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NGD: my first partscaster, MIM tele Blackguard rebuild

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by JamesAM, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    Hey guys, finished my first partscaster build today! I have a MIM sunburst tele from 2000 (my first guitar) that I wanted to convert to a more vintage blackguard clone, so I figured I’d try a refin with new pickups and pickguard. It was slow going, with some bumps along the way, but I like the results. This would be a beater guitar that’s resistant to weather changes and persnickety humidity.

    my features:

    - ash 3 piece body
    - blonde transparent wipe on water based poly
    - 51 nocaster pickups
    - modern 3 way wiring scheme
    - Bakelite pickguard
    - Wilkinson 3-saddle brass compensated bridge
    - MIM neck, which I really like

    first: I’ll never try to refin a MIM body again. It took 15 minutes of blasting noxious polyester chips off the body with a heat gun before I threw in the towel.

    I ended up buying a cheap new raw 3 piece ash body on reverb, which turned out to be perfectly routed with everything in the right place.

    for the finish, I used minwax wipe on water based polyurethane finish- this is a super easy product that mixed very well with the transtint dye I sourced for the blonde color. I’d use the oil based version next time with the dye directly applied to the wood- this was easy, but I would have preferred a bit deeper color saturation. I was worried that the water based finish rewet the dye and would smear it.

    Still, I’m happy with how it came out for what it is: big box finish applied by a first timer. I was thinking about buffing to a higher gloss, but I’m cool with how it is now.

    I used 6 coats, which is super thin- 3 coats of homemade toner (transtint mixed with the poly) and 3 coats of clear. I thought I’d need more, but I was really happy with the look after 6. It was crazy easy- I used sponge brushes to apply and it went on really smoothly and evenly.

    from there, assembly was a breeze with minimal setup for 11s- the bridge intonated super easily, and I didn’t even need to adjust the truss rod. Great fit with body and neck- it helps I think that the neck is 20 years old and well played in.

    the body is super resonant with the thin finish, and matches my 08 American standard strat for acoustic resonance.

    and I love the pickups. I had an AO 50s that I returned this spring when Covid started, and I like these pickups even better than the PV ones. The bridge twangs and the neck is deep and bluesy. Great for Julian Lage jazz type stuff, which I play through a tweed deluxe clone. I think this one really gives the AO a run for its money, on everything aside from the BSB finish.

    anyway, I had a great experience with my first build, and thought it was a blast. Pics attached.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  2. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Nice job, congrats.
     
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  3. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Very nice. That minwax wipe on is appealing. Good to know it worked well.
     
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  4. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Very :cool: Congratulations.
     
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  5. kinkstah

    kinkstah Tele-Afflicted

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    It looks amazing! The grain of this piece(s) of ash is really nice. Enjoy!
     
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  6. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    Thanks- yeah I’m glad I didn’t put any mixtol in the poly to make it opaque- would have hidden the grain, which is super nice (even with 3 chunks of ash).
    yeah, I was kind of worried about using steel wool to sand it between coats- waterbased finishes would make any remaining shavings rust and stain. I still rolled the dice though, and used a magnet to pick up any fuzz left behind.

    However, I think the benefit of being able to mix tint and dye in with the emulsion to make a brush on finish is a huge plus. If anyone is looking for a trouble free easy finish, the wipe on poly is damn good. I’m really happy.
     
  7. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    Beautilful. I recently tried to paint a guitar with nitro and realized I do not have the patience (or time!) for it, so I applaud you.
     
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  8. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    Great looking guitar, congrats!
     
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  9. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! If you’re after an easy transparent finish, I’m really surprised at how well it worked. No sprays or anything, and it’s thin enough to not run when it wipes on. Super simple, highly recommend if it’s the look you’re going after. One of these days I’ll experiment with some tint to see if it works as an opaque finish.
     
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  10. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks great. Well done!
     
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  11. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Looks great! Amazing how well-matched the three piece body was color-wise. Just goes to show the finish is better on the wood than in the wood.
     
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  12. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Groovy!
     
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  13. RhythmFender

    RhythmFender Tele-Meister

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    Very handsome guitar!!!
     
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