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  1. #1
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default The AT Custom Burnt Orange Alder Strat!

    On March 21st I completed a custom guitar--one from a group of projects I've come to call "the three bitches." I started three custom guitars in 2007, all of which would require final finishing work. I'd never finished a guitar before (or hardly even a piece of furniture for that matter), which meant I was learning along the way. This guitar, the AT Custom Burnt Orange Alder Strat, was meant to be built with a limited budget and feature double humbucker pickups and black hardware. I would stain the body orange and finish it with a clear coat. That clear coat, incidentally, was the primary holdup (and is yet still on the other two--a Warmoth VW project and rebuilt Peavey Wolfgang project). My first clear coat attempt was with Krylon spray cans--something any person with experience finishing instruments will tell you is terrible in that it never fully cures and it also kills the resonance of the tone wood. My second attempt was with Steward-MacDonald clear brush-on varnish. Meant for professional finishes, this stuff requires that the majority of it be wet sanded down in order to attain a smooth final result. In three attempts to apply the varnish and wet sand through the various stages of rough-to-fine paper, I cracked through the clear each time, indicating I still needed to apply significantly more. Frustrated after the third failed try, I used what had become a staple on other projects: Tru-Oil. Given enough drying time, Tru-Oil (gunstock oil) can be wet sanded and buffed to a high shine. So that's what I did. My exhausted patience means the labored finish is far from perfect; up close it is rough. And I consider it an absolute inevitability that, provided I like how this guitar plays and sounds, the body will be re-finished again someday. Regardless, I do like the color, which was achieved by first staining the body orange and then later applying a light coat of walnut colored stain. Some of the "budget" considerations I first had in mind--cheaper pickups and hardware--were jettisoned. I bought a popular Seymour Duncan pickup configuration for it instead (one of the reasons I simply wanted to get the project assembled and functional), and it also has a higher quality Floyd Rose tremolo.

    Pictures of this guitar in progress, along with my other guitar projects, can be found in the photos section of my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/andrewthomassolomusic

    The parts list and photos are below!

    KNE Solid Alder Strat Body--Tru-Oil Finish, Orange/Walnut Stain
    Mighty Mite Maple Neck--22 Frets, 1 5/8" Floyd Rose Black Locking Nut, C-Shape Profile, 9.5"-12" Compound Radius, Medium-Jumbo Frets, Black Inlays, Satin Finish
    Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker Bridge Pickup
    Seymour Duncan SH-2 Jazz Humbucker Neck Pickup
    Ping Licensed Floyd Rose Black Tremolo Bridge w/ EVH D-Tuna
    500K Volume Potentiometer w/ Black Knob
    3-Way Pickup Selector Switch w/ Black Tip
    Black Control & Tremolo Covers
    Switchcraft Jack w/ Black Jack Plate
    Wilkinson Mini Black Tuners
    Black Floyd Rose String Retainer Bar
    Black Neck Plate w/ Black Plastic Gasket
    Black Strap Buttons








  2. #2
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    04.20.10 @ 03:48 AM
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    Hey..Very nice man...i'm actually building something quite similar..

    Now, your finished, it might just be the lighting, but it looks like the finish is a bit "bumpy!?

  3. #3
    Eruption
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    12.16.17 @ 12:06 PM
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    Default

    Nice color combo - I like it! Have you ever tried using lacquer for your stain finishes? If you don't have spray equipment, you can always use a Preval Sprayer.

    Mcfadden:
    http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2010/Main/373

    Preval:
    http://www.amazon.com/PRECISION-VALV.../dp/B000TRL9PY

  4. #4
    Good Enough VH Wahoo's Avatar
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    08.31.15 @ 02:01 PM
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    Beautiful work, AT...not being a player, if I ever DID decide to become one I would want a guitar in either this color or a dark cherryburst.

    As an aside, THIS is the kind of stuff I venture into the guitar room to see....the craftmanship, the artistry, and the dedication on display here each and every day....

  5. #5
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 04:09 PM
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    Default

    Um gimme that. Thank you.

    Posted from mobile device.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk sixstring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Um gimme that. Thank you.

    Posted from mobile device.
    What he said. Seriously, Andrew, once again, OUTSTANDING work, man!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


    "20 minutes (late to work)? Shit. Last year I woke up three weeks too late.
    My advice is to go for the alien abduction story. Look bemused, dishevelled and on the verge of tears as you recount your story of intrusive and degrading medical tests.
    Worked for me anyway. I still have colleagues asking me what it is like to fuck a green womanoid with seventeen breasts.
    Alternatively just walk in and inform everyone that alcoholism is indeed a disease and that they should be less judgemental and perhaps a little more supportive."
    - graeme on the addiction to this place.

