Vintage SG Special Question: Filling in Humbucker routes on a transparent finish

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by RedDoor, Nov 13, 2020.

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  1. RedDoor

    RedDoor New Member

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    As the title suggests, I'm looking for info on people's experience with filling humbucker routes back to P-90 size routes. How do the new blocks blend (or not blend) into a transparent cherry (or aged walnut/faded cherry). How sharp were the lines? I've seen this done with a Polaris White refin, but that's a solid colour, the finish touch up here on my SG would have to match the faded original transparent cherry.(now a walnut colour, actually)

    The guitar in question is a heavily faded 1964 SG Special, it currently plays well(barring it's need for a refret soon) with P-90s, & a custom cut batwing hiding the routes. So essentially, it's configured at the moment as a pseudo-1967.

    Since it's going in for a refret soon (original frets are shot), I'm considering getting the routes filled, and making it a proper half-guard once again.

    For context, this a true relic, so it won't be perfect finish ever again. In fact, most of the guitar doesn't even have much of it.

    P.S.
    this is a repost for the vintage crowd, I know duplicates aren't appreciated, but this seemed like a real hybrid topic
     
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  2. RedDoor

    RedDoor New Member

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    Here's a pic of the routes in question, and the butchered original half-guard. Last pic is the guitar. These were sellers pics, btw. (Sketchy as they are)

    The neck route has since been retouched and reinforced, but it should still give an idea.
     

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  3. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Is it the look or sound you're after?
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Refinish to ebony.
    Replace the Grovers with Klusons.
    Remove pup covers.
    Install chrome batwing.

    Then you will have an authentic Glenn Tipton SG Special.
     
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  5. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Good question, or a little of both?
     
  6. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    One of my points in his original thread, was answer specific questions.

    Like are you strictly looking for P90's, or would a P90 substitute in a Hum sized pup work, like Cerebral Gasket suggested over in the other thread.

    Or does it have to be P90 and thus the Hum routes have to be 100% redone.
    If this is it and thus needs wood fitted and glued in, sanding, filling, staining, etc, I would say it all depends on the wood sample you get to fix it, the skill of the repairman, and the patience with which you or he can make a fix disappear.

    The end result will be the combination of all these variables.
     
  7. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Anyway, if it's the look you're after then you're fckd I'm afraid. There's simply no way you'll be able to fill those cavities without it showing, even if you paint the guitar opaque the lines between the different pieces of wood will show after a while, at least if you use nitro. Options would be either large pickguard or humbucker sized P90's.
     
  8. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    VonTrapp, I think Red is not 100% stuck on it looking perfect, as he already mentioned it is relicd already.

    BUT he doesn't want it to really suck and stick out like lipstick on a pig.
    Pretty sure a good matching wood, and an exceptional woodworker could make a fairly invisible job of it.
     
  9. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That’s why batwings are awesome.
    You can rout the cavities for any type of pup and it will all be concealed.
     
  10. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    I see. Well, I'd have to say that would have to be a REALLY exceptional woodworker then. If it doesn't match perfectly or is visible through paint it will just look stupid and one will have achieved nothing. If translucent, you'll have to match the grain perfectly, that means painting grain by grain. Then you have to match the stain perfectly. Sh1t like that takes time. Someone, somewhere probably can do it but in general, forget about it. That pig will not only have lipstick but mascara as well. The only two reasonable options are batwing or humbucker P90s.
     
  11. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    Von Trapp,

    Interesting you bring up the painting grain scenario.
    I have know 2 phenomenal painters who did work in various homes in Baltimore.
    The one and most recent, has painted wood that you would swear was a slab of Marble. That is how good he is at making something look like something it really is not.
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I did some of that in a mansion. All woodwork is white oak and owner doesn't want to see one knot, not one tiny knot. I spent a day just mixing multiple shades of white to touch up the whole house. Wood panels everywhere and extra wide frames on everything that could be framed.
     
  13. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    It can be done.

     
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  14. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Hey, allegedly man has visited the moon so I'm in no doubt that anything can be done. However, that ones opaque and maple so a little easier of course (although I'd like to see it once the paint has shrunk) The one in question here is mahogany. As I said, you CAN match the mahogany grain with a scalpel and grain filler but then again there's the batwing pickguard or humbucker P90s, so yeah...
     
  15. SG John

    SG John Well-Known Member

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    Here are the before and after photos of my '62 Special that was resurrected from the dead by SG Lou. We found that the original color was white, so that's how it refinished in the end. Even though it was a solid color, he still tried to match the grain when making the filler blocks (except for the spacers in the neck pickup pocket). It's easy enough to do when making those type of repairs. Since filler sections are usually cut out of a larger block, one needs to pay attention to what they're doing and putt a little more time into it. It will make the difference in the final cost.

    P7240009.jpg



    P7290003.jpg
     
  16. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    DrB, I definitely would have expected this from you from knowing the talents you have.
     
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  17. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    DrB, I forget if it was in this forum or a different one, but at one time I posted a question to all members about a certain guitar Billy F Gibbons was playing in a concert video I have. I could not read the maker's name on the head stock so I asked.

    Either Dan Erlewine or his brother, Mark from Erlewine Guitars answered me and said it was them. They made his guitar(s)
     

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  18. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I can never understand having a guitar refinished and then destroying said finish to make it look aged or worn in.

    I prefer to take care of my things.

    If they get accidental dings or scratches, no worries, but let it happen naturally.
     
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  19. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Indeed ridiculous. I think it's because the owners want to give the impression that they've been around and are seasoned rockers. But fake is fake.
     
  20. RedDoor

    RedDoor New Member

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    I'm glad this took off a little, lots of opinions. I appreciate the varied inputs.

    What I am/was looking at is basically this: It is currently in for a refret (Stewmac 46x103 which is... Stewmac #0149, Fescar FW45100 was all out, which was my first choice)

    Semantics aside, such a large costly operation (& a well-deserved one) lead one to think about other operations. The reason I was asking the question in the first place is because I love the look of an old half-guard, & I'm already shelling money out. In these times, it's often good to introspect about what else should, or shouldn't, be done. Part of that curiousity was the idea of filling in the old humbucker routes, to make them P-90 routes once again. I've seen pictures of this done on Polaris White SG Specials, with a refinish in the same colour, with stunning results. The fill blocks were invisible, no lines no sink (atleast when fresh). That said, I was curious what people thought about this being done on a faded cherry, that now lives as a walnut brown.

    I think many of you guys have confirmed my initial opinion that it is not really feasible. For one, it'd be a gamble, it could look fine, maybe, or not, then how much refinishing etc etc. By the time I'd be done, I could buy half a straight example. It would simply not be cost effective, & very likely, in the end, probably wouldn't even look right.

    So now, she lives on, batwing is staying, & those old P-90s will keep on singing.

    If the old boat floats, then send it down the river.

    Thanks all, for the warm welcome.

    P.S.
    For clarity, it currently lives with a Batwing & P-90s, but it needed those old flattened frets outta-dare
     
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