Body and Soul
I seem to have been bitten by the guitar building bug. It’s replaced GAS – “Guitar Acquisition Syndrome” inasmuch as while I still desire more guitars, I desire, much more, to make them. I want to customize, rework, alter, defile…well, maybe not defile, but you get the idea. With this being the case, if you hop over to GuitarFetish, you can pick up guitar bodies for an exceptionally reasonable price. At least, that’s where I picked up this strat-like-thing for $20. It’s light, so probably balsa. I kid. It is light, though, but it’s also got some un-Strat-like features.
This project, I had to decide if I was going to go traditional or Phil (that’s me). I decided on Phil. So, in looking at the horns, it’s obvious they’re longer and more curled inward at the ends. I’m kind of ‘meh’ about this look. So, I marked off where it was to end up, and I took after it with a file. Hmmm…the phrasing “took off after it” makes it sound like I have very little idea what I’m doing. This is mostly true.
What we have here are the initial forays into filing a more contoured horn-to-heel transition allowing for easier access to the upper frets. Yeah, it’s going to be 21-fret, so reaching them isn’t going to be a problem. However, perhaps I neglected to mention – this is going to be the mother of all experimentations. While a $20 lefty strat-like-thing isn’t playing with house money, having a cheap body to practice woodworking on isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Don’t misunderstand, however – I’m a large proponent of respecting the materials you use, whether it’s cooking or building a guitar, or some other resource intensive project. So, I’m not going to destroy it, intentionally, but I am going to learn how to make cutaways, bevels, contours, headstock alterations, and whatever crops up as something I think would improve the guitar.
The biggest challenge, I see, initially, is not cutting into the neck pocket while still cutting enough away to allow for a decent contoured access. It looks pretty rough, right now, and it is – I’m only using a file. For the most part, I feel like it’s giving me a lot more control over what I do and minimizing the lasting effects should I make a mistake.
I still need to remove the remainder of the paint and sand and sand and sand. The next steps will be coming in the future.