ThePearDream's Project Thread

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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ThePearDream
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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by ThePearDream » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:03 am

The pickguard arrived on Friday. It looks really good with the blue. There was a discrepancy in the bridge pu location. I'm not sure if the body or pickguard is to blame, but there was a difference of around 7-8mm. I figured that even though the body is 40 years old, It's only a Fernandes, so it wouldn't be a major crime to open up the bridge pu route. BTW, those bridge thimbles are in there permanently. Someone set them in place with some type of foaming epoxy glue - like a gorilla glue. I tried to get them out before routing, but even with my soldering iron at max, they wouldn't budge

Image

I'll need to touch up the shielding paint, but everything fits nicely now.

I picked up an American Pro Jag/Jazz bridge from Angela, which I've measured at 53mm string spread and is nice and solid. The 9.5 radius will be perfect for my Squier VM neck, and It'll maintain the Mustang look. I'll do my standard bridge mod and replace the intonation screws with stainless hex drive for easier intonation adjustments. The last piece I need is the decal, which I expect to arrive in the coming week.

Image

Also, since I was down in my shop, I cut into a piece of Mahogany I had. I had gotten a killer deal on a two piece body blank, because of a deep ding on one side and the possibility of mineral streaks. Most of the ding will end up as sawdust after cavity routing. The rest will disappear after a few minutes of sanding.

Image

I have no firm plans for it yet, but I'm thinking a natural finish, black guard and some type of chrome pickups will look good. Like so:
Image

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by jthomas » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:24 am

Chrome lipstick pups on the mahogany build would look elegant.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by tribi9 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:16 am

Sweet score on the Mustang body. Good to know that US specs pickguards fit the outline. 8)

I might temporarily swap for a single neck pu only, parchment guard.. :ph34r:

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by ThePearDream » Sun May 19, 2019 8:02 am

The decal for the Mustang still hasn't arrived. This is the longest I've had to wait for one to come from the UK. I'm not sure if it's lost in the system or delayed due to some stupid Trump/May BS.

jthomas wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:24 am
Chrome lipstick pups on the mahogany build would look elegant.
That would look good, I already have a Talman with lipsticks though.
I'm leaning towards WRHBs to make this a Jazzblaster. Since all of my Talmans have weirdo pickups, this one would fit right in. Some Trisonics would be cool too though.


Yesterday I thinned the body down to 1-5/8". This all but eliminated the large ding in the surface, and will reduce the weight slightly. I also routed out the perimeter. I have a few decisions to make before I progress any further:
1. Pickups
2. My pickguard plans and templates are based on having a bound edge. If I want a full 1/2" radius roundover on the top, I'll need to make a slight adjustment to my pickguard and control plate shape. A 1/4" radius will work fine on top though, and I can still do 1/2" on the rear. Old Talmans have mismatched edge radii on front and rear, which I've always liked. So this isn't an unreasonable path to take.


Here's the body in its current state, and wet down with water to show the color/grain.
Image

My XII neck is completely stripped of the gross, thick, presidential poly finish.
Image

This might sound crazy, but, I actually pulled out the huge frets it came with, re-radiused the board to 9.5", and put in new smaller frets. I'm planning to try building some necks soon, and this seemed like a good way to dip my toes into the pool - so to speak. It allowed me to purchase a portion of the many tools I'd need for neck building, and perform a few of the steps. So, now I have a homemade radiusing jig and some fretting tools.

Changing the radius from 12" to 9.5" cleaned up the wonky edges and I did some gentle reshaping of other goofy areas once the poly was off. Next, I'll print out a Fender XII headstock plan and compare the two to see if I need to make any tweaks to the headstock shape. Then I'll do a tru-oil finish.

I've found a seller on ebay that makes new pickguards for Affinity Jazzmasters which are reshaped to fit Toronado bridges. So I'll be using a Toronado bridge, modified to fit Gotoh XII bridge saddles. I only this morning purchased the Affinity Jazzy for this project, I hate paying full price for anything, and have been waiting for a deal on these already cheap guitars. I managed to grab a used Rosewood board model for $25 off of new. The neck will probably go to the mahogany bodied project up above.

