License Plate Guitar? Anyone?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by dbickford, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    So I've got this spare neck hanging around. Was thinking about building a license plate guitar around it. I have a few neat old Vt plates to pick from, either green or white. Anyone out there have any experience with this?

    Here's a rough mock up of what I'm after.

    image-1906032955.jpg
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
     
  2. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

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    I toyed with making one of these once. My approach was to make a wood plank body that was shaped to the outline of the plate. The plate itself was just a pickguard, really. I was going to have the controls sprouting out of the bolt holes with beer cap knobs and such. I've seen people put another plate on the back to cover the routing. Cut the bejezus out of my finger trimming the neck cutout.

    Never put any body hardware on it and I ended up putting the neck on a Squier Strat body with a Gilmour switch. :neutral:
     
  3. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Zuz. I've been thinking about gluing up a box for the body, but it never dawned on me to just rout out a body blank. Now I'm thinking in your direction!
    I'll need to pick the plate I want first, it's either a white '60 or a green '65 Vermont plate I found in a woods dump. I'm thinking of either a lipstick tube p'up, or maybe a P90. Decisions. To keep the top clean, I may go with a TOM style bridge with string thru ferrules.
     
  4. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    I saw a license plate for a pickguard once. Now the wheels are turning..... I gots an idea!

    Keep us posted. I'm curious on that.
     
  5. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Well I looked at both plates. I like the green '65 plate,

    image-561431011.jpg

    but in the end I decided to go with the white '60 plate.

    image-1198546872.jpg

    The white plate allows the wraparound bridge to center over the 6, and placement of the single coil will land between the 0 and 4.

    image-2589846406.jpg



    image-2473610398.jpg

    I spared no expense on this li'l project, and ordered my goods from guitarfetish. A simple wraparound bridge, switchcraft output jack, 250k volume pot, and some flattop knobs ( I'll only need one).
    The lipstick tube is a modern bridge model. I'm placing it about 1 3/4" forward of the usual bridge pickup location, so it more of a middle location.
    I'm going to wire only a volume pot and output.

    More to come!
     
  6. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

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    The cigar box guys do this a lot. Places like C B Gitty might have examples.
     
  7. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Well I routed out a plank body out of some spruce. I stained it with some dark stain, sanded it back slightly, then shot some rattlecan Deft nitro on. After a couple weeks of cure time, I wetsanded it thru 1500#.

    image-1917800893.jpg
     
  8. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    I drilled holes in the plate for the wraparound bridge studs. I made the holes large enough so I could press in the studs, then place the license plate over them and then install the bridge.

    Here's the studs pressed in.

    image-1090789927.jpg

    While the body cured, I got the all the metalwork on the plate done. I marked the placement of the tube pickup, then I used a step drill to drill the radiuses of the pickup ends, then used a Dremel and file to finish the cuts. Drilled holes for the output and volume pot, along with a few mounting screw holes.

    Sorry about the lack of pics, but I tend to lose myself in the work and forget to document it. ) ;
     
  9. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    living on the border of the south and the midwest... i've seen a LOT of license plate guitars. most of them look awful and sound worse. yours seems to be off to a great start though... love what you did for the plank! looks great!
     
  10. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Got the neck on. Had to make a 2° shim for the neck pocket to allow for the height of the bridge.


    image-2615271045.jpg



    image-1861315101.jpg

    Stringing up with my usual 8-38 EB Slinky's.

    image-3916106680.jpg



    image-1375838296.jpg
     
  11. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Here she is all strung up.

    I made a nut out of I bleached white bone to match the white plate.

    image-2793257215.jpg

    Here's my fancy feeler gauge nut slotting tool. I taped some shims together measuring .010 over fret height and use it to limit the slot depth.

    image-2942272343.jpg
     
  12. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Oops!

    HERE she is all strung up!

    image-3853605257.jpg
     
  13. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

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    Where's the inspection sticker?
     
  14. Joe Sailor

    Joe Sailor Tele-Afflicted

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    Really like the choice of the lipstick pickup. Looks "right" for the license plate. Nice.
     
  15. DucksEliminated

    DucksEliminated Tele-Meister

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    Does it have a name yet? "Hot Treble" comes to mind.

    Please tell me this is a full functioning guitar! Sound clips?!
     
  16. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks. I thought that pickup along with the simple bridge made for a nice look.
     
  17. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Rest assured DucksE, this is a fully functioning git! It does however lack a tone control, so a little fiddling with the amp is in order. It also lacks a little in upper fret access. : (

    I don't usually name my guitars, so no stepped up to the "plate" with a proper name. Suggestions?



    As for sound clips, sorry, but I build better than I play, and I'm somewhat of a shy guy. I will say that this plugged into my BD-2 and then into my V-5, this li'l thing rocks!
     
  18. dbickford

    dbickford Tele-Afflicted

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    Finally got the nut sanded and in place.

    image-2741185689.jpg

    The intonation was spot on with my 8- 38 Slinky's!

    Here's a few more pics.

    image-3806060786.jpg



    image-791739614.jpg



    image-3403270394.jpg



    image-3085585618.jpg



    image-251295970.jpg



    image-3629401896.jpg



    image-1718486809.jpg
     
  19. DucksEliminated

    DucksEliminated Tele-Meister

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    Well it looks great man im jellous of your creativity and ability to build somethibg like that!
     
  20. repeatofender

    repeatofender Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow, looks cool!
    I've only made a plate into a pick guard
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
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