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Scalloping the guitar fretboard - possibly also renovation of the instrument

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There isn't much left to do with the neck, so now it's time to put the pickguard on the table:

I used a printed Stratocaster's template to locate the holes for the pickups. Obviously material between holes needs to be removed.

Currently I have only the covers, but not the actual pickups.

Some nice set of Yngwie Malmsteen signature ones would be jolly good, but they are beyond the budget at the moment. Maybe at some point in the future.

In the meantime, I've been looking, what the local dealers have to offer. One that isn't so far from me, has Kent Armstrong single coil for the bridge, but not for the neck. For it, a mid-priced Seymour Duncan could be the choice.

What comes to the middle pickup, I think I'll leave it out for now, to keep the cost down. Besides, when I had a Strat-style guitar, I hardly used it, because it had so thin sound. Of course it has its uses for those, who can handle the rhythmic stuff(like ska or reggae). 

For the wiring, I'm thinking of using Les Paul-type one, with three position switch, and volume pot for each pickup. Tone control(s) would be optional.

Once I get the pickups, there is again another opportunity for aural testings.

Forming of the pickup holes went well. Holes for the screws will be drilled next:


Then holes for the volume pots and the switch. Values of the pots, I'm not sure yet. Maybe 250k for starters. More about that, when I get the pickups.

One thing, that I had completely forgot - a jack plate. Piece of steel for it:

It's 0.7mm thick, and has enough meat to make 35-40mm, round plate. Of course, I had to test, how it receives copper, once the covering lacquer layer was sanded off.

I have done quite some pcb etching on previous projects, and as a side result, there is pretty much exhausted sodium persulfate solution, that has, I guess, plenty of copper in it.
When dipping a metal part(brass or steel) into that solution, it gets a copper layer. It doesn't seem to work equally on different kinds of steels, and just peels/rubs off, though.

The plate above, it's some sort of soft steel, and the copper appears to stick well in it. As the layer is very thin, when the oxidation of that base metal starts, the copper layer may degrade also, unless sealed with something like lacquer/varnish.

So I'm going to 'copper plate' the whole piece, and then put it in an ultrasonic cleaner(or perhaps heat it), to see how much of the copper remains.

But enough of that babbling. Generally, I prefer the jack plate, that is on the top surface of the guitar body, instead of being in its 'butt'. Also I prefer using 90 degrees angled plugs, as they don't protrude/be in a way, like straight ones do.

Today some shopping. I got the neck pickup that I was looking for, but the bridge one was out of stock. So how about using something, that I already have laying around - Wilkinson P-90:

It barely fits in the cavity, so as the pickup cover is slightly tapered(wider on the bottom), I'm removing about 1mm of its side surfaces, to remove the taper, and slim it a bit as well. As it's already a night time, I'll finish it tomorrow. Still, some wood needs to be removed from the guitar body, to get the pickup positioned straight.

Obviously the pickguard needs to be modified for that pickup too.

Overall, that p-90 pickup is a low-output one, which doesn't bother me, as I intend to use it(and the rest of the guitar also) for clean, or slightly overdriven Strat-like sounds, as an alternative for the other guitar, that has a lot 'hotter' humbuckers in it.

Pickguard is now ready for finishing:


There was a gap on the lower side of the new pickup hole. I filled it using the 'super glue-baking soda' -trick.

Next thing to do is to wet sand whole pickguard, then perhaps a rusty finish to match the body.


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