Category: Jimmy Page Dragon Telecaster

Jimmy Page Tribute “Dragoncaster”. Sourcing and prepping a suitable neck.

The International CITES regulations, regarding the import and export of various hardwoods, have been with us for a while now – but the knock-on effects are now, quite apparent. Finding a 1959 style, rosewood, slab fingerboard neck for the Jimmy Page Tribute, “Dragoncaster” project has proved a difficult task.

Jimmy Page Tribute “Dragoncaster”. Copper shielding, and installing that difficult jack socket.

I’m still trying to source a suitable neck for the Dragoncaster. Since I need the neck to check the final scatchplate and control plate positions, I’m left with only a few bits and pieces I can do to push the project along. At least I can get the ground side of the circuit sorted.

Jimmy Page Tribute “Dragoncaster”. Polishing the body & installing the bridge.

There have been other things to keep me busy in Garageland. The clear nitro lacquer on “Dragoncaster” body has been curing for more than a couple of months now, but it’s a lengthy job, and I wanted to be able to clear a few, consecutive days to spend time getting a good, liquid shine to the finish. With a suitable gap in the schedule coming up – it’s time to crack on.

Jimmy Page “Dragoncaster”. I think I just worked out how to do the scratchplate.

I’ve just taken a break for a couple of weeks. But even then – I can never really take my mind off my various projects. It’s funny, sometimes, how solutions to problems often present themselves when you least expect. The other day, I just happened to come across a TV programme about vinyl wrapping supercars. Nothing at all to do with Telecaster scratchplates.

Hang on a minute…

The “Dragoncaster”. Second attempt at a scratchplate. And a possible finish?

I’ve done some running repairs to the “Dragoncaster” scratchplate template. I’ve also had a chance to offer it up against the body – to try and get the neck pocket deviation sorted out, and straightened up. With lessons learned from my first attempt at cutting my own scratchplate – I’m keen to see if I can improve my technique. I’ve also researched and sourced a possible candidate material for the scratchplate finish.

The “Dragoncaster”. Cutting my very first scratchplate. Lessons to learn.

With my newly completed template for a scratchplate – I just have to try it out. I’m sure there are plenty of mistakes to make, and lots to learn – in terms of both process and technique. I need to be able to try a few different finish techniques as well, to get the “diffraction grating” effect Page achieved on the original. I might as well try to make a few, unfinished versions of a scratchplate – learn what I can – and make my mistakes and experiments on those. I have a piece of 3mm polycarbonate kicking around the workshop, from a previous framing job. It won’t matter if I mess things up.

The “Dragoncaster”. Making my own scratchplate template. Fun with a router!

Whilst the lacquer on the Dragoncaster body does its’ thing – I need to start looking for a solution for the scratchplate. I’d originally planned to have a couple of plates custom made – so I could experiment with finishes. However, the logistics at this stage are troublesome. Because of the crucial geometry between the neck pocket, pickup cutout and control panel rout – the plate needs to be accurate. My last attempt, making a template to send away didn’t turn out too bad – but there was a small issue at the neck pocket. I might have to do look at making the whole scratchplate myself – either way, I need to find a way of making a template that’s accurate, and up to the job.