DIY: A mini-Mini

Discussion in 'Other Squiers' started by drneilmb, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    112
    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    It's time for another guitar project. I got a Starcaster Mini from eBay http://www.squier-talk.com/threads/ngd-starcaster-mini.165179/ with the idea of making a travel guitar. It has one pickup, a Hardtail and no pickguard, so it was just a matter of deciding which bits to cut away.

    1110191328.jpg

    I don't have a bandsaw, but I also don't care too much about accuracy on this, so I started with a hand held jigsaw.

    1110191336.jpg

    And it's not even made of plywood. Looks like maybe agathis?

    1110191336a.jpg

    I'll keep posting in the thread as I make more progress. Up next is fine tuning the body shape with the jigsaw and then files. I'm planning on Rustoleum bedliner for durability, so I probably won't strip the poly or sweat the surface texture very much.
     
  2. rbh32

    rbh32 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    40
    393
    Feb 12, 2018
    Valley, AL
    I like where this is headed already.. :D
     
    Kenneth Mountain and drneilmb like this.
  3. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    112
    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    It's really tiny. I put a little bevel on the top edges but I'm not sure how the detail will survive the paint job.

    1110192042.jpg

    Mocked up with the pickup and the hardtail bridge.

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    This thing makes a Steinberger look like a 335.

    PhotoPictureResizer_191110_205829285_crop_1883x4949.jpg

    The headstock proportions are hilarious. I'm planning to make it a 4x2 and move the last two tuners down to bottom of the treble side of the headstock, then cut everything off as compact as possible. Still need some noodling on that plan though.
     
  4. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    Yes, there is room on the headstock to move two tuners down to the bottom side.

    1111191817.jpg

    I always get confused which way the bottom side tuners should turn, so I'm no going to worry about it and just turn around the existing tuners.

    Looks like it will save some width and length off the headstock. Are there other tuners that have smaller "footprints" than the cheap trapezoid tuners that came with it?
     
  5. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    112
    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    When you're excited about a project, you can get lots done if you forget to worry about screwing up. Like when you start hacksawing into a lovely chunk of maple!

    1111192007.jpg

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    I laid out the new tuner holes on the same angle relative to the neck because I thought it would make the spacing between the strings work out. Then I drilled a small pilot hole and clamped on this Fender-branded drill bushing to keep the holes square.

    1111192016.jpg

    The holes turned out looking good and they seem reasonably placed with respect to the last string tree hole (guess I won't need that any more)

    1111192050a.jpg

    1111192050.jpg
     
  6. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    I placed the tuners and drilled pilot holes and now it's a forest of tuners back there.

    1111192112a.jpg

    1111192112.jpg

    And the whole thing looks pretty reasonable. The framing square is 24 inches long here.

    1111192122.jpg
     
  7. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    And when I got that far, I couldn't stop without putting the strap buttons in and seeing what it feels like to play.

    1111192133.jpg

    It's playable for sure, but you can imagine that it's nothing but neck and so it's nothing but neck dive.

    1111192133a.jpg

    I think that the grippy bedliner paint is going to be helpful at holding it up a little bit. And, it's so light that holding it up with the fretting hand isn't much of an issue.

    Does anybody need a spare fender headstock end? ;)

    1111192140.jpg

    Up next is fitting the output jack and then wiring it all up. I'll probably string it up and give it a try at that point before I pull it all apart for finishing the headstock and the body.
     
  8. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-Meister

    427
    Jul 4, 2019
    Ohio, United States
    My travel guitar has a metal bracket bolted onto the neck for the strap. It sort of fixes the neck drive issue.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
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    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    Very interesting. Maybe I'll think about just using an acoustic style strap that runs all the way up to the headstock.
     
  10. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-Meister

    427
    Jul 4, 2019
    Ohio, United States
    That might work. Since my Anygig is headless that isn't an option for me.
     
  11. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    Terrific work. I enjoyed reading this.

    Now, where are you going to take it?
     
  12. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    112
    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    I travel a few times a year for work and the last time I was jonesing for a guitar to play in the evenings. So my plan is to take this on the plane as a second carry-on along with my Zoom G1FOUR and a pair of headphones for night-time noodling.

    Once I get the guitar done, I have some ideas for making a padded case that I can slide the whole thing into from the bottom. Think one of those golf club covers with the very long stretchy sock part for the shaft.
     
  13. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    112
    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    Well, it plays great and it's super portable. It's just what I was hoping for when I started.

    1113192100.jpg

    Last night my daughter had a dance class from 6:30-8 in town. I strung it up with 10-46 and brought my Zoom G1 FOUR, a short cord and a pair of earbuds. And while she was in her class, I nabbed some practice time. It's even playable in the front seat of a Prius! I played some backing tracks on my phone and jammed along with one earbud in (there's an aux input, but I didn't bring that cable).

    Through the Zoom, it sounds like a real guitar. It only has a bridge pickup, so some of the fuller tones are only available by tweaking the tone controls on the Zoom (which is quite easy). The cheap humbucker is totally adequate, hot enough to get some crunch with some of the presets and not so hot that it can't give a clean tone. No volume knob means no turning down to clean things up, but for a practice rig, I'm not too concerned about it.

    I play 9s on my strat and tele and with 10s this feels about the same (the formula at https://www.hago.org.uk/faqs/formulae/ predicts that 9s on a 25.5 inch scale length should have the same string tension as 10s on a 22.75 scale length). The bends are pleasant, the action turned out nice when I did a little setup after getting home, very playable and comparable to my two "real" guitars.

    I think that this will be the travel and portable practice rig that I was hoping for. I'm very satisfied with how it turned out. It could still use some paint and some woodworking on one edge, but given its beater purpose, I'm in no hurry to make it stop looking like a beater.
     
  14. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    like the old Chiquita guitars!
     
  15. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert

    This was a great thread - thanks for sharing ! !
     
    gary mitchell and SubSailer671 like this.
  16. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
  17. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    112
    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    At about 10% of the price. Thanks Fender and thanks China! :)
     
  18. cool gouhl

    cool gouhl Squier-Nut

    Age:
    46
    868
    Dec 4, 2014
    Cincinnati
    Is that an e10/e7 strat hanging next to it on the wall in the pic?
     
  19. drneilmb

    drneilmb Squier-Meister

    Age:
    112
    281
    Jun 8, 2019
    Iowa, USA
    Yes, E10 serial number MIK Fender Strat in LPB. I bought it brand new from my LGS in early 1988. It was my one and only electric for 31 years.
     
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