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  • Technical Info, Paint to Parts

    This question is one of the oldest (and most debated for some reason) on this board; how to clean the board and to oil or not; and if to oil, what to use? The answer is that there are MANY things that will work; some much better than others. Keep in mind kids, that in all reality, you don't need to oil your fretboard at every string change; over oiling can get into the fret slots and unseat them. That's bad. Also, some climates may require a bit more care, and certain fretboards will require less maintenance than others (rosewood vs. ebony, for example).

    Here's a few things you can use, and my thoughts on them:

    - Dunlop two part fretboard cleaner/conditioner
    pros: easy to use
    cons: who knows what the hell is in the conditioner (probably lemon oil)

    This two step application works nicely, and it's pretty fast. Step 1 is to clean the board, and from what I can tell, it's rubbing alcohol. There's NOTHING wrong with using that; it cleans a fretboard decently, and evaporates quickly. Good times. After you put that stuff on, you wipe it off with a towel and go to step 2. Step 2 is just like step 1. How easy is that? I'd recomend this to anyone who just wants to get it done fast and isn't super anal about their guitars.

    Another method is to use lemon oil with an old toothbrush. Many people do this, and while I don't think it's the best thing to do, if it works for you, go with it. It's a little more time consuming than the Dunlop method, but again, many do this, and it seems to work okay for them. Basically, apply a bit of lemon oil to a few frets at a time, and work it in with the toothbrush. It'll clean things up pretty decently, and when you're done with the board, just wipe it down.

    pros: easy application, and it's easy to find lemon oil and a toothbrush!
    cons: while a decent cleaner, lemon oil isn't as long lasting as other methods

    The last method I'll go over is using wood cleaner and boiled linseed oil. This is what I do and recommend to others. What I do is grab a bottle of Minwax' Wood Cleaner, spray a rag or paper towel, and get cleaning! A toothbrush is great at getting in there really nicely. Once you've got it cleaned up, you grab a rag and dab a little bit of boiled linseed oil on there, and work it into the fretboard; about 5 frets or so at a time. You don't need to glob the stuff on and you don't need to leave it on very long (about a minute or two). After you've worked over the whole fretboard, just wipe it down really well with a rag.

    pros: seals better than lemon oil (imo)
    cons: may be a little hard to find, not the best smelling stuff to some people

    Some folks wonder how to care for their raw maple neck; I recommend my Minwax wood cleaner/Linseed oil method. I don't recommend using steel wool on a raw maple neck because steel wool can stain the fretboard a little. If it's still nasty after you've used the Minwax cleaner, you can very carefully scrape the gunk off with a single edge razor blade. Once you've got it cleaned up, Linseed oil it.

    Anyway, there ya go.

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  • #2
    Re: cleaning fretboards with your ol\' pal sully

    How to clean raw maple fretboards with your ol' pal Sully

    Materials you'll need:

    razor blades
    fine grade synthetic steel wool
    denatured alcohol (not rubbing alcohol)
    linseed or watco danish oil (go for the non tinted variety)


    Depending on how much of a mess you have on your fretboard, take a razor blade and very gently scrape the crap off the fretboard, goin with the wood grain.

    once the majority of the excess is off, dab some denatured alcohol on the synthetic steel wool pad and work it in.

    repeat until cleaned up.

    finally, hit the fretboard with a light coat of linseed or danish oil and buff off the excess after a few minutes. you don't need to leave it on very long, just a minute or two.

    while you're doing this, you may want to attend to the back of the neck as well. you probably won't need to scrape with the razor, so skip to step 2.

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    • #3
      Blocking a Floyd

      There are a variety of things you can use to block a Floyd Rose style trem.

      I use some custom made steel blocks made by a friend who is a machinist, but have used all sorts of things, even guitar picks glued together! As long as you are using a hard material, you are good to go.

      The trickiest bit when blocking the trem is getting the right thickness of the block.

      Every guitar is different and will need a different thickness. The exact measurement isn't really THAT critical. I like to have the bridge setting with just a little drop towards the rear as you look at it from the side (top of guitar). To get it going, start like this:

      1. Remove the rear plate and adjust the trem springs via the spring claw, so the bridge is setting where you want it to be when its blocked. Don't worry about tuning or action at this point. Leave the nut locked so you don't lose the windings on the machines.

      2. Lay the guitar face down on your work surface with the neck to your left.Roll up a small towel to put under the body face behind the bridge. Basically you want the guitar to lay face down without the bridge touching anything.

      3. With a good metric ruler, carefully measure the distance between the left edge of the trem block facing towards the neck (where the springs are hooked) and the left edge of the cavity that extends all the way to the face of the guitar. It will probably be in the 4 to 5 mm range.

