Headstock conversion. (Not a Gibson fanboy)

Davey Rock

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Alright so I'm sure most of you are already acquainted with Epiphone's dove wing headstock. Here it is.
images (77)~2.jpeg

(SLIGHTLY OFF TOPIC, SO SCROLL DOWN TO READ THE ACTUAL QUERY)

Now I will admit, I used to be one of those who thought that Gibson's tone was unmatchable and unbeatable, and it took a long time for me to realize that although they are incredible guitars, doesn't mean that they are crafted by God himself. All guitars are made from select woods, and select electronics. Each tone is unique, and although those price tags are worth as much as a used car (sometimes new) doesn't justify exactly why it's so much. For example, Tony Iommi recently released a $20,000 guitar from Gibson's artist series, and is based on his personal guitar he calls "monkey". You can buy the same exact guitar he has vintage, along with all the components/hardware on it for a fraction of the price and have a real deal replica. Furthermore, I just love the open book headstock.


(ACTUAL QUERY)

Ok so I have a 2014 epiphone dove my great grandfather gave me as mentioned in a couple other threads. I love that guitar to death man. It plays in between an acoustic and electric. I've gotten used to bending with heavier acoustic strings, and it has a twangy dobro style nasally tone to it. And no I don't plan on doing this to this guitar at all. Too much sentimental value. Honestly at this point, according to his wife/my grandmother, he could honestly pass at any moment now. So for the sake of his name, everything on this guitar will be original. Not even the saddle, nut or stripped screws will be changed. I plan on doing this to a future Epiphone, probably the Riviera p90-3. Love that guitar man. Cheap, pretty, perfect modding template for a first es. It has everything. Except that huge headstock. Ain't nothin wrong with it. I ain't tryna make it look like a Gibson. It's just a personal preference, that I don't really enjoy the huge dovewing headstock. I've seen other threads where they've converted Epiphone to Gibson. Not tryna do that. Just make it smaller and more of an open book. Similar to gibson. I'm thinking of buying a Gibson headstock template, Sanding the neck/headstock so I can trace the Gibson outline with a pencil, cutting it out small amounts at a time, then using sandpaper/Dremel, or just something to get the final shape. It's better to take forever getting little meterial, and short amount of time taking too much. Plus the Epiphone logo is a little closer to the top of the headstock, so I think that it would look really cool with a different symmetry! I've seen other threads where people put this down completely because "why would you do that" or "just buy a Gibson". I don't want a gibson. Not worth the money to me. I've compared a $1500 sg to a $500 ibanez. The ibanez felt the exact same as the sg for a fraction of the price. Did the same to an epiphone Lucille. Lucille and a $400 gretsch and both played better than the sg. Close to the fret board, nice tuning. Even the finish looked better. I'm open to criticism for what I'm going to do, but honestly I'm gonna do it anyway. Mainly looking for experienced people to tell me what to expect during "surgery", commentary, even opinions. But at the end of the day, I just like Epiphone more. Especially nowadays they are adding gibson inspired gear, vintage epiphone (before Gibson bought Epiphone) gear. Etc. Also planning on getting a couple Greco, fujijen Epiphone, burny etc. copies. They just look more antiqued to me for some reason. Even against real vintage copies. But anyway just give some feedback back. I'll add more on my plans in the future.
 

christopherJ

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TL/DR version - Kid wants to modify headstock of Epiphone guitar.

My reply - Go for it. Make your own template and get a decent coping saw and some sanding blocks and go to town. Expect the finish to fracture a little as you cut. I would scribe a line with a sharp blade just past the template on the waste side and cut to that line. Finish with sandpaper, bondo the cut end, sand and respray with a rattle can.
 

jvin248

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.

Put your own logo on the headstock, neither Epiphone nor Gibson --- you do all that work hand shaping the headstock you don't need to advertise for them.

The Epiphone headstock has all the design improvements to avoid the classic Gibson fragile headstock problems. Perhaps one day Gibson will decide to cause fewer customers excessive drama and incorporate the Epiphone mods into their headstock to neck area.

