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Thread: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

  1. #1
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    ]I have a friend who has been pestering me to convert a cheap six string electric into a short scale tenon electric.
    I have not worked on any instruments for a year or so, as I gave up renting a workshop and I am now sort of retired.
    However I still have a shed and a few hand tools. so I finally told him to bring it around .

    Yesterday I cut off the head just above the truss rod end and cut down the neck.
    I left the 12th fret markers so the neck is a little wide but ended up with a 21.5” scale and a 34mm nut.
    The truss rod is still in there and accessible from the very end of the headstock.

    After glueing on a pair of ears we left it until this morning and I veneered over the joints and sanded it all down .
    In all it took me 8 hours ... certainly not a work of art but it does work!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Nice job! A 21 inch scale electric tenor is impossible to find, so you might be flooded with requests. Watch out!
    Blueridge BR-60T Tenor Guitar
    Eastwood Warren Ellis 2P Tenor Guitar

  4. #3
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Well my friend is very pleased with his new toy but.... he would really like a 20” scale!!
    The only sensible way to do that is to make a new neck..... so watch this space...
    Personally I feel it will look out of proportion and he really needs a completely new guitar.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    I think this is a brilliant way to get a tenor scale on the quick. Well done!
    VerneAndru.com | oKee.ComX

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  6. #5
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Hey Verne, I have had very little to do with solid body electric guitars and I really did not know much about them however.... I have spent the last week or so studying them. So now, I know a dangerously small amount ha ha ....

    On Friday I found a similar one in a charity shop for 20 . I have striped it down, cut around 25mm off all around and made a new neck.
    I have re styled the body and made it far more flowing and rounded.

    I made it a fixed neck with carbon fibre reinforcement, I have coated the whole thing with an epoxy seal coat so basically I am left with painting it and fitting the electrics.
    I will post some pictures but to be honest it happened so quickly I did not take many!

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    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Sounds like a cool project.


    Daniel

  9. #7
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    What Daniel said! Looking forward to pictures
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

  10. #8

    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Stewart View Post
    Nice job! A 21 inch scale electric tenor is impossible to find, so you might be flooded with requests. Watch out!
    I have two hanging in my shop right now and three more in process. Must not be looking hard enough.

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  12. #9
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    The new one alongside the modified neck one, exactly the same guitar body just reshaped and with a new neck.
    I will have a look for some new pickups over the next few days....
    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #10
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    I did not want a tremolo so I filled the space, I also managed to get a reasonable finish using spray cans but it took a few goes, I hope to fix the fretboard on tomorrow...
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  16. #11

    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    I'm liking the way you've modded the body.
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  18. #12
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    A little more progress (life keeps getting in the way) roughed out a pick plate, not sure what colour I will paint it?
    Waiting for a couple of pickups to arrive from China and I need to make a back plate for the strings.....Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by fox; Oct-03-2019 at 8:46am.

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    A little more progress (life keeps getting in the way) roughed out a pick plate, not sure what colour I will paint it?
    Waiting for a couple of pickups to arrive from China and I need to make a back plate for the strings.....Click image for larger version. 

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    Looking really good!

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  22. #14

    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    These Fender minis are very easy to find, cheap, (under $40.) here in the US. ( 9 of them on shopgoodwill.com right now.)
    I've just finished two 5 string mando/mandolas.
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    The black one started life as a Fender Squire mini. This being my first experience with and solid body instrument I cant say how they compare to any other Emandos. I can say my son and I have been having fun with them. I've found the "neck splice" method to be my most successful way to shorten the scale length.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This one involved cutting and re welding the truss rod but that was in order to get a 15.5" scale. You could probable avoid that if you were going for a 20" scale length.
    It also involved removing the fretboard which, I must admit, is nearly impossible on these Fenders.....which explains the cheap, replacement flat fretboard ....

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  24. #15
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    I was having problems with the infill piece of wood showing through the paint, even though I sealed it with epoxy!
    I felt reluctant to sand it back and re paint the thing again as the paint finish is by far the most difficult part for me.
    So I routed out a 2mm deep 150mm circle and filled it with epoxy and then had a bit of fun with a few pigments, it is perfectly level with the top at the moment but we will see what happens overnight.Click image for larger version. 

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  25. #16
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Well it came out pretty clean, just one tiny overspill that I should be able to patch up.
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  27. #17
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    That's pretty cool, shame it's on the back a matching pick guard would be great.
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

  28. #18
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Yeah I thought the same, you can only really get the 3d effect when the epoxy is at lease 3-4 mm deep so I would have to do a fair bit of sanding to reduce the thickness but maybe .....

  29. #19
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Well the green one sold straight away (200) so as I am having fun (so much easier than acoustics) I thought let’s do another cheap and cheerful one.....
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  31. #20
    Tenor Guitar Greenhorn Huck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    Way to go fox. Looking forward to the finished guitar. It sure looks great.

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  33. #21

    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    500mm, 19.7 inch scale length (about a fret shorter than my octave mandolin, and MUCH lower string tension)
    At the moment I just drop the 2nd string from B to A, and the third from G to D (floppy).
    That’s three strings in fifths.

    In future I may remove the 4th D string and put it in third string position and the 5th A string to forth position, tuned down one step to G. Then tune the fifth and sixth to probably G or D, just for resonance -I don’t need them.

    They are really cheap (at the moment), 15 euros, about 18 dollars? This one is supposedly for kids, the intonation is fine, and the action is low, though the pickup is like a piezo... It was sold with a mini amp that didn’t work too well. I guess their logic was that it must all be bad.

    I love it because I can practice with it late into the night, and even play it as a heavy metal mandolin..

    Click image for larger version. 

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  35. #22
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rough and ready ... quick and dirty, electric conversion.

    I made this one a 20” scale, waiting for gold fret wire, gold knobs and I may change the pickup for a gold lipstick....
    Click image for larger version. 

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