Douglas Hadron 727 Refinishing Project

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Defyantly, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    So I'm finally getting around to starting on this refinishing/revamping process for my Douglas Hadron 727 :woot:. If any of you saw my NGD for this guitar you would have seen that there were a few things that I didn't like about the guitar, but trust me I have big plans for it. As for right now the guitar has been disassembled and I have started trying to sand away the clear coat that pretty much covers this entire guitar (including all the cavities :wallbash:).

    One of the weird things that I noticed when I disassemble the guitar was the markings on the tuners. The top pics are in ascending order of strings 7,6,5,4,3,2,1. The tuners themselves were marked RH (right hand I assume) and differing numbers of 1, 2, and 3. but these were in almost no coherent order which I would have assumed would have meant they were for specific strings, but I digress I will be changing these to black schallers or shaller-types anyway. I started sanding with 80 grit on the back just to see how my little mouse sander would work, and it did pretty well but I have found that Douglas either used a stain or a light oil finish on the wood so I have to sand that off as well to get down to that natural mahogany. I am also still not sure as to what type of wood the stringers are in the neck and body. It almost looks like rosewood but its a little too dark IMO maybe ebony of wendge. The 80 grit seemed to take a long time to actually get down to bare wood so I might pick up some 60 grit to power through it and just buff out the scratches when I start to smooth it out for finishing.

    Speaking of finishing I intend to use the black stunning stains from Crimson guitars and their finishing oil for a nice oil finish. Does anyone have any experience with these? I want to do almost a black burst with the back and sides being really dark and the fade to almost a grey in the center.

    Other plans for the guitar are:
    Black hardware
    Stainless steel re-fret
    Blocked black Floyd trem
    possibly shaping blocks for the neck and middle PU and covering with a veneer and installing a white bridge PU (suggestions welcome)
    eliminating tone knob and blade switch
    kill-switch install
    deepen neck carve
    deepen upper and lower horn cutaways
    thin out the body around the sides (weight relief, almost to Ibanez s-series shape)
    more pronounce belly carve
    re-bind the neck with white instead of ivory + luminlay side dots
    reshape neck to a thinner shape

    I'm sure some of these ideas will change as the project progresses. I am still learning so please be gentle but all recommendations a criticisms are welcome. Since my schedule is pretty busy Ill do my best to keep this as up to date as I can. As always thanks for reading!! :cheers:
     
  2. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    So I'm slowly but surely finishing up the sanding and stripping of the clear coat and underlying stain.


    and sort of started working on the cutouts and shaping for a better heel access.


    I do have a few questions.

    1. What is the best way to pull out the threaded inserts for the Floyd rose?
    2. I was thinking about turning this into a bridge PU only guitar. How can I fill the neck and middle pickup cavities? (shape a block of mahogany to PU form and glue it in and sand smooth? I am intending on putting a veneer over the top. Kind of going for an Ibanez RGDIX7MPB look)
    3. I also want to make the bridge PU wood mounted instead of PU ring mounted. How do I go about this?
     
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  3. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    For question one and two, check out this video:
    For the third, easiest way is to place some stiff foam under the pickup and run screws into the wood below. You'll have some room to adjust the height depending on how deep the cavity is routed.
     
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  4. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    Thank you so much that video was extremely helpful and detrimental at the same time....now I want to put an evertune into it :lol::wallbash: but that's out of budget. It does bring up a couple of points. Can I use any wood to fill the cavities? If I went with mahogany it would get kind of pricey and I don't know if I have the best equipment to shape it well enough, but could I go with a cheaper material? Like basswood? Also since an evertune is out of question if I filled the entire trem cavity and made the guitar a string-thru TOM or hardtail hipshot style would the glued in wood be strong enough to hold up to the tension?
     
  5. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    For filling the pickup holes? Use anything. Close grained wood like Basswood will be easier to finish.
     
