2015 Partscaster/Barncaster Electric for Rick

My friend Rick has been after me to transform a hunk of very old barnboard into a functional guitar for quite a while. I finally took the time to finish it off (4 months later) over a bit of Friday and this afternoon. It's just as funky as I expected it to be but as a bonus it's also really fun!

He handed me a roughly Tele-shaped body and I recut that quickly on the bandsaw after tracing a "real" Tele outline on it. After that I routed a neck pocket to fit his parts-bin Strat neck and figured out what parts to contribute. His main input was: gold tuners and a funky purple/gold Duncan humbucker that he supplied. The rest is stuff I had hanging around in my parts pile. He had me order a lipstick-style bridge pickup (in gold, of course), but he decided to go one-pickup instead.

The 1961 "See Vermont" license plate washed up during "big old storm" Irene when our whole valley was very-much flooded.

I used only one coat of poly on the body just to seal it and darken it up a little and the worn plate looks pretty cool with the rough, aged surface. I didn't do any sanding after my bandsaw cuts other than to give the edges a bit of a rounder profile. We both decided "raw and ready" fit the body better than trying to pretty it up.

Everything is joyously mismatched from the gold sealed tuners to the chromed string trees to the (new) bone nut to the... etc. etc...

Just a note: this is certainly not a "real" Fender Eric Clapton signature neck. It's some Asian-import neck that's extra-super-thin (front to back) and finished in a satin sort of spray. I "speed necked" the back of it a little bit, though, so it feels a little more high-spec.

Fortunately, the truss holds just fine on the neck and the frets themselves are practically untouched.

The funky humbucker, after adjustment, doesn't sound too bad! It's basically a super-Strat style bridge humbucker, I think. It has that sort of 80s sound and sounds best with a bit of drive. I've surface-mounted this pickup and it's held in place by a couple of long screws.

That'll also give you an idea of the heel height on this guitar: I kept it high off the body to give this more an archtop/Gibson feel.

The vintage Harmony-style tailpiece (with "heart" cutouts) mixes nicely with the gold-color 50s-style retro radio knobs (they're actually off of a Fender Greta amp). The German-made Gibson-style adjustable bridge is one from my bin. I used my own "studs," however, to make use of hex (rather than thumbwheel) up/down adjustment.

All the electronics are mounted to the "pickguard," which made grounding nice and tidy!

Rick originally figured this would be the front... but after seeing what happens with hasty gluing... decided it'd better be the back (heh heh). Actually, it's not too bad now that finish is on it.

Nice tight grain on that body, huh? It's almost tempting to think about what it'd do as a soundboard on a uke or mandolin. Oh well!


Anonymous said…
Love it. Great look. Any chance of a sound file?