Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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lefty
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Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by lefty » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:56 am

So I'll try not to make this too boring and wordy but I bought a EXII project from Will about 3 yeas ago and life, work, studying and a couple of intimidating fixes slowed me down.

Will was great, really helpful and had everything I needed to complete the project, including finding a tort guard that I'm not sure he had in the original listing. These were the bare bones...

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The last 2 picture illustrate what was, for me, the biggest potentially stumbling block. I knew I was going to have to reshape the heel and cover the Shen mounting holes. I remember seeing a similar parts EXii on reverb were someone had left the shoulders and screwed a metal plate over the holes. Fair enough if that's you're favoured solution but I wouldn't have been happy with that.

The divots were also an issue I knew I wantted to sort out. I didn't know how I was going to do it until I found this

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier ... divot.html

The divot fix seemed easier than the reshaping but either way I didn't want to destroy a beautiful neck that had survived for the best part of 50 years until it ended up in my ham fisted hands. It was my fault really as I cheaped out and tried to keep the costs down by not buying a more expensive EXii neck Will had. Ah well, the project ground to a halt.

Last year I thought I'd go for and try and get it done. I was no good with documenting with pics but there wasn't too much to see. I just bought a bastard file and a smoother round back one and went for it, I measured up and tried to recreate the shape best I could.
It felt pretty good with a slight highness (or low spot) working up towards the new shoulders. You can't really see it, and cant feel it when you play it so it could be worse. The thing that really slowed me down again with trying to make a cover for the holes. I stupidly bought a small block of oak and thought I'd make a shim wedge and cover 2 things in one. Trouble with that plan was the oak (or whatever hardwood) was so hard it took 2/3 weeks of sanding and filing and it was still way too thick. So back in the cupboard it went...
Last edited by lefty on Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lefty
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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by lefty » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:04 am

Well this year, with lock down and some pretty amazing weather in the UK, I was determined to finish it off. The "veneer" I made had to go so I sawed that off and sanded down the titebond and looked for a new solution. Inspired by a pretty amazing fix of a Tielman JM headstock with proper veneers that gave me a pretty good clue as to what to do.

5 quid or so from Ebay and some playing around and the fix was done. In a day. Cant believe how much time I wasted last year. I didn't quite get it right. I cut and stuck in down and thought I'd be able to sand and blend it in by sanding back towards it. Stupid. I should have let it overhang and and blended it in. No matter, its better than the Reverb solution.

Next was the divots. Pretty easy all in all, but my rosewood was a little lighter. Still it looks OK and with the strings on it looked more than acceptable.

This
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To this
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Last edited by lefty on Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by lefty » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:10 am

As soon as that was done, it was just the spraying. Horrible, horrible nitro spray with rattle cans in the garden. Plenty of issues, dust, dings, herding cats into the house in the blazing sun when they wanted to be out, red marks from masks etc... god its a nasty job. Then I oversprayed the clearcoat, and stupidly tried to spray it out and poked it with my stupid finger and flattened a patch of the mist coat. I'm a ham fisted buffoon. Hence no real need for a detailed picture rich thread.

So, another can of IBM and more clear (this is not a thin skin), 3 weeks to wait for the polish and here it is.

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Last edited by lefty on Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:39 am

Very lovely!
It turned out absolutely great no matter how difficult the spraying process appears to have been - it was definitely worth the hassle! Wouldn‘t have thought that IBM and Tort work so great together - looking at the new IBM Vintera JMs that would have been something I would have probably changed to Mint/Parchment/Cream or even Black.

So, how does it sound and feel/play?

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:46 am

Also great work with the divots in the fingerboard and what a cool technique!

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by lefty » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:27 am

MayTheFuzzBeWithYou wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:39 am
Very lovely!
It turned out absolutely great no matter how difficult the spraying process appears to have been - it was definitely worth the hassle! Wouldn‘t have thought that IBM and Tort work so great together - looking at the new IBM Vintera JMs that would have been something I would have probably changed to Mint/Parchment/Cream or even Black.

So, how does it sound and feel/play?
Thanks very much! Yep a few tiny imperfections aside, I'm really happy. The few flaws are OK, "commensurate with age" blah blah blah and all that. But a 50 plus year old guitar shouldn't be perfect maybe? The next phase though is a gentle sun tan to green it out. I think that will really give some forgiving feeling to the f*ck ups.

I went round the houses with the colour. The tort felt limiting if I wanted to go authentic. In the end I wasn't too bothered about that. Its a frankenstein project so no pressure in the end. I did think about candy apple red for a long time and aztec gold for a while. Black was close too, very close. I've really come round to black guitars recently. I'm either really boring or really rock 'n' roll...

This was the thing that swing it though...

http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... php?t=2324

drool...

So, feel/play? Really great. Amazing in both regards. The neck is lovely and after I tightened the truss, its straight like I like it. No shim but the action is low, no real choke or buzz. I've surprised actually how easy it is to play too. I strummed a couple of bit and played the middle section of stairway (cliche alert) and thought it would be a limited one trick pony. Took about 10 minutes in fall pretty hard for it and be inspired to play a lot. It makes the simplest chords sound more interesting than my normal, limited repetoire.

It sounds amazing too, absolutely silent and hum free and the pickups are strong and clear. The first 2 positions are fine but 3 (from up to down) is perfect chimey, phasey zeppelin, smiths (to my ears). It was worth the effort, stress, shouting, swearing, nitro stink. I love it.

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by SignoftheDragon » Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:10 pm

Just. Gorgeous.

That IBM + tort combo looks perfect!

Great job on the fingerboard fill too- damn. I'm dreaming about this one.

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by lefty » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:00 am

SignoftheDragon wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:10 pm
Just. Gorgeous.

That IBM + tort combo looks perfect!

Great job on the fingerboard fill too- damn. I'm dreaming about this one.
Thanks again. Yep, its the best refin I've managed to do. That divot trick though worked so well, and was surprising easy to do. A good sharp knife and the fibres came up easy. Not sure I'd brave it on an expensive slab board but think this one justified it.

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by CorporateDisguise » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:47 am

Looks great! Man left handed XIIs must be pretty rare. Great job on giving this one a new life.

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by lefty » Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:04 am

CorporateDisguise wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:47 am
Looks great! Man left handed XIIs must be pretty rare. Great job on giving this one a new life.
Thanks! Yep its worked out great. It is a righty though. Im a lefty who plays right. Not sure I've ever seen a left handed EXii. Wonder if there were any?

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by SignoftheDragon » Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:42 am

lefty wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:04 am
CorporateDisguise wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:47 am
Looks great! Man left handed XIIs must be pretty rare. Great job on giving this one a new life.
Thanks! Yep its worked out great. It is a righty though. Im a lefty who plays right. Not sure I've ever seen a left handed EXii. Wonder if there were any?
I've only seen Lefty XIIs from the Custom Shop.

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Re: Finally done - Electric Xii 66 body/68 Shen Neck

Post by CorporateDisguise » Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:15 am

SignoftheDragon wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:42 am
lefty wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:04 am
CorporateDisguise wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:47 am
Looks great! Man left handed XIIs must be pretty rare. Great job on giving this one a new life.
Thanks! Yep its worked out great. It is a righty though. Im a lefty who plays right. Not sure I've ever seen a left handed EXii. Wonder if there were any?
I've only seen Lefty XIIs from the Custom Shop.
Haha, I have to stop commenting at 5am.... no idea why I thought this was a lefty.

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