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  6. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    I kinda figured I could use basswood for the pickup cavities but what about the trem cavity? Mainly for structural integrity.
     
  7. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Most trem equipped Ibanez guitars have Basswood bodies. Go for it.
     
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  8. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    Thanks I will look into getting some basswood blanks to I can shape them. I'm getting pretty excited about working on this and what it can become....I just wish my wallet could keep up..:cond:
     
  9. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Depending on where you live, Basswood or poplar should be about the price of a sandwich for a board much bigger than you need.
     
  10. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    Right..I was just unprepared for the funding needed for a full overhaul of the entire guitar :lol: but ill just buy piecemeal as I can that way I still have room to change my mind as I do the upgrades.
     
  11. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    if you're worried about structural integrity (which you shouldn't be), buy some maple, it's a good bit tougher than basswood or poplar. Maple is also relatively cheap. You can buy a small board for under 10$ no problem. Offcuts would be even cheaper at some places.
     
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  12. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Also make sure you have some scrap to test and practice your finishes on.
     
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  13. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    Small/cringy update. 90% of the guitar is now sanded down to get down to the original wood and I have started working on reshaping the belly carve and cutouts. I ended up stopping because the files I have are worthless and I need to get a better set. So I moved on to the frets and binding. the frets took a little bit to get out but I kept noticing that the wood kept peeling up as I pulled them out.

    The fretboard wood also seemed super brittle which I notices as I tried taking and peeling off the binding with an exacto knife.

    Well I finally got the binding off and I'm afraid I might have screwed up. The are a lot of places on the fretboard that have pulled out with the binding and just chipped away. So I guess ill be looking at replacing the entire fretboard now. I have been looking at possible a maple or ebony richlite blank but I am unsure about how it easy it will be to work with. I am also looking at a few of the different fretboard blanks that they have over at https://www.bellforestproducts.com/fretboard-blanks/ they seem like decent quality and the cocobolo one is really speaking to me. Unfortunately that means I need some more tools....:facepalm:

    The process that Intend to use to get the fretboard off is the hot iron and metal ruler method. Has anyone had any experience/success with this method? Also I'm assuming I will need a band saw/scroll saw to shape the fretboard down to the width and length that I need. What other tools does it look like I will be wanting to have on hand? I wasn't expecting to have to do this much work but I am up for the challenge and learning opportunity.
     
  14. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    can you use filler to re shape the parts of the fretboard where wood has chipped off? No idea how that all works but.

    You might have to buy or obtain a brand new fretboard if its fairly bad?
     
  15. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    I would try to use filler but I also do not know how it all works. On the other hand I'm not a huge fan of the "rosewood", which I don't think it is, fretboard in the first place. So I might just want to change it for a nice maple, ebony, or cocobolo one with offset dots instead. The chippage is pretty bad anyway.
     
  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    nah, easier to replace the fretboard. Filler isn't really meant for that kind of work. bondo would work but it's more trouble than it's worth in this case. There's preslotted fingerboards floating around out there but not for a 27" scale.
     
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  17. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    Right that's why I figured I would need some more tools like a flush cut saw and the like. Any suggestions in that department? and @KnightBrolaire I saw that you were working with richlite. How does it work? Pretty easy?
     
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  18. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    get a dozouki pull saw, that makes cutting fret slots a lot more accurate imo.also grab some cheap needle files for widening fret slots or rounding off fret ends, and a decent set of fret tang nippers. shinto saw rasp is excellent for aggressively carving contours, same with a dragon rasp. a rubber faced mallet is very useful for pressing in frets if you don't want to or don't have access to a fret press(they make attachments for drill presses as well).
    richlite is about comparable with ebony to work on ime. it cuts easily and sands well
     
  19. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    Do I need any kind of miter box or cutting template for the fret slots or is there a way I can easily diy my own?
     
  20. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire schadenfreude

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    the diy way i've done it is get the template from fretfind, and then just use a clamped block of wood to make a saw guide.
     
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