Once the finish was sufficiently cured, I spent an afternoon sanding and buffing it out. This part I generally dread as I’m always anxious about sanding through the finish. No matter how slowly I go, when you’re wet sanding, the finish usually looks fine until after you remove the sandpaper and dry it off. Only then do the dull or faded spots appear.
This guitar’s finish isn’t flawless, and I was unable to attain the mirror-like sheen all the way around as I wanted. If there were time before the big raffle I’d apply another few coats and buff this out again. That said, the instrument itself came out well and plays very well after I set it up.
As I’ve done for the past few guitars, I crafted the nut from a sample block of black Corian. This stuff really works great and polishes up nicely as well. This time instead of simply measuring for the strings, I used the CNC to cut me a string spacing gauge. Another great use of a CNC machine – tool making. Time to wire her up!
Just like the Double Cat it’s based on this guitar features a P90 in the neck position and a humbucker at the bridge. For controls it keeps things simple with a single volume control, tone control, and 3-way pup selector switch. I prefer it simple like this. On my personal Surfcaster build I added a push-pull switch on the volume control that flips from parallel to series wiring. This effectively acts as a booster and works really well. But beyond something like that, I’m all about the KISS principle.
I found a wiring diagram that purports to be for the Double Cat and decided I’d use this as my guide. It features 3 separate caps of different values and some interesting wiring of the humbucker. The results worked, though I’m a bit disappointed at the tonal variety — there’s not much difference between the tone in the first (neck-only) and second (neck+bridge) selector positions. The tone is great. I played for about an hour ranging from clean tones to metal and feel this guitar can cover the range nicely. I may however review the wiring and test out a few different capacitor options to see if I can get a bit more variety.
I managed to get some video (see below) of my son and the guitar player from my band testing out the Dragon. Not the best quality or their best work, but gives at least a sense of the guitar’s tone. You’ll have to take my word on the sound quality for heavier rock…definitely achieves a beefier tone when called upon.
After a quick trip to the photographer for its “glamour shots” it was time to bring this baby into the office and put it on display. Raffle tickets are on sale with the winner chosen from the stage at the Chicago House of Blues on December 14th.