Fankenstein’s Monster – Page Two

Like the white lace tele, this guitar was finished in the run up to Christmas 2018. This was built for a friend of the friend for whom I built that guitar.

On the first page, we left this guitar with the top mostly carved. I finished the carve, which turned out largely OK although it’s certainly a skill that needs practice. Then I embarked on the stain. I’d been sent a pair of coloured pickups – blue and purple – that came from an Ibanez guitar, and I wanted to stain the top to match. Without going into all of the details, the sequence of photos below shows various stages of the staining process.

Stage one – red stain
Stage Two – sanded off to highlight the figuring
Stage three – blue
Final stain – red and purple, to create the fade

After that, I installed the hardware and all of the usual. This guitar was also finished with a brush-on poly lacquer, and ended up looking pretty smart. I’d been a little over-enthusiastic with the top carve, and I needed to make a small wedge to support the back of the bridge, but that seemed to work alright.

You saw the early stages of the unusual headstock design on the previous page. Here is the finished item – I think it worked really well in the end. Adjusting the truss rod is fine, and my only concern is that the side with the cutaway is rather thin, and so this guitar might be susceptible to the headstock breaking. I told the customer to be very careful about that!

The only real problem with this guitar was that the strings were too high. I had to file down the saddles to bring the action to a reasonable height, but that seemed OK in the end. The inlays were also a bit too subtle – the difference in colour with the fretboard was not really enough to make them stand out. However, I think the woods and colours all worked really well, and I’m very happy with the body shape. I made a template out of it, and I will probably use it again in the future.