I recently finished making a Stratocaster type electric guitar from a kit, with one of the lads, that had an Oriental theme. Chatting with him, before we started assembling the guitar, we identified he had an interest in Japanese writing & the Chinese Zodiac. His birth year in the Chinese Zodiac is the “Wild Boar”, so we Googled the calligraphy symbol for the Wild Boar. He then sketched it onto the lower left-hand bout of the guitar body before carving the symbol into the body. He did a great job of the carving & he’d never done any carving before.
The lad, like myself likes the look of natural wood, so next we sprayed the guitar body with clear automotive glaze. When thoroughly dry we used gold leaf to guild & highlight the inside faces of the incised carving. I had a lovely Birds Eye Maple Strat. pickguard, inlaid with a marquetry picture of an eagle, in Abalone & Mother of Pearl. I had purchased the pickguard, which was made in the far East, on an on-line auction site, he liked it, so we decided to use it.
We transferred the pickups (replacing the white pickup covers with chrome ones) the potentiometers & the selector switch; onto the wooden pickguard. We also changed the control knobs for white top hat reflectors marked Vol/Tone & added chrome selector switch & tremolo arm tips. A set of silver Tree-of-Life fret stickers were then applied to the neck. We shaped the headstock & added a vinyl name decal & a pair of chrome roller string trees. I laminated some Birds Eye Maple & micro plywood, from which we had a Tremolo Cover Plate made, to match the Pickguard.
Next we added a couple of Tibetan Silver Dragon charms to add to its Oriental theme & a large Tibetan silver eagle below the bridge assembly. The finishing touch was fitting a Dragon Skin (PU Crocodile Skin effect) Guitar Strap, secured by a couple of rubber beer bottle washer strap locks.
The finished guitar looks great & is a credit to the lad who made it.
Rock On, mddwoody.