SRV "No. 1" Tribute Guitar Project - let's go!

whammy_bart

Squier Talker
Aug 9, 2021
81
UK
The countersink drill bits have arrived and I found that the safest way to ensure I don't drill through or crack the pickguard is just to press and rotate the bit by hand until the hole is the right width and depth. The shallowest bit works best as it has more "teeth". Only took about 3 minutes per hole.
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Ralph
 

whammy_bart

Squier Talker
Aug 9, 2021
81
UK
The coloring of the bright white plastic parts has not been going as well. The coffee and tea mixture did precisely nothing. I then gave them a light sanding with 1000 grit sandpaper which gave it a satin finish and submerged in a turmeric and shoe polish concoction for a day. Now they're too yellow. I think I'll just order cream-colored parts. This isn't a relic job, I'm just trying to match the cream pickup covers I already have.
IMG_6600.JPG IMG_6601.jpg
 
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Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,661
Honolulu, HI
The countersink drill bits have arrived and I found that the safest way to ensure I don't drill through or crack the pickguard is just to press and rotate the bit by hand until the hole is the right width and depth. The shallowest bit works best as it has more "teeth". Only took about 3 minutes per hole.
View attachment 235374 View attachment 235375 View attachment 235376
Ralph

Makes sense those bits were designed to do metal, stone and other hard materials (at least mine were, as they're tungsten alloys, very expensive, but normally nearly indestructible). Cool, then for pickguards, they'll last forever!

I prefer using the bit that matches the back angle of the screw head, then the screw head's edge is flush with pg surface without having an indentation ring around the screw that does nothing but catch dirt and crud.
 

Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,661
Honolulu, HI
The coloring of the bright white plastic parts has not been going as well. The coffee and tea mixture did precisely nothing. I then gave them a light sanding with 1000 grit sandpaper which gave it a satin finish and submerged in a turmeric and shoe polish concoction for a day. Now they're too yellow. I think I'll just order cream-colored parts. This isn't a relic job, I'm just trying to match the cream pickup covers I already have.
View attachment 235377 View attachment 235378

Sounds like ye need a bit more black or dark blue/indigo. Or just do what I do, leave them on the window ledge where it get lots of sun without getting too hot. Let the sun do the work of tanning them. It's free and only costs ye the time it takes to tan them. Just dont forget to check on them regularly! 😉
 

whammy_bart

Squier Talker
Aug 9, 2021
81
UK
Makes sense those bits were designed to do metal, stone and other hard materials (at least mine were, as they're tungsten alloys, very expensive, but normally nearly indestructible). Cool, then for pickguards, they'll last forever!

I prefer using the bit that matches the back angle of the screw head, then the screw head's edge is flush with pg surface without having an indentation ring around the screw that does nothing but catch dirt and crud.
Yeah I think I got it so the edge of the screw head sits flush with the pickguard. I'll fine tune the depth after it's all wired up.
 

whammy_bart

Squier Talker
Aug 9, 2021
81
UK
Another week of curing and I can get down to wet sanding the nitro lacquer on this neck, starting with 1000 grit, then to 1500 and 2500 before polishing compound. I might leave the back of the neck at 1000 grit (silky feel rather than glossy) - better for my sweaty paws.

Trying to get psyched up to do the fretwork (never done it before) and the wiring (never done it before).

IMG_6605.JPG
Ralph
 

whammy_bart

Squier Talker
Aug 9, 2021
81
UK
Now that 2 weeks have passed I figured the nitro was cured enough to wet sand, starting with 1000 grit. However, after sanding for a few minutes I realized there was no grain left on the paper. So either the sandpaper is poor quality or it's not supposed to be used for wet sanding.
IMG_6655.jpg
No problem, I'll just dry sand it. However the sandpaper got clogged almost immediately and I had to constantly cut a new piece.
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The clogging sandpaper tended leave streaks where it was clogged.
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Eventually I got it to the point of a soft sheen.
IMG_6666.JPG

However I still see some low spots I guess where there was pronounced orange peel effect.
IMG_6661.JPG

The neck actually feels really nice now, but I think it could be better if I keep going with finer grit. Unfortunately I'm now out of 1000 grit so can't progress until I get some more.

I kind of figured the neck would be the hardest part of the build. I also realized I think the way the neck looks is in some ways more important than how the body looks as that's often the only place real wood shows through. So I'll try not to rush this part of the process.
 

Lanaka

Squier-holic
Feb 11, 2020
2,661
Honolulu, HI
Now that 2 weeks have passed I figured the nitro was cured enough to wet sand, starting with 1000 grit. However, after sanding for a few minutes I realized there was no grain left on the paper. So either the sandpaper is poor quality or it's not supposed to be used for wet sanding.
View attachment 236408
No problem, I'll just dry sand it. However the sandpaper got clogged almost immediately and I had to constantly cut a new piece.
View attachment 236409

The clogging sandpaper tended leave streaks where it was clogged.
View attachment 236410

Eventually I got it to the point of a soft sheen.
View attachment 236411

However I still see some low spots I guess where there was pronounced orange peel effect.
View attachment 236412

The neck actually feels really nice now, but I think it could be better if I keep going with finer grit. Unfortunately I'm now out of 1000 grit so can't progress until I get some more.

