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#1
OK, a while back I decided to hotrod my trusty Epi Korina Explorer. This has always been a good guitar with a pretty nice feel to it, though it was always let down by the electronics- muddy pickups and the dual volume/single tone control was wired in such a way that rolling back the volume control just to around 5 would have no effect, but turning it any further would suddenly reduce the output to almost nothing. That, and the toggle switch was dodgy and would often cut out when switching to the bridge pickup.

When i bought it second hand about 3 years ago it had a few dents and scratches, but nothing serious. Until I decided to relic it and scratch up some of the edges a bit- this was the result.



My next mod (over a year ago) was to replace the bridge pickup with what i thought would be the natural upgrade- a Gibson 500t, the kind they put in Gibson Explorers. The pickup was marginally better with more output, but had a harsh high end and the lack of mid range made it sound flabby and poorly defined.

I replaced both pickups about 2 months ago woth Kent Armstrong pups- a High Output for the bridge and a vintage PAF for the neck. These are much better than the epi and gibson pickups- far more clarity, but not harsh, and with enough output to drive a tube amp nicely.
As for wiring, i had a master volume and separate tone controls, a killswitch and a coil tap switch that lets me select inside coils, outside coils, or both. I found that you only really notice the difference between inside and outside coils when both pickups are selected, and even then its pretty subtle- inside coils give a smoother sound whilst outside coils give a fuller, twangier sound- more like a Tele. A nice feature, but i don't really use it that often so i think i'll go back to just the 3 way toggle, volume and 2 tone controls.

To finish my custom explorer, I'm going to paint it. This is how i want my explorer to look in the end:



Note the racing stripe, faux white binding and all gold hardware. I might also upgrade the nut to a graphite or brass one for tuning stability/tone and also the present stoptail is a bit tarnished so i may replace that. A tonepros bridge would be nice but i don't think i can justify the £60 price tag!

I've already sanded the body and neck down (the neck feels very nice now, much smoother than the previously painted neck).

This is the body, midway through sanding. I don't think i need to completely get rid of the paint, so i might just prime it as it is;



This is the newly sanded down neck and headstock. I left the front of the headstock black but sanded the back/sides, i think it looks pretty neat. And who says we don't get sunshine in the UK?







Does anyone know what kind of oil to use for the neck? Or can i just leave it as bare wood?

Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have primed the body, maybe even painted the parts that will be white. I also have to order some black acrylic to make the new pickguard from- it's gonna be a slightly different shape from regular so it'd be best for me to make one rather than buy one and cut it down.

Til then, let me know what you think, and suggestions or comment are more than welcome!


EDIT: In case the photos don't work, or if you have image links turned off, here's the link to my photobucket gallery http://s40.photobucket.com/albums/e212/funky-monk/
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
Last edited by robmarsden01 at Aug 23, 2006,
#2
wow...tats looking really nice...im thinking about getting an explorer...
#3
You do need to put finish on the neck, that is certain. If you leave it bare, it will tarnish very quickly with sweat etc.

Im not knowledgeable however on which finishes to use. But what can i tell you is that no finish is not an option
#4
Quote by robmarsden01
Does anyone know what kind of oil to use for the neck? Or can i just leave it as bare wood?

Pure Tung Oil, as in no additives/hardeners. It takes a long time to dry and get absorbed by the bare wood, but once it's dried, very fast neck. It doesn't get gummy like the other oils and it doesn't get rancid. It's a natuaral polymerizer that bonds to the wood and keeps off other pollutants. and makes it water-repellant ... which is the main reason I chose it over a lacquer on my build.
#5
I wish I had an explorer to mod Ive really been wanting one lately.
Member of the Metal Militia. PM Gibson_10 or AngelOfSorrow to join
#6
Quote by gibson_10
I wish I had an explorer to mod Ive really been wanting one lately.

Check out local guitar stores, the bargains that turn up is pretty amazing. My best bang for the buck (as in cheapest) guitar is the Epi Goth Explorer.
#8
Quote by Midnight_spooks
god i hate the gibby/epi exporer headstocks, fer somereason reminds me of a dildo


I have no idea how you can make that relation.

To Threadstarter: Korina you say? I'm intrigued! That neck...are you sure it isn't maple? Sure looks like maple.

Anyways, like others in this thread, I recommend pure tung oil. 100% pure. Do you have plans to finish the neck in a color/stain? How would you rate the Kent Armstrongs compared to say, '57 Classics? Also, would you sell me your old white pickguard if you planned on not using it? I'm doing an explorer mod myself, and it calls for one.
My Gear:
Fender Japan Strat (80s)
Gibson SG Standard
Epi Goth Explorer (FAV)
Fender HotRod DeVille
Ibanez TS-9
Akai Wah Pedal
Quote by SHANANDO

Seriously, this sounds like a pussy squable from Saved By The Bell or some **** like that.

#9
^ The body is Korina, but the neck is definately maple, like you say. And thanks for the info on the Tung Oil, I'll be going into town today to pick up a few things so i'll try and get some. hopefully i'll have some pic updates later on!

