Epi Junior build in the works,....

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Mike Petras, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    One of the perks of doing what I do for a living is that I sometimes come across intresting stuff to trade for as payment for under-the-table work. Yesterday I picked up a plain black Junior, serial# SI9806XXXX as partial payment with cash. It's a little abused and has some wierd S*** going on: like the no-name HB hiding under the P90 cover, the tone control is MIA, and the wiring was a mess of electricians tape and slightly different gauges. On the other hand the body hasn't been moded(like taking a router to the pup cavity), only one small knick in the upper edge of the body, and the neck is much better than I would have expected for a plywood body Junior. So I took it as it looks like a good project for hot rodding.
    As far as electronics is concerned I have a box full of nos Alpha full sized pots, Sprague caps, cloth covered and shielded wiring, etc, so there's no issue for me to rebuild the wiring harness `50s style. On the other hand I'll need a P90 to fill the now empty cavity, nut(the current one is some kind of plastic, I thought that I might as well spring for a Tusq as I've always had good luck with them in the past), and maybe no-name tuners as the current ones have spots where they are hard to turn when you rotate them. I thought about shielding as well,...
    Sooo, if anyone has any ideas for the parts that I mentioned above, I'm ALL ears!
    And Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. Brian16sg

    Brian16sg Active Member

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    You got any pictures? We like those . It sounds like you have built a few guitars . On the pickups there are so many choices and on a single pickup Guitar .I see some are for neck some are for bridge it’s got to be a balance of both I guess.
     
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  3. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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  4. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    This was taken after I removed the birds nest wiring and the humbucker hiding beneath the P90 cover.
    DSCF0205.JPG DSCF0207.JPG
    This was the area of my biggest concern: that someone would have butchered the cavity in order to mount a different pup. Happily it's unmolested and I can mount a dog ear without too much trouble. I'm thinkin' now as well that I'll replace the pearloid PG with a plain black one,...
     
  5. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    Tuesday morning bump,...
     
  6. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    Test fitting new pots, cap, and wiring:
    DSCF0257.JPG
     
  7. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    And the Wilkinson Bridge and Warman pup:
    DSCF0260.JPG
     
  8. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Shielding looks good, did you line the pickup cavity and connect it to the control cavity as well?
     
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  9. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Getting there. If you want to touch up the paint, nail polish is the thing. There must be 50 shades of black, so better bring your guitar to the ladies department.
     
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  10. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    Yup, did both cavities: one of the black wires that you see curing around at the lower left is from the pup cavity(the other is from the bridge post) and it's soldered to the control cavity shielding. It was a bit of a pain as the surface of the wood in there wasn't very smooth but in the end I managed to get it done with continuity all the way around.
     
  11. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    I kinda like it a little rough looking, it sorta reminds me of the way that they bashed up the team bus in the movie "Slapshot" to make the bus look meaner,...:D
     
  12. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    One thing about that Warman pup though, the resistance is a little higher than I would usually see in a P90, a touch more than 9K: I'm wondering what it will sound like when it's all up and running?
     
  13. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Good job! You should have ground continuity from the tuners to the jack and everywhere in-between. I like to check shield to bridge as well just be sure everything that should be sent to ground is.

    From the guitars I've shielded, rough routs are pretty common across the brands and it it's not that it's gloppy cavity finishes. It's not supposed to be seen, so the labor time isn't invested. On my buddy's Mexican Strat they left tons of buffing compound in the cavities. I was in there with toothpicks and q-tips cleaning that schmoo out prior to shielding.
     
  14. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    Boy, I know what THAT is like. A coupla' years back I got an ash strat body from GFS that was loaded with the stuff. Took me two afternoons of working the same way you did to get all that gunk out. Turned out to be a good body in the end although it is a little on the heavy side: northern ash I guess as I've read that it is noticably heavier than swamp ash.
     
