COVID/winter project

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Brewser, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    COVID's here, winter's coming, and I needed a project. I was cruising around the guitars at shopgoodwill.com, and bid on a Rogue Rocketeer, a HSS/whammy guitar that had a nice looking design. Nobody else seemed too interested, and I ended up with the winning bid of $33; with shipping, a total of $67. Not bad.

    The guitar arrived today, and it's pretty nice. It has the usual cheap pickups, electronics and tuners, but the body is full thickness, not plywood (maybe basswood), and has a thinner poly finish than many I've worked on. Very nice straight satin finish maple neck with a real rosewood board and no fret sprouts; just needs a good cleaning & fret polishing.

    The plan is to patch a couple of body dings and a repaint, and then upgrade all the hardware and electronics. I'm gonna replace the bridge pup with a GFS Mean 90 and the single coils with '64 stagger grey bottom overwounds. I'm ordering all these with Kwik plugs, so I can swap out pups easily in the future. Fender 5-way switch, CTS 250 K metric pots, Orange Drop cap, and a Fender Mexico big block trem. The neck will get locking Gotoh-style tuners and a TUSQ nut.

    Here's a few shots of it as I started inspecting it:

    full front.jpeg full back.jpeg straight neck 1.jpeg body thickness.jpeg solid wood.jpeg finish thickness.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  2. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    What color are you going to make it. Black is popular... and unpopular. :)
     
  3. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    I've been thinking about 'Army Jeep' green satin, something like this; might go nice with the maple neck & black pups:

    Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 3.16.48 PM.png
     
  4. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    Got the dings Bondo'd, the body sanded to 400 and the primer/sealer applied today. All the parts ordered too.

    patched & sanded front.JPG patched & sanded back.JPG primer:sealer front.JPG primer:sealer back.JPG
     
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  5. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Oh, like the Franken335.
     
  6. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    All the parts except the tuners arrived today. Paint is Rustoleum satin 'Oregano'- should look nice against the maple & black:

    Rogue parts.JPG IMG_5654.JPG
     
  7. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    Installed locking tuners, TUSQ nut and string trees today; body painted a couple days ago. I'm really liking this headstock shape and logo. Still waiting for the trem to arrive.

    IMG_5668.JPG IMG_5670.JPG IMG_5665.JPG IMG_5676.JPG IMG_5682.JPG
     
  8. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    I'm playing around with some pickguard ideas today (and still need to cutout for the pickups), but I'd like some feedback on the overall shapes:

    Pickguard A:
    pickguard A.JPG

    Pickguard B:
    pickguard B.JPG
    Pickguard C:
    pickguard C.JPG
     
  9. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    I think I like pickguard B the best out of those 3.

    Pickguard A might be cool if the bottom followed the contour of the body.
     
  10. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    Here's pickguard D, a modified version of A:

    pickguard D.JPG
     
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  11. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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  12. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    They all look nice. A will cut through the bridge pickup, rather than surround it. Not a criticism, just my symmetry hang up.

    B and C cut through the bridge hardware. SO you'll either have to cut away or remove the bridge each time you want to remove the pickguard.

    Change of mind - I like the teardrop shape of C the best.
     
  13. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    Thinks for the input folks; I appreciate it. I've decided to go with the 'B' oval shape- it just calls to me because it's asymmetrical and much different than most. I did a few final adjustments, and popped the P90 and some Strat pickup covers in to check fit. The color is going to be mint green 3-ply.

    oval pickguard template.JPG golpeadores-placa.3527.main.jpg
     
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  14. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    Popped the neck on just for fun:

    mock up with neck.JPG
     
  15. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    The Fender Mexico tremolo just arrived, and I'll need to do some mods to the body route before I can install it. I've run into this before on cheaper guitars vs. better stuff. The base plate is wider where the trem arm attaches on the Rogue trem, so there's a gap when the Fender is dropped in. Also, the Fender block sits further back on the baseplate, so it hits the back of the route before the mounting holes can line up.
    A little filing on the back edge of the route and some wood putty & paint touchup will be easy fixes.
    Quite a difference in machining quality between them also.

    base plate differences.JPG alignment issue.JPG machining.JPG
     
  16. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised you didn't tell him to leave the pickguard off. :)
     
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  17. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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  18. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    Got it pretty much finished today. Everything works as it should, and it has very low action; I'll do a full setup tomorrow. I need some ideas on how to lower that sky-high trem arm; I've never had good luck trying to bend them.
    If you're thinking about changing the nut on one of these, it takes a flat-bottom TUSQ PQL-5010-00; the PQL-5000-00 I ordered originally (the curved-bottom nut with the center nub) sat too low.

    done, front 1.JPG done front 2.JPG done side.JPG done back.JPG
     
  19. GibPhone

    GibPhone New Member

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    I'm not sure if I've ever said anything on this site, but I have spoken a lot on mlp, anyways, I really like the non-glossy army-green esque finish. Great job!
     
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  20. Brewser

    Brewser New Member

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    Thanks guys, it was a fun project for minimum cost, and plays & sounds great. I was able to bend the trem arm down quite a bit to a better playing position also.

    I did some research on the Rogue brand, and found out it's Guitar Center's in-house brand. GC is based in my home state of Oregon, and named after the Rogue River- perfect!

    modded trem arm.JPG
     
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