Monday, 29 August 2011

Junk guitar - bridge and pickup

A few small jobs done.

Reinforced the tail-piece with an aluminium blank. this should make it more rigid and prevent any give under string tension:

much better now !

I also routed out the hole and cavity for the pickup. Not the most precise cut - I hoped to get the edge much flusher with just a hair's width of space between the pickup cover and the body. Unfortunately the rounded corners came out a little wider. Still, maybe when I lacquer it, the space will be filled slightly?

You can just see the wider margin at the corners from this angle:

The grain looks nice from here!

I also cut and filed a new saddle. I used aluminium, but maybe I'll try some steel or brass later on and see if there is any discernable difference to the sound.

I wired the pickup to a lead and plugged it in. It works and sounds promising. I'm still wondering about electronics, but I think it's just going to be a single volume pot and no onboard tone control - that will keep the design simple and spare and save me from lapsing into buying any new parts. That would defeat the object since this project's about re-fried scrap all the way!

Here's a view of the whole thing as it stands. Hopefully the onlooker will note that the horn of the body echoes the shape of the headstock...

Starting to think about the finish. The grain on the front is quite pleasing. I think the patterns work well with the shape of the body. I could try staining it to bring that out more, but being ply, the edges will need some treatment.

On the other hand, I'd like to try some new lacquering techniques and this would make a good practice piece. Recently, in my rummaging, I came across some small sachets of gold flakes. This is real gold that, I kid you not, came free with beer. In less austere times, there was trend here in Japan to decorate food and drink with gold flakes. Perhaps it still goes on? Not being one for ostentation, I put them aside and forgot about them. They must have been sitting in the kitchen draw for over 10 years. I'm now thinking these could be employed for a sparkle effect over dark blue, brown or black.

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