      4. Now get creative with whatever material you can find. You want the "block" that you are installing into the cavity (to keep the trem stable) to sit flush with the spring cavity in the body so as to avoid contact (and binding) on the springs. As for width, it’s best if the block is equal to the width of the spring block so it makes solid contact all the way across (where the springs hook on), also known as the "spring block.) As I said, I've used picks glued together – whatever works. I have also had good luck with the nut blanks you can get at most any music store.

      5. Pull all the trem springs and slowly release the trem. Simply super glue the new block in place and don't glue your fingers together! You want it to sit so it is flush at the point where the springs go in. In other words, don't push it up in the route towards the face of the guitar. Have it so it does not protrude into the spring runs.

      6. Remove your towel, or whatever you are using to keep the bridge off the table and let the bridge sit on the table. You can use this pressure on the face of the bridge to help with putting the springs back on. Start with three springs.
      Now set the guitar up. You will have to adjust action and spring tension so go ahead and unlock it now and start adjusting. I set the spring tension so the bridge sits still under a full step bend, and just starts to lift if I really crank up on the string. Leave the backplate off for a couple of days cause you will want to experiment with spring tensions.

      When you bring the bar back after a dive, you can't really let it up fast or you'll get a wicked "clunk" as it hits the block. I'm so used to this and have learned to minimize it with technique. If its not working you can glue a real thin piece of cloth onto the block to minimize this, but the less hard contact between the trem and the body the more the tone will suffer. Your call there.

      I'm sure there are parts of this that make no sense what so ever, so feel free to ask for clarification!

      Good Luck! ~ Chuck
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      • #4
        Floyd Rose tuning fixes

        Special thanks to Pete (Twisteramps) for the submission!

        Bought a Made in Japan Fender w/floyd rose over the weekend for a stupid cheap price. Brought it home, restrung it, and the damned thing went out of tune BAD each time. So... here's what I checked and how I fixed it.

        1) I turned the tuning gears on the headstock while playing open strings to see if the nut lock worked. If the pitch changed while I was dinking around on the tuners, then the nut lock wasnt working. No change in pitch on any of the strings, so I could focus on the floyd end of things.

        2) I checked the tremolo cavity for anything that could interfere with the travel of the floyd. Nope, nothing there.

        3) Next was depressing the trem all the way down (full dive bomb) and loosening the strings in the nut lock. Then I retightened them loose... so I could take the floyd out of the guitar without the string tension fighting me. Took the springs out of the back of the guitar, floyd came out easily, if still attached to the strings. I didn't want to mess with reseating each string in the floyd, so I did this. If they weren't new strings, I would have likely just taken the floyd completely loose anyways.

        4) I took the posts out that the floyd rocks on (both of them) and looked for any scarring or damage. Nope, both were clean.

        5) I checked the pivot points on the floyd for signs of being chewed up or damaged. They were fine also.

        6) Ok, not much left... so I put the posts back in the body, and pulled on them. There was some play in them. BINGO. I pulled the post inserts out of the body, and checked to see if the posts were rocking in the inserts. Nope. So... I had the inserts loose in the body. I added some wood glue to the holes carefully, reseated the post inserts, made VERY sure that I didn't get glue inside the threaded parts where the posts screw in, and let em dry.

        7) put the posts back in, reinstalled the floyd, tuned back to pitch, and it stays in tune perfectly.

        One other note: If you have an older Charvel or 80s guitar with floyd, they may have the 'screw in' pivots for the floyd. if so and they are loose, you'd be best off gluing wooden dowels in the holes and redrilling them.

        Hope this helps someone!


        Edited to add: if you notice that the Floyd posts move around a little in the bushings themselves, you can wrap some teflon tape around the Floyd posts. When you put the posts back in, check to see if there's any wobble. If not, you're good to go. If so, add a little more. Thanks to Thoraby for that tip!
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        • #5
          Fret buzz? check this link out

          Thanks to Toejam.

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          • #6
            String gauges and Floyds: how to adjust for them

            One question popping up more frequently is "What gauge strings should I use to
            tune to ---?" It all depends on what you use in standard. The idea is to
            maintain consistent string tension no matter what you're tuned to. After years
            of experimenting I've found that I can keep the same feel using these general

            E: 10-46
            D: 11-52
            C: 12-58
            B: 13-60

            I am aware that B and C are a half step apart, but that seems like a huge half
            step as far as string tension goes. So what if you use a different gauge in
            standard? Well, just try a gauge higher or lower than the one listed. Duh.
            Really, it's all a matter of experimentation. The above is just a rough
            guideline to get started with. You might prefer light tension in one tuning and
            heavy tension in another. Just remember, this is music. There aren't any rules,
            except don't shoot people you don't know and never, EVER, touch another man's

            The biggest playability problem you might have when tuning down is with the G
            string. In some sets of 11's and most 12 and 13 sets I've seen, the G string is
            wound. This does make it more difficult to bend, so you'll have to account for
            that in your playing. This shouldn't be that much of a hurdle to overcome, but
            it may throw you off for a little while. Overall, having thicker strings doesn't
            seem to change the feel very much, but your mileage may vary.
            Now, the hard part. Setting your guitar up for those new strings.