.
 

Davey Rock

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Thanks, don't ask this kid the time. He'll eat up your whole day.

I thought I'd never get to the bottom of that post.
Lol. Honestly I'd prefer a weekend at minimum. Better details that way.
 

kakerlak

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Make some paper templates and play around with them. If you fold in half (like a book) first, you'll have a symmetrical shape when you unfold. I think you're going to find it tricky to get an elegant/graceful/gradual curve that winds up significantly shorter than the existing headstock w/o coming close to the 'Epiphone' inlay, if yours is as high up as the one in the stock photo you posted. Take the off-cut from your template and lay it over the headstock to visualize what'll be left if you cut there. And take into account you'll probably lose an extra 1/16" or so of the face in matching the existing roundover, unless the edges are really crisp (not sure how they're finishing those Epis).

Another option might be going for the asymmetrical open book that Epiphone was using at times in the thirties, and/or adding in the little arched corner notches to step it out a bit past the inlay and then allow for a tighter/flatter/lower open book above.
 

Davey Rock

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Make some paper templates and play around with them. If you fold in half (like a book) first, you'll have a symmetrical shape when you unfold. I think you're going to find it tricky to get an elegant/graceful/gradual curve that winds up significantly shorter than the existing headstock w/o coming close to the 'Epiphone' inlay, if yours is as high up as the one in the stock photo you posted. Take the off-cut from your template and lay it over the headstock to visualize what'll be left if you cut there. And take into account you'll probably lose an extra 1/16" or so of the face in matching the existing roundover, unless the edges are really crisp (not sure how they're finishing those Epis).

Another option might be going for the asymmetrical open book that Epiphone was using at times in the thirties, and/or adding in the little arched corner notches to step it out a bit past the inlay and then allow for a tighter/flatter/lower open book above.
Thanks man I appreciate it guys. I'll prolly just wind up drawing my own using a mirrored drawing, then cut it that way.
 

Davey Rock

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.

Put your own logo on the headstock, neither Epiphone nor Gibson --- you do all that work hand shaping the headstock you don't need to advertise for them.

The Epiphone headstock has all the design improvements to avoid the classic Gibson fragile headstock problems. Perhaps one day Gibson will decide to cause fewer customers excessive drama and incorporate the Epiphone mods into their headstock to neck area.

.
Would be pretty cool. I'm aiming to start building some lap steels just for the heck of it. Guitars eventually. Only thing stopping me is lack of tools honestly. That and I'd have to carve es style guitars by hand since the presses that Gibson uses are very rare/expensive when available. I've heard of another method where you'd carve a top to desired shape/contours, get a laminated blank and cut it out to rough shape, and vacuum press it to the template. It's trange and I'm sure I'd be able to do it, but haven't tried yet.
 

smk506

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A sheet of 1/4” mdf would be a cheap way to not only have some practice material to cut out some shapes, but if you find one you like, now you have a template.
 

Davey Rock

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That actually makes since. Thanks man!
A sheet of 1/4” mdf would be a cheap way to not only have some practice material to cut out some shapes, but if you find one you like, now you have a template.
 

LtDave32

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Google images..

"guitar headstock shapes"

Pick a shape you like.

Save the image.

Bring the image up on your screen.

increase the size until it's right.

Take a piece of white paper and place it on the screen.

Trace around the shape.

Cut that shape out, stick it on some 1/4 MDF.

Cut and sand around the shape.
 

Davey Rock

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Google images..

"guitar headstock shapes"

Pick a shape you like.

Save the image.

Bring the image up on your screen.

increase the size until it's right.

Take a piece of white paper and place it on the screen.

Trace around the shape.

Cut that shape out, stick it on some 1/4 MDF.

Cut and sand around the shape.
Very specific. Thanks a lot man, that is probably what I'll try first. Good to hear from you again!
 

Davey Rock

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I call the Epiphone headstock the "cameltoe". Picture that, it might give you a new appreciation for it.
A guitar's like a woman, it's all how you hold her and where you put your hands :lol: :lol:
 


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