91 peavey predator made in USA - custom/Frankenstein

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Winstonorsmitty
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Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:06 pm

91 peavey predator made in USA - custom/Frankenstein

Post by Winstonorsmitty » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:43 pm

Cliff Notes:
Sanded and gave designer wood finish and paint job
Customized original pick guard
New pickups fender strat classics 57-62
New volume pot 250k
Used volume knobs
Ping tuners
Roller string tree
Shimmed neck
Added lag screw body to neck
Original look
Original look
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Finished front long
Finished front long
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“Prorogue”

I am proud of my first custom job. After humpty-dumpty was all back together again And working I reflected. I was thankful for all the forums, websites and people that helped me. Feel free to blast me, I usually get a good chuckle from those posts.

Intro:
This unit was gifted to me by my bro-in-law. He used it in the 90’s for a couple of lessons and quit it. I accepted it with no real intention. But, while sourcing knowledge from a local Luthier for wood-working and finishing suggestions for a rifle that flooded in Katrina, I realized the predator would be my next project. This Luthier and his shop are awesome. I love the smells of the woods and just the overall vibe of a very laid back, rustic shop, all the while he is making high quality, beautiful guitars. His website suggests a fancy shop, but the warehouse to someone passing by would think, “jeez that place is POS.” Should you actually enter the warehouse, you’d pass large stumps of wood and the beginnings of hand-crafted bodies and necks. Upon entering a smaller office and you find some of his fancy creations. http://neworleansguitar.com/

Well, the rifle came out great and on to the Peavey. I sanded it down 18 months ago and Covid19 brought me back to it. The thing couldn’t keep in tune and I was less than excited about the red. To be fair to it, I am rather new to really identifying and tweaking to find my quality sound and tone. I only knew it did stay in tune and I wanted to experiment.

Chapter 1 Sanding and painting
I sanded it with the intent of leaving a few red marks on the final finish for memory sake. Later, when applying the first coat of black die, the red created a problem due to the clear coat that remained over the red.

On the second round of sanding, I started digging into the veneer top. I wanted to thin the body and lighten the load a little. My first happy accident was sanding a little too much of a section of veneer. I liked the look and made it a pattern.
First sand
First sand
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Designed sand 1
Designed sand 1
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Design sand 2
Design sand 2
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I had watched a YouTube from “guns and guitars” for paint job ideas. Cool dude, great step-by-step. https://youtu.be/hDzU7jwbVjE
My wood had very little character, so I applied many coloring layers to give it some depth.
Black die
Black die
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1st color
1st color
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I used black, blue and indigo Rit die for the center as he describes in his video. I used black polyurethane for the outer edges. When trying to paint with in my sanding design, I made another “happy little mistake” and created a feather paint job in the grooves I had sanded. (RIP Bob Ross).

I literally painted and sanded 12-15 times. The last few times with 3-4 rounds with 00 steel wool. I covered the entire guitar body with 4-5 rounds of minswax tongue oil. In the directions, they describe running a clean, lint-free cloth over it 10-15 minutes after application. I kept getting lint no matter what cloth Or steel wool I used. I used 000 steel wool to get the lint off and then reapplied the oil. On the final oil applications, I simply used the foam brush and kept painting the oil until it did not run.
Finished front
Finished front
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Finished side
Finished side
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Finished back
Finished back
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Finished back
Finished back
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I left the neck mostly unchanged. I added a lag screw on a 45 degree angle. I couldn’t get the second one to fit because it interfered with the micro neck adjustment thing. The scariest part of the entire project was redrilling for the tuning machine holes. I also had to refill some small holes from the original tuners.

I customized the pick guard with a pencil, jigsaw, burr, sandpaper, and steel wool. I simply, drew a line and went at it as you can probably see if you study it closely.

