What you see here is a Squier Vintage Modified Tele Custom II from 2012, originally black with black appointments, 22-fret neck and standard 4-control layout. Now refinished in Candy Apple Red (my approximation of it anyway), refinished & modified 21-fret neck with ivory-coloured appointments and a custom wiring scheme.
The wiring scheme and new pickup covers/knobs were done a while ago and also documented in another post and the spray-painting of the new finish was also documented on video. Just yesterday I decided to go ahead and rub down/buff the new finish instead of waiting another month.
It’s come out great – a little darker than I was hoping, but not too dark. I am wondering if I should have used silver as the metallic base instead of gold and also started with a white base instead of matte black.
Still, it’s close to what I imagined it to look like when I first had the idea to do it and I think it looks really cool. It’s got what I would describe as a “Closet Classic” look to it, to coin the Fender Custom Shop term. So it looks like it’s an old guitar with some marks of age, but basically in impeccable condition.
The most interesting part of this project in my opinion is the modification of the neck that I made. I chopped off the 22nd fret. I have a thing about 22 fret necks on Fender style guitars. I just don’t like the way they look and it also made it very difficult to remove the pick guard without taking the strings off completely – something I find important, even though I should have little need to do it.
I was a bit nervous about doing it, but I went ahead anyway, working out that it would be possible to get away with it by rounding off the end to erase the partial groove left from the removal of the last fret.
I imagine that won’t appeal to some, but I think it looks good and from a distance I don’t think most people would even notice.
It was a good mod to try to develop my modding skills, which is the main reason I was happy to try it. If I had the tools and the right space I would like to try building a guitar from scratch, so maybe one day that will be possible and by then I hope to have had plenty of experience using limited tools and resources to be able to do a good build.
With this project finished I know it won’t be long before I’ll need to get my teeth into another similar challenge, so I already jumped the gun and decided to build a new Strat from separate parts. I’ll write about that soon as it’ll be a longer term project due to budget restrictions. My intention is to document every detail of the project from beginning to end if I can. The colour I have in mind remains a secret for now.