2017 Tribute HB mods

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by tigger, May 8, 2017.

  1. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I am not a Les Paul kind of person, but when I saw this one on the photos on Thomann webpage, I couldn't stop thinking of it. And then it was gone, and I panicked, and I found the possibly last one on the continent for now and went to Luzern and bought it ;)

    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking of it as a project guitar, for 777 CHF (same as USD) it was a steal and with something over 7 pounds it is nice and light.

    I ordered a can of nitro from Rothko and Frost, cream backplates (the stock ones are some strange hard tolex-like surface black plastic ones), poker chip, a Faber bridge and studs, and since I was told that Virtuoso polish is something better than normal #2 scratch remover, I ordered that too.

    In addition I wanted a cream suede strap so I ordered a "sand" one by Levy's but it turned to be about as dark as the one pictured :(

    I plan to sand a faux binding and cover it with nitro- probably with a paint-brush since spraying it would be really wasteful.

    The one problem: the neck is more rough than the rest of the guitar. I cannot figure out whether they forgot to sand it after it was machined or whether it is on purpose to achieve a "satin" feel. A macro shot looks like this- the large dark stains are grain, the small regular dots are the tooling marks:

    [​IMG]

    I sent the image to gibson customer service and they said that's what grain looks like. I don't think so. I'm thinking about trying to sand it out and re-coating with a thin layer of lacquer if I go through the coat in the process accidentally.

    Edit: Looking at my other mahogany neck Gibsons, it indeed looks standard and the roughness to the neck must have been done on purpose and went away with wet-sanding and polishing.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  2. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I wet-sanded the neck with 1000 and then 2000. I think it removed the rough feel, or most of it. I went pretty hard at it but didn't damage the (very thin) lacquer. I also polished the headstock with novus no.2 scratch remover. I'm unsure how it differs from the virtuoso polish but I'll probably try both.
     
  3. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I stripped the hardware. The fingerboard is probably the darkest of all my guitars (or well soaked in oil).
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Taped and started sanding. It looks fine but it's too much work to be practical, how does one usually do this? I'm thinking about making a tiny L shaped wooden jig and putting double sided tape on it and sandpaper.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. marksoundguitars

    marksoundguitars Chief Paint Sniffer MLP Vendor

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    You could always scrape the "binding." Use a very sharp blade. I use my thumbnail as a guide, but others have made blade stops and things to guide the blade.

    When it's clean you can mask and brush on clear lacquer, or if you want the solid color do that. Spraying gives a better finish, but either way it's doable. If you brush on the color, I'd spray clear. It won't take much.

    Whatever you decide, carefully wetsand the edge to knock down the hard transition line.
     
  6. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I know bindings are commonly scraped after staining, but I was worried I would chip the finish at the border. I'm not planning to paint it and I also want to take about a millimeter off the top as well, that's what I thought I'd use the wooden L for.

    I just realize I can try the scraping above the line where I want it to be and see if it works fine.

    For spray-paining - I'm worried I'd have to coat the full top if I want to do that and I only have a rattle-can, I can't get a hold of a real spray booth. I think with a brush I can coat just the exposed wood and then sand it flush and buff along with the whole top.
     
  7. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    An hour of work did not get me far. It seems sanding it with fingers as a guide is still the best workable idea. The top however, is incredibly thin. You sneeze and it comes off. I'm almost thinking about spraying it with 2 layers of lacquer as I spray the binding, I'm just afraid that my nitro-in-a-can won't give me very nice results.
     
  8. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Next problem- the stain went quite in into the maple cap where fibers are cut across. Is it too risky to try put some acetone at it?
     
  9. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
    The two wooden blocks are for sanding of the top. I needed to change the sand-paper about every 2-3 inches.

    [​IMG]
    Concave bits were worse and I had to put the sandpaper on a stick and hold it with my fingers. The edge here is not quite as defined as the previous method, but by now I cannot tell the difference anymore.
     
  10. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
    Whole body done. I'm stuck waiting for the nitro which did not come in the first R&F shipment..
     
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  11. Have FUN

    Have FUN Senior Member

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    Very good idea,
     
  12. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Thanks.

    I'm also sort of wondering about inlaying the gibson logo in MOP. It would seem to me that given good templates and inlay it could perhaps be done rather efficiently. I know people do this but I didn't find anyone showing how to or where one can get the inlay from. I would imagine in the best case there would be an inlay and a form that can be used to trace it's outline with a dremel?
     
  13. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    More photos with masking tape off. I realized I need to re-apply it before I put lacquer on it anyway. I'm thinking I would try to first coat the binding only with a brush, then sand and spray the whole top?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. marksoundguitars

    marksoundguitars Chief Paint Sniffer MLP Vendor

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    Look up SG Lou. He's good at this stuff.
     
  15. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Thanks!
     
  16. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I eyed the fret board thinking it would be a good time to remove any imperfections and smooth fret ends a little. But there is nothing to do. There is literally nothing that is not perfectly done on the guitar, much better than the more than two times as expensive J-45 I bought recently.

    I even realized that those "tooling marks" are indeed mahogany under excessive magnification and serious buffing and sanding made the roughness of the neck (probably a design feature, not a bug) go away.
     
  17. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Do I need sanding sealer on the exposed maple, or will clear nitro stick to it fine?
     
  18. Have FUN

    Have FUN Senior Member

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    May be I will sand a binding like you on my 2017 Tribute GT but I will paint it with a cream color, what do you think ?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I thought the goldtops already came with faux binding..
    At any rate, I think if you want to see it from the top you would need to mask the top somehow while painting it and I am unsure how you can get all the smooth curves masked well enough... perhaps with some flexible masking tape? Electrician's plastic tape? I don't know. If you find out how, let me know!
     
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  20. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I liberated the gibson stamped pots from the PCB: 471k, 483k, 444k, 462k. Seems good enough tolerance.
     

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