Roadstar 440P modding

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Jarmake, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    Hi guys and gals!

    I have had this ibanez roadstar 440P from '87 for a while now and the frets were so worn out, that I decided to take them out and do a refret. While I was at it, I thought hey, why not replace the fretboard while I'm at it. I never really liked the silver-ish small fretboard dots and the board itself was very dull looking to me. This is the neck and fretboard that I'm talking about.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    So here we go: the fretboard removal process begins!
    [​IMG]

    I used a razorblade and lots and lots of steam on the beginning. After the fretboard started coming off I switched to a bigger blade.

    Little by little it's coming off!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It was quite steamy action, but the board came off very nicely. I knew this old iron would come in handy some day!

    Beneath the fretboard was very smooth neck. The trussrod has been covered with a slice of maple.
    [​IMG]


    Now that the neck is bare and without a fretboard comes the hard part. Which wood to use as a fretboard? Here are the woods that I have currently:
    Lacewood. I might make a neck out of this actually, as the piece is quite thick and long.
    [​IMG]

    Wenge
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    Ebony
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    and rosewood (australian, iirc)
    [​IMG]

    I also have some flamed birch and of course I could just order some maple or walnut or something like that. Any ideas which to use?

    I'll have to decide on inlays too while I'm at it. Offset dots or maybe normal dots? Which material to use, abalone, mop or maybe some epoxy resin with glow in the dark powder? Or no inlays at all? This is quite hard. I'm open for suggestions.

    The body is painted white and hardware is going to be cosmo black for now.

    I just ordered a new fretting saw, so there's going to be a bit of waiting before I can do any fretting action, but we'll get there eventually.

    That's it for now guys, I'll post something new when I get something done! :wavey:
     
    Daf57 likes this.
  2. Hywel

    Hywel SS.org Regular

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    :yum:


    The lacewood looks great but I think it'd be too soft for a fingerboard (although I kinda hope I'm wrong!).

    All the others would work well but that is some seriously sexy ebony so that would be my vote.

    I always find pearl or abalone a bit too blingy for me so I'd go for the glowing epoxy. As an extra option, I think some small offset aluminium dots or rings would be properly tasty!
     
  3. Daf57

    Daf57 5 7s in 4ths

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    What a great project! Another vote for the ebony here! Subbed for updates! :)
     
  4. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    I've almost ditched the lacewood from my list already. I think it's going to be a neck one day. Ebony tickles my fancy the most right now, but I'm thinking about flamed maple board would look fantastic too.

    Maybe offset aluminum rings with glow in the dark centers would be good idea! I'll just have to figure out where to get aluminum pipe for it... :scratch: maybe ebay is my best bet right now.
     
  5. Hywel

    Hywel SS.org Regular

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    That's pretty much where I get everything I use :lol:
     
  6. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    Found some aluminum rods and pipes, which were about 5 dollars or so, but... P&P is 110 dollars to finland. Ordered a bunch of course, since it's so dirt cheap :lol:

    I'm glad I found a finnish website that sells just what I need (and also parts to my oncoming multicopter!) and it's much cheaper. :yesway:
     
  7. aesthyrian

    aesthyrian SS.org Regular

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    One problem, I don't see the maple fretboard option? :)
     
  8. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    Yeah, as I said I'd have to order the maple board if I were to use one :)
     
  9. Kashmir

    Kashmir SS.org Regular

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    Flamed maple fretboard would be sweet! And keep with the 80's style of the 440. I think the ebony is a bit too fancy for that guitar, personally I'd save it for a better project unless I really loved the 440. Only problem with maple is you'd have to finish it and unless you refinished the entire neck the two finishes likely wouldn't match. The plus side of this is if you hate glossy necks you can make it satin.
     
  10. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    I've always been partial to darker fretboards, so my vote goes for the ebony. Even though it isn't jet black, it's a damned nice piece. The lacewood would be cool, too, but if you can make a neck out of it, then I'd rather see that. :yesway:
     
  11. ASoC

    ASoC Downpicker \m/

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    Maple would look awesome, but ebony would make it more unique as an Ibanez.
     
  12. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

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    Perhaps a dumb question, but around what temperature did you have that iron in order to get the fretboard off? All the way up?

    And was your reference to "steamy action" literal, as in, did you use the steamer?

    I would like to do this to a bass neck I have sitting in my closet currently...
     
  13. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    Kashmir: Yeah, I'd have to refin the whole neck. Flamed maple would look wicked cool on white guitar with black-ish HW. I'll have to consider all the options carefully.

