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04/30/2007 @ 04:10 AM: Behind the scenes of late I've been working on two new custom guitars. Which one gets finished first is anybody's guess. Since February I've been preparing the body of a Wolfgang Special for a dark green transparent finish and Fernandes Sustainer System pickup. The number of hours put into the aforementioned guitar has reached the status of "countless," and I'm slightly stalled out right now while I figure out some routing issues to accommodate the Fernandes circuit board and battery compartment. (It's a whole complicated thing.) Something very cool I did to the body, however, was route the top edge for binding and install it. Doing so was an afterthought that only came while trolling the StewMac website for supplies. Though a lot of work, the Wolfgang body now has a cream binding and will eventually have all cream-colored knobs, switches, and tuner buttons to match. See the progression of photos below!

Wolf_Refin_01 (44k image)
Wolfgang: Sanding off the original ivory white finish.

Wolf_Refin_02 (41k image)
Wolfgang: Routed for binding.

Wolf_Refin_03 (39k image)
Wolfgang: Cream binding added.

The second project is something of a hybrid. Looking around a couple of months ago, I realized I had an entire guitar in parts sans the body. I went looking and found on eBay an unfinished Warmoth VW body (their version of the Ernie Ball MusicMan/Peavey Wolfgang) with some accessories included. I got it, but I decided to hold off finishing the body until my other Wolfgang re-finish project (my learn-from-experience guitar) was completed. Fast forward to a few days ago and the hold-up on the Wolfie, and I got restless. So I went to town on dying the VW. I used black dye concentrate with a brush on the backside and in the control cavities first. After a couple hours I turned it over and decided the guitar top would indeed be transparent black. (Blue was the other color I'd been considering.) I mixed the dye with alcohol until the mixture was right, and a short time later the top was quilty-black. All was going very smoothly--and then I hit my folly. My plan was to stain, then seal, then sand to 600 grit, then clear coat. I cracked open the sealer and applied it "liberally," as the instructions indicated. Little did I know that shit dries FAST, and once dry it's like a cross between super glue and rubber. It was globing and dripping, and the guitar body was a freakin' mess, then the stain started to run a little bit. Long story short: I had to sand like crazy after the sealing debacle, and the body will now require another round of staining. And so it is.

VW_Finish_01 (45k image)
VW: Backside stained black.

VW_Finish_02 (62k image)
VW: Natural quilt top, pre-staining.

VW_Finish_03 (61k image)
VW: Stained transparent black.


thumbnail 001thumbnail 002thumbnail 003thumbnail 004Photo Chronology: 1996 to Today
thumbnail 005thumbnail 006thumbnail 007thumbnail 008Please feel free to peruse these memories from the AT photo archives.

Andrew Thomas