Introduction: Guitar Modifications, Painting and Tinkering
To start off i just wanna say that this is not a tutorial, as with most of the logs i make, this is more of a worklog then anything else. when im making something i tend to get stuck in and forget to properly document my work or my thought process.
Step 1: Concept and First Goal
The idea was pretty simple; since the guitar was pretty scratched up and frankly, looked like every other guitar of this type. The solution was a new paint job, not only would it fill the scratches but it will also give the guitar a custom look.
I sketched out the guitar roughly. then i coloured it as i saw it, then using those colour fills i swaped out different colours it could be, just to see how it looked. After a while i picked my favorite colour combination; black on black.
Step 2: Electric Guitar Painting
So i had a pretty cheap guitar i wanted to modify and learn from. All of the plastic parts of the guitar where a white plastic, instead i wanted to change them to black for a different look to the standard black and white that i see everywhere to a more black on black look with the metallic highlights from the screws, pickups and strings.
To start i just striped off all the white parts from the body and electrics, including the pickup guards and even the controls. before i painted the knobs from the controls i did cut them down to a much simpler shape.
I used a primer once i had sanded the surfaces, the reason i sanded was because the plastic already had a few scratches in, so i wanted to fill them nicely before using the black paint.
To apply the black i used lots of very thin dusted layers, keeping the layers even.
Step 3: The Finish
I left a few hours after each paint layer, then i left it for a few days to properly cure. something i could of done to give it more shine would be wet sanding, but i wasn't too interested to make it look too shiny. another thing i could of done is take a razor blade to the edge of the scratch plate and use it to chamfer or bevel the edge. that would reveal the white plastic underneath, giving it a pretty nice accent. but i didn't.
Step 4: Head Concept
After a while i looked at the guitar again and started thinking about its shape. i drew up the head of the guitar and thought about different shapes i could create without compromising the structure.
After some sketching I really liked of different i could make it look with just two straight cuts. So i took the strings off and took a saw to it.
Step 5: The Result
I didn't take and photos of the process but believe me when i say all i used was a rusty saw and some sand paper. anyone could do it. i didn't even mark out the cuts, just went straight for it.
Step 6: Body Reshape Concept
After some more time, i started to think; if it was so easy to change the head with nothing but a rusty saw and some sand paper, then why not change the body.
At this point in time this wasn't my only electric guitar, so i thought; this one needs to different. so how about one that was easier to carry around, one that didnt take up as much room? a perfect opportunity to use the good'ol rust saw.
Step 7: The Finished Result
After i took the neck off the body I roughly cut up the body along the lines i planned. Once i had the shape down to something i liked i then sanded the entire body, taking the shine off the already painted parts so that when i painted it after, the paint had something to stick to and the paint would be a uniform matte throughout.
Once i had it pained i decided to remake the scratch plate out of clear acrylic. i used the old one as a guide to cut a new one from acrylic sheet.
As for electronics, i wanted to really simplify the amount of wires and components, because of the now limited space. after some experimenting i eventually took out all the pots and switch to have a single pickup lined to the jack. i was thinking of then using two pickups that were switched through the three way switch then straight to the jack. but i scraped the guitar in the end.
I learnt alot from these mini-projects, i went into this not knowing much about even whats inside a guitar. It was alot of fun and i hope this can inspire others to how easy this kind of thing can be.