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  1. #1
    Top Of The World jonmcg93's Avatar
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    08.10.11 @ 06:33 AM
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    Default Buying, and installing a maple cap or other top

    I have and early 80's kramer pacer body (w/beak neck) that I go recently after doing electrical work for someone that they plainly butchered or bought butchered. My thoughts are buying some maple or other kind of wood and cap it. The only thing is, once I do that, how in the hell do I attach it so its flush to the OG top and make it look good. The cover wood itself isn't pricey and its 1/8" or 1/4" so it's not too thick. I just want it too look good.

    They took a one pickup pacer with original floyd (which I have on another guitar ATM) and made it a 3 pup with a pickguard (YUCK).
    Last edited by jonmcg93; 09.12.08 at 12:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonmcg93 View Post
    I have and early 80's kramer pacer body (w/beak neck) that I go recently after doing electrical work for someone that they plainly butchered or bought butchered. My thoughts are buying some maple or other kind of wood and cap it. The only thing is, once I do that, how in the hell do I attach it so its flush to the OG top and make it look good. The cover wood itself isn't pricey and its 1/8" or 1/4" so it's not too thick. I just want it too look good.

    They took a one pickup pacer with original floyd (which I have on another guitar ATM) and made it a 3 pup with a pickguard (YUCK).

    I'm just asking because I'm not sure how much work you're anticipating. Do you know the preliminary steps involved? You will have to bring the existing top down via planing first to accomodate the thickness of the wood you're adding, and allow for finish sanding too. You also have to take into acount the arm relief cut in the top, which depending on the Kramer you have can be very steep. You'll need to match it by bringing it down in relation to how much wood you've removed from the top to look right. The next thing to think about is how you will attach the top. Will you steam, bend, and clamp the hell out of the wood around the relief, or will you cut and join it. I prefer the bent option myself. In short, It's not the easiest process. You also want to decide if you want to add some similar wood in place of what they removed. It could sound good though with leaving it a little hollowed out. Gibson are chambering Les Pauls now, and I gotta say,despite some of the finishing flaws and excessive price, they sound very responsive.

    I'm planning on doing a curly maple cap on one of my strats too. It's a big project, but real fun if you have the right tools handy and plan ahead a little. Remember though that if you do decide to steam or soak the wood for bending, that the guitar should have a period to dry out a bit in a location of consistent temperature and humidity. Otherwise you could have some issues with warping or cracking if it's sealed/finished too early on. Dino or MRJ, as well as others would probably have some more insight into this area as they build day in and day out. I wasted a guitar that got damp during a repair. A pipe broke in my shop, and some of my stuff got wet. I had a charvel that I was in the process of repainting, and I had not resealed it. The water got on the body and it soaked it up like a sponge along the center glue line in the neck pocket. I had to backcut the glueline and fill it. It plays fine now, but I'll always know what happened. Guitar wood is so dry, like I think around anywhere from 4% to 7% moisture content, so if given the chance, it sucks up moisture like dehydrated vegetables! Yikes!
    Have fun!
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  3. #3
    Top Of The World jonmcg93's Avatar
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    So it might be easier to have someone do it for me eh? LOL

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    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonmcg93 View Post
    So it might be easier to have someone do it for me eh? LOL
    It would be easier sure, but the expense in all honesty would not be worth it. The absolute basics required are the following to get started.
    1. (and you can rent this or go to someone who knows what their doing); power planer. Shop type 13 inch throat at least.
    2. jack plane
    3. calipers and an accurate metal scale rule.

    4. a variety of clamps the Irwin ones from Home Depot are fine.
    5. 3/4" plywood for bolstering when clamping to provide even pressure on the surfaces.
    6. Tite-bond glue. This is what most luthiers use these days. It's great stuff.
    A variety of sanpaper grits, and files.
    7. a power drill, router and some basic chisels.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  5. #5
    Good Enough
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Honestly, I haven't done a capped wood guitar yet from scratch. I think my next one will be though...

    Anyway, ya -- it is possible to recap a guitar, but the amount of work will be a LOT. You would have to strip everything off the body -- including the floyd rose posts, etc. Then you could plane the 1/4" off of it or whatever the new cap's thickness is. You would then glue it down, but that is where the hard stuff would come in. Once it was all glued in, etc, you would have to route around the original body shape using some sort of guided ball bearing router bit, and somehow not hurt the old guitar wood. And then even harder then that, you would have to re-measure the neck pocket, floyd, and pickup holes and re-route them thru the cap. If you don't have really good routing skills, and probably some templates, you will probably not like the way it turns out. If you have done woodworking though, and some guitar repair, you might be able to do it. It's up to you.

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    If you don't actually need to take a full 1/8" or 1/4" off the guitar, you could also just consider applying a thin figured maple veneer. It would probably be very easy to work over the arm cut, and you might be able to get away with simple tools to accommodate the pickup and other routes. (FYI: I'm only guessing. I've never attempted this at all--just thought about it.)

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    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    If you don't actually need to take a full 1/8" or 1/4" off the guitar, you could also just consider applying a thin figured maple veneer. It would probably be very easy to work over the arm cut, and you might be able to get away with simple tools to accommodate the pickup and other routes. (FYI: I'm only guessing. I've never attempted this at all--just thought about it.)
    I thought that too, but re-reading hist post, he's stating that he wants to cover bad routs. I'm guessing that the veneer would not be very stong over those routs. I suppose you could bolster the veneer up some how with some bracing. It would be cheaper probably than any of our sussestions to just get a new body made by any of our "reputable craftsmen" on our beloved board. I still think the cap would be a cool idea, but you gotta have the tools, patience and skill to pull it off. It would be very rewarding to do though.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    well if he's wanting to cover some bad routes why not make some blanks to fill them, glue them into place and sand smooth (maybe a small amount of wood filler too) and then re-paint the whole guitar, certainly easier and cheaper than fitting a maple cap, which is surely a pro job.
    thats what i'd do anyway.
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  9. #9
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    well if he's wanting to cover some bad routes why not make some blanks to fill them, glue them into place and sand smooth (maybe a small amount of wood filler too) and then re-paint the whole guitar, certainly easier and cheaper than fitting a maple cap, which is surely a pro job.
    thats what i'd do anyway.
    Hey Tommy. Yeah I suggested that too regarding the full thickness cap. I think that would work with the veneer quite well.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

 

 

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