    BlackMastodon: Yeah, the ebony is quite a nice piece. I actually picked that piece from all the blacker ones... I really like these figured ebony boards and the jet black ones are pretty dull in my opinion.

    ASoC: Maple is quite standard looking on ibanezes (although there isn't too much of flamed maple ones) and ebony seems to be a bit more on a rare side of things.

    sezna: Not a dumb question at all. I had the iron's temperature all the way up and steam was on max too. The point is to make as much wet heat as you can, so the glue will melt down and the board comes off very easily. Be very careful on the beginning and do not apply any torque to the blade. Let the steam loosen the glue and then carefully press (or tap the blade with a hammer gently) the blade down. As soon as you feel resistance, stop. Apply more steam and heat and try again. Slow does it. Doing it too fast you can break the fretboard or do some nasty gouges on the neck wood.

    Oh and you do not have to remove the frets first if you don't want to. Frets can actually transfer the heat into the wood quite nicely. I just removed them as I first thought I'd only do a fretjob.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  14. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    After waiting for a while, I got a note of a package that was waiting for me in the post office.

    [​IMG]
    What do we have here?

    [​IMG]

    FOAM?
    [​IMG]

    Oh, it's a wooden handle...
    [​IMG]

    ...with a metal thingy attached to it? What the hell?
    [​IMG]

    There was also a bunch of these and an allen key!
    [​IMG]

    A better view on top one of those metal thingys.
    [​IMG]

    After using the allen key and doing some magic tricks with my pliers we've got this:
    [​IMG]

    It's a fret saw with switchable blades! I used to have a japanese dozuki-saw, the one that can only be used with pulling motion. It cost me quite a pretty penny back in the day and when I did my bathroom/sauna renovating last year I broke the blade by accidentally putting something heavy on it and it just bent broke. :flame:

    In the new saw I can switch the blade around, so pulling or pushing motion is possible. Cutting depth is 2,5mm. And the best part is that this didn't cost much when ordering from UK. 5 blades were included and a new pack of 5 costs 4,95£.

    After christmas I can finally continue my little project. Stay tuned! :wavey:
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  15. RUSH_Of_Excitement

    RUSH_Of_Excitement SS.org Regular

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    [​IMG]
    What do we have here?

    You sir, are a genius.:lol:
     
  16. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    OMG, usually "modding" threads involve someone swapping out a couple of knobs or pickups. You started with the hardest thing of all! :bowdown: Nice work. I've never seen pictures of someone steaming a FB off.
     
  17. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    Go big or go home... :lol:

    I'll have to get new pups (HSS) and a new edge/lo-pro edge or gotoh floyd for this guitar too. I sold all the parts except for the tuning machines when I decided that it was refretting time and didn't have the time to do it right away... Which was at least a year ago!
     
  18. CaptainD00M

    CaptainD00M Lungsman

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    ^^
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    Holloway took the words almost literally out of my mouth. Looking forward to more :D
     
  19. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    I think there will be a progress update tomorrow, when my new fretsaw sees it's first real action. :agreed:


    ...or maybe not! Goddamnit...

    Note to self and a warning to everyone else: Don't overdo with the double sided tape, when using acrylic templates. They shatter so freaking easily.

    I found a purpleheart fretboard plank from my garage and it was stuck on my acrylic fret slotting template with a double sided tape. I tried to pull it off, because it was on in the gibson scale side (24,625") and the fender scale was on the other side and surprise, surprise! The slotting template went "pop" and there I was with a fret slotting jig that was in two pieces. Neighbors looked suspiciously towards my house when I yelled at the top of my lungs "FÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜCK!!!". So... I'll have to make a new template or print out a paper one before I can begin my sawing progress.

    On the bright side the purpleheart blank looks mighty fine. It was supposed to go on a les paul, but that building project went on a undefined hiatus for now for the lack of tools, so maybe it's going in to the ibanez instead.

    And I almost forgot that I will have to do a fretwire bender, since my SS-fretwire is totally straight...
     
  20. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    Finally I had some time to continue this project. I did print out a picture with all the fretslots marked in and glued it to my purpleheart blank. (Sorry to those, who wanted to see the ebony board go on the neck! I might have to replace my telecaster's fretboard so maybe it goes in it instead.)

    [​IMG]

    And then it was time for some slotting action with my new saw. The markings you can see on the board besides the actual fret slots are just shallow marks, which I did for the gibson scale earlier. They'll come off as soon as I do the radius sanding.

    [​IMG]

    Next up: doing the inlays (still haven't decided if this board will have them or not) attaching the fretboard to the neck, radiusing it, doing side dots and fretting the living .... out of it. :wavey:
     

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