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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by flatfive, Oct 14, 2011.
Great build! You guys have some talent on here!
This is a terrific thread, and you've done a fabulous job on your guitar!
I've been following this closely for a few weeks now, mainly because one of my employees walked into my office one day and handed me the remnants of a 1965 Melody Maker (he found it in a dumpster!). Neck (with tuners) and body (with bridge studs) in two pieces (they came apart at the glue joint, so no neck damage to repair), both in Heritage cherry finish. The sad part is that some moron took a Forstner bit to the upper horn area, otherwise this would be a rather simple restoration. Anyway, as there may be hole-filling and veneer in this guitar's future, one option is to leave the original finish on the neck and back of the body, and paint a burst on the repaired front. So I'm curious to hear how you'll be approaching your own burst. Have you made any choices yet about the paint to be used?
Thanks & congrats again on the work so far!
+1 - Glenn - your threads are some of my favorites - working through all kinds of stuff and telling us how you're resolving things helps all of us greatly! Especially those of us that have not done some of the same things. Thanks!
Take a picture for reference. I'd love to see a dumpster find. I had a guy some 40 years ago hand me an Epiphone neck from an acoustic he'd found on the road to work. A car ran over the body, but the neck was intact. Wish I knew where that was now .
Here's a good looker on an SG:
Jimmyspaz, gogoman, esetter -- thanks; very nice of you.
blackbelt308 -- very cool! Please share some pics!
My plan for finishing is to use black filler on the back and
neck, and CA for filler on the front. Then I plan to do a
fairly standard sunburst with lacquer, except the top will
get semi-opaque yellow lacquer to begin with, as the
mahogany is too dark to start with just amber-tinted
lacquer. Here are a few useful links I found:
Mojo -- glad you got something out of this thread; I enjoy
your threads, too. I think we tend to look at guitar
building in a similar way (possibly a little OCD at times... ).
from your link to this one - the colors may be perfect. I can't wait to see how you do this. Thanks for the great build thread.
Gentlemen, I give you the "dumpster find"!
The neck seems to be in very good shape. This is before I cleaned a lot of disgusting crud off the fretboard...
The rear of the body: beautiful slab of mahogany!
And here's the ugliness... What the hell was the guy thinkin'?!
Already reset the neck. I'm waiting for a set of period-correct Kluson tuner bushings to arrive, and then I'll install a new set of machines, an Epiphone wraparound & some strings, and see how the neck plays. If all is good, we'll start thinking of next steps...
Good thoughts on the burst colors. It clearly seems that bursts on MMs & Juniors used some sort of opaque yellow for the center. Perhaps it was nothing more than an amber lacquer over white primer.
The center of the burst on mine was opaque yellow with black on the outside. Shame in a way as that whole guitar was just 2 pieces of mahogany, 1 for the body, one for the neck, resonated well.
If I had to bet, he added an active EMG and the upper cut-out was the battery box. It's also shaped like half of a P-bass pup but that makes less sense . You can see the outline of the pickguard that once covered it.
Me? I'd strip that sucker in a New York minute, mill the upper routs straight then plug that sucker. I'll bet Glenn has enough scrap he'd spot you a piece . I'd plug it above body level then sand slowly down to it (keep all the sawdust for cracks, if any) then pull something I saw Scatterlee do. Spray the front and back a light coat of white (the sides and neck will be black). When level mix a cocktail of the yellow he mixes for those Jrs and spray front and back until opague. Then do a burst like Glenn is planning, the black will almost entirely cover the bat box plug. You will always know it's there regardless, but from across the couch you'd never notice.
I say all that to say this , I don't think you'd ever get the cherry to cover that well. You could burst that too but it'd look sick (not good sick). If you try to shoot it all black, since there's no color transition, your eye would always be drawn to the repair. I guess you could try to keep it vintage and just make a pickguard to cover it, but yuck .
If you really want an informed opinion, post it over on "Finely Finished" and the Reranch forum. Then pick and choose from the hotly debated ideas they will generate (hey, it works )
Looks like he was going for a second pup rout with that lower channel and maybe allowing for another pot in the control rout.
Whatever direction you take, it's a great find and it will live again.
If it were me, I'd rout a channel to the depth of the battery box, and replace it. Would be easier to blend than a plug.
See? Now why didn't I think of that?
Make a template a little larger than the hole and clean it up. Then make a plug to fit as nicely as you can. Glue it in, level it and your good to go. I've done many plug repairs. If you get the radii correct and put a tiny taper on the plug, it's a snap.
I've done Kwerk's suggestion ( only I replaced the entire piece, it was not just routed down) on my own MM here due to the fact that it was steinbergerized and I can tell you from that experience that it is more work than plugging. YMMV
The dark mahogany is new wood and the lighter stuff is the original. The body had cracks running through it, so I removed the wood along the crack and replaced it. The peghead was gone...hence the steinbergerization. I scarfed on a new one and took out the " holes" for the tuners. This required adding the dark wood below that which was actually done by somebody else because I had sold the carcass on ebay and then bought it back after that end repair was made... whomever did that end part did a nice job too...I felt bad for it and figured it should live with me. It's a sickness I say.
Good call !!
I'd leave most of it alone. Find a close match of mahogany at any hardwood store and find a place where the grain matches well enough to pass. Make a template that has simple shape and re-route the cavity (ies) and make a plug to fit. I think if you make it fit close enough the seam would be unnoticeable. The idea of cutting a whole strip is easier, but the MOJO would be gone, and you'd never match the grain on the big a piece.
BTW: That is a sweet find. I never cared for MM's, because I had SG's, but these shown on this thread are really nice.
As for re-finishing in a burst - NO - stay with the vintage cherry finish, don't refinish; keep that old finish and match the relic (did I say that?) to suit. That ax has mojo all over it.
Actually the MM is 1/16 thicker than an SG and offers similar playability as they have a similar neck joint. I'm not totally sold on the flexibility of said joint and prefer the 16th fret to body connection of the '59-60 model myself.
Sadly, the mojo flew the coop when the guy put the battery compartment in, IMHO.
To my mind you'd get a far more convincing grain match going the length of the guitar than you could ever get using a plug, especially if you are intending to stick with a cherry finish or a burst.
Maybe amber over white, but I think the white couldn't have
been primer, because the grain shows through a bit, at least
on the one I owned: Check this photo:
The grain is visible -- what's strange is that the grain shows up
as what looks like orange lines.
Thanks for saying that. The colors of the reranch sunburst are
good but as mentioned above I'm going to need semi-opaque
yellow or white over the mahogany.
Here's what I envisioned for the Dumpster MM.
Lots of good suggestions here, but I think I am going to go the mahogany plug route. The Heritage cherry finish is my favorite, and there's an amazing amount of lacquer checking and other character (part of the "mojo"!) in the existing finish that just doesn't show up in the photos. If I can't get a good finish match on the plug, maybe I'll just slap a Fender sticker over it!
Strung this up last night and played it acoustically. Nice resonant tone, and the neck is good and straight with plenty of life remaining in the frets. So it's definitely worth bringing back to life!
Back to Glenn's build!