    "something tells me that after the nuclear holocaust, there'll be twinkies, cockroaches, and a dave vs. sammy argument going on somewhere".
    - han valen, 6.11.04

    "in my best "saw" scary movie voice: "oh, yes, there will be beagles."
    - hatchetforce, 6.7.06

  7. #7
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    Default

    Wow.

    Amazing job, AT. That thing is beautiful.
    .
    .
    .
    VH with Dave ('78-'84) - The best years....the "real" VH.
    VH with Sam ('86-'96) - Incredible era....."We have renamed this town 'New Halen!'.
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    VH with Wolf/Dave ('12-'15) - Amazing comeback. Smokin' album and tours.

  8. #8
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    Totally impressive!
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

  9. #9
    Hot For Teacher dtuner317's Avatar
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    10.29.13 @ 08:27 PM
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    Default

    I believe this should be moved to the "Gear" section......

  10. #10
    On Fire KS 5150's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 01:52 PM
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    Default

    That's a great-looking guitar! I was wondering if its a 3-piece body or if the seam is just off-center?
    "People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage." - David Lee Roth

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    Yes, the finish is a little "bumpy." I explain why that is in the description. Eventually I'll re-finish it. For the time being, I just wanted to get the guitar together.

    It's a good player thus far. I need to do a fret level to get rid of some unevenness. Today I was digging in on the thing and playing it hard, and the guitar handled things well. Ever have an experience with a Floyd Rose guitar where you tune the guitar up then lock the nut down and the strings go sharp or a little out of tune? None of that funny business with this guy. Everything is balanced well and stable.

    It's a two-piece KNE alder body with an off-center seam. I think Mitch from KNE does this often. I'm really not a big fan of alder, but I bought this body almost three years ago before I really settled on that conclusion. Like most alder guitars I've owned or built, this one doesn't quite have a resonant low-mid "hum" to it (what I really like basswood for), but I think its serving the JB/Jazz pickup configuration well. In that sense it offers something different from my other one-and-a-half million double-humbucker Strat guitars.

    I was happy to finally finish this guitar--one of the "three bitches." Gotta get the other two done now...

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dtuner317 View Post
    I believe this should be moved to the "Gear" section......
    FYI: I've wondered about this very subject and how we should determine what goes in the sticky 'Gear' thread and what warrants its own thread. In general, if you're taking a picture of your guitar(s) and/or amp(s) and/or pedals/effects merely to show off what you've got (old or new), that goes in the 'Gear' thread. If you've got a project--ongoing or completed--that's worthy of a specific thread. Building/assembling/constructing inspires talk of the creative process, parts, etc. Gear is, well, gear. No need to start a specific thread just to say: "Look at my guitar! I like to play it!" Does that sound like fair criteria?

    Oh, and if you start a thread for a specific project please stick to that thread rather than start a new one every time you do something new with it.

    Cool? Good.

    Love,

    AT
    Guitar Room Police Chief (since 2009)

  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher dtuner317's Avatar
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    10.29.13 @ 08:27 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by AT View Post
    FYI: I've wondered about this very subject and how we should determine what goes in the sticky 'Gear' thread and what warrants its own thread. In general, if you're taking a picture of your guitar(s) and/or amp(s) and/or pedals/effects merely to show off what you've got (old or new), that goes in the 'Gear' thread. If you've got a project--ongoing or completed--that's worthy of a specific thread. Building/assembling/constructing inspires talk of the creative process, parts, etc. Gear is, well, gear. No need to start a specific thread just to say: "Look at my guitar! I like to play it!" Does that sound like fair criteria?

    Oh, and if you start a thread for a specific project please stick to that thread rather than start a new one every time you do something new with it.

    Cool? Good.

    Love,

    AT
    Guitar Room Police Chief (since 2009)
    Well if you want to post that guitar for comment then I will. I guess I will start with there is enough orange peel there to eat it like an orange. It is an obvious 2nd, seeing that the seam is not centered. And in cases of a non centered seam, you paint it solid. Send me your address and I will mail you some sandpaper.......

  14. #14
    Hot For Teacher dtuner317's Avatar
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    Oh, and you may want to start a thread on your new rule. Some of us have a job and don't sit on here all day looking for violations.

    I just want to be informed and follow the rules.

    Love
    dtuner

  15. #15
    Hot For Teacher
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    Yeah I don't like that kne does the seem off center.it probably doesn't matter but it bugs me.....

 

 

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