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Help me identify this guitar - 60s hollow body (apparently)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by dublingerry, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Okay, they kinda look like Axial caps. Thought they may be high pass filters, carry on.
     

  2. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Good crack!

    Awesome--love what you are doing to it. Those pickups are comically crude. Did you say you were planning to pot them?

    I can't imagine how you would refinish it--water based paint? Any kind of solvent might melt the plastic.

    OMG there's a bass version. Here's a video of a bearded russian dude failing to make it sound good:

     
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  3. dublingerry

    dublingerry TDPRI Member

    23
    Mar 15, 2016
    Dublin
    Hmmm tea chests and broom handles are coming to mind...

    There is also a 12 string version...:eek:
     

  4. dublingerry

    dublingerry TDPRI Member

    23
    Mar 15, 2016
    Dublin
    So an update on my plans.

    Remember, there is absolutely no way I'm putting serious money into this, the whole point is to get it working on a strict budget. Let's just say that Stewmac won't be making too much money off the Waverly tuners I'm putting into this thing.

    Instead I proudly present the cheapest tuners I have ever bought: approximately €4 worth of the finest (!) Chinese engineering.
    https://www.ebay.ie/itm/6-piece-Eco...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
    upload_2018-1-10_11-14-25.png

    To be fair, they look the part and as a plus they are likely to age/relic quite quickly!

    For the bridge, I haven't found better than the one recommended upthread - cost about €6
    https://www.ebay.ie/itm/6-String-Br...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
    upload_2018-1-10_11-17-46.png

    Pots are an issue - they are working but wired incorrectly so that you have to turn them anticlockwise to increase the volume (I'll rewire them to fix that). Also they have a 4mm flatted shaft. I'll stick with them for the moment but knobs are required. A significant investment of almost €1.20 (!) gets me 10 of these little Bakelite Beauties - https://www.ebay.ie/itm/10pcs-K17-0...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

    upload_2018-1-10_11-21-27.png
    4mm shaft hole with grub screw - perfect, they look like they just walked out of the Lunacharsky Factory on a grey November evening in 1973.


    Next the pickups - I've removed the other two (more carefully this time) and checked resistance and it is remarkably consistent - Neck is 7.9 kOhm, Bridge is 8.03 kOhm. What's also consistent is the magnet quality - literally a medium sized screw will not stick to these.

    So I've looked for Alnico 5 magnets measuring 60mm x 12mm x 6mm but there's nothing very much available, all humbucker magnets now seem to be only 3mm or so, which might be a bit thin.
    Solution - two magnets stuck together per pickup. Serious money needs to be invested here - nearly €11!

    https://www.ebay.ie/itm/6pcs-Magnet...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649




    Oh, and finally, the crowning glory - the headstock decal - 20Cm Russian Air Force Red Star
    upload_2018-1-10_11-36-50.png
    Couldn't get this on eBay but AliExpress came up with the goods - albeit for almost €7

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Rus...d73dd42&transAbTest=ae803_5&priceBeautifyAB=0


    So, comrades, the running total, including the degenerate and immoral €70 which I foolishly spent on this thing (well, in my defense, I thought I might be getting a Teisco or maybe a Harmony...) is €99.20. Only time will tell if it was worth it. And - considering I'm relying on the Chinese Postal Service - it could be quite a lot of time...
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Bravo, knobs look perfect
     

  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    The China shipments arrive at just about the time you've stopped thinking about them.

    Those pickups look like gold foil types (or a little like lipstick tube style too), so search for videos of Ry Cooder that spearheaded the demand for these old pickups. The magnet change is good. The original pickups may not have been set up for it but do like a Strat where the middle pickup is reverse wound and reverse polarity. You can check which end of the coil wires you need by taking a screwdriver to approach and flick away from the pickup while a volt meter is attached to the wires. There are a few youtube videos that show more detail. Proper string height is really important with them which you've already noted.

    It's possible those original magnets are alnico and the magnetism faded or they were put through a strong field that wiped them (leaned against a big 80s speaker). If you can find a strong magnet (a pair of neodymium from the hardware store) you might be able to recharge them.



    .
     
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  7. dublingerry

    dublingerry TDPRI Member

    23
    Mar 15, 2016
    Dublin
    Good points - I hadn't considered reversing the polarity and wind for the middle pickup - however there's also the problem that "scope creep" can kick in (the builder/refurbisher's version of GAS - "just one more little modification...") and the next thing you know I'll have stuck in a 7 sway switch and a couple of pull pots for out of phase and parallel options, and I'm wondering if a Floyd Rose would look out of place on this. I've been down this rabbit hole before...
     
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  8. Minimalist518

    Minimalist518 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    55
    719
    Mar 5, 2017
    Albany
    I can’t wait to see the end product, comrade!
     

  9. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2014
    Sherman Oaks, Ca
    Very cool. Looking forward to waiting a while for China shipments to help you finish the Commie Guitarie.
     

  10. dublingerry

    dublingerry TDPRI Member

    23
    Mar 15, 2016
    Dublin
    Next steps - time to examine the neck closely.

    And it's a bit grubby so I'm scraping away some of the residue along a fret and the fret just pops out.
    Hmmm.

    So I have a look at a few more and they are all fairly poorly seated. It strikes me what is needed is remove all frets, give the fretboard a good sanding (down to the bare beech wood), then a light black stain and a touch of lacquer and refret with new frets.

    Except I've never seen frets with a tang like these.
    IMG_20180110_215716.jpg
    Or of course the fret slots.


    IMG_20180110_215601.jpg

    The problem is that this "wavy" tang means that to fit a normal modern fret, the fret slots will need to be recut and the frets will basically need a tang of around 1.2mm. Normally frets have a tang around .5 or .6mm and I can't find any which are wider than this.

    Stewmac (of course) have an expensive (of course) fret crimping tool to deal with the situation where the fret slot is too wide, but think that is for where a slot is, say, .65 or .7mm wide and the fret tang is .5mm - I don't think it will sort this kind of extreme problem. http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Trade_Secrets/When_frets_dont_fit_the_slot_resize_the_fret_tang.html


    So what I've done is removed all frets carefully and stuck them in the right order with correct orientation on a piece of duct tape. I'll sand/stain/lacquer the board as intended, then simply reuse the frets. They should fit in a little better as the slots will be a little tighter as they'll have some lacquer in them and the frets themselves actually are barely worn at all - probably because I don't think this guitar has ever been played much.

    Because it's crap.

    But I'm making it my mission to make it, well, less crap.

    To be continued...
     
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  11. dannew02

    dannew02 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2010
    Erin Prarie, WI
    I love this. I actually really like the overall shape of these guitars, like the design. I also figured that shipping one to Wisconsin would cost way more than one of these were worth...
    Anyway keep up the refurb, I really want to see how this turns out!
     

  12. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Those frets are weird! I think reusing them is your best bet. I might consider wetting the slots, to swell the wood a bit, and then reseating and running some very thin superglue into the slot.
     
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  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Wish you luck with this. Love the bridge choice and like what your doing with it. The guitar in my avatar is a MIJ 60's Encore guitar that I completely rewired, added new pickups, new paint and had to replace the neck on it. It was my first guitar that my oldest brother gave me and it's value was only sentimental. If you can improve this guitar and make it nice, do it.
     
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