Guitar Of The Month – October, 2018

Written by: Kevin Strom On: Nov 6th, 2018

Congratulations goes out to Jarod Cowen for his guitar build, to earn him Guitar of the Month for October 2018.

Jarod used our TBBK-1 bass guitar kit, to create his bass guitar.

“This bass all started with my brother.  He wanted a custom bass that would be eye catching and different.  There wasn’t any one thing in particular that inspired the build, but we both have always liked things that look a tad sinister and evil. 

About the time he bought the kit, I had just finished building a Lichtenburg wood burner which uses high voltage to shock wood creating unique burn patterns on the surface of wood, and I was eager to use it.  My brother was skeptical at first, but once we tried it out on a few 2×4’s he was sold on the idea.  His only real request was that he wanted it green. Everything else on the bass just sort of came together as we went.  

The finish took me about a month of trial and error to get it how I wanted it.  I started by sanding the sealer off of the body and neck and then I wet the wood with salt water to make it more conductive and shocked it with my lichtenburg wood burner in the spots I wanted to be burned.  I used about 4 or 5 coats of some stuff I found at Michael’s called FolkArt Venom ultra dye.  For the back of the neck and sides of the body I used a whole can of black aerosol lacquer.  For the sunburst edge I used translucent black aerosol lacquer.  The most time consuming part was the nitrocellulose clear lacquer.  I would put on a coat, wait two days, and then finely sand it.  I don’t remember how many coats I did but I used two whole cans. 

The last step was polishing it, and for that I used a cheap car polishing kit I got off amazon.  I used a nitrocellulose lacquer for the clear coat, so hopefully it will age and look even more sinister with time.  I got the idea for the eyeball knobs from a picture of a guitar I saw when I was googling custom guitars.  We had the pickguard painted by a local pinstriping artist (JC Kustoms).  After it was all finished we named it the Frankenbass, because what really brought it to life was shocking it. 

It was definitely a learning experience for me.  I’m excited to build my next kit, and hopefully will be as appealing as this one has turned out to be.”

-Jarod Cowen


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