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  • Guitar Of The Month - January 2020

    Ratesz - 'Dark Thunderbird'


    Some friends from otehr guitar builder groups motivated me to nominate my 2nd build to this competition. The build was completed some days ago, some stickers are still missing but I believe it is good enough to premiere. Because this is only my second build, I used relatively inexpensive hardware and wood.

    • Thunderbird design
    • Basswood body
    • Maple neck
    • Rosewood fingerboard
    • Black hardware
    • Paint: Crimson Guitar stains
    • Oil finish: Crimson Guitar High Build Guitar Oil









    Mistermikev - 'The Broadchaser'



    Two piece northern white ash body sourced locally from Peterman Lumber in Phoenix
    Flamed maple fretboard (thanks to JB Land @ 6_strings_plus on evilbay!)
    Flamed maple neck sourced locally from Peterman Lumber in Phoenix

    Bridge - Gotoh BSTC1 compensated saddle
    Tuners - Gotoh SD91
    Pickups - Rose Alba / Bourban + hidden rail humbucker
    Controls - CTS volume pot + Alpha 4 pole 3 throw rotary + Alpha 3 way selector
    Bone Nut

    PROFILE: a somewhat beefy 59 soft v with extremely rolled edges on the fretboard
    SCALE LENGTH: 25.5"
    RADIUS: 9.5"
    FRETS: 21 frets - jescar thin / tall
    WEIGHT: 7lbs 6.5oz
    MARKERS: Black dots

    Body - mohawk blonde nitro + watco nitro clear - relic'd
    Neck - stew mac amber dye + watco nitro clear - relic'd


    As with all my builds... the motivation is to learn something, challenge myself a bit, and most importantly, have fun.  This build was definitely not without it's struggles!  I had never done a relic finish before and had my doubts of whether or not I'd ever get there, as I was trying to get the lacquer to check!  I had uncertanty of how I would get the color I wanted with my limited abilities/resources.  As usual., thanks to a little help from my friends, I survived!  Thanks again to all who offered advice/resources/links/commiserations/responses to my threads!

    I have always wanted a solid body Tele in the classic 'butterscotch blonde' motif.  The idea that came to mind was a relic that was impossibly well cared for.  I have always loved the look of lacquer checking and wanted to use that more as a finish enhancement as opposed to implying that this was a really old guitar.

    I chose all flamed maple for the neck, knowing that you wouldn't really see that on a late 50s Tele (nor a two piece neck - no rules here!).  Electronics that allow for classic operation, but offer some modern hum-canceling features via a hidden pickup.  It is fitted with a dual action truss rod but with traditional heel access.  A solid tele body, but with a smuggler's route for weight reduction.  All in all a mix that I had hoped would be a nod to the past with a few modern flares.

    Thanks again to the forum for empowering/encouraging/enabling!

    Click here to see my build thread for this guitar











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