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Tom’s Totally Terrific Gem

I first dyed the body black and sanded back to highlight the grain.  Then I mixed up some red aniline dye and added black to it until I got the dark wine red I stained the body with.  Then I sprayed zinsser shelac to hold the color and then filled the grain with four coats of aquacoat sealer, sanding in between. The clear coats are applied with a rag, Minwax wipe-on polyurethane, 30 coats. Not as thick as it sounds as it goes on so thin.  I would do about four coats and then sand all the way up to a 12,000 jewel grit. Sometimes I would even buff with compound and then apply more coats. It took all winter because my garage is cold, so it took extra long for coats to gas off. The neck was also finished in Minwax wipe-on poly with no stain on it.  After I put about six coats on it and then took it out into the spring sun to cure out, it turned that nice vintage yellow, probably from the linseed oil in the wipe-on poly.

Parts:  The bridge is a Callaham vintage model.  Gotoh locking tuners. Fender custom shop 69 pickups–they sound sweet. Premium switch and pots. You can’t buy a pickguard that color unless you go with an aluminum gold anodized one, which has no beveling and feels weird when playing.  I got a three-ply plastic one from Stew Mack and sprayed three coats of rustoleum gold enamel on it.  Then buffed out the orange peel.  That’s about it. Probably more info that you wanted.

Thanks for sending me the 54 junior so quickly.  I have been so happy with the precise job you did cutting that strat body and neck, the fret fit and finish is superb.  The grain on the body is outstanding.  I was so pleased with the strat, I don’t want to order a neck and body from anyone else but Precision.