I’ve been too busy lately with a lot of things, and my blogging has suffered accordingly.
But I managed to finish this guitar (more or less) and so here it is.
Having gotten the neck done, I started on the finish of the guitar. The neck got clear matte lacquer, and the body was sprayed flat white and then fluorescent orange:
Then it too was sprayed with clear matte lacquer:
After letting it dry a couple of days, I started on assembly. Remember that I’ve decided to let this guitar ‘relic’ pretty fast, so I wasn’t really concerned with keeping the finish looking nice.
Especially since my sense of humor, which has been described as being “on the harsh side of crass,” comes into play more than once in the details, the color being the least of the insults.
Let’s start with the benign ones. Here’s the normal decal for a Stephens Extended Cutaway:
The more egregious (!) decal is on the headstock. Again, here’s the stock model:
And, here’s mine.
What’s funny is that it has already fooled one person who didn’t catch it and wanted to know what “Washburn gently” was supposed to mean.
The other part says Hong Kong Guitars.
One of my favorite details on this build is that I painted the ‘outside edge’ of the headstock:
I didn’t paint the ‘inside curves, though. This way, the outside corners make nice straight breaks. Otherwise it would be a much more involved process.
I had a heck of a time finding the reflective stickers for the guitar body:
Everywhere I looked, I came up empty-handed.
I could find the holographic sticker paper, but I couldn’t find anyone who would print them.
As Hunter Thompson used to say, “F@#$ those people.”
I ended up making the letters myself.
I also nearly destroyed my printer, but eventually figured out how to print them. The trick is to use just enough paper to have the letters, but not so much that it can heat up and melt inside the printer.
Don’t ask how I found out.
So I managed to print out and hand-cut my own letters, but me being me, I wasn’t going to use N4, or N3, or anything else like that.
The same person who got fooled by the Washb@lls logo had, oddly enough, predicted the alphanumeric (!) combination that I ended up using. Behold:
This is the best photo for capturing the actual shade of orange.
Oddly enough (or, me being me, not), in English it’s a homophone for a fairly common Cantonese invective. I won’t say what it is, because I don’t want to offend anyone, but I’ll give you a hint in this photo:
Digression: The amazing power of the internet is that I could find a photo of a picture disc I hadn’t laid eyes on in at least 20 years. I always remembered this disc (mostly because of the hat), and so when I found it in under five minutes, I was pretty impressed with this here internet thingy.
While pulling together the parts for this build, I got lucky on eBay.
Not that way.
I found a Peavey locking bridge. Most people would consider that unlucky, but again, the internet makes it possible to find things out.
Like, for instance, that Peavey didn’t build those bridges. A company called Ping did. They make nice stuff. But if you don’t recognize the Ping logo on the underside of the bridge, you might miss it.
Let’s just say I got a really good deal on a really good bridge.
I attached all the parts, did the wiring, and pretty soon I had it all together:
I even got the Kill Pot wiring correct on the first try.
Will wonders never cease?
The guitar still needs some tweaking, but I don’t mind allowing that sort of thing to occur over time. That way I can get the setup adjusted to just the way I like it.
That’s why, for instance, the back plate is not on; I need to access those screws to adjust the spring tension:
I realize in the above photo that it looks like the toggle switch has a zit. That is not the case. I tried something new with this guitar, and I must report that it’s a success.
Instead of using plastic for fret markers, I got hold of some 3M glow-in-the-dark tape.
I used some leather punches that I have to cut out 2.5mm dots for the side of the neck and 4mm dots for the face. So those dots you see are just stickers. But it sticks really well, so I have no fear of them falling off.
I’ve been trying to get them to fall off, and I can’t.
Just for fun I stuck one on the toggle switch tip, and its’s stayed on there quite well.
I tried to make a video that shows you how well this stuff works, but I build guitars a lot better than I work with cameras. Let me say this: when you have a big strip of that stuff, you can literally use it as a light source. I’m sure its monumentally carcinogenic, just because it works so well.
It’s not just a luxury to have interesting details like that; they’re very useful. I have found that in some places, you end up playing literally in the dark, so this will be a big help.
There we have it, folks; the HKGSEC is done. With any luck, I will be using it live sometime this year. I’ll let you know.