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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:15 pm 
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Howdy. You folks have always been so helpful and responsive when I've posted.

I bought a really cheap Japanese dread last week for $40. Just to teach myself some luthiery, I'm planning on removing the neck and then the top. It's actually a pretty solid guitar, made by a company named Kasuga, way back in the eighties. It is a 12-string and I want to convert it to a 6-string.

Are some decent videos on YouTube that might run me through the procedures for removing the neck and then the top?

Thanks in advance for your expertise and response.

CL


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:03 am 
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Yes :)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:08 am 
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Scott most of the imports have very little learning value in taking them apart. For example the neck joints are often doweled and not designed to come apart or be serviced and put back on. No learning value in resetting a doweled neck joint because no one in their right mind would ever pay to have one of these reset in the real world with the reset price often being more than twice the price of a new guitar.

The same holds true for top removal, no value in that either on this one because they likely used AMG (Asian mystery glue) which does not have the serviceability characteristics of HHG, Titebond original, etc. Also, rarely in the real world are folks removing tops and certainly not from Asian imports.

Instead although often great values in terms of functionality and price the Asian stuff offers very limited learning possibilities beyond target shooting and bon fires with lots of pretty colors...:)

Where you will learn something is to pick-up a beater from eBay that is a Harmony. It will have serviceable glues so you can take it apart to your hearts desire AND use conventional methods which will be a learning experience and the neck is a dovetail joint and will come apart like a Martin, G*bson, etc also affording you some learning opportunities and some frustration and fun as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:20 am 
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What Hesh says is true that you probably won't learn about neck resetting or taking a top off and on. But, you could learn about making and bracing a top! Also, bridge making and installation and maybe fret boarding too.

You could probably just band saw the neck of without hitting the body and do a bolt on but joint probably making a new fretboard. You could probably get the top off with a dremel, base, and some sort of buzz saw. It's not going to be pretty, but hey, it'll be fun!



These users thanked the author Pmaj7 for the post: Hesh (Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:40 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:46 am 
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Pat's right there is fretting value, bridge reglues and again..... target practice value....:)

Before attempting to saw off the neck better take a peek for a truss rod spanning the neck block. Might be a bit dangerous hitting a truss rod with a bandsaw blade and might ruin your day too having to replace the blade.

Another idea: We have been known to fix up guitars like this one and then give them to some of our unfortunate homeless friends who hang around near our shop. We are finding that many of the Asian imports seem to hold up quite well outside in Michigan winters. Wish I could say the same for the poor folks who are homeless too.... What a shame in such a great country.

Travis, one of our homeless friends after he stopped balling when we gave him his guitar played us one of his original tunes and sang too. How appropriate that his tune in the vain of Nirvana is titled "Human Ant Farm..."

Sorry I digressed, not unusual for me, wish I could help these folks.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:12 am 
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I agree with above statement, if you want a six string simply remove the 2nd pair of strings the top tuners and plug the old holes or cut headstock down . The only decent learning might be making a new nut or attempting to replace the bridge. But I wouldn't.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:12 am 
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What Hesh said, those guitar shaped objects are not constructed like guitars that people are willing to invest in repair costs ---- Also, I don't believe the 12 to 6 conversion project would/will have much economy of effort. If a 6 string import is what you want just buy one. Are you interested in repairing or making guitars?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:14 am 
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If you are set on opening this thing up , take the back off not the top. If then it gets messed up in regluing later it wont affect the playing abilities

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The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:37 am 
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I will play devils advocate here. As mentioned the neck may be doweled, This can be most difficult but you can convert it to a bolt on. $40 isn't a lot of money so if you look at learning a few simple techniques , use it for this.
A when dealing will old guitars you may often find different type neck joints. So by learning to remove a fretboard , you can expose the neck joint, Even if doweled this will make removing that easier.
B learning to remove a top and back are skills that are required in higher end luthiery.
c Learning to loosen glue joints are good skills to have

So if you look at it that way, you can use it for some educational benefit. Don't expect to create a high end guitar from it just learning to take something apart will give you skills and confidence to attempt other tasks

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These users thanked the author bluescreek for the post: John Killin (Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:43 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:42 am 
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I would re-top that sucker! Who cares if it's a little Frankensteinish. Obviously she ain't gonna be a money maker. Lol ...The hard part will be keeping all the planes lined up.

