Final Assembly of the 7-String LED Guitar

After six months, and lots of work, the day has come for final assembly.  Thank God!  This is the point in the project that you just want to be done, play the thing, and move on to the next project.  That being said, I think I may be able to complete my next guitar in much less time (hopefully four months or less).  Oh, and the next guitar will be a “scratch build” from nothing but a block of wood.  But enough of that now, we’re here to talk 7-String LED awesomeness!

So without further ado, here’s the final product.

LED Lights are off. 

The LED Lighting is illuminated, along with the power button and momentary killswitch button LED lights. 

Note the 7-String recessed Floyd Rose tremolo setup.  It took a solid hour to tune this for the first time, and adjust the bridge height / intonation.

As I mentioned earlier, it took quite some time getting the string action perfectly set.  In the end, though, it was well worth it.  This plays like a dream. 

And last but not least, the vanity!  My signature logo, and model LD-1.  LD-1 stands for LED Guitar 1.  I hope you enjoyed this build, and check out my future projects.
Next up, I’ll be building a Telecaster Style guitar, starting with nothing but a block of wood.  I’m thinking goldtop finish, and chrome hardware; perhaps some electronics or lighting will find its way in there too!

Final Wiring of the 7-String LED Guitar

Now I’m not going to get into the complete step-by-step of how to wire this guitar’s pickups, as that can be found just about anywhere on the Internet.  As a reference, I used this schematic, as found on the Seymour Duncan website.  Note – I could have saved myself a LOT of time, if I understood one small difference between Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan pickups – Seymour Duncan uses a red wire for the “hot output” from the pickup, and Dimarzio uses black.  What I didn’t realize was that while this is a truly excellent schematic, I need to swap red for black to make this work for Dimarzio.  That could have been two hours saved…

Here are the two pickup wires, in their untouched state.  These need to be trimmed and stripped. 

I ordered two 500K control pots for this project, due to the high-output of the humbuckers.  250K might have worked, but I erred on the side of caution.   What I didn’t realize here, was that the volume and tone pots are the same thing.  It’s all in how you wire them that determines their function.

This is a stripped pickup wire.  The bare wire is the ground, and the colored wires are various things that I won’t pretend to understand.  I just used the “paint by numbers” strategy when wiring the guitars controls. 

This is a bit of a cheat shot, so just pretend you aren’t seeing the neck installed.  I wanted to show this picture as this is pretty much what my work bench looked like during the wiring phase of this project.  my iPad with the wiring schematic was never far away. 

Here’s another time when my solder buddy came in handy.  This is a shot of the neck pickup wiring, after beginning to follow the schematic.

The solder buddy was great for holding the tone and volume pots as well.  In this picture, you can see the glob of solder on top of the pot.  This is a “ground point”.  Maintaining proper ground is necessary to reduce the amount of hum and interference your guitar produces.

Lastly, here’s a shot of both the volume and tone pots installed, and the input jack in the final wiring process. Once this is completed, it’s time for final assembly!

Installing the Floyd Rose 7-String Tremolo Bridge

The home stretch continues.  Today, we’ll install the 7-String Floyd Rose tremolo bridge.  You may recall from a previous post, we discussed installing the 7-string locking nut in the guitar’s neck.  This isn’t quite as straightforward, but wasn’t that large of a task.

Here’s the tremolo cavity.  After finishing this guitar body with layer, upon layer of lacquer, things tend to get a bit gunked up.  The pre-drilled post holes for this tremolo system are no exception.  Without properly cleaning these holes, it would be very easy to crack the guitar body and cause MAJOR headaches.

Using a dremel, with a fluted routing bit, I very carefully cleaned up the excess nitrocellulose lacquer buildup from each of the post holes.  You want to be extremely careful not to actually enlarge the post holes, as the Floyd studs need to fit very tightly.  Also, you want to make sure not to change the shape of the hole.  Very light passes, and constant checking is definitely the way to go.

I learned a trick from those crazy Interwebs, that said to stick the metal post holes in the freezer for 24 hours.  This would cause the metal to contract slightly, and make installation easier.  So I figure “what the heck”, and popped those things in the freezer next to the frozen peas.  The next day, I put each of the bridge mounting pegs in place, and using a wooden block as a buffer (between the hammer and peg) tapped them gently into place.  Now I’m not sure if the freezer thing helped, but I didn’t have any issues so let’s just say it did.  I used the wooden block so that I didn’t damage the mounting studs by hitting them with a hammer.

