I was getting frustrated applying wipe-on poly to Kijo, only to consistently see wipe marks drying into the finish and no amount of sanding could smooth it out completely. The more aggressive I got, the more I burned through the underlying black.

I know I’m still doing it incorrectly, so it’s definitely a matter of not having executed proper technique. But I also know my frustration levels in that I need to feel like I’ve accomplished something in order to not give up in exasperation.

I went back to the tried and true method instead of spray lacquer. That was another $20 I wasn’t anticipating, but it got me mentally and emotionally back on track, at least.

Modifying the Jack

Since I wanted the Strat boat-style jack, I had to expand the jack hole (hah!) that I asked Warmoth to do. The plan sounded great in my head, but when it came time to do it, I naturally wondered if I was about to make a $240 mistake.

I taped the area and marked out the outline that I’d need to cut and sand to make the plate fit. I drilled a starter hole at the “south” end of the jack plate, then used my jigsaw with the scroll saw blade to cut out extra material. Then it was time to get to work with the barrel sander to do the fine-tuning and shaping of the expansion.

Scared out of my wits, but it worked.

Kijo: the Unboxing

My shipment from Warmoth arrived today. Two weeks from order to arrival. Super-fast considering they had to rout the pick-up cavities and the control holes to my specs. I expected it to take a month then another week for transit, but they got it done in one week then shipped it.

Mahogany body, routed for dual humbuckers, fixed Tune-o-matic bridge with string-through-body, and single volume+tone potentiometers, and 3-position Gibson-style toggle switch.

Decisions Made

Thanks to friends’ opinions, I’ve decided on gold accent for the new guitar. I also came up with its name: Kijo, the Japanese term for “female demon.”

The one thing I wasn’t happy with in this design is the headstock. While it fits the angles and pointy-ness of the body, it’s too reminiscent of a stock Jackson headstock, even though the body is essentially the Jackson King-V. The company I’m ordering the body & neck from don’t have anything stock that would otherwise fit the aesthetic of the guitar.

As I was working on another woodworking project, though, I started thinking about maybe cutting my own headstock. Of course, that would necessitate some practice ahead of time before I leap in and possibly ruin a $350 custom neck.

eBay to the rescue!

I can buy a spare neck to practice woodworking on for under $40. Highly preferable to working out mental ideas and refine my woodworking technique on a throwaway than the real project, since real life doesn’t have a “revert to snapshot” or “spawn from last save” feature….

Which leads to:

There’s enough material in the paddle headstock of the neck (this blank style is offered by the company making my guitar body, which I just ordered this week) to cut it into the shape illustrated above.

New Guitar Project

Starting another guitar build. This one is going to be total cheese metal: a V-style body. I’m going with a solid black this time, no dyes or stains. It’s also going to be tuned to B-standard (B-E-A-D-F#-B) because I really like the lows of Cabernet.

However, I’m torn with the accent color: black or gold, so I’m soliciting opinions along with a poll. Here’s the mockup of what they could look like.

I like the pop of color on the gold-on-black, but it’s also hard to not see either Batman or Boston Bruins in it, which are not what I’m trying to go for (surprisingly). I like the simplicity and understated feel of the black-on-black but it could be somewhat “blah” although that could be more of a result of the mockup image and not the real-world object.

[crowdsignal poll=10575290]

Comments welcome below.