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> Your Modded Or Diy Guitars, Show what You did to Your guitars :)
Darius Wave
post Jul 29 2017, 10:59 AM
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Let's share some of our self-customised instruments!

I have been in love with guitars for many years. Not only playing-wsie but overall construction. I'm not able to call myself a luthier but let's say I have a lot of experience in quite advanced guitar service. I can even call myself addicted to buying cheap guitars and making a lot of unreasonable work and expenses to see how much I can pull out of them. Probably most of reasonable people will simply collect the cash and buy something serious...but somehow I'm not able to smile.gif


Here's one of my latest DIY advanced guitar tweaking smile.gif Temporary I call it "The Crow" smile.gif

Attached Image

Attached Image




Originally it has been a Hohner Birmingham.

Around 15 years ago I had a period of reshaping the guitars but as a teenager I had not much money for tools and some other necessary stuff. I had to abandon this project for a looong time. Now I feel like I got a little "old" guitar shape-wise, and if doing ti these days, I would pass on doing any weird body cuts. But it has been done so I left it the way it was smile.gif

It spent all these years in a closet and I finally decided to put it together this year.

No what the mods were:

1. Cut the headstock and made 3x3 shape instead of 6 in line
2. Painted the headstock and kept rest of the neck transparant. All has been finished with a clear coat, while originally it was just a "economic" layer of sating finish
3. Installed locking tuners
4. Replaced plastic nut with graphite one
5. Changed the neck to body angle (I wanted strings to be much closer to the body, so I've profiled the neck pocket)
6. Reshaped the body. Aside from obvious, huge cut, there are a lot of smothened, rounded profiles, that hasn't been there before
7. Replaced one-piece tune-o-matic kind of bridge with a hard-tail strat type. Wanted to have precise adjustment for each string separetly +
ability to set strings closer to the body, which was not able even if I would drill a way too deep holes for a stock bride mounting shafts.
8. Made a custom pickguard
9. Replaced stock humbuckers with SD SH-4 and STK-S4 pickups. Decided to go for a humb + single combination, which is what I actually really use these days
10. Totally reshaped electronics cavity - moved the pots away from bridge and placed a slot for 5-way switch
11. Covered old cavity for toggle switch
12. Installed a complexl copper shielding
13. Replaced electronics with a descent ones
14. Installed 5-way mega-switch that gives me these particular options:
- bridge pickup / humbucker
- bridge pickup / split
- bridge split + neck split
- neck pickup / split (dummy coil turned off for more presence)
- neck pickup /noiseless mode (for bad noise conditions at some venues)
15. Replaced tone knobs with a black. LP types


The only thing I'm missing, but it's only a matter of time, is a graphite bridge saddles. I love them since they reallygive me the comfort of not thinking about strings breackage while playing a gig. They affect the tone but within a tolerance range I accept smile.gif

Tonally it came like something between strat and music man guitars. It's made of alder, maple and rosewood. The idea was to made a cheap guitar just for some live jamming etc. It turned out so well, that I actually use it quite a lot lately for all my projects.


This is how it looked before:
Attached Image


SHOW ME AND TELL SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MODIFIED GUITARS smile.gif

This post has been edited by Darius Wave: Jul 29 2017, 11:00 AM


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Mertay
post Jul 29 2017, 04:18 PM
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Thats serious work there! we all see many custom guitars on web etc. but to me yours look like one of the big brands prototype!!!


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Darius Wave
post Jul 30 2017, 10:56 AM
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Thx Mertay. I wish I could say I made it from a scratch but....you know smile.gif


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bleez
post Jul 30 2017, 12:36 PM
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thats an insane level of work ohmy.gif I agree with Mertay, it looks like a pro level proto.
Are you not tempted to build one from scratch, with an 'old guy' shape? wink.gif Im sure it would be at the level of any of the good boutique builders.
what is it with Poland, you guys seem to produce some of the coolest guitar builders.


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 31 2017, 07:53 AM
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Impressive!! I'm not a luthier or anything even close. I could not pull this off to save my life. Really well done and it looks like a true custom shop build!

Todd



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yoncopin
post Jul 31 2017, 04:36 PM
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I'm with you Darius. I'm no expert either but I've had expensive and cheap guitars and to me price doesn't really equate to the most playable, or "highest quality" if you want to call it that. I've attempted a lot of fixes and mods from electronics to fret leveling. Some have worked out and some haven't but every time I try I get closer to being free of the desire for expensive guitars forever. The cheap ones are often fine instruments which just need some finishing work. Once you have those skills you can buy $300 guitars and make them play like $1000 guitars. That's a lot of savings and because they don't cost much I'm never afraid of messing one up or selling one to try something different. You can just keep sampling new ones smile.gif

Your project looks awesome, what did you use for the pickguard material and what was your painting technique? The paint seems to be the most challenging to get professional results.

