Melody Maker to Custom Conversion

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by maxsmart2003, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Hi All, Not a new member but my first post. I am taking a 2014 Melody Maker and doing a conversion to a single pickup, Black Custom. I will post pics and stuff. Here is how she started out, (well, I repainted it once already) Hope you enjoy
     

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  2. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Steaming off the fretboard.
     

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  3. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Fret board is off and now to steam off the neck. I used a Wagner wallpaper steamer and a basketball needle to build a steamer. Drilled some holes to inject steam into the mortise joint
     

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  4. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Clamped the neck down to keep it from warping while the steam dried out. Maybe overkill but what the heck...
     

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  5. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Stripping the body. I like to use Citristrip since it doesn't stink the place up.
     

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  6. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Need to plug the P90, control and switch holes...
     

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  7. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Now to route the bridge PU in the correct location...
     

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  8. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Starting on the new fret board, ebony. Some help from a template made by one of the forum members. A special thanks to Peter and Tom for hooking me up! That's it for now. I can post some pick of the binding channel routing jig I built if anyone is interested. I included a Before and After of another MM conversion below which I have detailed pics of if anyone is interested. Thanks for checking it out.
     

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  9. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Before and After
     

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  10. Troy McClure

    Troy McClure Senior Member

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    Love these conversion type threads. Are you going to thicken the body at all? And if not will bother doing back binding as I guess it'd look a little odd having both bindings so close to each other.

    Plus another quick question, do witness lines show thru where the neck pickup rout has been filled or is there some trick to stop it eventually showing up. I'm considering doing the opposite of converting the pups from humbuckers to p90 on one of my old guitars.
     
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  11. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Hi Troy

    I am going to keep the body thin as I am too old to hold up the thick ones anymore! I have a Custom Lite that is just right and they sound great too! SO no binding on the back side.

    I filled the lines with some CA glue and sanded since it will be black when complete. Seamless to a razor blade so I believe it will be all good. Thick CA did the trick.

    Jim
     
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  12. TheZ

    TheZ Senior Member

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    Nice work so far! Thanks for sharing!
     
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  13. kezian

    kezian Senior Member

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    a melody maker with a sunburst, maple top, and binding? never seen one like that before
     
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  14. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Hi Kezian,

    It wasn't like that at first :)
     
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  15. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    I Completely Ripped this design concept for the binding router off another member. I apologize I do not remember who, but if they claim it, I will give them credit. Sorry I did not keep track at the time. My Most humble apologies.

    Anyway, this design works amazingly well and rides the contour of the body much better than trying to keep it level by hand.

    Used a couple of ball bearing drawer glides and some plywood to make this jig. There are some credits I need to come up with but do not have right now. Lost a computer and some links. But will try and find them.
    I could not have done any of this without the information from this forum. Thank You All!
     

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  16. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    Trying to cut the headstock for binding. %$#&^$% Decided to try a purfling cutter as the binding cutter seemed like it would really be hard to use and cause more repairs than I expect already :)
     

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  17. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    So.... If you ever decide you want to bind an unbound headstock, try "String Theory" instead! It's gonna work out and I will post some pics, but it is much, much more work than I thought and I will have to do some fairly minor repairs. Keep your chisels sharp and back off when you first sharpen them! :wow:
     
  18. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member MLP Sponsor

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    Looking good! I had success with a dremel for the headstock binding... do you think your method is easier?
     
  19. cdscarter

    cdscarter Senior Member

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    Can I just ask, would it not have been easier to remove the veneer of the headstock and make a new one from scratch?
     
  20. maxsmart2003

    maxsmart2003 Member

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    To answer both Mr. Beef and cdscarter in order. Yes the dremal would most likely be easier, and removing the veneer and replacing with a slice of holly I have would also be easier. However, I am doing this the hard way to learn all I can. I do not have much experience with chisels and this is an opportunity to do some detailed work (sort of). Yes I am making mistakes and gouges that I did not plan on, but, this also gives me the opportunity to repair those and lean even more. I enjoy the challenge. I SOOO wanted to do it the ways you both suggested and would have been most likely finished with this part, I however, just wanted to do it the hard was at least once. Sucker for punishment :)

    Thank you both for checking it out!

    Jim
     
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