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Thread: Interesting project to say the least... an old butchered SG Jr?

  1. #1
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Interesting project to say the least... an old butchered SG Jr?

    So... I've had this carcass laying around a couple of decades. Believe it or not, it MAY be an early 60s SG Jr that got really busted up and someone tried to fix. No serial numbers, but I got it for $20 with the pickup, hardware and Badass bridge in around 1983. The neck itself seems to have nearly zero fret wear and is straight. I recently acquired a mahogany body from an Epiphone G-400. I'm planning to cut the neck off of the beast and glue it on the G-400 body. It's a shame the G-400 mahogany is not the old growth tight grained stuff that is still left on the beast. Since there are no serial numbers it's pretty much worthless. I figured if I put the two together at least I would have a functional instrument. To bad the G-400 has a poly finish. I just wanted to ask the community if there is any reason why I shouldn't do this. I have $20 invested. All I need to put into it is time and glue. If it turns ok, I might even eventually put they wrap around/Badass bridge on it as well. Any comments, tips, opinion, and advice are welcome.

    img_1638.jpgimg_1639.jpg

  2. #2
    CMT
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    Go for it!!!

  3. #3
    CMT
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    How about you just use the other body fore a splice on prostesous so you don't have to reset the neck.
    Then veneer it with birds eye or bubinga or gold top it or all that.

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    Here's mine

    image.jpgimage.jpg
    Last edited by CMT; 02-17-2017 at 07:48 AM.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Oh it's much to messed up with different wood and contours for that. And it has bondo all over it! The best I can hope for is to cut a nice block out of it to fit the neck pocket. The original set for the old guitar is much smaller. That's one of the reasons I know it's a trashed vintage piece. If it had serial numbers I would put a correct restoration body on it.
    Last edited by olddawg; 02-17-2017 at 08:22 AM.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    img_6307.jpg

    So... I decided to just go with the original ugly mess because it plays so well and the balance isn't bad. I made a template for a pick guard that I'm going to cut from 1/4" plexiglass and paint black from the back side. The probably spray some red lacquer on empty space. It's a bit of a "rat rod" but it screams... My only worry is that it has no bridge ground. I'm a little worried about pulling the post insert by any method since it's been in there 55 years or so and the body is so thin. Any tips?
    Last edited by olddawg; 07-06-2017 at 09:59 PM.

  7. #7
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    My only worry is that it has no bridge ground. I'm a little worried about pulling the post insert by any method since it's been in there 55 years or so and the body is so thin. Any tips?
    I'd say go with the current aesthetic- the uglier, the better! Attach a crocodile clip to one of the posts, and run a cable over the guitar face and under the pickguard.

    -rb
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    I've seen Les Paul playing with a ring o his left hand with a piece of wire coming off it - I always assumed this was some kind of grounding hijinks? Anyway, yeah - just do what works, screw the looks!

    Justin
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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    I'd say go with the current aesthetic- the uglier, the better! Attach a crocodile clip to one of the posts, and run a cable over the guitar face and under the pickguard.

    -rb


    I considered just wrapping some solid core copper wire around the post, running it through the same hole as the pickup wire, and soldering it to the back of a pot.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    If you were so inclined, and maybe a little brave, you could drill and tap a small hole in the underside of the bridge and use a screw and a ground solder lug. It wouldn't be visible unless you peeked under the bridge.
    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  11. #11
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    If you were so inclined, and maybe a little brave, you could drill and tap a small hole in the underside of the bridge and use a screw and a ground solder lug. It wouldn't be visible unless you peeked under the bridge.
    That's a great thought! I think I could make a U shaped washer out of some scrap sheet copper, slip it under the Bad Ass, and solder a wire to it. This thing sounds like Leslie West on steroids with that slightly overwound P90. It's very light. Great for a geezer like me. I sware it was barely played before it was damaged since there is no fret wear on the original frets. And it's the rare super slim 60s neck. Great for arthritic smallish hands!

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    It reminds me of one of those cut-down body guitars that John Mayall plays. I'd give it a wild psychedelic paint job.

  13. #13
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmartn149 View Post
    It reminds me of one of those cut-down body guitars that John Mayall plays. I'd give it a wild psychedelic paint job.
    I thought of paisley, like Capton's SG. But if you saw it up close you would see it would never take a fine, detailed finish and I don't want to mess up the sustain. Ugly though it is, it plays better than my 70s LP Custom. I might spray a light clear coat on it just to seal it. I was honestly surprised how it plays and sounds. It was in my junk for decades.

