Ready for assembly

Below I’ll show how to achieve a Candy Apple Red finish on a Stratocaster body. Candy Apple Red is based on the old custom car technique of spraying clear lacquer over a metallic base coat, and was Fenders only truly “custom” colour, all the others being repurposed car finishes. I have itemised the process …

The reason for doing this job was that I have not been able to find any other information about recreating this particular finish. I’ve been fortunate to be able to examine a number of mid/late fifties Gibson guitars to see how they were painted and here I’ve attempted to re-create that using aerosols (of …

This guitar is a long-term test guitar for a UK magazine. It was dropped on its face, suffering some damage from the plain strings to frets 17 and 18. A couple of higher frets were also lightly marked but this was damage which would dress out easily. As you can see below, the damage wasn’t …

I’m putting together a Stratocaster for a friend. It’s to match a Telecaster he has so will be painted in a creamy colour. This is the look we are going to achieve: The body, as is usual, is from Guitarbuild and it’s a beauty. Made from alder, it arrived really well sanded so virtually no preparation …

Shows the body of the completed guitar, sporting a fetching tortoiseshell style scratchplate

I often get asked how to spray a TV Yellow finish and have been meaning for a while to demonstrate the process, so here it is. I think it’s unlikely that TV Yellow guitars left the factory as yellow as they are today. As with “butterscotch” Telecasters the colour has become more yellow over …

Unwind until the saddle is against the far wall

NOTE This applies only to the original Schaller bridge and exact copies. I often read that people find it difficult to change the saddles in a Gibson “Nashville” bridge. This bridge was introduced in the mid 70s, replacing the original ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge which had been designed at Gibson in the early 1950s by Ted …

50s 2 tone strat replica

Tony is another regular customer who has produced some superb guitars painted using my nitrocellulose lacquer. I think he has excelled himself with this superb tribute to an early Fender Stratocaster using neck and body from Musikraft. Take a look at Tony’s post on TDPRI where he shows how be sprayed the sunburst and aged …

Switchcraft coil tap switch (left) and modern donor (right)

In the mid-70s, some Gibson semi-acoustics such as the ES-335 and ES-347 were fitted with coil splitting switches, which shorted out one coil of each pickup to provide a single coil sound. I think this was a nod to fashion as thanks to disco and in particular Nile Rogers, the Fender Stratocaster sound was …

Removing scratches from the frets using Micromesh pads

I covered fret dressing in this earlier post but will repeat the steps here for completeness. The pictures should tell the story but I’ll add some text where I think it’s necessary to explain further. The first job, before the frets can be leveled is to remove the lacquer from them. The easiest way to …

Clear lacquer applied over decal

Before spraying I sanded the neck again, checking that everything was clean and wiped over with a tack cloth to remove any dust. I then sprayed another couple of coats of Clear Gloss lacquer to seal before moving on to the tinted coat. You can spray with the neck hanging vertically, but I like …