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no belt sander involved... (pic alert)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JIO, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Generalizing, we all like our instruments to feel good, whether the body is physically curvy or angular, and considering its weight and how it's balanced factoring in as well. Leo Fender (possibly other than the Tele and original slab-bodied P) strove to create curvaceous female-form related guitar/bass bodies, where as say, Gibson opted more towards some less than ergonomic designs. (Flying V, T-bird/Firebird, Les Paul) <- for the record, not slaggin' these icons... anyway, aside from form, usually texture isn't a consideration - instruments are most usually smooth, finished glossy or matte only straying from that from use. Road-worn instruments have come to symbolize "a player"- an instrument that because of it's qualities has seen many hours of professional use - played hard and not sentimentalized. But.., we all love the story it tells visually (as well as audibly), so these distressed & battered war-horses take on a beauty born of time and use. The term "mojo" gets batted around in this court - we accept all the scratches, bangs and finish imperfections with an understanding nod and appreciation based on its active duty history.

    So I had a concept; instead of revealing wood from a life on the road, what if a gold core was uncovered as the finish wore away? Sort of a play on the reality of a "slick" factory finish being worn off to reveal "rough" wood. I like the conceptual reversal of what is considered "finished" and also what is usually acceptable as a finish and why. I was also inspired by a vintage P-bass I once saw. This bass was played hard over many years and I'm guessing the owner wore a big honkin' western belt-buckle the whole time. I'd never seen such "buckle-rash" - it was like it was used to hold back an attacking grizzly! That bass made as much impression on me!

    Enter my latest project - the road-worn gold-core Jaguar bass.


    Texture was sculpted into and away from the stock slick surfaces, sort of like a wood-cut. This was partially deliberate and partially the result of dealing w/the kind of epoxy-like finishes on guitars like this one. I have future plans for this finish starting w/a nude body which will give me more control and nuance/articulation. I studies many pics of actual worn guitars for design reference/inspiration.


    I gold-leafed all areas that left the black top coat,

    and worked umber stain into the golden crevices for detail and to give it an aged patina.

    Once done, I sprayed clear gloss nitro on the whole body, and then taped-off all the gold areas, level-sanded and sprayed satin nitro on the black areas. (w/curing time between stages)

    The result illustrated -




    bluesdogblues likes this.
  2. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I'm speechless.
  3. mgalat


    Dec 5, 2011
    That...was really cool. I would have never had that idea on my own in a million years.
  4. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Thanks! Many people have attempted to diminish my ideas over the years w/the phrase "overactive imagination" ... as if it were a bad thing :rolleyes: With this finish concept, I've only, er.., scratched the surface. ;)
    josiah goldfish likes this.
  5. I think this is really cool as well. I always like out of the ordinary stuff like this. I do get tired of seeing the same basic colors over and over. A friend of mine swirls instruments and those are some of my favorite finishes because of the variety.

    I for one am a huge fan of your work. I don`t think I have seen anything by you I didn`t like(both here and on your site). I`m sure there were ideas that didn`t come out how you intended. It is a part of the process. :cool:

    JIO likes this.
  6. braud357

    braud357 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Gonzales, LA
    Very inventive - bravo !
  7. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Thanks man - yes, you never know what's going to click. I've done a bunch of introductory investigations and some are just ok and others beg for more. I've decided to work w/this concept despite many players distain for contrived "mojo". Like them I see a beauty in that "player derived/deserved" wear/look, but also see a potential for inspired furthering of that concept beyond facsimile. Look for more in the coming year!
  8. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    And hey - thanks for all of your opinions and comments - I feel so lucky to be part of this community of like-minded people who freely and unselfishly provide topic-related input from all corners of the earth. I'm serious - consider how special/real this is and keep it alive!
  9. NAVET


    May 14, 2013

    WOW!!! Simply amazing!!
    JIO likes this.
  10. Another concept I have yet to try is painting the guitar one color, throwing on a couple coats of clear, then lightly scuffing it and shooting another color on it. Then gently sanding through to the first color like a relic job. Finally clear it all and use some old(or old styled) hardware and whatever pickups are desired. With the right colors I think it could be cool. In my head I imagine an epi EB0 done like this in blue over safety orange or similar combo. I just haven`t come across the right instrument to try it on yet. :ninja:

    Also, this same concept with other colors than gold would be cool. I think a P in a faded fiesta red color with a black guard and copper in the "wear" spots would look pretty killer. I`m sure you will find some cool combos if you keep going with it.
  11. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    In a way it's related to the layered (player) worn finishes on some vintage Fender products (and other brand guitars possibly). I had an early 90's FCS Kubicki Factor that was black, but under that it was red. They needed a black body and had an extra red one and Bobs yer' uncle! I've seen a recent FCS Jazz bass w/a sunburst under worn Olympic white and it looks great! The sculptural/tactile aspect is something worth exploring. With all the rough-edges smoothed-over, it feels like no other guitar I've ever played.
  12. Pretty much the same concept, just on purpose, lol.
  13. Splods


    Oct 7, 2012
    Adelaide, SA
    How to make a squier body worth more...
  14. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Looks awesome and I'm not even a fan of relic'd basses. I don't think anyone who sees it would ever think it's natural wear but as an over the top caricature it's genius. In my mind I'm imagining Wolverine from the X-men playing that bass to make the gouges.
    JIO likes this.
  15. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Love your take on it - and that was the point full-stop. Based on real examples but not "authentic" wear. It's my interpretation of what I find so beautiful about the real thing - the gold leaf an is an illusion to that unearthed use/time earned finish.

    Oh, and Splods - in this case more or less yes, but for me the affordable aspect of a really decent instrument (the Squier VM Jaguar) was the ideal choice for my experiment/prototype. I wouldn't waste all my efforts on a pos bass regardless of the cost. No, this baby rocks and now it's dressed to kill! :bassist:
  16. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    This reminded me of the guitars on this site:


    Sample pic:[​IMG]
  17. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    Hideous. But I take it that's what you were aiming for so, well done.
    JIO likes this.
  18. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    eye of the beholder

    This is more what I was referring to, abet on the minimal side - I couldn't find the Oly white Jazz w/sunburst coming through, which I liked better.


    I feel that my execution of this concept was successful, especially considering the demon epoxy finish which dictated my approach/articulation. Future art finishes along these lines will be leaning more towards finesse. (less sculptural/bombastic) Although in R&R, bombast definitely has it's place.
  19. Having checked out the ones JIO is talking about, I like those better for me(especially for a player). The ones wraub posted a link to are cool too though. I was directed to a particular ebay seller who does new bodies relic`d in nitro, and he has a few finish combos like the sunburst under other colors I really like.

    You probably would`t like the swirls my buddy does then. Not an insult, they normally generate a love/hate reaction. Very few people see one and go "it`s ok"(at least if they are being honest ;)).
  20. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    pm me the link