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Ibanez Iceman Build

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Greetings All,

New member Rick here. A few years ago I purchased a Iceman BYOG kit off of E8AY, and have yet to do anything with it. I've been living in a apartment with no place to do anything, but now we're in a house.

It's a nice kit, but of course the hardware should be changed, which I'm planning on.

I know things are personal preference, but I'm having a hard time trying to think of a way to finish it.

I'm trying to not make it look like most Iceman's out there, so black is off the checklist.

Many ideas have floated through my head, but the two I like the most have been a flamed-maple blue top with a stained bottom, or a Les Paul goldtop finish. I think both finish styles would be out of the norm when it comes to the Iceman.

Please let me know what you think, that way you could help sway me one direction.



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Welcome Rick

A kit is a very good way to get started. As you mentioned most of the hardware are often second grade and need replacement sooner or later. When it comes to finish I would suggest a simple finish for your first guitar as there are other things ahead of you on your learning curve. Unless you are a skilled and experienced wood finisher of cause. The flame maple top means adding a veneer or a drop top to the body and that will in itself give you some challenges. A veneer need a lot of tweaking to look good unless you bind the top (sharp edges vs round over edges ) and a drop top means you will need to remove the equivalent thickness from the body to net mess up the neck angle. A Gold top on the other hand is regarded by experienced finishers as one of the hardest finishes of all. One single run in the most crucial layers or a tine sand through means you need to redo the complete finish.

So my suggestion is to keep it simple with an opaque color and a clear top finish. As mentioned: If you don't have tons of finishing experience you really should consider a simple finish for the first build.

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As Peter pretty much says, you can take projects like this as far as you want, from building them up "as-is" or using them as the basis for a heavily-modified design. The second is dependent on a combination of skills, equipment, ingenuity and tenacity. You could hand plane the body to reduce the thickness or take a packets or coffee/beer to a local woodshop for them to do it for you in less than a few minutes.

Another question you might want to ask yourself is what kind of experience you want from this. Do you just want a personalised instrument at the end of this irrespective of how you get there, or do you want to take as much from it as possible as a learning experience?

Also, do you have an infinite amount of money? Enquiring minds need to know ;-)

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Thanks for the welcome folks. I'll try and answer some of the questions you may have. First, I have no guitar finishing experience. My initial goal was to send the guitar out to be painted to a web-based guitar painter. Then I came across this website, some great tuturoials on Youtube, and a really nice book on building from kits.

I'm trying not to go broke building this guitar. I wanted the pleasure of building it myself, but with the cost of building a nice guitar, it could almost be the cost of Ibanez building it.

I did find someone who could do a goldtop, and binding but have yet to send of an email. If they could do the top, I could finish the neck, and the rest of the body. Hopefully keep the costs down, but still end up with a sweet looking Iceman.

Thanks again, and I'll keep every posted as I move along.


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