            First a disclaimer so I don't get sued or beat up. If you don't know what the
            part is or how it works, don't mess with it. If you haven't adjusted a truss rod
            before, don't start now. Take it to a repairman and annoy the hell out of him
            while he sets it up to see how it's done. It might cost you more that one time,
            but you should understand the basics after seeing it done once or twice.

            If you have a Tune-O-Matic equipped guitar, you'll have it fairly easy. String
            it up and sight the neck. Adjust the neck until it's as straight as you
            normally keep it. At this time, make sure that the strings are sitting properly
            in the nut slot. They should not be held in snugly, but shouldn't be flopping
            around either. Ideally, the string will sit half of its thickness into the nut.
            This is ideal, but almost never happens. As long as the height at the first fret
            is satisfactory and the string doesn't bind in the slot, you're good. If the
            strings are binding in the slots, either cut them out wider if you know how or
            take it to a repairman to get the nut slotted out. For a while, Jackson was
            having a problem with kids buying guitars and tuning down, using very heavy
            strings, and it was breaking the nuts. The string would wedge itself into the
            slot, causing a slight crack, and from there it would just get worse with every
            twist of the tuner. It should be noted this was on the 'low end' imports. Don't
            think it can't happen to you though. If the strings seat in the nut fine, adjust
            the intonation and start playing. You're done.

            If you have a trem equipped guitar, there's more work involved but it can still
            be done in 10 minutes or less if you practice it enough. Find something to wedge
            under the edge of the trem, so the trem will sit flat when the strings are
            completely loosened. A small dowel rod will work, but my preferred tool is an
            allen wrench with some electrical tape on it. Why? No clue. Made sense at the
            time, so it's what I go with. Anyway, wedge that under the baseplate
            so the trem's flat and take the strings off. Once they're off, crank the trem
            claw in some to tighten the springs. If you're using two trem springs, quit it.
            You're not Steve Vai, so quit pretending to be . Besides that, you'll want to
            have the added stability that even one extra spring provides. Now string up the
            guitar and tune it up to pitch. If it looks like the trem is trying to move,
            crank the springs in some more. Once the strings are on and tuned to the pitch
            you want, slowly start backing out the trem claw. Check the wedge you used to
            flatten the trem every half turn or so to see if it's loose. Once it either
            falls out under its own power, or with just a slight pull, it's all set up.
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            • #7
              The Tremsetter - review, installation and tips.

              This tremolo modification is recommendable.

              This is about the installation and pro's and con's of the Hipshot product Tremsetter ( I installed it on my 1993 Rhoads Professional to try it out. The guitar had a 100% working Original Floyd Rose trem, so my incentive was NOT trying to cure a bad tremolo that couldn't return to zero. It was to improve or overcome some of the inherent "features" (i call them flaws) of the Floyd Rose tremolo system.

              Over the years of using a floating bridge tremolo, i have always disliked these "features" of the system:

              <font color="orange">1) It works against you when bending strings</font>
              My first guitars had hard tails. Compare these to a trem equipped guitar and you realize how much a trem works against you when bending strings. You bend, it dives. You vibrate, it counter-vibrates. Yes, you learn to compensate for this rubber band behaviour, but let me tell you: using the Tremsetter is almost like going back again to a stiff bridge, and it made me smile and my blood pressure went down a couple of notches, for the first time in years. Just block the trem you say? Why have a trem then?, i say. The Tremsetter cures this problem AND you can still do full string raises.

              <font color="orange">2) Tedious tuning</font>
              Well, you know what i'm talking about. Tuning your guitar 3-4-5-6 times before the trem settles, after you have had all the strings off for maintenance. Same basic problem as in 1). Much improved with the Tremsetter. Also, you can fine tune one string without affecting the others, see 4).

              <font color="orange">3) Double stop bends</font>
              Same as 1) but you really have to practise to compensate here. With the Tremsetter IT ROCKS!

              <font color="orange">4) Drop D</font>
              Forget it. But with the Tremsetter installed you can do it LIVE in a few seconds, with the low E-string fine tuner. NO PROBLEM! All the other strings don't move an inch, when you down-tune that low E-string to D. The range of the Floyd Rose fine tuner screw is adequate for this trick to work. See picture below.

              <font color="orange">5) Wobble</font>
              Maybe it's just my technique, but i unfortunately make notes sound wobbly by playing certain things. It's hard to describe, but it's during fast runs with full step bends involved. When i let a bended string go (drop it) the next fretted note is wobbly, because the trem is settling after the shock/bend. PROBLEM GONE with the Tremsetter!

              <font color="orange">6) Out of tune during heavy palm muting</font>
              Again, you know what i'm talking about. You palm mute the trem bridge out of tune. Very much improved with the Tremsetter.