Here are both Floyd Rose bridge mounting pegs, fully installed.

And another shot with the actual bridge in place.  As a side note – This hunk of metal is HEAVY.  I didn’t realize a 7-String Floyd bridge would be so substantial, but I guess it would have to be.

Flipping the guitar body over, I installed the bridge tension spring mounting claw.  This not only holds the tension springs in place (as many as five springs) but provides the ability to fine tune the angle at which the tremolo unit sits in reference to the body.

I put the bridge back in place, and attached two tension springs to hold it.  After final assembly, it will be necessary to not only add springs, once the tension of guitar strings pull on the bridge, but to fine tune the spring claw to correct the bridge angle.  More on that in later posts.

And it’s coming along!  The lighting and pickups are done and the bridge is installed.  The only things left to do is to complete the wiring, slap on the neck and get some strings on this thing.  See you soon!

Installing LED Guitar Pickup Lights

So here’s where it gets fun.  This whole time, I’ve been calling this project the 7-String LED Guitar (LD-1), so now it’s time to step up. After all, if the LED lighting looks shitty, then I would just be left with a 7 string guitar, with two extra, shiny buttons.  Sitting down to wire this thing, I realized that I probably should have diagrammed this whole damn thing.  Rather than make my life easy, I decided to figure it all out as I went.  Ultimately, this is just a little more difficult than installing strap mounts to a guitar body (sarcasm)…

Step 1 – Test the lights and batteries!  No, really, test everything before you start cutting things apart.  You want to make sure things worked, in the first place.  This helps so when you have a completely new hacked and soldered wiring harness that doesn’t work, you know it’s your own damn fault, and not the materials.  Here’s proof of life (above), with the blue LED strand, plugged straight into the battery pack.

Next, I cut the wire connecting the battery pack, and the LED light strand. The reason I did this, is because we’ll have to install a whole bunch of stuff in between the two, to make everything work according to the design.
 
I picked up a soldering buddy from Adafruit.com.  This REALLY helps to hold things where you want them, while soldering.  In this case, I soldered two modular plugs into the positive and negative wires coming from both the battery pack, as well as the light strand.

After soldering the connections, I used heat shrink tubing to insulate and reinforce the solder joints.  Heat shrink tubing is some handy stuff, that starts out as a large diameter rubber tube.  You cut it to length, slide it over whatever you want to insulate, and use either a hot air gun, or a soldering iron to apply heat.  After a few seconds, the tubing shrinks in place leaving a tight fit.  This is a lot cleaner and more convenient than electrical tape.
I repeated this step with the battery pack.  You can see the plug and play modular ends, and hopefully understand the convenience they bring to the project.

Here’s a shot of the modular wires I connected to the positive and negative lines of the LED light strand.  The reason I used the modular wires, is to I can swap components out of the guitar easily and quickly.  The beats the hell out of permanently soldering things into the guitar body.  If something breaks, or needs replacement, just pop it out, and put the new one in.  Now you might be wondering why I attached an extra set of leads to the LED strand?  Well I plan to run the power in series, from the battery pack, through the on/off switch, into the LED light rings of each button.  There are many more (and probably cleaner) ways that this can be accomplished, but it’s what I decided on.

Proof of life #2 – Once I connected all of my modular jacks, I ran another test to ensure everything worked properly.  This is a whole lot better than testing everything, for the first time, at the very end of the project.  If something doesn’t work now, you have a lot fewer variables to debug. 

Using the pre-drilled pickup wire holes, I fed the business end of the light strand into the lower pickup rout.   

Pulling the LED light strand into the pickup rout,  I wrapped the cavity once, and then passed the light strand through into the neck pickup cavity (using the access hole I drilled back at the beginning of this project).

 Proof of life #3 – I wanted to make sure that not only every thing worked after routing and wrapping the wires, but that it looked cool as well!  Side note – I’ve heard this project described as everything from cool, to gaudy, to “why the hell would anyone add LED lighting to a guitar”.  Let’s just say that if you don’t understand what makes this awesome immediately, then just ignore it.  It’s probably not for you.  In fact, here’s a link to a guitar that might be more your speed.
This is the button that will be used as a killswitch.  This is a momentary “normally on / push off” button, with a red LED light ring.  Two things need to happen to this button: First, I need to add wires that will provide power to the LED light ring.  Second, The guitar’s output jack wire will need to be passed through this button, to enable control of the “signal cut” effect.  Here, you can see the two power wires in place.

