Considering buying a basket case 65 SG

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tigger, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I was trying sawdust+glue hole patching because I'd like to patch the existing (presumably) epoxy glue lines on the neck better. 5 scratches: CA, Titebond, Titebond + fish glue, fish glue, epoxy. I wiped the result with some oil to simulate finish.

    In sunlight, CA and epoxy are really dark and stand out, other glues are fine.
    [​IMG]

    In shadow, however, they stand out quite a bit. But so does CA and epoxy:

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure what to use. Perhaps even titebond with a touch of stain?
     
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  2. charisjapan

    charisjapan Silver Supporter

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    Hey @tigger, nice test!

    I've tested adhesives on mahogany and padauk, and had similar results ... darker for CA and epoxy, opague/light for Titebond. I'm pretty sure that staining Titebond might get a closer color/shade, but you'd lose transparency ... a bad tradeoff IMHO. Personally, color-wise, your CA test bothers me the least. ;) (Titebond bothers me the most) But for adhesion of anything with even the slightest gap, epoxy!!

    Don't remember if I said this before, but love what you're doing to that SG. :cheers2:
     
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  3. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    The holes temporarily plugged and headstock sanded flat. You can see the big break, I now think what perhaps happened was that the break went on through the veneer and Mr. Dowel decided to replace it, destroying the inlays in the process. So he sourced a MOP block since new Gibsons had that at the time?
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    New mahogany sawdust vs. original.
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    Veneers glued to fretboard and headstock to build up lost thickness:
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    .. and the actual holly veneer. I have a large set of '65 SG photos from Reverb, auctions and webstores and I got the positioning w.r.t. tuner holes from them. It's different than my new SG. Also, the outline is not the one I'm using, it was already drawn on the veneer when I got it and is of wrong proportions.

    [​IMG]


    I sanded the sides of the board flush, but did not glue the binding on yet.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Gluing the binding:
    [​IMG]

    I used duco cement 1:1 with acetone, but this didn't really work well. Maybe I put more acetone than I thought I did, I think perhaps the glue dried before I could affix the two sides together. I did the second part with 100% duco cement and that seems to work very well. I found out I still have a few cm on the first side that isn't stuck together well and I'll need to try to seep in glue and acetone and tape it down.

    [​IMG]
    Despite having the tiny dremel routing bits, I decided to cut out the inlays with a sharp knife and a razor blade, for the fear of cracking the very thin veneer. Worked fine I would say.

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    Epoxy + carbon black filler. In the first test I actually added some liquid black toner instead of powder, and it didn't work, the liquid being I think trapped in the epoxy.

    [​IMG]

    A, ehm, very home-made table router! I need this to make the binding sides vertical, Mr. Dowel managed to sand the fretboard sides in some places and this will even it out. I didn't realize this even happened until now. You can't see it until you glue a big piece of plastic onto it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I'm doing the binding and I'm not progressing that quick. The major problem? The glue isn't that great. Preeb says 80% acetone, 20% celluloid glue. I tried even 50:50 (taking Duco cement as my celluloid glue..) but the result doesn't hold that well. I've been using 100% Duco cement now, but it's still not that great and I keep having to inject it into places and let set.

    The binding was pretty wide originally, perhaps 0.08" or so. So I needed to sand it down. That is kind of hard to do exactly so I scraped it with this jig. Here it's down to about 0.06, I still have a bit to go to 0.04 or under, but I'm taking it slow:

    [​IMG]

    The board sides were not perfectly flat, in some places they were apparently sanded down accidentally by Mr. Dowel. The binding along with the vertical scraping jig smoothed that out.

    Sanded down to nibs, you can see the binding is too thick here:
    [​IMG]

    The nibs should end up really small and the binding only .04" thick.
     
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  6. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Drilled the holes with tiny dremel drill bits from smallest to 3/32th.
    [​IMG]

    Patched up the extra center hole on the 12th fret with celluloid in aceton.. Don't ask, OK???

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    Tortoiseshell dot. Honestly, they are pretty dark and hard to tell from black dots. I feel the originals were a bit more red?
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    [​IMG]

    This isn't really what I need to be doing, but I started chipping off filler from where the vibrola used to be. It seems like they chipped out a bit of wood and filled it with some red stuff. I'll put wood/glue paste in there and lacquer it over. Should look marginally better.

    [​IMG]

    Measuring what the current neck angle does to action. The action is a little bit too high, but the neck also needs to come down about the same amount while keeping the angle. Then it'll be perfect..

    [​IMG]

    At least when taking the SG Classic for a reference stop-tail height.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Light at the end of the tunnel perhaps.
     
  8. LtDave32

    LtDave32 Desert Star Guitars Super Mod Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    Tigger, you've done a superior job of ressurection here. I'm impressed.

    Great stuff.

    I'd like to see how you handle the "uncovering" of the headstock logo and flower pot after you've sprayed them black.

    I know how I do it, but I'd like to see your method, because you've done some great work here.

    I scotch-tape over the inlays, then cut very closely with an Xacto-pencil, then spray, then carefully lift the tape, sand the area ever-so-lightly, then clear coat.
     
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  9. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Thanks, that's really interesting. As far as I could find out on the internet, the original method was to sand it flat, then spray black, then scrape off with a blade (if you miss, the black epoxy saves it) and then clear-coat. I have looked at many old inlay photos and this seems to make sense: the inlays are often not perfect and have a bit not scraped the same or so on.