              Well, it's good. Worn tremolos with worn knife edges that don't always return to neutral are fixed as well they say. I believe that. The Tremsetter's stability can be adjusted by compressing its buck spring. Compressing the spring makes the trem feel harder/stiffer.

              <font color="orange">Trade offs!</font>
              To me, they are minor, but the tremolo WILL be stiffer working and you CAN feel a bump when hitting the zero point of the Tremsetter.

              By compressing the buck spring inside the Tremsetter, it can be set up for a stiff action which improves the flaws mentioned above. That will result in a fairly noticeable bump when hitting the zero point (the neutral position) of the Tremsetter. It can also be set up much smoother by relaxing the buck spring, but the improvements described above will be less noticeable. Even with a relaxed setup you will be able to feel the bump.

              <font color="orange">Installation and adjusting</font>
              Installing and adjusting could be a bitch to some, but there's a pretty good manual included in the box. The Tremsetter comes with parts that allows a two or three spring setup. The pictures below show my first installation, which was done with three springs. Later installations i have done were made with only two springs which turned out fine, so i recommend that.

              Oh, and you have to drill a (hidden) hole in the trem cavity of your guitar, see pic below. The hole is for the brass rod on the Tremsetter to go into. Drilling this hole can be a little tricky because it needs to be as parallel to the surface of the guitar body as you can manage. The longer the drill used the better. It's no biggie though, i managed to do it fine with a normal drilling machine and a normal length drill. Be very precise when measuring for this hole - it will pay off in the end. If it turns out that the small brass rod scrape/hit the walls of the hole when using the trem, you can easily adjust the rod by bending it slightly in the right direction with a pair of flat-nosed pliers.

              The parts:

              Installed with 3 springs. 2 springs works fine too:

              Small clearance-hole for the brass rod:

              A close-up that might help you understand how it works:

              Low E-tuner in non-drop position. Screw fully upwards and you have drop-D:

              <font color="red">ManualPage 1/2 </font>

              <font color="red">ManualPage 2/2 </font>
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              • #8
                Tremolo Info Project - it\'s back :-)

                Here's some info i gathered on some of the different floating double locking tremolos, fitted on Jackson/Charvel guitars through the years. The old Tremolo Info Project thread got deleted during the board upgrade a while back i'm afraid and i still see lots of questions regarding these trems, so i hope this will help some of you out.

                Don't expect this to be without errors or omissions, but let's build it from here. I included pictures of most models, so you can locate yours. The comments on some of the models are my personal experiences - not something i heard or read. Please add your experiences. Let us know if you find errors.

                <font color="yellow">JT-6</font>
                Most guitars with a JT-6 can be retrofitted with a Floyd Rose Original without any problems. This modification sometimes needs a little wood cutting done inside the trem cavity.


                <font color="yellow">JT-6 cont.</font>
                Here's a guitar with JT-6 studs &amp; inserts still in it, but fitted with a Floyd Rose Original bridge. Works fine but for the really nitty gritty people i will mention this: due to the narrow angle of which the JT-6 stud knife-grooves are cut, you can only dive the Floyd 99.99% before the baseplate hits the top of the JT-6 studs. In real life this is no problem, but i just wanted to mention it.


                <font color="yellow">JT-500</font>


                <font color="yellow">JT-580</font>


                <font color="yellow">JT-580 Takeuchi</font>


                <font color="yellow">JT-580 ´94 single locking</font>


                <font color="yellow">JT-580LP</font>
                Low Profile. With small locking bolts directly on the saddles - no long locking bolts sticking out the back. Much like the Floyd Rose Pro.


                <font color="yellow">JT-580 noname</font>


                <font color="yellow">JT-590 Made by Schaller in Germany</font>


                <font color="yellow">JT-590 / Floyd Rose Original</font>
                Even though the JT-590 is close to the real deal (Floyd Rose Original) and made at the same factory in Germany, there's some differences which pretty much also applies to all of the Jackson trems mentioned above. The level of craftmanship and quality of material used on the Floyd Rose Original is superior. Many will say that when the JT-590 trem is made by Schaller in Germany, at the same factory, the trem is as good as the Floyd. I do not agree. The baseplate of the JT-590 is made of soft cast iron and the knife edges are inserts of supposedly hardened steel. It's easier to strip the threads in the baseplate for the small saddle bolts and the knife edges do not last as long as the the original Floyd. Far from. I know this for a fact - i used these trems for over ten years. The original Floyd has good quality hardened steel for its baseplate, with the knife edges being part of the baseplate itself. It can really take some abuse.

                Furthermore, i think that the original Floyd sounds better too. No kidding.