This is the lighting control button.  This button needs to control ALL lights on this guitar, including its own LED light ring.  This is a “normally off / push on / push off” button.  I connected a wire directly to the positive power terminal of this switch.  I connected the negative power wire to the on/off variable terminal of the button.  From the on/off terminal, I also connected a wire to the negative terminal of the button’s led light, as well as a few extra modular wires.  The purpose of this is when the button is in the “off position” nether the button’s LED light, nor any other lights that are connected to the negative wires passing through this button will function.  When the button is pressed, not only will the power from the negative wire connect and illuminate the button’s light, so will all subsequent lights that are connected.  This was probably the most tricky part to figure out.

Here’s the wiring harness fully assembled, outside of the guitar body. 

 Proof of life #4 – Everything works as it should!  Note, this wasn’t the case the first time.  It took me about 10 minutes swapping wires to figure out which positives and negatives should be connected to make this thing work.  Patience is the key here, especially with so much going on.

Wow, is it pickup time already?  As mentioned previously, I chose to use a Dimarzio Blaze 7-String pickup in the neck, and a Dimarzio Evolution (Steve Vai designed) pickup in the bridge position.

One thing I hadn’t anticipated was how difficult it would be to source a 7-string humbucker pickup ring that met my specifications!  There are endless choices for 6-string, but for 7, the pool was very shallow.  Here’s a quick test to see if the damn thing fits. 

Here’s a shot of the Dimarzio Blaze, with the pickup ring installed.  Note – If you’ve never installed a pickup ring onto a humbucker, be prepared to curse a few times, at least… 

In order to obtain proper LED illumination, I wanted to wrap the LED strands around each pickup.  I quickly found, however, that this just didn’t look great in the final product.  In the end, I decided to place the pickups on top of the LED strands, to create an illuminated backlight effect.  This ended up working exceedingly well.

Here’s the bridge pickup in place.  It’s actually starting to look like a guitar body! 

And of course, I couldn’t resist laying the neck in place for a quick peek…

Here’s a shot of the lighting, with the neck pickup installed.  It’s coming together!

Next up, installing the bridge pickup.  This went in as easily as the neck. 

Finally, both pickups are installed, with the full LED lighting rig in place!  I’m not going to show a picture of how the lighting looks at this stage, as I’d rather create some suspense for the final build shots.  Enjoy!

Installing Strap Mounts on the 7-String LED Guitar

We’re down to the home stretch on this guitar!  You may remember the last post described how to install the Grover tuning machines and Floyd Rose locking nut into the 7-String neck.  Today’s post will be brief, as there isn’t much to installing strap buttons on a guitar.  I actually thought it was going to be more of an issue than it really was.  Let’s jump right into it.

I ordered a set of black strap buttons from Stewmac, to match the rest of the hardware. 
The first step was to measure both the diameter of the screw, as well as the depth which it would drive into the guitar body.  This is important to determine the proper drill bit for pre-drilling, as well as how far to drill.
Next up, I needed to figure out the center line of the guitar.  This is important, due to the fact that you want the bottom strap button to be relatively centered so as to help the guitar’s center of balance.  To do this, I measured the pickup routs, and divided them in half to get the center point of the body. 

Using the pickup route measurements, I used a straight edge to extend the center line towards the bottom edge of the guitar body. 

Then, using a 90 degree right angle, I found the point on the edge, and drilled a hole to the proper depth.   

Drilling the upper horn was much less precise.  I just looked up a handful of photos on the Internet, in order to eyeball the proper position.  The only thing I was very careful of, was to be sure to drill as close to vertical center as possible. 

And here it is, the installed horn strap button!  Going through my photos, I realized that I forgot to take a picture of the installed, bottom edge, strap button.  I guess we’ll just have to use our imagination on that one.

 Here’s a bonus picture!  To begin final assembly, I took the liberty of sanding out the edges of the back control cavity cover location.  You’ll probably have to do this as some point when lacquering a guitar, as lacquer tends to build up in hard edges. (Fascinating, isn’t it?)

