The Line 6 Variax guitars are capable of a huge range of convincing sounds. The only real drawback with these guitars is an uncomfortable and cheap-feeling neck, and unattractive body. This project attempts to fix those problems by transplanting the Variax electronics into a new guitar.
The body shape is based on a Yamaha Pacifica, for no reason other than I had one around to work from. It's a fairly typical Superstrat-style guitar, and is a nice design overall. I had a little trouble deciding on a heel shape. The Pacifica uses a Strat-like square heel, but I was interested in a rounded heel as well. I made templates for each, but ended up going with the square heel shape.
Surfacing the blank
Shaping and roundovers
Routing the electronics cavity
Neck joint carving
Bridge and string retainer
Shielding the pickguard
Installing the jack
I used my replacement Pacifica neck for the test fit; however, the final neck is a Carvin.
Body and neck
The first time I finished this guitar, I used Sherwin Williams conversion varnish over tinted shellac. This was a mistake -- the shellac was much more flexible than the CV, which let to cracking. Still, it looked great at first.
Severe cracking -- this will not do at all!
I refinished it in nitrocellulose lacquer.
It came out great! Now I have extreme versatility, looks, and playability all in the same package.