my new Domino is going to need some help.

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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby antisymmetric » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:51 pm

Cool project, and repair methods. Keen to see how it turns out.
Looks great in the orange! :-*
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby Sound for Sandwiches » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:01 am

More progress... redid the wiring over the past two evenings. I kept all the original components but replaced all the wire. Most of it is braided shield, cloth PU wire form stew-mac. The ground wire is just regular old 22awg stranded. The only thing I have changed is the slide switch, which originally was a global treble-cut, I have rewired it as a kill switch. here's a quick and dirty schematic of the guitar from the factory:

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Before:

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After:

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At this point, the guitar is all together. I plugged it in and played it for a little while, and while it still needs final setup, I can definitely say that my fixes have made it a much better instrument. Sound-wise, I would say it's more mustang-like than anything else, although my experience with actual mustangs is pretty limited. I'll post pics when it's all done.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby Sound for Sandwiches » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:12 pm

OK, it's been a few months since I last posted about this guitar project. Just before leaving town for a month I was playing the Domino and felt the crack in the neck move. so much for it being stable :'(

On further inspection the glue between the fretboard and the neck was the only thing holding the crack together. I used a heated up xacto blade to coax the fretboard off, and this is what I found:

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So the break occurred at the weak spot where the truss rod washer is let into the neck. Should have figured. My options now are to find a replacement neck from another domino, pay for a custom job, or just fix it myself. This guitar is an oddball 24.5" scale, so there aren't really any off the shelf replacement necks that would fit. I think I will pull the fretboard the rest of the way off, and make a new neck. That will be simpler in the long run than trying to make a patch where the crack is.

On another note, I have been thinking of upgrading the pups. The stock ones are kind of weak. I have looked high and low online for the physical dimensions of a jaguar pickup- does anyone know or have a drawing of one with dimensions? The ends of a stock jag pup cover will have to be modified to work with this pickguard, but I am mainly wondering if the claw will fit in the openings. Here is what I have- just under .800" wide.

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thx
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby MatthewK » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:37 am

Have you considered taking off the fretboard and routing for some maple inserts either side of the truss rod? Could be invisible once the board is back on.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby Sound for Sandwiches » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:26 am

MatthewK wrote:Have you considered taking off the fretboard and routing for some maple inserts either side of the truss rod? Could be invisible once the board is back on.


I had thought of that- I think the only way it would work is if I can somehow eliminate or redesign the piece of metal that the truss rod nut bears against. it's hard to tell in the pic above but there is only a few mm of wood surrounding the metal. that's not enough material to support a spline of any substance.

Either way the fretboard will need to come off, and once I do that I can assess the situation better.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby MatthewK » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:41 am

Now that I look at it, I understand the mechanics better. It is a tough problem and no mistake. Design fault from the outset.
I guess most Fender truss rods bear on a nut or a washer which is hardly larger than the rod itself - maybe you could replace the large D shaped bearing plate with a smaller washer, and put some liquid epoxy into the wood that it bears on, to prevent it crushing the wood. That would give you a nice big space each side of the rod for a large dowel. With everything glued up tight, it wouldn't budge I reckon.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby EVOL! » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:38 am

As far as aging white plastic parts, my friend used to soak his in brewed espresso. Aged them nicely.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby Sound for Sandwiches » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:46 am

EVOL! wrote:As far as aging white plastic parts, my friend used to soak his in brewed espresso. Aged them nicely.


Thanks for the tip, since posting the question I have seen reference to this technique elsewhere. It's one of those "why didn't I think of that?" kind of things.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby Sound for Sandwiches » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:11 am

OK, making progress on the neck.

First thing was to remove the fretboard. I had to do some research since this is something I had never tried before. I used a clothes iron on the "wool" setting and lots of steam, working from heel to nut and slowly prying with a thin putty knife. It worked great, and only took about half an hour.