Installing Grover Tuning Machines and Finishing the 7-String LED Guitar Neck

It’s final assembly time for the LED 7-String guitar!  In this first part of final assembly, I’m going to finish off the guitar neck.  To do this, I need to do three things:

  • Install the Grover Tuners
  • Install the Floyd Rose locking nut
  • Install the Floyd Rose string angle guide bar
Let’s get to it!
Here’s the guitar body and neck, just waiting to be assembled.  I started with the neck, as that would be the more straightforward of the two to assemble.  The body is going to need a LOT of wiring, mounting of things, measuring and drilling.
The first thing is to make sure that the tuning machine post holes are thoroughly cleaned of any lacquer buildup.  In the picture above, you can see the rough edges around the post holes.  I simply used a rat tail file  to gently work the holes back to their proper diameter.
 Once the holes were cleaned of excess nitrocellulose lacquer buildup, I gently worked each of the Grover Tuning machines in place and gave them a rough alignment.
Using a straightedge, parallel to the top of the guitar headstock, I aligned each of the tuners.  As you can see, the flat bottom of the Grover tuners made this pretty easy to do.
To secure the tuners from the back, and to stop them from rotating out of alignment, each one had to be screwed in with these tiny little screws.
In the final assembly phase, it is VERY important to pre-drill your holes.  Doing this will prevent you from causing any cracks in the wood or the lacquer surface.  Since I didn’t want to drill to deeply, I measured the depth of the screw with a caliper, and marked the end of the drill bit with a piece of tape.  This would give me a good visual cue to not drill too deeply.
Once the tuners were drilled and screwed in, I put the nut and sleeve screw on each post on the face and tightened easily.  If you tighten these to much, you run the risk of cracking the lacquer on the face of the headstock; too little and your tuners will wobble.
This is one of the things I’ve been most excited about, a 7-String Floyd Rose guitar tremolo system!  I’ve never owned a guitar with a Floyd Rose Tremolo setup, nor have I owned a 7-String guitar.  Soon I’ll have the two, combined into one!
Installing the Floyd Rose locking nut was a snap.  Just two screws and two washers.
Next up, I needed to install the string guide bar.  To do this, I laid the bar in position, making sure the screw holes didn’t interfere with the run of the strings.  Once I had this in place, and using a very technical specialized clamp (my hand), I drilled the two post holes.
 The grand unveil!  Here are the two post holes!
And last but not least, I’ve got the string guide bar in place.  Consider the neck finished!

Drilling Holes in the Guitar Neck

So this was the part that I was very much not looking forward to.  This is the first neck in which I will be drilling fresh mounting holes, and I sure didn’t want to mess it up!  As it turns out, it was a lot easier than I had anticipated!

This body features an “easy access” heel.  This means that the outermost edge actually slopes down, toward the guitar neck.  In the picture above, you can see the slope.  Because of this, I could use full length mounting screws in the back, but needed to use shorter screws in the front so as not to pierce the fingerboard.  In order to test the length, and take accurate depth measurements, I installed the neckplate, and put the screws in.  What I didn’t show, was that I put the neck in place, secured it with a clamp, and lightly tapped the screws into the neck to mark my drilling locations.
 Next up, I set the depth measurement on my drill press.  After that, I put my neck, next to the drill bit and extended the arm fully.  This was to ensure that I didn’t drill too deeply.

Next up, drilling the actual holes.  This part was easy, as I had already marked the neck positions, and set my drill press depth.  I took my time, lined up each screw marker, and carefully drilled the hole.  Note – If you are using a handheld drill, it is important to make sure to drill as vertical a hole as possible.  You don’t want your holes wandering off to the side! 

So after all that worrying, I now have four, perfectly aligned drill holes!  Note, the picture above makes the top left hole look out of place, but that must be just the angle of the photo.  The holes line up very well!  One note though.  I would have drilled these holes before finishing the body and neck so there was less chance of damaging the finish, but I didn’t have a drill press at the time.  I knew I would be getting one, so I held off drilling until I knew I could do it accurately.

Sanding and Polishing the LED Guitar Body

It’s been about four weeks since the last time I sprayed lacquer, so the body and neck of the LED Guitar should be fully cured.  It is important to wait a good amount of time, of else wet sanding will do nothing but mar and gouge the soft finish.  One way to judge if the body is dry, is to smell it.  Over the course of a few weeks, you will begin to notice the smell of lacquer disappearing from your guitar body.  This means that the volatile compounds are evaporating, and the finish is hardening.

