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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 12:44 PM
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    Bsbll4's Frankenstrat Build Thread - I'm FINALLY Doing This!!

    I've told myself for the longest time that I was going to build my ultimate guitar. You know the one...the one we've all obsessed over for decades. A couple of years ago I dipped my toes into the water and repainted my older Fender Squier to the black and white 1978 version of the Frank. It was an easy enough change to make since the parts were already on the guitar and all I had to do was take it apart, sand it down (wait, did I say that was easy?!), repaint it, buy an appropriate pickguard and pickup, and then throw it all together. In the end I ended up with a really fun guitar to play and it supplanted my Ibanez as my favorite guitar. It wasn't 100% accurate, but the vibe was there and it gave me courage to tackle my true desire: The Frankenstrat.

    So how did I get started? I told myself I was going to start assembling the parts over the course of time so as to not shock the bank account or my wife. I got my start by happenstance when Scott (A&Z Guitar Repair here on the links) put up a notice that he was selling his VH1 era guitar. It was a Divebomb neck and body completely decked out. Knowing that getting a Divebomb neck can be a hassle, I leapt at the opportunity and bought it for much less than I could buy a decent neck online.

    Here's the pic of the neck:



    It's a beauty of a neck, but you'll probably notice that it's flame maple instead of birdseye. That's okay by me for now. I can always buy a different neck in the future, but in the meantime I have a great neck that I can dirty up and make my own and it's all Ed's specs. I figure once I properly relic it that you won't be able to tell much of a difference anyway.

    After that I purchased a Floyd. My original intention was to get a Floyd Rose Special for cost reasons and went through Scott to order it direct from FR. As luck would have it, when Scott called to order it, they told him it was on back order but they could send an Original Floyd instead. Even better Scott got them to honor the original price of the Special! Needless to say I was thrilled for such a great deal.

    Then it was time to oder the body. After reading tons of material over at Halen.com I went with KNE guitars. After placing my order, it came to the door:







    That was about as close as a grown man can come to being ten years old on Christmas morning...

    After ordering a few materials from Stewmac, I turned my attention to acquiring the paint. I went with Duplicolor black, wimbledon white (for that aged look), and Super Red II. Knowing that Super Red II was discontinued and getting increasingly difficult to find, I checked out availability online before going to Advance Auto Parts. Luckily there was one can available at my closest store.

    Only when I went to pick it up, there was black, wimbledon white, but no Super Red II. I talked to the guy behind the counter and they couldn't locate it in the store. While there I called the next closest store that said it had it, but they said the same thing: they showed it in the system but it wasn't to be found. The guy behind the counter started calling around to different stores for me, and while he was on hold with one of the stores, I received a sign from above. Over the speakers in the store "Jump" came on the radio. At that point I knew it I was in for some good luck, and started to chuckle to myself. The clerk confirmed another store had it at that moment and set them aside for me to pick up. After the short hike I ended up with two cans of Duplicolor Super Red II. I only need one, but it's nice to have a spare and it was on clearance
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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  3. #2
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 12:44 PM
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    I still need to grab the red dummy pickup and the main humbucker pickup I will eventually use, but I have enough assembled to start work. And just like that, I ran into my first issue.

    Since the neck I bought came from a different guitar, the neck holes didn't line up properly to the body and caused the neck scale to be out of whack. Knowing nothing about woodworking, I did a little research online. I thought about taking this to someone that knew what the hell they were doing, but I decided to move in the spirit of the originator (Ed) and just make do with what I have and what I can do.

    Here's the original neck holes:



    So I bought some dowels and used a drill, some tape, a razor blade, a hammer, and some beer to fix the issue.

    Drilled out the holes:



    Put in the dowel plugs:



    And sanded it down to match:




    Then I drilled new holes based on the new fit. I joined them together and put in the floyd posts so I could get a proper gauge on the string alignment:




    It's a fit!
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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  5. #3
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 12:44 PM
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    The last thing I accomplished late on this Saturday night was to put on some grain filler for the northern ash body:

    (This stuff smells awful)



    And application:




    After I scraped it and wiped it, I'm leaving it to dry so it's ready for sanding and the first coat of black. I'll update this as I go...
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  6. #4
    Good Enough Dutchie5150's Avatar
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    05.23.17 @ 02:45 AM
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    Awesome work so far. Looking forward to watching this build.

