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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:30 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:34 am
Posts: 7
First name: Paul
Last Name: Maxime
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Hello :)

I've been a long time reader of this forum but it is actually my first post :P
Recently I found and bought a guitar I wanted to have for a very long time: Ibanez AH-10 which was Allan Holdsworth's signature guitar from 1985 to 1987 (which was based on a Roadstar II guitar)
Simple and elegant instrument: one humbucker (specially made for that guitar), a tremolo (black PoweRocker unit with aluminum block and tighter, 53mm string spacing), ebony fingerboard with 6100 frets and that's about it.

I got mine in a decent state, for a decent price but one the previous owners decided to remove the original (and really rare) Powerocker Special bridge and to install an Ibanez Edge system... Which I like but it just doesn't match the guitar. And of course, the locking nut was installed as well... A lot of freehand routing was performed to accomplish all this and one of the two brdige posts cracked the surrounding wood.

So long story short, I would like to restore it to its original shape as much as possible which would involve filling the tremolo cavities (front and back) with wood pieces, probably repainting the body and then removing the locking nut (filling the screw holes on the back of the neck) and recreating some sort of filler with the regular nut installed into it.
I also found a Powerocker bridge, but the unit is chrome and it is not the Special one. It will do for now and if I find the real thing I will simply swap it since the mounting holes will match.
So I was wondering if luthier experts on OLF suggest some techniques or tricks to a humble amateur? :D
Should I simply fill the bridge post holes with dowels or cut out even a bigger opening and refill the hole thing with a maching basswood plug? And what about that locking nut? It there any way to blend in some paint with the existing headstock? Because redoing that headstock decal might be problematic (a lot of very fine print).

Thank you in advance!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:02 am
Posts: 513
First name: Daniel
Last Name: Petrzelka
State: Washington
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Always fun when you can find that "dream" guitar to bring home as a project. I'll just assume you are stoked about doing the work, and investing in fixing this guitar, rather than having a debate about what is "worth it."

For the locking nut holes in the neck:
My favorite way to properly fill through-holes, with no risk of voids, is to use a tapered violin peghead reamer and matching violin peg tapering tool. You can then cut a grain matching stick/dowel, turn down to the appropriate taper and approximate diameter to fill the hole. Ream the holes with the matching taper, working slowly to only go as large as needed to get a clean cut all the way through. Hide glue, Titebond, Epoxy - there are cases to be made for each depending on the instrument and intent.

A few photos to illustrate the idea This peghead will be re-capped front and back with ebony/dyed pear (client wanted me to save the original if at all possible, so I'm giving it a try), grain matching was not a consideration. With your maple neck it will look best to ensure you plug with plain to rift sawn to match those distinct grain lines.

Cut some 3/8" blanks for making the tapered dowels

Chuck in a drill and add the 2° taper with a violin peg shaper

Ream the existing holes with a 2° and start plugging.

For the extra routing/holes in the body:
Dan Erlewine walks you through one solid approach here:

These are just some ideas, there are likely some other great approaches others can share.
Refinishing tips I'll leave to those who are more experienced with Poly.

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