Rebuilding A Epiphone...

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by JonMan94, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. JonMan94

    JonMan94 Senior Member

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    Big Update: Mess o Shims and gluing madness

    So... I overdid my chiseling x-x but not to worry, B-stock (or damaged by USPS, idk) Sapele Headplate wood to the rescue!

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    I had a 6x4 inch peice and the little skinny one, and I ended up using it all to re-build the neck-pocket so that the gluing surface would be even and uniform wood-wise for the neck to grip onto (plus, it was cooler than usual all day, 60-50 degrees so I'm expecting wood expansion later to work in my favor)

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    Yeah... used the pool table and some thinking to clamp down the sidewall shims for an hour each and overnight cure unclamped before spending most of my day today getting everything to fit (neck, more shimming, etc.) but I didn't take anymore pictures until I got close to the biggest hurdle to check my work:

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    I had to shave the shim down nearly 3/4ths of its orginial thickness on the bass side to make sure the neck would be straight in the pocket so the strings on the bridge would be reasonably aligned (I still have to notch the saddles). the height of the bridge after the tweaking was complete is abit higher than the picture I took here, but I managed with just hand tools, sandpaper and my sister doing a legit Korean BBQ dinner to get it done right, the length from the bridge to the nut being right on the money for Gibson's total string length, about 24 9/16ths based on info from Stewmac.com

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    And... with some folded up napkins, a paint stirrer broken in half, two grip clamps and one small screw clamp, the deed was done:

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    And the only bad thing about this was the fact I found a heat gun in the attic AFTER I did all the sanding on the body... damnit Dad, why didn't you say you have one when I asked >C

    The guitar is now sitting in the cellar under the staircase with just the two grip-clamps re-positioned after an hour under heavy clamping to allow the wood to acclumate to warmer temprtures (well... not that much warmer) and it will stay like that for the next day or so just to be sure all of the glue cures so that next weekend will be simple: carving, filling, hole-widening, staining and painting. Before then though, I need to get a custom decal for the head-stock.

    :D comments appreciated!
     
    1981 LPC likes this.
  2. JonMan94

    JonMan94 Senior Member

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    And the rest of my weekend:

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    with the top sanded out and the tummy cut shaved out, all that is left wood-work wise is to fill in any chips and gaps with wood-filler made from the saved shavings and dust from all the wood-work so far. The heel will be shaped like this example here, mostly to make sure I don't remove too much wood or compromise the joint:

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    Finish-wise, I'm planning to go for the higher difficulty and do a burst, most likely something smoker and darker than a tea-burst, bourbon burst, maybe?

    The only things I'm trying to figure out is how to pop the flame on the veneer as much as possible and who around here can do headstock decals for a reasonable price.
     
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  3. jrnic

    jrnic Senior Member

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    OMG Unbelievable! Awesome work! I can't wait to see the end results!
     
  4. J-Dizzle

    J-Dizzle Senior Member

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    looking good so far :thumb:
     
  5. JonMan94

    JonMan94 Senior Member

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    Next Update: Axcess Carve

    So... armed only with a simple rasp and 100-220 Grit Sandpaper, I ground the heel into submission, and ended up with this:

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    Though I did this without any real reference, this is what I was going for (which for me is pretty damn close):

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    Quite frankly, I like the slightly beefier transition that I created, along with the scooped horn, the feel at the upper registers rival that my PRS SE. After that, I went and "strung" it up for the first time:

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    Yeah... the action and bridge height is exactly were I wanted it to be.

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    And with some extra work done here:

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    Ground wire, check.


    And if you noticed in the previous pictures, there was a chipped area around the control cavity that was filled in with I think it was super-glue and per meant marker.

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    After whipping up what my tech teacher in middle school called "wood boogers" for filling in the body...

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    This offically finishes up all the body-related wood-work. Now, I can finally paint it >3 and I have decided to go for the advanced level and do a burst (slightly because the wood at the edges were screwed up, but more importantly... I have different colors of dye to use.)

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    Hopefully, this Les Paul will be up and shredding by the end of March. Comments are appreciated! :)
     
    Who likes this.
  6. JonMan94

    JonMan94 Senior Member

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    BIG ASS UPDATE, PHCK YEAH!

    This was over a one and half week period, bear with me:


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    All taped up for staining the top, and a day later...

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    The dye is 12$ for a sample pack of 5 colors, and jeebus it is strong, followed Gator Payne's instructions and here's where it started to go to:

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    At this point, I was thinking of leaving it that color and naming it:

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    BUT.... it didn't work out so well the next day, I didn't tape the sides off well enough and when it came time for this:

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    It turned into this about thirty minutes later:

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    For the head-stock, I used Kiwi Honor Guard Leather Dye (leftover from my dad's days in the Air Force) and a Painter's Pen in cream to put the intials J.C.G (JonsCustomGuitar)

    And with that, spray time with a single can of lacquer:

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    Coat hanger, a ladder and a 2x4 improvised into the most ghetto-looking spray rig that MLP has seen yet to my knowledge.

