Can you tell what's about to happen?.....
The owner of this here guitar wanted the old worn frets replaced with Super Jumbo Stainless Steel frets - as well as a recessed Floyd Rose cavity for more upward pull on the tremolo. You can see there has already been some custom routing for the bridge pickup, exposing the wood grain. The top routing is done in 2 steps, sized according to the bridge style. .
This old guitar used small frets with a small tang size. The super jumbo has a large tang to support the crown, so I had to cut the fret slots in a few thousands of an inch so that the new fretwire would seat. I vary my fretting technique depending on the guitar - this one I felt best to first seat the fretwire by traditional hammer method, followed by press to insure consistency. The biggest concern when changing fretsize is of course compressing the neck. The best way to avoid this is to insure the frest slot width mates well with the fretwire you are using. Often you will need to either modify the fret slot or fretwire itself. An overly compressed neck will be back-bowed when you are done your fretwork. A result showing that you will need to remove the frets and start over...
This guitar came together from numerous parts that didn`t really below together! It required a neck fitting for proper scale length, routing bridge cavities on the front and back of the guitar, as well as cutting the pickguard to fit all the components (neck, bridge). We ordered in the Floyd Rose Bridge w/ Stone Tone Sustain Block, all the needed electronic parts, as well as the Seymour Duncan Dave Mustaine Active Pickup Set (which sound great!).
The guitar body was made for a longer scale length, so we had to cut the neck pocket in about 3/4" or so towards the bridge - just so the guitar would intonate properly. After that, we had to cut out the tremolo cavity for the bridge, as well as drill in the pivot posts. Once the routing was done, we could see that the pickguard would also need cutting, as it was a poor fit to start with, and we needed more room around the bridge and neck. All in all, it made a huge mess here but eventually started jiving and looking like an actual guitar.
Once the hardware could be placed, we needed to do our final fitting with the neck (angle/pitch/nut placement). The neck has a steep headstock angle and used a small plastic nut prior. We needed to cut in a wide, flat shelf for the Floyd Rose nut- a challenge as it needs a flat base to sit on (not angled like the headstock). We had just enough material to work with and a shim would take care of the rest.
Once all the components were together, we did a full setup and it turned out quite well! Client seemed happy with the results too... "Hey Jon, I just got my guitar late last night and it’s AMAZING! Thanks for taking the time to put this (project) together for me. I know it couldn’t have been easy to create this stroke of awesome and I really want to say thanks for taking the time to do it right. Thanks for the guitar case too!"
Another yellow guitar this summer! A customer brought this to me wanting it assembled and setup which I was pleased to accept. A note about project guitars though, even if all the parts come from the same source, like Warmoth, for example - does not mean it's going to go all fit together like a lego castle. In fact with this example, it was quite the contrary. If you are thinking about ordering a project guitar from a source like warmoth but having it professionally assembled, contact your technician first! There are many details that need to be taken into account that you may not be aware of. For example, ordering the proper neck radius that matches your hardware radius and vice versa.
This guitar kit needed the following:
I had this Jackson V come in just this last week. The owner John plays left-handed, and because of that the trem arm on his original Floyd Rose bridge is in an awkward spot. He called me up to see if I could install this replacement left-handed bridge for him, and yes of course!
Only trouble is, it wasn't a simple drop-in. Because of the off center design of this kind of bridge some routing would have to take place on top of the guitar to allow the proper bridge plate movement. I'd also have to route in deep to make the room needed for the trem arm (can be seen in the second pic).
A fairly minor operation, followed up with some black touchup paint and voila! Turned out to both our satisfaction!