Other Guitars

Harrison spec ‘64 Gibson SG Standard makeover project.


I've always fancied a '64 SG, small guard, but the skinny necks have put me off. Earlier LP/SG have a fuller neck but that weird sideways vibrato is a deal-breaker. So, I thought I'd have a go at converting a 2013 SG Studio 50s Tribute, as this has the 50s style neck profile. I scored one off ebay for £380. Something like this. SG 27.09 001


Not a bad guitar as is, so strip it down & first off, install the earth wire. I have to earth it to the bridge post. Let's make some sawdust.SG 27.09 002


A lot to sort out, 24 frets, so 2 will have to go. Neck binding to install & rout out for 'buckers.SG 27.09 003


Channel for earth-wire done. Check it's OK.SG 27.09 004


The 'board need to come off, so frets out.SG 27.09 005


I inherited a clothes steamer. Yes, I have plans for that, much better than an iron & wet towel.SG 27.09 006


Board & headstock face off.SG 27.09 007


I want Klusons on, so I need to plug the Grover holes & re-drill.SG 27.09 008


Easier to sand & rout with the 'board off. Prepping for 'bucker routs. I need to block off the ends of the P90 holes with some scrap mahogony. As you can see, I've plugged the tail piece slug holes, taking care to match the grain.SG 27.09 009


Time to rout the 'bucker holes. I borrowed a template from my Canadian buddy Kevin, at the splendidly named "Stairway to Kevin" here in London. Cheers mate.SG 27.09 010


I worked from the edge of the cavity closest to the neck end, so as not to take any more wood from the neck join area.SG 27.09 011


A lot to consider with the pup placing. I got a ready made 'guard from Montreaux, as I didn't have anything to copy. Plus I'm lopping 2 frets worth off the neck. While I had a centre line to work off, I drilled the holes for the rings & vibrato.SG 27.09 013


I've inlaid the "Gibson" logo a few times, in black epoxy. However, the MOP logo always arrives broken, so fragile. This time I got a ready made one. Call me lazy.SG 27.09 012


The chamfers on the body needed re-shaping, as the are much steeper than on a '64. I used a scraper with a set angle. Hand sanding is hard to keep flat.SG 27.09 014


My mate Clem at Gun Cotton Guitars had a killer '64, super clean (but skinny neck) I asked him if could take some measurements but he'd just sold it. Bugger. So I had to work from photos.SG 27.09 015


Time to work on the 'board. I scored some aged cellulose inlays from Philadelphia, very reasonably priced, so, old inlays removed. I have to rip down each side to the thickness of the binding.SG 27.09 016


I open the grain in the rosewood & stain it with ebony wood stain. It doesn't go totally black, just darker brown. Then glue the inlays in. I had to chisel out the corners of the cavities, as the original inlays are slightly rounded on the corners. A bit of shaping the new inlays with a Dremel & we're good.SG 27.09 017


All done. Back to 22 frets & I've put a bit of finger wear on with a rounded scraper. Not too much mind.SG 27.09 018


Frets back in & overhang filed flat.SG 27.09 019


Binding glued on. I used CF gel glue.sg-06.10 001


A flush cut router to take off most of the excess plastic binding.sg-06.10 003


Side dots in. Ready for glueing. Neck masked off, saves time cleaning up excess glue.sg-06.10 004


On it goes.sg-06.10 005


New bone nut installed (old one was black).sg-06.10 006

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