Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Re: Where to begin?
I know with myself personally I'd rather do a lot of mods to a lower end guitar. There's honestly not much of a point (in my opinion) of buying a higher end model guitar with the plan to strip / refinish, etc. A lot of times you can find very good deals on used guitars only because they have tons of surface scratching / paint chips on the body. This would be a perfect candidate for your project.
If you went with a new model you'd probably end up changing your mind once you saw the nice pretty finish on it. Also keep in mind, I'm not sure if this is a first project for you only guitar related and you probably already know this but I'll say it anyway. Try to factor in the materials you'll need in your cost when looking for your beater guitars. I know from past experiences I could of spent a little more money at the time to end up with a Guitar in much better condition than what I had. Sandpaper, primer, painting supplies, sealer, etc add up in cost REAL fast and a lot of times can make up for that difference you saved going with a more beat up guitar.
Like you said though you want to make them your "own". So I would definitely recommended scouting craigslist / ebay for a good deal on a used model you like. Would be the perfect platform for pickup changes and refinishing.