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aria pro strat-type project

 
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Nick
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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Location: Albany, NY

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: aria pro strat-type project Reply with quote

Started work on this a couple days ago...original ngd thread here: http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=44352

It was a gift from Lauren's parents. It was a nice gesture and I kind of felt bad that I was a bit "past" it. It really isn't a half bad guitar, but the hardware and pickups were pretty crap. I decided that eventually I'd make it into something worthy.

As it was when I got it (after cleaning and sticker removal)

Originally I thought I'd make it easy and just replace parts, but the factory finish was so crap I realized it would be better to just sand that shit down and start over.

So far I've sanded it down and started to prime. Been a long time since I took on a refin...I haven't had practice since my last attempts, but I have a lot more patience than I did back then and so far it seems to be showing.




I almost like the primer enough to leave it as is, but I think I'm going to see it through to the metallic brown I picked out. I'm thinking of a black 3 ply pickguard with a marauderesqe neck bucker (probably GFS dearmond type hum sized single), and a brighton rocks single in the bridge. Upgrade the tuners, bridge and electronics and call it a day.
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Joey
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People who don't play guitars, shouldn't buy other people who play guitars a guitar.

I don't have the heart to get rid of the POS guitar my mom bought for my daughter for her 5th birthday.
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Nick
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd agree, but it was surely a yardsale find for them, I doubt they spent more than $15 on it. Either way, despite the cheap hardware it was a pretty nice playing guitar. I put a couple random alnico pickups in it (one from a mim 60's strat, one duncan designed), and it was my "apartment" guitar until we bought our house (being the only solidbody and therefore quietest unplugged).

I know plenty of guys who have bought those awful Squier 51s and thrown a hundred or two in parts at them to make them unique and solid backup guitars. This was already a better built guitar than those were to start with, and what I'm doing isn't really any different. It also reminds me a bit of my first guitar, which was a Samick strat copy from the same era and country of origin (mid 90s, Korean). I don't know, I guess I'm an optimist when it comes to free gear. Laughing. It's definitely no first act or anything at least
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NickD
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does look good in the primer, but definitely paint it, primer is porous and will let moisture through.
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ekwatts
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squier 51s weren't awful. They were great guitars in their own right. They also happened to be a really good platform for creating something unique.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Had to do a bit of "routing" to move the bridge pickup back to accommodate a fender pickguard. Not pretty, but certainly not my worst. I used a drill and some dremel bits.

Here's a kisekae model of what the end result should look like, with more generic looking pickups than what I intend to put in.

Parts list:
Custom Warmoth Pickguard ($25+$7 Shipping)
Neck P/U: GFS Surf 90 7.2k Neck - http://store.guitarfetish.com/Surf-90-BlackChrome-Neck-Position_p_1512.html $(35)
Bridge P/U: GFS Brighton Rocks 8K bridge - http://store.guitarfetish.com/Brighton-Rock-8K-Single-Alnico-Pickup_p_1517.html ($30)
Wiring: GFS Telecaster Wiring Harness - http://www.guitarfetish.com/Telecaster-Complete-Wiring-Harness-Pre-Assembled-USA-Switch-_p_7105.html ($21)
total shipping from GFS ($10)

Total for project (minus paint and sandpaper): $128.

I decided not to try to upgrade the bridge and tuners just yet-if I'm happy with how the project turns out and I end up playing this guitar a bit, I may upgrade them as well.

If this 0 feedback fucker from eBay would pay me for my damn keytar maybe I could order some of this shit.
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Bacchus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really love the original guard on this. It's cool as fuck, especially the way one pickup is only half covered.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, now that I've expanded the route there's no going back now. I liked the bridge pickup part too, but unless I made my own pickguard I'd have to keep the three singles and the one ply.

If anyone's interested in the pickguard for their own project, they can have it for the cost of shipping. Mind you, it will fit a strat body just fine, but only if you route the bridge pickup yourself, as it's closer to the neck than on a fender
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Nick
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First coat of paint done today....didn't do much practice since I was worried I'd run out (I only bought one can of a discontinued color from a dollar store out of town). Mostly went on nice, there's a couple dark spots. Going to need some fine sanding in spots and another coat.

