I know this guy, Scotty K. Yeah, he’s a guitar player, but he’s also an avid boater, not to mention an all around great guy who gives his time and hard earned money to make sure people have a great time when ever they visit.
I have fished off of his 22 ft Mako, known as the Goby Getter, since the day she first hit the frigid waters of Lake Erie without a drain plug (story for another day). Any way, the bottom line is when you go fishing with Scotty, he really doesn’t let you pay for much, if he can help it. Which is why in the past we (those who fish with Scotty) have done things like buy new chairs for the boat. It had been a while, and I hit on the idea of building a guitar for Scotty that would look like an old beat up rig that he could have on the boat, or anywhere, and not have to worry about ruining a really nice setup.
For reference, the Mako Marine logo looks like this:
I found a good deal on an Epiphone Les Paul Special with P90 pickups, new at Guitar Center, for way cheap. In fact, I bought 2, one for my son so he could have his own, and 1 for the project. I must admit I felt pretty guilty dismantling a brand new guitar, fresh out of the box, but it was all for a good cause.
After learning the important lesson of not stripping a guitar with my power sander in my basement (and completing scrubbing all the blue walls to remove the coat of yellow powder) I used a vinegar and steel wool mixture to die the wood. In retrospect, I should have probably used a grey stain instead, to get that weather wood look, but this also go the job done. I then got some water transfer paper (like for those temporary tatoos we used to get as kids), printed out the shark (2 pieces) and lettering and affixed them to the bare wood. I then sprayed a couple layers of poly on the whole body, sanded and then applied 2 coats of carnuba auto wax. I didn’t want a high shine, so I then steel wooled over the wax to knock it down to a smooth satin finish. With the wax, even if it’s on the boat and gets wet, the wood should be just fine.
I stripped and finish the yellow neck the same way, but left the headstock as it was, black on the front, yellow on the back.
Then came the part I was dreading, soldering the whole thing back together. After buying a higher quality iron, things worked much better and everything went back together quite nicely. It plays just like the untouched version my son has, so I think I got everything right.
I have yet to hear how well it plays for Scotty K, but I imagine it works just fine for when he wants to noodle around on a cheap customized guitar.