Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

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Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Thu May 11, 2006 11:19 pm

Well I opened my recently purchased, 2006 Johnson tricone up for the first time, with the idea of doing the mushroom mod. There is a ton of glue securing the neck and middle supports. I don't how I am going to get those things loose. A member of the IGS forum initially suggested using pancake spatulas to loosen them up, but I don't know. I have tried working with a regular spatula and a smaller, flexible putty knife. But I am making no headway. I can see myself spending the next 8 hours trying to loosen those up with the current method, and probably still not get them loose. Anyone have any suggestions?

An another matter, as an FYI, I discovered that the tailpiece was held in place by a small single block of wood placed against the interior wall. The little wood block was not secured to anything. It was simply held in place by the pressure of the tailpiece screw. Looking at the basic design, I would have thought that the center beam of wood supported by the mushrooms would have run all the way to the bottom, and that the tailpiece would have screwed directly into that. But instead, the center beam ended about 1 1/2" short of the bottom end. And so, a piece of wood was cut and placed against the opposite side of the tail piece screw hole.

When I tried to take off the tailpiece I knew something wasn't quite right because once the screw got a bit loose, I lost all resistance. I could tell whatever it was secured to was spinning freely. I had to pull on the screw while turning it to get it free. Anybody run into this? I can't imagine it was supposed to be built this way. So I went and glued the block in place against the body using clear all purpose contact adhesive.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby grady » Thu May 11, 2006 11:24 pm

The neck stick in my Johnson Tri-Cone ran all the way to the butt end of the guitar and the Tailpiece was secured to it.

The Mushrooms in mine came out rather easily.

Seems like you got quite a job ahead of ya.

IMO, I would just saw them things outta there with a small hacksaw.

You got a Dremel Tool ???
Those things are great for stuff like that.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby ricochet » Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

No, don't saw 'em out, the glue and all needs to come loose. I basically popped mine loose with brute force (getting some skinned knuckles in the process), but I think heat is your friend. I suggested this to someone else who used a heat gun on the back of the guitar with excellent results. If you don't have one, holding the flame of a propane torch several inches away, so the flame doesn't reach the metal but the hot air does, would work about the same.

The tail block should be a very tight fit. So should the mushrooms, they shouldn't need any glue to hold them. The biggest improvement in mine was getting out the middle mushroom that was a loose fit, barely touching the neckstick. Damps the vibrations like a fingertip lightly touching a string.

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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 12, 2006 12:16 am

Grady, thanks for your reply, but I agree with Ricochet on this. If I were to cut them out, I would need at least one good one to place it closer to the neck. So if I cut them both, I'll have make up a new one. Plus, the original mushroom "caps" would be stuck to the body. I think that would bother me. Also, I am not sure if leaving them there could dampen some of the resonance I am attempting to gain. Sounds like Ricochet agrees with that.

Not surprised to hear your neck stick went all the way to the end. I guess I got stuck with a construction flaw. You think it really matters though in terms of affect on tone, that it is a separate block and not connected to the neck stick? At least now that I glued it in place, it will stay there whenever I need to open it up again.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby ricochet » Fri May 12, 2006 12:19 am

No, a separate block is how it should be. But it should be TIGHT. They probably used lumber that wasn't adequately dried, and it shrunk.


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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 12, 2006 12:26 am

>No, a separate block is how it should be. But it should be
>TIGHT. They probably used lumber that wasn't adequately
>dried, and it shrunk.
>
Even with the block back in, there is a gap of about 1/2 inch. Sounds like more than just shrinkage. I happend to have a hard piece of wood laying around that fits the perfectly -- nice and snug. I originally used it to block the trem in my Strat. I was thinking about gluing it in. Sounds like you would agree.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby ricochet » Fri May 12, 2006 12:30 am

If it fits so tightly it doesn't even need glue, it'll work. Glue won't work for filling space. Sounds to me like there was another piece that got lost in yours.

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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 12, 2006 12:38 am

Yes, I was thinking that glue probably wouldn't be necessary. It fits tight enough, that any glue would scraped off by pushing it in place anyway. BTW, I don't have a heat gun or torch. You think a closely placed hair dryer would generate enough heat?
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby zaiata » Fri May 12, 2006 12:41 am

I used a regular diner knife to loose up the base of the mushroom.
after that I use a pair of pliers to twist it around, after that it did come out.

Since you have it open stripe the bridge, get rid of that black paint.

One thing that is important: Make sure that after performing all the mods
you cancel any rattle or noise specially from the cover, other wise you are not
going to be able to appreciate the improvement. I end up adding paper tape all
around the part of the cover plate that make contact with the body.
Then play the hell out of you reso for about a month and
Ahhhh! pleasure. It does improve after you play it for some time.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby ricochet » Fri May 12, 2006 12:42 am

I think it might. Especially if they used the hide glue that's preferred for most guitar applications. It's certainly a safe heat level anyway. You can't get it hot enough to discolor the plating with a hair dryer, but could with a heat gun or torch if you were not cautious.

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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 12, 2006 1:03 am

Thanks for all the feedback. Looks like I'll give it another try tomorrow.

"Hide glue", Ricochet? Well, it is clear. But they laid it down quite thick, especially on the middle one. And it seems quite hard to the touch.

Zaiata, I'll keep that stripping in mind. I've read that on previous searches of the mod topic. It really makes that much of a difference? The bridge material seems pretty hard. Can't imagine that painting it could have that much of an impact.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby ricochet » Fri May 12, 2006 1:23 am

Hard telling what kind of glue they actually use in the AXL factory in Shanghai.

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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby crowduck » Fri May 12, 2006 2:12 am

My tricone has the same setup with the little woodblock at the tailpiece screw and gap to the neckstick. I think it's done that way for ease of assembly. I'm replacing the little block with a larger proper tailblock tall enough to press fit between the top & back, and mate tightly to the neckstick by way of an "L" cut ledge.

My mushrooms came out with just a really firm 'yank'. Since you're probably going to discard the middle one anyway, I'd just saw it 1/2 with some kind of saw for ease of removal, you can get some leverage that way. Once you get the middle one out, by force if necessary, you can better see what kind of glue was used, and experiment with heat guns, steam, etc., b4 trying the other two.

Personally, I'd just cut them 1/2, and pull them out with pliers, or chisel them out if necessary, then replace with hardwood. They don't even have to be round, get some maple flooring and cut square sticks for the posts, and some birch ply from a hobby shop for the pads. If you really want to 'do it right', stick some sandpaper inside the back where the pads will sit, then sand the coutour of the curved back onto the bottom of the pads before connecting the posts. Trim them so they fit tight, and don't need any glue.

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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby grady » Fri May 12, 2006 3:03 am

You can buy those round Wooden Dowels at Wal-Mart in different
Diameters that'll do perfectly.

Sounds like you got a "Lemon" as far as the Neck stick not going all the way to the end.

I would use some seriously good Wood glue, make a piece of wood that fits that gap tightly and go from there.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 12, 2006 10:27 am

>Hard telling what kind of glue they actually use in the AXL
>factory in Shanghai.

I think they heard about those crazy guys in the U.S. that were yanking out the mushrooms. So they decided to epoxy them in. ;)
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