Customizing a Custom with a New Fretboard

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by Mr. Beef, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member MLP Sponsor

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    The start of another project... replacing the rosewood fretboard with a maple one on this LP Custom. I have a nice piece of maple that I'm going to radius, add block inlays, bind, etc., and hopefully with minimal touchup required.

    I didn't really show too much detail on the R8 fretboard replacement, so I'll provide more in this thread.

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    First I removed the frets.
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    I use an X-Acto knife to remove the lacquer on the binding and then to score the area between the binding and the wood of the neck. This will help ensure that the binding doesn't pull away any of the finish on the neck when it's removed. Otherwise, the job will look sloppy.
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    Clean up any residual binding so that it doesn't melt when steaming the fretboard. Nice clean line!
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    I put a wet towel over the fretboard and rest an clothes iron on top. The iron is set to high (with steam). I let it rest there for five minutes or so and then start to slide a scrapper in between the fretboard and the neck wood. Keep moving the iron down the neck and working the scrapper along.
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    Work slowly so you get the board removed cleanly.
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    Lovely.
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    Now, I'll go to work on making the new maple board.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
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  2. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Very nice.

    What era is this guitar??
    I don't have a maple f/b gibson (? maybe a future build possibility) but I do like the look of those late 70's ones with them.
     
  3. Evo8

    Evo8 Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
    Its a 2004 JDM Epiphone LQ(Laquer) series. Going for the Norlin look.
     
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  4. rabidhamster

    rabidhamster Senior Member

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    Cool man! great thread
     
  5. purpledc

    purpledc Senior Member

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    Ok, forget Kaitlyn Jenner. YOU are the brave one. Still I love it. I'm not huge on maple for a fretboard but I am a fan of anyone doing something most would cringe at and doing it in a way that looks professional in the end. I know guys who would throw any guitar away if it had say a broken truss rod thinking what you just did with lifting the fretboard as being impossible. Ill definitely be watching this thread. Awesome stuff.
     
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  6. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member MLP Sponsor

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    Haha! Thanks man!
     
  7. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member MLP Sponsor

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    Here's the piece of wood...

    [​IMG]

    I measured it out and marked and numbered the frets

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    I measured and drew the center line on the length of the board and also marked the middle of each fret across the board. Then I did the same to each inlay so I could make sure they were centered and I marked the edged in pencil.

    Now, I'm sure someone will give me grief for this... I freehand the initial rout on the board. And, I did this before the board is radiused because it is easier to do when the surface is level. Now that the initial rout is started, I'll move on to trimming up the board with the band saw and radial sander, then the radius. When the board has the right radius and thickness, I'll use some very fine files and blades to ensure the inlays have a nice fit.

    Looks good so far.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
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  8. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member MLP Sponsor

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    The board is getting close.

    [​IMG]

    The inlays are glues in and it's time to finish it up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
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  9. jordans0nly

    jordans0nly Senior Member

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    Good looking board man. I'm sure it'll look great.
     
  10. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member MLP Sponsor

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    Little slow with the updates here, but there has been significant progress on this project. Installing stainless steel frets is a real workout!

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    Just before the final touchup and aging the binding.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  11. yamariv

    yamariv Senior Member

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    First..Love your threads Mr.Beef!! Keep em coming!! :naughty:

    Second.. Is anyone else as confused as me about why the customer would ever want a gorgeous dark rosewood fretboard on a black custom replaced with a MAPLE fretboard??:dunno::iough:

    I've gotta be missing something here....
     
  12. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Because Gibson made Customs this way in the late 70's:
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    Someone must want to replicate that.
     
  13. Norton

    Norton Senior Member

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    Nice job.... never cared for that look.

    But man...nicely done!
     
  14. yamariv

    yamariv Senior Member

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    Wow, never knew Gibson ever did that!! Learn something new everyday!! Nice work Mr.Beef!!
     
  15. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Nice job on those nibs, and amazing control of detail and quality throughout. I must confess that changing from a black board that matches the guitar beautifully to maple, which (while a short-lived, historically-correct variant) doesn't, completely baffles me, you've done an amazing job. What's next? Slicing a body to create a pancake? I'm still waiting to see someone do that in the interest of 70's accuracy.
     
  16. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member MLP Sponsor

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    Interesting idea...:hmm:
     
  17. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Just kidding. Many of us are truly appreciative of your interesting, informative posts, and have a lot of admiration for your creativity and impressive build skills and processes. Thanks!
     
  18. TheX

    TheX Voice of Reason

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    This is a VERY cool project.
     
  19. OldBenKenobi

    OldBenKenobi Senior Member

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    I'm not a huge fan of maple fretboard Customs but maple > rosewood on a Custom any day of the week. This should look pretty sweet.
     
  20. Evo8

    Evo8 Senior Member

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    Where the f*** is my guitar??
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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