I might be biased because I started out planning to just make a guitar top and after that, I was hooked!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:17 am 
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pat macaluso wrote:
I would re-top that sucker! Who cares if it's a little Frankensteinish. Obviously she ain't gonna be a money maker. Lol ...The hard part will be keeping all the planes lined up.

I might be biased because I started out planning to just make a guitar top and after that, I was hooked!
.

Wow, folks, thanks SO MUCH for all the great feedback and input. The gentleman who said to remove the back rather than the top struck a nerve. That makes a lot more sense. So let's focus on that instead.

What I'd like to do, then, is remove the back (or bottom) of the guitar, if possible, instead, and leave as much as possible intact elsewhere. A buddy of mine said sometimes you can go in and either remove some of the bracing from the top or scallop the existing braces (on the theory that a 12-string, even a cheap 12-string, is too heavily braced). Whaddya think?

There is a truss rod, so I'd leave the neck alone, as much as possible, although I'd like to experiment with fashioning and installing a new nut, as well as perhaps replacing the existing bridge.

Tell ya what, I'm gonna try and snap some quick photos and post them here. It's got kinda a cool looking pickguard with a flower design on it, a little like some of the fancy Gibsons.

Question: Can I upload JPGs directly from a computer here, or do I need to put them in Photobucket first and then upload the links?

I'm blown away by the tips and suggestions here. Thanks so much! And yes, if all else fails, this one would make for excellent target practice (or maybe just one blast with a shotgun, ala our former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger).

Look for pics soon!

Thanks again, Charmed Life


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:49 am 
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Quote:
Tell ya what, I'm gonna try and snap some quick photos and post them here. It's got kinda a cool looking pickguard with a flower design on it, a little like some of the fancy Gibsons.

Question: Can I upload JPGs directly from a computer here, or do I need to put them in Photobucket first and then upload the links?


Pics are good . I put them on "paint" reduce the size , save them in a file and upload from there . easy !

_________________
The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:01 am 
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Hack the dang thing up. $40 loss is no loss - just don't throw high $ parts at it cause it's not worth it. You'll learn a lot and if it looks like it's not worth putting back together turn it into a planter or kindling. JMO wow7-eyes

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:12 am 
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WudWerkr wrote:
Quote:
Tell ya what, I'm gonna try and snap some quick photos and post them here. It's got kinda a cool looking pickguard with a flower design on it, a little like some of the fancy Gibsons.

Question: Can I upload JPGs directly from a computer here, or do I need to put them in Photobucket first and then upload the links?


Pics are good . I put them on "paint" reduce the size , save them in a file and upload from there . easy !


I'll try the "Paint" thing. Never done it before. Good time to learn.

Thanks!
CL


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:14 am 
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Mahogany
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SteveSmith wrote:
Hack the dang thing up. $40 loss is no loss - just don't throw high $ parts at it cause it's not worth it. You'll learn a lot and if it looks like it's not worth putting back together turn it into a planter or kindling. JMO wow7-eyes


Actually, I'm not sure if I like the planter or the shotgun idea better. The planter notion has a longer-lasting quality and an eye toward the future, while the shotgun approach give such wonderful instant gratification.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:34 am 
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bluescreek wrote:
I will play devils advocate here. As mentioned the neck may be doweled, This can be most difficult but you can convert it to a bolt on. $40 isn't a lot of money so if you look at learning a few simple techniques , use it for this.
A when dealing will old guitars you may often find different type neck joints. So by learning to remove a fretboard , you can expose the neck joint, Even if doweled this will make removing that easier.
B learning to remove a top and back are skills that are required in higher end luthiery.
c Learning to loosen glue joints are good skills to have

So if you look at it that way, you can use it for some educational benefit. Don't expect to create a high end guitar from it just learning to take something apart will give you skills and confidence to attempt other tasks


Hey John: Here's the rub though if it's been welded.... togther with Asian Mystery Glue (AMG) the techniques used to disassembe "real" gutiars won't work making the excercise useless except for learning how to take non-servicable instruments apart which has no value at all to anyone.

No biggy, just don't want the OP to waste their time when instead they could be learning valuable skills with guitars put together with dove tails and HHG.

If the taking it apart is the real goal for fun claymores work fine too... :)

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: kencierp (Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:02 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:35 am 
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pat macaluso wrote:
I would re-top that sucker! Who cares if it's a little Frankensteinish. Obviously she ain't gonna be a money maker. Lol ...The hard part will be keeping all the planes lined up.

I might be biased because I started out planning to just make a guitar top and after that, I was hooked!


