I had planned a beautiful spalted maple over cherry wood project, but there was an accident with the luthier, ruining the wood, so I had to go to Plan B. For this plan, I’m going kind of cheap, for a fun little project; a home made Cabronita Telecaster.
I start with an XGP body from Guitar Fetish, which put me back about $85 cheap, shipping and all. It is a Telecaster style body, Daphne blue, dual humbucker. This is supposed to be one of their better bodies. Got it in, there are a couple of minor flaws, but all and all it is a pretty solid body with good cuts. The goal is to lightly sand it down and put a medium layer of nitrocellulose over the stock polyurethane finish. This is tricky, as some poly finishes will curl up and off
Next, I take a neck I bought some time back for almost $34, shipping and all, of eBay, from China. Actually, it isn’t a bad neck, although it doesn’t compare to a good US, Japanese or Mexican made neck. Here it is before we started, click for a better view:
I aged it down for around 3 days, and it looks a lot better, warmer, darker and more expensive. This was just using a low power rig, 6x 32w lamps, SG-1-40s with a lot of hours on them. Aging necks and the like is easy stuff. The thicker the finish, the slower it will age, and finishes that have the antique vintage tinting to them will likely take a very long time since the tinting obscures the UV. Personally, I hate fake tinting. It is just too easy to age it with real light.
Next, I decided to use some Gretsch pickups. Gretsch Blacktop FilterTron G5400, to be exact, the same used in the Tim Armstrong signature guitars. These are actually quite nice, and I found a great deal on them, $65 shipping and all, so I couldn’t argue. They give the guitar a twisted Cabronita sound and look. The rest of the hardware I will figure out later, I have plenty of parts in the spare parts bin for a bridge and the like.
Started putting the nitrocellulose over the urethane finish on the blue Telecaster, and there was NO curling up of the finish. That is a problem with some finishes, but I had it on good authority that I could maybe get away with it on urethane. This means that coating the necks shouldn’t be a problem either, as they always have a urethane finish. Once dried, I will try to finish check the nitro, to make it look like an old Daphne blue guitar, to age the top coat. I have to add the nitro to do this, urethane won’t age, it will just fade a bit.
Next, I will do the same with the neck, which had a light sealer or coat of urethane on it, but I want it aged before I put the nitrocellulose clear coat on. I’m thinking this will make a really interesting cheap guitar. Not sure if I will keep it or set it at cost of parts and finish materials when I’m done. I already have a couple of Cabronitas, but this has the promise of being something really unique, yet really inexpensive. Something that is worth more complete than the parts would have you believe.