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Unread 05-20-2004, 12:21 PM   #1
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Now here is a hot-rod story gone horribly wrong!

Some guy over at birds and moons posted this. I thought you guys would get a kick out of it:

Those poor guitars. Ever experiment badly?

SO I was reading the first guitar thread and it made me laugh because of a couple stories in there. It also made me think through the life and times of my first guitar and reminded me of some experimentations that I demolished it with.

What botched guitar experiments did you commit? Here's my story:

My very first guitar of my own (i.e. not borrowed), was a black Area Pro II strat wannabe in all chrome hardware and black plastic bits. 3 singles, 5-way. All the usual stratoid features. It also had a vintage style trem in an age where pretty much everything else on the racks was a Hot-Rod Strat wannabe complete with licensed Floyd. I got it brand new with a spanking brand new Crate amp, pumping a heart stopping 30 WATTS of pure unadulterated solid state power, baby! YEAH!

That guitar is no longer among the living. Let's see. So I decided I was qualified to perform experimentations on it after I got my second guitar (a hot lipstick red Area Pro II with a pair of humbuckers. Big improvement )

The first thing I did to the APII was strip the finish so I could cop that 70s au-natural feel to the guitar. Thing is, when the paint came off there was a sort of MDF/Masonite type substance under there. Ha ha ha. Man was I pissed. I repainted it black, but only after I cut off the treble side horn and sanded it out smooth to the rest of the body to create a Vox teardrop/meets strat look. Of course the first time I put it on my knee...

So then my next attempt to "fix" this guitar, was to fix the body for it. Having no clue what the hell I was doing, there was no way I would be able to fashion a neck pocket or route pickups. Beleive me, I wanted to. I was checking out books from the library, including the one How to Build Your Own Electric Guitar. The one that had the full scale blueprints in it.

I started to read the book, but all that "technical mumbo jumbo" made my eyes gloss over like math homeowork and I just wanted to get started cutting something. SO after a trip to the hardware store with my Mom (she was an enabler and unwilling accomplice), I returned home with several 2x2 strips of the finest hand-picked pine I could find. Oh baby. Heh. With that and a bottle of Elmers wood glue I was all set. Took them home and I fashioned 2 laminated body blank wings, like butcher blocks. A technique I'd previously mastered in 8th Grade shop class and one I knew would come to serve me well in life. This will hopefully all make sense, so stay with me here.

I cut all the pine boards to a length a little longer than the existing guitar body. I glued the strips together to make the laminated butcher block type blanks and to clamp them together I put one edge against the garage wall and cinder blocks on the other side. Heh.

In all honesty those laminated pieces didn't turn out too bad. The rest of it is another matter though. SO, my desire was to do something about the damage I'd done to the original body. I obviously couldn't build the body from scratch. No router, and no skills. I had the book about building guitars, but it was too complicated, and besides I had a hornless, but otherwise perfectly good piece of MDF-type stuff to work with. I proceeded to cut off both sides of the body, leaving the center portion that contained the neck pocket and pickup routes intact. The plan was to use these butcher blocks as new body wings that I could stain. SO, now I had a blank canvas from which to fashion by own body shape (sort of). I created the nastiest explorer type thing for the top part and the bottom edge was more strattish but not as curvy. Come to think of it, it wasn't too much unlike a current DiPinto, except it was the finish tht made it "wrongheaded". I actually did a pretty decent job of cutting everythng with my Dad's circular saw and jigsaw. Used the belt sander to smooth everything out.

Here's where it got really artistic. I painted the center portion of the guitar, the MDF-type core in a glossy opaque black. Hair fuzz, runny streaks and all. Determined to get a cool natural wood look on the guitar like in the How-to book, I then proceeded to stain the wings in a walnut type color stain. It went all streaky because of the way the pine (and wood glue) took the stain. I then uruthaned the whole shebang. The pickguard had been modified, i.e. I cut the horn off of the pickguard with the aforementioned jigsaw and sanded it down back when I cut the horn from the original body. Put it all back together and proceeded to play it for at least 3 or 4 months before I realized I'd pretty well destroyed it as a guitar
The urethane never really dried 100% and you could leave fingerprints in the finish if you poked at it hard.

