Friday, June 3, 2016

The 'Javelin'

The 'Javelin' started its current life as a beat up guitar body passed on to me by my friend Ken Arthur.  Tim Gorka and I were visiting at his 'art museum' home when Ken suddenly raced away.  I wondered what I might have said that would send him on the run, but I knew that it wasn't what I said, but what I do . . . I build guitars for a hobby.

Yes, Ken's home is a literal art museum of the most fascinating and creative elements a person will ever encounter, and nearly all of it is of Ken's own creation.  He's a genius, I swear!  He could take a box of beer cans and build a space capsule, but this is a story for another day.  Today, it's about the 'Javelin'.

Ken returned and handed me what was one time a guitar. He said he and his son were at one time going to rebuild it, but that venture ended with the body ending up in a pile of other treasures.

I looked over the guitar body wondering what I would do with this thing. The dinged and dented landscape painted an ugly faded red color and decorated with rock group stickers wasn't too appealing.  It was originally constructed for a Floyd Rose bridge setup complete with whammy bar cavity and recesses for humbucker pickups.  I noticed the neck pocket was the conventional shape for a Strat-style neck, so not all was for naught.  The solid body shell was a workable project, but at the time, I was heavily involved in creating acoustic dreadnoughts.  But, I sure as hell wasn't going to hurt my friend's feelings, so I eagerly accepted the gift with the end result rolling around in my head.

The naked body laid around my shop for several months before I got the urge to either bring it back to life or bury it.  

The purists reading this will recognize the neck to be scavenged from a Strat, but that the headstock has been modified to take on the 'pointy' shape similar to the body.

The headstock and body are spray painted a soft ivory color, which is the base for the handpainted purple, lite, and dark magenta accents.  A little teal and gold color finishes off the design.

The exagerated body shape with long pointed extensions seemed to call for unusual adornment.

I had the perfect skull-shaped tuners laying around to decorate this weapon.

The overall cutaway design is very simple.

Neck and bridge humbucker magnetic pickups with chrome bezels.

Chrome adjustable toploader bridge.

Volume and tone controls with a three-way switch and output jack completes the top.

In keeping with the badboy 'weapon' design and skull tuners, I decided to handpaint a wicked skull on the bridge cavity cover.

The original control and bridge area covers were missing, which required recreating replacements, but that was no sweat.

I'm not real happy with the chrome neck retainer plate, but that was the original design and I decided not to change it . . . maybe later, if I run out of other things to do.

Thanks again Ken.  It turned out well and plays great.