With the body complete. and with the finish well protected, I can move on to fit most of the hardware for the build. Whilst my current cataract situation means that fiddly detail work and soldering is well beyond current, (safe), capabilities – I can still move this build along a little more, before I’ll have to store it away for completion later on in the year.
In theory – there should be no need to protect the gold leaf, since 23.5 ct, (98%) gold shouldn’t tarnish. However – a guitar body gets a fair bit of wear and tear, so I want to put at least some kind of fine lacquer coat over the gold to protect from scratches, and to reduce the risk of the gold wearing off due to repeated rubbing. The problem is, any kind of coating will probably reduce the “fire” of the gold. Easy does it!
The gold from the first day’s gilding is now securely fixed, and I can move on to the next area. I’ve broken the rest of the job down into four, daily stages – and so should be able to complete most of the body within a working week…
This is my first attempt at oil gilding for a while. The theory is strong – but technique needs to be built upon. Still – you have to start somewhere. I need to break the gilding job down into easy to manage sections. I can make my first attempts around the horn cutaways. That way, I can get to grips with the medium before comitting to the main faces of the guitar body.
Building up the base coat for the EC Tribute Stratocaster might seem, at first look, to be a relatively simple step in the overall process. but there’s a lot at stake here. The gold leaf is so thin that any faults or uneveness in the base coats can telegraph through. Much of the eventual “character” of the finish is established at this stage. It’s a simple step which takes time to get right.
I’ve already decided to mount the battery for the MDX unit within the tremolo spring cavity. However, without something to hold the battery in place, It’ll be rattling around like crazy. A further, small modification is required, so I can fit a battery holder.
The body and neck for the, EC inspired, gold leafed Stratocaste have arrived. I need to see how they marry up, and look to making a start on prepping the body. As well as sealing the wood, ready for gilding – I need to work out how to mount the Mid Range Boost circuitry within the standard Stratocaster configuration.