Werewolf Pat brings you awesome guitars, restoration projects, DIY tips and tricks and much more!

A few months back I decided to start creating my own guitars but I just couldn’t do what everybody else is doing, namely reproducing Stratocasters or Les Pauls! Although I came up with a pretty decent design of my own, I went ahead and followed up on a dream I had when I was 16: to create my own Teardrop guitar… One wasn’t enough so I made 2 very distinct models. I really worked on the shape to make sure the proportions look good but the real challenge was designing the neck thru Teardrop. The main requirements were that the guitar has 24 frets and that all frets be easily accessible. I also wanted to create my own tailpiece and use 3 mini humbuckers from Lollar pickups. The result is a truly one of a kind but also excellent guitar! Here are the specs:
– 5 ply neck thru construction made from Wenge and maple
– maple body
– ebony fret board with EVO frets
– custom head stock with 4 up and 2 down Hip Shot tuners
– 3 Lollar mini humbuckers
– Custom made tailpiece, laser cut and machined form a piece of steel
– Bridge is from Graph Tech
– Pick guard is custom designed and water cut from a piece of aluminum

Custom-bridge Custom-headstock Teardrop-neck-thru Teardrop-neck-thru-body

As usual it started with a simple enough concept: new pickups, new hardware, a paint job and ready to shred! But then, Jack, the owner brought his Ibanez for comparison, Soon enough it was clear that I was getting involved in some serious work because as he listed the things he didn’t like about his BC Rich, I realized it was going to be a challenge! Don’t get me wrong, this BC Rich is already an excellent guitar, lots of great features for the price but Jack wanted a few specific things. First of he wanted to shave material off the body as much as possible and he also wanted the neck to be thinner, much like Ibanez… Keep in mind that Ibanez uses titanium rods to keep their thinner neck from twisting and warping so merely trying to copy Ibanez would not work… I took some measurements and after consulting with Jack we decided to push this project to its limit so I went ahead and removed 8 mm from the back of the guitar and the neck! I built a fixture for my router to enable me to skate across the guitar’s back and remove exactly what I needed. The neck was reshaped by hand using a rasp, sanding blocks, different grades of sandpaper and of course a caliper to monitor the progress. I went as far as I could and the result was very satisfying. It was time for body work so I used polyester body filler when necessary and sprayed 2 coats of Duratec polyester clear to seal the wood and fill pinholes etc… Once sanded, I applied several coats of black auto paint, sanded the guitar with water and 600 grit paper and prepared for artwork…

bc-rich-guitar-beforebc-rich-guitar-after

Here is part one of a metal flake paint job I did one a brand new Fender Stratocaster body. I recommend reading my full article on my other site here: Metal flake job, part 1

Click here for high resolution photo gallery.

Here it is folks! i really think it came out nice but more importantly it sounds great! Luis is still in recovery mode after breaking his hand so we won’t be able to shoot a video of him trying out his new guitar for a while but I trust it will happen in a couple of weeks… The preliminary tests are very conclusive and this guitar really sounds like a vintage Stratocaster for a fraction of the price of the real one! The neck is very comfortable and the EVO frets do magic! Stay tuned for all the cool videos that I will soon post, we are still editing them and it is not easy!

yamaha pacifica custom electric stratocaster

After sanding and polishing by hand the body and neck, it was time for re-assembly… Everything went back together smoothly and no issues were encountered… The wiring diagram from TFN Technologies was perfect and very clear, once again Tom did a fantastic job with the diagram! at the time of the photos I was still waiting for my home made jack plate to be back from anodizing… the original plate was too small and the screw holes were dangerously close to the bore in the body… I made one from aluminum and TIG welded it together with my ESAB Caddy Tig 2200 AC/DC welder and sent it out for anodizing along with a bunch of parts from a bicycle… The result really sucked so I had to resort to flat black paint, see finished photos… I will have to find a better company for my anodizing needs in the future!

yamaha pacifica custom electric guitar

Finally, the Yamaha Pacifica of my friend and guitar teacher Luis is done! The project went really smooth and the result very good… A lot of work has been done to this beast and it is all documented on video, which we are presently editing… Don’t forget to check out the re-assembly and the final result…

lectric guitar yamaha pacifica custom

When my friend and guitar teacher Luis told me about his frustration trying to find a good guitar at a decent price I immediately advised him to keep his Yamaha and modify it to get exactly what he wants… Anyone shopping for a guitar knows that you have to try a lot of them before finding something suitable… For example, I have 5 Stratocasters and they all sound different so imagine when you go to a shop and there are hundreds of guitars! Besides, his Yamaha Pacifica has soul! He’s had it for 15 years and traveled all over the world with it… Of course 15 years of hard playing put a toll on his instrument but after close inspection, nothing that cannot be resolved… Luis likes the vintage Stratocaster sound so I turned him on to the Dimarzio Area pickups… He listened to a few samples and fell in love with the combo 58, 61, 67… That being the starting point we kept going back and forth to figure out what other features Luis was interested in… After Luis tried a few of my guitars he decided on a few more cool things such as EVO frets, Clapton pre-amp, HipShot tuners etc… Don’t forget to read the full article!

Werewolf Pat talks about a 1995 Yamaha Pacifica that is in serious need of a pimpin’!