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Ibanez small semi-hollow .... Another Project!


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Posted (edited)

Still cleaning out my closet. I bought this small body Ibanez a looooong time ago intending to spiff it up. It was dirt cheap and actually in pretty nice shape save for a couple deep scratches in the  top and some buckle rash worming on the back. It also had silly tribal decals stuck over the fret markers (or so I thought, more later) . I figured I could save it by doing a top and back respray, peel the decals off the inlays and maybe throw a Bigsby and some better pickups on it. It arrived damaged and had taken a shock to the headstock that split the finish on the neck down both sides of the neck binding and chipped a chunk of the poly finish loose on one side of the neck. It was a hard enough hit to separate the fingerboard slightly from the neck. The seller filed a claim, got reimbursed by UPS, refunded me in full and said just keep it.  I started working on it, decided it was a lost cause, lost interest and nearly threw it out. It sat in the gig bag for about 10 years.

Out of boredom I decided to tackle it and sell it for whatever it brings. I wicked in some thinned Tightbond down the sides of the neck. clamped the fingerboard, scraped it smooth and moved on to the respray of top and back. I had already sanded out the deep scratches years ago and in one area sanded through the black into the brown. That was 10 years ago and I wasn't as wise back them. Today I would have just drop filled everything with CA and used black CA where the scratch went through to black into the brown.  Water over the dam at this point. I sanded, airbrushed the burst back in, clear coated and buffed. Next I have to respray the neck.

Like they say on Discovery Channel's "What on Earth?" ... "But there's a problem …"  Those tribal "stickers aren't stickers after all. I thought I was going to heat and scrape them right off. Nope. It looks like Ibanez engraved them into the inlay and filled them with black urethane. My apologies to you body art fans but it's crazy that Ibanez would make a classic styled guitar look like it went on a bender and stumbled into a tatoo parlor at 2:00A. I am going to try those fret marker stickers over the top and see if the strings catch the edges when bending. They will, I just know it, but I'm going to try it anyway. Also. I'm liking the look sans tailpiece (it had a mini-archtop style trapeze on it) so I may CA fill the bracket holes on the rim and throw a wrap-around bridge on it. The guitar is pretty much the same shape and size as a Gretsch DuoJet. It's kind of neat actually.

What I am most excited about, is when this is done, I can get back to these ladies in waiting: WBjgSW.jpg

Body painted and buffed:

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Neck ready for stain and respray (Tape is covering line in laminated neck. Aiming to do a spot repair only)

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Oh Lord … These are almost as bad as the "Lightning Bolt" Logo that looks like it belongs  on "Conky the Robot" from the old "PeeWee's Playhouse" show.

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Edited by 6down1togo
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what model was that? I vaguely recall seeing those inlays many years ago at a jam I was hosting...the guitar has a nice vibe, kind of similar to the George Benson model.

 

and...that finish is crying out for gold hardware...I'm jus'sayin'...

no hard case though?

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Posted (edited)

I got a gig bag with it. It's a small body thinline, same size as DuoJet or Les Paul. You don't see too many of them. It's actually kinda cool with the ribbon mahogany back and rim. Neck is 3 piece. Maple up the center and mahogany on either side. Hate those inlays though, probably the straw that broke the camel's back when I couldn't just peel them off and gave up on it.

Here's a pic of the one I had before this one. It had normal block inlays with an abalone bar. I sold it, missed it and bought this one to replace it because I just couldn't find another anywhere even watching eBay constantly.

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Edited by 6down1togo
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I’m mildly intrigued by this project. I like the fret markers better than the silly PRS birds anyway. Don’t mind the lightning bolt either. I’ll be following. Thanks for posting 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah. Different model year. Single cut was probably like that too if they were still in production.

I was going to put a wrap-tail bridge on it and respray the headstock face, blacking out the logo but I'm thinking why bother if just to sell. Better off unmolested though the fret markers are going to get an upgrading to look just like the jazz box.

Here is the size compared to a Gretsh DuoJet and an Ibanez Jazz Box. It is thinner than the Duo Jet also.

 

 

 

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Edited by 6down1togo
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Up to my neck in this one. Basically, I select a stain pen and color the sanded area to get close to color, using my fingertip to feather the stain around the repair area, spray with lacquer toner(in this case Mohawk Encore Brown) followed by lacquer coats, a light wet-sand and buff. I love this Mohawk Ultra-Flo Lacquer for touch-ups. It flows out almost perfectly smooth and blends with lacquer and polyurethane equally well. It went on so smooth I almost didn't need to wet sand, but I did anyway (for all of 15 seconds!) and buffed a paper towel and a drop of ScratchOut followed by a microfiber cloth polishing.

Before:                                                                                            After:

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Upon closer examination, it looks like the prior owner swapped tuners and the screws were larger than the original holes causing the finish to crack down from the tuner mounting screws . I am thinking this is case as the tuner buttons are Grover style and way too big for the headstock and some screws are run in cockeyed. Ibanez doesn't do crap like that. Time for a CA drop fill of the cracks next and I should be done.

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Posted (edited)

For sure. It's a lesser of 2 evils because if he did drill the holes out, you know he would have drilled right through the headstock face too! lol

Best part is I never even noticed it until now. Glad I did. A buyer would rightfully pitch a bitch over it.

I am looking at the ridiculous logo on the front, it's gotta go.

Edited by 6down1togo
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Here it is waiting on the new fret inlays to arrive. It came out pretty spectacular. The foam under the tailpiece is to keep it from chipping the new finish without strings. I threw on some smaller tuner keys from the parts drawer to better suit the headstock size and shape. In one of my better moments of clarity, I decided against spraying out the Ibanez logo and changing the tailpiece to a wrap-around. This way I avoid the headstock break inquisition should someone discover a finish flaw and it's not going to sell for a dollar more regardless of what tailpiece is on it.

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Turning out really nice. Glad to hear you relented on the headstock logo. The position marker inlays seem like extra work for little benefit but YMMV. Can't wait to see the final result. :thu:

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Thanks. I am happy with the way it turned out. I could literally sell it as original but I wouldn't do that. I deal from the top of the deck and will advise of the repairs and respray.

I am going to throw on the self-stick fret markers and advise the seller the original inlay tribal markers are underneath. If they like the tribal thing, they can peel them off. If not, I still have half a chance someone will bite on it. This one proudly says Made in China on the label. Not sure if a serial number search would reveal a manufacturing date.

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Posted (edited)

Well, another plan shot to hell. I ordered a set of abalone fret marker overlays thinking I could trim them to  cover the tribal inlays and leave a pearl surround. They looked really nice but unfortunately were too narrow to work. There was no way the seller was going to measure every one and report back given they were only $4.00. I ordered a $9.00 set of block inlay stickers from another seller in white pearl, There was no abalone available. I had to trim the height on one and one was slightly narrow so I used a stain pen to hide the edges of the inlay under the sticker. I could have trimmed them all to fit just inside the existing  inlays but I'm tired of fooling with this project and just want to sell it and move on. What a great little guitar though, plays  and sounds like a champ.

The abalone. Some would have fit, some not.

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The pearl block overlays. I did some bends and the strings don't catch the edges at all as they have a slight bevel to them. 

They are made from a metal foil and once they're down, there's no peeling back up and repositioning. .:

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Edited by 6down1togo
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16 hours ago, Emory said:

Great job. I'd keep the original inlays showing, but that's just me. Like the tailpiece.

I would have too but to each his/her own.

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