'65 restoration Jr. Advice for Newb

Tezuka27

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Hi all. I have a '65 SG jr that I picked up in 1986. It had suffered a pretty nasty set of modifications from the previous owner(s?), which seems to be a pretty standard story for the juniors of that year. Anyway, the p90 was replaced with a DiMarzio humbucker and they seem to have expanded the rout by using the standard rusty screwdriver or a big rock and a little rock. I've cleaned that up and filled the whole thing with a block of mahogany and am trying to figure out how to set up a sure fire center line before I begin to rout out the new hole for the P90. I measured between the bridge post holes, but that appears to be a little bit off where the line meets the maple stripe on the neck tennon. I've been measuring the neck now, and the stripe does appear to be fairly well centered on the neck. I also have the original screw holes for the P90 mount/cover. Should I use those as a guide, run a line from the neck, or am I obsessing too much as the P90 has a little sideways adjustability built into the mount. Any and all advice/opinions are appreciated.

john
 

Kevin James

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Hi all. I have a '65 SG jr that I picked up in 1986. It had suffered a pretty nasty set of modifications from the previous owner(s?), which seems to be a pretty standard story for the juniors of that year. Anyway, the p90 was replaced with a DiMarzio humbucker and they seem to have expanded the rout by using the standard rusty screwdriver or a big rock and a little rock. I've cleaned that up and filled the whole thing with a block of mahogany and am trying to figure out how to set up a sure fire center line before I begin to rout out the new hole for the P90. I measured between the bridge post holes, but that appears to be a little bit off where the line meets the maple stripe on the neck tennon. I've been measuring the neck now, and the stripe does appear to be fairly well centered on the neck. I also have the original screw holes for the P90 mount/cover. Should I use those as a guide, run a line from the neck, or am I obsessing too much as the P90 has a little sideways adjustability built into the mount. Any and all advice/opinions are appreciated.

john

Sounds like a fun project. If you are unsure about the route then why not take it to a luthier and have them do it? If you can do it yourself then great but why chance it if your unsure?
 

Tezuka27

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Hi, Kevin. Thanks for the reply. It's been a fun and rewarding project so far:)
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I was unsure about the centerline, not the rout. As I've never done any work on one before undertaking this, I didn't know if there was a common trick or something unusual about an SG. As it is, I'm satisfied with the line I established using a right triangle and the sides of the neck. Lateral adjustability in the mounting tabs will take care of the rest.

As for a luthier, why let them have all the fun? When I get done with the body work, I'll let one handle the refret - haven't decided on partial or full yet.

Best,
john
 

SG Lou

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get a yard stick, place it along the edge of the fingerboard and let it rest on the body...draw a line onto the body along the edge of the yard stick. Repeat for the other side. Now measure in between the lines to find the center. I usually measure just below the fingerboard and than down another 6 inches. Once I find the center I draw a straight line through the points and you found dead center of your body ! :thumb:
 

Actinic

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I assume that this had the dog-ear P-90 cover, so if you trust the two holes that were there, use that to establish both the horizontal and vertical centerlines. By just screwing in the cover (and not even routing), you can determine if the pole-piece openings line up with the strings. The routing is not trivial, and may involve a double rout, with the inner one deeper than the outer to accommodate the pole screws. Repost your question on the luthier's forum, or in the thread "Ask BCRGreg."
 

jerry47

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Third coast guitar in Ill, Did a project almost the same as what your talking about I believe, Look them up They have pictures of the job in the gallery I think its under restorations ? cant really remember, But they can whip it into shape Nicely if you use them.
 

Tezuka27

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Thanks for all the helpful replies, fellas. I used a combination of methods to establish my line and it worked just fine. Hopefully I can get some pics to post here. Last time I tried, I got nothin.

OK - figured it out. Here's the humbuggered rout, done with what looks like a big rock and a little rock:

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and here's the cleanup of the "rout":


The Mahogany filler block installed:


The bi-level rout:


An easier angle to see from:


It all fits!




