First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
User avatar
blimpage
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:43 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:08 am

Oh god so many updates. I guess I'm in another part of the build where radical progress happens super quick, before things slow back down to a painfully glacial pace.

I finished sanding the body with increasingly fine grades of sandpaper, up to 320 at which point it was luxuriously smooth.

Then the body got two coats of sealer, and I got a goooood look at that beautiful grain one last time before I cover it up forever.

Image

Image

I'm still really impressed with how good the woodgrain looks. It doesn't look half bad for a 3-piece body that I chose with no consideration given to how it'd look natural (because I knew I'd be painting it with a solid colour)!

Then I got my first go at painting with a legit spray gun. I've painted with aerosol cans before, and I wasn't ready for how good the real thing is. Which led me to go a little bit overboard, and I ended up with some serious runs on the sides:

Image

That's what it looked like after it had dried and shrunk back a bit. It looked terrible while it was still wet - the instructor said I had "annihilated" it 😅

I spent a good while wet sanding those runs back with 1200 grit sandpaper. Then once it was nice and smooth again, I had a more successful second attempt at painting! Here it is dried:

Image
Image

That's it for the white! Next it'll get some black racing stripes, and then a buttload of clear. The clear will get a slight yellow tint, to take the colour from refrigerator white to ice cream white.

Meanwhile the neck has been sprayed with a few coats of sealer and tint, and the decal has gone on!

Image
Image

I'm super happy with the gold ink, and even unexpectedly chuffed that the gold ink is printed slightly offset from the black ink, poking out to the left of the black outline a little bit.

The borders of the decal are super visible at the moment, but I'm told that's normal, and they'll blend in a bit more with some clear coat on top of them. The plan is gloss on the front, and satin on the back.

I'm off to the beach for a short holiday now, which will undoubtedly be excellent, but I can't wait to get back and keep working on this!

User avatar
Rgand
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1006
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:55 pm

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Rgand » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:06 am

Nice so far. Love the tint on the neck.

User avatar
Shadoweclipse13
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 8459
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:22 pm
Location: Stuck in the dimension of imagination

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:51 pm

Very nice project overall! Love grain on the body and the color choices and everything 8)
Pickup Switching Mad Scientist
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=104282&p=1438384#p1438384

User avatar
blimpage
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:43 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:59 am

Time for more updates! I've only been able to work on this for a few hours every other week, which has been really painful. It's now been over a year since I started building this thing!

Got all the finish on the neck, so I got to take all the blue tape off and see that beautiful fretboard again for the first time in months!

Did a buttload of fret work to get everything level and smooth and shiny, and installed the tuners.

Image

Image

Masked off the body for racing stripes using pinstriping tape, and wrapped it up like a christmas present. Then sprayed black over the whole package.

Image

Image

After that, I was up to spraying clear coats on the body. My cats made that as difficult as possible, making sure some of their hair ended up in every single layer and I'd need to stop and sand it out between coats. Plenty still ended up in there. It's fine. They're part of it now.

Time to design a scratchplate! I figured out where the control plate would end up, then sketched out a rough shape on tracing paper on top of the body.

Image

Tidied that up into a nice solid outline, then transferred that onto some thick MDF and cut it out into a template. Screwed the template to a bit of scrap so that it could be chucked into a vice, with my scratchplate material attached to the top with double-sided tape. Then I ran a trim router with a flush-cut bit around the outside to cut the scratchplate to match the template. Previously I've always done this on a router table, but with this approach it was much easier to see what I was doing.

Image
Image

Cut a 45-degree bevel around the edges and it looks pretty nice!! Here it is on the body:

Image

Still gotta cut out spots for the pickups, bridge thimbles, and switch. It's not cut to the final shape around the neck pocket yet either - once I've got it in place on the body, I'll use the neck pocket as a template to route the pickguard to exactly the right shape!

Ended up a bit taller than your standard Mustang pickguard, since this build is a longer scale and I wanted the pickguard to run behind the bridge.

Image

We're getting there. The clear coats on the body are just about cured now, so I've got a whooooole lot of sanding and polishing coming up.

User avatar
Amon 7.L
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:45 am

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Amon 7.L » Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:44 am

Good job, man... you're getting there :)

User avatar
timtam
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:42 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by timtam » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:54 am

blimpage wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:59 am
Time to design a scratchplate! I figured out where the control plate would end up, then sketched out a rough shape on tracing paper on top of the body.

Image

Tidied that up into a nice solid outline, then transferred that onto some thick MDF and cut it out into a template. Screwed the template to a bit of scrap so that it could be chucked into a vice, with my scratchplate material attached to the top with double-sided tape. Then I ran a trim router with a flush-cut bit around the outside to cut the scratchplate to match the template. Previously I've always done this on a router table, but with this approach it was much easier to see what I was doing.

