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I Am Become Death, Destroyer of Guitars


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Background:

I want more scalloped-necked guitars with stainless steel frets.

The one I have, I don't think has stainless steel frets, it has banjo/firebird tuners (which I don't really like), and between the 5-way pickup selector switch and the Triple Shot rings, it is complicated to run (I finally understand @murkatadvocating simplicity in controls). Plus, there's a semi-loose connection somewhere that I haven't taken the time to hunt down yet.

So I kind of bought a few different cool bodies to add Warmoth necks to.

One of the reasons I did this is I have a guitar MichaelB gave me, but I never play it. So I thought I'd add a different neck to it. I intended to use the old Rosewood on Rosewood Tele neck on an old refinished Yamaha RGX body. The seller had a strat neck in it, I bought the body only...when it arrived, I found it had a tele neck pocket.  But, being Yamaha I guess, the screw holes aren't in a standard tele position.  So I filled the holes with epoxy and tried to drill new ones.  I must have screwed up the angle, because trying to drive the screws in, I broke one off in the neck:

I think what I did wrong was put the body face down on the neck, and try to hold it in position as I drilled.

IMG-7872.jpg

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Next up!

Because Warmoth necks are expensive, and because the first one I ordered took nearly 2 months to arrive and I didn't want to wait that long, I ordered two scalloped necks from China.  Without stainless steel frets, but if I end up really liking the guitars, I can always replace them with Warmoths.

Also, the reason that neck took too long from Warmoth?  They made a mistake on it, had to start from scratch.  This is Goncalo Alves on Goncalo Alves? Have you *EVER* seen a less attractive piece of wood? (TWSS)  I can't see what the damage/repair is in the photo, tho.

CBS Strat® Replacement Neck - CBS Strat® Replacement Necks - Guitar Necks (warmoth.com)

The one they sent me to replace it was, if anything, worse.

SN-30830a.JPG.jpg

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So this time I held the body vertically, put the neck in the pocket, and held it in place as I drilled.  Then put in the screws.

I think the drill bit I used was too small, because it seemed like the neck didn't fully seat on the bridge end.  Also, I'm not quite sure the alignment is actually correct.

 

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IMG-7873.jpg

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Now, with the Warmoth necks, I got one with a telecaster end. Paid for them to NOT drill holes.  Intent was to put it in tele body from MichaelB.  But now I realize that:

1) since it is a Warmoth body, I should be able to order a tele-heel neck with standard bolt hole alignment and completely sidestep any drill problems.

2) Since this neck doesn't have holes yet, maybe it should just go on the Yamaha body, and I save up until I can get another neck for the tele body.

The guitar bodies in question, and the scalloped Canary fretboard on Roasted Maple (Warmoth made up for the bad Goncalo Alves figuring on this one):

IMG-7877.jpg

IMG-7878.jpg

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If that weren't enough, BOTH of the quilted bodies I got, both of which the seller said previously had Warmoth necks in (different sellers), have the bolt holes in a non-standard configuration.

Dunno if you can see it, but it's like the neck pocket is just 1/8th of inch too short for the screws to go in.  So I'll have to epoxy and redrill TWICE.  

I'm thinking that at this point, I should just take it to a luthier.  But I don't think i trust the guy at Guitar Center...any recommendations in the DC area?

IMG-7881.jpg

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I haven't actually ordered the neck for the natural quilted body yet. It has lots of gold on it, so I'm thinking about just embracing the gold hardware.

If I do, I'll accept that i have enough scalloped necks, and just go with a non-scalloped one so I can get the gold pearloid inlays and gold fretwire. The body in question, then Wenge on Canary, then Ziricote on Roasted Maple

 

IMG-7876.jpg

canary wenge.PNG

roasted maple ziricote.PNG

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That pickguard has a film on it. Once everything's done, it will have a mirror red pickguard. Until I get tired of it, and then I'll swap it out for a black one (which was my original plan before I received the guitar and realized that was film covering it)

IMG-7862.jpg

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Also, on the one guitar that I did seem to get the neck attached correctly (one of the Chinese scalloped necks, put onto a fender body), the nut seems too high. Plus, being a cheap neck from China, I am pretty sure it's just a plastic nut. I know I can get a graph tech tusq nut for cheap.  It doesn't *seem* like it would be difficult to replace.


