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Everything posted by Drak

  1. I think you've got it, definitely a flat sanding block for all the straight flats. Once you attack the edges with some grade of paper and your hand, it will become very obvious to you very quickly if you need to back up a grit or so. 220 is a good place to jump in and see how things progress. You really want to jump off of the power equipment at this stage and start understanding the power of your hands and fingers and how they transmit information to your brain. Your hands and fingers will speak to you, you come to 'trust' them, and you'll 'know' when everything is 'done', they will let you know. If you decide to do some beveling, you'll want to do your edge-sanding first, as any imperfections will get mirrored into the bevels, then once the beveling is done, you'll go back again and hand sand sides and bevels to 'blend' them together into a very sweet and smooth seamless transition. But that final sanding post-beveling shouldn't take long as you've already fine-tuned the sides with a preliminary hand-sanding session already. I generally stop at 220 for a finished edge, but it just depends on what you want to achieve, you can keep going to 320 and even 400 if you want smaller pores and a glassier edge that looks more like the router left it. Whatever you decide, if I were doing that, after all shaping was completed, I would use the same piece of sandpaper to do the final sanding. I.e., if I stopped at 320, I would use the 320 grit first on a flat block and go over the front, then back, then bevels, then take that paper off the block and transfer it to a sponge block to do the final passes over the sides/bevels. The very final sanding pass uses the same piece of paper all the way around the houses, then its ready for finish stages.
  2. I just found this video about a year ago and couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought it was just another show out of hundreds I saw, lost to the annals of my fading memories, mostly forgotten. I remembered the 'can of worms' remark very clearly, and was completely smoked to find the whole show online, I couldn't believe it. I saw both Little Charlie and Duke various times through the years, but this particular show was like a magic show, it topped all the others. They seem to just mindlessly vomit up never-ending musical ideas without ever stepping on each other or having to even think about what they were doing. These are the amps I usually run through when using these Ovations. This is my 'old school rig', they're late 40's Ampower Model 80's, rebuilt by my amp guy, I never put pedals through these things, just guitar>cable.
  3. If you notice the bridge pickup on this one, it is from a Tornado. They're still DeArmonds, but a different build style alltogether, it looks completely different on the bottom. It measures about 8.4K, and I really like it better in the bridge than the 7.4K originals. It adds just enough extra 'heat' to get the thing to growl a little. Just a little. But I like it better. A funny story...this one was built from nearly completely separate parts bought at different times through a 10-year period. That bridge pickup is microphonic as HELL, I imagine whoever sold it thought they were getting rid of a dog, but I LOVE it. The microphonic pickup combined with the very acoustically resonant body just WORK together, its glorious. It makes the entire guitar microphonic, you tap a fingernail anywhere on the body and the whole thing is microphonic 'like that'. Like the body is an amplified extension of the pickup. I typically never use these guitars through a pedalboard, just guitar>cord>amp (and usually a tweed thing), so I never really run into howling feedback. But there is an added resonance to the sound the other one doesn't have. These are my 'old school jump-swing-blues' guitars, tho they work great for Ernest Tubb style old-school country too, and it goes w/o saying they're Rockabilly Monsters. This is pretty much what they sound like, These sound nearly exactly like Duke's guitar. If you pay attention, Duke's Epi has a bit clearer sound as opposed to Charlie Baty's HB'ered up Gibson. PS, I was there at that very show way back when, it was a jaw-dropping show from start to finish if you like this kind of music. Skip to about 7 min. in to get to 'the action'. Little Charlie - Duke Robillard
  4. Not really 'caught me', I was 'into' the German thing probably 20 years ago, its long since left me for the most part. But yes, there was a different European aesthetic compared to USA builds back then, so yes. This was just an idea to use up a part that had been laying around. OK, tailpiece sprayed red lacquer. 1/16" piece of Mahogany for the insert. Couple of CA glue layers to get smooth for lacquer. Rough fitting insert, and I thinned out the section where the ball ends need to enter with no obstructions. Insert sprayed with the black/white pattern and clearcoated. Fitted and glued in. Guitar Before: And after:
  5. These guitars are pretty much vintage Gretches-hide-in-plain-sight with genuine vintage DeArmond pickups. Both bridge and neck clock in about 7.3K-ish. Other models clock in around 8.4k, of which I have one of those (you'll see it). Ovation completely blew it by installing some really weird-ass pickup selector switching system. Totally bizarre wiring scheme. So any YT you watch of them, they always sound like SHIT, they all sound like shit, I've never heard or seen a decent YT of these things, not one. Due to the completely bizarre circuit they installed around a pair of drop-dead gorgeous DeArmonds. Oh the insanity...I mean, you take a pair of gorgeous DeArmonds and Completely Whackamole the circuit around them...Danger Will Robinson! Mine blow them ALL out of the water as I re-wired them both to standard old Gibson (50's) wiring w/ 500K's all around and .01uf caps. Which actually works and sounds great, and the way they should have come out of the factory. Both of mine sound like vintage Gretches, which is what they basically are when wired right.
