Vinci’s Goldmaster

Vinci has decided that he really needs a new guitar for Gold Fields’ new musical project and we have talked about what the new guitar should look and sound like…

His Gold Fields guitars are Radiomasters and he felt that the new guitar should be Radiomaster- like but with a Strat influence.. The guitar should be Strat- shaped, but Vinci wanted a pair of Mick Brierley’s B90s and a Radiomaster-style bridge and tail piece and we’ll leave in the Strat output jack, like this…

The neck and fret board have to be Radiomaster style but the headstock is to be “Fano” – like. But the finish has to look like this…

I’m not usually a fan of relic-ed finishes, but I suppose I can make an exception for this project.

So, to make a start…

The body is going to be mahogany and the neck will be one-piece rock maple, with a Macassar ebony fret board.

The hardware and paint are going to be reliced and recently I had a bass guitar in for some work and the neck plate looks like this. This is the look that we want to give the hardware and because I don’t want a conventional neck plate for this guitar, I just happened to have a stainless steel neck plate that I had made some twenty years ago that has been in my collection of bits and pieces that just looks as though it might fit the bill…

Next, to create the Fano look, I made a routing jig to allow me to remove a “scallop” on the face of the headstock.

However, the body is going to be standard Strat…

Vinci was here yesterday and he’s quite pleased with the way the guitar is going…

The position of the bridge and tailpiece is determined and the scratchplate with pickup positions is fabricated, based on a conventional Strat scratchplate.

I’m using cream 3mm acrylic to make the scratchplate, just like a Radiomaster scratchplate, and when completed I can determine what routing has to be done  for the pickups and controls.

Now for the fine sanding and spraying the sealer coats…

So with the sealer to both neck and body done, next is Vinci’s desired finish treatment- black over three colour sunburst which is then reliced.

The front and back are sprayed yellow and the sides and the edges are sprayed black.

Then the red shading is sprayed appropriately.

Now both the neck and body are ready for a couple of coats of “vintage” clear…

…not forgetting the headstock with its decals.

I’ll let the paint harden over night…

…and in the morning, I’ll spray the black to the body.

After a bit of thought, I think the secret to an authentic looking relic-ing process is that a little goes a long way…

What I mean is that the “dragged behind the car” sort of look isn’t what we want.

What we want to do is tell a bit of a tale something like- “Vinci bought this sunburst Strat with the Fano headstock second-hand in the late 80s and he did several world tours with it and then after years on the road, it was repainted black back in the late 90s or early 2000s and because the guitar is that good, it’s just been played and played and now the original sunburst is starting to show through again and the hardware has become a bit tarnished…”

Sounds plausible,  except for the fact that Vinci’s only 28…

It so happens that I have an old Elite guitar that was made around the mid sixties in for some repair work and it makes a good reference for what I’m doing with the Goldmaster.

The Goldmaster needs to start out as a new guitar and I’ll start with the neck being rubbed back and polished…

The Elite shows the dings and dents of 50 years of playing, and at some stage, the face of the headstock has been given a bit of a repaint. The  Goldmaster should also show evidence of 40 years of usage…

The Grover Vintage machine heads shouldn’t be shiny and new either.

Looks plausible- a 50-year old Elite headstock and a “40-year old” Goldmaster headstock…

The body needs to be aged to reflect its “40 year history”…

The technique that I’ve used is to consider what might have happened to the guitar over those 40 years and endeavoured to illustrate those events’ effects on the body. I didn’t want the SRV look or to recreate the John Mayer guitar with flaking paint and grey stained bare wood. Vinci looks after his instruments far better than that…

This is how I’ve envisioned the Goldmaster would look:

And what’s happened to the hardware?

Looks pretty authentic…

More importantly though, what does Vinci think? I think that he’s rather pleased with the way things are going…

With all the relic-ing and ageing done, I can assemble the hardware and electrics into Vinci’s Goldmaster…

So this is the look that we were aiming for…

And this is the end result…

Interesting look, isn’t it?