I am bored senseless waiting for the prosthetic leg. It’s in the hands of the insurance company, and they would rather not spend any more money on me, I guess. Not sure why else they would be dragging their feet to approve my leg.
But in the meantime, I dragged out the old white Frankencaster last night to exercise my fingers some. The neck had shifted a bit and the A and D strings were buzzing on the frets pretty badly. I tried raising the bridge but they still buzzed. So I grabbed my hex wrench and went after the neck. Looked like it had flattened out some, so I put a tiny bit of curve back in it and readjusted the bridge saddles. This time it rang true, so I tuned it up and played for a while. Afterwards I put the guitar away and let it sit until tonight. Only minor string slippage on 2 strings, and still no buzz. So I played for a while and set it down again. I’ll check it over the next few days to be sure the neck adjustment holds. I probably should check the intonation, but I’m a bit lazy, so it can wait.
Not bad for a cheap guitar. It started life as an ugly polar-bear-pee yellow Squier Stratocaster, a decent beginner’s instrument with a pretty good neck. But I wanted to practice my guitar tech skills so I tore it apart and added some extras. First, I pulled the neck off and stripped the body, refinishing it to a bright gloss white. It got new Fender Tex-Mex hot pickups, new volume and tone pots, and a new 5-way selector switch, plus I used copper tape to shield the entire electronics cavity and pick guard, and grounded it all. Then I tackled the neck. The plastic nut was replaced with a graphite one, the string trees were replaced with American Strat roller trees, and I drilled out the tuner holes, taking them from 8mm to 10mm to accommodate locking tuners. I also added a Cross Section logo, then put a satin finish on the head stock and back of the neck. Last items added were a pair of Dunlop locking strap buttons.
For a cheap guitar, it sounds and plays pretty good. And I have the enjoyment of having done all my own modifications. If I ever need to, I can remove almost all the add-ons and use them on another guitar. And the Squier will still be the nice piece of firewood that it was when I started. This Frankencaster will never match my Mexi Telecaster (which I also modified) or my PRS, but it is a guitar I can drag around and if it gets trashed, it is not that much of a loss.
I love having hobbies that allow me to work with my hands. It’s nice to have something to keep me busy. God blessed me with an eye for detail and a steady hand, so it is a natural thing for me to tinker with wood, metal, and electronics. And yes, I do occasionally miss being a watch repairman.