A Look Back: New Obsession – 1st guitar refinish

It’s always interesting to think back to the beginning of something and what was surrounding your life that might provide a glimpse into why you started doing this thing. At the time you may be doing it just for the sake of doing it, nearly a decade later with more of the story in place you may be able to find some clues as to the why.

So here’s what I remember. I was in college, sometime in the spring of 2003. I had been playing guitar for only a few years at this point, and I think had owned just a couple different electric guitars. I was fully into my new obsession, this guitar world, and had seen online that you could get these kits to build your own guitar. This was awesome I thought, and ordered one. It was the Saga brand, inexpensive, great for first timers. I decided on the “Tele” style TC-10 model. I think because I had just gotten a Mexican Fender strat and was fixing on the next thing, early stages of G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) I’m sure. 😉20120215-200627.jpg

So I get the kit, tear right into it as anyone that has no clue what they’re doing would do, and get to work on making my first guitar. The obvious question? What color am I gonna paint it!? I had an amazing idea I thought, at the time thinking I was being so unique. I was going to do a chameleon color shift paint job on a guitar. You know, the kind you’d see on cars! So I found a spray kit by Dupli-Color called Mirage paint. I chose the green/purple shift. It came in a set of 3 different cans with an easy 3-step process.20120215-200608.jpg

Being the type that liked following the instructions I was all set with my guitar kit and spray paint kit. I remember the headstock came as a blank paddle so you could create your own custom design,also because the Fender headstock designs are trademarked as I quickly came to find out. I also remember I really liked my design I came up with and cut by hand. It was a slender design, like the traditional tele design, but sharper, curved with points, instead of rounded off. I used very basic tools doing this whole thing, sprayed it in the backyard of the house I was living in at the time, just trying to follow the instructions and not mess things up too bad. Had I messed something up I’m sure I wouldn’t have known. 🙂

The whole process probably took me 2-3 weeks. It came out, just ok, I remember thinking. It didn’t look all glassy and shiny like I thought it would, like other guitars I’d seen. The finish even had some texture to it I think. Notice I keep saying “I think” and “I remember”, because I managed to lose all the pictures I took of it!!! So this is probably highly disappointing to not be able to see it. I know it was for me to not be able to find any pictures. So we’re in the same boat. Where is this guitar now, you ask? I have no idea. I ended up selling it almost right away on eBay, and maybe got back the cost of the kit for it. I’m pretty sure I signed “Jai” on the headstock in sharpie. I remember the person that bought it was fairly happy with it, thought it was pretty cool, so that made me feel alright about the whole process. Come to think of it I was quite lucky that somebody even bought it. I’m a lefty, this was a right handed kit, I was planning on selling it from the get go lol. I wasn’t super eager to get another kit and try again right away, but I did feel like it was something that I would probably return to, and I already had a few ideas I wanted to try for the next one. I certainly didn’t realizeat the time how common that phrase would become in just a few short years. 😉

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2 responses to “A Look Back: New Obsession – 1st guitar refinish

  • Matt McCarthy

    Hello Jai, I absolutely love the designs you achieve on the guitars, they are fantastic! I’ve often thought that there’s no reason why a guitar shouldn’t be treated as a ‘canvas’ on which to work. I’m a fine artist myself and really appreciate what you are creating. I have just started making custom guitar knobs in various colours and designs which I initially sold on EBay, and have just launched a small web shop to sell them from. If you have time, could you check it out and tell me what you think? I’d really appreciate it. It’s guitarknobs.uk in the UK.

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