I'd do a cherry Gibson finish myself, but that's me
Heritage cherry is amazing. But my body is maple (for a strong neck joint where there isn't much wood) instead of mahogany.
I was interested in silver fox, until my experiment with stained grain filler ended in a blotchy green mess. Again, wouldn't work over maple.
It will be Fred "Sonic" Smith style.
I hogged out the control cavity.
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And routed it out without a template. I only added one gouge (visible in the photo below) that I will patch. Better the guitar than my carotid artery. The Epiphone has a front mounted jack on a plastic pick guard. Just as a personal preference, I did a side stereo jack, Switchcraft 152B, good for active electronics. The old original control cavity will be a big battery box. I finished drilling wiring channels to the switch.
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Last night I sorted out my neck bolt issues and now there is a nice firm connection. Just had to hacksaw the #8-32 bolts to the proper length, a little different length for each one.
I put the pickups in, held down with carpet tape. Put in the bridge and Bigsby using a Vibratemate. The Vibramate will probably go away. I used EZ hooks to connect the bridge pickup to the jack.
I strung it up with low action (to better check intonation) using Ernie Ball super slinky 9's. And, after playing around with it, it does intonate perfectly. I had to flip one of the rollers. I might buy longer set screws, as the ones that came with the bridge run out of travel. But it works great as is.
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It is fun to play. I was worried about the big frets, but with a light touch they are fine. I have never used a whammy bar, but I am warming up to the Bigsby.
I still need to route the control cavity lips, clean up my mistakes, and do a final sanding. I expect to send it out to be finished, probably to mjtagedfinishes.com unless anybody has other recommendations.
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