Is it?

The one thing I've learned from all this is NOTHING is as easy as it seems.

Graph Tech PT-5000-00 BLACK TUSQ XL 1-3/8" E-to-E Slotted Fender-Style Guitar Nut | Reverb

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Finally, if I do decide to use the canary/roasted maple neck on the Yamaha and get a new Warmoth neck with standard tele holes for the white-washed tele body, what goes with that body?

I'm thinking of going really wild, like a Canary fretboard on a Purpleheart neck.  Or maybe a Purpleheart fretboard on a Padouk neck.  For some reason, their tool makes the purpleheart look MUCH more purple as a neck than as a fretboard.

I've contacted them to ask if I can get a strat-headstocked baritone conversion with a tele neck pocket, which they currently don't allow on the builder tool.

Any other suggestions?

padouk purpleheart.PNG

purpleheart canary.PNG

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24 minutes ago, Dave Scepter said:

That screw will be a bugger to get out... Next time lubricate the screw with soap 

oh...

I guess I should have asked before trying.

Thanks.

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Nate, may I suggest some decaf?

That broken screw is going to suck. If you have a Dremel with a thin abrasive disk, you could cut a slot in the top of it and - maybe - back it out with a screwdriver. Good luck!

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2 hours ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

oh...

I guess I should have asked before trying.

Thanks.

Did you drive the screw in with a drill and bit?.. if so, DON'T..

 Make sure you screw it in by hand with a screwdriver 🪛 

I always clamp the body to the neck "using the body holes as a guide" while drilling the neck..  but 1st (mark the depth of the drill bit with tape) so you don't drill through the fretboard 

Edited by Dave Scepter
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Yup. Soap (or beeswax) is a must. I go in three ticks (by hand) and back out one. 3 in, 1 out.  Keep repeating until done.  If it starts getting too tight (purely a judgement call), I back out all the way, reapply the wax, and start again. 

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26 minutes ago, scottcald said:

I'm no expert, I've only drilled neck holes once, but did the put both E strings on, line up and clamp before I drilled.  Love that grain though!

that makes sense, too.

I have assembled guitars before and never had these kinds of problems. I guess I had just been lucky.

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Ok, so you've screwed the pooch, but it's fixable. Get a small high quality vice grip with a pointy nose on it. Not one of those long jaw jobs but a shorty that has some good grip. Then carefully drill around the screw just enough to get a damn good grip on it. After the screw is removed, find a piece of Rosewood and cut a plug with a 3/8 or 1/2" plug cutter. Then carefully bore with forsner bit or a hole bore drill ( the plug cutters and hole bore should be in the same kit for perfect fit) glue and clamp the plug in. Then cut the plug off flush and sand smooth.

That's how I'd fix it if you brought it to me. Oh and keep the grain the same on the plug. You have to look for the repair when completed!

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Milescraft-3-Piece-Plug-Cutter-Set/50192299?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-tol-_-bng-_-PLA_TOL_215_Power-Tool-Accessories-_-50192299-_-Online-_-0-_-0&ds_rl=1286981&msclkid=a953d3d5882511e822f5b0dc85a7f3b0&gclsrc=ds

Edited by Dutchman
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1 hour ago, scottcald said:

I'm no expert, I've only drilled neck holes once, but did the put both E strings on, line up and clamp before I drilled.  Love that grain though!

And a third "this". There is no better straight edge than the strings, you can easily get it perfect.

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7 hours ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

Any suggestions on how to get it out?

In the future, drill holes that are 1 size smaller that the screw you're going to use. Coat the threads of the screws with small amount of bar soap before screwing them in.

If you snap a screw, there are several kits available to remove them.

 

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