Les Paul Traditional split neck

Here’s another nasty break, this time a longitudinal split in a Les Paul neck, caused by a fall. All that was required was to glue and clamp both sides before refinishing the back of the neck using my nitrocellulose lacquers.  

Les Paul Traditional broken headstock

This Les Paul was only a week old when it suffered this catastrophic break. Unusually, the fall was so severe that it broke the fibre headstock face right across between the E tuners. Although not an easy repair the break had plenty of surface area for glue. The repaired headstock was relacquered and the repair …

Frankie & 5150 Pair

I received an email from a customer who has used my lacquer create tributes to a couple of Van Halen style guitars. Here’s what he wrote: Hi Steve, I finally finished my Van Halen guitars, painted with Nitrocellulose lacquer that you supplied. I attach a couple of pictures, as I promised I would when they …

Close-up of the disressed pickguard

More as an experiment than anything else, I decided to have a go at relicing the body I finished in August. The first job is to add a few knocks and scrapes. I dropped a set of keys on the front and back and gently knocked the edges in a few places. Any damage on …

Clear coats sprayed

Preparation Finishing alder is much easier than painting an ash body as the wood is more tightly grained. The reduction in finishing costs is why Fender used alder bodies for their solid colours and sunbursts from the late fifties. As with any wood however, preparation is absolutely fundamental to achieving a good result. If you …

Back of the butterscotch Telecaster body

Here’s how to get the ferrules into a Telecaster without chipping the lacquer. This only works for guitars finished in nitrocellulose. The heat of the soldering iron melts the lacquer which also acts as an adhesive holding the ferrule in place. You can probably see from my shaking hand that I’m exerting quite a bit …

Wet sanding the front of the body

I’m often asked how to spray a butterscotch guitar body so thought I’d put together a bit of a tutorial. Please note that I do not offer a refinishing service. The body I’m using is by Guitar Build who offer a range of CNC machined guitar bodies. I’m very impressed with the accuracy of the shape, which …

La Cabronita body

The La Cabronita is complete. Well, almost. I’m sending it back to Italy without a pickguard as the owner is undecided whether it should have one. Here are a few shots of the guitar for Daniele with different colour pickguards. The 3-ply one was supplied my Guitar Mill and I made the singly-ply ‘guards.  

Gibson Les Paul Custom Headstock Repair

Here’s another Gibson Les Paul headstock repair, the second within the space of two days! The owner of this guitar had left it in his rehearsal room and come back to find it broken. It was pretty clear from the break and other damage on the body that someone had taken the guitar out of its …

Preparing to paint Unless you have a purpose-built spray booth, paint outdoors. Lacquer fumes are toxic and explosive. Even if you are outdoors you should wear a dust mask to avoid breathing the spray. The Saga kit bodies are already sealed with a coat of polyurethane sealer which gives a good surface for your top coats. …