Control Cavity Nightmare:


The Nightmare Continues:


Spaghetti and most of "shielding" removed. Fortunately, I could see from the floor that it originally was an early '65 (or earlier) rout:


Mahogany filler block rough sanded into shape and glued in:


...and routed into shape:



This weekend I made a control cavity cover out of three ply black pg from StewMac and a 50s style wiring harness. Wanted to reuse the original pots as they both dated '64, but they had been so abused in the creation of the modified circuit that I decided to retire them and start with fresh CTS 500 and 250s. I wired in the original .022 50v ceramic disc cap and used the piece of yellow wire to ground the pots together, just in case the MOJO happened to live there. If it sounds like crap, then I'll drop something else in.
I'm at the stage of steaming out some dings and dents and filling a few small gouges it picked up over the years. My son helped me determine that the (mostly) sanded off serial number is 276595. I'm positive on the first four digits, anyway. I wonder if I can check it with Gibson?

After I get it sealed and grain filled, it's off to a reputable shop in Des Moines for a well deserved refret. Does anyone know what wire Gibson used on these? I'd like to make sure they put in the right stuff. Then, once Spring arrives, it'll be time to spray and put it all back together. I'm undecided as of yet, but leaning toward, Polaris White with a slightly yellowed clear coat, or Pelham Blue, or even Fender's Lake Placid Blue. I'm pretty sure I no longer am thinking of a Lime Green Metallic :shock: but am open to reasonable suggestions.

john
 

crompo

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Wow !

Nice work !

Keep the pics coming.
 

Tezuka27

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LOL, Danelectro, that must explain why the knobs were labeled Kilocycles and Megacycles. Actually, I don't think I posted a pic of the slot they carved for the 8-tracks to go in, did I? ;)

Thanks for the kind words, guys. If anything interesting happens (like better than me making and improving a seemingly endless chain of control cavity covers and then ruining them), I'll keep you posted.

Hope everyone had a merry Christmas.

john

PS
Any ideas on this headstock? I'd like to save the original decal at the very least, and the checking on the nitro would be nice too. I don't know if I can touch up the black lacquer, dropfill, and then wet sand the whole thing to get some kind of gloss back on it. Of course I'll need to level out the damage from the overtightening of those damn Grover bushings :rolleyes:. Any ideas or advice would be appreciated. Sorry about all these pics. The cellphone always wants to focus on things about two feet behind the subject.

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http://s1333.photobucket.com/user/Tezuka27/media/1224173714_zpsbe48e194.jpg.html

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61LPSG

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Nice work Tezuka,
Looks great, glad to see her being resurrected. I love Jr's and specials. I'm glad to see you're using the P90, I'm sure she will rock.
 

ColdCobra

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Great job on your filling and routing - very clean!

I'd say refinish in pelham blue or Gibson's version of fiesta red, can't remember the name. Those are 2 of my favorite guitar colors.

Headstock looks nicely aged, why mess with it?
 

ColdCobra

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...cardinal red or fire engine red...? those might be the names. I think fender's fiesta red would look sharp as tacks
 

SG Lou

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WOW, NICE SAVE ! :thumb:

If you are careful you can save the face of the headstock in all of it's vintage glory. Use care with the stripper along the edges of the headstock and use a low tack masking tape so you don't pull off any of the chipped lacquer. :thumb:
 

Tezuka27

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Thanks, SG Lou - coming from you, that's quite the compliment. Your past work is one the main things that inspired me to undertake this.

I'm about finished drop filling lacquer on the headstock and will scrape it level in a couple of days. I'm thinking of shooting a light coat of lacquer over the whole thing and polishing it out with micromesh. I've had a couple of drops of lacquer land in the wrong spots and it didn't seem to melt or reflow any of the checking, so I think it will work out OK.

Also decided on a finish - I was going back and forth, but finally settled on Polaris White. I'll be using Reranch lacquer, which should give a nice yellowed clear coat in not too long at all. Will post more pics with any significant progress.

john
 

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