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I finally got the back painted and an initial coat of poly on it. I know from experience working on miniatures that super glue eats paint, so I wanted to seal the paint before putting on the binding. HOPEFULLY I'll get it bound today so I can lay on the rest of the finish. I bought a couple cans of spray poly yesterday so I don't have to mess with the brush-on stuff for this one.

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The binding went on (almost) without a hitch. I thought of Drak :D as I took some 150 on the palm sander and took it ALMOST all the way down. I did the final evening out of the binding with a chisel. I slowly pared it level with the top.

The neck is matte black, so I'll be buffing the body with steel wool to match the sheen. Since I'm not doing any significant amount of sanding, I figure a can and a half of rattle-can poly will do the trick. Since poly cures so dang fast, do y'all figure 2-3 days to cure would do the trick?

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IT CAME IN!!! The sheet of Formica in Aqua Boomerang I ordered 2 weeks ago came in today. I'm REALLY excited now.


just a sample pic, not a scan of the actual sheet.

OK, so here's the plan....

I have a template I made a few months ago in anticipation of being able to do this. It's a trimmed down version of the Danelectro "bowtie" shape. (Not-so-)Coincidentally, I just so happen to have a Dano neck on hand. Hmmmmm. I also have some Gretsch pups on hand. Hmmmmm. Is it possible that I got them specifically with this in mind?

I ordered a bunch of parts today - enough to make this guitar and to make another at the same time. One is for me, the other is going on consignment at a local shop.

I'll be making three bodies concurrently - one for me, one for the commission ax, and one for eBay.


artist's rendition - not an actual guitar


Ash body, possibly hollowed out a bit. Not positive yet.

Gretsch pups on mine, Artec/GFS Gretsch clones on the consignment

white pickguard - top routed body - p/g mounted electronics

3-position switch

concentric vol/tone

neckplate, not ferrules

white minding on top & bottom

And the whole dang thing - front, back, & sides - is covered in Formica.


not as cool as what I'm going to make

How did you do that "artist rendition"?

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There's really nothing to report on, but I feel that I should be reporting in anyway. I can't explain it.

Anyway, I spray 3-4 coats of poly per day, giving a few hours between coats. The next morning I level the back a bit with some 400-grit wetsanding. Tomorrow morning, I'll be completely leveling the back & sides, then hitting it with a number of coats of matte poly. I want a dull finish on the back to match the neck. From there I'll be giving it a final leveling, then a final coat or two of matte. From everything I've read, this is the path to a nice matte finish. Also, I'll be able to NOT buff it out, saving me a full day's work.

Then it's just wait for it to harden up enough to handle. Considering it's poly, it should only take a day or two, most of that is just insurance. While it's curing a bit, I can pre-wire the pickguard.

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ALL DONE!!!!!!


The guitar is BRIGHT. The Gretsch pups are on the high end anyway, so combine them with an ash body and it just twangs like there's no tomorrow. It's a tad neck-heavy, but not to the point of fighting it. Go figure though - look at where the strap is. The Dano neck plays very well. For a Chinese made piece (it even says so on the back of the headstock), I'm very surprised at how nice it is.




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That turned out really John :D

Yep. It's really John.

The long heel is because on Danos, the neck usually meets with the body around the 14th fret or so, despite having a 21 fret neck and in some cases almost no cutaway. It doesn't feel odd or get in the way at all, so aside from looks, there's no need for me to re-shape the heel. Maybe some day when I get a wild hair I'll take it apart and smooth it out some.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm starting to re-work this one. I'm in no hurry at all since the prototype still works & plays perfectly, so this is a "when I don't have anything else going on" project. The basic guitar will remain the same, but there will be a couple of changes along the way.

First up is the neck blank & fretboard. I had a piece of flatsawn maple that probably would have worked just fine, but I wanted it to be quartersawn. Cutting up the piece and gluing it back was a very inefficient use of wood, but I'm more interested in a better product. It still hurts my brain to know that a bunck of wood was "wasted" that didn't really need to be.

So here it is with the end-access truss rod in place....


...and with the white oak fretboard.


Yes, you read it right - white oak. I might be ebonizing it, I might not. It's not like oak isn't hard and durable enough for a fretboard, so why not.

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Yes, you read it right - white oak. I might be ebonizing it, I might not. It's not like oak isn't hard and durable enough for a fretboard, so why not.

I´m not sure but Brian May didn´t use oak in his guitar ? He ebonized his fingerboard but are you sure that you will do that ?

This oak looks nice in natural.

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I had some spare time yesterday, so I went ahead and did the headstock. It's a variation of the classic Danelectro "peanut" shape. I exaggerated the curves a bit and reversed the top. Instead of a scarf, it's a drop-down. I know some folks here have said/will say that a 3+3 doesn't look right on a drop down. Tough crap.

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