Van Halen has always been a major influence on me as well as it has to many millions of fans worldwide. Being a woodcarver I wanted to make my own “5150”(arguably one of his most recognizable guitars along with his Frankenstrat).
I didn’t want my guitar to be just like all the other copies. I painstakingly cut and laminated the guitar in half about 100 times to create the stripes (which run from front to back). I used Honduras Mahogany to replicate the red colour and White maple to replicate the white stripes.
The black stripe segments are the only portion that I used stained veneer. The black stripes didn’t always run from one side to the other so I couldn’t cut the guitar all the way across if the stripe didn’t go all the way across.
I handmade the neck out of Maple as it was very hard to find a Kramer style Banana headstock. The only ones I could find were either beat up or way too expensive.
The only liberty I took was to give the neck 24 frets where EVH used only 22.
I even used the hardware that Eddie Van Halen would have used. An original Floyd Rose Bridge and a EVH Frankenstein custom wound pickup finished the sound and look.
I must admit it sounds awesome but I’m no Eddie Van Halen! Then again…who is!!
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Eddie Van Halen’s 5150
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