  6. And this is 'the other one', not the one the new tailpiece is going on, but 'the other one'. I completely 100% gutted, re-sprayed, and rebuilt both of them over the past few years. I didn't take the old finishes off, I just cleaned them up, sanded and prepped them, and added a little tinting to the clearcoats. This one was turning a sort of greenish hue before I added a little Nutmeg to warm it back up. I never posted the guitar that's getting the new tailpiece, but it looks exactly like this one, just a different color.
  7. This is the 'sacrificial lamb' 3rd one I bought, just to rip off all the hardware which was all in great shape. The body was toast, but you can see the very original bracing system it used, which I Adore. It allows the body to vibrate and resonate wonderfully, unlike a 335 solidblock hunkajunk, and not the cheesy-ass Japanese full hollow routine. This is mass-produced real German goodness.
  8. This is a tailpiece upgrade I just did to one of my late 60's Ovation Thunderheads, which have a German heritage. The body was made by Schaller and imported by Ovation back in the days of manufacture. I always liked the 'German Way' of accenting their builds back in the day. One of the 'tricks' they often did was to use a black and white theme of some sort to accentuate the rest of the build. Sometimes checkerboard binding, sometimes some variation of a black/white headstock motif, sometimes black and white hardware accents, just depends... They had various ways to 'sneak it in' there and I always liked that, the way they'd just sneak it in somehow, somewhere. Not always, but its there if you look at a lot of old German builds. And so, I have done the same with my German heritage Ovation Thunderhead. Let's say we done gone 'legit' wid it. Yes, yes, pics are forthcoming, I just finished gluing up the tailpiece and its ready to mount on the guitar now. I'll leave this one pic as a teaser. This is the tailpiece, on the very far left, as it started life. I bought this thing on eBay as a standalone about 15-20 years ago, can't remember the make that it would have come off of. I was doing a gold hardware shoot the day I took this pic, I think in 2014. It doesn't look like this anymore, I can Gur-un-tee you that. Its...well...its black and white! And...well, you'll see.
  9. Very nice so far, I've made a few guitars out of Tabletops myself. But more to the point... Reading your posts, I'm getting the vibe that you're under the impression the router is supposed to do all the work for you. That if your route job is done well enough, you won't need to sand the edges, or you shouldn't have to sand the edges, that the edge the router leaves behind is a fully finished edge. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the way you talk about this leads me to believe you think edge-sanding is not needed if the routing is done correctly. For example, the tearout you had that you corrected with by sanding the template and re-routing it clean...this is a clue to me that you're under the impression that if you 'do it right', ...there's no need to sand the edges. As I would have just taken care of that in the edge-sanding stage, everybody gets a little tearout here and there, that's pretty normal. You will need to sand all edges, thoroughly. Usually takes me a few hours to just do that alone prior to entering finishing. Most Explorers I believe clock in at 1.5", as a full-depth Explorer is usually completely unnecessary and Way too heavy to be useful to anyone. 1.5" or so is about correct. So 37mm is right about dead-on 1.5", the correct depth for an Explorer. Putting some slight bevels on it to accentuate the edges would be most attractive and isn't that hard with all the long straight edges you have to work with, that makes beveling pretty easy as opposed to leaving it ' straight-up block' style. Carry On!
