Friday, February 7, 2014

Acoustic Reincarnation

I had this shitty old Johnson acoustic guitar sitting around and I felt like giving it a new life. My wife painted it all psychedelic like a while back, and that was cool, but it was getting kinda tired and bored. Stripping all the layers of paint off was a bitch, to say the least. I used Strypeeze to make my life easier, worked great and even got the original finish off as well. I wanted to get it down to bare wood and stain it. I used a "black onyx" stain, and just barely brushed it on, then touched up a few spots with a rag. After it dried I went over the whole thing with a brillo sanding pad, they sell 'em at the auto stores, mine was left over from some bondo work I did on my van. Tailpiece is from an old Kay.

Used the Dremel with a large cutoff wheel to make the hole for the pickup. That was actually really easy. I was very surprised.

Simple wiring on the pickup. 1 Humbucker, 1 Volume, 1 Tone. The pickup is out of a 70's Electra and is very loud. I used a vintage "Sangamo" cap on the tone pot, it's huge and weird but 0.47, so I figured what the hell. New Gibson pickup mounting ring, and I threw on some new Fender strap buttons. Front didn't have a spot for one, so I added that. Vintage style "cupcake" volume and tone knobs, those are real slick. I dig 'em. Probably should have taken more/better pictures as I went along, but oh well. It came out cool, and sounds awesome, that's what really matters. Have at those shitty old guitars! Don't throw 'em away! Reincarnate!

UPDATE: Added a new bridge, a nickel Gotoh and some Grover vintage style tuners with the pearly knobs.... oooh. Very nice. The old tuners were total crap, rattled like all hell and didn't really stay in tune very well at all. Had to cut a rectangular hole for the bridge to sit down in, just dremeled one out. I wanted/needed it to sit lower in the body so that the action would come down a bit. The truss rod is an accident waiting to happen on this thing, so I'm not touchin' that. Worked out pretty damn well, action isn't perfect, but a hell of a lot better than it was. Much better intonation also. No buzzes, no rattles, ready to jam on.

If you click on the scan of Gotoh box and read the back it's hilarious. "There may be unable to do it". Haha.

Here it is all finished and ready to go. New bridge, tuners, and etc.