The Kent Armstrong pickups are good, definately better than the ceramic Gibsons, however I've not played a guitar with '57s in, apparently they're the best Gibson pickups (after the Burstbuckers). They cost about 2/3rd of the price of Gibsons, though (mine were about £40 each), so that's definately a bonus.And the white pickguard has 2 extra holes drilled in it for the old killswitch and coil split, so it's not worth much. If your in the UK you can have it on the house i guess
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#10
Wow, I really like those simple white stripes. It makes me want to mod my explorer too.

As for pickups, I think the '57 classic is one of the best financial choices I've ever made. It sounds great in the neck; a very smooth, clean sound.

I look forward to seeing the finished product.
Oh crap!
#11
epiphone you say....im sure i spot the Gibson decal on the tip of the headstock and im also sure your truss rod cover also says Gibson. lol
Guitars
Ibanez Prestige RG1570 w/ Swineys
Fender Standard Telecaster w/ Duncans
Ibanez RGT42DXFX w/ EMG

Amp
Behringer 15W Amp

Effects
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Zvex Fuzz Factory
#12
^Ha, i wish! Most Epiphones have the Gibson name on the truss rod cover, just like Squiers say Fender on them somewhere. It does unfortunately have a big "Epiphone" logo in fake Mother of Pearl on the headstock, i'll get a pic of it sometime if you really must see it. Anyway, I'm off to town, hopefully gonna bring back some tung oil, extra fine sandpaper and some polishing mops/compound.

Edit- the body is all primed and ready for the white coat, which will be applied to the areas where the stripes and binding will be. Here's what she looks like at the moment, with 2 coats of primer;



My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
Last edited by robmarsden01 at Jul 21, 2006,
#13
Sorry for the doublepost/bump, but I've masked off the stripes and fake binding (both these areas will be white, which i already sprayed yesterday). I also got some pure tung oil for the neck, but I'm going to leave that until after the clear coat, as both the clear coat and the tung oil take about 2 weeks to harden fully. After 2 weeks I can buff and polish the body, reassemble and then rock out again.

My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
Last edited by robmarsden01 at Jul 21, 2006,
#14
thats looking really nice! i myself am thinking of doing a aJackson Kelly, or an explorer build, and seeing these type threads makes me want to even more! great work!
#15
thats looking really nice what kind of paint did you use?
Member of the Metal Militia. PM Gibson_10 or AngelOfSorrow to join
#16
I used standard automotive paint, the kind you can get from a garage. Its not the best stuff to use, but as much as i would have like to use nitrocellulose, its about twice as expensive as the cans i used, and i really don't have much money to spend on paint right now.
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#17
The black colour coat is done!





2 coats so far, though i think i'll give it a third tomorrow after sanding it down a little first- my garden is pretty green so naturally there are plenty of insects and pollen/seeds/leaves flying around trying to thwart my efforts. The black coat got about 2 flies in it and countless specks of whatever, but hopefully they'll be easy to sand out with some 1000 grit paper.

Once the final coat is done (and assuming all the mask lines are clean and dont need retouching), I should be free to clear coat it, and then i can set about making the new pickguard
Do I have to leave the paint to cure or harden at all first?
How smooth does the paint have to be before I can clear coat it?

Thanks a lot for all the comments, guys!
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
Last edited by robmarsden01 at Jul 21, 2006,
#18
Lookin' good! And yes, it is ESSENTIAL you wait wait for it to harden. At least a day for best results, I learned that the hard way. Anyways, you want the paint to be relatively smooth, as bumps and other things are really noticable when the clear coats are done.
My Gear:
Fender Japan Strat (80s)
Gibson SG Standard
Epi Goth Explorer (FAV)
Fender HotRod DeVille
Ibanez TS-9
Akai Wah Pedal
Quote by SHANANDO

Seriously, this sounds like a pussy squable from Saved By The Bell or some **** like that.

#19
No photos this time, but i took the masking off and found a lot of smearing/blurring of the edges. Any ideas on how i can mask of these edges again to keep the lines crisp and clean? The blocks of black/whiye look pretty good and the surface is probably smooth enough to clear coat, but i'm thinking of doing another white coat for the stripes and binding to clean up the edges. Any advice for this?
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#21
try the more exspensive tape you find at hardware stores (when i say exspensive its not really that big of a price).make sure the edges of the tape are pressed against the body and sticking.you can clear it up later with a brush if needed
Quote by Chikitty_China
Well, when I'm fapping, I sometimes look at my left hand and wonder what could have been ....
#22
cool custom too
Quote by Chikitty_China
Well, when I'm fapping, I sometimes look at my left hand and wonder what could have been ....
#23
you can buy special painters tape. I would suggest using that.