So the next thing I did was to make it a bass. Meaning I cut the headstock into a shape not unlike a Parker Fly, so that I had 2 less tuner holes in the headstock. Smoothed it out with the beltsander and sandpaper. Tuned the 4 strings down, and viola, instant bass. Oh my,

I can't remember anything else after that. I probably passed out from all the wood dust and fumes from the guitar.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Let's hear yours.

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Unread 05-20-2004, 04:56 PM   #2
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That's sad, my friend.


The worst thing I've ever done to my guitar? Well, for one, I can't believe I actually bought it...

Umm, let's see. Pretty much nothing. Although I used to carry it around in a careless fashion and banged it up (along with the drywall). Just dents and dings.
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Unread 05-20-2004, 05:30 PM   #3
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I hope I never screw things up that bad...
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Unread 05-20-2004, 06:49 PM   #4
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I have this morbid desire to see pictures of this thing!





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Unread 05-20-2004, 06:57 PM   #5
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oh yes pictures..... that's what I want to see. Well I haven't done any hot rodding...yet! lol I want a cheap deal that I can disect into what I want.... oh yes the ultimate guitar. Anyways awesome story, made me laugh. I really liked the part where you turned it into a bass
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Unread 05-20-2004, 08:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom
I have this morbid desire to see pictures of this thing!





yeah kinda like rubber necking an accident
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Unread 05-20-2004, 08:45 PM   #7
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That is totally hilarious. I'd be too afraid to try anything like that, lol. I'll stick with stock.
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Unread 05-20-2004, 09:44 PM   #8
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not nearly as bad though, as a Taylor 614ce i saw in texas in a store...the guy in the store said the guy that bought it felt the need to hot rod it himself...or something...

he took out the fishman electronics...and put in way worse electronics...don't remember what...

he tried to adjust the trust rod, action, bridge, and nut...all himself...screwed it up terribly...

he somehow took the label off the inside of the guitar....

basically, turned a $2500 guitar into complete crap.

now that is hot rodding gone wrong.
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Unread 05-20-2004, 09:55 PM   #9
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Ironically, that's exactly how I started when I built my Utah - for real, no joke - only after about the first paragraph from above anecdote my version looks radically different.

Chesh
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Unread 05-21-2004, 05:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Ironically, that's exactly how I started when I built my Utah - for real, no joke - only after about the first paragraph from above anecdote my version looks radically different.

Chesh


Yeah, but chesh at LEAST you can say you have a workable guitar. This poor soul tried to turn a guitar into a bass! LOL!!!

Last edited by webe123; 05-21-2004 at 05:27 AM.
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Unread 05-21-2004, 05:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainer123


I hope I never screw things up that bad...

Me neither. I think though that we KNOW that we are not luthiers....that poor guy obviously didn't. HE! HE!

Last edited by webe123; 05-21-2004 at 05:26 AM.
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Unread 05-21-2004, 05:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom
I have this morbid desire to see pictures of this thing!







I don't think he has any, but I will ask him! couldn't hurt......but it sure woould be hilarious
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Unread 05-21-2004, 05:26 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=I really liked the part where you turned it into a bass [/QUOTE]


Yeah that was my favorite part, but the story was about somebody else doing it, not me. I don't think I would have the guts to do what he did to that poor guitar.
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Unread 05-21-2004, 08:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webe123
Yeah, but chesh at LEAST you can say you have a workable guitar. This poor soul tried to turn a guitar into a bass! LOL!!!
Umm... As I look over that list, that's the only good thing he did to the thing.

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Unread 05-21-2004, 10:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Visirale
Umm... As I look over that list, that's the only good thing [turning a guitar into a bass] he did to the thing.

Well, you would think so, right V?

BTW, who's the person in your avvy pic?

Chesh
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