I absolutely love the color though. Kind of a CAR (caramel apple red)

Not entirely sold on the black pickguard anymore...thinking now either cream, black, possibly aged pearl. Open to suggestions (as if anyone cares about a budget strat copy build)


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Nick
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been doing a lot of clear sprays and light/wet sanding.....the metallic now seems a bit dull but at least the paint's even without any flaws I can see (aside from the dullness). Hoping more clear and polish will help with that.

It kind of went from my idea of brightass scumbag brown to this pleasant variation of burgundy mist.

Had to take this photo in my basement bathroom for the color to come out right on my cell phone camera.




Right now I'm torn between ordering a custom pickguard for the two pickups in it now (fender 60s classic in the bridge, some duncan designed alnico in the neck), or ordering a plain strat pickguard and putting the money saved towards a lace red/silver/blue like Corgan's back in the day.
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Dillon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha I remember when you got this thing, I thought for sure you would've thrown it on CL for $50 or left it sitting around in a closet forever.

Nick wrote:
I've been doing a lot of clear sprays and light/wet sanding.....the metallic now seems a bit dull but at least the paint's even without any flaws I can see (aside from the dullness). Hoping more clear and polish will help with that.

Actually that's just what happens when you wet sand metallic paint. The pressure flattens the metal flakes and forces them to sort of bunch up together. If you spray clear over it now it will shine, but it won't be as "metallic" looking. Most people (myself included) find this out the hard way Sad You wet sand the primer. Then you just paint over it and do the best job you can. Then you spray clear. The clear kind of melts into the paint, and after many layers of clear, THEN you can do the fine wet sanding. It's why metallic colors always used to cost more until cheap mass production came about---much more labor to it than solid colors. I kind of like the dull metallic look honestly, but if it bothers you, you're at a point where you can just spray more paint over it.
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cur
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did metallic copper and black on my last build and it bonerific IMHO.

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Nick
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dang, that is hot sauce....I may have to go black after all, though I'll probably do 3 ply.


Dillon-yeah I know what you mean about the metallic. ...I did spray some more after I sanded last but it probably wasn't enough. I knew I should have bought more than one can of this stuff from the closeout store I got it from. I sprayed some more clear today, it's looking better. This thing did end up in the closet for a while, but actually saw quite a bit of use when I had my apartment and was paranoid about making loud noise (being the only solid body 6 string I had). It's a good platform for a project like this, the neck and body are good quality, it even has a recessed heel. I haven't had a project to work on for like 8 years, so in that way it's more fun than $50 on craigslist.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So after sitting on this for a few months not really happy with my results I started wet sanding more and bought a can of turtle wax polish/scratch remover. It turns out I just wasn't done. Hopefully this picture shows the improvement. I feel like at this point I must have worn down past the clearcoats I put over my orange peel finish, but I don't really care. The finish is actually smooth and shiny now.

The parts I linked to earlier in this thread have now been ordered.



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Nick
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pickguard came today! Fits good, only thing is I haven't ordered a Warmoth pickguard before...."SRV Countersunk pickup holes" should be the standard option. It's only been a feature on every Fender and Fender styled guitar I've ever played-I avoided this feature because I couldn't imagine they'd make such a standard feature an option and attributed to SRV at that...Oh well, I had feared this, but figured I can always cut/dremel the screw holes if that was the case, so I did.


The cavity will need a bit of minor adjustments to fit the controls as they are on the pickguard. Anyway, here's a mockup of how it sits now. The color does not photograph well at all-in most lighting it's darker and glossier like in the picture above, but you get the idea.



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Nick
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaaaand done for the day. Need to let the basement air out of the smell of burning wood.

But at least the pickguard lines up now. Wiring tomorrow, maybe Wednesday. Might polish some more in the meantime.


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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks great, I like what you've done with the pickup configuration and control placement too.
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