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    I sometimes need to pull the post insert on elderly instruments and there's a risk of splitting the top around the insert as it's pulled out. The way I do it is this; Remove the post and find a hard fibre or nylon washer that's a close fit over the insert - I have some about an inch in diameter. Then I get a stack of steel washers that clear the insert, plus a heavy-duty one that fits the threaded post. The stack of washers are used a few at a time as spacers, with the fibre one against the body. The post itself then acts as a puller - as you tighten it up the insert pulls up through the washers. Keep pulling and adding more washers as the insert rises up.

    This method maintains compression of the timber and finish around the insert. I've seen where a repairer has used a slide-hammer to get them out and split the finish.

    Sometimes a judgement has to be made whether to heat the insert. Occasionally this is necessary just to break the bond if it's corroded. I just use a large soldering iron and it doesn't have to be super hot. About the temperature you'd use to remove a fret.
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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    I sometimes need to pull the post insert on elderly instruments and there's a risk of splitting the top around the insert as it's pulled out. The way I do it is this; Remove the post and find a hard fibre or nylon washer that's a close fit over the insert - I have some about an inch in diameter. Then I get a stack of steel washers that clear the insert, plus a heavy-duty one that fits the threaded post. The stack of washers are used a few at a time as spacers, with the fibre one against the body. The post itself then acts as a puller - as you tighten it up the insert pulls up through the washers. Keep pulling and adding more washers as the insert rises up.

    This method maintains compression of the timber and finish around the insert. I've seen where a repairer has used a slide-hammer to get them out and split the finish.

    Sometimes a judgement has to be made whether to heat the insert. Occasionally this is necessary just to break the bond if it's corroded. I just use a large soldering iron and it doesn't have to be super hot. About the temperature you'd use to remove a fret.
    Thanks.. that's really great advice and much appreciated. I wanted to hear from someone that has actually done it. There are videos with guys using a washer and a pvc fitting or even simply putting an appropriately sized nut in the bottom of the hole. Your washer method sounds preferable. As I'm sure you know old SGs and MMS are fragile in good condition. This one has been haphazardly reconstructed. But the inserts are in original wood. The ground wire was lost when the new wood was glued on 40 or so years ago. I routed the control cavity from the back of that.

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    It comes down to weighing up the risks. If there's an easy way to achieve the same outcome then take it. I've had to sleep on quite a few jobs before making a move, but always make sure I'm the one in control when it comes to working on old and/or valuable instruments. Sometimes you can get a long drill (sometimes called a crankshaft drill) in at an angle to contact the insert from the control cavity and use a slender screw to make contact with the insert and solder onto that. Assuming no hole exists, or if it's inconveniently located. The drills I have are about 7" long and range between 2mm and 4mm diameter. When necessary I'll braze on an extension, but that's pretty rare.

  17. #17
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    I thought of paisley, like Capton's SG. But if you saw it up close you would see it would never take a fine, detailed finish....
    Sounds like a job for... Formica.







    EDIT: Just to be technically correct - that's actually Wilsonart laminate, not Formica.
    https://www.wilsonart.com/laminate/v...tro-mint-y0236
    Last edited by rjb; 07-08-2017 at 08:15 AM.
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  18. #18
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Sounds like a job for... Formica.







    EDIT: Just to be technically correct - that's actually Wilsonart laminate, not Formica.
    https://www.wilsonart.com/laminate/v...tro-mint-y0236
    Wow... I really like that! Never entered my mind. I have an original Dani 59 DC made of it. The reason I used the plexiglass is because 1) I had it laying around and 2) One of my all time favorite guitars was my band mate's old MM that someone had mad a huge guardplate out of it and mounted a set of real PAFs in it. The plexiglass is very reflective to highfrequencies imho. But that's an idea. Make a large pickguard out of Formica and screw it down. Not sure I would laminate it. I can't do the whole guitar easily. The surface isn't flat. Honestly if you saw how messed up this thing is aesthetically you would laugh. But it plays and intonates as well or better than most. They made the neck right and the important parts are still old growth mahogany. Thanks for the link!

