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Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by dublingerry, Jan 7, 2018.
Okay, they kinda look like Axial caps. Thought they may be high pass filters, carry on.
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:
Hmmm tea chests and broom handles are coming to mind...
There is also a 12 string version...
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.
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
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
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!
Oh, and finally, the crowning glory - the headstock decal - 20Cm Russian Air Force Red Star
Couldn't get this on eBay but AliExpress came up with the goods - albeit for almost €7
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...
Bravo, knobs look perfect
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.
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...
I can’t wait to see the end product, comrade!
Very cool. Looking forward to waiting a while for China shipments to help you finish the Commie Guitarie.
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.
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.
Or of course the fret slots.
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...
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!
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.
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.
Well some good new and some bad news.
I actually got delivery of the bridge and pickup magnets - only 10 days or so!
Bridge looks great - exactly what is required, just needs a coat or two of boiled linseed oil to take the new look off it.
The magnets are a different story. They look find and fit ok but are really not much stronger than the ones I'm replacing - I'm thinking they are probably not charged, so that's what I need to do next. And of course it's not something I have done before.
There is lots of information on this here http://music-electronics-forum.com/t18256/ - great forum for this kind of thing.
The plan is to buy a couple of neodymium magnets - 2 of these will do http://www.ebay.ie/itm/1-5-10X-Stro...var=470617994001&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
I have an old cast iron vise which I can use - attach a magnet to each jaw of the vise with strong epoxy ensuring they are facing north to south, then when it is fully set, open the vise until they are about 20mm apart, then pass the alnico magnet through the gap - I think as the alnico poles need to be on the long and thinnest edge, that I'll need to pass them through in a horizontally flat position.
I seem to remember as a kid charging nails etc. with a magnet by rubbing it along the nail always in the same direction, but that doesn't seem to be the procedure here - the idea is not to touch either of the Neos with the alnico magnet which may be difficult as the pull will be very strong.
It's also mentioned that full charge is not the best idea - anyone know how to reduce the magnetic charge if it is fully charged? Anyone done this before and have any tips?
Been a while since I revisited this - finally received all the parts today (over 2 months later!) - the machine heads were last to arrive and annoyingly the screw placement is different so it won't cover up the screw holes in the back of the headstock. I'm pissed because I should have though to fill the holes before refinishing. It is a good tip in general - if you are refinishing a body, fill every hole you see before painting, even if you think it will be used or covered up. That way you leave your options open for fitting different parts etc.
So anyway I refinished the neck in black using waterbased lacquer and it looks really good - not too new looking but nice and shiny. Tried the same on the body and it didn't work right at all so I'm waiting to get a chance to spray some nitro clear on the body to see if that works any better.
Still not sure regarding the pickups and the strength of the magnets but I'll probably reassemble the whole thing later this week and see how it is...
Actually, not all parts were received - the red star decal never arrived and the company finally refunded me...so I'm on the lookout again...
one question - I would like to change the thread title (now that the guitar has been identified) - is there any way I can do this?