#1
Hi guys from New Zealand!!

I thought I would put together a thread for my progress on building an 'Arm The Homeless" guitar in 2016 and the issues faced.
I suspect there will be some issues due to the age of sourcing parts near on 30 yrs old now!

I will say that I never have ever attempted to build an electric guitar but I have a local Luthier helping with the setup. So this is all new to me
and I have had to learn some jargon relatively fast!

I am also hoping as the information is very vague on exactly what the Arm The Homeless guitar uses that the community here at UG
will be able to contribute as I have read a few threads here and found scattered information but also never a complete ground up build.

Here is the gear specs I have come across:

- Fender Strat body
- Kramer style Banana Headstock 22 fret with 56mm heel (To fit fender strat body)
- Ibanez Edge Original Tremolo
- EMG H/81 pickups
- Gotoh Crownhead Tuners
- Custom toggle switch

Where am I at with things?

Well after a few months of scouring eBay and looking for items and advice from a guy who has built an Arm The Homeless guitar
I have at the moment bought the Ibanez Edge Original Tremolo. I probably consider this one of the most important parts in the build.
Its new and unused in the box from prior to 2002 apparently.

Here's a few pics!

Ibanez Edge

I am hoping it is a genuine Ibanez Edge Original it looks it at least...If anyone has any exact way to tell that would be appreciated!

Thats all I have at the moment, I DID buy a Kramer Pacer 84 neck with a Banana Headstock but it wasn't until I spoke to a few various
custom guitar body shops that advised that the Kramer neck (54mm heel) will not work with a typical 56mm neck pocket. I put that down to a Rookie Mistake!
I did also have Kramer tuners on the way but have had to return those too (for the yet to be acquired Gotoh Tuners).

After dealing with a body shop in the UK, then Warmoth, I was then advised by Warmoth to look at using ET Guitars in Australia!

There was a few reasons for this:

They can make the Fender Strat body from Alder and provide a route from their factory for the Ibanez Edge Tremolo (which over here in
New Zealand has been impossible to find help with EVEN Warmoth said they couldn't do it). ET Guitars can also do the custom 3 way toggle switch route and omit the typical pickup selector slot/route + EMG pickup slots and custom paint to match Arm The Homeless

Ernie was dealing with me direct and even advised that I would need to shim the middle saddles of the Ibanez Edge Trem to match the neck radius (expected to be 12") but the ibanez edge bridge radius is 17".

Unfortunately there is a few months delay on building the body so it won't be until Jan/Feb next year till it gets CNC machined to "Arm The Homeless" specs.

Thats not a big issue as I still have to save to acquire the parts!

With the body and bridge locked down I have shifted my focus back to the kramer style neck banana headstock 22 fret.

After my first error with the Kramer neck I have found this one on eBay, what's people's thoughts on this?

Info:

Floyd nut Maple/Rose 22 Fret Banana Guitar Neck NK2
Great made necks, nice and straight, frets well packed

Canadian maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, nice fast neck.
Finished with a light clear varnish.
The dual truss rod is adjustable at the heel.
The grain will vary as this is a photo of the first one out of the box.

Here is the spec:

• Width at Nut: 42mm
• Number of Frets: 22
• Frets: heavy/jumbo 2.9mm wide
• Neck Wood: Canadian Maple
• Fingerboard Wood: Rosewood
• Width at Heel: 56mm
• Depth at Heel: 27mm
• Scale length 648mm
• Neck radius 12"
• 10mm peg holes

It's a 56mm 22 fret neck with a banana headstock, it has a 12" radius so the bridge will need to be set to the 12" radius to match.
The guy from the company has advised that a R2 Floyd Rose Locking nut will need to be used with the neck, which is a concern, as
that matching radius for the R2 (42mm) locking nut is a 10" radius. So I have asked for clarification. You might ask why I am not using
the Ibanez Edge locking nut but the specs say in the manual here that a range for the locking nut is 14 31/32" to 17 23/32".

Reference material
Adding a pickup discussion on what Tom supposedly uses here

Signing off for the night, I welcome any comments & feedback!

Thanks Matt
Last edited by Jato_BZ at Nov 18, 2016,
#2
i think that looks like an edge ok, yeah.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#3
Wow, those Gotoh Crownhead tuners are next to impossible to find! Rather disappointing...Thoughts are if I can't find these the build project will be shelved indefinitely.

Fingers crossed, if anyone knows where I can find some please let me know...

***UPDATE*** 27/11/16
I've decided to get these Gotoh Black tuners that are off a 1985 San Dimas Charvel. They aren't the same as the Crownhead tuners but they're still black and are Vintage hard to find Gotoh tuners. Check them out here

These will do for the meantime but will keep looking for the elusive Crownhead Gotoh tuners in black
Last edited by Jato_BZ at Nov 26, 2016,
#4
Build Update: 10/12/16
So today the GOTOH tuners that I bought off eBay turned up today. They're not the Crownhead version I'm looking for but for the time being will suffice till I find the Crownhead version. I have been speaking to a Crownhead trader so he is fairly confident the version HERE I am after will pop up eventually.

Until then these are the tuners I have in my possession which are off a 1985 San Dimas Charvel,

Neck Update: This is pretty much locked in via an eBay seller who hand makes the banana style neck. The neck heel is going to be built at 56mm however.
Also weighing up whether to go with Stainless Frets or regular frets. I will be painting the back of the neck & headstock in black in due course.

Body update: This is pretty much locked in too, just waiting for a final email back before confirming with this.

Miscellaneous Update:
Have started looking at the strap buttons, these appear to be the Schaller type chrome versions - am trying to source some off a vintage guitar as opposed to buying new. A few pics of Tom's guitar and what's on eBay here

Haven't got the neck plate sorted but this appears to be black so need to investigate a little further.

One huge oversight I missed was that Tom Morello actually runs one of those gimmicky "Fathead" Brass Sustain plates behind the headstock!!! Totally missed that and apparently trying to find one for a banana headstock is next to impossible! Heres a few pics of Tom's guitar with it on the back. Essentially from I can tell and have read is it gives the headstock more mass and apparently the result is more sustain. Seems questionable on the net however. So the chances of finding one is next to impossible, however from what I've read it's 1/16th thick (1.5mm) so if need be I will make one up. The big kicker IS, ideally I will need to have the Crownhead tuners otherwise I'll have two sets of mounting holes in the plate due to the 1985 GOTOH's mounting slightly different to the Crownhead variety.

Thats about it at the moment...
Last edited by Jato_BZ at Yesterday