I’ll save you the dull action shots of my wet sanding the body, but I’ll give you a quick rundown.  I leveled the surface of both the guitar body, and neck, with 500 grit sandpaper.  This was by far the most time consuming  part of the finishing process.  The goal is to sand, until the surface is completely even, and no shiny spots are left.  A few notes on this process:

  • If your sandpaper starts to feel like grits of “sand” are scratching around while sanding, stop and rinse your sandpaper.  These hardened bits of residue can actually scratch your finish more than you had intended.  
  • Be careful when sanding the edges of the guitar body.  Due to the nature of the spraying process, the lacquer is actually thinnest and so it is very easy to sand through the finish.  
  • When you are sanding, work in opposite directions for varying degrees of paper.  This will help you to see if you are removing the sanding marks from the previous paper.
  • I used the following levels of sandpaper: 500, 800, 1000, 1500 and 2500.  This works for me, but I encourage you to experiment and develop a technique that suits you best.
Here’s a shot of the finished guitar body!  It took me four months to get to this point. Hopefully the next one will only one or two if I don’t make the same rookie mistakes. 

Here’s another angle, and you can see the top of the headstock.  I neglected to take pictures of the finished neck, so I’ll have to post those later. 

 I don’t have an expensive buffing arbor, so I used these drill mounted foam pads from Stewmac.  They come in varying sizes to make it easier to get into the guitar’s tight spots.
 Here’s a larger foam pad that makes buffing the guitar body faces much easier.
I started with Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound.  This removed almost all of the scratches from the sanding process.
I then used Meguiar’s Swirl Remover to give it a more professional shine.  Lastly, I used Meguiar’s Show Car Glaze, to brighten and protect the surface.  I’ll add a picture later.

Finishing the Guitar Neck and Painting the Headstock

Hey everyone – We are almost down to the home stretch on the LED Guitar project!  This is the last bit of finishing that will be necessary, before final sanding / polishing and assembly.  Today, I’ll cover how I finished the guitar neck in a vintage amber finish, and painted the headstock.

You may remember these products from my previous article on how to paint stripes on a guitar body.  I ordered these from Stewmac.com, at the recommendation of a gentleman on a Telecaster guitar forum I frequent. My goal was to finish the back of the LED Guitar neck and headstock in a vintage amber tint.  The goal here was to offset the highly stylized / modern finish with some vintage personality.  Going by his recommendation, I would need to start with clear nitrocellulose lacquer, and add four drops of ColorTone Vintage Amber Liquid Stain, and one drop of ColorTone Medium Brown Liquid Stain.  Doing this in a mason jar produced a “vintage amber” that was extremely close to what I had envisioned. I ended up dropping in a bit more of the brown to give the tint a little more “presence”, being careful not to overpower the amber too much.

I masked off the headstock face and fingerboard before spraying.  Even though I would be spraying the headstock an opaque white, I masked it because I didn’t want the finish to be too thick.

Here’s the wood after a single pass of the vintage amber finish.  It’s getting there! 
Once again, however, I didn’t heed my own advice and sprayed too heavy of an initial base coat.  Rather than mess around with this later, I stopped what I was doing, waited a few hours for this to dry, and just sanded the runs out.

 
After a second wet coat, and a few hours drying time, here’s what I ended up with.  The perfect “vintage amber” neck finish!

 Rather than boring you with the details of spraying white lacquer on the headstock, I figured I would just show you the finished product.  After letting the vintage amber dry for a week, I masked everything but the headstock face.  Here it is with four good coats of white tinted lacquer.  That’s a good blank canvas!
 After staring at the headstock for about ten minutes, with a cutout of my custom logo in place, I realized it needed a bit of flare.  This is a large headstock, due to the extra space needed for the 7th string, and so I felt it needed a little accent.  Since I have a red stripe at the bottom of the guitar, I thought it would be cool to balance the design by adding a red slash to the tip of the headstock.  In this picture, you can see the neck completely masked, except for a small portion of the top of the headstock.

I had some red tinted lacquer left, so I laid down three good coats to get a deep red covering. 

After removing the masking tape, I’m left with a deep red accent at the top of the headstock.  Finally, something worked just as planned!  Note – In this picture, the red looks a little magenta.  I think that is either an optical illusion because of the purple towel in the background, or the camera’s color sensor getting confused by the similar colors.  In real life, this is a nice, deep red.

 Here’s a closeup of the painted headstock.  The red looks a little more true to color here.

