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mledbetter

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Everything posted by mledbetter

  1. Sorry folks.. i know this should go in the fnishing category.. but here goes.. there are several tuts online and info on dealing with grain issues.. essentially, it involves wiping on water, letting the grain raise.. then sanding EVER SO LIGHTLY at a 45 deg. angle or so to the grain to take the tops off.. THEN sanding with the grain to smooth out any scuff marks.. I stress lightly because if you get cross grain sanding scuffs they will darken when you stain and you'll be hosed.. but essentially, wet it, sand it off, let dry, then stain it and you should be fine. The grain on maple shouldn't raise too much as it's a pretty tight grain.
  2. I've had good luck with both.. you just have to keep in mind that the waterbased dye will raise your grain if you're dealing with a wood where that is an issue.. The water based are very vivid and fairly inexpensive.. I go double strength. Do two colors, dye a dark color, sand down to expose the light areas again, then stain with the lighter color.. like blue on black, amber on brown, etc.. will really make the figure jump out at you. When that's all done, however, your clearcoat will have just about as much an effect on the 3d'ishness of your grain than just about anything. -m
  3. I would ditto the recommendation for the carvin Bolt kit.. A strat style guitar is hard to go wrong with. The sagas pretty junky from what I hear. The grizly heirloom kits look pretty nice. With those at least you have the choice between a strat style, or an LP or PRS style kit. The other convention is "will she stick with it?" You could get a mexi strat for 350 bucks or so, save time and hassle and if for somereason she doesn't like it, sell it on ebay and at least guarantee yourself 60-70% recovery of your investment.. www.wdmusicproducts.com has some pre finished kits that probably aren't great.. but better than sagas.. Also, if you want to build one still they have pre packaged assortments of hardware, pre wired pickguards, etc.. They will upgrade them too for better stuff if you call and ask. They are a wholesaler but they have retail sales to the public too. You'll still spend 5-600 bucks in parts though, but they will be better than the average kit and you won't have to worry about a parts list..
  4. I've searched high and low here and I have found nothing on specs for routing the channel on a vintage style rod.. I understand that it's a slot with a "T" at the pdghead end to hold the anchor piece.. i'm unclear though how exactly to transition from the t slot to a hole for the barrell nut to sit in. Would this be the basic shape? the the | being the T, -- being the rod channel and the == being a hole in the butt end the diameter and depth of the adjustment nut? (sorry for the primitave illustration ) |------------------------== And I apologize if this is somewhere else in the forum, I just haven't been able to find it. And yes, i know.. there's probably a reason no one is doing these types of rods, but I still want to do the vintage thing nonetheless.. Thanks a bunch folks, -marcus
  5. i seem to remember reading that ponderosa pine was a choice wood with DeTemple's guitars.. There are so many variations of pine i'm sure there are some with the appropriate hardness.. but your garden variety home depot 2x8 stock is not a good idea for anything but shape prototyping
  6. depends. If you sold it on ebay as a "project guitar" and listed the parts you'd be ok.. but if you were selling it for a profit like a custom guitar then you're using ibanez's name and that's not kosher. Fender got around it by doing the "fender licensed parts" thing.. technically they are only for use as replacement parts..
  7. if i remember correctly, fender didn't ditch the swimming pool route till the 2000 models.. They felt much more solid under that.. but pre 2000, you have a giant plastic covered "tone chamber" some like that sound but I don't. A good test is to hit ebay and do a search for completed listings on the Big Apple strat.. you'll get a good indication of the low end of it's market value.
