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  • My vote would be:

    no guard

    rosewood (or similar dark matching wood/grain) truss rod cover (isn't the headstock veneer rosewood? or use whatever you used for the headstock). That one is too busy/jarring, and a cheap black plastic cover simply doesn't suit the guitar. A cover that matches the headstock would look very classy.


    Agreed on all counts.

    I think it looks great without the pickguard. Normally, I like pickguards, but with this particular guitar, it doesn't seem like the PG belongs. I also think a dark wood truss rod cover is in order; the sunburst doesn't look right and the black plastic one doesn't fit either. Keep up the great work, and keep posting updates!
    Guitars: Seagull S6+CW, Epiphone LP Standard, Ovation CU247, Gretsch G5120, Seagull S12 (w/ JJB Prestige 330), Martin GPCPA3 Mandolins: Mid-Missouri M-2, WWII-era Octave MandolinAmps: Fender Princeton Chorus, Marshall AVT50H/AVT412, Crate VC120HEffects: EBow > AKG Wireless > Boss TU-2 > Boss PH-3 > EHX Doctor Q > Dunlop 535 Wah > Boss OS-2 > Boss EQ-20 > Boss CH-1 > Boss NS-2 > Boss RV-3
    LHGCC Participant ~ Jimmy Caper

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    • Since you're asking, I think that one would look great in a "black guard" treatment - like this with a black guard:



      Suggestion FWIW: While you have it still apartable, perhaps line the electronic cavities with copper tape which you then run to ground. This provides shielding and helps reduce noise issues. I've found using a star ground throughout with 50's wiring is also a marked improvement over stock.
      --------------------------------
      www.VerneAndru.com

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      • Agreed on all counts.

        I think it looks great without the pickguard. Normally, I like pickguards, but with this particular guitar, it doesn't seem like the PG belongs. I also think a dark wood truss rod cover is in order; the sunburst doesn't look right and the black plastic one doesn't fit either. Keep up the great work, and keep posting updates!
        Agree - rosewood or ebony

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        • no guard
          CHICAGO, IL
          NO COAST PUNK/ROCKABILLY/PSYCHOBILLY
          Bluff city records/studios
          the SIX STRING SINNERS
          TOO CLOSE TO PERFECT
          LIVING IN VANS


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          • Suggestion FWIW: While you have it still apartable, perhaps line the electronic cavities with copper tape which you then run to ground. This provides shielding and helps reduce noise issues. I've found using a star ground throughout with 50's wiring is also a marked improvement over stock.


            Verne, what is a star ground? I have grounding issues with my paul.
            Member of the Mazi Bee Militia
            Current Guitar Gear - 03 Gibson Les Paul Classic, 03 Highway One Strat, 92 Gibson AJ, 2001 Martin 000-16GT
            Amps - '60 Ampeg Mercury M12, Marshall Class 5, '73 Vibro Champ, Fender Custom Vibrolux Reverb
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            • Verne, what is a star ground? I have grounding issues with my paul.


              All grounds go to a central grounding point. I use a washer that takes to solder. Makes for a big concentration of wires, but it eliminates any chance of a ground loop, which is the number one source of hum after the pickups themselves. Common wiring is to do things like use the casings of pots as ground terminals and wire those together, which is were ground loops happen.

              google is your friend - lots of articles on this especially for strats. Principles are the same...
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              www.VerneAndru.com

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              • Verne, that is a bit of a coincidence. I am dealing with some ground issues in my work - we use something called "variable frequency drives" to control the speeds of motors. They produce a spectrum of high frequency signals which radiate as electromagnetic interference, which then is picked up by sensitive wiring such as ethernet cables. We uses shielded cables for the wires from the vfd's to their motors, but if the shields are not properly grounded it can be worse - electrical cabinets can become great big antennas radiating the EMI rather than containing it.

                I've got this wired pretty much follow the classic grounding systme (tying all the pot cases togther and bonding that to the ground lug on the jack with a big pice of flexible strap. If I have any problem I will follow your advice - it makes sense.

                Got a nice tree which I stood up in the garage against the band saw. Guess that means I can't cut out the rosewood truss rod cover for a couple of days. In the mean time there are some details to wrap up - mainly the setup.

                I've set up quite a few acoustics for different styles of play but never an electric so I'm kind of winging it here. If you guys have any suggestions on measurements please let me know - I'm going to start like it was an acoustic with light strings and low action. I've already cut the nut slots very close to the zero fret line, when I put a capo at 3 there is just a hair of clearance at 1. Measuring the clearance with no capo I've got about 0.010 on the high E and 0.020 on the low.

                I've had strings on it for a week tuned to pitch to give the neck a chance to take whatever curve it wants. Putting a capo on 1 and holding the string down at the neck joint (16) I measure about 0.010 at 8 - that is about where a bluegrass flat picker would want it but I prefer something around 0.004. A couple of 1/8 turns tighter on the truss rod adjuster brings it to 0.004 (this is another of those Photobucket rotated pictures, I'm tired of trying to get them back so please bear with me)



                Having sanded saddles on dozens of acoustics I love the bridge on this thing. It was a new bridge and had small lines cut in each saddle, I used my nut files to make slots that are slightly deeper than half the string depth - just like a nut. Then I just cranked the adjusting screws up and down until the action at 12 was about 0.080 on the low E and 0.070 on the high E (maybe a hair lower). This is cool little gauge from StewMac that makes reading the string height really easy - much better than the machinist rule that I used for years. (another apology about the focus - kind of hard to take pictures while I'm doing this stuff).



