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Project Guitar for a Charity Event

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Believer7713, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Several years ago when I was injured on the job I learned about an organization in our police department called the care team. This group is a private charity that supports officers and the families of officers that either fall or are injured on the job. They also provide services and support to officers/families that may be dealing with illnesses that range from PTSD to cancer to pediatric illnesses, etc.
    I found out about the Care Team when they reached out to help me while I was recovering from having my knee badly broken from being hit by a car while working at a sobriety checkpoint.
    After doing some research and learning about what they do I wanted to find a way to raise some money to donate to their cause. Being a distance runner most of my life, I wanted to be able to recover enough to run one more 5k and get sponsorship from department members as well as community members...but after 6 surgeries and staring down the barrel of the seventh I've come to realize that I will never run any 5k runs ever again. So I decided to look for another way to raise funds for them.
    I decided to use another skill that I've been growing since I was injured and decided to build a custom guitar to auction at the Care Team's annual golf tournament and fund raiser.
    I started with a telecaster body that I bought from fellow member @LunarSlingShot several months back.
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    The neck pickup cavity was pretty badly routed for a humbucker. I could have just used a pickguard to cover it but that would have been counterintuitive for this project as I decided to turn this body into an Esquire without a pickguard.
    I started by cleaning up the edges of the cavity and making a block to fit.
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    Glued the block in place and covered with some epoxy then sanded smooth.
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    Then after a couple more days the epoxy shrank so I had to fill it again. This time with a thin layer of body filler. Then sanded smooth.
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    After getting to this point, a buddy of mine volunteered to do the paint work for me. Since he is a much better painter than I am, I took it to him to shoot the sealer and primer and the body turned ot like this.
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  2. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth breathin' knuckle dragger Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Nice going.

    At first glance I thought it odd to make an Esquire...then I read the text. :)

    Where did you locate an acceptable tone epoxy?
     
  3. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Senior Stratmaster

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    Looking good
    What color ?
     
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  4. circles

    circles Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Good luck!

    I painted a guitar for charity once (one from a group of MIM Strats). It was not intended to be used again, more as a base for the artist. I sprayed it solid blue all over, then dribbled blue and white paint all over it a-la Jackson Pollock. Looked pretty cool, don't know how much it sold for.
     
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  5. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    This one will be painted Dodge Jazz Blue to match the color of the Dodge Chargers on our fleet and trimmed in metallic flake silver.

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  6. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Ok for this installment, I'll start with saying that it took me a while to figure out for sure how it was going to finish this axe. I wanted to do something completely different from anything I had seen before...So I wanted more than just a couple stickers or a themed paint job. Not to take away from anyone that has a themed custom painted guitar but they are about fifty cents a dozen. While cleaning my guitar room I came across a handful of unit challenge coins that I got from a couple officers that I have been able to connect with and build some relationship with over my last 16 years working on the department. Then I saw the tibial plate that I screwed to the bottom horn of olic.
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    That plate was inside leg for over a year from the injury. Seeing it the gave me the idea to incorporate these coins into the PD Esquier build. When I started this project I had no idea how big of a deal it would become but as I started asking people for coins from their units I found out there were way more than I was aware of. I figured I would have maybe nine or ten coins. Normally most people either want to charge for the coins or trade for them but once I told them what my plan was people started showing up to donate one. What I thought was going to be a fairly simple and quick build turned into a lot more. I'll get to the coins shortly... for now, the neck.
    I started with an unbranded Strat style neck and reshaped the headstock to a completely different design.
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    I decided to cut and drill the headstock this way because I had the Sperzels which can be reversed so I could make a 4/2 set.
    I still need to do the fret work since I don't much care for it that as it is. Even though I'll be surprised if this axe ever gets played I am building it as if it will.
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    Now back to the body. As the coins kept coming in I had to think about how I was going to do this and I decided to route the body and inlay them into it. So I got out the Dremel and the router as well as the coins and a pencil.
    I started by laying them out and tracing them on the body. The first few were all freehand. Then when I got to the completely round coins I started using a circle guide for the Dremel
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    This step has been more than time consuming and pretty stressful. Some of the freehand routing almost had me wanting to smoke a cigarette again...and I haven't had one in 12 years now.


