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3/4 strat project

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Hi all, 

My daughter has some free choice art project for school, and she's keen to do a swirl-dipped guitar. Stopped procrastinating and placed an order for a cheap 3/4 electric for my kids.  https://www.artistguitars.com.au/buy/artist-minis-3-4-size-small-body-electric-guitar/70075

Managed to get a customer returned pack for a bit cheaper. There's not too much choice about for 3/4 guitars out there, and I wasn't keen to blow too much on one.

Anyway I was just thinking of replacing the scratchplate for perspex. If anyone's ever done this before, would any perspex do?

Thanks in advance.

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On 8/4/2017 at 10:59 PM, ScottR said:

As long as it can be worked without cracking, and that should be all of them, any will do.


Thanks SR, but what, the perspex cracking, or the guitar? lol. Thanks for the warning. I'll buy enough for a couple of attempts if needed.

Update, found some info elsewhere on swirldipping perspex pickguards.

Mask one side of pickguard, dip seperately to guitar, apply white spraypaint to swirldip will supposedly allow the effect to shine through the perspex.

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Choose your Perspex wisely; extruded isn't as good as cast when it comes to dimensional accuracy (thickness) or resistance to alcohol, which may or may not be a factor in the painting process. I've wiped down extruded Perspex before with ethanol to remove oils and contaminants, only to find that the surface crazes. Cast doesn't seem to have this problem, as I believe the tempering process modifies the material and makes it resistant to alcohol. I bet you that @StratsRdivine would knows exactly what this is, why it is and to a deeper level of understanding that my own.....!

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Thanks, Carl!  

True, that the most common acrylic you will buy is extruded, which can work fine for most things, even pickgaurds, as long as you do not apply alcohol to any edge that has been heated (machine sanding, flame polishing, etc.).  

Face should be fine.  I would sand the side you need the marbling to bond to, for better adhesion.  Acrylic is hard to get adhesion to, unless methylene chloride is added to the paint (which would flash off anyway, not useful). or solvent cement is the actual paint binder.  

True also that cast acrylic will sand easier, and will be more resistant to alcohol, but also more resistant to paint bond.  

The cracking issue is likely your biggest challenge when drilling screw holes.  You need light pressure with sharper angle "pointy" bits, then light pressure and really slow RPM's when countersinking.  All bits need to be really sharp.  

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Wow, thankyou guys for the informative answer! 

The guitar arrived today. Intonation is great. The size and weight are perfect and should stop any complaints from my kids.

I'll make sure I post back with progress when we pull it apart for painting. Thanks once again!


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  • 3 months later...

Bit of an update - Months down the track.

Well, we kinda procrastinated a bit while I was studying and researching all the swirl dipping info, and what paint to use. Also I ended up getting some model paint that turned out to be spirits based rather than oil based.  Then my daughter says "oh yeah, it's due next week". Damn. Better do something about it. Wanting to do it "right" from the word go, we did a $3 ukelele instead. That worked out okay, and was easier for her to carry to school, where it was admired.

I found paint really clumped up in parts.

Last monday, after School, and after many more months of procrastinating, we attempted the swirl dipping with the guitar.

I'm attempting to attach the images from my phone. Bear with me....

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