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Old December 9th, 2012, 03:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Johnson tele copy relic "makeover"

I had started a thread about the best way to fix the neck pocket
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-tech...et-advice.html of a guitar a friend had given me to work on for him. I ended up falling in love with it, like I always fall in love with trash.

So I bought the guitar for $60 off my buddy (I made the mistake of telling him how much I liked it before I offered to buy it off him) and have since spent way too much time stripping the 1/4" thick poly finish off.

I still have rough sanding on the sides and finishing sanding all over, but it turns out it is a 3 -piece body (the pieces don't even fit perfect at the front and rear and there are/were small gaps). Like I said, everywhere I look I see flaws and still it sounded good so to hell with it. Body looks like Alder to me.
Top view stripped, more sanding to go:
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Because my right rotator cuff is tore right now (ouch) I thought I would make the body a little more ergonomic and hurt my arm worse in the process of doing so in a mega-rasp session. I put some angles all over the place and did a fairly generous arm contour and tummy cut, as well as a deeper cut where the body rests on your knee (lacking a technical term for that at the moment).
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So yeah, it is no longer a tele to you purists....so what.

A photo of the partial wreckage -- polyurethane finishes are the devil. There were 3 or 4 different layers that all had different melting points. I bet there was 8 oz. of poly on this piece of crap. They make it look so easy to remove on the internet, but my heat gun probably ran up the electric bill $10 or so and it took an extra 3 sheets of sandpaper to get rid of all the gouges.Click image for larger version

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I am going to do some kind of relic nonsense on this, so yeah, a relic'd contoured tele, that was originally a sweatshop debacle cheapie -- triple sacrilege. Deal with it. lol

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Old December 9th, 2012, 04:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So... what're you planning on doing about the neck mounting?
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't ya just love stripping poly? Not a bad looking lump of wood. Do you know what it is?
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Old December 9th, 2012, 07:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Neck mounting? I got the original problem sorted out, I broke the pieces out and glued them together one at a time and then shoved the lump in there with a bunch of wood glue and put 2 big clamps on it for a couple days. Or do you mean because the Johnson neck/pocket is not standard? I still have the original neck if that is the case, it is flat and the truss rod works, frets, tuners, fingerboard, nut are all okay, nothing to write home about but it is going back on at some point.

Wood appears to be alder, although as can be seen in the picture the bottom piece of the 3-piece body appears to be from as far away as the other two pieces on the "tree" as possible. lol

I'll never strip poly again, and when I say never I mean I am probably going to pick something up within the next 3 days and be heat-gunning the hell out of it within hours.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 12:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ah, ok - thought the problem was with loose screws.

I like the stripped look - maybe just give it a clear coat and forego the relicing?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 02:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Loose screws -- oh yeah, the neck holes have been plugged also, forgot about that part of it. I am normally one for a natural finish, but for some reason I feel the need to put a solid finish on this one and then age/distress it. I guess maybe just to do something different. I am also not that psyched about the 3 piece body and there are a lot of small flaws that a clear finish would accentuate. I haven't decided on a color yet. I hate paying S&H on the supplies but all I can get locally in lacquer is red, white, black, and clear; prices for anything else are about double even before the S&H. I was planning on picking up a couple cans of amber and then doing a blonde, but then again a red or even blue finish (daphne/sonic) would be quite appealing and would give me lots of experimentation between the amber/white and blue/red. I am cheap though and am basically at a sticking point of having to order supplies to finish and not really wanting to.

I will remember your suggestion to leave it natural though so I can say that I should've listened to you after I change my mind and have to restrip it.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 12:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Projects have all been on a holding pattern lately. Garage is too cold to spray anything right now and I've been wishy-washy about a lot of different things. This body is yellow as of today though. I stained it yellow with water dye. Brightens up the wood quite a bit which should help project what I am trying to do to the top layers.

I've cleaned this up quite a bit Click image for larger version

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The backside
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And the now obligatory contoured side
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Oh and I did do a mock-up of what I'm going for (yeah, I still have to route the front pup for P90)
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The bottom piece of wood doesn't match the top two, but it seems to have open grain that I can't sand away for nothing, am I going to have to grain fill this? Could this be ash? I haven't seen alder this porous before.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 12:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Looking nice!
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