                <font color="yellow">JT-590, New baseplate "Floyd Rose II"</font>
                Yep, when you have worn down the baseplate knife edges or stripped a thread or two, you can replace the baseplate with a Schaller made "Floyd Rose II". It is using the same cast iron material as the JT-590 but it has hardened steel inserts for the saddle bolts. No more stripping! I did this swap and it's cool. I got my baseplate from an english JCF member, but i can't remember his handle right now! I'll find out. Here's a couple of pics:

                <font color="yellow">Floyd Rose II baseplate, front</font>


                <font color="yellow">Floyd Rose II baseplate, back, notice the silver steel inserts</font>


                <font color="yellow">JT-590 recess route, look out!</font>
                You have a guitar with a recessed JT-590 or other trem and you wish to put in a Floyd Rose Original? Take a close look at the size of your recess in the body before buying that Floyd. It might not fit properly because of its long locking bolts sticking out at the back. It will work, but you will have a very limited pull-up action as a result. Take a look at the next two pics. First the guitar as it was originally (JT-590) and then the guitar fitted with an original Floyd. Notice the locking bolts exceeding the route:


                <font color="yellow">Route for non-recessed trem, long block</font>


                <font color="yellow">Route for recessed trem, short block</font>


                <font color="yellow">Floyd Rose Original</font>


                <font color="yellow">Floyd Rose Original, buttom shot, Made in Germany stamp</font>


                <font color="yellow">Floyd Rose Original with Schaller collar fitted</font>
                The Schaller collar or arm barrel (order #382 000) can be fitted on the original Floyd bridge as well as some of the other Jackson trems if you like. At first, the Schaller collar seems too big to fit the hole, but all you have to do is assemble the thing on the baseplate and screw it in with an Allen key. The collar will slide in perfectly (well, in most cases). Here's an original Floyd with the Schaller collar fitted:


                <font color="yellow">Floyd Rose Pro</font>


                There's more but i have to stop now. I'm exhausted [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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                • #9
                  Re: Tremolo Info Project - it\'s back :-)

                  thank you sir! please let me know when it's time for part 2, adn i'll unlock the thread.

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                  • #10
                    Why Good Kahlers Go Bad (11 Large Images)

                    The following pictures were taken when I was cleaning up LUVGUN's Kahler for him. There are several things happening in these pictures that tell the story of why Kahlers have to be kept in tip top shape in order to perform as intended. There are many more issues Kahlers have but these are some examples of common issues and how to fix them.

                    The picture below is as it came to me out of the box. You can plainly see many enemies of Kahlers just from this picture. Rust, corrosion, gunk, and your basic state of neglect. The three rollers on the bass side did not rotate at all...everything was locked. The three treble side rollers moved, but only with some force. All of the string height adjusters were frozen, and the bridge's intonation settings were locked as well requiring complete disassembly and cleaning.

                    This picture shows a closeup of the two worst saddles. Bear in mind everything shown here can typically be fixed. The biggest issue of concern is the wear on the outside of the low E string saddle. The pot-metal roller fork is beginning to show signs of wear and corrosion. Not of immediate concern but something to watch...and keep clean!

                    Below is a front side shot. YUCK. What nasty stuff is living and growing under there??? It pays to wipe your guitar down after every gig and give it a thorough cleaning every month or so to prevent this. No permanent damage caused by this but it is nasty!

                    Below is another top shot closeup. I have removed the intonation lock covers and begun disassembly.

                    This side shot shows more organic growth as well as the saddle slider bar which has a slotted head on it for removal. All saddle lock screws have to be loosened/removed!

                    See the bar coming out the right side. With all the gunk it is sometimes hard to get it to come out. Degreasing solvent works great here.

                    Here is as far as I took this Kahler down. The underside was not bad and the fine tuning mechanism was not bad, either. The previous owner (to LUVGUN) really grimed up the saddles. In the process, every allen screw and every piece of the saddles were taken apart, de-gunked, and cleaned.

                    Below is a good pic of a corroded and gunked up saddle. The allen screw is a height adjuster and was frozen. A couple shots of solvent, a wire brush to clean the threads, and running the lubed screw in and out of the threads really clears things up. The grime that came off all the allen screws reminded me of a snake shedding skin. It was coming off in big pieces.

                    Another closeup (bad pic) of corrosion, rust, and gunk completely rendering this saddle useless.

                    Below is a shot of the saddle fork in a vise with the pin being tapped out of the fork/roller. It is a delicate process but a necessity. If you try this, be gentle in tapping the pin out. Also, the pin is tapered and will only come out one way! You will see the difference in diameters...just pay attention when tapping it out and during reassembly!

                    Below is a saddle, fork, and roller cleaned up. I had not cleaned the height adjustment yet on this one! Tools I use to clean these things include micro files, dremel tool, toothbrush, micro wirebrush, etc. When I reassembled it, the only oil I used (in the whole process) was a small dash on the roller pin. I highly recommend against dousing Kahlers with WD-40 or other oils as the residue they leave just become dust and grunge magnets accelerating the need to go through this all again. There are many opinions on oil and trems so I'll leave that up to each his own.

