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  1. cmjohnson

    To restore or not to restore....?

    I have come into possession of a 1959 Gibson Melody Maker, in sunburst finish, which unfortunately has been hacked out by an idiot with a dremel tool, to fit two humbuckers into it, quite a few years ago. The "routing" is as bad as you can imagine. The guitar currently has no pickups of...
  2. cmjohnson

    Two hundred and fifty two scales to learn.....

    Now that I have finally grasped the concept of modes (the seven church modes, as they are called), I have gained a greater understanding of music in general. And frankly it's just made me realize how much more there is to learn. There are seven modes based on the Western major scale...
  3. cmjohnson

    Annoyed by Floyd (Rose)

    I have generally avoided working on Floyd Rose equipped guitars over the years. Not by any concerted effort to avoid them, I just haven't sought them out. But a few days ago a trade offer came along that I couldn't pass up. And now I've finally got a Charvel with a Floyd. Actually a...
  4. cmjohnson

    Les Paul fingerboard replacement: What would you charge?

    An acquaintance reached out to me to let me know that one of his friends has a Les Paul that was slightly butchered. Somebody scalloped the fingerboard. I haven't seen it but the assumption is that it's bad. What would you say is a fair market price for fingerboard replacement if you were...
  5. cmjohnson

    Pick the color of the LP Studio I'm going to refinish.

    A good ten years ago, or more, I bought a Gibson Les Paul Studio that someone had sanded all the finish off, and whoever did it, did a BAD job of it. The sides had been rounded off, and in the wrong direction. But I judged it to be salvageable. I did some work on it, got the sides...
  6. cmjohnson

    Anybody got a Hamer Steve Stevens (1984 or so) guitar?

    If you do, could I ask you to remove the electronics cavity cover, and take a photo of the wiring, and post it here, please? I'm in the final stages of a restoration of one of these guitars and I want to confirm that the wiring is not only electrically right, but is even cosmetically arranged...
  7. cmjohnson

    Recovering old acrylic lacquer...can it be done?

    I was going through and cleaning out my paint shelf and found that my prized vintage stash of a specific tint of SEM acrylic lacquer, a color that's discontinued now, at least as lacquer, has dried to the consistency of gum. The can lid wasn't fully sealed. I want to salvage this paint...
  8. cmjohnson

    Finishing practice on the cheap

    If any of you want to practice your finishing, polishing, finish repair skills, etc, I just want to point out that guitarfetish.com has a huge assortment of factory seconds bodies and necks of several types and they're as cheap as 30 dollars each. Get a few of their bodies and there's a few...
  9. cmjohnson

    Need a source for cheap S style bodies in primer or sealer

    I realize, yes, we usually build our own, but I'm looking for a source for some cheap S type bodies in primer or sealer that are ready for painting as packed. Reason is that I want to use a stack of them for finish samples and finishing practice. I don't want to go to the effort to make a...
  10. cmjohnson

    HSS routing template/dimensions (CNC, G code)

    Does anyone have the data (even better, the G code) for CNC routing an HSS pickup set into a body? This would be for a back routed guitar with no pickguard. As per this: I'm going to sub out the routing on this guitar if I can get accurate code to hand to the CNC programmer.
  11. cmjohnson

    Waterslide decal application

    I've completed the color coats on a Hamer Steve Stevens model that I'm refinishing to its original Fuchsia with black headstock face. It's MAYBE time to apply the Hamer logo waterslide. Before I do, I want some advice on the best practice. Should I apply it before applying any clearcoats...
  12. cmjohnson

    Neck wood choice makes a big tonal difference.

    For years I've had a favorite bridge pickup. A Seymour Duncan JB. SH-4. I have them installed in three of my guitars. All three guitars are ones I've built over the years. I'm going to resist the attempt to deliver a dissertation on each guitar and focus on what I found regarding how neck...
  13. cmjohnson

    Nitro lacquer newbie requests instruction

    I've got a fair amount of experience with other finish types, but really none to speak of with nitro lacquer. I'm doing a restoration on a 1984 Hamer Steve Stevens model, and it's got to be done in nitro lacquer. I understand that nitro typically is applied as a relatively high number of thin...
  14. cmjohnson

    Can any of you scratch build "skunk stripe" type necks?

    I have a very special project in mind. I have a solid billet of Rosewood that I want to make a TRUE one piece neck out of for an upcoming build. By TRUE one piece, I mean it. No separate fingerboard. I want to carve the complete neck out of this billet. This will, however, require a truss...
  15. cmjohnson

    Shellac trouble, help!

    I'm working on a restoration of an '80s Hamer Steve Stevens model guitar for a friend. Dispensing with the details that may be interesting but don't really matter, here's the problem. For this one I want to use a shellac ground coat under the touch-ups. (Full neck refin plus some other spot...
  16. cmjohnson

    Have you ever trademarked a guitar model name?

    I've come up with some names for my guitar models. I'm evaluating the idea of trademarking them with the USPTO. If you've ever done that, tell me how it went. How easy was it, how long did it take, ultimately what did it cost?
  17. cmjohnson

    Restoration job: 1980s Hamer Steve Stevens

    I don't usually do restoration jobs but in this case I was referred to a man who has an original (first generation) Hamer Steve Stevens model guitar that had neck damage that was apparently "competently" repaired but the refin work on the neck is nothing that I would want to admit to having...
  18. cmjohnson

    Refretting and carving relief into the fingerboard

    I refretted a PRS for a friend about six months ago and it came out great but I did have to carve rather a lot of fall-away into the frets over the body. More than I've ever had to do before, actually. And yet the neck is classic PRS...stable and straight as they come. Well, it turns out...
  19. cmjohnson

    Need some blue dyes that won't fade.

    Please recommend some types of blue dyes to me that are suitable for staining wood and don't fade with time or sun exposure. This guitar, which I built in 2012, started out with the exact color I'd been seeking since I first started building around 1985. But it's faded a lot since then...
  20. cmjohnson

    Gibson's bankruptcy proceedings, updated 9/15

    Just because some of you want to know about this. https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=28990 September 20th is the deadline for interested parties to submit bids for those Gibson assets on auction. (Mostly real estate) Gibson is still in business and still...


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