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    img_6364.jpgimg_6363.jpg

    So it's pretty much done and plays great. I finally just wrapped some solid core tinned copper wire around the bridge post, twisted and soldered it, then ran it under the pick guard through the pickup wire hole and soldered it to the back of the volume pot. No more buzz. The buzz wasn't awful to begin with. My only concern now is the P90 pickup height? I was trying to remember what it was like for my old 59-60 LP Jr. I had it screwed down to the wood first. Now I have it screwed down on top of the guard plate to the wood. The strings are pretty close to the poles now but the magnetic field does not seem to be affecting the sustain at all. The difference is it sounds dirtier than when it was a 1/4" lower, which I guess is what an overwound P90 is supposed to do? Anyway time to get a can of red lacquer, some clear lacquer, and a gold Gibson headstock waterslide. I may play it the next gig as is!
    Last edited by olddawg; 07-14-2017 at 02:18 AM.
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  20. #20
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    It's pretty,............in an ugly sort of way.
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    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

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    It reminds me of those quirky 60s/70s Yamaha guitars. I have one from '74 that looks like a Les Paul outline with the lower horn cut off. Earlier guitars are more extreme.

  22. #22
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    So... I thought I would use this at my gig Saturday even though I am still messing with the pickup height. Ain't going to happen. Lol! Other than maybe spraying some lacquer on it ALL I had to do is put the strap buttons on. I started to drill an 1/8th" pilot hole at the end of the body to install the screw for the strap button. Although I could see nothing but wood I hit a piece of metal! Very hard metal! The bit broke. I kept trying to back the bit out. I used vice grips. It kept breaking off! I finally took a Dremel motor and a grinding disc and ground the nub flat to the body. Argh! Now I have to figure out what to do to mount the strap button. I guess I'll get a brand new 1/4 inch bit for drilling steel and try again next to the nub! If I have to I'll tap some treads into it I suppose! I would have never have guessed there was metal in there! Frustrating!
    Last edited by olddawg; 07-15-2017 at 06:48 AM.

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    I've encountered hardened steel when drilling for endpin sockets in some budget acoustic guitars. Not a broken-off screw, but I think may be some kind of locating staple or something.

    When I get a broken drill or screw in timber I file a rough cutting edge on a piece of slim tubing - the hole needs to match the broken drill diameter. I then use this to remove the wood around the broken drill, which can then be rocked and then pulled to release it. If you have a lathe you can machine one out of silver steel (drill rod) and harden/temper it as a 'keeper' for future use.

    Even brass tube will stand up to single-use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    Believe it or not, it MAY be an early 60s SG Jr that got really busted up and someone tried to fix. No serial numbers, but I got it for $20 with the pickup, hardware and Badass bridge in around 1983.
    Funky cool, in a fugly way. And, if it plays and sounds good, it's good.

    Not sure about the "60's SG Jr." part, though. At least, not a Gibson. I realize you didn't specifically state that it was "a Gibson", but you didn't state it wasn't, either, so...

    Of course, it may well be, and someone went to great lengths to "de-Gibsonize" it, which makes no sense. But, then again, we've probably all seen people do some pretty dumb horrific things to instruments and amps that completely devalue them, so....

    The headstock. Shouldn't it be black, with the Gibson logo? It's red, and plain. It also doesn't look like it has quite the "curve" at the top of the headstock, as a Gibson? Serial number probably would have been stamped into the back? If it had been stolen, I guess I can see sanding that down.

    Tuners definitely aren't right. 60's Gibson would most likely have used white oval button tuners, most likely 3-to-a-side strip? Of course, those could have been replaced.

    Contour of the upper bout, and within the upper horn of the cutaway doesn't look right, and the bevel doesn't seem right. Of course, that could all have been hacked.

    It does have the right number of frets, but wondering about the neck-to-body join? Yours seems to have a smooth flow from neck to upper bout cutaway, starting right after the 20th fret. I don't think a Gibson does that? Neck is straight into body, and the body has a slight "step" right about the 22nd fret where the cutaways start?

    Obviously, the control pots are way in the wrong spot, as they should be closer to the edge of the bottom bout, but also obviously, the bottom has been drastically mangled, so that could explain that.

    I suppose the same could be said about the output jack. It should be on the face of the guitar, but it's not. I suppose that could have been a result of "fugly-izing" the thing?

    May be someone went to extraordinary measures to "de-Gibsonize" it. Could be it's a Japanese knock-off? I dunno. It could be a Gibson, but it would be hard to convince me.

    Not trashing it at all! Just bringing up some questions that anyone might ask, if trying to be convinced that it is a 60's Gibson SG Jr.

    Y'know what that thing might be really good for? With a nasty ol' P-90...and that lower cutaway out of the way?

    Put a slide on your pinky, and you'll have easy access clear up to that bridge...in case you feel like punishing an audience one night!

