Epiphone Iommi G400 Old Boy tribute project

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Grizzlyman, May 16, 2020.

  1. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Hey folks.
    So I’m seriously thinking about doing something fairly extreme with my Mk1 Epi Iommi.
    I’m thinking about turning it into an Old Boy tribute, as much as is possible.
    I spoke to a friend of mine who is a great luthier and he had some thoughts regarding the neck.
    Ideally I wanted to replace the G400 fingerboard with a custom made ebony one with cross inlays all the way down the neck and binding. He said getting the fretboard off of a set neck guitar would be a major PITA, and could possibly damage the neck. And from what I’ve read, getting the neck off of a G400 would also be a massive job.
    So what can be done?
    Distressing the body. I could probably do this myself with a heat gun.
    Replacing the bridge and tailpiece. I do have the correct schaller 456 bridge, but this is staying on my Gibson SG Junior cos that’s my main guitar. I’m thinking a babicz TOM and stop tail.
    Replacing the scratch plate with a clear one. IF I can find one left handed.
    Replacing the tuners with chrome ones.
    Replacing the knobs with the big Iommi correct ones, no problems as I already ordered a spare set!

    So my question is, what do you think? I have he Mk2 already and love it, and want to do something with the older one.

    I guess I could add cross decals to the neck, you can get quite good ones that cover the small ones on the G400. I could maybe use 3mm auto pinstripe tape to do a fake neck binding.

    I could change the hardware as I said and leave the body black, but then I’ve got 2 black ones.

    I could do all the changes and if the body turns out ok I could eventually spend lots and get a custom neck made.

    obviously the G400 already has the kickass Iommi pickups in there.

    some pics, this isn’t MY guitar, it’s in the basement but can’t get down there due to my busted Achilles’ tendon.

    Thoughts greatly appreciated! 35EB6586-C392-41B1-880D-C92C0ECB21E6.jpeg 35EB6586-C392-41B1-880D-C92C0ECB21E6.jpeg 1621D7B9-5C51-40EA-8071-053D50715B1F.jpeg B6C592DC-A92B-4066-BAED-C1D3E283F33A.jpeg ABCDD2DF-1B8F-4DC5-8E53-6737B1A8C58D.jpeg 1621D7B9-5C51-40EA-8071-053D50715B1F.jpeg B6C592DC-A92B-4066-BAED-C1D3E283F33A.jpeg ABCDD2DF-1B8F-4DC5-8E53-6737B1A8C58D.jpeg
     
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  2. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Holy double pictures batman!

    here is the Old Boy
    09056CD6-4207-4A23-9C1B-950683CCD104.jpeg
     
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  3. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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  4. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    I think it's a great idea, especially with a beautiful Mk2 in hand. When the Mk1's and Gibson originally came out I decided to pass on both. The Gibson because I refuse to pay their inflated prices, the Epi because I never really liked the black on black color scheme of the body and the tiny crosses that only came up to the 12th fret.

    I definitely think adding some chrome hardware to the color scheme on the body would make it pop. I like the black tuners on the headstock (I put black Gotoh locking tuners on my Mk2) but chrome up there would also look nice.

    If I was going to go to all the trouble you're describing, I'd take a shot at changing the body to red. As you said you already have a black Mk2, why not make your Mk1 into a red Old Boy tribute? Not sure I'd distress it quite as much as the one in the picture of Tony though, that thing is beat down...I can only imagine the stories it could tell :rofl:

    As far as using decals or auto pinstripes to create your own crosses on the neck, it sounds like a great idea...only thing I'd worry about is if they'll hold up when you stringbend across them. Will they come loose or get scratched? Maybe attaching them and then putting some type of clear seal varnish or something over the neck like Rickenbacker does? In the mid 80's my main guitar was a white BC Rich Mockingbird and I wanted to put a Union Jack design on it. Thought about painting but then went with blue and red auto tape and sprayed some varnish/sealant over the body...worked great and the tape never pulled up!

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. purple dragon

    purple dragon Member

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    The mk1 is a rare breed this days and i have not see one fore years fore sale second hand where i live.
    Since it is so rare i woued not strip it or add real inlays or fretboard.
    I woued not do something to it i coued not reverse.
    Here is want i wanted to do if i was you.

    Change the bridge,stoptail and tuners to crome.Crome pickup rings,clear pickguard and buy an vinyl full cross (or block or other shape you woued like)decal from creative cuts from eBay.posseble try to put that tape on the side of the fretboard to make it look like white binding.put the big knobs on and call it a day and i think you woued Get a sweet guitar.