                    I neglected to take any "after" pics. It is more important for Kahler owners to see some of the bad stuff if they have not been subjected to similar issues. This one of LUVGUN's came out great and he'll be rocking again soon. The only issue he may have is that low E saddle continuing to wear down. Otherwise it was in great shape.

                    Rock on, Kahlers!


                    • #11
                      2003 JC Electronics Manual

                      2003 Electronics Manual
                      Don't worry - I'll smack her if it comes to that. You do not sell guitars to buy shoes. You skimp on food to buy shoes! ~Mrs Tekky 06-03-08~


                      • #12
                        A safe way to remove Floyd bushings

                        Newc's method (i edited out the parts that involved pinstripe tape and krylon [img]/images/graemlins/poke.gif[/img] )


                        Thread Removal 101:

                        To remove those pesky inserts,

                        you need something with a hole in it and a soft bottom that won't mar the finish. Preferably something made of rubber, or at least with a foam rubber bottom that can conform to the shape of the guitar and won't scratch or dent the finish.

                        I've been using these:

                        That's the trem post for the insert, a pot nut, a thick metal washer, and a rubber ring that comes on a multi-bit screwdriver you can sometimes find at WalMart. The ring has holes in it for all the bits, and one in the center to store on the shaft of the driver.

                        I can't recall where I got the washer from (came with a pot? looks like Warmoth's pot spacers), but it's thick and very important for the process. You may be able to use a jack nut in place of the washer.

                        What I normally do is take a nut from a pot and slide the trem post into the nut, then into the washer, then into the rubber ring. The nut is too small for the ring to hold it, and the hole in the washer is too big to hold the post, so the nut rests on top of the washer, and the washer rests on top of the ring, like this:

                        Then push the end of the post into the insert and turn it until it grabs the threads like this:

                        BE CAREFUL that the post does not seat sideways, or you'll crossthread the insert or post, or both. That's a bad thing.

                        Here's a shot from the side of how the ring conforms to the shape of the body, but allows the post to remain upright.

                        Screw the post into the insert with an allen wrench. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it's a PITA. If you've got an allen bit with a wratcheting screwdriver, here's a great time to use it, because allen wrenches can hurt your thumbs when you run across a stubborn insert.

                        Screw the post all the way in. You may notice the ring compressing more and more as it gets harder to turn the wrench. As long as the washer is too big to go through the hole in the ring, you're ok.

                        If the wrench suddenly gets easier to turn, you've either stripped out the head of the insert, rounded the end of the wrench, or popped the insert loose from its hole.

                        Leave everything attached and pull the ring up and see what you've got.

                        What you shoulda got is this:

                        Now you just need to hold the insert with a wrench and turn the post the opposite direction to break it loose, because it's now locked into the insert. Be careful as the insert is probably quite warm from the friction, as is the post itself.
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                        • #13
                          removing that sticky feel of a clear coated neck

                          okay, this one is a common question, so let's make a sticky topic...

                          If you have a clear coated neck and want it to feel like an unfinished/oiled neck, there's a few things you can do. We'll discuss them here and you can choose which method will best suit your needs.

                          Before we go any further, please note that if you remove a finish, be it thick clear coat, a thin satin finish, or a full on painted and cleared neck, you are going to void your warranty (if applicable), and potentially kill your resale value. I also have to point out that unfinished and oiled necks are more susceptable to twisting, and if you remove a finish from the neck, you're opening yourself up to that problem. Does that mean it's guaranteed to happen? No, but why open yourself up to the risk unnecessarily?

                          If you have a cleared neck, and just want to lose the sticky feeling, the least intrusive thing you can do is to scuff the clear coat up a little bit. This will give you the satiny feel, and keep the neck protected. Get yourself some 000 grade steel wool (easy to get at Home Depot), and just run it up and down the back of the neck. You don't have to take the neck off the body, but if you leave it on, be sure to tape off the pickups with some masking tape, so the shavings from the steel wool don't get stuck on your pickup pole pieces.

                          The only maintenance you'll have with this method is that you'll have to do it semi regularly as you'll eventually go back to the original feel; when you play, your hand will naturally buff it back smooth.


                          The next method you can do is to sand the finish off and oil the neck when you're done. This is not reversible, so once you go through the clear, you're committed, pal. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I've done this a few times, and here's what you'll need:

                          - Sandpaper in grits of 100, 150, 220, 320, 400, 600
                          - 0000 grade steel wool (or a scotchbrite pad equivalent)
                          - Wood cleaner (Murphy's oil soap works nicely, as does Minwax wood cleaner. I use the Minwax stuff; it comes in a spray bottle. Works nicely.)
                          - Boiled linseed oil (not raw linseed oil)
                          - Paste wax (i use minwax)
                          - Paper towels or soft terry towels (i use car towels)
                          - Dust mask

                          You can get all of these products at places like Home Depot, etc.

