Monday, June 25, 2007

I'd Be Finished If I Didn't Screw Everything Up

Well--it's about time I start wrapping this up. I've had a good half dozen layers of poly finish on there for over a week and it seems to have been about as hard and dry as it can get for a good couple of days so it's time I start putting the thing together. At this point in the process, I'm so excited that every minor set back sends me off on screaming rampages throughout my apartment and the surrounding neighborhood. However, it is all working out slowly but surely despite various troubles.

The first thing I had to take care of was the strap buttons. It just slipped my mind entirely to drill them before I started finishing. It was an easy enough situation to rectify. I just put some green masking tape over where I wanted to be (to minimize chipping of the finish) and drilled the holes w/ my hand drill like so:

I did get a tiny amount of tear-out but it was easily covered by the strap buttons and hardly noticeable anyway. I also had to redrill some of the holes for mounting the bridge and mounting the neck as they'd gotten a little gunked up w/ finish--no big deal.

The controls in this were rather close together and it really caused me a hell of a lot of trouble trying to stuff it all into the control cavity. I had to resolder a couple things here in there to fit it all in. The end result works but it's ugly. I'm almost embarrassed to post a picture of it but I will because it's funny:

OK. Not that funny but you have to admit that's about as ugly as it gets as far as guitar wiring goes. Anyway, once I had that taken care of, it was a snap to put the rest of it put together, aside from a few things I noticed that I'll get to in a second.

She looks real nice though:

Once I finish fixing the problems I describe below, I will take her outside and take some pictures in the yard where the sunlight is nice. Then me an my homemade guitar will sit together drinking beer and grilling burgers all afternoon--heaven on earth if you ask me.

The first and most agrivating problem is I lost the screws to install the p90s. This is what made me have a fit. I know they're around somewhere but whether that's in my toolbox or some landfill I will never know. I gave up after an hour of looking and went to my local super depot of orange colored home tools and duct tape to buy something to stand in. Not to my surprise, they didn't have p90 mounting screws. The closed thing I could get were some number four screws but they were only an inch long and need to be more like an inch and a half. This left me w/ not much room for adjustment. Indeed, practically none. Here are the pickups at their maximum height:

There's also a nice shot of the goods for those who are interested what my crotch looks like. It's only a little bit too low but I really spend a lot of time adjusting pickup height and getting it just so (doing this makes a bigger difference in your overall tone than buying more expensive pickups, in my opinion) so it's a bummer not to be able to adjust them, especially since the volumes between the two aren't really well balanced at all. Plus, it just looks funny and I can't have that.

Worse than that but somehow less aggravating is I didn't get the bridge on there quite straight. If you'll notice, there's a lot more room between the edge of the fretboard and the string on the bass side of the fretboard (left in this picture) than the treble. It disgusts me to the very core of my being (you can also see the brass Phillips head screws I used instead of the p90 screws):

Actually, it plays just fine aside from the highest string feeling a little weird but it really irritates me to look at it so I'm going to remount the bridge so it's all straight. The setup right now is somewhat cursory but it really does sound pretty darn good--especially the neck pickup--and feels nice to play overall. In fact, I like it so much that I've changed my mind and decided to keep the baritone neck on this one and build a new body once I've finished my neck (or more likely right along side it).

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