My son Robert (and me)(and me) wanted a faceplate for his new guitar hero 3 guitar, after looking at some we thought that it would be a shame that he would be stuck with the one he had chosen, so we thought outside the box and decided it would be an interesting make one, and then to post on-line, it is quite and easy project and it has been quite informative and fun for Rob and me.
Step 1: Mark Out Faceplate
Step 2: Making the Grinding Table
be careful drilling not to press hard because perspex cracks really easy, put it between 2 pieces of wood to drill to help it but no need to be too exact as they are just to get the grinder in.
Next bit to do is to make up your grinding table, I used a dremel clamped in a workbench, and then we raised the height with bits of wood to get just the cutter showing.
Step 3: Cutting
we used the dremel on a fast speed but tried to move the slow so that it would keep the heat down.
I know that you are supposed to use a jigsaw and a 2 peices of wood, but it cracked it when we tried it, we used the correct blade and still cracks appeared on the intracate pieces. best to use a jigsaw to cut the piece of work near the right size and grind it, we ended up using a dremel multipurpose/drywall cutting bit for the rough cut. then used the grinder to take off the last 1/2cm
on the photo below we are cutting out one of the buttons using the whole we cut out earlier. but it is starting to get warm!!
clean the perspex off and try it in the guitar, if you need to adjust it mark the area and take a bit off, eventually it should fit perfectly, be patient fine tuning it, and once it fits, smooth off the edges with some 800grit 1200grit aper so it has smooth clean curves.
be careful of cracking at all times, I know that I could have probably used a router with the edging bit (got a ball bearing on the bit) and cut round the old face plate but I am sure that it would probably have cracked or damaged the orginal faceplate so hence the dremel with a fine'ish grinding bit
Step 4: Preparing to Paint (Important)
We are going to paint the inside of the cover so that the paint doesnt wear off and stays shiny, we used mat black paint, but the perfect stuff would be black plastic primer, as it is on the inside it doesnt need to be the best paint job!
To do this mark round the perspex, i put a light score in it with a pair of callipers but I could have done it carefully with a screw/nail or even made up something.
then after you have your mark stick masking tape around the inside. making sure you get nice clean lines, keep the tape pulled out about 6inches and touch it to stick it evenly so you get a nice curve, on the inside curve use lots of little pieces of tape to make a curve, the corners cut the tape to give the right angle. then put a piece of paper over the middle and tape it so all that is showing is the 15mm edge,
now sand the edge lightly with a corse sand paper 400-800grit ish I know that the marks will show through but it will help the paint stick and it needs all the help it can get without primer on perspex. we then wiped it in acetone ( only a tiny bit or the perspex goes brittle and white) essentially to degrease it.
Step 5: Painting
or in our case spray, get board waiting pull off the masking tape to early.
The paint takes about 20 min to dry enough to remove the tape because it is matt black.
wait 24 hours to clean the perspex in case the paint is still soft and gets hurt.
Step 6: End Result
Step 7: Print Your Design
Then put the perspex over the paper and mark with a pencil where the buttons go and round it. The paper just fits all round hopefully
then cut out the buttons precisely.
and cut out the outer shape, no need to be to careful because you have a 1.5mm boarder so it is better to cut the outside 5mm short, makes a nice change being able to cut something out without worrying if you are missing the line!!
ours has Eddie from Iron Maiden on it because Rob is a fan.
the white one is cheaper to print but the second one on purple looked better, the possibilities are endless...
Step 8: Clip It In, and Turn It On
we were going to fit a sticky velcro strap on the back above the start/back buttons to stop it comming out but do to my amazing dremel skills (aka luck) it doesnt need it. so that will save the Â£2 for the sticky velcro (in case you need to use it we got the stick and sew velcro, it has one part very sticky and the other that is just velcro, stick a piece on the perspex and a piece on the guitar side then use the non sticky bit to connect the two. this will hold perspex in place, the neck holds the other end)
Step 9: All Done
I put a purple boarder on and a guitar hero logo, but the good bit about this is that you can have a folder with as many as you want in and change them whenever you like.
hope you liked this indestructible.
Ian & Rob
Step 10: Additional Support Velcro
Dont put the velco under the perspex because it will make the covers stick out too far, the guitar has a boarder all the way round that will keep it in, the switches help keep it still too and the fretboard on the neck keep the frontend locked in place. But if you still need velcro...
Get one piece of velcro about 2 inches long with the furry bit being sticky and the hooked bit not sticky, then we were going to cut the fury bit into 3 sections. then throw away the middle section leaving you with 2 short sticky fury bits and one long 2inch hooked bit now I would stick the first small furry bit to about 1inch above where the guitar strap connects at the back and then stick the other small furry bit on the outside of the perspex on the black boarder about the same height as the other bit we just stuck, now put the hooked bit on them going round the edge of the guitar, this would give it just a bit of down pressure.
The photo below shows where the velco goes on the guitar, (I used bodge tape so that it would show on the camera)
putting it overlapping the edge means that you can still use the old cover :)