Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wear your ply with pride pt. 2

I've made more progress with the RR2V. It was fitted with a Washburn 600T tremolo which uses non-standard spacing (71mm vs 74mm) for the studs. Not only was this in poor condition and missing a fine tuner, I actually bought this guitar to rob for parts anyway. So I set about moving the studs out to the standard spacing.

First up I drilled out the old holes to 9mm.

Then plugged it with some 9mm dowel and left the glue to dry overnight. No attempt was made to make this pretty as it was only there so the drill had something to bite into.

Using a Floyd rose routing template I bought a while back, some guide lines drawn out from the neck and a bit of careful reckoning based on the old filled holes I marked up the new stud positions.

As the new studs are larger almost all the dowel got drilled away. This was a bit nerve racking as it's the first time I've had to mark up a bridge on a guitar, rather than just replacing some old studs.

With all this done, I quickly stuck some components in the body to get a feel for what it will look like. I'm not 100% sure about the very light colouring. Natural Danish Oil will darken it slightly but I'm tempted to use the 'mahogany stain' oil I have. I used this on the back of the KC90V I refinished so I've some idea what kind of colour it will come out. On that I roughed it up to do a kind of relic look, which didn't work too well but it should be OK if I put it on flat. I may try one coat of plain oil before committing to the darker oil as once it's on you can't really go back.

I also did lots and lots of sanding. I'd missed the odd spot of black paint but the body is covered in a very tough and thick layer of clear grain filler. It's taken literally hours and it's still not all gone. I'm going to have to go over it a little more before I can start with the oil. Where the corners where scuffed I sanded them until they're approximately even. I also rounded the body edges a little more to bring out the contrast with the dark ply underneath the light top.

Doing this work has shown up a few small things I need to get to finish this off, although nothing that will really stop me making progress. I also need to decide whether or not I want to route out underneath the tremolo baseplate to give it more upward range. I won't use this much but clouting the tremolo into the body always grates.

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