Pair of Metallica Flying V's

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by Mr. Beef, May 11, 2017.

  1. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member

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    This project snowballed while talking with Nate (deadlyweasle) and who knows how far it's going to go... I happened to have a white ESP Explorer and a Jackson RR (neither of which I play). But for now, it's just these two Flying V's. The original plan was to turn the Gibson V into Hetfield's Kill 'em All white Flying V, but then Nate and I exchanged some equipment and I became the proud owner of a 1976 Electra V in cherry red (the same as Hetfield's). With that in hand, the Gibson will become Kirk's black Flying V. That ESP might look good as Hetfield's "EET FUK" and the Jackson would need a few changes to resemble Hammetts, but for now I'm casually working on the two V's.

    This is the Electra when I got it.
    Hetfield Collage_Fotor.jpg

    All painted up. I happened to have a set of 81/85's lying around, so I put them in. Hetfield supposedly had and SD Invader in there at some point, but I've always seen his guitar with EMG's.
    Hetfield Collage_Fotor 2.jpg

    I started with the obvious markings first:)
    Hetfield Collage_Fotor 3.jpg

    I've outlined the headstock break and will eventually get some glue on there. I also drew the little skull.
    DSC01729_Fotor.jpg DSC01730_Fotor.jpg DSC01731_Fotor.jpg DSC01732_Fotor.jpg

    I started in on the back too by referencing some pictures of the original guitar and outlining the area.
    DSC01734_Fotor.jpg

    So far so good... so what (oops, that's a Megadeth reference)
    DSC01736_Fotor.jpg

    This is the original. You can see that there's quite a bit more to do.

    Hetfield Collage_Fotor 4.jpg

    Pictures of the Hammett will be uploaded soon.
     
  2. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member

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    I don't have too many of the Hammett V yet and I haven't really made much progress other than getting it painted black (and I don't have picture of that yet). I'm also scouring the internet for accurate hardware. I got the tuning machines, but still have to find the correct bridge.

    This one is a 2004, so it needed some modifications.

    fullsizeoutput_88f.jpeg

    I cut down the headstock...

    DSC01719.JPG

    And added a volute. I tried to do it with some scrap mahogany, but that proved to be way to challenging. So I used epoxy.

    DSC01720.JPG

    This is what the original looks like. Significantly less interesting, but they make a nice pair!:)

    fullsizeoutput_8d5.jpeg fullsizeoutput_8c8.jpeg fullsizeoutput_8cc.jpeg
     
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  3. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE Senior Member

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    Awesome builds dude.

    But it begs the question: How will you manage to get around the fact that the neck on Kirk's V sits so much further proud of the body than the more recent '68 reissue Gibson V's?

    It's because the neck sits so proud of the body that Kirk's guitar has pickup mounting rings and the '68 reissues don't.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The neck angle on the 68 reissues is created by the top portion of the body being angled backwards. This makes the fretboard sit flat with the top plane of the body. Kirk's guitar doesn't have this angle on the body at all. Instead the neck is just glued in at an angle. So both are fundamentally different neck joint designs.

    Therefore I don't see how the neck joint on Kirk's guitar can be replicated accurately. :hmm:
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  4. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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  5. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member

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    Ah... yes. I forgot about that. Well, this could turn out to be pretty interesting then!
     
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  6. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member

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    A short video showing just a bit of the aging. If it's not working just yet, that's because it's still uploading to YouTube.

     
  7. Riffster

    Riffster Senior Member

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    Maybe it is not possible to match the neck joint on the Kirk V lookalike but pickup rings are not a problem if you know how to sand. I did it on my 2004 V refinish and looks great.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member

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    I'm going to see what I can do in the name of "a good experience" haha! I'm going to steam the neck off, add some wood to the top, and adjust the neck joint. At least that's what I'm thinking... If it gets F'd up, I'll need some suggestions for plan B:hmm:
     
  9. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    I had an '80 GRECO V that had that neck join, and besides EMGs and speed knobs, was an exact replica of a late 70's V, so those are an option as well..had a SERIOUS Hammet vibe..the model is FV-600.
    Tall rings were stock on this one:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member

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  11. 1981 LPC

    1981 LPC Senior Member

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  12. Mr. Beef

    Mr. Beef Custom Refins/Restoration Premium Member

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  13. possumkiller

    possumkiller Senior Member

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    How did it go with your 70s Hammett V conversion? I always wondered about cutting down the headstock but the newer Vs have a 50s style more pointed headstock than the original 67s. I really wish they would get Epiphone to do a PROPER 70s V reissue. A black one for Hammett fans. A white one for Hetfield fans. A B/W for Scorpions/Schenker fans. And a cherry red just because.
    Also the Invader thing is a myth. James had a custom set of Duncans made in 1982 based on the Holdsworth model. They do have a double row of screws but not the big allen head screws just normal flat head screws. You can still ask for the 82 Hetfield Kill em All set from the SD custom shop. The EMGs weren't added to the V until James had it restored for Death Magnetic. The Electra was used for KeA through MoP and was repainted a few times. The headstock was broken and repaired three times I think. It started out with gold speed knobs. It had metal dome knobs for a time along with painted faux white binding on the fretboard edges (check the live 85 metal hammer vid on YouTube). The headstock broke again and James put it away for good. He took a custom Jackson King V on the MoP tour but wound up sticking to the Explorer he was using as a second guitar before. The Electra was brought back to life for Death Magnetic. His EMG 81/60 was installed. The knobs were changed to black bell knobs and control layout changed. He actually had ESP make him a copy of it for him to take on tour.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  14. fretout

    fretout Senior Member

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    Were the Hammett Flying Vs aged by Tom Murphy? I don’t remember him being linked to this project, but his trademark can be seen in both of the Flying Vs linked above... 24B30FC5-F8DB-4DE5-A1C4-01F607188B0A.jpeg D638C73A-BC36-454C-8DD6-A5D9698323BB.jpeg
     

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