SGII Refresh

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by assquatch20, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    This is what we're working with. When I got this thing, maybe 8 or 9 years ago, it had a hot pink pickup ring around the old SD in the bridge there, and a matching DiMarzio strap screwed haphazardly into the horn. The frets were pretty low and I've only worn them out more. The finish is cloudy and only gets worse with my usual Dunlop Formula 65. I've lost one of the tuner bushings. The neck pickup was dead and I've misplaced it anyhow. Original bridge pickup is long gone and somebody did a number fitting the HB in it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  2. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    I've got some parts collected.

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    The old Badass bridge had stripped threads for one of the post adjustment screws, and was twisting a bit. Couldn't get it intonated as well as I'd like. This one has locking posts. Still worried it'll warp a bit but we shall see.

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    Only once I'd removed the old ones did I realize the new bushings were too small, had to reinsert the old ones and use them.

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    It's a bit tight. The maker (Schroeder) says the post spacing is 3 7/32" whereas I think Gibson's is 3 1/4", but it works. The Leo Quan Badass that came off it was also a tight fit. I actually cut my hand removing it, so I guess I've got a little blood into this one.

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    I'm going back to mini-humbuckers (Firebird style, specifically) and so had to order some mounting rings. Pretty sure I could've reused the full size HB ring in the bridge for the mini, but I got a standard one just in case. Problem is the ring is just a bit narrower, and so the mounting holes are just a hair off, so I've got to fill and redrill or something. Mojotone was the only carrier I could find for this style ring though, which was what was on it.

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    The pickups look good, though. They're from D'Urbano Magnetics down in Australia. The chiseled out hole may be a bit exposed with a mini in there but I don't mind. That's as far as I've gotten for now though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  3. Jason

    Jason Member

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    Nice project. Still have the pickguard?
     
  4. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    Nah it was long gone before I got ahold of it. I've found some people that'll make me one though.
     
  5. 4wight

    4wight Member

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    Nice looking SGII - I'm envious of having a body like that! I was very happy with the way my SG II project turned out, so much so I'd like to do another. Mine was in much worse state than yours - no original parts, the wood around the bridge posts and elsewhere had been filled and messed around with, and the neck pickup had also been filled in. The seller (or someone before him), had covered it in black paint and tried to pass it off as an SG Junior. Here's a before/after picture of mine - as I was cutting my own pickguards and the wood was shot anyway, I took the opportunity of moving the jack to the side and adding a kill switch. The Bill Lawrence L100 is splittable and is a beast - and the full batwing is a nod to John Cipollina. Anyway, not trying to hijack your post but just to say good luck with project/restoration, it's well worth it, I love mine.
    sgbeforeafter.jpg
     
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  6. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    That's quite a makeover. Is the body actually mahogany? I've read conflicting things with these guitars about that. Heck I ain't positive about the neck species either. Hopefully I can get the finish to clean up and show the grain better. What did you ? I've got some Virtuoso polish and cleaner that should've been in the mail by now. Hoping that stuff will do the trick.

    Oh also, do you happen to have a hard case recommendation for yours? I'm worried the flatter headstock angle will cause interference with the lid on a lot of these cases given the angle they put the neck at.

    Then I probably need to get a pickguard so I can position the slightly-off pickup rings around it so I don't fill and redrill the holes in the wrong spot.
     
  7. 4wight

    4wight Member

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    I'm not a wood expert, but I've read that the body was maple, not mahogany. I assumed that maple was softer than mahogany and that was why the SG I and the SG II that I have are both lighter than my mahogany SGs. My SG I is in pretty good condition, but even there the bridge posts lean, so I assume maple is softer. I just sanded the SG II down as flat as I could, stained it with an initial dark walnut stain, to give the grain more chance of being seen, and then after a light sanding applied another coat of lighter walnut stain. Then varnished it with several coats of Le Tonkinois varnish. I'm not a touring musician so the case aspect of things is't so important for me - my SG I came in a Gibson 'soft' hard case, if you know what I mean, it is very nice and light, and seems to be era correct at least - it has the form of a proper hardshell case, but is very much thinner. Actually the straight headstock should theoretically make it safer, not just because the neck will be stronger, but because there's less likelihood of the top of the headstock hitting the bottom of the case during a jolt or a bump. But that's just a theory.
     
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  8. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    Well I got the Virtuoso and tried it out today. Seems like it shines up good with the polish but the cleaner doesn't seem to be very effective on the cloudy stuff. Not sure how to proceed. It's just one thing after another. I'll order the pickguard next, I reckon, but not sure I can do anything about the haze short of refinishing.

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    You can kinda see how it's shinier yet still got a haze to it. You can also see someone's router handiwork.
     
  9. 4wight

    4wight Member

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    Trying to get a clean finish is always the biggest problem I have - and it's messy and time consuming too. To really get the surface shiny you might have to use some very fine wet and dry first - which will dull the surface even more, even when using very fine grits like 2500 and 3000 or higher. Then you might be able to buff/polish the surface to a shine. But I don't really have enough experience of using those kind of fine grits. I tend to get the wood as even as I can and then put several coats of varnish on, sanding down between coats to 400, 600, 800, and then 1000 or so. Then I put one final thin coat of varnish on, which - in most cases - gives it a nice shiny flat look.
     
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  10. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    Still dealing with a cloudy finish but it may get sorted soon. Mocked up the hardware. I like the full size ring at the bridge because the mounting holes are already in place for it. The new mini rings are a little off, as I mentioned.

    I found my original neck pickup ring so I don't have to fill and redrill those holes, yet it is a little tight around the Firebird pickup. I may order a humbucker:mini humbucker adapter ring but I wouldn't be surprised if its mounting holes didn't line up either. The gap doesn't really bother me very much aside from the bare wood showing a bit. I might coat it with something dark or put some foam in there if it's to be exposed.

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  11. Silvertone

    Silvertone Active Member

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    Love that pickguard. Mind if I steal it? I'm making a walnut SG for a friend's son and he loves Batman. I'll do it in 4 play w-b-w-b. Verycool

    Looks great, man. Nice job.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  12. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Member

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    Not sure I'd agree on the looks or the job well done just yet, but the hardware sure is pretty.
     
  13. 4wight

    4wight Member

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    Glad you like the double batwing. Since I stole the idea from John Cipollina, I can't really complain if you copy mine! Actually you're right this one does look more like the Batman logo than Cipollina's... I've done it in black/white ply on other SGs and it looks good, but as the original SGII had a plain black pickguard I did it in straight black for this one - it suits it better and matches the control panel cover.
     

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