Building a Purple Dream Machine


Sometimes projects get a little out of hand…

What started as a $15 loaded First Act body that I purchased from The Trading Musician to practice wiring pickups on turned into a work of art that was made to be displayed in Minneapolis, Saint Paul.

After a little time with it, I knew I had to do more than rip it open to learn about the electronics. I’ve always loved the look of a double cut Les Paul Jr., and the pickguard reminded me of the Vikings helmet.

It was fate. This thing had to be purple.

I stripped back paint to reveal…pretty much what you’d expect. Nothing special, but it didn’t have to be.

I picked up some purple paint — I already had some gold, which I thought would work well for the hardware. I ended up having enough to do a gold undercoat, so that when the purple wears down (which it will), that will be revealed.

View this post on Instagram

I love goooooooooold

A post shared by Emily Harris (@crimesofparis) on

The purple itself turned out better than I could have imagined. The only problem is, you can’t topcoat over the metallic paint I picked out. So, if my friend ends up playing it frequently, it’ll go through to the gold.

View this post on Instagram

OK this turned out a lot better than expected 😍

A post shared by Emily Harris (@crimesofparis) on

I had a telecaster neck lying around, and it was a perfect fit for both the neck pocket, but I had to fill and redrill the holes in the back of the First Act.

I didn’t have a drill press, but I did have a Dremel tool. I ended up getting a Dremel workstation and drill bits, which was on sale and probably less than $40. It works great, and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

I got some Gibson-style gold knobs, and found a $25 P90 in a humbucker routing, and picked up a black humbucker mounting plate that I painted gold.

But there was a problem…the P90 wasn’t a perfect fit. I used my Dremel tool to grind down the mounting plates, painted them gold, and it fit a lot better.

And, with that, I was done. And I spent significantly less than $100 to build a beautiful guitar that I shipped to a friend of mine in the land of 10,000 lakes (and homeland of Prince).

But does it make noise?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s