Here is what the break looks like from the top, you can see the sizable cavity for the truss rod nut that is the reason for the break:

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The first thing I did was glue the neck back together at the break. Here is a shot of it after I had started scribing marks for reference for cutting the pockets for a spline.

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One thing that I discovered about this neck is that it is not maple, but red birch. This is quite a bit different from the baltic birch that is so ubiquitous these days. It has a darker color, but also has a much coarser grain from maple. From the outside it looked like tinted lacquer on the neck, but now I think it's just the color of the wood showing through. This is good news for when I refinish the neck, I won't have to try to replicate the tint.

I had a few scraps of red birch kicking around from a previous project, that came from a board that had to be 60 or 70 years old. Perfect for repairing this neck. Birch is quite strong enough to make a guitar neck, I think that this particular truss rod design is the reason for the breakage.

To strengthen the repair, as suggested by MatthewK, I laid in some splines from the inside of the neck. I wanted to get as strong a repair as possible so I built it up with a few different pieces of wood. The first rout went deep into the neck, down to the lowest point in the old truss rod pocket. It was fairly narrow to fit within the rounded contour of the neck.

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Here is the plug of birch laid in to the rout:

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Next, I routed a shallower, wider pocket on top of the first plug, to increase the area of the spline and take advantage of the cross section of the neck. The two spline pieces will form a fat T cross section when all glued up. Here is a shot of my quick and dirty router template for the second pocket. I am using a 1/4" straight router bit.

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The completed pocket:

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The pocket with its matching plug, which has since been glued in:

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When it's fully cured, I will plane the top of the neck flat, and re-route the truss rod channel back into the repaired area. This time it will be a differetn design, though. I will use the wood itself for the truss rod nut to bear against, with a small washer instead of the massive metal insert like before. More to come...
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby WonderCouncil » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:41 pm

This is awesome and really interesting. Looks like good work. I'm fascinated by all the different ways people come up with for fixing a neck break. Seems like it's going to be a solid solution.

I recently missed out on scoring a blue Spartan with a competition stripe. The colors looks really similar to Fenders Maui Blue. Looked to be in great shape too. Ever since this thread I've been on the look out for one.
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Sorry not to hijack the thread. :-[

Your Spartan's tremolo cavity goes all the way through the body right? Looks like it from the picture. The blue one had a pickguard cover plate over the back, where the route would be at. Just was curious if yours is like that too.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby antisymmetric » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:10 pm

Looking good! FWIW, here is a link to a recent neck repair of mine. I'm not familiar with the birch in the neck you're fixing, but if it's possibly a bit soft and there's a possibility that with a smaller washer the adjuster might compress into the neck, this fix might help. The neck I was working on was quite soft (didn't originally have a truss rod) and I was worried about compression from the adjuster pushing it under the end of the fingerboard, so I had the rod compressing onto carbon fibre rods (which add stiffness to the neck anyway).
Enjoying your thread, cool project and methods. :-*
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby Sound for Sandwiches » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:28 am

WonderCouncil wrote:This is awesome and really interesting. Looks like good work. I'm fascinated by all the different ways people come up with for fixing a neck break. Seems like it's going to be a solid solution.

I recently missed out on scoring a blue Spartan with a competition stripe. The colors looks really similar to Fenders Maui Blue. Looked to be in great shape too. Ever since this thread I've been on the look out for one.
Image
Sorry not to hijack the thread.

Your Spartan's tremolo cavity goes all the way through the body right? Looks like it from the picture. The blue one had a pickguard cover plate over the back, where the route would be at. Just was curious if yours is like that too.


