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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.