Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Westbone on Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:16 pm

Looking good...Cool

Now a bit of edge radius routing. Don't go against the grain will rip chunks out. Or are you gonna just sand it back?

Got a good few clamps there mate...Smile

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:19 pm

some neck work today...
the neck had numerous dings and dinks, some left chunks of the finish missing, others just big dents
stripped off the finish

found this under the finish (clearcoat+black paint+clear sealer) probably stamped on the raw wood before the sealer was applied.

going to put a veneer on the headstock too

i shaped a block of maple to press the veneer tight to the curve
i used a common household iron set to full up and steamed the wood until i could flex it a bit, then i clamped it to the neck and left it to cool i will trim it up and glue it in place tomorrow

back to working on the body...
i was afraid i would make a fatal mistake with a router, i also did not have a router bit with a radius to match the body, so i used a scraper to trim back the veneer and shape the edge radius. quite easy and low risk for accidental damage
after that, and a bit of sand paper, it now looks like this

i will need to do a little bit of filler around the edge where the glue did not get fully to the edge. only a couple small sections to fill.
my intention is to make the edges black or dark brown. i am considering doing that across the back as well. many factors in play for how to proceed with the back- weight, thickness at neck pocket, control cavity cover fitment.

i do plan to move the jack to the side, have not made a final decision on pickups or hardware yet

mostly pretty happy with the results so far...
Very Happy

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Barry on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:48 pm

Looks beautiful...in a Paduak sort of way.

I think we have another entry for the Mods & Restos section of the web site!

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by corsair on Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:57 am

Padauk vibe for sure!

Stewmac superthin CA glue and whiptips will get in under those edges, mate; I had to use that approach on my Urchin in a couple of spots.

Looks pretty sweet already, eh!! Love the matching headstock... you gonna leave the back of the neck unfinished?

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Westbone on Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:10 am

Thought about the bridge height to neck pocket depth?
Quite a thick top on that now.

As for side jack inputs these are simple to fit and neat.

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:12 pm

got the neck pocket depth taken care of...

here is the shim compared to the new top


the shim will get glued in, then finish work to the edges to blend into the rest of the body

after getting to this point, the weight is now is 4lbs. 14oz., more than half a pound heavier than factory issue. i should have removed more wood from the front side before the zircote top...

Thinking scratch

i have decided to go for zircote on the rear too.

but instead of getting heavier by just adding more wood, i thought i had better plane the rear side of the body a bit more than i did the front, so that overall the body doesn't become too thick and clunky. so i took about a quarter inch off the back with a planer.

and to provide a further reduction in the overall weight, i did some work with a router...

now the weight is 4lbs. 4oz.
Smile
also glued up the headstock veneer

next step is to prepare the zircote for the backside of the body...
in case you had not noticed yet, i'm making this up as i go along lol!

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by corsair on Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:06 pm

... and doing admirably!

This is fun!!

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Barry on Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:23 pm

Yer a wild and crazy guy Mike! A chambered Specky!

Wonder what affect it'll have on the sound if any.

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Westbone on Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:01 pm

Gonna need some looooooooooong neck screws...Cool

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by corsair on Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:41 pm

Westbone wrote:Gonna need some looooooooooong neck screws...Cool

True!! Maybe this needs the woodscrews replaced with inserts in the heel and proper bolts through the body into said inserts?!?

I've no doubt Mike has thought about this and has a plan..... don't you, mate?!? Laughing

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Westbone on Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:29 pm

corsair wrote:
Westbone wrote:Gonna need some looooooooooong neck screws...Cool


I've no doubt Mike has thought about this and has a plan..... don't you, mate?!? Laughing
Did ya mate!.... Laughing

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:43 pm

a plan? Roll on Floor Laff  this is pretty much just making it up as i go along. i am a total novice just playing around and having fun and discovering what might be possible. gaining experience at little cost. my time is free, and these materials are inexpensive.

i was concerned that the body would be too thick and heavy and just look clunky if i just added layers front and back. i did not remove enough wood from the front side to adequately compensate for the thickness of the zircote i added. i was still feeling cautious with how much to remove.

my decision to cover the back with zircote came about because i figured it would be too much work to get a smooth finish over the maple. there was a reason for the thin veneer* being there in the first place. but it was damaged badly and i already removed that layer anyhow.

this time i took a significantly larger amount off the backside of the guitar body, easily as much as the thickness of the neck pocket shim. so as it is now and before the backside veneer is added, the thickness at the neck pocket should be nearly identical to original. i'll have to measure and compare. i was hoping to reuse the original screws and neckplate if possible.

i still have the backside of the body to cover so it will probably end up slightly thicker, depending on the thickness of the veneer at the backside of the neck pocket. i haven't made up any pieces to cover the back yet.


