Author Topic: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator  (Read 792 times)

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Offline Vagabond

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2019, 06:52:59 pm »
Decided to fix the damn thing myself!

I don't like the idea of spending $400 to fix a guitar I purchased for $200 and I don't like the idea of scrapping such a beautiful looking guitar and moving the electronics to another guitar.  So I've decided to fix the neck and at the same time swap out the bridge and the resonator to something that not only looks better (i.e. like its supposed to be there) but also sounds better.  I believe I can do the repair on the neck and make a new resonator bridge for $60 - $80.  Here's how:

The Neck:
-  I experimented last night with coins from my daughters piggy bank and it looks like a wood shim the width of two stacked quarters will lift and arch the neck very close to where it should be. 
-  Another shim (just to fill the gap between the fret board and the body to fill the gap.  I can do this for under $10.  Just will take a little experimentation. 
-  I am also going to replace the nut with an adjustable brass nut with runs $22. 

The New Resonator: 
- Replace the stainless steel cat food bowl with a 100% brass container that is the needed 4.5" diameter and shallow enough (2.5") to fit in the cavity but is deeper than the cat bowl.  I also found a copper coated brass mini vase that would word as well with a skinnier neck widening into wider base at the bottom.  The vase would more closely resemble (very loosely) the resonator cone.  However I'm still deciding which one to use as I'm sure the radically different shapes will change the sound.  Prices are different on both.  This is where the price variance at the top comes in.
- Replacement rosewood biscuit bridge.  I mean after all it ought to look like an authentic mini resonator right?  This is $8
- Brass circular blank.  I'll use my sister-in-laws metal crafting tools to convert this into the traditional looking "spider web bridge" that I'll mount the biscuit bridge too.  These come in packs so I'll have plenty of them to experiment on to get the bridge height right.  I also have an adjustable height bridge I can use to modify the biscuit bridge if need by to adjust it.  I'll also user one of the blanks to create the cover.

So that's my crazy plan.  I'm going to do it in two phases.  First the neck with the existing cat bowl resonator.  Once that works (or if it doesn't) then I'll make the brass replacement resonator.

If you all are interested I'll take photos to post my progress.
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Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Custom Hollow Body

Offline DavidP

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2019, 07:23:55 pm »
Sounds fascinating.  Please do post pictures.

Offline Vagabond

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2019, 07:22:09 pm »
Quick Update:

I bought a steel protractor and took some measurements.  The neck is a 1/2 inch too low and has a 0 degree tilt.  Not good!

After doing a hella lot of research I've decided on the following actions and have ordered the parts needed and the wood needed to fix the neck:
- remove the cat bowl resonator completely, it isn't adding volume and the metallic ringing on some notes is frankly annoying.
- modify a wooden acoustic guitar sound hole cover to hide the hole.
- replace the mangled non-adjustable bone bridge with a replacement brass archtop jazz bridge with roller saddles which will work better with the knockoff Bigsby tremolo.
- replace the bone nut with with an adjustable height brass nut.
- Switch from the heavy bottom steel strings to a lighter .009 - .046 bronze strings.
- Raise the neck a half inch and angle it back 4 to 5 degrees using a combination of a cut wooden door stop and a shim
- replace the silver volume/tone knobs with a set of handmade custom knobs that I've got to honor my father who died Thanksgiving morning. 

Sounds easy but I know its not.  I've decided not to glue the neck yet.  I want to replace the neck with one that has the same abalone that the guitar body has.  Once I can get that I'll glue the whole thing but that won't be for a couple months.  Its a better quality neck than the one on it and will look nicer.

I've been told setting and archtop neck is the hardest job on a guitar so if I pull this off I'll be very proud of myself and I'll have saved myself at least $300.  If not, then I'll by a DIY hollowbody with a set neck and move the hardware to it.  I hope to salvage this one though.

If you have any helpful tips please post them.  Thanks.
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Epiphone Les Paul Special II
Custom Hollow Body

Offline Endureth

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Offline Vagabond

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2019, 06:08:32 pm »
Here's a link to all the pics.  It shows the guitar and its oddness and its issues: https://imgur.com/a/p9X3Avy

The only thing thats changed while I'm waiting for parts to arrive is I'm thinking about replacing the neck with one that has the abalone trim like the body and hasn't had the height cut.  Ironically the neck needs raised almost exactly as much as the dude cut the neck down. 

Any ideas on how to remove the weird "L" shaped wood piece on the body where the neck attaches that has not purpose?
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Epiphone Les Paul Special II
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Offline DavidP

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Re: My Homemade Crazy Hollowbody with cat bowl resonator
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2019, 07:17:34 pm »
Thanks for sharing.  Back does look good. Find the homemade resonator quite bizarre.

Good luck as you progress.

 

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