#1
This is my first guitar project. Most would think its a stupid project, but im tryin to learn how to build guitars.

Ok here is what i want to do:

I am going to take my old Epiphone Les Paul Special 2 (cheap) guitar, and i am going to customize it.

I am going to replace both pickups. Change the pots, switches, and knobs. I want to add a single coil in the middle and put a 5-way switch in (i might not do this). BUT, i will need to cut some more room for electronics in the body. The electronics in this thing are horrible. (look at pictures).

I need to hollow out some of the guitar so i can install a trem. system (most likely a Gotoh or anyother cheap, locking trem.). I am also going to hollow out some of the guitar for electronics and stuff, cause thr space for electronics is VERY SMALL.

I am either going to try to refret the neck, OR i am going to try to buy a new or used neck for the guitar. Something will some steel frets that is a lil more smoother and something that gives of better sound and bends.

The body of the guitar looks like its ment for a BOLT ON neck, but it looks like someone at the makers just screwed a neck on and said DONE.

I'll take any and all advice and tips. Please and thank you for your time.

How to refret the neck
How to hollow-out/setup my guitar so i can place a Tremolo System in it (measurements and all)
How to expand the area of the electronics space on the back.
how to replace the pots and switches
How to carve out space for the middle Single Coil pickup, and how to make a path for the wiring.
How to setup new pots and switches.

Duncan





Gibson Explorer 1976 Reissue
Epiphone Special 2 (Stock Humbuckers)

Behringer V-Tone GM110 (Practice)
DigiTech RP80
Crate GT212 120w 2x12" Speaker Amp. (Stage/Gig)

I use ERNIE BALL strings!!!
Last edited by Rabid--Mutt91 at Feb 4, 2007,
#2
Could you be more specific what you need help with? Ask some questions instead of just saying what you need to do, so we can tell what you know and don't know. =)

And what do you mean with
The body of the guitar looks like its ment for a BOLT ON neck, but it looks like someone at the makers just screwed a neck on and said DONE.


also, I wouldn't route the control cavity. Even if you are going to install a single coil, you won't need more space then that. Why fix something that isn't broke?
Last edited by m_hedborg at Feb 4, 2007,
#3
ok.

I need to know:

How to refret the neck
How to hollow-out/setup my guitar so i can place a Tremolo System in it (measurements and all)
How to expand the area of the electronics space on the back.
how to replace the pots and switches
How to carve out space for the middle Single Coil pickup, and how to make a path for the wiring.
How to setup new pots and switches.

And pretty much anything else ill need to know in order to make the guitar turn out like i described.

I know some things already, but those i named i dont really know.
Gibson Explorer 1976 Reissue
Epiphone Special 2 (Stock Humbuckers)

Behringer V-Tone GM110 (Practice)
DigiTech RP80
Crate GT212 120w 2x12" Speaker Amp. (Stage/Gig)

I use ERNIE BALL strings!!!
#4
Any aftermarket necks are probably not gonna fit it, because most aftermarket necks are desgined for Fender neck pockets.
Why would you refret the neck? Especially with stainless steel? The neck's fine as it is, and re-fretting it will not make it easier to bend. It already has medium jumbo frets.
Why do you need to expand the electronics cavity, too?
#5
for the trem and for routing the pickups you can get clear plastic guides from places like stewart macdonald
My Rig:
1970's Twin Reverb
1972 Gibson SG
1970's Raven SG copy (extreme modifications)
EH Double Muff
Dunlop Hendrix wah
and of course... a disco ball
#6
Quote by forsaknazrael
Any aftermarket necks are probably not gonna fit it, because most aftermarket necks are desgined for Fender neck pockets.
Why would you refret the neck? Especially with stainless steel? The neck's fine as it is, and re-fretting it will not make it easier to bend. It already has medium jumbo frets.
Why do you need to expand the electronics cavity, too?


I want to expand the electronics cavity, because i plan to cut out a hole between the 2 humbuckers for a single coil. Thus meaning i would have to add another pot to the electronics AND install a 5-way switch, thus meaning the cavity needs to be bigger (the cavity is quite small. Look at the photos and you can see how cramped it is).
Gibson Explorer 1976 Reissue
Epiphone Special 2 (Stock Humbuckers)

Behringer V-Tone GM110 (Practice)
DigiTech RP80
Crate GT212 120w 2x12" Speaker Amp. (Stage/Gig)

I use ERNIE BALL strings!!!
#7
Quote by forsaknazrael
Any aftermarket necks are probably not gonna fit it, because most aftermarket necks are desgined for Fender neck pockets.
Why would you refret the neck? Especially with stainless steel? The neck's fine as it is, and re-fretting it will not make it easier to bend. It already has medium jumbo frets.
Why do you need to expand the electronics cavity, too?


I want to refret the neck because the frets are quite dullled out and scratched up. The finish has came of some of them (and one of them somehow got chipped out. I beleive its the 7th fret. the string catches when i bend across that chipped piece)

I heard that stainless steel frets are the best frets to use. I also prefer playin with standard jumbo frets.

Which sorta frets would yaw prefer?? Stainless steel, gold, or nickle???
Gibson Explorer 1976 Reissue
Epiphone Special 2 (Stock Humbuckers)

Behringer V-Tone GM110 (Practice)
DigiTech RP80
Crate GT212 120w 2x12" Speaker Amp. (Stage/Gig)

I use ERNIE BALL strings!!!
#8
Well to make any of the cavities bigger you would need access to a router and a bit, you will also need to get new plastic to the cavities, as for adding the middle pickup you would again need the router to make the hole. For wiring the middle pickup, (if i remember correctly) there is a hole drilled from the neck socket to run the wires in, so you should just be able to feed the wires from your pick up that you are adding threw there.

As for wiring, http://guitarelectronics.zoovy.com/category/wiringresources.22pickupdiagrams/ that site should solve all of your wiring needs, the instructions are easy to fallow.

Refretting, well that is a tricky job and i would really leave that to a professional, but thats because i dont like to mess around with the neck.

the tremlo, again tricky, you will need to pull out the bridge posts, i dont know an easy way to do this, then again you route out the design, then route out the spring cavity. As for measurements it all depends on your bridge, because different companies make their bridge just a little bit different.

After you do all that, well, set everything up, plug in and play.
#9
I wouldn't get stainless teel. It's more expensive, for one, because of how hard it is to work with. Refretting is already a bitch for your wallet, IMO. Not really the sort of job I'd use on your Epi Les Paul Special II. The things made of ply.
Again, a full floating trem is another job that is pretty expensive, and something I wouldn't do to your Epi Les Paul. MAYBE a Maestro trem, like on the Gibson Angues Young signature guitar. Look it up if you don't know what I mean. It'll give you some vibrato, but nothing like a Floyd Rose. If that's something that interests you, let me know, I'll link you to a supplier that carries it. Stewmac.com has a variation on it.

Honestly, if you're planning to spend this much on this guitar, I'd recommend just getting a new guitar with everything you want on it. That'll a lot less work.
The most I'd do to this guitar would be pickup changes...and that's if you've got a good amp.
#10
Quote by forsaknazrael
Honestly, if you're planning to spend this much on this guitar, I'd recommend just getting a new guitar with everything you want on it. That'll a lot less work. The most I'd do to this guitar would be pickup changes...and that's if you've got a good amp.


I totally agree for a first build i would not spend this kind of money, if you want to get accustomed to working on a guitar, get a Saga and swap out the electronics, will show you an easy way to get started. Thats what i did and it really is a good inexpensive way to start. for cheap kits ebay works the best. They also let you work on finishing if you want/need too.