Our names are Pat and Hesh and we are Looferyaholics.... :)

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Pmaj7 (Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:01 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:05 am 
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pat macaluso wrote:
I would re-top that sucker! Who cares if it's a little Frankensteinish. Obviously she ain't gonna be a money maker. Lol ...The hard part will be keeping all the planes lined up.

I might be biased because I started out planning to just make a guitar top and after that, I was hooked!


Pat, actually, the top may be the coolest thing about this guitar, which you'll see once I post some pics. It's been aged at least 30 years, I would guess, and has that lovely amber tone to it. I wouldn't want to replace it.

I do like the idea of removing the back instead, which would allow me access to the top and the bracing and also allow me to keep the neckjoint intact, or mostly intact.

BTW, folks, the neck is 1.75 at the nut, or maybe just a smidgen wider, so it could make for a funky beater fingerstyle guitar, which is mostly what I play these days anyway.

Just thinkin' out loud....


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:53 pm 
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he paid his $40 and I did something very similar in my early days. The point is , is that he has it. Now he can tear into it without fear of losing a big investment. Also he will learn about some of the different building techniques. It isn't a failure if one learns something. Fear of the unknown holds many back. The worse that can happen is that he get to take a guitar apart and not put back together , the best is that he learns something from the endeavor

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These users thanked the author bluescreek for the post (total 3): Hesh (Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:34 am) • kencierp (Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:00 pm) • WudWerkr (Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:11 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:50 pm 
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I'm running against the clock here to get to work here, so I'm gonna try and again some pics of the guitar we've been discussing. You folks have been so creative, inventive and generous with your time and comments -- what a great community I've joined.

This guitar was made in the late seventies or early eighties by the Kasuga Guitar Company. From what I've been able to gather in research, most of them were actually handmade and some of very good quality, although this is not, I don't think, one of them. They were made under many names, and supposedly the best ones had the actual Kasuga name on the headstock. They even made stuff with Brazilian RW for a few years.

I think the pickguard is kinda cool lookin', don't you? Okay, slightly cheesy, but what do you expect for 40 bucks?

Anyway, due to time, I've posted a link to a Photobucket album with 15 pics, plus gonna try and upload a few here directly into the thread as well. Will check in later.... Thanks.....!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:38 pm 
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Wow, that bridge is ........................ interesting.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:18 pm 
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Ok , # 1 I will be amazed if ,when its strung up and tuned , that headstock doesn't come off there like a slingshot stone . The back hoe they used to dig out around the truss rod nut was a big one . # 2 The stuff that is around the bridge that looks like glue to me may indeed be AMG and the only way you may get that sucker off is to take a belt sander or that type tool to it and thin it waaaayyyyy down. I would bet the bridge back plate is trashed and will need replaced as well as the bridge . After seeing this , I am gonna say ....... Have fun ...... You aint out nothing and you may learn some stuff along the way !

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The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:14 pm 
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WudWerkr wrote:
Ok , # 1 I will be amazed if ,when its strung up and tuned , that headstock doesn't come off there like a slingshot stone . The back hoe they used to dig out around the truss rod nut was a big one . # 2 The stuff that is around the bridge that looks like glue to me may indeed be AMG and the only way you may get that sucker off is to take a belt sander or that type tool to it and thin it waaaayyyyy down. I would bet the bridge back plate is trashed and will need replaced as well as the bridge . After seeing this , I am gonna say ....... Have fun ...... You aint out nothing and you may learn some stuff along the way !


Actually, it probably isn't visible in the pic, but the black surrounding the APPEARS to be either black paint or Sharpie, NOT an adhesive or any kind of glue. Anyway, I haven't taken a close look at it yet, but at a glance that's what it appears to be. We'll see as I dive in.

Thanks!
CL


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:18 am 
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My advice would be to try to think things through before you perform any operation, but definitely feel free to carve that thing up with impunity... if you make that beast into a reliable and playable guitar then you will have almost certainly learned more about lutherie than $40 would buy you anywhere else


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:42 am 
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James Ringelspaugh wrote:
My advice would be to try to think things through before you perform any operation, but definitely feel free to carve that thing up with impunity... if you make that beast into a reliable and playable guitar then you will have almost certainly learned more about lutherie than $40 would buy you anywhere else
.

I hear ya, James, thanks. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna remove the back instead of the top. Less severe surgery and I can still see what I need to see.

Thanks!

CL


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