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Help me build my first Custom guitar

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Hey everyone, I'm going to start building my first real custom guitar. The plan is a Tele-Strat hybrid.

What I am wanting to do and the part I need input on is that I want to use a Squire strat tremelo body I have with the one big route (for any pickup configuration) and a hard tail Tele six saddle bridge and bridge pickup. I know that I will have to customize a pickguard but thats not big deal, I just wanted to know if anyone out there has tried this, or if there is any problems that I will run into which will be hard to overcome. It seems to me (the ignorant ammature) that all it will take is lineing up the string wholes and screwing the bridge down. Am I correct????? Any input would be absolutely great.

Next, I am a visual artist and I plan to sand down the body gesso it and paint it. I was wondering what kinda clear coat I can buy and use to protect it from the general wear that will occur. I do not have any equipment to refinish a guitar, so I'm hoping to be able to do it with some sort of laquer or something that I can by at a paint supply store or something. Thanks so much.


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  • 2 weeks later...

If your going to apply gesso to the body for a primer your probably going to end up with different results than if you used a sanding sealer made for wood and then primed it with a standard primer.

As far as clearcoats go there is a product called Polycrylic made by Minwax that may be more suitable to the media your used to working with. Give it the appropriate dry time and it will turn hard as a rock. It's available in a spray can as well as a brush on product.

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Whats up Sam, glad you found the site, you can see where I hang out sometimes when Im not at work Muhahahahahahaha anyways, everyone this is Sam, I work with him.  Be nice hehehe just kidding, Sam, get with Brian or Jehle, they know much more about the finishing work than I do, and good luck.


Gesso on a guitar body. That's probably a first. For those that don't know, Gesso is used to prep artist canvas and it has ground up marble in it.

I would think that you would have to prep the guitar body first, sanding it right down. Then I would add a primer coat to give the gesso something to hold on to.

I figure that you will paint something on top of that, but with the primer, why use gesso at all? You might be able to get away with painting your original artwork right on the primer. I've only worked with gesso and that kind of paint in a few cases. So, you probably know more about what you are aiming for than me.

A clear coat could be a number of things. First it could be a simple clear spray lacquer (not rustoleum... long story). But there are some other alternatives that everyone else works with.

I would stongly suggest experimenting with a scap piece of wood, gesso, paint, and clear coats to make sure that the paints don't react with each other. You don't want any big surprises as you are working on the guitar.

And now... over to Brian...

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