  25. #25
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad1 View Post
    Funky cool, in a fugly way. And, if it plays and sounds good, it's good.

    Not sure about the "60's SG Jr." part, though. At least, not a Gibson. I realize you didn't specifically state that it was "a Gibson", but you didn't state it wasn't, either, so...

    Of course, it may well be, and someone went to great lengths to "de-Gibsonize" it, which makes no sense. But, then again, we've probably all seen people do some pretty dumb horrific things to instruments and amps that completely devalue them, so....

    The headstock. Shouldn't it be black, with the Gibson logo? It's red, and plain. It also doesn't look like it has quite the "curve" at the top of the headstock, as a Gibson? Serial number probably would have been stamped into the back? If it had been stolen, I guess I can see sanding that down.

    Tuners definitely aren't right. 60's Gibson would most likely have used white oval button tuners, most likely 3-to-a-side strip? Of course, those could have been replaced.

    Contour of the upper bout, and within the upper horn of the cutaway doesn't look right, and the bevel doesn't seem right. Of course, that could all have been hacked.

    It does have the right number of frets, but wondering about the neck-to-body join? Yours seems to have a smooth flow from neck to upper bout cutaway, starting right after the 20th fret. I don't think a Gibson does that? Neck is straight into body, and the body has a slight "step" right about the 22nd fret where the cutaways start?

    Obviously, the control pots are way in the wrong spot, as they should be closer to the edge of the bottom bout, but also obviously, the bottom has been drastically mangled, so that could explain that.

    I suppose the same could be said about the output jack. It should be on the face of the guitar, but it's not. I suppose that could have been a result of "fugly-izing" the thing?

    May be someone went to extraordinary measures to "de-Gibsonize" it. Could be it's a Japanese knock-off? I dunno. It could be a Gibson, but it would be hard to convince me.

    Not trashing it at all! Just bringing up some questions that anyone might ask, if trying to be convinced that it is a 60's Gibson SG Jr.

    Y'know what that thing might be really good for? With a nasty ol' P-90...and that lower cutaway out of the way?

    Put a slide on your pinky, and you'll have easy access clear up to that bridge...in case you feel like punishing an audience one night!
    I got this thing around 1981 in a pile of stuff. None of the original finish or serial numbers are there. It's been totally reshaped and repainted several times and sanded to death. Some fool thought it would be cool to inlay a pick guard into it at one time. I believe the metal in it was either an attempt to balance it or strengthen the shattered body. About half the body is added ash I think. It came with replacement 70s Schallers on it (which was a common upgrade at the time on old beater guitars). The stop bridge incerts (in the original wood) are the old Gibson thread. The headstock shape, neck, short tenonneck joint, and what's left of the tight grained mahogany body wood appear to be consistent with an old SG/LP Jr. It even feels and sounds like one. It's just really been damaged, repaired, hacked up, reshaped, and abused! Lol! Btw.. I just now routed the control cavity and installed the control pots myself. It was a bitch because half the area was mahogany and half was ash. But who knows. Maybe the original damage was caused by an end pin coming lose and dropping it.. so they thought putting a chunk of steel in there would be more secure. Without an X-ray I won't know. I just need to get an end pin on it somehow and play it. I love "what the f@@k is that?" Guitars. That and the local asshole luthier told me to throw it in the trash when I was looking for a nut with the slim neck Gibson spec. I would love to say the $50 piece of trash outplays everything he has in his shop!
    Last edited by olddawg; 07-17-2017 at 06:10 AM.

  26. #26
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    img_6407.jpg

    So... there was at least an inch of steel in the butt of this guitar. I finally got a $4 brand new 1/8" titanium bit and drilled a hole. Them used a chromed countersunk self tapping screw to mount the strap button. The neck strap button was in Mahogany. The old beast sounds great, plays great, tunes great, intonates great, no hum... BUT... it's just neck heavy enough to bother me. The same reason I got rid of my 1963 Firebird VII (stupidly) as a kid. Maybe I'll get used to it. I used to play a lot of old SGs, Jrs, Specials, and modded MMS. Few had a neck drop. Now to get some red lacquer. Maybe I'll stick some lead in the control cavity! Lol. Seriously!
    Last edited by olddawg; 07-21-2017 at 03:39 AM.
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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    So I've used this funky old beast twice in the clubs as is. The first club had a lot of neon bar lights so it hummed (couldn't use my Strat in single pickup mode either) because of the P90. Second club was fine. People kept coming up between sets and asking what it was? Killer slide guitar.

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