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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tigger, Aug 5, 2017.
Yes, sorry. I did not make a clean start one. Could edit the first post.
Does anyone know what the nut material is? It's sadly quite poorly cut or re-cut.
By now I really hate Mr. Dowel. I am definitely seriously impressed by his craft, having managed to somehow put dowels through everything at strange angles, in a way that makes it unexplainable for me how did he actually manage to put the neck in without sawing the guitar in half in the first place:
These are 4 dowels (fifth one on the other side) going through the neck. As far as I can see, the sideways one extended INTO the body of the guitar, I have no idea how that can be achieved. Perhaps it's only very shallow.
I have a similar material nut on my studio. Is it Corian? Some type of hard plastic....
That's an amazing feat of engineering from mr dowel..
Taking off the headstock veneer. It's glued with something that doesn't release with heat at all so a chisel it is.
The inlay was cut through the veneer and slightly into the wood below, not too much though I believe. You can see wood putty where the main break was. I'm not too concerned since it will be hidden by the veneer, and the back is clean.
I did solve the headstock angle question: it was neither 14 degrees nor full 17, but something like 16 from my measurements. It's because the headstock is glued ever so slightly off. I couldn't see it before I took the veneer off, but now you can with a straightedge. Not sure you can see it from the photograph, but you can also sort of make out the 1st headstock break on the left top side of the headstock side. The second break happened mostly in the same place. They probably didn't have access to sufficiently stable glues.
Inlay and overlay woes.
I ordered DRDL tuners, Italian inlays, headstock overlay, and side dots from crazyparts.de. The headstock overlay is sadly off. It's too narrow in the center:
That won't do and I'll try to send it back and replace with just the two inlays. I was stupid for trying to simplify it this way.
Inlays: I destroyed some of the inlays while trying to get the fretboard off. Partly because I wasn't careful enough, but I also wanted to change them out. They are very thin and for some reason almost transparent. I have a suspicion that the fretboard was sanded down, bringing them to a really thin state. When I oiled the fretboard, the oil seemed to have seeped under, leaving them rather ugly brown.
So I removed the first with a sharp chisel. They are quite interesting, I wonder how they did this. They have clearly been installed after the board
was radiused (probably to cut down on material), and are curved. They also have a deeper outline and shallower center. You can actually see this through on the left un-removed inlay. I suppose this is a 60's change and wasn't like that earlier? I've never really seen it before.
Old vs new inlay:
The material of the new ones is great. Looks just the same. However, they might be ever so slightly too small, and I will have trouble inlaying them into the radiused slots. I would say they are about as large as the originals, but the originals clearly shrunk:
I suppose I can make it work, filling the gaps with rosewood dust and glue. (I don't actually have any so I'll probably order a bit of scrap rosewood for it.)
I Imagine I'd need to route the routes flat though, and maybe just a tad deeper.
To continue the complaints, the tortoiseshell side dots are a little smaller than the originals - I might actually try to retain the original ones but they might not be deep enough. And the tuners have the buttons mounted just a bit too far out. I suppose I can heat them in water and slowly push them in or something like that.
Drawing up plans for the filling. I think I'll need to route or chisel all or part of the tenon out so that I can replace it and have a good glueing surface. The neck stub is angled in the wrong way, so I will need to fill in wood on both the body and the neck. I think the existing dovetail joint should hold well enough.
Good lord, this is like watching an exhumation.
Keep on keepin' on, brotha.
Very nice thread. I wanted to buy that guitar too, but the seller never responded to me.
Please don't use a black fibre overlay. You need a holly veneer.
You can also radius the underside of the inlays by sticking some sandpaper on the fretboard and sand the underside of the inlays.
Please try to keep the guitar as original and historically correct as possible.
You already have one! So I don't feel too bad for grabbing it first To be honest though - I still feel it was rather expensive and that most of the interested parties did not realize in how bad a shape it was in. I spotted the 3 neck breaks in the photos, but also didn't know about the neck angle issue, sideways stop-tail, ground-down hardware to fit, etc.