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  7. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    It's been a couple weeks since I posted here but I've not been able to get much done for a while. Toward the begining of last week I finally got the decals delivered for the lettering that is going to outline the edge of the body and got then laid out.
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    I have a friend whose wife makes stickers and decals on her computer with a Cricut plotter/cutter. They hooked me up with these.
    Then while I was waiting for another friend who is an automotive painter to be able to get into the paint booth for me I moved onto the case.
    20190228_054010.jpeg

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  8. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    So this morning my painter was able to get into the booth today. Normally I would just shoot the paint at home but this one is a little more complicated and he has extra resources the that I don't have at home.
    We started at 8 AM with the prep work which took almost an hour and a half. Then into the paint booth for the first shot of paint.
    First things first--getting it hung up.
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    Then painting the edges silver.
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    After baking the silver and letting it cool we applied the lettering
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    Then he started with the blue.
    [​IMG]

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  9. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Once the blue was shot we baked it again.
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    I gotta say that this blue is just gorgeous... pictures don't do it any justice at all. But I tried to capture it as best as I could.
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    Even outside in the sun it's hard to get.
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    Then we peeled the decals of to reveal the lettering.
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    Then back into the booth again.

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  10. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    This time for the clear coat.
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    Yes, you are seeing a cavity routed all the way through the body. That will be addressed in a later post but it is intentional.
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    This is where it ends for today. Monday I will be picking it up so I can store it in a controlled environment for another week or so to let it cure some more after the final bake. Then I'll start epoxying the coins into their respective places.
    More to come later.
    All in all we spent about 6 1/2 hours there today. But very productive for sure.
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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  11. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Very cool! Seeing the KCPD reminded me that my Mom was a dispatcher for the KCPD back in the 70s. When I went to Russia in 81 I took my blue bomber with me and gave it to the nephew of our tour guide. I still have the collar initials somewhere. She also dispatched at Unity Village for years with I was little.
     
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  12. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I took Mrs. Believer into the communications unit for a sit in with both a call taker and a dispatcher over the course of a shift. It almost made me want to change jobs, being in the new call center they just built a few years ago. But then I saw how crazy their lives are for those 8 hours and decided mine isn't so bad. We both had a great time seeing what happens behind the scenes though.
    The call takers have the highest turnover rate and burn more sick time than any other unit on the department because they are WWWWAAAAAAAYYYYYYY over worked. They deal with mandatory overtime every week due to stress related call-ins which leads to lack of staffing.

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  13. Bowmap

    Bowmap a.k.a. Snoutmap Gold Member

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    That is gonna be a, err, looks to be a fun build. Embedding the coins is a brilliant move. It will make it a very memorable build.
     
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  14. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    One thing it IS going to be for sure is a tank. Before the paint went on I would weighed it with the coins and the body alone was over 10 pounds.
    Thank you for the compliment... and it really is a build that I will always remember. I just really hope it raises a decent amount for the Care Team.

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  15. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Your build is remarkable, in it's basis, concept and execution.
    I hope it raises a substantial amount for a worthy cause.
    It should earn you a gold star.
     
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  16. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Thank you very much. It definitely is a labor of love and I have great respect for the work that the Care Team does for the department members.
    At this point the pressure is on because the is a deadline for this build is March 25th and there isn't any time left over if I make a mistake. I still have to epoxy all 31coins into the body and assemble the guitar and set it up to be a viable guitar for the reveal without scratching it. Plus the media unit wants to do a photo shoot with it as the center piece before the tickets start being sold on April 1st.

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  17. mistermikev

    mistermikev Strat-Talk Member

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    first - you are a police officer? retired now?: thank you for your service. That is a Tough job - RESPECT.

    second - wow: that guitar is looking sweet! I like your ideas afa the lettering on the side and patches. v nice. I'm betting that is going to be amazing and you will have a hard time not buying it back! Good on you!
     
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  18. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    That is incredible !! Great endeavor. Super job pulling off your ideas !!
     
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  19. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Thank you for the compliments. Actually, I am not an officer but I do work for the department. I am a civilian employee and work as a supervisor in the Fleet Operations Unit and am a Master Automotive Technician by trade. Though I am also the only civilian employee in the history of our department that was injured in the field working along side the officers at a sobriety checkpoint...which is how I found out about the Care Team that this build is for.
    And...you are right, I am getting to the point where I don't want to get rid of it.:p
     
  20. mistermikev

    mistermikev Strat-Talk Member

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    well thank you all the same! I have a number of solid friends over the years that are officers/jailers... I'm not sure people get to see the human side of that as much as they should.

    really looking fwd to seeing this thing with the patches on!
     
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