Melody Maker build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by flatfive, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    Hi all. Here's the story behind this build.

    For about 20 years my only electric was a '64 Gibson Melody
    Maker. At that time of my life I never thought of doing more
    than tuning the strings on my guitar (and playing it).

    The guitar was heavily modified when I bought it, with humbuckers
    and a Leo Quan Badass Bridge. It had all sorts of dings, plus
    heavy cracking of the finish -- it whatever the term is that
    gets used when this cracking is supposed to be a good thing :lol:.

    After I started buying other guitars, I believed this was my
    beater. I wasn't smart enough to know that a vintage Gibson
    was worth more than a Yamaha Pacifica :rolleyes:

    About four years ago I discovered that the guitar, and even
    the beat up case, were worth money, and then I sold it faster
    than Al Di Meola can play the dorian mode.

    My plan is to build something close to my old Melody Maker,
    partly because I miss it a little, partly because it was a fun
    guitar to play, and partly as a way to get some chops together
    for the Gretsch build I started recently.

    Here's some pics.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Fortunately I took tons of pics before selling it.)

    The mods done on it were very crude. Here's what it looked
    like under the pick guard.

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to use two humbuckers, a Wilkinson/Gotoh wraparound bridge
    more like the original bridge, and Kluson replica tuners. Not sure what
    kind of humbuckers yet. The ones on my Melody Maker
    were Gibsons.

    The new stuff for me on this build will be: angled headstock,
    angled, glued neck, and burst finish.

    One thing I don't plan to copy is the way the original
    pickguard wrapped around the bridge pickup.

    Thanks to ievans and Pat Sharkey, I've got a great, detailed
    Melody Maker plan to work from.

    Thanks again!
     
  2. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Cool project.

    I had one of the newer Vintage white ones, and the single pickup sounded amazing. But I hated just about everything else about that guitar. I traded it for a Blues Jr. amp. Eventhough I didn't like the way it played, finish, or short scale, I still regret trading it off.
     
  3. ievans

    ievans Tele-Meister

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    No problem, and really Pat Sharkey (landsharkey on MLP) deserves all the thanks. I'm super interested in this build, especially with your history.

    If you decide for whatever reason to not use a humbucker, Bryan at BG Pickups makes a great Melody Maker P90, with a reissue and vintage size.
    http://www.bg-pups.com/mm90.html

    Bryan's a great guy to deal with.
     
  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I've got a few MM's here. They are my main guitars. I have one like you show in your pix, except it was turned into Steinberger guitar by the previous owner. I grafted on a peghead and rebuilt the body, although it's ugly to look at, it plays pretty well. I stuck in 2 p 90's. My take on that body configuration is that the neck flexs a lot more than the LP jr style mm's as the tenon is narrower and shorter. I'd beef up that area if I were making one.

    The current MM pickups are the size of one coil of a humbucker. A friend of mine gave me a dirty fingers bucker with one bad coil. I made the good coil into a mm one by getting a piece of brass at the hobby shop and bending it with some hand tools and drilling it to mount to the holes in the coil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Duplicate post...gotta love this DSL provider.
     
  6. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    I'll be very curious what you think about that adjustable wraparound bridge; they're a neat idea, and I've been thinking about getting one.

    Should be a nice build!
     
  7. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, Colt. Maybe someday I'll do a custom design, as you
    have done at least a couple of times.

     
  8. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the link to BG Pickups. Once you have the template,
    you gotta build at least two, right? :lol: So maybe after making
    something like my old guitar I can make a vintage MM copy, and
    use those pickups.

     
  9. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks -- that's good to know. I plan on building the neck
    "Guitarnut" style, out of 3/4" mahog. I'll make sure to make the
    tenon substantial.
     
  10. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    Picton, you'll be glad to know that I'm going to try to use more
    hand tools on this build than usual.

     
  11. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Just ONE chisel... that's all I ask, even if it's just a symbolic squaring of your neck mortise. Mortise and tenon construction, after all, is what chisels and handsaws do best.

    The other reason I'll be watching this is because I'm coming around to an understanding that "simple," beginner-type guitars are really rewarding to build. As nice as a top-of-the-line preeb-style LP is, I'm finding I like the idea of building Danos, an LP jr, a Mustang... you get the idea.
     
  12. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Or maybe even a Music Maker? I'm thinking along the same lines as you :)
     
  13. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    I had one of those! A kid down the street sold me one in mint
    condition along with some kind of small tweed Fender amp in
    mint condition. I stupidly traded them both -- plus some cash :( --
    -- for the Melody Maker, which was very far from mint.
     
  14. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    Speaking of chisels, I was in Sears last week -- can't remember
    what I was looking for -- but they were blowing out their
    Footprint chisels. I got a few of them in different sizes for
    about $7 each.

    I don't know a lot about chisels but they were marked down
    from $18 or so, and they're made in Sheffield, England.

    Also found a set of 3 Footprint scrapers for $12, marked down
    from $30.

     
  15. ievans

    ievans Tele-Meister

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    My Footprint gents saw I use for dovetails is a nice saw. Sounds like I should stop by and see if I can find some more chisels.
     
  16. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    Good chisels come in handy Glenn , you'd be surprised the control you can have with a good sharp chisel , sometimes I use a bench chisel to do neck transitions .
     
  17. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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  18. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

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    Subscribed!

    Mark
     
  19. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  20. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    They still have a big mail order catalog? Wow, didn't realize that.
     
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