Project Furrian P90

Discussion in 'Project Depot' started by Mossman, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Since I found myself home alone on Christmas, I thought it would be a good day to get cracking on the Furrian, before the other two Teles I ordered come in (my avarice for Telecasters has been shameless lately! :sneaky:).

    I’ve had a set of Epiphone Pro P90s that @tobijohn sent me a while back to try out, and I got some 330K pots and a 4-way switch, but before I could install any of that, I had to deal with the bridge saddles and the badly mangled nut first.

    I ordered a bridge from Guitar Fetish, but the mounting screw holes didn’t line up right. No matter, I bought the bridge just for the saddles, anyway (was cheaper than buying the saddles individually).

    Nothing exciting, just bent metal saddles.

    IMG_20171226_165723_crop_541x624.jpg

    Then it was on to the nut... This has to be worst cut nut I’ve ever seen! Not only were the slots too shallow, but they were cut on an angle!

    Can you say... Tuning issues?

    IMG_20171124_023224_crop_609x296.jpg

    Removing the stock nut was all about a bitch. It was cemented into the slot with a large amount of glue. After trying everything I could think of to tap the nut out of the slot (without damaging the surrounding wood), I got my fret-slotting saw out and cut that mother down the middle (lengthwise). Then, using a small, flathead screwdriver as a chisel (the head of the screwdriver fit the width of the slot perfectly), I proceeded to knock all the pieces of the nut out of the slot.

    There was a a big glob of glue left in the bottom of the slot but I managed to sand most of it out, so the new nut sits flush.

    The nut on the Furrian was just a little thicker (front to back) than Fender spec, because the slot was a little too big for the NuBone nut that I took out of a licensed Allparts Tele neck. I had to glue a shim of veneer to the back of the nut in order to fill the gap.

    Also, the nut was way too tall. I’m guessing the nut slot on the Furrian neck is shallower, because the nut looked alright on the Allparts neck.

    This meant I would have to sand some material off the bottom of the nut. Quite a lot of material, actually... And on a angle, too, because the treble side of the nut was impossibly high.

    I was a little nervous about doing this, because it was difficult keeping the bottom of the nut flat and level. All I could do was eye-ball it, and sand off material incrementally, fitting it in the slot frequently to gauge progress. Once it looked right to me, I dry-fit the nut with the strip of veneer in the slot (it was a pretty tight fit), and strung her up to check the nut slots.

    You can see the veneer on the back of the nut in this shot.

    IMG_20171225_192252_crop_624x399.jpg

    I couldn’t have asked for better results. The low and high E strings were both at the perfect hieght, but the rest of the slots needed to be cut just a smidge deeper. I fucked up and cut the G and B string slots too deep, and got to try the baking soda and super glue trick (it works!) to fill the slots and re-cut them.

    After all the slot depths were to my satisfaction, I trimmed the excess veneer off the back of the nut with an X-acto knife, tuned her up and plugged her in to make sure everything sounded/felt ok.

    IMG_20171225_202419_crop_624x624.jpg

    I did a lot of tweaking of the saddle hieghts and neck relief until I was close to satisfied. It still needed a little more adjustment, but I wanted it to sit overnight, and let everything ‘settle in’. The neck had been without string tension for a few weeks and some back-bow had developed. Whenever I have to pull the neck in the opposite direction, I like to give it some time to let it stabilize. I also put 10s on this one, replacing the 9s that came on it.

    I also installed the new, black pickguard, made by our own @rmfroyd. Looks great and fits perfectly!

    I just realized, I haven’t taken the plastic off yet!

    IMG_20171226_164927-487x650.jpg

    IMG_20171226_164957-487x650.jpg

    Next comes the great P90 shootout. I got reacquainted with the sound of the stock pickups, and I don’t know... They do sound good! The Epis will have to be pretty special to beat these.

    After I decide which pickups I’m gonna go with, I’ll order the chrome covers.

    Oh yeah, and I never did glue that nut in. I think it’ll be alright, though.

    And it’s official... That there is a 1-11/16” nut... Contrary to Rondo specs.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the likes bump.
     
