From GuitarAttack -- Very cool burst, Ryan.  That is a great color!

Hi, my name is Ryan Cuda and I am a regular on the GuitarAttack Forum.

It seemed as though I'd never finish this beast. My first setback was when I ordered it, it took forever for the ebay seller ( to ship it. On top of the quality of customer service or rather lack thereof, I would not recommend buying from this guy.

But once I got it, I assembled it and was pleasantly surprised that everything went together without a hitch. There were no dead frets or any other nasty surprises. Then after playing for a few weeks I began disassembling and stripping the body and neck. This was an especially tedious job. I tried using stripper, a heat gun, and an abrasive flap wheel and nothing--NOTHING would make the sealer budge. So I resorted to hand sanding.

On a side note, as a result of the heat gun, the mahogany veneer bubbled up from the body so instead of trying to reattach it I removed it, revealing some fairly interesting grain on the back. It's even got a bit of spalt. Not bad for cheap basswood. After several days of sore arms and hands, I finally had removed all of the nasty sealer from the guitar. A quick trip to home depot to get some supplies and I started finishing the guitar. I taped off the binding with 3M blue painters tape and started  staining the guitar. My original intent was to make the guitar cherry red, but I decided to go with something a bit more original. I went with Minwax burgundy, which is actually more purple than anything. I applied probably 40 coats of stain to the face of the guitar. The sealer apparently had seeped into the veneer pretty thoroughly so it would not readily take the water based stain. Then after reaching the desired color penetration, I began to make a "faux burst" by blending it with #0000 steel wool. All in all I'm very pleased with the way it turned out, but the burst could have been a little smoother. Next time I build one of these I'll do a real burst with dyes instead of stain.

The neck was much easier to work with than the body. It took about five coats of stain to reach the desired color. I used the same "faux burst" technique on the neck to hide the joint where the headstock meets the neck. The face I painted with duplicolor black, about seven coats I think. Then I applied the decal. I made the decal by printing it out on a laser jet printer on a transparency sheet. Then I stippled in the letter on the back with a Krylon gold leafing pen. I sealed the gold on with modpodge to prevent the from dissolving. Then once it had dried, i attached it to the headstock with Duro Spray adhesive. After that, I proceeded with clear coating. I put about 16 coats of clear on the neck and body, but considerably more on the face of the headstock, anticipating the extra sanding I would need to do to level it out. The decal kind of embossed itself in the clear coat.

One of the benefits of living in a desert is the lack of humidity. The guitar was dry and hard after just one day and ready for buffing. I had one minor disaster while clear coating. The hook I had the guitar suspended from came out of the ceiling and the whole thing came crashing down, breaking out a chunk of the binding about 2" wide on the lower left face of the guitar. After a bunch of sanding, some creative dremel work, a few beers, some super glue and a whole lot of touch up and restaining, I was  ready to start clear coating again, this time with the guitar laying flat on a sturdy surface. The damage is nearly imperceptable. I water sanded the whole guitar with 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 2500 grit paper which I'd soaked over night in water. The guitar came to a dull satin luster at that point. Then I buffed it out by hand with Turtle Wax Polishing Compound and a soft yellow Chamois cloth from auto zone. The transformation was quite dramatic at first. Then after several hours of buffing, the whole guitar came to a mirror shine and I was ready to put it back together and string her up. And here is the final product: my "purple burst" Les Paul!

My plans for the future are to custom wind the pickups with better magnets and install a push pull pot for coil tapping.


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