I rough cut the headstock for my next license plate guitar. It’s a surprise gift for a good friend.

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Very cool idea.  Are you going to paint or burn more detail into it?

I thought about that a lot and I don’t think so. The tuning keys will come out at the axles but I think that’s as far as I’ll go. I thought about accenting the tires or the windows but I think subtle is better. Let the imagination fill in the details ;)

What do you think?

wood burn just a little more detail, just a little, or you'll get at least a few folks ask what kind of lock pick skeleton key SciFi probe it was modeled after, lol

You might be right :) I think I’ll finish it bare to start and see if the tuning keys as axles gives it enough definition. If not, some more details will be in order.

Very nice, my eyes were drawn to the headstock immediately.

A nice personalized touch.

I put the body together the other day. Here it is mocked up. Stepped neck, Wisconsin plate, walnut fret board, and Strat style bridge.

Good lookin' git, Scotty. Your friend will be smilin' for sure! I like selling gits when I do, but makin' a gift is even more rewarding.

Finally finished! It took way too long. I got sidetracked with a new job, the holidays, etc. Anyway, I finally got it sorted and I really like how it came out.


nic git, turned out great

Thanks so much for adding the pics!  That was more effort than I could summon late at night on my phone in the garage.

The neck was a piece of walnut with a nice curly grain.  I used some basswood dowels as fret markers.  The neck and body are cherry.  The Danish oil finish brings out the grain in all of them really nicely.


I use Watco brand Danish oil, natural color.  It's inexpensive and readily available at most hardware stores.  They make darker colors too but the 'natural' color just brings out the natural grain and color of the wood without making it too dark. 

It's a great finish for junk box guitars.  It's matte in appearance, so not too fancy looking.  It brings out the beauty of the wood and provides some protection for the wood.  And it's super easy to apply. 

Sand the wood smooth and dust it off.  Wipe it on with a paper towel, let it soak in for a while, then wipe it off and let it dry for 8 to 24 hours.  Repeat for a few more coats until you get the finish you want.  You can sand between coats if you want it smoother, I generally don't.  The one place I do something like that is the back of the neck.  I use 400 grit wet sandpaper to apply the oil and sand as I go for each coat.  Sanding with super fine grit while applying the oil gives a super smooth finish, I think I read about this technique here.  Since you handle the neck so much I like it to feel really smooth.



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