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  15. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    Slowly gettin' there,..
    Put two bagged strings on to hold the bridge in place and I couldn't resist plugging it into my prectice amp. I have to say that for a cheapie pickup, the Warman P90 has some serious snarl even without a set up. And the shielding must have been effective as this is one of the most hum-less P90s that I've heard. I'm going to have to hunt down a body for a set of them now I think:
    100_2310[1].JPG
    Apologies for the crappy photo and my inability to set the date correctly.:D
    You'll notice though that my cat Ralph isn't much impressed(he's a Ibenez fan),...
     
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  16. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    I'd like to try setting this one up on my own, I mean I can't imagine a better or simpler guitar to try setting up than this, so does anyone know of a good tutorial for setting up a Junior?
    Thanks!
     
  17. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Setting up you Jr is pretty much the same as setting up a $5000 Gibson blingy Les Paul.

    Here's the easiest most comprehensive way to do it. You adjust it not measuring things, but to the best the guitar can give you.

    I didn't invent this, it's the way a luthier friend does it.

    First, get the neck straight. You turn the truss rod ¼ turn at a time, then check relief. If the neck is too concave, turn the truss rod nut clockwise to remove excess relief. If the neck is too convex, turn the truss rod nut counter-clockwise.

    Begin by tuning to your normal pitch, i.e. if you normally play in drop D, tune to drop D. Retune between each adjustment. Start by setting the bridge height for frets 16 to 22, so that the strings play buzz free at the lowest possible height.

    Start with low E. Plucking normally play fret 16. Lower the bass side of the bridge until it buzzes, raise until clear. Now play it from fret 16 to fret 22. Raise slightly if needed. Check A and D and raise slightly if needed to get clean notes. Remember to retune between steps. Then do the treble side. If you bend notes up here, try a few typical bends, to make sure they don't buzz out.

    When all strings play clean go to the lower frets and neck relief. Play the high E string from fret 1 to fret 15, increasing relief (loosening trussrod counter clockwise) to relieve buzz or decreasing relief (tightening trussrod clockwise) to lower the string height. So tighten, by fractional turns (1/4 of a turn), until it buzzes and back off until it doesn't. If you bend strings , do your typical bends to insure they don't buzz out. Once satisfied, check the other strings and make small adjustments as needed, loosening by the slightest amount (1/8th of a turn) to relieve buzzing.

    Once you have acceptable relief, (i.e. no buzz) and easy action, set your intonation and you're done.

    This is the opposite order of most setup directions. It is based on performance and not measurements; hence, I don't take any. It works because the neck is immobile between frets 16 and 22. The trussrod only affects lower frets. By setting the upper end first, you know any buzzes are coming from too little relief. This method works for most guitars, with truss rods.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019 at 8:25 AM
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  18. Mike Petras

    Mike Petras Member

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    Thank you!
    I've got time this evening after the photo shoot at our Zoo here to try it.
    Thanks again!
     
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  19. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    "Luthier" :rofl:Best laugh I've had this week.
    Joe Walsh ain't a luthier either, and I guarantee his guitar tech measures everything before he works on any of his guitars to make sure it goes back the same way it was handed to him.

    There are a million Les Paul setup "How-to" guides out there.
    Here are some basic measurements.
    Gibson neck relief at the 7th fret .012"
    Capo the first fret, hold the low E at the 17th, and use a .12" feeler gauge at # 7.

    String height at 12th fret:

    Low E factory: 5/64"

    High E factory: 3/64" I like 4/64"

    Pickup Height: These are more subjective, but it'll get you in the ballpark.

    Neck pickup treble side factory: 3/32"

    bass side factory: 3/32"

    Bridge pickup treble side factory: 1/16"

    bass side factory: 1/16"

    Except where noted, these are Gibby numbers and are a starting point.

    (pickup height measurement is achieved by depressing high and low E strings at the last fret, from the bottom of the string to the top of the pole pieces.)

    Check out Dave's World of Fun Stuff on YouTube if you'd like to see how it's really done.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019 at 1:37 PM

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