I'm also making progress on restoring a vintage bench plane that I picked up in December when I was visiting my mom on the coast. I removed all of the rust a few months ago, but was waiting on weather to improve to start repainting. I've done some research, and have discovered that it is a type 10 Stanley Bailey No. 5-1/2 that dates from 1907-1909. The original Brazilian rosewood tote and handle are too far gone to reuse, so I have some repro walnut ones on the way. I'll hold on to the rosewood though - it should be handy for fretboard repairs in the future. I'm also replacing the 110 year old blade with a new one.

Lastly, I've been building a pedal board from some nicely flamed hardware store maple. No pics at the moment though.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by marqueemoon » Sun May 19, 2019 8:41 am

That neck looks really nice now.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by ThePearDream » Mon May 20, 2019 4:37 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:41 am
That neck looks really nice now.
Thanks!

I forgot to update about my red Talman. After all of the fiddling with megaswitches, it turned out that the switches were too tall to fit in the thinner body, so I ended up reusing the three way that was already in the guitar. The D'Urbano Big Birds sound fantastic, definitely everything I was hoping for. All the flowery adjectives apply here and they are a joy to play on.
Image

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by Rgand » Mon May 20, 2019 9:43 am

I love the photo showing the 5 colored guitars. Nice.

You're really doing some fun stuff. The mahogany body is going to look good. Nice choice to thin it down to 1-5/8". Thjinner guitars just feel better, especially with fatter roundovers. I look forward to seeing yours with mismatched top/bottom radii.

That pickup with the pole screws removed seems like an interesting idea. I may experiment with that some.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by ThePearDream » Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 am

Rgand wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:43 am
I love the photo showing the 5 colored guitars. Nice.

You're really doing some fun stuff. The mahogany body is going to look good. Nice choice to thin it down to 1-5/8". Thinner guitars just feel better, especially with fatter roundovers. I look forward to seeing yours with mismatched top/bottom radii.

That pickup with the pole screws removed seems like an interesting idea. I may experiment with that some.
I still haven't decided if I'll do the mismatch radii or change my pickguard slightly. It's the eternal struggle between aesthetics and laziness.

Here's a link to those pickups. They're ceramic magnets, but still sound pretty nice stock.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by Rgand » Tue May 21, 2019 11:39 am

ThePearDream wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 am
Rgand wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:43 am
I love the photo showing the 5 colored guitars. Nice.

You're really doing some fun stuff. The mahogany body is going to look good. Nice choice to thin it down to 1-5/8". Thinner guitars just feel better, especially with fatter roundovers. I look forward to seeing yours with mismatched top/bottom radii.

That pickup with the pole screws removed seems like an interesting idea. I may experiment with that some.
I still haven't decided if I'll do the mismatch radii or change my pickguard slightly. It's the eternal struggle between aesthetics and laziness.

Here's a link to those pickups. They're ceramic magnets, but still sound pretty nice stock.
Thanks, I'll check them out.

In that never ending struggle, I let aesthetics win most of the time because you only have to make it once but you have to look at it every time you pick it up. In this case, I see a win either way you do it.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by ThePearDream » Sun May 26, 2019 1:11 pm

Rgand wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 11:39 am
[In that never ending struggle, I let aesthetics win most of the time because you only have to make it once but you have to look at it every time you pick it up. In this case, I see a win either way you do it.
I usually let aesthetics win too, but being lazy is always tempting.

This time I not only am letting aesthetics win, but I've created extra work and expense for myself.
I have some updated templates being laser cut (as is my preference) at the moment. I adjusted things enough to accommodate a 3/8" radius on the top, and will be doing a 5/8" radius on the rear.

The profile will look something like this:
Image

I have settled on WRHBs, but will take my time to explore the various options available before making a purchase.

I made some incremental progress on the body today as well.

