"Greenie" Build - 2007

I've always enjoyed Warmoth Guitar Products and found that their parts fit together like a glove. For this project, I wanted to get a guitar with the ballsy tone of a Les Paul in a superstrat. I love how a Dimarzio Super Distortion sounds in a Les Paul. I also had a set of gold hardware, and I knew I would be using it. In addition, I was curious about trying out an R2 neck with a boatneck profile, the chunkiest neck Warmoth offers. Aside from this, I did not have any requirements--and kept scouting the Warmoth Showcase for discounted parts. One of my goals for this project was to keep costs low--it is too easy to spend way over a thousand on a Warmoth. Instead, I vowed to use the parts I had on hand, and buy only the neck, body, and humbucker.

In late December 2006, I spotted "greenie," a finished mahogany body for $270; I also bought a plain maple/maple neck, boatneck, 1 5/8 at the nut, for $150. Concurrently I ordered a Dimarzio Super Distortion from SameDayMusic for $59 shipped. Let the project begin!

One of my goals was to photograph the project at every stage. Here I laid out most of the tools and parts I'd be using for the job.

The humbucker arrived. I already had a Warmoth H-x-S pickguard and decided to use the Dimarzio in conjunction with a Duncan "Hot Stack" in the neck. I believe Brad Gillis plays Hot Stacks in the lead position too.

Let the wiring begin! I am using a push-pull pot to tap the bridge humbucker, as well as the Hot Stack, for a total of 4 different tones. The switch is ON-OFF-ON.

My kitchen/soldering battlestation. Kellogg's Corn Flakes..they are grrreat!

The wiring harness is complete.

Pickguard loaded.

Abstract art..not too clean, but I like it!

The neck and body have arrived at work!  This photo is also cool as it shows my desk when I worked at Razorfish from 2004-2007.
Lots of guitar related stuff, a Dimebag foldout--as well as a Cornell pennant and some diagrams describing the Atlas ad server.  


Going crazy with anticipation

Nice!! This finish is so American they called it "Charger Green."  It's  very Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles actually..

At home--getting the drill ready. Putting a little marker on the bit is critical.

Got the pickguard and input holes drilled.  (Note 2012:   Drilling on a finished body is super tricky.  What I should have done differently here
was masking off the holes, and starting the drill in reverse.  These are lessons I brought to more recent projects.  I mostly use
hand tools for fine work like this today, like my Stanley Eggbeater Drill. ) 

Beveling fret ends with handy Stew-Mac tool.

Rolling fretboard / fret ends while watching G3. If only I were a tenth as good as these guys!   Incidentally, this was still in
my bachelor days.  The TV was gone off the kitchen table once the Mrs. moved in.  

000 Steel Wool before Gunstock Oil.

Making a harness for maneuvering or hanging the neck while it's painted.

Applying Birchwood-Casey's Gunstock oil and wax--same as Ernie Ball guitars. Thanks for the tip, Mike from VintageKramer! In all, I had applied 4 coats over 2 days. Steel wool between applications.

While the neck is the pickguard on and wired the input jack.

Got the springs on.

After waiting a full day after the final coat, steel wool and final neck buffing.

Drilled tuner holes! The end is in sight.

...and the nut.

Installing the nut and the tuners.

Got the Warmoth logo on...why not.

The string retainer is installed--shot of the headstock after first assembly and stringing.


Ready to frighten the neighbors!

The verdict: this was an easy Warmoth project and I was able to complete it quickly, and fairly cheaply. The playability is awesome--I am really digging the huge round neck! I might get some sanding sealer on the fretboard, as it's starting to turn a nice gray color already. Tonally, it does not sound a Les Paul--instead, it has a very bighting sound, due to the big maple neck. In the future, I'll be scouting Warmoth for a mahogany neck with an ebony or maple fretboard--I think that's the key to sonic bliss!

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George Tarnopolsky 2007