  3. brattmatter

    brattmatter Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    Looks great. Try black covers for me, Mossman. ;)
     
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  4. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I could go either way, and black was my first choice, but every time I look at it, I think: "It'll look sick with chrome".

    Maybe I'll get both (the plastic covers are pretty cheap) and see which one i like better (and post pics, of course).
    .
     
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  5. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Nice work and documentation. That nut sure was a pain on the, um . . . balls. ;)
     
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  6. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I wonder if a chrome pickguard with chrome covers would be too blingy for you (although black covers with one would probably be OK)? I've got a black Sawtooth ash Tele that I went that route on and I think it looks pretty sharp (has the GFS Little Killer rails in it)...
     
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  7. Hoser

    Hoser Well-Known Member

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    I have the same guitar, and same problem with the saddles, I got some fender ones that I will be putting on soon, the stock one rattle like crazy. I planned to swap the pick ups out with a A2 in the bridge and A3 in the neck but i'm really digging the stock ones for now, may hold off and see how much I like them after I gig some with this guitar.
     
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  8. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    I can't tell from the photo what the saddle problem was; you said "bent saddles"? You have to wonder how that is possible...but that nut - was this how the Furrian came from Rondo? You deserve some kind of reward for taking in this stray dog and giving it a home, LOL. My favorite new nut was on a Squier '51. It was cut and installed okay, but it was in the wrong place! No kidding; somebody really screwed up and since this stuff is all CNC, there was probably a whole run of them like this. It was too far from the bridge by about a 16th of an inch or maybe a bit less. You could tune and intonate fine if you capo'd the first fret, but all your open notes would be off. Guaranteed to drive a first time owner crazy! I put an Earvana retrofit nut on it - the kind with a separate top section you can slide towards the bridge or the head. That thing was an absolute miracle worker; the neck is now one of my favorites. But that it got out of the factory at all is just inexcusable.
     
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  9. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Meh. It was a little extra effort, but it wasn't so bad. I've had to cut a nut out like this before.

    Argh! My autocorrect keeps turning 'nut' into 'but'!
     
  10. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Not too blingy, but a mirrored pickguard always results me obsessively wiping off fingerprints. They look sharp at first, but before too long, they start to look kinda gross (IMO).
     
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  11. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    No, I said the saddles I replaced the stock ones with were the 'bent metal' kind.. Like these:
    03-05013-lg.jpg
    The problem with the original saddles was the grub screws were so hard to turn, I was afraid I was going to break the hex key. One of the screws in the high E saddle wouldn't turn at all.
     
  12. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Why the bent ones?
     
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  13. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I got it; I misunderstood that part.
     
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  14. jjegg

    jjegg Well-Known Member

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    The bent ones for me seem to make the guitar a little more "lively" and more sustain than the factory ones. The factory ones are Cast from a blend of scrap metals and chrome plated. they dont transfer vibration as well and they tend to strip easier than the steel bent ones. I try to replace all my strat saddles with bent ones along with a larger block under the bridge, GFS makes a nice big brass block, only issue is Ive had to mill some off to get the tremolo plate clearance as they are fine with a full thickness strat body , some squire's and sx guitars ive had to mill them down to adapt to the thinner bodies. On my teles I use bent saddles or opt to replace the bridge with a wilkinson bridge with the brass compensated saddles makes a world of difference. Ether guitar may it be a tele or a strat the bent saddles are a great upgrade.
     
  15. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Oh definitely I'll take bent steel over cast junk metal.

    But I assumed there was non-bent good steel available too.
     
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  16. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Mostly because I had never tried them before. Some people, like @jjegg love 'em (thanks for your input, BTW), and some people hate 'em. I wanted to see for myself.

    The stock bridge saddles are super cheap... They even look cheap. I think anything would be an improvement. :)
     
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  17. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    There are. I have steel block saddles on the Earthling Tele, and they're fine. It's just the pot-metal crap I don't like.
     
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  18. jjegg

    jjegg Well-Known Member

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    I agree their is some good SOLID STEEL block saddles they are made from machined steel and are good, its the cast block saddles that come on most imports that are junk.
     
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  19. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    I like the stamped steel ones just fine, but ^^^^+1 on jjegg above.
     
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  20. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    What about brass saddles, have you tried that?
     
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