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Trying To Make Kramer Vanguard More Comfy With A Cut-away


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A little too close to the neck if you ask me and it won't make a big enough difference to warrant the effort.

And don't kid yourself... the black touch up job you'll do will look awful, not matter what you do.

Keep the guitar as is or make your own body from scratch.

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http://public.fotki.com/Xanthus/build-2/picture006.html

I did it.

Granted, mine isn't as close to the neck as yours, and you'll still have that bulky heel to contend with. I feel that the heel is the worst part of a V design, so I don't know how much your mod will help.

And you don't need to cut down anywhere past the fretboard. I don't have any good pics of the front, but the wing resumes its normal shape at the end of the fretboard. Just take a straightedge and put it up to the end of the fretboard. That is where your carve should end.

And yes, repainting will not be seamless. If you really must do this, then do a whole refinish.

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Keep in mind that Xanthus' guitar is a neck-through, and it's purpose built this way.

You don't need such a deep carve --just a few millimeters or so will give you the access you need. But that's not the first thing I'd try.

The first would be to replace the plate with ferrules.

This will permit two things:

You'll be able to thin the heel a bit (5mm or so, you won't need more than that and the neck joint will remain just as solid), and

You'll be able to recarve the heel -- shift the treble side holes over a bit.

This mod will pretty much provide you with full access to the fretboard. But -- it'll all happen from behind the guitar, so it will be much less visible. The paint job won't show...that much.

If it's still not comfortable, then you could add a very slight carve on the wing -- really, it wouldn't take much at all. 10 mm or so.

But I'm betting the heel mod will be enough to do the job.

The thing to do is plan out carefully what you want to do.

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Keep in mind that Xanthus' guitar is a neck-through, and it's purpose built this way.

You don't need such a deep carve --just a few millimeters or so will give you the access you need. But that's not the first thing I'd try.

The first would be to replace the plate with ferrules.

This will permit two things:

You'll be able to thin the heel a bit (5mm or so, you won't need more than that and the neck joint will remain just as solid), and

You'll be able to recarve the heel -- shift the treble side holes over a bit.

This mod will pretty much provide you with full access to the fretboard. But -- it'll all happen from behind the guitar, so it will be much less visible. The paint job won't show...that much.

If it's still not comfortable, then you could add a very slight carve on the wing -- really, it wouldn't take much at all. 10 mm or so.

But I'm betting the heel mod will be enough to do the job.

The thing to do is plan out carefully what you want to do.

Hi, ive never built a guitar before. THe ferrules would need the use of wood fill right? Because the holes are already in the neck and body and once u reshape it, you're gonna need to make the attachment match on both ends. hmm..i hate this cheap guitar..

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Hi, ive never built a guitar before.

Well, a word of warning then: once you start modifying your guitars, there's no turning back. Pretty soon you'll be chopping them up, then starting to build your own.

To answer your question (if you go along with my idea of using inserts and shifting the holes over).

You'll be able to keep the bass-side holes as is on both body and neck, since you won't need to move them.

On the treble side, you'll use small dowels and wood glue to fill the holes on both neck and body. Let that dry overnight. Then you're ready to reshape the heel.

When that's done, you position the new treble side holes and then the recess for the ferrules -- this is a little more delicate. If you don't feel comfortable working that out, find someone to help.

Once that's done, you'll use the new holes in the body to set the new holes in the neck.

Planning and research first will help you a lot -- have a look at different neck joint types (like the AANJ) to figure out what you want.

You can also approach someone you know with woodworking/guitarbuilding experience to help you out.

Alternatively, if you really hate the guitar, find one you like and sell this one.

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You'll be able to keep the bass-side holes as is on both body and neck, since you won't need to move them.

On the treble side, you'll use small dowels and wood glue to fill the holes on both neck and body. Let that dry overnight. Then you're ready to reshape the heel.

When that's done, you position the new treble side holes and then the recess for the ferrules -- this is a little more delicate. If you don't feel comfortable working that out, find someone to help.

Once that's done, you'll use the new holes in the body to set the new holes in the neck.

Planning and research first will help you a lot -- have a look at different neck joint types (like the AANJ) to figure out what you want.

In case you don't know what an AANJ is, here's what it looks like. Notice how one of the treble screws is shifted towards the bridge a little. On this particular guitar, I didn't shave any wood off of the heel (I'll try that on the next one) but that's definitely something you can try and there would be a larger benefit of your guitar.

254753566.jpg

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+1 to making your own body. I'd discourage carving up anything other than a pawn shop special.

If you do the carve instead of the heel mod, I'd be concerned with having enough material on the trebel side of the neck pocket. If you get it too thin, you might affect the stability. If this route is taken, go to the store and clesely examine any & all bolt-ons with a very deep recess to see how thick the trebel side of the neck pocket is. When you do yours, don't go any thinner than those.

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Thank you for your help.

I have one last question. What machine should i use to cut into the wood because i am planning to do my original plan but not cut as low since you fellas suggested to do so. I am unable to do the plate-to-ferrule mod because my parents would be pissed. I am gonna use the woodworking room in my high school to cut it i guess. Im just not sure how to use such a machine though.

:D Stay Metal!! Moving Forward!! Subway, Eat Fresh!!

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I have one last question. What machine should i use to cut into the wood because i am planning to do my original plan but not cut as low since you fellas suggested to do so. I am unable to do the plate-to-ferrule mod because my parents would be pissed. I am gonna use the woodworking room in my high school to cut it i guess. Im just not sure how to use such a machine though.

Given my druthers, I'd cut close to the line with a bandsaw, and then finish up with an oscillating spindle sander and some hand sanding to get it close. You could do it with a coping saw by hand if you where careful, I suppose, and that's like, 10 dollars of investment. Wrap some sandpaper around a suitably shaped surface to clean up, and you'd be fine. But power tools make the work easier in this case.

If you aren't sure how to use a machine, however, then don't. Safety first! Once you've learned how to use the machine, practice on scrap! You don't want to make your first cut with a bandsaw on your guitar.

Since it sounds like you've got a woodshop at your school, and are going to use their facilities, I'd take this question to the folks who staff it (please don't tell me they let students use powertools entirely unsupervised…) they probably know the tools they have in their shop, and which choice of their equipment is the most appropriate for the job, and can help you make the best use of them.

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