                          I'd like to stress that you shouldn't use an electric sander for this stuff; yeah, it's faster, but it's also a fast way to reshape the neck in ways that you don't want to do. Once you take wood off, it's kinda hard to put it back on. Use your hand and take your time; if you don't have a few hours to do this, wait until you do.

                          Okay, caveats aside, here's how to do it:

                          - Decide if you're going to remove the clear from the heel and the back of the headstock (I would, for sake of consistency). If you're not going to do the entire neck, mask off the areas you wish to keep the clear on.
                          - Take the neck off (provided we're talkin about a bolt-on, duh)
                          - Take the tuners off (and the locking nut/retainer bar to be safe, if applicable)
                          - Put that mask on, and start sanding. WITH THE GRAIN! You'll do most of the work with 100 grit; while you could go lower and start with 80 grit, you'll be a little safer with the 100, imo. After you get the clear off the entire neck (you may notice that the neck will become lighter in color), move to the 150 grit. Once you get the scratches from the 100 grit out, move to 220. Keep doing this until you get to the 600 grit.

                          - Now that you've got it sanded niiiiice and smooth, buff it up with the 000 grit steel wool.
                          - Grab the wood cleaner and give it a good cleaning up, and dry it off. (If the fretboard is dirty, now's a great chance to clean it up)
                          - If you use the Murphy's Oil Soap, the grain may rise a bit. Knock it back down with the 600 (if necessary) and the 0000 steel wool.
                          - With a new steel wool pad, put some boiled linseed oil on there, and apply to the neck. Hit the fretboard too if you need it. You don't have to slather it on; light coats will work just fine. Let it sit for 1-5 minutes, and wipe off the excess with the towel. Let the neck sit for about a half of an hour or so and apply another coat. Repeat a few more times, and after 3-4 coats, you should have the neck sealed.
                          - Crack open the wax, and put a light coating of wax on the neck. You don't need a lot, just enough to coat it. Let it sit about 15 minutes as it dries, and once it's dry (white), buff it off. You can use a towel if you like, or a hand buffer if you have one. (Get a random orbital buffer from Home Depot for $20, you'll be glad you did)

                          By now, you've got a god-awful mess of sawdust, paper towels, and steel wool around you. Go clean up after yourself and wash your hands! [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] now that you're all cleaned up, put the neck on, string it up, and enjoy.

                          You'll have to steel wool, clean, oil, wax and buff every six months or so. Certainly NOT with every string change, so don't go all apeshit with the oiling, eh?


                          Another method you can do is to use a chemical stripper. This may be better for those of you who have maple/maple necks that have been cleared on the fretboard too. I've not tried this, so there may be interaction with the stripper and the inlays/binding. With anything else, do at your own risk. It may be a little faster to go this route, but it may also be harder to keep certain areas from being stripped (face of the headstock, etc).

                          - Get the neck prepped - remove it, remove the hardware, and mask off sensitive areas.
                          - Follow the instructions on the stripper, and once done, clean it up and follow the oiling and waxing steps I've listed above.


                          For those with set neck or neck thru guitars, your work is cut out for you; especially around the neck joint. You'll need the same supplies, along with:

                          - 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 grit wet sanding paper
                          - Fine cut rubbing compound
                          - Random orbital hand buffer
                          - NEW single edge razor blades
                          - Epoxy (5 minute cure will be fine) or superglue with a medium to thick viscocity (you can get that at Hobby Lobby)
                          - Superglue accelerator - also available at Hobby Lobby (this won't work with the epoxy)
                          - Blue painter's masking tape

                          You may also want to get some 3M pinstriper's tape to mask off the area; pinstriper's tape is very flexible and is easy to work with. The best advice I can give with stripe tape is NOT to stretch it, as it will move on ya, and that blows.

                          This is going to be alot more involved, because you'll now have an edge where the paint ends. You'll run the risk of chipping the painted edge unless you run some epoxy over that edge, and sand and feather it out. If you want to have this done, I'd really recommend:

                          - Using the "scuff the clear" method
                          - Having it done by a tech
                          - Not doing it

                          If you must do it yourself, it's basically the same process, except the masking off of the painted area. There's a few different ways that you can go about this, and you may first want to mask off a bit more than you are going to take off later.
                          Here we go:

                          - Mask off the neck joint (overmask it, if you will, you'll fine tune it later)
                          - Start with 80 grit to remove the clear, color, and primer
                          - Follow the rest of the sanding instructions

                          Now, all you should have left to do is to refine the paint line at the neck joint. Use the striper's tape to make your borderline, then use masking tape (blue painter's tape rules), to cover the rest of the area. You'll put a bit of the masking tape over the striper's tape, too. You can remove the remaining clear/paint/primer with the razor blades. Use two hands on the razor blade, and scrape lightly and at a slight angle with the grain. Go slow; don't try to scrape through to the wood with 1-2 passes, and switch to a new razor blade after you start noticing that it's getting dull.

