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So I decided to take my old JS back to wood and refinish it and while I was at it, invest in a few (okay more than a few) upgrades. 

The finish was a saga. I started with Wudtone’s ‘Lady Teal’ but I wanted solid colour and that was really the wrong finish for that task. I then tried Nitro in ‘Lake Placid Blue’ but with zero margin for error and an expensive lesson in how important following the instructions regarding temperature is, this was also a fail (barely, but a fail). The final finish I laid straight over the nitro. I used Dulux Duramax ‘Dark Blue Metallic’ enamel. It came out really well. I’m happy with it anyway. 

The upgrades include Hipshot, locking-nut, vintage tuners; Mastery bridge; pickups (Dimarzio Area 67 in the neck, and an SD P-rails in the bridge); ToneShaper Mustang wiring kit (swapped in a linear pot for the tone); neck plate; hardtailed the tremolo; and re-shielded the cavities. 

My wiring needs a tweak as I’m only getting the 67 to work, but I’ll do that in due course. My kids were able to present me with it this morning for my birthday. ?


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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks really good. Well done.


How much experience did you have before this in painting guitars?  Did you use any special equipment or just a bunch of sand paper? 


I’d love to go black with black pick guard.  I don’t think I’ve seen a jag-stand in black before.  

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Thanks! Al, I'm still only getting sound out of the Area 67 at the neck. I haven't had a good chance to sort out the wiring. I know what I did wrong, I just need some (kid free) time to get the soldering iron out. The Area 67 sounds great, although darker than I was imagining. I'm playing through a Blackstar HT-5R which may be contributing to the darkness, but it still sounds great. I went with 250 pots rather than 500 which I thought would be too bright. I'll kepp that in mind for the future.

SillyBilly, I didn't have any experience other than a 335 build I did a few years ago, but I used the Wudtone for that so I didn't do any spraying. I ended up using rattle-cans for both the nitro and the enamel. I would say that the enamel is more forgiving but under the right conditions, nitro would turn out great. In terms of sanding, I used wet and dry for the whole thing. Dry for the prep up to 400 than after the clear coats were finished, I used 1500, 2000, 2500, and 3000, then Turtlewax cut and polish. Very much on a budget. If budget wasn't issue I would have bought some micromesh for the finishing.

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