Jedi McFly's Frankenstrat Build Thread
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  1. #1
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    Default Jedi McFly's Frankenstrat Build Thread

    Some time last year I decided I needed a Frankenstrat again. I built one in 2011, wasn't happy with the paint job, but it played and sounded so good my buddy forced me to sell it to him.

    Inspired by some of the amazing builds on here and the Frankenstrat Facebook group, Iím giving it another go. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna replicate as it was in '84-'85, in the Jump music video and the Guitar World photo shoot. Iím using a Locke body, (eventually) a Musikraft neck, and Iím planning on a Pariah pickup.

    I got the body for Christmas and have been picking up random parts here and there. I basically didnít touch the project until about 3 weeks ago. So far Iíve done two applications of grain filler, an application of stain* (to faux-age the wood), two applications of sanding sealer, the black layer, and now Iím applying tape.

    *turnbuckle has got some expertise in the woodworking/finish field and he alerted me to the fact that the stain I was using could cause issues with the lacquer sealer and paints I was using. It was too late for me to abort mission, and I did have a slight issue with the black adhering in a few spots, but Iíve fixed it since then. Hopefully no other problems present themselves. Tread with caution if youíre thinking about staining your body and make sure all your products are compatible.

    I borrowed a projector from work to map out the main shapes and make the taping process easier, and it really helped! I think Iím just about done masking the black layer, so I figured now would be a good time to post progress picks and get extra sets of eyes on it. Let me know if you see anything that needs adjustment!

    Here's the body stained.



    Then after sealing and painting black I propped it up and projected a template on it.



    And outlined where the main stripes go in pencil. Since they wrap around the body if you don't get the angle just right it's impossible to get the next stripe to align properly. This made it much easier than the last time I built a Frankenstrat.



    I used the templates and an exact knife to cut out some of the shapes, including the squiggle and a ton of the back wear.



    To do this I had to put a layer of painters tape down on the printout as pulling tape off paper shreds the paper. So there's a base layer and then the layer that will be used to trace and mask on the guitar.



    And here's where I'm at so far with the front and back. It's going to take some refining and more weathering with an exacto knife after painting, but chime in if you see anything that looks off or needs adjustment.




  2. #2
    Big Bad Bill

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    Well begun is half done!

    It looks like you are off to an awesome start!
    You guys, and these projectors, are blowing my mind!
    When we were young, we only had that cheap crepe tape, and a lousy magazine picture, and when we eft it up, and believe you me, we did, we had to start all over, LOL!

    I was wondering where you've been lately.
    And, BTW, don't those Avatars make a great workbench

    Keep up the good work!

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    That looks fantastic man! Great work. Patience is key! I love the projector trick!
    Now comes my favorite part of the show. It's my favorite part of the whole evening. We've been on tour since March and I have no better time anytime then right now because I get to go sit down, have myself a nice cold one and listen to the greatest rock n'roll guitar player in the world. Mr. Eddie Van Halen. - Sammy Hagar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaxxon5150 View Post
    That looks fantastic man! Great work. Patience is key! I love the projector trick!
    I had considered it for my last build, but didn't go through with it. I think you did the same thing, right? If my guitar comes out as nice as yours I'll be a happy man for sure.

    I sprayed Wimbledon White yesterday. It's a creamier sort of aged white to simulate a few years of use and cigarette smoke discoloration. Overall I'm okay with it, got a little bit of overspray I need to fix and I'm not as satisified as I could be. I'm hoping it really shapes up in a few days when I start weathering the white layer back. Most of the parts I don't like will be covered by red or should be fixable during the weathering phase, but I really should've done one more pass on cutting out the squiggle.




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  8. #5
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    I wish I would have known about the projector trick when I did the black and white part on my Frank. I did mine by tracing a picture of the guitar on plexi glass and then lining up the drawing to the guitar as I lay the tape underneath. Later when I did just the black and white one I finally knew about the projector trick.

    I also used wimbledon white on my Frank it has a great aged white look.

    It looks awesome man and the grain fill is killer. I used an exacto knife and lightly scrapped the over spray and it comes off. Black paint pens and markers go a long way if you go too far with the xacto. The guitar is so F'd up looking at the end that you will never notice fixes here and there with a sharpie.

    I really love the squiggle I think it looks great. Even using one of those fine tip sharpies can add a slight bit more to a black line if you're not happy with it's thickness. The sharpie has a sheen to it. After it's dry rub your finger over it and it makes it more dull and blends in. It looks great now after weathering it will look awesome. I always honed in a technique on the back with weathering before I tried the front.
    Now comes my favorite part of the show. It's my favorite part of the whole evening. We've been on tour since March and I have no better time anytime then right now because I get to go sit down, have myself a nice cold one and listen to the greatest rock n'roll guitar player in the world. Mr. Eddie Van Halen. - Sammy Hagar

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    That looks killer, Jedi!
    Man, you guys got this down to a science now. One of these days I wanna give it a try.

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    Just saw this. In looking at your tape job a minute ago I was gonna say if you have even a half millimeter opening paint will get in and overspray. Have to double check areas roght before spraying a section. It's gonna turn out fantastic with the level of detail and concern you're putting into it.

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  14. #8
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    awesome work, jedi.
    .
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    .
    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!'.
    VH with Gary ('98) - Fucking disaster. WTF was that??
    VH with Wolf/Dave ('12-'15) - Amazing comeback. Smokin' album and tours.

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  16. #9
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    So, I ended up starting this project completely over. The layers of black and white were too thin and it wouldn't allow me to scratch off white without going through to bare wood. I could've used a paint marker to fill in wear spots appropriately, but the thought of that sounded horrific and I don't think I would've been happy with the end product.

    So I sanded back to bare wood. Probably too far back, as I think I removed my sealer coat too. Doubled up on my layers of black and white, and now they relic'd pretty great, but black into wood was a bit difficult probably due to lack of sealer. I still would've liked this round to have gone better and for some of the wear to be more accurate, but I'm letting that go and just moving on now. I'm about ready to tape for red. Just some minor tweaking I think. Here's version 2.0










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    Looks awesome so far, Jedi.
    "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

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    Looking great!! Sweet Avatar cab too! I had one that look identical to it!

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    That's looking awesome man! Great job!
    Now comes my favorite part of the show. It's my favorite part of the whole evening. We've been on tour since March and I have no better time anytime then right now because I get to go sit down, have myself a nice cold one and listen to the greatest rock n'roll guitar player in the world. Mr. Eddie Van Halen. - Sammy Hagar

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  23. #13
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    Thanks guys!

    Haven't had time to start taping for red. But I did apply a bit of water, salt and vinegar to a brand new blade switch. Then stained the wafer. I may go buy a darker stain as it's not quite right.


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  25. #14
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    I think it may be time for red.

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    It's red! Some minor things to fix but overall I'm pretty happy. Now to wait a week before I start the second relic process.




 

 

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