I dont think that its too much more money, but its definitely worth the cost.
#24
yea man id leave the neck bare and hit it with the brown shpoe polish works every time
#25
OK, I've taken a couple of pictures of the body, which is yet to be "corrected" with a touch up pen- there are a few smudges and blurry edges that i might remask & respray, and a dark patch on the main stripe where i forgot to mask properly- you can see some black paint near where the bottom strap pin would be. Most of the edges are sound, though, all nice and crisp. Before I clear coat it I'll clean up those rogue edges and give it a very light sanding with 2000 grit wet-or-dry paper or maybe some steel wool. Then it's ready to clear coat!







Oh, and I've resized all the previous photos so that they fit nicely on your screen. I really am too good to you lot
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
Last edited by robmarsden01 at Jul 21, 2006,
#26
Quote by robmarsden01
...The black coat got about 2 flies in it...

Talk about putting some new life into the guitar.

I love the simple design you went with. The thick binding looks really good. Are you planning on doing a neck binding as well? That's going to be quite a bit of work, I'd imagine.
#27
^Hmmm... i think i'll pass on the neck binding. I mean, i guess it would be possible (maybe not for me, but for someone with a little more experience, it may be), but i want to leave the neck pretty plain- I'll just oil it and leave it at that. Might add some binding on the headstock if i have any paint left, but at the moment that's looking pretty unlikey...
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#28
get pearloid neck binding
looking great so far!!
I’m not the man I used to be, I... I can’t go back to Arkham.

I... I should return to Arkham.


Among the churchyard’s mouldering stones I recognise a name – my own.
I have come home to Arkham.

#30
that it is really nice. whats the the pickguard gonna be or are you just gonna use the old one
Quote by Chikitty_China
Well, when I'm fapping, I sometimes look at my left hand and wonder what could have been ....
#31
The black acrylic arrived today, so the new pickguard is all cut out and ready to go- i just have to polish out a few scratches and drill the hole for the 3-way switch. When i was cutting it out a small part snapped off, which i then glued on with some epoxy resin- hopefully the smear of glue that remains will be easy to remove with a little sandpaper and polish.



While i'm waiting for the clear coat to cure and the tung oil to soak into the neck, I'm making a booster pedal. I've had the board for a while but never wired it up, so i did so today and it sounds great. A really simple build from general guitar gadgets, but it's a pedal that everyone should have in their rig. The enclosure isn't finished yet (I wanna get some decal paper so i can add some text or a logo to it), but I'll get some photos of it tomorrow! Thanks for reading
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#32
im doing my old guitar soon and i want to know how you put the binding type thing around the body...did you just tape it off?
Epiphone LP special II
-Duncan Designed pu's
Schecter c-1 Elite
-Neck:PAF Pro
-Bridge: Steve's Special
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone
Ibanez Weeping Demon wah
Peavey studio pro 112 65 watt
Ampeg 50 watt
#33
Yup, just plain old masking tape. It can be a bitch when the paint runs through folds in the tape at the corners, but if you mask it really tightly and make sure its really smooth and flat it should be fine.
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#34
awesome man.
btw that is the sexiest explorer ive ever seen.
Epiphone LP special II
-Duncan Designed pu's
Schecter c-1 Elite
-Neck:PAF Pro
-Bridge: Steve's Special
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone
Ibanez Weeping Demon wah
Peavey studio pro 112 65 watt
Ampeg 50 watt
#35
Not meaning to hijack my own thread or anything, but I've painted and assembled the booster pedal that i made yesterday. It really increases the output of your pickups and fattens the sound up a little, sounds great before a fuzz pedal.

My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#36
looks cool,what did that cost you?
Quote by Chikitty_China
Well, when I'm fapping, I sometimes look at my left hand and wonder what could have been ....
#37
i really like the new pickguard
only complaint is that its a black pg on the black finish
cant wait to see it together
"what are good intermediate classic rock covers?"
Quote by EZLN libertad
alice in chains, stone temple pilots, led zeppelin, play rock and roll by zeppelin, thatll work well, maybe hendrix
and maybe war by meshuggah

/runs
#38
Guitarfan, the pedal was really cheap to make, with the only expensive-ish things being the switch and the enclosure, which can all be reused. I'd say the cost was about £15, maybe a tad more, although I already had the caps, resistors, diodes etc. and only had to buy the enlosure, switch and pcb.

And powerage, I thought about having a white pickguard (new shape), but i couldn't find any white acrylic to use for it, so i thought black would look pretty good as well. Pickguards are obviously really easy to change, so there's always the option of a white pickguard in the future
My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#39
Just a quick update/bump to say that I finished clearcoating the body, and it's currently hanging up waiting for Friday, 25th August, which is the day I'm gonna polish, buff and wax it. Not much else has happened, though i have got the new gold jack plate, and also some waterslide decal paper which I'm gonna use to put a small signature and logo on the back of the body near the neck joint.

Here's a lovely shot of the shiny new jack;

My gear;

Custom HSS Strat (eBay'ed parts)
Fender Acoustic
DOD EQ
EH Big Muff
Home-made Wah
Home-made Booster
Laney LC15

Looking for a Jazz Bass body to refinish

My DeviantArt Page, MySpace Profile
#40
Beautiful job mate. Cant wait to see the finished product. As that an NPN Booster you made?
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