  10. I would never do it, but if you've got experience with it with repeated success, Carry On then!
  11. How do I say this gently? Pretend I'm whispering maybe... I would never use Tru-Oil sandwiched in there the way you did. There's no reason to have it there, its not buying you anything and can 'retard' the dye from 'popping' like it could under straight lacquer. And can cause adhesion problems if not properly scratch-sanded or if not allowed to 100% cure before lacquer. If I were to ever do that, I'd be waiting two weeks dead-minimum between oil and lacquer application to allow the oil to 100% cure first. And I do mean 100%. Make that 110% fully cured with no possibility of it not being fully cured before lacquer (if it were mine). It's just not worth it, there's absolutely zero to be gained by using it in this type of application and several risks that aren't necessary. One of which is your dye doing weird shit on you because its reacting to an oil and not a lacquer, and there is usually a difference in reactions. PS, There's no yellowing due to 3-4 coats of lacquer, that the naked eye could ever see.
  12. Just thought I'd give you some measurements since it seemed to be concerning to you. You can see the differences are small, but they're there none the less, depending on your router template allowances. I don't think Gotoh would knowingly manufacture a part that would not fit its biggest competitors' pocket by 1 to 2 mm, that would seem silly and non-profitable. And I don't know what different manufacturers' locking trem pocket tolerances are, I just know mine, which is a 2-part template set (3 including the rear), from StewMac from ~25 years ago...maybe other manufacturers allow more tolerance in their pockets...could be. Baseplate width OFR - 90.5mm / Baseplate width Gotoh - 91.5mm (1mm difference) Baseplate length OFR - 37mm / Baseplate length Gotoh - 38.5mm (1.5mm difference) Full front to back of entire block assembly, not including fine tuners, but measured to the back of the fine tuner shelf, The front of the baseplate nose to the back of fine tuner shelf OFR - 58mm / Gotoh - 61mm (3mm difference) In the YT comparison, they believed the Gotoh string lock screws are slightly longer. Which would add to the overall final length and their biggest complaint, IIRC. Which would mean (possibly) that you couldn't precisely intonate the low E (possibly the A too). As if you moved the saddle back to the proper intonation point, the back of the string lock screw would protrude beyond the recessed shelf pocket (if using one, not everyone does). So I removed the low E string lock screw from each unit and measured that too. They were correct... OFR screw - 44mm / Gotoh - 48mm (4mm difference) I checked for thread compatibility between both units, and they are a match. So if the Gotoh screw wound up overextending the recessed shelf when the saddle was set at the proper intonation point, you could just buy an OFR screw to save a few mm's. Or adjust your initial placement of the baseplate location forward by a few mm's. Or not have your low E perfectly intonated but close, with everything else intonating properly. So overall length, baseplate nose to back end of screw, is 8.5mm longer on the Gotoh, that could wind up creating a problem if you didn't make the recessed shelf long enough, which I did extend mine by a little bit.
  13. It is not, actually. The Gotoh is ever-so-much slightly larger all the way around. I had already cut my cavity and I'm reasonably certain I'm safe, but just barely. If i knew it going in I would enlarge all routes by just a hair. I think the back route is the same, its the top routes that come into question. I did extend the top/rear cavity (where the fine tuners end) to the dead-maximum I would normally go. There is a review on YT that covers the differences, I think, and the slightly larger size is mentioned (Gotoh vs. OFR) You can't tell just by looking at it, the difference is so small, but <just enough> that I would give a touch more space to the routes.
  14. The Sonic Crayon isn't up and running yet, which the Gotoh trem is appointed to, so no, no comments on the Gotoh in particular as yet.
  15. First off, it looks Fabulous. Second, I'm sure you probably already know this, but if you use the pair of screw studs that I shipped with the bridge instead of those rubber feet, it will lower your bridge height considerably. It will nearly sit on the deck with them lowered. The rubber feet were meant for surface mounting the bridge, but I've rarely ever seen them used on production guitars. Using the rubber feet assembly actually gives your guitar a little bit more notoriety since they're rarely ever seen, and I would believe were probably for a full-sized archtop install. Most of the times you see that bridge they used the screw studs, as they're used in the Ovations I have as well. You nearly never ever see the rubber feet option utilized. I was thinking maybe the rubber feet were needed for the additional height for the trem. But my Ovations (which are very similar in depth to yours) used the screw studs, even with their trem. Also, back then, most pickup shims were made of wood, usually Rosewood, at least the ones I have from that era are.. And if you're hesitant about drilling the body for the screw studs, or there's no wood meat underneath them to support them, probably easier to just make a pickup shim at this point. Reguardless, Wowza does that look fantastic. I wasn't expecting it to look THAT good!
