Ok guys, I'll post a number of projects that I'm working on in here. Some of them have been started for some time so posts will kind of start in the middle of the build, etc. At this point, many of these will kind of be rebuilds.......essentially, strip bodies, apply veneers, etc. Hopefully some of this will be of info for some of you. I'm really hoping though to get info from some of the true 'master's on this site and hopefully the info they share will be of even greater value.

Please note: If I share something that could really be done in a better way, PLEASE let me know. I really would rather the best method gets passed on to myself and other folks.

Let the projects begin......................... :thu:
OK. Let's start off with this one. This is my Ibanez JEM copy. It started life as a beat up Ibanez RG570. The worst thing about the guitar was the neck. The previous owner decided to clear coat the entire neck at some point. Well, he did it without cleaning or prepping the finger board. What happened was that the clear coat took all of the dirt and pulled it into the wood grain. This was primarily around the frets. I tried everything (bleaching, etc) to remove the staining but nothing worked. Here you can see a photo of what it looked like after I had removed the frets.

Yeah, not pretty.

Anyway, I decided to just replace the fretboard. I ordered a maple tree of life fret board from one of the vendors on ebay. Decided to fill it in with black plexi tree of life markers.

Here's a close up of the new board and the inlays (second photo):

Now, to remove the old board, I just took a house hold iron and laid it directly on the old fret board to loosen the glue and pried the fret board up a little at a time. I wasn't worried about saving the old board so I didn't worry about placing an old cloth in between or anything. Once the old board was off, I cleaned up the neck and removed any old glue, inspected the truss rod, etc.
Ok, so moving on, I started laying in the fret inlays using a slow set epoxy. Nothing really exciting about this process. I tinted the epoxy slightly to match the color of the wood. Here' some photos as I lay in the inlays and epoxy:

Now to wait for the epoxy to dry.
Now, going back in time and getting you caught up on what I did with the body. No photos for most of this. First, I stripped the old paint. Now, I've found the best (but not the safest method) is to use a heat gun. The reason being is that the manufacturers are applying a extremely durable and heavy duty sealer prior to laying down the paint. I don't know what this stuff is made of but I have yet to find a paint stripper that removes it. However, a paint gun causes it to flake right off. The problem is that the fumes released from heating this stuff up is extremely dangerous. YOU MUST DO THIS IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA. The other issue is that the heat gun can cause areas of the wood to 'burn'. If you plan on just showing the raw wood, this isn't going to work out for you. In my case, I'm applying a veneer to the top and painting the back and sides.

Here's an example of another guitar I did this too and you can see what the back and sides looked like after I removed all of the paint. You can really see on the back how the heat gun torched the wood.

After this was done, I went back with some sandpaper and just did some cleanup.
OK. Here's a shot of the guitar as it sits now. I'll show you how I applied the veneer on the guitar pictured above. Different guitar/veneer but the same process.

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Ok, first, second, whatever........but before you cut/glue your veneer, make sure your book matched pieces are straight. I cut new edges. Don't trust the edges that are cut when you get the veneer. That's my opinion.

Now, I also picked up some glue for this project. I think you can also do this with wood glue but I'm uncertain. Anyway, what I'll be doing is applying glue to the bottom of the veneer and top of the body, allowing that to dry and then 'ironing' that together. Essentially the reverse process of how I got the fretboard off. This works really well and allows me to get the veneer positioned properly and if it isn't quite in the right spot, I can heat it up and remove it. Here's the glue I'm using (as well as my sealer).

Ok, here's the veneer I used on another project. A really nice birdseye maple. You can see I've got two halves with nice straight edges.

Here I've taped one half along a center line I drew. I'm tracing out the shape then on the backside and then will trim my veneer down.

Now, here you see two pieces of veneer. You'll see one has curled up. This happens after you start applying the glue. Once the glue dries more it will flatten back out a bit so no worries.

........and, well a lot of steps skipped here, but this is what you end up with after gluing down the veneer and trimming/sanding the edges.

A lot of folks may not care for the veneer method but I was looking to use bodies I currently had. Planing a body down to put a thicker cap on it really isn't worth the time. Better off making a new body and wanted to do something different than just painting the entire guitar.

Here are a couple of other bodies I did with veneer.

Also note, I will actually be going back with a router and hitting the various cavities (tremolo, pickups, etc.) to clean them up from the old paint, etc.
OK. I started cleaning up the epoxy off the fretboard. The rest of it will be removed when I start to radius the fretboard.

You can see here that one of my next steps was to notch the end of the fretboard.

Ibanez does this with their Floyd equipped guitars. I toyed with the idea of just shimming under the nut but decided if I'm going to do it, I might as well do it right. Now, the best way to do this might have been with a router. I decided to set up my table saw by adjusting the height of the blade and make multiple passes by pushing it on the miter and setting up the fence to stop just shy of the first fret. This worked out really well. I just needed to do a little sanding to clean it up in the end.

The Ibanez is on temporary hold. In the meantime, I've started working on this. Wish I had taken a picture of it before I started on it. Bought this from fellow forum member aldridt1. I may have to see if he has an original photo. Guitar came with a maple neck and 70's style Fender headstock. Last few frets had been scalloped. Body was stained green with a coat of poly on it. Took a lot of work to strip the finish.

Neck is from another project. Pulled the frets and did a 16" radius. Not sure if I will use this neck or not. Plan on putting a floyd and locking nut on it.

Did some more work on the super strat. Decided to use an old neck I had with rosewood board. I really wanted maple but decided to just use what I have laying around.

Here's a shot of the old nut slot.

I took a razor saw to the old nut slot and cut it down and then sawed back and wound up with this.

It was then just a matter of cleaning up what remained and drilling new holes for the locking nut. Just need to make sure that what you use is going to clear the truss rod. I was in luck. :-) Another reason I decided to use and old neck.