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    I pretty coated the body and neck with enough coats to seal the wood and then some, most of the spraying was done at the headstock, but the overall finish was satin, but clear enough for the flames to look lively.

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    I wet-sanded it from 220 to 440 to 800 to 1000, then fine steel-wool. the logo was re-written several times during the process >3< after which I installed the hardware minus electronics.

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    Looks decent, ya?


    And onto today...

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    Using Dan's book and my own hands, I worked down the Tusq nut to a rough level and strung it up for the first time with tens, tapping the strings at the bridge after some truss-rod fiddling and fine-tuning the nut's height, so far I've gotten it to a playable height, but it buzzes to hell :shock:I will most likely yet a pro luthier handle the setup, but I will do the electronics myself and filing the saddles. I hope by the end of this month this thing will be singing Aerosmith and Santana to no end, maybe some old school metal too :3

    Comments and Critques please! :D It's been a long way through to this point... I feel like I've finally put everything I have learned over the years to use, and also, I can officially feel like a true MLP member because I now once again have the guitar that brought me here in the first place playing again, better than ever!
     
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  7. theruns

    theruns Senior Member

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    Wow dude. This is turning out really cool! Its cool to see the process of reviving this guitar and the personalization of it! I'm not gonna lie, when I saw this at first I thought it was going to be a trainwreck. Thank you for proving me wrong! This guitar is gonna rock!
     
  8. emerald81

    emerald81 Senior Member

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    Very cool!
     
  9. JonMan94

    JonMan94 Senior Member

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    Finial Update:

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    Bam! All done up. Unfortunately, I had to bring it to a tech to have the wiring done because I only have an ancient radio-shack 15 watt stick soldering iron, which does nothing against larger electronics.

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    Yes, I used duct-tape to recover the old cream plastics, but hey, it looks good enough.

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    Mojotone Dijion Caps sound awesome, volume mod as well...


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    As for sound, I'm now a believer in A2 magnets for humbuckers, The GFS Classic AIIs soung amazing. It feels like this guitar sounds just abit more woody and organic through my amp, the lower outputs meaning nothing to me... it sounds just as smooth in high gain as my other guitars, honestly I'm thinking of pulling the Dragon fires from my PRS SE and putting in Tonerider Rocksongs when I can afford them, as those pickups were orginially in my plans, but... I couldn't spare 88 bucks for em when I began the build. Going up and down the neck felt effortless (fret edges be damned) and I have not noticed any loss in sustain due to the heel being carved or all the pieces that were used to fix the neck pocket.

    It's been a long way through, but this was one heck of a project, but it won't be my last... the next one's already being planned out, the only hint I will give is it's a parts-o-caster esque project. This guitar was only the second one I ever owned. I will try to post sound clips (or a recording featuring it) sometime soon, but for now, thank you guys for watching and for the tips. I now have my les paul again!
     
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  10. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    Dude, that top looks really nice, great job. Reminds me of the faded LP's, but looks better. :thumb:

    -John
     
  11. Who

    Who I'm back. Back in the New York groove.

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    Bump.

    Just because it is a cool project.
     
  12. LSAR

    LSAR Pure Evil Premium Member

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    Thank you.

    This thread was a pretty fun read through, and the result was awesome!
     
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  13. yamariv

    yamariv Senior Member

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    Just stumbled on this thread, very interesting and awesome work! I think we are seeing the making of a future Luthier!
     
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  14. StingyCH

    StingyCH The Bearded guy from Heidi land..

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    Jawdropping man, you turned out that thing into a beautiful guitar. Hats off
     
  15. guitarjoem

    guitarjoem Senior Member

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    It sure looks like you had some serious fun! Good job!
     
  16. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Terrific thread. Though in logical terms it seems odd to be lavishing work on an Epi, I share your passion for trying to make something good out of a kind of messy hodge-podge. It's a fun challenge, and the result, which look really promising, is so gratifying! That cheapo neck looks surprisingly good, and you should be able to dress the fret-ends successfully. Great skills practice, too. I hope it continues to go well, and that it comes out great. I assume the nut-to-saddle distance is correct with the new neck. Thanks for posting.
     
  17. Paul46

    Paul46 Senior Member

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    You nailed it! Looks great :applause:
     
  18. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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    Miraculous!

    Well met good sir.
     
  19. sg13

    sg13 Senior Member

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    amazing work. have me motivated to try some thing like this one day for fun
     
  20. JonMan94

    JonMan94 Senior Member

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    I'm surprised people are still looking at this thread all these years later... and I will tell you now, she's still my go-to recording guitar for all the rhythm parts I do. She's aged quite beautifully.
     

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