Gibson 1959 Explorer Replica build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Marn99, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    I've had no issues with them - in maybe 3 or 4 years of getting orders from them. Shipping is no better or worse than anyone else - and the time taken is not the issue of the sender.
     
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  2. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    Here's what I have so far in terms of hardware that I will be ordering
    DMC unaged gold top hat knobs
    DMC unaged nickel knob pointers
    DMC unaged black butyrate m69 humbucker rings
    Retrospec pearloid cellulose nitrate dot inlays made by mazzucchelli
    3 CTS 500k short split shaft pots
    Switchcraft short shaft mono jack
    Cellulose nitrate sheet stock, black and white (to be laminated for 4 ply pickguard)
    Things I am considering:
    Retrospec abr-1 non wire unaged tune-o-matic bridge (I know it is expensive but the price isn't so bad that I wouldn't consider buying it)
     
  3. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    PLT is the shiz.

    Marn99..I'm afraid no one makes CAB knobs that I am aware of.
     
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  4. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    Pickguards were *not* cellulose nitrate- they were made of cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB).

    A nitrocellulose pickguard will self-destruct within a few years.
     
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  5. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    Thanks, this is good info to know. Anywhere I can get CAB sheet stock?
     
  6. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    DMC knobs are described on the website as being the vintage correct plastic.
     
  7. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    I don't know if CAB is even made any more. The butyrate was a plasticizer added to acetylcellulose, and it was long ago replaced with newer plasticizers.

    Frankly, the amount used was such a trace that modern acetylcellulose/cellulose acetate would be indistinguishable except under chemical analysis.
     
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  8. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    Found a supplier who makes CAB sheets, I think they also do custom colors and thicknesses. minimum order cost is 30 dollars http://www.professionalplastics.com
     
  9. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    The back control covers were also CAB.
     
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  10. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    Thanks, the back plate was brown, just like the old goldtop lp's. I have confirmed that the supplier I found does do custom thickness and their data sheet on CAB says it has "unlimited dyeability", which I assume means they can do custom colors. That being said, black dye and white dye are child's play, matching the right shade of brown of the old cavity covers might be a bit harder for them to do. I will reach out to them soon :)
     
  11. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    What would you all reckon the side dot material was? My guess is Cellulose Acetate Butyrate because I am starting to see a pattern that everything (save for the switch tip) plastic was CAB except the pearloid inlays and the nylon nut.
     
  12. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    They might have been Royalite like the bindings. In fact they may well have been a dab of scrap binding softened into putty with acetone, the same way Gibson filled binding gaps. (Frankly, for the side dots why not just use ABS? Unless you're planning for a chemist stealing your axe and dissecting it in a lab).
     
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  13. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    Here is an image of the side dots on a 50s Gibson Les Paul Junior. The side dots on the original explorer I saw looked EXACTLY like these in placement, color, and diameter. If anyone here knows what the dot material was on the les paul junior, then it must be the same on the explorer.
    1960_Gibson_Les_Paul_Junior_03902_034.jpg
     
  14. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    So, I am planning on putting in an order for the CAB ply's for the pickguard soon and I will see if they can try and match the brown of the control cavity covers. Does anyone have a close up pic of the old cavity covers? Perhaps someone on this forum who owns an original 50s Gibson with the brown covers could enlighten me :)
     
  15. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    do these dimensions work for a Gibson fingerboard blank?
    3 inches wide
    3/8ths inches thick
    20 1/2 inches long
     
  16. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    I have a Set of Vintage Back Covers from a '55 GT.

    If you'd like me to take some pics & post them or Email them to you I'd be happy to do so tomorrow.

    Cheers, Rudi
     
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  17. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    If you could that would be awesome!
     
  18. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    What measurements are you using to build a replica of a 59 Explorer if you do not know the size of the fret board? Just another quick query. Why is it a 59 Explorer? How does it differ from a '58? The 1958 Explorer was the first year they were made and I believe only a few were made in 1959, literally 3 of them. I do not believe they were different other than the serial number?

    I would imagine that size board would be much larger than required. Have you sourced a Brazilian rosewood blank that size? The vintage boards of the day were about 1/4" after being radius'd. They were approximately 2 1/4" wide at the widest and rule of 18 scale length resulted in a board only slightly longer than 18". These are all finished dimensions BTW.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  19. Marn99

    Marn99 Member

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    My source of genuine pre-ban brazilian is a guy who cuts them from stumps. He is able to do custom dimensions (seriously, the amount of tree the old loggers left behind is utterly disgusting). I was wondering if I should oversize it to work around any blemishes that are common in stump brazilian. It is a 59 simply because the guitar I saw back in august that I am getting all the details from is a 1959 Explorer. I know they weren't different from the 58's, but I am going to call it a 59 because that is the individual guitar I am replicating.
     
  20. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Please PM me your Email address so I can send a higher res image.

    Cheers, Rudi
     

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