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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:09 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:40 am
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Location: New Holland PA
Thanks for the kind words.

I was hoping to put a Kramer banana headstock neck on it (because I think a pointy wouldn't compliment the curves of the body as well), but the more I thought about it, I'm not sure there are any out there with a standard non-locking nut(other than a Baretta special). An ideas?

As for the router template: First I traced the body of my Thunderbird bass onto a piece of heavy cardstock, cut it out and transferred it onto a piece of 1/2" finished plywood. Then cut out the shape and cavities and fine tuned it with a belt sander and spindle sander. I used an old Striker body I have hanging in my workshop as a reference for the neck pocket and pick up route dimensions. Since this is going to be a LP style hard tail, I pulled dimensions from my LP Custom and Explorer and verified that they are consistent with my LTD Gus G Star which is a bolt on neck.

I agree that this would be way better with a Floyd Rose, but I was trying to keep it a bit more simple and within a budget of under $300.00. So far I've spent exactly $0.00. We'll see how this turns out and if I'm happy with it, maybe I'll do another with a Floyd.

:thumbs

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-Mick Mars-


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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:54 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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Location: Springfield, OH
There is a high-volume Chinese ebayer that might be able to accommodate. I cannot speak for these folks, but I have ordered plenty of stuff from Chinese sellers and the items always arrived safely in a timely (30 days or less usually) fashion. It might offer inexpensive and attractive options. The link below has one with a floyd nut shelf, but if you peak at their store there are many options and contacting them is probably the best way to ensure dots, markers, and nut slots are what you want.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1x-Banana-Elec ... 0506.m3226

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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:14 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:03 am
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Location: north florida
very nice project... you're doing a great job! :thumbs



looking forward to its completion.


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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Location: New Holland PA
kremark wrote:
There is a high-volume Chinese ebayer that might be able to accommodate. I cannot speak for these folks, but I have ordered plenty of stuff from Chinese sellers and the items always arrived safely in a timely (30 days or less usually) fashion. It might offer inexpensive and attractive options. The link below has one with a floyd nut shelf, but if you peak at their store there are many options and contacting them is probably the best way to ensure dots, markers, and nut slots are what you want.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1x-Banana-Elec ... 0506.m3226



Thank you for the link and some ideas. What is the quality of the Chinese products you have purchased? I know I am trying to stay within a tight budget, but $57.00 for a new reverse banana neck seems way to good to be true.

I ordered the hardware this afternoon from stewmac.com, so I now have about $120 invested. That's leaves me $180 for paint/finish materials and a neck. Thanks again for the insight, I greatly appreciate it.

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"As long as my fingers work, I'm playing"
-Mick Mars-


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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:31 pm
Posts: 312
I have seen some of those "Kramer" style banana necks from China where the heel is wrong - wrong shape for a strat neck pocket (it's squared off like a tele) and also too long. I actually have one that a guy tossed in on a trade for something else, and the neck itself looks nice, but it won't mount properly because of the heel. I'll post pics in a little while after dinner. Most of the Chinese banana necks I have seen advertised on eBay have this same problem, so I assumed they all were coming from the same source. In the photo attached to the link that Kremark posted, it looks like they tried to fix it by rounding off the heel, but to me it still looks weird, don't know if I would trust it. Pics forthcoming...

You could try to score one of the Epiphone banana necks used, as those are nice and did not have Floyd nuts. They made Epiphone Strats with a bolt-on banana neck (I believe this was the original inspiration behind the prototype that eventually became the Kramer headstock). Anyway, these occasionally show up on CL for cheap.

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SO many projects, so little time!

