A few days ago, I was asked about how I made my aluminium pickguard, here is a quick overview of the tools I use, it might interest unskilled beginners such as I was one year ago. So I work on 1,5 mm alu plate, and I start with cutting roughly with a jigsaw (with an alu blade), then more precisely with snips, then large flat file to finish with small files with different shapes for the details. I drill the screw holes with a small screwdriver (I like it because it's quite slow and easier to control, I'm not good with too powerful tools - for the same reasons I gave up grinders or Dremels that always do more than I expect...)
A sanding sponge is a good way to start the sanding, then thin sandpaper used with water - then I finish with polishing wheels mounted on a drill. It's quite primitive but it worked so far, and each time I'm getting better at it! I hope that I will manage to do some engraving in the coming months...
There are many things about electric guitars that are never questioned - things that stung just because they worked for pioneering models and nobody saw why one should do it another way, then it became habit, tradition, cult, whatever - but that I can never take for granted. Amongst these is the necessity to have these two pickups in neck and bridge position (plus in centre when there is a third one) with specific use and sound... Even extremely experimental guitars such as the Teufel Birdfish stick to this! I've always had in the back in my mind: 'what about a big pickup that would go from the neck to the bridge and contain multiple combinations?' - today I decided to check how it would look...
I'm not an engineer so there is maybe a major flaw to this idea that will jump to the eye of anybody more learned about sound and electronics, but I wish I could meet someone who could put some thinking in it. Imagine 36 magnet plots plus a few blades, that could be combined in many ways (with rotary switches, I love rotary switches!) It feels more exciting that all the emulating gizmos stuffed in the last Gibson luxury models, and might create completely new tones (and not fake ones that are already commons)...
These are two guitars that I recently slightly modified: first an Epiphone Dot Studio (I have generally a very limited use for tone and volume on a guitar - I relay more on pedals to sculpt my tone - so the two knobs Dot Studio fits me better) to which I added a rosewood pickguard (bought more than one year ago), chrome pickup covers and rings, chrome bridge, stoptail and big knobs. I like the discreet bizarreness of the result! I'm considering changing the pickups later for humbucker size P90s.
The one on the left is a First Act Westerberg signature for which I made an aluminium pickguard (another one, but this time I'm getting better at polishing, not perfect yet but it's getting better each time!) It's a cheapo but sounds terrific as soon as I put some overdrive... Also I'm so used to humbuckers that I'm baffled but the brightness of its sound... I also plan to upgrade the pickup though, and ordered a Dream 90 from GFS - it's on its way.
Still have to make alu trussrod covers for both guitars, and file the frets of the First Act - its only but big flaw...
Is it vain to have a personal guitar blog - one more guitar blog? Probably...
But when I started to pay more and more attention to my guitars - lifetime companions and much more than mere working tools -, I've been quite happy to gather information on the net, on blogs, forums, fan sites, etc... So maybe some people will benefit in a way or another from this one.
And maybe also one day someone will see and appreciate my design work and ask me to design guitars for his project or his company - feel free to contact me if you're interested!
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Suzuki Three S AD213S. My $30 Martin
I picked up this Suzuki Three S when we decided to slightly renovate our
living room. The wall mount guitar holders came down ...
1 week ago
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A sunburst Stratocaster walks into a bar, orders a beer and takes a stool next to a hot-looking Les Paul Goldtop, who's sipping an umbrella drink. The Strat leers at the Les Paul for several minutes and then says, "Hey, that's some set of humbuckers you got on you, darlin'."
"You're not getting any feedback off of me with a pickup line like that," the Goldtop says indignantly.