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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Electrificatin' a not-so-electrifying birdhouse guitar

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Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 19th, 2019 07:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've got this import Washburn HB15 hollowbody. It followed me home from a mom-n-pop guitar shop about 10 years ago because they were blowing them out for $200 with hard case. And it's been collecting dust since then.

It has a little mini-HB on a bracket on the end of the fingerboard, so I suspect this is supposed to be a cheepie jazzbox. These are inexpensive guitars, and the quality is remarkably good. All mahogany, with binding on the top and back, and binding in the F holes. Real Grover tuners.

Everything is amazingly good except for the pickup. It does suck buttermilk, and that is why I don't play it.

So my plan is to turn this into a little L-5 style guitar. I'll install two full-size humbuckers and put a switch on the upper bout, like a Les Paul has. It already has one volume and one tone, and I think I'll keep it that way.

Pics as soon as I shoot some holes in the front of the guitar.

>edited to add a photo of the patient before it goes on the bloc de hachage.

It has no idea of the horrors it will endure

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 09:41 AM, Jan 19th, 2019)

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 19th, 2019 09:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Man, I would like to have it and make an ES275 model out of it. Have always wanted a hollowbodied with P-90's in it. So, no pressure, just sell it to me!


Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 19th, 2019 01:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

You can find these cheap second-hand. Look around!

I wanted a 295 for years but the prices were ridiculous for even a beat-up one.

So I found a 135. Only real difference is they're thinner.

littleuch
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Ocala, Florida

pwn me like it's 1999
Jan 19th, 2019 01:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm sure the results will be spectacular. Keep us posted, I love seeing you skilled guys do this stuff.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 19th, 2019 01:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

Original ES-295

from 1953

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 19th, 2019 01:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

ES-295.
Thank you for helping me out.

But still a cool guitar and idea!

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Toxic Humility
Jan 19th, 2019 01:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Cool project!

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 20th, 2019 06:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Looking at this thing, it will be more akin to an ES-175 than an L-5. I think it's gonna work!

LeftyMeister
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Buckeye Country, USA

Tone is in the lingers
Jan 20th, 2019 06:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's got the makings for a Byrdland platform. ;o)

Uncle Ted

(This message was last edited by LeftyMeister at 09:01 AM, Jan 20th, 2019)

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 20th, 2019 08:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'd have to install that lame-lookin' tailpiece. They look so...cheaply made.

"Let's take a steel rod, bend it into a girly-lookin' W shape, and gold plate it."

What were they thinkin'?


Props to Ted an' all, but...duuuuude.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 21st, 2019 12:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

Too cold for outside fun, so I pressed forward with this project.

I didn't use a router to cut the pickup holes in the top because it requires a large jig and the setup time takes longer than using a little saw. I used a little jab saw I made from a coping saw blade, cutting from 3/16" holes I drilled in each corner of the cutouts. It is fast work and took about 10 minutes.

I cleaned things up to the lines with smooth files, sealed the raw-cut edges with shellac, and sanded them smooth. Also drilled for the pickup selector switch.

Now the blue jays can fit in there.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 21st, 2019 02:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's going to be a great little rock-a-billy guit-fiddle and I can't wait to see the transformation!

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 22nd, 2019 01:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Wrapped this up today.

I was planning on having to make a completely new finger plate because the one that was on it was pretty narrow at the front. I knew I'd have to cut it out to fit around the neck pickup ring, and thought I'd have to take too big a bite out of it. But I was able to modify the original, and there was sufficient material around the bottom of the neck pickup ring. It works well.

I pinned the bridge foot in place and swapped in a metal TOM bridge because the original was a straight rosewood saddle. The guitar intonates ridiculously well for an archtop--and it's a dirt cheap archtop.

It's lighter in weight than my Gibson ES-339 and ES-135, and it sounds just as good; these Parsons Street humbuckers are fantastic.

It's like a two-knob ES-175, for $320 all in. I'm happy with the result.

Pic here

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Toxic Humility
Jan 22nd, 2019 01:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

Very nice!

Luv me some Parson Street!

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 22nd, 2019 01:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Leftee.

I put the PS pickups in my Flying V when they first came out and was blown away by their tone and responsiveness. It's a super-versatile pickup.

Leftee
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VA

Toxic Humility
Jan 22nd, 2019 01:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

How are they in a hollow body, seeing as they aren’t potted?

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 22nd, 2019 01:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

I had it cranked up loud and it whistled only when I stepped on the boost with the dirt pedal on. Otherwise they work great in this guitar.

Tinkerer
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San Diego, CA USA

Jan 22nd, 2019 01:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

That looks great!!

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 22nd, 2019 01:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

Cheers!

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jan 22nd, 2019 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Great choices, clean execution, very classy, two thumbs up!

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Electrificatin' a not-so-electrifying birdhouse guitar




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