Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone - Jemsite
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2006, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: California
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Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

Just thought I would share my guitar project since it is zipping along now and get some feedback:

Here's a little history:

So ever since I got my ibanez about 5 years ago my strat clone has laid by the waste side in pieces. I got the guitar in 94' when I first started learning how to play. The neck was shot from learning how not to adjust a truss rod and other abuse and use. The neck has been off becuase I attempted to resurrect it with an el cheapo neck a few years back (started dremeling a vine inlay and basically determined the cheap neck wasn't worth the effort...good practice though). At one point I sanded down the gloss black finish, took some red metallic acrylic and lighter fluid and lit her up. Thats how I got the finish below and this was her current state a few months ago:



So now I have done a little electronics clean up. I got a perloid pickgaurd and transferred the electronics over and did a bit or rewire work. I have installed a kill switch (the little black button between the volume and 5-way) inspired by buckethead. I still need to shield the cavity and also fine sand, clear coat and polish up the body which I never did after the lighter fluid job. I have a new neck on order which should be done in a week or two. Also, I am going to put in a hotter bridge pickup and change out the covers to all black. Mostly I am waiting on the neck right now, I need to mock it up and make sure evrything is in place. Then after I clear coat and polish, I can leave it hanging for a couple months to properly cure and just wait to throw it all together and give her life again. Her she is right now, I think the perloid pickgaurd will look nice once the guitar is clear coated and polished...and I can't wait to mess around with the kill switch for effects:



5/18/06
Just picked up my neck today...sweet birdseye. Carvin rocks. This is gonna be a fun weekend. Gotta bolt the neck on, give the neck a tung oil polish, install the tuners, solder the output jack, string her up, and see how she sounds. Then I will break her down and prep sand for a gloss finish on the body. Switch out the bridge pickup and pickup covers later after the finish dries for a good 3 weeks or so.






I am still debating whether to leave the headstock natural or paint it black and put a logo.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2006, 11:06 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

looks cool.. If you can get that finish smooth as glass but keep it like is I think it would just look cool as hell.

That fingerboard is sexy too. I like the birdseye with out dots.. Nice touch.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

gorgeous neck, leave the head natural!!! please!!!!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

Looks cool!!!!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2006, 11:43 PM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

Nice neck.

That looks like it's going to be a great project.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2006, 01:56 AM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

The body texture looks like JEM90HAM. Cool
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2006, 07:33 AM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

Very nice neck .

Regards

André



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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2006, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

Well I couldn't wait...so I got started tonight.

I mounted the tuners, set the alignment, drilled the neck, and bolted the neck on. Then I broke it down, fine sanded the neck with 0000 steel wool and started tung oiling the neck. 2 coats down and one more to go and I will let her dry up over night. I also finished soldering the output jack and have it ready to plug in.

I will have sweet dreams tonight waiting to get up tomorrow, bolt the neck back on, string her up for real, and start strummin'
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-20-2006, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone



There she is put together and strung up. The tung oiling brought out the neck figuring a tad bit more. I have to do a slight truss rod adjustment and bridge saddle height to tweak it out, but so far everything is working. The kill switch works as expected. Can't wait to get her all dialed in. Unfortunately I am off to get a truss rod wrench (Carvin's seem to have a smaller size than Ibanez). I should have known.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-21-2006, 04:19 AM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

Quote:
Originally Posted by megawzrd
Beautiful!!!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

how does it play?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

She play's awesome...solid. I knew I definately liked the neck when I tried the carvin bolt in the store. It feels on par with my my 7dbk...aside from the neck having a different fatter profile. What I mean is how cheap guitars "feel" like cheap guitars, this was definately a worth while resurrection. I really need to get some quality pickups in here though. Its not that the pickups sound incredibly bad...but they are the last part of the guitar left that still says el cheapo.


EDIT:
here is a quick sound file I just did...appropriatly titled. I messed with the kill switch at ~1:50:
...I apologize in advance for the muck in front of the kill switch demo : )
anyways I think switching out to some nicer pickups would refine the sound and make this resurrection project pretty much complete


http://media.putfile.com/whacking-21


oh yeah and the hum...poor little single coils, I will probably go for a humbucker/single coil pup to start out with

Last edited by megawzrd; 05-25-2006 at 12:25 AM.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

An old thread rises...

Love that finish. Could you give us more details on how you did it please?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

Well after sanding down the clear coat to get a flat black....if I remember right (about 10 years ago). I had the idea that I would go for the hendrix monterey guitar look but not burn it down to the wood actually:

I took some testors paint (you know the little mini hobby/model paint jars):

I know it was metallic red and I can't remember if I swirled a bit of silver in the jar...but I think I did (I think I remember buying two colors for the attempt). As you can see it came out mostly metallic red with vauge silver undertone tough.

Anyways I think I used a brush or a stick to slop it around on the guitar. I tried to stroke from the middle outwards to get tails to go towards the edges (like a burst). Once I had the "sloppy burst look" I took the squirt bottle of lighter fluid I bought and I squirt it on the guitar. No much either...I knew the fresh paint itself was flammable (the bottle says FLAMMABLE!). The lighter fluid was more just to get it started and make sure the flame went over the entire area.

I also can't remember if right after I squirt the lighter fluid on, if I used the brush to draw it around quickly or not. Or if I tried to do my best in squirting the light fluid on it without get too crazy. But I know I lit it up within about thirty seconds of the lighter fluid.

Come to think of it, I think there was a section that didn't really light up so after the first set of flames died down I may have squirt some in that area and lit it again. But ultimately I am confident that it was a limited amount of lighter fluid...I didn't get burns (which would have come from too much fluid/heat). What I got is bubbling of the paint as the lighter fluid and solvent burnt off... so the color remained and the texture was left.

BTW...It is nice to hear of the interest.
I would love to see pics of attempts if anyone tries it. Heck I may try it again one day.

...I am already contemplating a color scheme.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 05:39 AM
 
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Re: Resurrecting my El Cheapo Strat Clone

Thanks for the info... and fast reply
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Tags
bridge pickup , carvin bolt , clear coat , pickup cover , rod adjustment , rod wrench , steel wool , truss rod , truss rod adjustment , truss rod wrench , tung oil

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