Now it’s time to do the waterslide logo!  You may remember my post, detailing how I added a waterslide decal to the headstock of my KAOSS Pad Guitar.  This is the same idea.  Above is a shot of the decal I designed for this guitar.  I named the model LD-1; LD for LED guitar, and “1” because it’s my first.
Here’s a test fit of the decal, to make sure it fits properly.  
 A little dip in some water…

 And on to the guitar headstock the waterslide decal goes!  This one actually went on a lot easier than my KAOSS Pad Guitar decal.  I’m thinking that is the case because I knew what to expect.  Now that I’ve completed the finish of both the guitar body and neck, it is time to seal everything in with some clear lacquer. Here is my finish schedule:
  • The body will get about six coats of clear nitro lacquer.  This is to build up enough finish so that I can sand / buff without cutting into the stripes.
  • The back of the neck and headstock will get only two coats.  This is to keep it nice and thin.
  • The face of the headstock will get about six coats of clear.  This is to build up the surface, so that it surpasses the thickness of the decal.  
I probably won’t bore you with those, but we’ll see.  See you soon!

Painting Stripes on a Guitar Body

At this point in my build, I decided my white lacquer base-coat had dried enough for me to paint the multi-colored striping.  Per my previous article, I finished a bare wood guitar body with a white tinted nitrocellulose lacquer finish.  Since there were no major catastrophes to deal with, I didn’t have to do any additional prep work.  On a side note – The surface has that wavy “just sprayed” lacquer texture to it, onto which I am simply going to paint the stripes.  Everything will even out when I lay down the top coats of clear, to seal everything in.

White is the perfect blank canvas for a guitar body!  Too bad I didn’t prime first, or else I would have gotten to this point weeks ago.

Unlike finishing a full guitar body and neck, I decided to use my HVLP touchup gun to spray the stripes. This gun uses MUCH less material, and sprays a much smaller (and more controllable) pattern. 

In order to achieve my desired lacquer tints for not only the red and black striping, but the neck as well, I ordered some different tint shades. For this step, I used both red and black ColorTone Liquid Pigment.  Also in this picture is ColorTone Liquid Stain. This will be demonstrated in a later post covering the neck finish.

Wow – You may be saying to yourself that you must have missed something, right? Well, you didn’t.  I forgot to take pictures of my first masking run, to outline the black stripe.  So what you are looking at is an exposed are, on which I’m going to lay down coats of black tinted lacquer until it is good and dark. In order to achieve a perfectly straight line, I simply placed a strip of masking tape on the guitar body (which was the same width as my desired line).  Using that as a guide, I put two more strips of masking tape on the guitar body – one directly above my guide strip, and one directly below my guide strip.  Once I had those two outline pieces in place, I was able to remove the guide tape in the middle, and have a perfectly straight, bare line.  Some sheets of newspaper later, and you have the picture above!

Off to the garage!  Since it was about 19 degrees Fahrenheit outside on my spraying day, I moved my operation from the shed to my garage.  It isn’t heated, but is insulated and retains enough of the ambient heat from the house to maintain about 35 to 40 degrees F.  Oh, and I sprayed about four coats of black lacquer to achieve the dark black stripe.

Well I really $hit the bed again, as I neglected to take any intermediate pictures.  I guess we’ll have to use our imaginations here!  After letting the black lacquer dry for about 12 hours, I removed all masking tape and ended up with a perfect black line!  At this point, I gave the line about one week to dry, because I would have to mask over THAT line to produce my red line.
In the picture above, I used a very think automotive detailing masking tape to tape a guide line directly below the black line.  This will help me to get an even white space between the black and red lines.  Below that guide line, I taped a slightly thicker line using a wider automotive detail masking tape. This will eventually end up as the area where the red line will be painted.  Beneath that guide tape, I used a standard wide masking tape to mask off the area that will end up directly below the red line (wide yellow tape at the bottom of the guitar body).

 At this point, I masked off the top guide line, as well as the black stripe, to create the outline of where the red line will end up.  To finish it off, I removed the guide masking tape line, mentioned in the step above, to produce the area where I will spray my red.  In the picture above, you can see the white stripe, in between the top and bottom guide lines.

Here’s a closeup of the uncovered strip.

Now tape and mask the whole thing, and it’s ready for some red lacquer! 

 Same deal as with the black, this needed about four coats of red tinted lacquer in order to achieve a deep red line.

And after giving that about 10 hours to dry, I removed all masking material and ended up with two perfect lines!  Next up, finishing the guitar neck.