    Of coarse its you gitar and you do want you want and i am not trying to push you to some thing but if you go that route to refinish it etc its no way back and if you regret it or want to sell it it woued be hard.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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  6. purple dragon

    purple dragon Member

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    I will also add that you can paint the white binding on and dy the fretboard darker if you want that
     
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  7. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Not much to say really, if that's what you want to do the go for it! I'm a bit skeptical though when it comes to your friend the luthier because removing a fretboard is a piece of cake...
     
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  8. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Oh that’s weird, he is definitely legit, he makes some fine custom basses and has done all sorts of bits for me. Maybe he just can’t be bothered with it!
     
  9. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions folks!
    So I’ve decided to push on with the project. I’m definitely going to do my best to get the body looking as close to the old boy as I possibly can. This could involve everything from heat gun, sandpaper, fire, brown and red wood stain mixed together, beer and occult incantations. Possibly.
    I’ve started work today, I’m waiting for my neighbour to find his heat gun so I can get stuck into the body, in the meantime I’ve started by doing something Iommi immediately does to all his guitars... sand the finish off the back of the neck! Never tried this before, here goes...
    911D13CD-F349-4CDA-99E5-9D371B31042D.jpeg 45BFCB9E-96CE-4F7F-BD01-484584F7873B.jpeg 965A3D0C-0564-46CB-92B3-9F596B348FFB.jpeg 66EE80DC-F97C-48F5-BBA9-907550863329.jpeg 27BE829E-B850-4137-A612-465B396437C4.jpeg 90D61D6C-A3C0-4940-9B6D-7425E7A9D44E.jpeg 3779142B-C2CE-4BE7-BF14-38689A37FD17.jpeg
     
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  10. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Iommi sands the finish off the back of the neck? Didn't know that...has he ever commented on what advantage that gives him? Congrats on beginning your project :dude:
     
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  11. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Cheers Wytch!
    Yeah, you can read up on it, his tech Mike Clements mentioned it in an interview. I think it might be on the Iommi page. He doesn’t like the feel of a gloss finished neck, he likes it unfinished, probably just oiled. I’ve got a few satin finish necked instruments and it is a nice feel, feels very fast. I guess a gloss neck can have kind of a sticky feel but my hands sweat so much it’s never been a problem for me.
    For authenticity’s sake I decided to do that in the Mk.1. It feels really nice and the mahogany under there seems like a nice piece!
    I’ve seen someone else on here re finish their mk1 in white, stripped the neck and it was.........MAPLE!!
     
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  12. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    8E3F1939-C78D-4E04-B682-D7CAD9C0BDE0.jpeg E15B79C9-5D32-4354-A1F6-6BEAFD942A9D.jpeg 833BF6F0-DBC7-49D2-8B34-BE648E31B254.jpeg
    here you can just see the rear of the neck of the Jaydee old boy reissue and the rear of the Gibson Custom shop Iommi. Both necks are stripped but you can see more clearly on the Gibson as the whole Jaydee is satin finish.
    The other pic was with them, it’s mike Clements doing his tech thang with the man himself!
     
  13. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Cool. I've got a 90's Strat with a maple neck that's either unsealed or has a very light seal and it is super fast and smooth. Now that I think about it, every time I've seen Robert Fripp play he always keeps a small thing of baby powder nearby and frequently puts it on his hands...maybe to get a smoother feel on the back of the neck...just read that Jeff Beck does the same thing.

    So are you planning to seal the unfinished neck with some kind of oil? I've read than an unsealed neck can absorb moisture that leads to warping.
     
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  14. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Great pix ;)
     
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  15. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    That’s interesting about Robert Fripp, didn’t know that! And Jeff Beck!
    I reckon the neck will be fine with just a bit of oil, I’m not planning on sealing it. I have a 2006 Gibson Sg special faded and it has an unfinished neck and I’ve used that for years without any problems...
    Unless anyone can educate me otherwise of course!!
     
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  16. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Most likely the latter then because here's all there's to it:

    A_resize.JPG B_resize.JPG C_resize.JPG D_resize.JPG E_resize.JPG F_resize.JPG

    There are some more smaller details but I'll be happy to fill you in on them if you decide to go for it.
     
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  17. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Wow!! Thanks for that!!!
    Is there danger of damaging the neck doing that? Especially with mahogany?
    If it’s safe I’ll see how the body distressing goes and if it looks good I might give it a go!
    Cheers!
     
  18. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    It would be stupid to say there's no risk at all but I've never had any mishaps, so no. And that's mahogany as well.
     
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  19. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    I guess if it’s done carefully! You’ve really got me wanting to give it a go, then all I’d need is to get someone to make me an ebony board with inlays to fit...
     
  20. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Sh!t, go for it, the world has too many cowards as it is. Get the board at Stewmac, crosses on ebay, route with a dremel and you're the king in your own kingdome. 20130618_212254_resize.jpg
     

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