Firstly, admins - please move this to the correct forum if needs be! So, I'd like to make a post about my current rebuild / restoration of an Epiphone 5102t. **** LONG POST AHEAD! **** This project actually started a while back so I'll be posting everything I have done so far over this timeline; photos, steps, equipment etc up to where I am now and plan to continue posting until it's finished - so please bare with me! Bit of background into the guitar; It's a Japanese Epiphone Riveria style hollowbody guitar made in the Matsumoku factory between 1970 - 1974/75 ish. There are a number of variations of this guitar sold under different brand names; Univox, Aria, Lyle etc. and the 5102t model became the EA-250 model in 1972 - same guitar but just a different model number. My one is stamped 5102t on the Epiphone product label on the inside of the F-hole so this one is anywhere from 1970 - 1972. This one is the Epiphone redburst version that features a bolt on neck, floating bridge, two doublecoil pickups with staple poles alongside the screw poles and a quirky looking vibrato, typical for those 70s MIJ guitars. Interesting that the strap button is on the upper horn and pickup switch on the lower horn. This is what the original guitar looked like: So, now let's get a look at mine. I bought this off a classified ads site that is popularly used by musicians for buying, selling and trading gear here in Ireland. I got this way back in maybe 2013-ish for next to nothing given its condition. The neck was taken off the body, and looks like the previous owner tried to strip off the finish and gave up halfway through the front face. Image below is the best I have from this period. It was packed away for a number of years after this and took out recently to continue with the project. The wiring was totally taken out of it although it was all there and still connected. The tailpiece looked like it was sawn off the guitar with the screws still in the base and the trem arm was also missing. The original pickups also came with the guitar which was a surprise, considering the whole thing had been stripped of hardware and the seller didn't mention the pickups in the ad. Only downside was that the pickup leads were cut off right at the base of the pickup and the coils were no longer connected. I don't have a picture of my originals from this time but he's ones I snapped from the web to show the general idea and construction; This one above is a vintage Hofner Diamond. Similar to these ones. With the covers on, it looks like: Moving on, the neck itself was in really bad shape. The nut (and also the bridge for that matter) looked like someone had hit it repeatedly with a hammer. The inlays look to have shrunk (or wood expanded?) and were starting to curl up and separate at the ends. The frets were in a really bad way and there was sizeable gouges in the fretboard. See below; Back then, I felt like I had bitten off more than I can chew with this one and figured the cost to rebuild this would far outweigh any potential value it may hold down the line. So I packed it away for a few years with numerous other projects coming and going in the meantime. Jump forward to earlier this year and after gaining some experience with other guitar projects; finishing, wiring, alterations, mods etc, I decided I'd finally give this one a go. I thought, I need to do this guitar justice and so it will be a total labour of love and I should see it right through to the bitter end, no matter what the outcome! Having said that, I knew some of the parts and repairs for this could run up hefty bills so I figured I'd attempt to do as much of it as I can myself and just take the hit on the costs. I figure if I get this restored and finished properly then it'll be good for another 40 years and well worth keeping for myself! Because we all love a money-sucking guitar project, right? If nothing else, it'll be a good wall hanger for sure! I figure now is a good time to end the first post for those who have read this far. Like I said above, I will be posting progress updates in the comments below and try catch up with my current workflow. See post below for the next stages and my inspiration and ideas behind the project! Thanks for looking - I'll sure to take advice on this one and will certainly be looking tips along the way!