                          Once you've got your line scraped out, you'll want to take a little bit of the 1000 grit paper and knock the edge off of the paint line. You DON'T have to press hard on this at all; you're just softening the ridge a little.

                          Clean the paint line up (buff the scratches out if needed), and make sure you've got it the way you want it; the next step is the epoxy/superglue application. Think of how Jackson does a neck thru with an oiled neck; there's a strip of clear coat that goes onto the bare neck wood. You're going to recreate that.

                          - Make your mask line with striper's tape, then mask off the rest of the neckjoint area, leaving a thin strip of bare wood open.
                          - Apply a thin bead of glue across the paint edge. build it up a little, as it's gonna soak into the wood for a while. Take your time; if you keep applying glue on top of a layer that hasn't dried yet, it's gonna take much longer for the glue to dry. If you're using superglue, hit it with the accelerator after each coat.
                          - Now you should have what looks like a keloid scar made out of super glue across the neck joint. mask around the paint, and start sanding the super glue with 320, and work your way up to 600.
                          - Wetsand from there, using 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500.
                          - Switch to fine cut rubbing compound (3M finesse it, for example), then buff it out.
                          - Steel wool the neck with linseed oil, then wax and buff it out.

                          Now you're done. Enjoy.

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                          • #14
                            Repairing clear coat chips with your pal sully

                            Another popular post we get is regarding the filling and corrections of dings and chips. While the only real surefire way to fix a chip and make it invisible is to refin the guitar, there's some things that you can do to fill a chip and keep it from spreading across the finish. Let's first clarify something: a "ding" is usually a dent in the finish that does not crack the clear coat or expose the paint, primer, or wood; that's a "chip."

                            If you've got a chip, and you want to keep it from spreading, you can do so with a bit of super glue and some sandpaper. Keep in mind though, that no matter what the color of the guitar is, you're still more than likely gonna see the repair in the light. I've had some success in filling chips that only impacted the clear coat, and here's how I do it. I haven't really gone into trying to fix chips that have gone to the wood or anything, as I've been the kinda guy who doesn't really mind that sort of thing.

                            Anyway, here's what you'll need:

                            - Medium viscosity super glue (hobby lobby is a good place to get some)
                            - Glue accelerator (also found at hobby lobby)
                            - 3M masking tape (blue rules)
                            - Sandpaper grits 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500
                            - Sanding block
                            - Fine cut rubbing compound (3M finesse-it, or Meguiar's is good)
                            - Swirl remover (3M or Meguiar's again)
                            - Random orbital hand buffer ($20 at home depot - you can use them for a bunch of other guitar related things too)

                            Here's how I do it:

                            - Make sure the area is clean and free of dirt
                            - Mask around the area that you're going to do the drop fill
                            - Drop a drop of glue on the chipped area; you don't really have to squeeze the bottle too hard at all. You can usually get a little out by tilting the bottle a little.
                            - Spray a little bit of the accellerator on the glue, and it'll dry in a few seconds or so. If the hole isn't filled in completely, repeat the process. The cool thing about the glue is that it will dry in a convex manner, so one drop should take care of it, and you'll just sand it flat.
                            - Once that's hardened, start sanding with the 600 grit; this is what you're going to use to get it mostly flat. Switch to the 800 once you're just about flat. The trick here is to avoid the rest of the finish, as 600 grit will go through clear coat pretty quickly.
                            -Once you've got it flat, go to the 1000 grit, then work your way to the 2500 grit. As you get past 1200, you're probably not going to need to spend much time with the 1500 - 2500.
                            - Once done, grab the buffer, and put a little of the fine cut compound on there, and buff it out really quick. shouldn't take too long to get the 2500 grit's scratches out.
                            - Change the buffer's pad and hit it with the swirl remover. in fact, you may want to hit the entire back of the guitar with the swirl remover, so you're all blended.

                            That's pretty much it. Keep in mind though, that you're still gonna see the area where you dropped the glue, but at least this will keep it from spreading out.

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                            • #15
                              Some locking clamp help for you........

                              <font color="aqua">Ok, I just want to comment a bit on these pieces of hardware for a moment. If you look on the underside of the locking clamp plate, you’ll notice it has a “cupped” area that is recessed and tapers to the surface as it gets closer to the edges. This forms 2 clamping surfaces to bite into the string, allowing it to remain in tune.

                              I’ve noticed some people complaining about slippage of strings with these and in a lot of cases, I see they have the blocks turned the wrong way. The peak of the top of the block should be running parallel to the strings, not perpendicular.

                              I know logically it is possible for the strings to be locked in that position but when experimenting with them, I’ve noticed that sometimes the string wants to “walk” into the concaved area of the string lock, when tightening down, which then causes slippage.

                              I hope this helps! </font>
                              Dave ->

                              "would someone answer that damn phone?!?!"