  8. Market confusion is a big deal to the big manufacturers, and it's something that the courts will pay attention to. it falls under misleading advertising and selling practices.. If you intentionally make your guitar with enough points of comparison to a big name instrument then you would risk being in trouble.. That's why the headstock is so important. Where do we look when we want to know what someone is playing? 99.99% of the time it's the headstock. In seconds I can tell a PRS from a Gibson ro a Strat from a Hamer.. or a Taylor from a Martin.. it's the easiest way to tell a make of an instrument. But now they seem to care about the body too. Neither fender nor Gibson want any instrument on the market that folks think is one of theirs if it's not. Following that rule of thumb and making your instrument noticeably different enough that there isn't a question, will be your best bet. If you find yourself asking "how much should I change to squeak by.." then you're splitting hairs and the offended party can likewise, split hairs.. As for the PRS/Gibson thing.. I'll take a PRS over a Gibson any day.. however, as PRS becomes more and more mass produced, their toleranced get looser, etc.. they will wind up in the same boat as Gibson.. a bloated company protecting their assets because the quality doesn't speak for itself anymore. I went to the gibson store in nashville and played about 20 guitars.. none with a price tag any less than 5k.. many upwards to 6 and 7k. I would not have taken a single one home if you gave it to me and that's sad (well, maybe if it were free i would).. I love the look and the sound but they simply all played horribly. Poor fret work, sloppy setup, just had that "cheap" feel to them. It's no wonder why brands like Dillion, Agile and Tokai are such a hot commodity.. But i think Gibson bulldogging PRS proves that the biggest market takers will raise the more ire from the big name manufacturer.. That and anyone who BLATENTLY copies a headstock. Body shape seems forgivable, historically, but you copy a headstock and you'll get a C&D letter faster than you can spit..
  9. On the phish guitar.. they were built by his soundman from what I understand. True hollowbody/acoustic construction. I don't know what kind of tailpiece he uses. A lot of the "hollowbody" guitars have a big mahogany block extending from neck to strap button.. Trey's are an actual acoustic soundbox with a glued in neck. Masterfully built guitars though and they sound amazing.. of course it helps that Trey is playing them too On the mccarty, from what I understand historically, the mccarty was PRSs answer to the paul back before the singlecut came out. paul feel, paul sounding pickups, etc.. ted mccarty was a figure in les paul history, so it was only natural that his "baby" would have similarities. That being said, the pickup choices would be anything vintage PAF related, and you can spend as much or as little as you want. For the wraparoudn bridge, you might check out tone pros bridges.. or you can get a LP Jr style wraparound from stewmac pretty cheap. Check out allparts.com or wdmusicsupply.com for ideas on bridges and tailpieces. On the neck.. if you don't mind parting with 200 bucks or so, call Tommy up at USA Custom and get a quote on a mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Might not be that bad actually. Sticking to mahog for the neck really develops the tone quality you're looking for.. as well as sticking to the mah/maple body combination. Hope that helps.
  10. i'm new here but am a new builder and this has been a topic of close interest for me. Gibson, at least in the transcript does make extensive use of the term "Trade Dress" in their case.. The body shape of the single cut can be different, but to the "quick glance" when switches, pups, knobs, etc. are in identical positions the "quick glancer" can easily mistake something for something else.. classic optical illusion, your brain fills in the details your eyes miss.. we're very good at quick pattern matching. That's the danger too with fender copies, a strat pickguard with 3 pups and 3 knobs can make any body look like a strat in a quick glance. Thats what scares me. Fender has shut down some small builders which is what is disturbing to me, like Lentz and some others.. Maybe that's just positioning so they can prove that they have been actively policing their designs when it comes time to argue their case for a design patent or shape trademark.. Someone mentioned Slash's copycat earlier.. which i read at one time was an Aria.. his favorite axe.. This made me chuckle and all I would say is that little Aria copy has sold as many Les Pauls for Gibson than probably any other guitar out there.. I doubt gibson cared a bit what slash played as long as his legions of fans all thought he played a gibson I'm sure a lot of folks are awaiting the fate of Fenders case, as I am. Right or wrong, the vintage designs have endured for a reason, and as the companies that own them sink deeper and deeper into a quality rut, small builders that can make a copy that is actually a finely crafted guitar will always have business. From a market standpoint, that actually helps the companies somewhat. Thanks to boutique builders, you still hear recording after recording of unmistakeable strat, tele and paul sounds, whether the guitar may or may not actually be what it sounds, or looks like. My 2 cents.. This is a great thread.. hopefully it will stay free of the negativity..
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