    However, it doesn't seem like such a great method to me and what you do makes so much more sense. I'm really torn in some places whether to do it perfectly or keep it more original. For instance, I still have gaps around the inlays that I didn't want to fully fill, although I easily could, but then it would be too perfect..
     
  10. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I've dremelled out the nasty uneven epoxy line on the neck break so that I can fill it in with sawdust + glue once I have all the filling spots ready.
    [​IMG]

    And did more work on the headstock, sanding top and sides and cutting through truss rod access with a dremel sanding cylinder.

    [​IMG]

    Not done yet but relatively close:

    [​IMG]

    I need to re-apply the epoxy somewhat because there are a few bubbles in it large enough to cause finish issues, sand the veneer outlines, they are only approximately sanded to shape now, and do a little more work on the truss rod access. The tough part here is that on all the 60's SGs that I've seen, the headstock face just isn't flat- either there was significant round- of of the edges while sanding or the wood shrunk somewhat in the corners. I'll try to replicate that somewhat but not excessively by sanding the veneer edges just a bit.
     
  11. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    One more look at the headstock + veneers. after taking the photo I noticed the v needs one more pass to be symmetric and fixed it.
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    Cleaning out the neck pocket:
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    And shaping a mahogany shim that will bridge the transition. It took a while since I have the plane set to very fine but in the end there are no irregularities. I'm still mesmerized by the precision one can achieve with the plane. An order of magnitude higher than I would believe.

    [​IMG]

    The edge in this photo is around 0.3mm thick with no variations. I still filed it down further and again, no variations. I didn't even need to try hard.
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    Testing, along with a lip extension I glued in the place of the oak/epoxy/mahogany sandwich that was there before. It needs more shaping to eradicate the gap:

    [​IMG]

    Finding the offending areas with a carbon paper trick. Actually, I didn't have carbon paper so I colored in a side of a post-it note with a graphite pencil.

    [​IMG]

    After I removed that it fit perfectly so I glued and clamped down the shim. I'll shape it once it's glued.
     
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  12. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    Mixing the glue. I did not try the pearl variety, only the granules.
    [​IMG]

    Carefully make shims to get perfect neck alignment. After checking the alignment of all the routes I suspect I'm working at much higher tolerance than the gibson factory. I made a line with a string and taped a ruler along it, then put a sticker it has to align with between the bridge posts. I don't think there are any unexpected offsets.

    [​IMG]

    Perfectly aligned. It's coming in smoothly but without wiggle room. I hope that's just the right amount of snugness. After this photo I needed to cut down the pickup cavity still a little more. I left it slightly higher than the original to keep the extra wood, it shouldn't interfere with the pickup height, I can drop it down to about below the fretboard.

    [​IMG]

    I strength-tested the hide glue before gluing important bits, and I think the test passed, I couldn't break a small joint. So fretboard goes on:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    So, my last major worry was this: the bound fretboard ended up being larger than the neck due to the actions of a sandpaper-equipped Sesame Street character I'm sure. I think I mentioned it in one of the posts above. So I cut a thin, thin strip of mahogany, planed it even thinner, and then cut it into narrower strips. I glued one right to the edge with fish glue, like this:

    [​IMG]

    And then had a go at it with sandpaper. It's not finished (you can see the neck overall isn't finished), but now it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    And it's a major success! Yes, there is the color transition and to make matters worse the transition line is not regular because neither was the damage, but it fits perfectly and using your fingers you would never know. I have more dyes in the post so I'll see how well I can cover it and after grain filling and lacquer it should be almost invisible. Hopefully.

    I'm really happy about this, because I was quite worried.
     
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  14. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    I think the random line will disappear much better than a straight one. But a little dye and maybe some careful blending and I'm sure it will be mostly invisible to the layman......of course you will see it as you know its there!!
     
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  15. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I think so as well, but I'm having some trouble with dyes. I have dark mahogany and dark walnut aniline dyes. To my eyes they are both just orange.. I guess they would lose the red tint with UV but it's still surprising.
     
  16. w666

    w666 Senior Member

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    The secret (or so I'm told) to Gibson red is to add a drop of blue
     
  17. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    But it's not supposed to be red - unlike a LP, in a SG the red comes from the lacquer, the grain filler should be brown, not cherry as on a LP.
     
  18. w666

    w666 Senior Member

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    Sorry, my bad...I wasn't paying attention. I didn't realize you were talking about grain filler. I've used black grain filler with cherry tinted lacquer (don't forget the blue!) to get that SG finish.

    This pic is a Jr, of course, but the same finish
     

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  19. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    I guess I'll first try the standard process (dark walnut dye, pumice, boiled linseed oil) on a scrap and see what does it look like once it dries.

    I also have a bunch of holes I'm trying to re-plug (mostly tremolo holes and ugly repairs) and I'm not really sure what to use. Glue+sawdust is really hard, I think I might just try plugging them with grain filler.
     
  20. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

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    OK. This time the right way around and with photos.
    Laser cutter: the rasterized are isn't too perfect, but the vector cut outline of the numbers is without issues.
    [​IMG]

    I ended up using the deeper ones on the right.
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    Testing right hammer force..
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    [​IMG]

    Looks just fine to me (will be filled with stained grain filler, I'm not sure if they actually used ink..)[​IMG]
     
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