Chapter 2 - new pickups and soldering wires
In with the new pick-ups, my second choice, Fender original ‘57-‘62 strat pick-ups. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... pickup-set
I actually purchased Humbuckers from Sweetwater, but they called to let me know they were back ordered. I’m glad to say this happened because that would have created a lot of extra cut out work to make them fit. They are a perfect fit. I could have used the white pick-up covers, though I liked how the cream covers somewhat matched the neck.

It was my first time with a solder gun. I got mine from Ace hardware and chose the most expensive unit at 29 American dollars. It is a Weller 25 watts, one temp setting.

So, I wired it all back the way it came out. I took some practice but I got it all soldered.
I am now feeling good, but realized my pick guard had cracked at a screw hole . So, I decided to place aluminum tape on the back of the pick guard to help hold it in place and potentially reduce buzz. I have no idea what people are talking about with the tape and connectivity.

With no strings or neck, I plugged it and finger-tap-tested the pick-ups in all 5 positions. Holy Shit, it’s working!!!!!

Chapter 2.5
Neck to body had a slight gap, so I shimmed with two tiny shims. Back to my guitar Luthier friend who hooked me up.
Neck shim
Neck shim
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Chapter 3 - are we there yet?
I’m itching to put strings on this thing but I’m on hold because I ran across a few links like his one: “25 things to make your stat better.” https://guitar.com/guides/diy-workshop/ ... atocaster/
Yes, I know I am custom jobbing a peavey. So, Now I’m shopping steel tremolos, orange drop capacitors, string tree shims, and most importantly to me, tuning keys. I literally spent hours shopping the web. I wasn’t sure what would fit. After about a week, I found A local New Orleans shop, “Todd’s music express.” Todd had just about everything I needed, less the steel tremolo which I bought online. The tremolo ended up not fitting the bridge, so it lives on my night stand. Todd also had used, slightly tarnished knobs that I love bc they compliment the black paint.

Chapter 4 - wait, what?
Well, I’ve got my .022 Orange drop caps but I don’t know where they should be soldered. After watching this guys vid, I decide to do a custom wire job on the inside because, why not, I can solder now.
Wiring vid: https://youtu.be/j4LFXzX8qgo
Capacitors: https://www.stewmac.com/electronics/com ... -caps.html

Tuning machines:
I redrill the 8mm tuner holes for 10mm and refill the old small holes with the sawdust and wood glue. The drilling was dangerous. I had some extremely aggressive bits that nearly ripped the head off the neck. The ping tuners did not require me to go all the way through. In other words, 10mm to 8mm step. Anyway, Serious yikes at the end of the project. The new tuners have these anti rotation pegs on the back. I had to eye-ball this part of the project. I painted the tips of the anti-rotation pegs and pressed them against the wood. I then drilled holes to allow them to fall into place. I couldn’t get them down with my fingers, but they pulled down nicely to the head when I tightened the nut. Tuning machines: https://reverb.com/item/26425865-6-in-l ... strat-tele
Head
Head
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Head back
Head back
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On with a new roller string tree.

Chapter 5 - I’ll never get strings on this thing
As I tighten up the Pots before i put on the knobs....Snap goes the master volume pot. I cut the wires and get a new pot from my new friend, Todd. Soldering gun out again, and happier with my new job, I go to place the pot in the pick guard. It doesn’t fit. So, I Drill out a bigger hole. Then, the knob doesn’t fit on the pot. I squeeze the pot lightly together and it goes to crap. I think one of prongs is about to break, but the knob sorta fits. Maybe I’ll rectify that eventually. Again, I tap test the pickups. All good.

I dismantle the tremolo and bridge for the first time excited bc it’s my last step before strings. As mentioned, the steel tremolo doesn’t fit. I am beyond caring about it at this point. I put it back together with the original zinc trem and put on the only electric strings I had. 9’s.

Chapter 6 - it plays bitchz!
The tone is little thin. I Mess with the pickup height and then decide, let’s go get some 10’s. That made huge difference in my opinion. icing on the cake!!!
Attachments
Paint supplies
Paint supplies
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OrigiNl red
OrigiNl red
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The end is the beginning

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