Yes, I'm ordering a holly veneer, I assumed the black board they are selling the inlays with is holly, I didn't realize it was some sort of plastic until I got it.
For the inlays, I think I will not radius them: the routes are too shallow so I will have to make them deeper, and I worry about scratching the board with the router base if I'm to route along the existing curve. I also want to sand the board as little as possible, among other things because I'm not sure my 12" radius boards are really the same radius and I'm bound to take off some wood somewhere. It seems safer to me to route them flat.
I've reached out to a few wood suppliers, let's see if anyone is willing to sell me small enough quantity.
Meanwhile I've scuffed the new tuners up a bit so they don't look out of place. The tuner buttons are, I think, still a little too far out, and I'll throw them under UV to hopefully make them somewhat darker.
I'm quite happy with this, it was super simple: scuff the surface a bit with steel wool or one of the 3m sanding pads, then I put everything into a plastic container, put a bit of vinegar into a very tiny container, heated this up in a microwave for 20 seconds and put it into the other one (not poured, still in the container). Took out after half an hour or so and washed. In the end I smeared a bit of coffee over it and washed it again away
Mmm coffee and vinegar
That's some serious work you are doing. I sincerely hope it's worth the effort and you end up with a great playing and looking guitar.
So do I. The great thing is that the neck is totally straight, even with the fretboard off (and so is the fretboard alone). So, in other words, if it ends up not great it's my own damn fault.
I started routing the inlays deeper. I got this dremel base. It's in fact rather flimsy and the height setting is on one side only, making the other side flex a little so you have to tie it down with something and then use a stop screw to set the height. Annoying to get the right height, but once you got it it works.
Routed and edges chiseled out (I routed it free-hand and didn't go all the way to the edge.)
Inlay test. In the middle it's obviously much deeper, but on the sides this is really only a fraction of a millimeter deeper than the original routes so I'm slightly worried the inlay will again be too thin. I'm not really sure whether I want to keep it like that or make it even deeper.
Great thread! Keep at it
@SG Lou used to have a few threads like this before the curse of Photobucket
I had a ‘69 for a short while. Killer guitar. The logo on yours sure does look familiar. I’ll post a pic...
But you’re obviously isn’t a ‘69. At least not most of it.
Thanks for the image! I had hard time finding one online to compare. It seems to be the same inlay, only in my case it was in a separate "board" that was put into a hole routed through the headstock veneer, which itself was clearly not original and replaced when the headstock broke.
I put the inlays into the chiseled holes and then I sanded it not-quite flush with a radius block (taping the fretboard). Now I stuck the inlays around a UV bulb and am yellowing them. The originals were quite yellow and I think I'd rather pre-yellow them somewhat.
The inlays aren't a super perfect fit, but they are as good a fit as the originals were. I'm still worried about filling the gaps with sawdust and CA glue, namely afraid that it will be much darker than the wood around it. (Though it is really quite dark so it probably isn't a real concern.)
(will upload photos later)
I have pre-shaped the inlays into *roughly* correct thickness and radius, then put them under UV for 24h to yellow them to match the originals. This worked really well:
I was hoping the yellowing went through at least the top millimeter of the plastic and more sanding won't do harm to it. Well, I was wrong and the color goes straight off with sanding
So after I glued the inlays in.
I used duco cement. I know the original might have been hide glue, but I only have hot hide glue and felt it was too much effort for no clear gain. In fact I was hoping the duco cement would melt them a bit and let them sit down if there were some flatness issues.
Then I taped the fretboard and started sanding with a radius block. Then I realized that a metal file is a much better idea - it acts like many small scrapers leaving only small scratches on the inlays, is fairly effective, and does not bend at all so you can file until the inlays are perfectly flush without scratching the board. (If you make sure that the file rests on at least two inlays at all times.)
Here I still have the board taped but it turned out to be much easier when it isn't.
Almost done filing. Quick hole filling test with CA and packed sawdust:
I am not very excited. This is the worst angle for it, but it is definitely darker than the surrounding rosewood due to the CA content. But I'm unsure it would be better with any other glue.