    There is nothing more gratifying than building a guitar from scratch and jamming on it when its finished.
    If you have nothing nice to say about Eddie Van Halen, you're at the right website. - Me (A few years ago)

    "People take Van Halen much more seriously than we do" - David Lee Roth (1980's)

    "I don't sit on the end of your bed while you're trying to make a living" - David Lee Roth (1988)

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  7. #5
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    05.23.17 @ 01:33 AM
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    That looks like a really cool project guitar.
    Nice work so far. Hope the rest of it goes smoothly for you.

    Good Luck and keep us posted!
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  8. #6
    Hang 'Em High Hurricane Halen's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 07:03 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    The last thing I accomplished late on this Saturday night was to put on some grain filler for the northern ash body:

    (This stuff smells awful)



    I'll update this as I go...
    May smell awful, but looks yummy as hell. Did you taste it? Nothing beats a good shake.

    HH<-----This new technology of putting vanilla cream on guitar bodies is confusing. -----------------------------

    VH LINKS Resident Paramedic/Firefighter
    #officialhashtaghater
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    UC<------Goal in life to be included in an HH sig-----

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  10. #7
    Unchained
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    04.09.17 @ 05:09 PM
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    Can't wait to watch this build. Good luck to you!

    Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk

  11. #8
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    05.23.17 @ 01:33 AM
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    Me too!
    I've never tackled a project like that myself, yet love watching other's builds take shape.
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  12. #9
    Hot For Teacher
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    01.02.17 @ 06:48 PM
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    Good stuff so far. Balls to you for taking on the neck issue yourself, I wouldn't have the guts to do it.

  13. #10
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    I'm noticing a pattern here...Haha
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  14. #11
    Eruption AFU's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 07:43 AM
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    I would have skipped the grain filler. Ed didn't use it so neither would I. However my Kramer 5150 replica soaked up a ton of white paint and I was wishing I'd used filler to seal it up a bit. I also have a Divebomb neck on it. Scored it from EBay cheap.

    Body looks great! Looking forward to your updates!

  15. #12
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 06:53 PM
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    Nice work so far! I had that same issue with my first Franky neck and solved it the exact same way. It should hold up perfectly for you. Good call on the grain filler too. Like AFU said, Ed probably didn't use any, but I bet he still sanded down a few coats of paint to try and reduce the amount of grain showing. I skipped the grain filler on my first Frankie and I regretted it immensely, as it took over five painting/sanding cycles to get it to an appropriate amount of grain.

    These build threads are giving me the itch to tackle another Frankie replica. I've missed mine since I sold it.

  16. #13
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 12:44 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by monty4 View Post
    Good stuff so far. Balls to you for taking on the neck issue yourself, I wouldn't have the guts to do it.
    I had to psyche myself up to do it, hence the beer
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  17. #14
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 12:44 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi McFly View Post
    Nice work so far! I had that same issue with my first Franky neck and solved it the exact same way. It should hold up perfectly for you. Good call on the grain filler too. Like AFU said, Ed probably didn't use any, but I bet he still sanded down a few coats of paint to try and reduce the amount of grain showing. I skipped the grain filler on my first Frankie and I regretted it immensely, as it took over five painting/sanding cycles to get it to an appropriate amount of grain.

    These build threads are giving me the itch to tackle another Frankie replica. I've missed mine since I sold it.
    Yeah I figured I would skip the hassle of sanding it back several times. I still left the grain on the sides as that's where you notice it the most on the original. I want a little grain on the front and back so I'm not going to do multiple applications of the filler. I just dont want too much!
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

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  19. #15
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    05.22.17 @ 12:44 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRvh1 View Post
    Me too!
    I've never tackled a project like that myself, yet love watching other's builds take shape.
    I know nothing about building guitars and have only the most basic tools. Google is amazing and there are several places where you can find information on building a franky. I put it off for the longest time because I told myself I didn't know what I was doing. However I finally worked up the courage and just took the plunge.

    Obviously I feel like I've done a ton of research up to this point, but nothing quite prepares you for the actual project like sitting down and doing it. It's equal parts terrifying and gratifying.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

 

 

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