This post has been edited by yoncopin: Jul 31 2017, 04:40 PM


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Sensible Jones
post Jul 31 2017, 05:54 PM
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One of my favourite ones that I built for a Customer last year:-
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image

At the moment I'm actually working on something for myself!!
A Mahogany 'San Dimas' type with a Quarter Sawn Maple Neck and original 80's 'Down Only' Floyd Rose. Haven't made a final decision on the Pickup yet or whether to Rout it for a Neck Pickup too as I have a pair of Seymour SH 10 and SH 6 that aren't doing anything else!!
Attached Image


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Darius Wave
post Aug 1 2017, 10:58 AM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Jul 30 2017, 11:36 AM) *
thats an insane level of work ohmy.gif I agree with Mertay, it looks like a pro level proto.
Are you not tempted to build one from scratch, with an 'old guy' shape? wink.gif Im sure it would be at the level of any of the good boutique builders.
what is it with Poland, you guys seem to produce some of the coolest guitar builders.



I'm sure if I ever decide to build another one it would be definitely "the old guy" shape " biggrin.gif Isn't it natural that while growing, we go towards simplicity instead of "fancy fireworks" ?biggrin.gif I'm just asking since I still feel like kid comparing to some of You guys smile.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 31 2017, 06:53 AM) *
Impressive!! I'm not a luthier or anything even close. I could not pull this off to save my life. Really well done and it looks like a true custom shop build!

Todd


Thx Todd! Well I'm far from calling myself a luthier but I always enjoy messing with guitar mods, as much as playing them smile.gif


QUOTE (yoncopin @ Jul 31 2017, 03:36 PM) *
I'm with you Darius. I'm no expert either but I've had expensive and cheap guitars and to me price doesn't really equate to the most playable, or "highest quality" if you want to call it that. I've attempted a lot of fixes and mods from electronics to fret leveling. Some have worked out and some haven't but every time I try I get closer to being free of the desire for expensive guitars forever. The cheap ones are often fine instruments which just need some finishing work. Once you have those skills you can buy $300 guitars and make them play like $1000 guitars. That's a lot of savings and because they don't cost much I'm never afraid of messing one up or selling one to try something different. You can just keep sampling new ones smile.gif

Your project looks awesome, what did you use for the pickguard material and what was your painting technique? The paint seems to be the most challenging to get professional results.



Thank you smile.gif I agree....once you start and get some experience at guitar service, your point of view at this instrument totally changes. You take a cheap guitar and you can somehow feel that if wood delivers proper sustain, everything else can be fixed by yourself smile.gif Also it's really a great fun - like you said - you are not afraid to mess things up, and it's easy to sell one to buy another....for continuos fun smile.gif I'm not banning expensive guitars. Making that work myslef I really understand why some people want so much for their guitars....to make things perfect it really takes time and work....now the price contains parts cost and taxes as well...so it's not really a money "rip-off"...I guess


AS for the painting....Og yes...It has been a nightmare for years - especially for a home-grown "luthiers". These days luckily we have insane avaiability of painting products from all over the world. Lately I would out a car sprawy called Colormatic 2K. It's an acrilic paint but it has 2 advantages - the hardener is separated and you need to "release" it right before painting. Then to paint has to be used within 24 hours. This way you get much harder surface than with regular acrilic pain, that has much less hardener. Second advantage is a pro nozzle that gives same effect as professional painting pistol.

I'm still experimenting with it. By far I'm sure it quickly gets "dust-dry" for sanding and is great for further polishing. I'm not sure how much it will take for it to 100% cure to get the "poliurethane hardness" but will find out. What I know for sure....it's worth to really let it cure before sanding....other wise some part of the job gets lost because some "covered" shapes of wood, and fills can becoma visible again...while paint will continue to cure.


QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Jul 31 2017, 04:54 PM) *
One of my favourite ones that I built for a Customer last year:-
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image

At the moment I'm actually working on something for myself!!
A Mahogany 'San Dimas' type with a Quarter Sawn Maple Neck and original 80's 'Down Only' Floyd Rose. Haven't made a final decision on the Pickup yet or whether to Rout it for a Neck Pickup too as I have a pair of Seymour SH 10 and SH 6 that aren't doing anything else!!
Attached Image



Well..yeah...that's the simplicity I would rather go for these days smile.gif Great piece of work with that first guitar....love the look of regular covered humbucker and a P90 smile.gif I belive the second one will look as good smile.gif Please...don't leave it without a neck pickup tongue.gif


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Sensible Jones
post Aug 1 2017, 12:20 PM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Aug 1 2017, 10:58 AM) *
Well..yeah...that's the simplicity I would rather go for these days smile.gif Great piece of work with that first guitar....love the look of regular covered humbucker and a P90 smile.gif I belive the second one will look as good smile.gif Please...don't leave it without a neck pickup tongue.gif

Thanks Darius! Those pickups sounded amazing, they were hand made by a friend of the Customer.
The San Dimas will look great, it's just going to have a semi-polished Oil finish but I may stain the filler Black when I do the Grain Filling to highlight it (or maybe that should be Lo-light? huh.gif ).
This is a test patch I did with just the Oil:-
Attached Image
So, by adding Black it will make the darker part of the grain stand out with a bit more contrast to the lighter parts. Plus that's only 2 or 3 coats of Oil and the full finish will end up being at least 8!!!

I may build it with just the one Pickup to start with and see how usable it is and then add a Neck one later on if I want to!

This post has been edited by Sensible Jones: Aug 1 2017, 12:25 PM


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Darius Wave
post Aug 2 2017, 09:40 AM
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I do the same smile.gif -I use brown instead of black to expose the grain smile.gif


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Sensible Jones
post Aug 2 2017, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Aug 2 2017, 09:40 AM) *
I do the same smile.gif -I use brown instead of black to expose the grain smile.gif

I use brown too, usually on lighter coloured woods though, or on Maple Caps before Colour Staining!
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif


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Darius Wave
post Aug 3 2017, 10:59 AM
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I was having some fun with veneer but I had to make a break for paint to cure. Unfortunately it started to create an "old man skin" surface. The problem is that while glueing the veneer did curved irregularly and with a solid wood I could simply sand this down before painting. Unfortunately in this case I would not only loose the cool stain effect I got, but also I could easily sand off the wood grain "pattern" sad.gif I have to wait until it get's totally dry to apply some more coats and to work out an even surface by sanding the paint itself...

It was weird because I was workign with this exact type of paint before, and I was applying that much of coats without any issues. This time there was a surprise and I'm not sure where did it came from....Maybe a stain itself or an air bubbles under the veneer made this to happen sad.gif


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Sensible Jones
post Aug 3 2017, 02:18 PM
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Sounds like there was some moisture somewhere, that's what usually is responsible for that 'crazing' effect in paint finishes.
And yes, that's the problem with veneers is that there isn't a lot of material to rectify any problems!


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Darius Wave
post Aug 8 2017, 11:50 AM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Aug 3 2017, 01:18 PM) *
Sounds like there was some moisture somewhere, that's what usually is responsible for that 'crazing' effect in paint finishes.
And yes, that's the problem with veneers is that there isn't a lot of material to rectify any problems!



That's what I think as well. Will let it cure for some longer time before applying more coats. I belive I will still be able to recreate flat surface once there will be enough layers to compensate some curves of the veneer


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 3 2017, 09:26 PM
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It certainly looks wads better!!! Maybe cut one in to a semi strandbergish style at some point? I'm sure that guitar would bring good money. I notice it has no logo on the headstock? Seems incomplete without it just pinch. Maybe make some sort of logo to help "brand" your work and let people know it's you doing it. Mr. Bogner called his company BOGNER AMPS. Guitar luthiers / tweakers have a bit more flexibility smile.gif Using your name works or you can use something else, E.G. DAEMONESS guitars has a cool name and it's not the name of the main builder.

Just something on there to let people know it's been modded by a talented guy and it's not some chinese knock off or something. Wee what I mean? But like all advice, feel free to ignore, its just given in an honest attempt to help smile.gif

Todd


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Darius Wave
post Sep 5 2017, 01:54 PM
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Thanx for tip Todd. I may think of it once/if I decide to sell it. I have real problem to split with any guitar of mine biggrin.gif I not thinking of promoting myself as a luthier. I'm not one - I would not take an order for such a work from somebody external smile.gif I don't have proper tools to make things done within reasonable amoutn of time. Most of this is done by hand with simple tools or DIY tools for specific purposes. It gives me joy because it taks so much time to make things work smile.gif I think I would rather stick to this smile.gif BTW Have you notice Ola Englud is startting his own brand guitars?


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