Note from GuitarAttack:  This is a great looking sunburst!

From Bob Ohsiek

A Saga LP Style

I started with a regular Saga LP kit a friend had purchased. He originally tried for a different color with a black stain, cut out the headstock pattern [good job], and leveled the frets. We'd already each done a couple of Saga S and T type guitars and found the frets usually need serious leveling.

I used dark mahogany stain for the back of the body. Fortunately most of the undercoat/filler had been sanded off, so the stain 'took'. I had some leftover Ace Hardware polyurethane varnish in a yellowish oak tint for the front of the body. I brushed on a coat or two [warning, the tint comes out a little uneven with the brush, but's a $100 guitar!].

After it all dried in the sun I scraped the yellow varnish from the binding with a single-edged razor blade. For the face of the body I wanted to go for a tobacco sunburst so I started from the edge, wiping with a rag dipped in a tiny bit of the mahogany stain, planning on adding black or brown later. However, the first go-round looked so nice I decided to quit while I was ahead and leave it as a 'tangerine burst'.

I dipped a tiny paintbrush in some thinned-down stain and highlighted several of the flames—adding a bit of red and dragging the brush towards the center of the body to make some of the flames more prominent than they already were. Just a little is all it took, and with the dried poly coat underneath, it was easy to wipe off and try again whenever it didn't look right.

After drying, I sprayed the front and back of the body with a few coats of clear polyurethane matte finish. It cures more slowly than lacquer but it's a tough, slightly more flexible finish once it sets. I've got enough glossy guitars to worry about anyway.

I masked off the sides of the headstock and sprayed black on the face. Then I added a logo I had made by Best Decals.  What a great discovery folks! Just follow the steps on their site and order up some rub-on letters, any font. They liked mine and ended up using a photo of my headstock on their page. I'm pretty sure it was hardware store polyurethane matte, and it didn't soak into or dissolve the lettering at all. I bet lacquer would be a bit more dangerous though since it has a more volatile thinner in it.

The stock chrome pickups with black parts didn't seem to go with the color scheme so I found some inexpensive cream/ivory pickups and surrounds on the 'bay. I wired from the switch straight to one volume, bypassing the tone pots and 2nd volume pot. [This old Fender player needs it simple!]

I gigged with it this past Saturday. Man, I thought I was in the Allman Bros. You can have a lot of fun for pretty low dough with these things. It sounds way better than some Gibsons I've owned. I believe it's because the weight of these basswood bodies is just right.

Bob Ohsiek

PS, just for fun, I'll attach a pic of a fake Marshall I just built from a garage-sale tube PA.


Great job, Bob -- Nice burst and Marshall!

Back to Top


Builder's Gallery Repair Techniques Our Original Music Guitar Forum
The "Saga Sagas" Links

Play Guitar

Opinion Page
  Guitar Collection

Listen on Reverbnation

Interesting Guitars


Contact GUITARATTACK GuitarAttack Store KGS Store   HOME