*- while doing some research during the course of this project, i found a place to buy some very thin veneer to do a project like this with much less work.
look -> here

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:12 pm

was working the neck today

the curve got glued down nicely, this is before trimming off the top edge and opening the hole for the truss rod

the zircote is very brittle, i had some little bits tear out when filing around the holes for the tuners. the broken bit on the lower edge got glued to the clamp and broke off when the clamp got removed.
the truss rod cutout worked nicely.

i'll have some small repairs to do, and a bit more finish work to smooth all the edges on the headstock
Cool
i'm taking off tomorrow morning for a holiday trip. be gone about a week and then i'll be back with more of this fun

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:24 pm

here is a quick mock-up of the project so far
Gotoh wrap-around bridge
chrome trim for the pups
standard issue tuners
paper logo cut-out
just two knobs for show, will have a 3-way switch as well (original layout on the ST)

Gotoh bridge will be stud mounted
the washers and nuts cover most of the defects near the tuning pegs, so that stuff will be  easy to fix and not really too noticeable when finished.
the two tone effect with the maple/zircote looks nice, but it will not remain. i am going to do a dark color to conceal the maple, leaving the zircote grain as the primary visual component with the chrome to provide contrast
the neck will get a light amber finish

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by corsair on Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:24 am

Be a shame to hide the maple, Mike - it gives the headstock a sort-of bound look, eh!! It is however gonna look real good, eh! That wood looks like a bugger to do anything with...

Are those white knobs or clear? I've used clear ones on my rat and think they look the goods!

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by The Chad on Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:43 pm

Looking good, the experience you gain is even better. 

Going with a slightly lighter shade on the maple may work, I can see that happening.  It will blend well and hide anything that you don't want obvious.   

My 2 cents... DIRECT MOUNT for the humbuckers, forget those dumb rings!

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by The Chad on Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:48 pm


Can you see the direct mount on here?  It would look great.

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:43 am

i think i may need to use some pickup rings on it since i made a goof on the edge of the bridge pickup rout, and the rings do cover it up. i may try to patch it up and see if it will look alright. Thinking

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:09 am

and now some pics Cool
these past few days i got the back side glued on and trimmed up. some spots around the edges (back and front) need a little filler and still more sanding to be ready for finish work, but getting close.

today i routed for the cavity cover, fine tuned it to fit using scrapers and sandpaper.

used a router to enlarge the cavity to accommodate a side mounted jack.

Drink Beer

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by corsair on Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:24 am

Looking fine!!

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Barry on Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:09 am

I've just been reviewing this project Mike. Very impressive work. Smile

Now that you have shaved the overall thickness and "veneered" the back have you had a chance to check the overall weight? Looking at the chambering pic I wondered if that weight reduction might be offset by the maple block you put into the old trem cavity?

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by The Chad on Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:27 am

They actually made a Phoenix that way, remember that one?

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:10 am

Barry wrote:
Now that you have shaved the overall thickness and "veneered" the back have you had a chance to check the overall weight? Looking at the chambering pic I wondered if that weight reduction might be offset by the maple block you put into the old trem cavity?

i have not weighed it after putting the back piece on. last time i did check, the trem cavity was already filled.

the last piece of wood to fit in place is the spacer in the neck pocket. after i get that where i like it, i'll pull out the scale again and check the weight of the unfinished, unloaded body.

i'm guessing the playing weight will end up close to the original. i will not be using a tremolo and will deduct the weight of: the precision tremolo, 3 springs, spring clip, trem cavity cover, string locks, hex wrench holder, and 16 screws of various sizes. then, only adding back in a tailpiece and studs & anchors.

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Barry on Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:14 am

Every little bit helps! Smile

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by gittarasaurus on Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:42 pm

Chores 2
almost done!
here it is, fully assembled with hardware, pickups, knobs etc, and completely functional
i wanted to assemble everything to make sure it was going to work correctly before i spend a bunch of time doing all the finish.


playing weight: 8 pounds 2 ounces (same as my Spectrum LX, without whammy bar)
plugged it in and played for a while today and i'm quite happy with the feel of it.
string height is nice, intonation is good too.  Cool
all ready to tear it down once more to apply final finish. probably take a few weeks due to all the steps involved. (grain filler, sanding, sealer, paint, lacquer, polishing)
and now i know it will be a working guitar at the end of it all. cheers

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

Post by Barry on Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:51 pm

Nice going Mike. You must be happy about getting the weight under control.
That's one bad ass geetar right there!

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Re: Spectrum ST - from butchered to... butcher-block?

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