GuitarAttack: This is a great looking sunburst!
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
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 what-the-heck...it'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
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.
PS, just for fun, I'll attach a pic of a fake Marshall
I just built from a garage-sale tube PA.