                Next I plugged it in to my strobe tuner and set the intonation. Tuned each string to pitch, then fretted at 12. If it was sharp I just moved the saddle back, retuned and rechecked. Another good way is to compare the fretted note with the harmonic - you can do that by ear. Again, this is so much easier and more accurate that an acoustic



                As a last check that the action isn't too low (or that I don't have a high fret) I just simply play each note at each fret all the way up the board, listening for buzzes. Guess what, at about 19 every fret started buzzing - oh crap, I've got a high fret. Looking a little closer I realized that they were buzzing against the edge of the pickup ring - I had put the damn ring on backwards. Pulled the strings, removed the pup, took the ring off and turned it around (those little springs want to jump out and hide in the clutter on my work bench). Put it all back together and called it a night - I'll restring it tomorrow and tweak the pups, but right now a cold IPA is calling.

                Anyway - my action right now is 0.004 relief, nut 0.010 high E and 0.020 low, 12th fret 0.065 high E and 0.080 low. Pole pieces are all about 3/32 to the strings, I know I need to balance those by ear. If you all have better ideas please let me know - I'm in uncharted waters.

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                • I just discovered this thread and had to go back and read the whole thing. Wow. Freeman, while I respect your reluctance to call yourself a luthier, hobbyist woodworker seems wholly inadequate. To me, this is a master class in guitar building. I wonder how many of the professional guitar techs in my area would put this much care and skill into a similar project. Simply stunning!

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                  • That looks awesome
                    RIP Saramago


                    "Guitar playing, as currently understood, has more to do with sports than it does to do with music. It's an Olympic challenge type of situation. The challenges are in the realm of speed, redundancy, choreography, and grooming... clouds of educated gnat-notes." FZ


                    “If I left you alone in the woods with a hatchet… How long before you could send me an e-mail? JR

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                    • Freeman, that is spectacular.
                      _____________________________________
                      Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

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                      • Absolutely fantastic. One of the few threads that made me read every single post on it
                        Thanks for the comprehensive collection of illustrative pictures.
                        That really shows the amount of work and craftsmanship... makes one (or at least me) to venerate the instrument a lot more!
                        Especially now when I'm about to get my 3rd custom-made guitar any day soon.
                        If you ain't first, you are last!

                        my gearlist

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                        • SCORE!

                          I think I mentioned that I didn't own an amplifier and wasn't completely sure what I was going to do. A friend offered me a loaner to set the guitar up and play it while I figured out what I wanted. However over the holiday we visited my family in Portland and while the girls were shopping for Christmas dresses, my son (remember my son, he is the cause of all of this sillyness) said "dad, lets you and me do a little shopping too". We went to a wood working tool store so Tom could get a router bit and I was very good - drooled over a lot of cool things but resisted. We went to a nice model shop (I've been want to get back into building a model or two as soon as the shop is clear) but again, Tom picked up something he needed, my visa stayed in my pocket. We thought we'd go to GC and just look at amps - Tom said he could explain different features and models and then, right in the middle of the used section was



                          My son said "dad, that would be perfect. In fact, if you don't buy it I probably will". We took a Les Paul off the wall, plugged it in and played around (remember the second problem is that I don't know how to play electric guitar). So here is this grey bearded old fart sitting in the middle of Guitar Center with a silver and black Les Paul playing Alices Resturant (it was Thanksgiving, after all).

                          Anyway, it sounded pretty good and the darn thing followed me home - Gibson GA20RVT. The standby switch pops a bit when turned off but othewise seems to be in pretty nice shape. What 'cha all think - will this give me the vintage bluesy sound that I think I want?


                          Hey, I am gonna send you a quick PM about your amp's pop. I would just put it here, but this thread is about your guitar, which is turning out beautifully....
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                          • Love build threads, GOOD times!

                            Very very nice work. Subscribed
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                            • Nicely done, sir!
                              Very informative.
                              I've been following with particular interest, in that I've got a '58 V in the planning stages & tennon length, neck pocket/neck angles are on my mind these days & it's cool to be able to see these things being done.
                              don;t always remember this so...best to all!
                              education...how ya gonna know what to do...'less ya know what to do
                              people will not always believe what you say
                              but they have no choice but to believe what you do
                              studied as a science...practiced as an art

                              my build threads:

                              archtop #1 mahogany/maccasar ebony
                              archtop #2 maple/brazilian ebony
                              GreatDanes blacktop Les Paul
                              purpleheart/maple neck-through

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                              • Freeman - I agree redoing grounds at this point would be a lot of work. Wish I'd found the thread before you put the cap on the body as that would have been the ideal time to do the cavity shielding. As long as you don't have any ground loops and you stick to the vanilla wiring scheme, it shouldn't be that noticeable. It becomes critical when you start doing things like splitting coils, out-of-phase, etc.

                                I would recommend you look into 50's wiring though. It is a simple rewiring of the volume/tone pots that lets you roll down your volume without the tone muddying up. It's the way Gibson's were done in the 50's and is particularly important when running a couple humbuckers.
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