I like going down into my workshop, so I like breaking up the tasks and doing a little piece at a time instead of rushing through everything in one afternoon.
Image

I put in some work on the XII as well. The headstock is a little longer than vintage, which makes sense considering it is made for modern tuners. But the shape where it starts drooping was a bit off, so I trimmed that up a bit. It doesn't droop down quite as much but I think it's pretty close now.

Image
Image

I just need to do a little more sanding and I'll start finishing it.

I canceled my order for the Affinity Jazzmaster. A week after my purchase and the store still hadn't shipped it. I decided they didn't deserve my money. I'll just wait around on another deal to pop up.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by ThePearDream » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:49 am

The mahogany body is coming along. It just needs the forearm contour and some sanding
Image
Image

Also, the IBM JDR is close to assembly:
Image

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by Rgand » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:18 am

Those do look good. What are you going to put on the mahogany for a finish?

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by mbene085 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:51 am

I had no idea those GFS split HBs had only three poles. Very interesting.

The short answer is that two 6-string coils in series with 3 polepieces each sounds somewhere in-between a full 12-pole humbucker and a 3-string/3-pole coil.

The reason is that there's extra wire in the windings that doesn't need to be there, increasing the resistance in the coil, which drops the resonant peak. In fact, you have two sets of extra wire - one on each coil - wired in series, acting not unlike a dummy load (or adding a resistor between your pickups and volume pot).

On the other hand, you have a lower overall inductance because only half the coil is magnetically active (and contributing to output), which yields a lower output and brighter tone than it would with full coils.

So, the net result is kind of like two "half coils" (e.g. XII pickups) with a dummy load of a 3k resistor or so added on. Brighter than a humbucker. Lower resonant peak/darker than a true P/XII split coil pickup. And, of course, this is a screw polepiece/bar magnet construction vs the rod magnets of a XII pickup, so you'll get the reduced string attack and flatter/fuller midrange of a P90 or PAF family pickup.

FYI, you can unscrew the six screw polepieces from any PAF to hear exactly what that sounds like. Still cancels hum, lower output, brighter and thinner than it was as a humbucker, but distinct from a true single coil. You can do it to any pickup with 6 or 12 screw polepieces, including PAFs and even filtertrons. It's a fun, easy, reversible mod that isn't talked about enough IMO.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by ThePearDream » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:23 pm

Rgand wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:18 am
Those do look good. What are you going to put on the mahogany for a finish?
I'm planning to keep it natural, possibly just an oil finish. Something like this:
Image
mbene085 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:51 am
I had no idea those GFS split HBs had only three poles. Very interesting.

The short answer is that two 6-string coils in series with 3 polepieces each sounds somewhere in-between a full 12-pole humbucker and a 3-string/3-pole coil.

The reason is that there's extra wire in the windings that doesn't need to be there, increasing the resistance in the coil, which drops the resonant peak. In fact, you have two sets of extra wire - one on each coil - wired in series, acting not unlike a dummy load (or adding a resistor between your pickups and volume pot).

On the other hand, you have a lower overall inductance because only half the coil is magnetically active (and contributing to output), which yields a lower output and brighter tone than it would with full coils.

So, the net result is kind of like two "half coils" (e.g. XII pickups) with a dummy load of a 3k resistor or so added on. Brighter than a humbucker. Lower resonant peak/darker than a true P/XII split coil pickup. And, of course, this is a screw polepiece/bar magnet construction vs the rod magnets of a XII pickup, so you'll get the reduced string attack and flatter/fuller midrange of a P90 or PAF family pickup.

FYI, you can unscrew the six screw polepieces from any PAF to hear exactly what that sounds like. Still cancels hum, lower output, brighter and thinner than it was as a humbucker, but distinct from a true single coil. You can do it to any pickup with 6 or 12 screw polepieces, including PAFs and even filtertrons. It's a fun, easy, reversible mod that isn't talked about enough IMO.
That's a lot to digest, but it sounds like I'll be happy with these pickups in this application.

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Re: ThePearDream's Project Thread

Post by Rgand » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:28 pm

That'll look really good! Nice choice.

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