I kind of figured the neck would be the hardest part of the build. I also realized I think the way the neck looks is in some ways more important than how the body looks as that's often the only place real wood shows through. So I'll try not to rush this part of the process.

Good idea, get good wet papers and take yer time! Despite the setback yer neck's looking fine! Altho no offense meant, but ye could've save lotsa time/effort if ye went out to get more of the proper sandpapers first. 😅😁

Still, I'm looking forward to seeing the conclusion of yer project!
 

DrBeGood

Dr. Squier
Dec 9, 2014
6,069
QC, CANADA
img_6540-jpg.234809
I would have doweled (round toothpicks and wood glue) those screw holes. Wood putty is not particularly good for a screw to bite.
 

whammy_bart

Squier Talker
Aug 9, 2021
81
UK
I would have doweled (round toothpicks and wood glue) those screw holes. Wood putty is not particularly good for a screw to bite.
Yes that would have been better, however the new tuners screw holes won't line up with the old ones anyway so hopefully it won't be an issue. If I'm lucky the new keys will completely cover the old holes.
 

whammy_bart

Squier Talker
Aug 9, 2021
81
UK
The new 1000 and 1500 wet dry grit sandpaper arrived so I gave it a full pass with both before moving on to 2500. The new sandpaper worked well even with very light pressure, and I had heard the lacquer coverage on the corners was less, so I eased up there. Unfortunately I still burned through it in a couple spots. Lesson learned: do more coats of both tint and clear coat lacquer and avoid sanding completely on any sharp angles.
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Luckily I'm OK with road worn look so this fits nicely with that.
I then experimented with some 5000 grit to see if that brought out the sheen and surprisingly it got it to a nice semi gloss:
IMG_6678.jpg
But even slightly better was the K2 Turbo car polishing compound which got it even glossier. I was going to leave the back of the neck satin but was having so much fun buffing, I did the whole thing glossy.

The paste was from Poland. Does that make it Polish Polish? Sorry.
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There are many spots that aren't perfect, and I wouldn't call it a mirror finish but it's well beyond semi gloss.
IMG_6683.jpg
 

whammy_bart

Squier Talker
Aug 9, 2021
81
UK
The bushings that came with the tuning keys I ordered which I really like the look of appear to be about 8.3mm diameter, unfortunately the existing squier holes in the headstock are about 10mm. So rather than filling the holes and redrilling them, or some other drastic woodworking measures, I ordered larger gold bushings to fit. Unfortunately, those are about 10.8mm diameter so they don't fit either.
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Time to get out the old Tapered Reamer (I love reaming) ;) and make them a bit larger. And bingo.
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Ralph
 

DrBeGood

Dr. Squier
Dec 9, 2014
6,069
QC, CANADA
I wul
I really like the feel of the nitro. It's hard to explain, it just feels softer and less plasticky than poly.
View attachment 236698
The added bonus of using car polish is it now has a nice new car smell.

Bonus: here's a sneak preview of the next step in the build:
View attachment 236699

I would have stained the sandpaper contour mishaps. They wouldn't be covered with nitro, thus would age (darken) better/faster and look more like real wear.
 

Dpsixstringer

Squier-Meister
Jun 13, 2022
212
Reading pa
I love the natural (but as you guys call it, bleached) look of a maple neck. I mean that's actually how it is supposed to look, and anything else is either naturally aged or fake. Those Squiers that basically aren't classic vibe have the truly great satin finish that is so much easier to play than the sticky, glossy, and phony butterscotch color. But I get that you are trying to make this look older, and that's the right call.
Regarding the trem, the reason I don't use mine is that it is in the wrong place. Jimi Hendrix loved using his trem, but then he played a right-handed strat Left handed, so it was in the right place for him. SRV played almost everything in Eb, just like Hendrix, and wisely chose to route the trem on the correct side rather than playing a lefty Strat right handed as some Hendrix fans do. I really wish Fender would get a clue and offer a new Squier with the trem properly located as on SRV's. It is so much easier to use and pick with it located "above" rather than "below" the bridge. Traditionalists would roll their eyes, as they have done on every improvement on Strats from the bigger CBS headstock to HSS or Lace/noiseless pickups. For everyone else it would a revelation or revolution.

I really like what you are doing here and the fact that you are doing it on a budget. Cheers!
I'm late on this one, but must agree with you about maple is what it is and the satin necks are so sweet and smooth to play. Even though the naturally aged look of an older one that has seen way too many smokey rooms is cool, I feel functionality trumps cool factor to a fairly high degree in most circumstances.
 


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