now it reminded me of Spider-Man.

With the linseed oil and battered aluminum electronics, I was hoping it would have an interesting “dragged under a truck” look. Mostly, it just didn’t look right.

Second Wiring


Field replaceable unit?

I also did not like the curvy shape of the pickguard that I had picked out in the first phase; too boring. This time around, I decided to house the electronics in a simple rectangular box shape. It would give the electronics a simpler, boxy look. Almost like a field replaceable unit or a “module”.

Somehow, along the way, I also decided to make the electronics box look like something retrieved from a lunar mission. So I worked it with a hammer, even with the milled face of a framing hammer.

I don’t know what schematic was guiding the wiring. I was still using the humbucker that I had bought for phase one, and the humbucker from the original Peavey Patriot. Then, I assume, I was connecting them according to a diagram that came with the storebought pickup.

Phase Two Dissatisfaction

Here are the problems coming out of the second phase:

  • Finish—Blue dye with linseed oil on top came out looking dull and lifeless.
  • Crude—The beat-up look of the aluminum electronics box.
  • Undesigned—The extra routings left vacant made it look unfinished or unplanned.
  • Appearance—Leaving the edges red was not a good design choice.