Having stained the body, I finished it with a couple of coats of Danish Oil (with a bit more stain added) and then wire wooled it when it had dried. A coat of Briwax to polish it up and the body was done! I over-rubbed some areas to give a worn look to compliment the worn EMG pickup covers. I think it works really well.
The headstock got my tribal monogram and lots of clear lacquer before getting a sand back and a polish.
So one month, less than £100, and here's the result: the SM Viper!
I'm so chuffed that I managed it all in the month deadline! The first week went really well but by week 3 I was still wondering what finish to go for. I really fancied giving the camo finish a go but I didn't want to risk screwing the whole thing up, and in reality there really wasn't enough time to try something as complicated as that. But it is something I'm going to try on a scrap piece of wood at some point, just out of curiosity. The ebony stain and oil finish was also a first for me, so I'm totally delighted that it turned out ok. I've used oil in the past on furniture but I wasn't sure how tough it would be on a guitar. It turns out that it works just fine! And I got the exact sheen I was after too. Not too matt, not too glossy, just right.
There's never 3 bears handy when you need them, is there?...
I've loved this build. The time and budget constriction really made me think about what was achievable, and I pulled it off. The body carving was a great night! The tunes were blasting and my chisel was flying! And it's amazing what you can put together with a small budget and a lot of thought.
Now, I really must build that Tele I promised myself. Oh, and an Explorer too while I'm at it.