  16. The bracing reminds me of a Macaferri/Django thing, where you want immediate volume and projection over resonance and sustain. Kind of a ladder bracing thing. I understand that's not really what you were shooting for, I would think basic stabilization was the key element. If I were doing a modified centerblock as you are, I'd do the bracing the exact same way. Django - I'll See You In My Dreams Oh, Les Paul, I see what you did there...
  17. Finished up the wiring, everything checked out A-OK. Strung it up and damn, this thing is a Rawk Machine! I thought the combination of the Oak and the Floyd may wind up thin-sounding, but not even close. WIN. And I love the imperfect and distressed finish, I could care less if it gets banged up a bit. The bridge (Fred) is 10.5K, the middle pkp is a Fast Track 2 which logs in at 16.8K and sounds hotter than the Fred. Which, really, was the plan all along, to utilize the middle pkp to get two different lead rock tones. It worked. I have the Fast Track on a P/P coil split so I can tame it down when I want, and that worked out perfectly too. You turn that Fast Track on and engage the Afterburner, you better Stand The Hell Back!
  18. So I decided to alter the Super-Satch and add an Afterburner to the assembly. This came about as I was pondering options for the Sonic Crayon and deciding/balancing options between the two. So, apart it comes. This is the pickguard 'part'. Pickups - DiMarzio Cruiser in the neck (5k), DiMarzio Fast Track 2 in the middle (17k full out), DiMarzio Fred (10.5k) in bridge. 5-way Schaller 'E' model megaswitch, P/P tone pot (coil splits the Fast Track), and the EMG RPC on the pickguard. That then gets screwed down to the body, then the rest of the show gets 'dealt with'. Additional EMG SPC and Afterburner pre-amp.
  19. Its done to hide the joint where the body switches from Mahogany to Maple. I'm just pulling figures out of my ass here for a moment for argument sake... If your core wood was 1.5" and your top (maple) was .75" (sorry I don't do metric) Then the binding is going to go down to that depth, where they meet. If your core wood is even less, say 1.5", and your top is 1", then the binding will be even deeper. Because it's hiding the transition, wherever that transition happens to be. The top of the carve at the neck area 'is what it is', (all the way around, actually) and the binding is not concerned with that final height. Its concerned with hiding the transition between the woods, with the top being whatever the carve says it is.
  20. You've completely exhausted the physical possibilities, time to go metaphysical. Look for an energy healer in your area, you've got some sort of energetic disturbance going on. In the part of the country where you live, the place is crawling with them. You could probably throw a rock from where you stand and hit one in the head. Although that would not be a very kind thing to do...
  21. I agree with this. Not only the points you made, but there is absolutely Zero room for dialing in the alignment of the neck to the bridge saddles. If your neck is off by the <slightest bit> and you have already drilled for the bridge based on a centerline, you're screwed, there's not the slightest bit of adjustment available. If the pocket is that tight, better off not drilling for the bridge until you can base the bridge off of the neck and not a centerline.
  22. That's beautiful, I really like it. And I generally don't hand out compliments unless I'm really moved to do so. Really well done Sir.
  23. It actually took a turn into very familiar territory now. Its now reasonably close to my other EMG builds but with a Floyd and hotter pickups. The VMC would have been a bit of a different fish, but not by that much. I decided with its range of 80Hz to 800Hz, it would be better suited to enhancing a SC pickup type guitar than a hot HB'ered job. The RPC is a better match for hot HB's than my usual EXG would be. So, everything's' actually working out quite well, it will all be familiar territory.
  24. Nope, doesn't matter to me, I've had old German builds with zero frets before, I don't mind them at all. Just thought it seemed a bit out of place as you typically are kinda persnickety about following original plans so closely. Carry on with your zero fret then!
  25. The EMG tone pots get wired in series, they each have an 'in', and an 'out' signal path wire. So you have to decide which one you want 'in front' of the other. When I use them in my typical config, I nearly never have them on together at the same time. If I'm using the EXG, the SPC is off, and vice-versa. So, although they get wired in series and you have to decide which you want in front of the other... It usually just doesn't matter to me as I don't use them together. EMG recommends putting the EXG or RPC first, then the SPC, so that's the way I usually wire them.
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