Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

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Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:26 pm

Wow…nothing happenin' around here so I decided to post this project just for fun.

Felt the need for a solid body with HB's, but not so much moneda :| .
Tried the “Broken or not working” section of Ebay, and fell in love with the idea of getting an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. But what you know, the dummies would keep bidding them up higher than the cost of a LP in fine shape :?: :roll:
I got a decent price for this fine lookin' Epiphone G-400 “1966 Reissue” made of Walnut. 8)
It's got a broken off headstock, but the break is at such a shallow angle, it's almost like a scarph splice.
I have some plans to redo the finish in a honey burst over amber for an aged look.
These are the images from eBay:
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby leftyguitarman » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:36 am

This should be cool! What are you going to use as a finish? Nitro? Poly?
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby s1120 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:48 am

nice project!! Nice long scarf joint there also.. Should be a easy, strong glueup. Fill us in... What are your plans?
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:47 pm

StewMac has some nitrocellulose lacquers in rattle cans @ $10.50 each, and they wrote that it takes 4-6 cans for each guitar. That's getting kinda high, so after doing some research I discovered that I can get Deft Lacquer at Lowe's for just $6 a can. Deft is quality stuff.
But I got 2 cans of tints in rattle cans from SteMac: Vintage amber and Tobacco brown.
I'll use Deft satin lacquer over the tints. I prefer satin for this guitar.
The plates, pickguard and knobs are black. Those are coming off and I'm switching to ivory.

Last spring I had an Epiphone G-400 faded brown in satin, that I kinda liked. But the brown wood and black pickguard were depressing colors to me. I thought a pearloid pickguard would have cheered it up, but I would have had to buy a bevel cutting router bit and shape it myself.
Had to sell that guitar anyway, for funds.

I like this wood, it's gonna look cool with an antique amber sunburst.

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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:59 pm

Well, it's come and I've glued the head back on. I'm gonna wait another day before I string it up and test it, but the joint looks tight! 8)
The break is 4" or 100mm long and the neck is 13mm thick, so that's a ratio of 8 to 1 for the joint.
These are my own pics:
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This is the joint now, I think it looks tight:
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As for my finishing plans:
The body already looks somewhat amber, so no need for amber tint, just enough to feather out the brown edges.
There's a Limited Edition Custom Shop stamp on the head and that'll be worth another $50 if I sell the guitar, but it's over the poly, so I'll have to only lightly sand over that or not at all.
Image
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:56 pm

DOH!
From reading a book on auto painting, it says enamel can be sprayed over lacquer, but when lacquer is sprayed over old enamel it lifts up and wrinkles. Bummer… :?
I need to save that Limited Edition stamp and serial number that are in the enamel.
I'll try using the lacquer tint on the body after stripping that finish off and spraying enamel clear over that.
If that don't take then I'll try wood stain to get my brown sunburst effect, with enamel over that.
Something will work. :wink:
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby leftyguitarman » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:31 pm

Why do you need to save the Custom Shop part? That logo only signifies that it's a limited run; it's really not that different from a regular G-400. Different finish and maybe some different pickups. It's really not likely to be worth anything more. Plus, with a headstock break and a refin, it's not likely to be worth much at all anyway.

Either way, I like what you're doing with it. It's a great looking guitar!
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:57 pm

11-26-11
Here's my progress, I've been playing the guitar, it's great. No sign of the break in the way it plays, plenty-O sustain!
I think I'm gonna try a humbucker sized P90 at the neck position, because I think it needs more crispness there. The bridge HB is plenty bright, in fact I have to turn it's tone down to about 6.

I've gotten some of the ivory trim pieces, but am still waiting for the toggle tip, and pickguard.
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I prepared some test boards, and did some spraying. There are some problems, I'm getting some pebble and orange peal textures. It could be that poly just globs up in the air when sprayed and it can't be helped:
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This is the stuff I'm using, I wonder if I should switch to a spray gun.
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:27 pm

Well, I think I've mastered the Varathane and found the sunburst I'll go with.
See the test sample over the SG for an idea. It's a little bit of cherry on the edge gradated with pecan for the amber color. Not too bold, I just want to enhance the natural walnut grain.
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Liquids » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:31 pm

I think it looks great.

Maybe I missed it in this thread, but how are you going to strip the current finish?

Don't forget to put some small but dense lead weights in the control cavity. I played a lefty SG exclusively for a long time since a lefty LP was too pricey for my parents as a teenager. Never could get used to the imbalance of the neck being so heavy that it would dive.
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:54 pm

Thanks!
About removing the finish, I may use a heat gun on the flat places, and sandpaper on all the curves.
My usual fix for neck heavy guitars, is to move the strap button to the underside of the neck heel.

About neck dive vs butt heavy, and SG vs Les Paul… Well, I can't get the last word on those debates. :roll:
But here's my experience:
The SG balances well on my leg when I'm sitting, and I like the lighter weight ALLOT!
Because the Les Paul is so butt heavy, it keeps falling backwards off my leg when I'm sitting, I hate it.

I just got an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, with a broken headstock too. It's kinda dinged up, so I'm planning on routing it out into a chambered body. I have some select Mahogany sound wood that I can use for the back. Right now I'm working out my how to plans for that process.
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:15 pm

OK, took all day to do this stage, applying the color gradations. Spray, wait half hour, spray, for maybe 10 coats?
I stopped at this this point to assess the work. I'll wait 3 days, sand and apply the final satin clear coat.
I made a few mistakes :oops: , but this guitar is a keeper, excellent sounds! :wink

Image

For full disclosure, I want you to know what I was listening to in 1980, (Found this gripping video):
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby rustyslide » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:11 am

That's walnut? It's very pale. Fun project!
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:43 pm

rustyslide wrote:That's walnut? It's very pale. Fun project!
Yeah, very pale.
I think it might be white walnut, but do we really know where the wood comes from? Gibson and all the other guitar manufactures keep their sources secret.
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Re: Busted Epiphone G-400 Project…

Postby leftyguitarman » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:30 pm

It looks like Epiphone's typical mahogany to me. Either way, it's a good looking guitar.
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