Thanks... yeah I saw that spartan on ebay too. the comp stripe I doubt is original and I wonder if it was a total refin. I do like the color though. Looks like a strat PU in the neck. I'm still hoping someone with a mustang can give me the length and width dimensions of the pickups so I can see if they will fit in my pickguard without modding it.

yes the trem cavity goes all the way through on mine. I can't really see why they did this, other than there's an adjustment screw to keep the trem arm from freely swinging, that's accessible from the back. It's a shame they couldn't think of another way to design this to avoid having another plate on the back and a whole chunk of wood routed out of the body. In general I don't like the design of the arm collet on this trem and I am considering machining a new one that would accept an unthreaded, JM style arm.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby Sound for Sandwiches » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:47 am

antisymmetric wrote:Looking good! FWIW, here is a link to a recent neck repair of mine. I'm not familiar with the birch in the neck you're fixing, but if it's possibly a bit soft and there's a possibility that with a smaller washer the adjuster might compress into the neck, this fix might help. The neck I was working on was quite soft (didn't originally have a truss rod) and I was worried about compression from the adjuster pushing it under the end of the fingerboard, so I had the rod compressing onto carbon fibre rods (which add stiffness to the neck anyway).
Enjoying your thread, cool project and methods.


Nice job on that Harmony, man. I hear what you're saying about the wood compressing. Upthread there was the suggestion from MatthewK (whom I should thank for encouraging me to salvage this neck) to use epoxy resin to create a hardened land for the washer. Makes sense to me, but I've never done that and wonder if anyone else has. As far as softness, I'd rank the birch between maple and mahogany. with mahog you can dig into it with your fingernail, and the birch you can't do that. But due to the stringiness of the fibers, it tends to "crumble" when damaged (can't think of a better term) actually there are a bunch of places I am going to have to fill in on the back of the neck where little chips crumbled off the edge of the break.

I do have a few scraps of the birch left over, I guess I could mock up a test with a long bolt or something to see what happens to the end grain under compression.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby WonderCouncil » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:02 pm

Sound for Sandwiches wrote:Thanks... yeah I saw that spartan on ebay too. the comp stripe I doubt is original and I wonder if it was a total refin. I do like the color though. Looks like a strat PU in the neck. I'm still hoping someone with a mustang can give me the length and width dimensions of the pickups so I can see if they will fit in my pickguard without modding it.

yes the trem cavity goes all the way through on mine. I can't really see why they did this, other than there's an adjustment screw to keep the trem arm from freely swinging, that's accessible from the back. It's a shame they couldn't think of another way to design this to avoid having another plate on the back and a whole chunk of wood routed out of the body. In general I don't like the design of the arm collet on this trem and I am considering machining a new one that would accept an unthreaded, JM style arm.


If it helps you I have a set of 69' RI Mustang pickups. the width is like .75" or just a smidgen under and the length looks to be 4" from mounting hole to mounting hole with the top length (part sticking out of the the pickupguard" at 3.75". Hopefully that made sense and might help. If I had my camera I'd snap some pictures of it against the ruler.
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Re: my new Domino is going to need some help.

Postby Sound for Sandwiches » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:15 pm

WonderCouncil wrote:If it helps you I have a set of 69' RI Mustang pickups. the width is like .75" or just a smidgen under and the length looks to be 4" from mounting hole to mounting hole with the top length (part sticking out of the the pickupguard" at 3.75". Hopefully that made sense and might help. If I had my camera I'd snap some pictures of it against the ruler.


Wondercouncil, do you by chance mean 3" from screw to screw and 2.75" overall length of the visible part of the pickup? that would make sense. Maybe you were burning an inch 8) If so, those dimensions are pretty much dead on with these domino pickups.

An update on the neck repair: I re-established the truss rod slot with a combination of router, drill press, and hand chisels (basically made do with what I had available without buying more router bits) and then used a drillbit extender to make a lengthwise hole for the end of the rod to pass through. Without the extender the body of the drill would have prevented me getting the correct angle- even with it was still a dodgy operation. Still trying to decide how big a washer to use, and I may have to chip out a little more wood to accommodate it.

I'm thinking about maybe using some superglue to flow into the wood fibers around where the washer will go to help avoid crushing. I have some epoxy but it's so thick I can't see it getting into all the little places it needs to go.

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