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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
Joined
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6,916 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has been a few weeks in the making, but it's finally done!

A while ago I decided I need an Explorer in my life. I deeply regret selling my Thunderhorse, and have wanted to grab another one ever since.

Not often having the funds free for a Gibson, I thought I'd bide my time and grab a Korean-made Epiphone, since I can't stand what they're knocking out of China at the moment.

The idea was to grab a black/white Korina, and Les-Paul-Custom the shit out of it (I've always dug the black/gold colour scheme on short scale guitars).

Basically this.


Low and behold, I found a 2000 MiK at a great price on eBay, as it was a little battered, and in a terrible state....



Rust and tarnishing everywhere, on most of the hardware





Particularly the fretboard/frets, it was in a disgusting state....





^ This thing can fuck right off (I've always hated white pickguards on black bodies). You would not believe how difficult it is to find an off-the-shelf pickguard for an Explorer, it's nuts! I had to find a custom shop, send my guard off, and have it custom cut. There are guards out there, but they're mainly for the Gibson '76 shape, which has a slightly pointier lower horn, and a shallower angle coming away from the pickups.





More gross hardware ^


^ Black knobs are off, Gold ones on their way


MORE GOOOOOOOOOOLD :scream2:

Now that the fretboard has been de-gunked and lightly sanded down, it's time to dye it!


Not to completely "ebonize" it per se, but just to give the dehydrated and mistreated rosewood some more depth, richness, and altogether darken it.


Day one ^ after some drying time and wiping off with a cloth


Day two ^ more wiping


Day 3 ^ (post fret-dress too, nice shiny frets!) No more ebony dye coming off the cloth. Safe to restring.

Coming together...



^Pickups back in. I went back and forth on whether to put a gold cover on that SH6 in the bridge, but at this point I thought I'd leave it open.

Now, this is hilarious but, the custom shop where I was getting my guard cut had been experiencing some big delays thanks to their router-bit shitting the bed, and them having to order a new one.

I couldn't wait any longer as the guitar was practically ready to play, and I just wanted to get on with it, so I took a plastic Chinese take-away container and cut a triangle out of it to mount the 3-way selector switch on :lol:



but fuck it, it worked well enough for me to take it to rehearsal!



Then I changed my mind about the bridge pickup. I just thought to myself - you can get away with that look on a Les Paul, but on the Explorer it just didn't look right. So I ordered one...





^ STILL waiting for the pickguard to arrive at this point. It had been like two weeks since I received the guitar and sent the original guard off.

AND THEN :scream:...

















Fin.
 

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I don't like it.
Joined
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11,071 Posts
That Chinese take-away container switch plate is some serious Rocka level shit :lol:

Looks great now though!
 

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Dream Crusher
Joined
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21,053 Posts
Explorers are awesome :yesway:

Really dig the black + gold and black pickguard too. Good choice there!

How's the quality on that one? I had an Epi Korina a while back that sounded great but developed a ski jump where the fretboard met the body. Became almost unplayable.
 

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Guiterrorizer
Joined
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15,696 Posts
Matt that came out great.

Might I ask what you used to clean the gold hardware up?
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
Joined
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6,916 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks chaps! Very pleased with how it turned out. Cannot wait to gig it Saturday night.

Just to reiterate; That make-shift plastic pickguard from disposable food containers was an absolute temporary measure, whilst the custom shop was in possession of the original guard and making my new one. It wasn't an aesthetic choice, nor have I absolutely lost my shit :lol: Just something to hold the 3-way toggle so I could play the damn thing!

Matt that came out great.

Might I ask what you used to clean the gold hardware up?
A mixture of things, depending on the part, but basically any and all of the following;
Wire brushes,
Old toothbrushes,
Microfibre cloths,
2000+ grit wet & dry,
Fine wire wool,
Brasso
 

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Guiterrorizer
Joined
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15,696 Posts
That's quite a list. I own... old toothbrushes and microfibre :lol:
 
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