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Senior Project Help


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Hello everyone,

I've been reading the fourm for a while and now I need to ask a favor. At my school there is a program called senior project. The program lasts for 5 weeks. I am proposing to re-finish guitar. The shop teacher will not aprove of the idea unless all 150 hours are going to be used. What can I propose to do that will fill up 150 hours?

I thought if I re-finished 3 guitars it would be enough?

I would be doing the works including veneer and a custom paint job mabey even re wireing the pickups and electronics.

Please telll me how many hours similar projects that you have done took.

Im frustrated because I think that re-finishing 3 for a biginer is more than enough but I need some people with kwnoledge to testify to it.

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You could build a strat, from scratch, including building in 150 hours if you do your research/reading in advance. Even for a first guitar. Heck, go for a telecaster or other fixed-bridge-no-neck-angle instrument to make things a little simpler. Look at GuitarFrenzy's strat building tutorial, or browse through this directory (my own) for pics of fender-style instruments being built at a relatively brisk pace:


Re-finishing, IMO, isn't all that much fun, it's tiring, and requires a fair amount of skill to really nail perfectly, and does not take 50 hours per guitar. Prep can take maybe 5-6 hours, if you're sanding off Poly or something, but even then, good power sanders help lots. Give yourself 4 hours to work out the exact staining/colour you want to use. Spraying is a 3 day jobbie, but only about an hour or two of actual spraying/sanding per day, TOPS. So we've got maybe 16 hours right there, very optimistically, and after that, it's levelling, polishing, and buffing. Even if you do that all by hand, that shouldn't take more than 3-4 hours. Count's up to 20 hours, optimistically.

If you're doing airbrushing, that kind of thing, work time goes up. But unless you've got prior experience...don't go there, IMO. I've never veneered anything, so I can't comment on how long that'd take, but wiring, even complex wiring (say, 2 pickups, mini switches for series/parallel/single wiring, plus phase and series switch for both pickups together) shouldn't take more than and hour, maybe 2, if you know how to solder.

Building your own from scratch in 150 hours is entirely doable, even with zero experience. It means a lot of hard work, and just putting your nose to the grindstone and DOING IT, but it's certainly possible. Give it a simple finish, tinted, basic stain, even a sunburst, keep the wiring simple, and you're golden. I'm assuming you've got a large shop full of appropriate tools (which is more than most can say), the forum and Melvyn Hiscock's 'Make Your Own Electric Guitar' will tell you everything else you need to know, the specialist tooling required is fairly minimal (buy a pre-slotted fingerboard, easiest option there, a hammer and some ground nippers will do for fretting, although you might want a crowning file).

My 2 cents.

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Thanks mattia,

Im gonna see if I can find a way to do that. I sorta threw that option out at first because I figured I wouldn't be able to do that out of my basement but I actually probably could do it here at the shop at school. Its a shame that I didn't ask sooner because they are really picky about changing your project. There is also another problem.

The new problem will be that I have to some how do a community service aspect. I was planing to give one of the re-finished guitars to a charity but if I make my own it would suck to have to give it all away.

Im now trying to think of another way that I could incorporate a community service piece to my project.

If you have any ideas of how I can incorporate community service without parting with my guitar please let me know.

Thanks again.

Edit: Well I just went to my confrence and pitched the idea of building a guitar from scratch. I think it went pretty well. I decided to have my comunity service be that I give guitar lessons.

If it passes Ill show you guys all the pictures in the end.

Edited by Muddd
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