Image
Image

Cut a 45-degree bevel around the edges and it looks pretty nice!! Here it is on the body:

Image
That pickguard process is really interesting. I've been moaning on forums to anyone that would listen that someone needs to figure out a more painfree process for full pickguard manufacture that doesn't require pro tools like a router table etc. That would use an inexpensive trim router (laminate trimmer). You've made considerable progress in that direction ...
1. MDF template (how did you cut that out ?)
2. Trim router to cut pickguard blank to template (which one ? Looks like it might be a Makita ?). Did you cut down to a rough outline first, then trim to the template ?
3. Trim router for bevel.
4. What's the plan for the pickup holes ?

Equipment required:
Trim router with 2 bits.
Other equipment ?
Timtam (noun): Iconic Australian multi-layered chocolate biscuit.

User avatar
ThePearDream
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:18 am
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by ThePearDream » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:41 am

Great updates, it's looking really good. I've been enjoying seeing this come together.

User avatar
Tweedledee
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:41 am
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Tweedledee » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:44 am

This is my first time coming into this thread, and I love it! Great choices all around and beautiful work. Thanks for all of step-by-step updates. That's going to be one hell of a great guitar when you're done!

User avatar
blimpage
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:43 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:25 am

Thanks for all the very kind and encouraging comments gang! 😄
timtam wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:54 am
That pickguard process is really interesting. I've been moaning on forums to anyone that would listen that someone needs to figure out a more painfree process for full pickguard manufacture that doesn't require pro tools like a router table etc. That would use an inexpensive trim router (laminate trimmer). You've made considerable progress in that direction ...
1. MDF template (how did you cut that out ?)
2. Trim router to cut pickguard blank to template (which one ? Looks like it might be a Makita ?). Did you cut down to a rough outline first, then trim to the template ?
3. Trim router for bevel.
4. What's the plan for the pickup holes ?

Equipment required:
Trim router with 2 bits.
Other equipment ?
Yeah the whole process seemed pretty neat to me! I can't take any credit for deciding to do it that way though - I'm just following directions from the instructor.

I did leave out a few steps and use a few more tools. The full process would be:

1. Cut your design out from thick paper so that it's super easy to trace around.
2. Trace the design out onto some thick MDF. I think the stock I used was 24mm thick.
3. Roughly cut the MDF to your shape using a band saw.
4. Using a belt sander and a bobbin sander, refine the rough shape down to your final outline.
5. Use a sanding block or a fine file to smooth out the edges of the template as much as humanly possible.
6. Grab a scrap of timber to attach to the underside of your template so that the template can be mounted in a vice. Size doesn't matter too much - the important part is that it should not overhang the edges of your template, so that the router bit doesn't hit it later. Attach the scrap to your template, using countersunk screws running down through the top of your template into the timber.
7. Trace out the shape of your template onto your pickguard blank. If you're me, this step takes an extra long time because you've got a black pickguard and no pens that are visible on black, so you need to use yellow tape to mark out the shape. Then you realise you did it on the wrong side of the pickguard blank, so you need to flip out over and start again. 🙃
8. Roughly cut your pickguard blank to the shape you traced out using a scroll saw, leaving about 2mm around your line.
9. Attach your pickguard blank to the top of your template using double-sided tape.
10. Mount the template into a vice.
11. Using a trim router with a straight flush-cut bit, trim the pickguard to match the template!
12. Swap to a 45-degree bearing bit to cut the bevelled edges.

So yeah, still involves some big expensive tools. But doesn't have to - all the rough cutting could be done with a jigsaw or hand saw, and the sanding could be done by hand if you've got the patience.

Pickup holes will be done with pre-cut router templates - I don't know of a good way to do them neatly without a decent existing template.

User avatar
blimpage
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:43 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:18 am

It's done babey!!!!!!!!!

Image

Last coupla steps were:
  • A whole lotta really slow wet sanding
  • Some comparatively speedy polishing with a handheld buffer
  • Applying lemon oil to the fretboard
  • Finally mounting the neck to the dang body!
  • Installing everything into the body and wiring the electronics (super simple - 3-way switch, single volume and tone)
  • Stringing it up so I could shape and slot the nut
And done! It's already been put through its paces at band practise last night, and it didn't disappoint. Feels and plays exactly how I was hoping, with some serious kick from that humbucker.

I'll try and get some better photos of it in the next few days, because it really has come up a treat. I couldn't be happier!

User avatar
Rgand
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1006
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:55 pm

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Rgand » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:31 am

Clean and fresh looking. Nice job. Glad to hear it performs the way you want it to.

User avatar
greens
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:59 am

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by greens » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:18 pm

Nice! What did you use for paint?

User avatar
Futuron
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 537
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:19 am
Location: Australia

Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Futuron » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:13 pm

Congratulations, it looks great

Post Reply