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OldSchool Blacksmith
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm kicking around the idea of finding a beater Jackson or Ibby or the like SS in a local pawn shop, then having at it to customize it totally to what I want (single humbucker, fixed bridge, tone & volume knob). Then give it some crazy paint scheme/finish. Seems like something I'd enjoy screwing around with for the next year or two that will scratch the new guitar itch and be a fun project. Taking some neglected guitar from the Island of Misfit Toys and bringing it to life with technology, lightening and maybe a little necrosis...

Anyone done something like this? I know plenty have gone the Warmoth route, but I'm more into the "poor kid from the Van Halen family made due with what he could afford" route.

Thoughts? Ideas? Advice from those who tried and learned new things?
 

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Not baked anymore.
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3,555 Posts
I have a firm belief that if you've got a good body and a good neck, everything else can be changed out to get it to perfection. It's the main reason I have no problem buying mid-level guitars. I'm doing this with an RG470 I snagged for $60 a couple years ago, it's getting converted into a JEM GMC (green swirl) after I finish my Strat project. Actually, my Strat project involves taking a Made In Mexico Strat and converting it entirely to vintage specs, minus the neck size. New tuners, bridge, pickguard/pick-ups, even the finish on the neck and body are getting the poly finish stripped off and sprayed with nitro. Finishing the body today unless I get the bug to go in the studio.

Have at it, man!
 

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Premium Member
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549 Posts
My Bumblebee started out as a charvette by Charvel. I originally just filled the switch hole and single coil holes and made it a 1 humbucker guitar, painted it and added a cheap neck. Over the years Ive added a compound radius neck, bone nut, floyd trem, NOS Peavey wolfgang pickup, bourns pot and a stutter switch.

Front.jpg
 

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Guiterrorizer
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If you have no expectations of recouping any sort of finances from it, and you have the time and money - swing into it. :yesway:
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My Bumblebee started out as a charvette by Charvel. I originally just filled the switch hole and single coil holes and made it a 1 humbucker guitar, painted it and added a cheap neck. Over the years Ive added a compound radius neck, bone nut, floyd trem, NOS Peavey wolfgang pickup, bourns pot and a stutter switch.

View attachment 26056
What did you fill the pickup hole with? I've heard all sort of things from wood blocks with glue filler to wood putty to [insert random thing here]...
 

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Premium Member
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What did you fill the pickup hole with? I've heard all sort of things from wood blocks with glue filler to wood putty to [insert random thing here]...
I used Durhams wood putty. You mix it with water so you have to wait for it to cure fully it may shrink a bit but you can go back with another thin coat. If I were to do it again I would cut a block close to the size and tite bond it in then putty any gaps. I didnt wait long enough before the paint and it shrank so you can still faintly see where there were single coils. I also was inpatient with the paint and cleared it too early and my paint started to bubble. Instead of re-doing it I just wet sanded it and it came out with a relic look, that looked like it was a legit 80s guitar that had been around the block. I remember when I first got it together, Bigdave said
"in the 80s I would have beat you over the head and killed you for this guitar"

https://www.amazon.com/Donald-Durha...=1550968526&sr=8-1&keywords=durham+wood+putty
 

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Premium Member
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Hella fun! The Ibanez RG321 is the perfect platform for this :yesway:
 

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Well.. if my butchering of a perfectly fine Jackson DXMG can be considered a Frankenbuild ahahaha





Shitty pics and the guitar is disassembled once again and one day it will be refinished. I was initially going to make a Natural look but then fucked up the Venner... so it stood on a closet for almost 2 years until I decided to make it all Yellow.. fucked it all up on the Lacquer and decided ok lets try to do a Bumblebee... still fucked it all up :D
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hella fun! The Ibanez RG321 is the perfect platform for this :yesway:
I'll keep an eye out for one of those. There's a few on Reverb in the $200 range...

Well.. if my butchering of a perfectly fine Jackson DXMG can be considered a Frankenbuild ahahaha



Looks cool! How does it play? I'd imagine you didn't change that since, well, that's hard to do...
 

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Oh it plays fine.

Neck on this baby is super super sweet. Super thin and with a shape that just fits right on my Hand. Probably one my most favourite Necks of all the guitars I have. I wouldn't say RG550 thin but not to far either.

I bought it real cheap (50 euros) since it had a crack on the back of the neck where the Nut Screws are. I bought it exactly to just explore finishes etc but then felt in love with the neck and let it rest the idea. Then one day I decided I was going to do what I had bought it for, since it was so cheap I could care less... Now I regret it, but it's done so... :D

The crack never evolved from where it was since I bought it. Took it to a Luthier that told me it could either give me troubles or never at all. He suspected someone over tighten the screws and did that.
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I might be able to pick up an LTD M17 for pocket change and think it might work well for a Frankenbuild base. But, it has a 24.75” scale length and my Jacksons are 26.5”. I don’t know enough about this to determine if that’s a negative or not as far as string brand/guage/playability and all that. The strings felt looser when I played it eariler, but they’re also toast and who knows what brand, so...

Any thoughts?
 
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