11/15/2014

2014 Antebellum "Buckaroo Plank" Electric Guitar




What happens when projects get canceled? Parts sprout up and need uses! Above soundclip is played through a little 1W Blackstar tube amp with emulated-speaker direct out.

I'd just installed a new bandsaw blade and wanted to test it out on something when I eyed this old cracky pine slab. I quickly traced the outline of a customer's Martin 5-18 on it and went to the saw. One full cut later and... voila. Now what? I had these parts mentioned about and so I went for it. Why not?


I loosely styled this on an old National electric I'd played with the controls mostly mounted under an archtop-style pickguard. I had this 40s Harmony wood tail and pickguard (nicely stenciled with "Buckaroo" on the front) in the bin and said "ah-hah, I want to use those."

After modding up the tail to allow for Tele-style adjustable saddles and locating a funky old Strat jack (which I reversed for top-mount here like on the aforementioned Nat'l) I quickly chiseled-in channels for the electronics and a neck-mount area. No router necessary with easy-peasy pine.

The only control is a volume pot which has a Jazz Bass-style mini-knob on it. It's located right where volume swells (chicken-pickin style) are made useful with the pinky finger. I blame Anders Parker for getting me hooked on that!


The neck is $200 worth of kit: a nice Warmoth CBS-size vintage-style Strat neck with 1 11/16" nut and fast, modern profile. It's got a set of Gotoh vintage-style tuners on it and it's finished in a bare-wood-feeling poly "gel varnish." I love the stuff. It doesn't get sticky, it's food-safe, and it gives a nice satin glow.


A radiused rosewood board and Gibson-y sized medium frets is also bedecked with clay dots.


The single late-60s DeArmond-made Goldfoil pup is raunchy, raucous and fun in that crunchy way they're famous for. It sounds great on the pine body and the poles are adjustable.



I think you can see how the tail/bridge works... and it's fully adjustable, too. The saddles are intonated for regular unwound G electric strings. I've got a set of 10s on here as the scale is standard 25 1/2" and it feels "right" and super-slinky at that gauge.


Yes, strap buttons. The body has one sealer-coat of the same poly "gel varnish" stuff. I just wanted to darken it up a little but otherwise I would've left it bare. All the grunge from years of kicking around in our barn is left on the top and back sides, though. I didn't spend a lot of time sanding this out so it's definitely folk-arty.

The curves are smooth, though, mostly thanks to that nice new bandsaw blade...!





This originally had string-through slots I was going to use when I'd planned to make this an electric classical guitar. Unfortunately... the mucked-up Fishman archtop guitar bridge I was using (it sounded great, mind you) actually cracked under string tension overnight after stringing it up so that plan was abandoned. Haphazard screws mark the sinking of that plan.


The grain on the pine looks sweet, no?

This thing has smaller and bigger cracks here and there but it's nice and sturdy so I'm really not worried about having any trouble with them.




This rig will be available at parts cost. I played it during the jam today and had a blast. Buddy Forrest tells me to add a ranch-style brand. Well -- I'll let you do that... or use this for parts... or play it and burn it on stage. Your choice.

What's cool is that this handles like an old Harmony small-body Stratotone but actually has good intonation, super playability, and a full scale with a fast neck. Yes... modern conveniences.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice!!!

Frank

John Percy said...

I notice the input jack is reversed. Are you running a battery (which I do with my strat and active pups)or just didn't feel like routing?

Jake Wildwood said...

John: #2!!