My Gold-leafed, Hardtail Stratocaster is complete. It’s a true “Covidcaster”, and has helped sustain me through Lockdown – but I must admit – I think I did this more for the experience, than from ever actually wanting “the bling”.
Fixing a nut which has been cut slightly low – resulting in some fret buzz at the first fret, on open strings.
Stringing my custom, gold-leafed hardtail Fender Stratocaster for the first time. Standard setup, but plenty of scope for fine adjustment.
Hotter pickups usually require a little dialling-back, to get them into “Vintage” territory. But I think I’m going to need a “Treble Bleed” modification to keep the sound bright.
Gold leafed Hardtail Stratocaster. Fitting the circuit wiring with 500k pots and a K40Y-9, 0.1µF PIO tone capacitor
Building a modified wiring circuit for my Gold-leafed hardtail Stratocaster. Wiring up some Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups, with 500k pots and a K40Y-9, 0.1µF tone capacitor.
Gold leafed Hardtail Stratocaster. “Working on the sound”. Researching, planning and sourcing some circuit components.
There’s a lot to learn, (so this might be a long post). I want to try and specify a wiring circuit specifically for the Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups I’ll be using on my Gold Hardtail Stratocaster.
This gilded Stratocaster body has problems. Maybe not that serious – but I need to get a handle on them. Best solution I can think of – is to cover up the problem areas with go-faster stripes!
Fitting the scratchplate, is when the look of the guitar really starts to come together. But with the test fit – there’s something not quite right…
Shielding the Hardtail’s body with copper foil will create a contiguous ground. But I’ll have to find a way to link it to that surface mounted bridge.
The lacquer on the Hardtail Stratocaster should have cured enough to polish up reasonably well. It’s a bit of a monotonous slog to work through all of the various grades of grit, but it promises to be well worth the effort.
The first coats of lacquer on the Hardtail Stratocaster have now had a month to cure. There are a few surface marks which will need polishing out – but I need to make sure the lacquer coat is thick enough to flat back, without removing the gold.
The imitation gold on my Hardtail Stratocaster will begin to oxidise and discolour unless it gets a protective lacquer coat. This won’t take long…
It doesn’t look like I’ll need to do much faulting – so I’m hopeful that this will be the final step in applying the imitation leaf. The face of the guitar is usually the most visible – so leaving it until last, gives me the best chance to hone my technique.
Day two of my gilding project. Now that the edges are done – I’ll be working on each flat surface of the body, in turn. This makes the process even easier – but these are still quite sizeable areas to deal with in one go. This time – I have to find a good way of dealing with those string grommets too.
The process of gilding with imitation gold leaf is very similar to that of gilding with real gold leaf. However, the imitation leaf is much easier to handle. Consequently – the application technique is a little easier to get right, and covering a whole guitar body doesn’t take quite as long.
A really good gilding job is impossible without really good preparation first. Having already given the Hardtail body a smooth, toning basecoat and a gilt varnish undercoat – there are a couple of extra bits of prep which should help when it comes to applying the metal leaf.
Although I plan to take a few shortcuts in gilding this new Hardtail body – I’ll still need to prepare the surface carefully to get a decent result. With my vision problems – I’m finding it increasingly difficult to focus on fine detail – so I’ll be drawing on technique – and letting my touch guide me.
Previous experiments with Gold leaf on a Stratocaster body, sort of went off track a bit. In truth – the real Gold didn’t really achieve the look I was after, and I ended up abandoning the project. I still can’t help myself though – and recently, I’ve been wondering if I could achieve more of the look I was originally after, by using fake gold leaf. This time applied a little bit more randomly. Let’s see…