In the end it sits on there real nice. I'm sure I'll have to shim it a bit. Will take care of that when I get closer to stringing it up.

Here's the backside. Still need to countersink for the bolts. Want to do that with the drill press though to make sure it's nice and straight.

Once I had the locking nut on, I threw the floyd on and added a couple of strings to get the alignment taken care of and mark out the position for the tremolo posts. Measure 100 times, cut/drill once.

Drilled the holes today for the studs. Went well except that the bit went a bit off on one side so I had to plug it and redrill the hole. The advantage to tremolo's with one flat fulcrum point is that little variances like that aren't an issue. You can see it's the bottom stud that received the plug. All that remains is to route the area for the tremolo where I plugged it and to route for the tremolo arm portion.

ill be monitoring this thread.
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Sweet, nice work.

You think that burning a guitar body would work well AS a finish?

Time on earth is like butterscotch; you really want more, even though it will probably just make you ill.

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I guess you're done for now with the posts, then? I don't want to interrupt...

Well, these look great! I really like your veneer work, I might try it some time. It's also nice that you're making this into a sort of tutorial/showcase, instead of just "And today I did the fretting...".

I'll be checking back, don't disappoint me!
What veneers were used on the kelly?
Just call me Bobby
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dude, looks awesome. Keep it up and bring some new pics to the table
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Some really nice projects you've got going on here

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Those are some really sweet projects you've got going. Kudos on using a birdseye top on that other one, not enough people use birdseye.
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I was wondering where you get those veneers. I was looking to do the same thing.
I don't specifically remember the veneers used on the Kelly. I've had them for a few years now.

I ordered all of my veneers from ebay. There are several different sellers. It's just a matter of finding those that are proper dimensions.
beautiful work.

cant wait to see the birdseye
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OK. Way behind on posting updates because I had to order parts. Thank goodness for tax refunds. Most of the parts for the superstrat have arrived. I'm waiting on a new pickguard. I ordered a new tremolo, pots and switches, rear cover plate and stainless steel fretwire. Have to route out the tremolo cavity properly first.

This is where the guitar sits but these items are being replaced. Not that there is anything wrong with this stuff but I just wanted a new tremolo and wanted to go with a blacked out look similar to a Charvel superstrat.

.......and here's another project. Really need to finish one first. :-D

Washburn Nextar NX3 Nuno. It's an import Nuno model they made for a few years. I knew it would be a three piece body under the paint and I think I got somewhat lucky in that the pieces match up reasonably well.

Stripped everything out and sanded the body down. I think Washburn was giving away a free gallon of sealer with each guitar when they made this thing. It was as bad as some of the Squier's I've stripped. Kind of had a little accident when I was routing the edge. Hoping I can fix that as my goal is to just leave it unfinished similar to the Washburn N4 vintage/relic.

I also have a new maple fretboard and stainless steel frets for this. Need to radius and size the fretboard first. Will be a bit harder to fit the fretboard properly since the Stephen's Extended Cutaway runs along the low E string near the body.
Quite a bit of progress on the Washburn redo.

Because I sanded the body and removed a significant layer of paint and sealer, the control cavity plates now stuck way out from the body. I fixed this by scoring along the edge of each cavity with a sharp Xacto knife. I then put a router bit into my dremel, set the depth and went back in and cut the cavities deaper. Worked out really well. I also went in and painted the tremolo cavity area with some flat black paint.

I also decided I didn't want a tone knob so I filled the tone hole with a plug. Doesn't matter that it doesn't match as I'll be placing the N3 sticker over the top.

As with the control cavities, the extended cutaway portion on the neck needed to be sanded flush with the body as well.

Finally, with all of the sanding complete I went in with a few coats of tung oil and sanded with fine steel wool between coats. When all was dry I did a final sanding with the fine steel wool.

That's one very weird neck pocket

Looking good man
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That's one very weird neck pocket

Looking good man

That's a Stephen's Extended cutaway neck. Exclusive neck design developed by Stephen Davies. Used exclusively by Washburn for the Nuno Bettencourt models (and one other at one time). Stephen Davies also offers some guitars that use that neck design.
So what's the benefit of it?
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SG has officially won this thread.
Quote by RazorTheAwesome
there are no words to describe how truly epic this is.

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I think you win the award for the coolest member of '08
You don't have to worry about your hand getting impeded by the neck pocket when you're reaching for the last fret.

Same idea as an AANJ.
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
Quote by SGburnsRED
So what's the benefit of it?

Upper fret access. Essentially you have as much access to the upper frets as a neck through design. Better than an AANJ.
Oh nice

If you can, could you post a picture of the back?
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SG has officially won this thread.
Quote by RazorTheAwesome
there are no words to describe how truly epic this is.

Quote by SGstriker
I think you win the award for the coolest member of '08
Did some assembly work. Put everything back together (for the most part) and wired it back up. Some of the things done that wouldn't be immediately noticeable.......replaced jack plate screws, neck plate screws and pickup mounting screws with new stainless steel screws. Shaved the sides of the nut so they were dead flush with the width of the neck. They stuck out previously. Guitar is wired up with a push/pull pot for coil tapping. I didn't take photos but I also started leveling the frets. Took a great planes sanding plane to the frets and a stew mac crowning file to them. I still need to break out the dremel and finish off polishing them. That's going to have to happen next week because of my work schedule. I also added the N3 decal. I got this off ebay and I may contact the seller. Because of the way it was cut the edges all stick up. I don't think it's going to stay on very well.

I also broke out the shoe polish and started the vintage/relic process. This is some brown applied. I'm going to hit a few spots with some dark brown and possibly a little black. We'll see.........I think it this case, less is more. Really close to having this one finished off.