Classic II red Tele
Ferrington red Tele
81 Pioneer Bass
various Foci
various pieces parts...
Bastards:
Ed Sheeran Sig Martin LX1E, 1st ed.
Billie Joe Armstrong Gibson LP Jr, 1st year


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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:12 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:00 am
Posts: 520
Location: Springfield, OH
Good suggestion Doc. The 2 main dealers do seem to differ. The one I posted not only has a rounded heel but more like a real kramer nanner head stock, whereas Kmise has the square heel and a Edward VH Frankenstein/ ibby destroyer (noticeably larger) head stock. I have come real close to pulling the trigger on the yfinnete dealer because it looks like they put out necks with stratocaster heel matches. Sorry Mars, the products I have received were not of the wooden variety (except some rosewood single coil rings which fit perfectly)....just plastic or metal parts, but good luck thus far.
The epi suggestion is good and I wonder if the peavey tracer or whatever that pointy one they made would fit the bill?

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I don't usually find a use for this smiley :flipa , but I like so there you have it.
Steve B.


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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:27 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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I'm glad this thread is happening, because it would be good to know if there really are adequate quality knockoffs available for $50 range. My experience is limited to sample size of 1. If Steve is correct and I have the Kmise neck, and there is a different manufacturer, then maybe the other ones would work without modification.

Attached are pics of the knockoff neck along with an old Striker and Starfighter neck. The Starfigter guitars get hated on understandably, as the body is lightweight plywood of the crappiest variety, and the metal hardware is garbage, but I was surprised this neck actually looks not bad. It is straight, RW board is just as thick as first-gen Striker (which is in fact thicker than Focus), and the overall shape looks identical to a couple "rounded-pointy" Focus necks that I have. The frets on the Starfighter neck are not quite as fat as a Striker or Focus, but these were never played, so they are still nice. But yes, the rest of the Starfighter guitar is garbage.

This knockoff neck also looks to be a nice neck except for the wrong shaped heel. Nice thick maple board, nice profile, nice frets without sharp edges. My plan was to correct the shape of the heel, probably paint over the fake Kramer logo, and maybe use on a utilitarian guitar for my son and his friends or maybe donate for music therapy where I work. Whoever painted it did a decent job with the paint, logo and clear, but they got lazy and just buffed the clear without first sanding it to a level surface, so it's shiny but not flat. And there is some pixilation of the Kramer logo plus a very thin line running through it if you look real close.

Anyway it's getting late, so here are the pics.
The frets are perfectly aligned across all three necks in the shots of the heels, so the wood shape should be identical in all three. See for yourself:
Image
Image
Image
Image

_________________
SO many projects, so little time!

Classic II red Tele
Ferrington red Tele
81 Pioneer Bass
various Foci
various pieces parts...
Bastards:
Ed Sheeran Sig Martin LX1E, 1st ed.
Billie Joe Armstrong Gibson LP Jr, 1st year


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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:43 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:31 pm
Posts: 312
Oh and by the way, you can totally take a neck with a shelf for Floyd-style locking nut and modify it to accept a regular non-locking nut. All you do is ream and plug the holes through the neck, attach a thin flat piece of material to build up the shelf, then glue a Gibson-style nut on top of that. It's simple and works; I've seen it because at Subway guitars they have an original '85 Kramer banana neck in good condition that somebody years ago did this mod using a brass Gibson nut, and I was looking to reverse-engineer it to once again accept OFR nut in order to use the neck on a NOS Ripley build that we hope to do at some point. I don't have a pic handy, but it looked pretty straight-forward to do in either direction.

_________________
SO many projects, so little time!

Classic II red Tele
Ferrington red Tele
81 Pioneer Bass
various Foci
various pieces parts...
Bastards:
Ed Sheeran Sig Martin LX1E, 1st ed.
Billie Joe Armstrong Gibson LP Jr, 1st year


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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:10 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 1442
Location: Germany
Doc wrote:
I'm glad this thread is happening, because it would be good to know if there really are adequate quality knockoffs available for $50 range.


Simple answer - no way in hell. A raw piece of tonewood-quality maple costs as much or more even before it gets cut/shaped.

I tried several chinese-made knockoff necks and while they were all well made and looked good, none of them could produce any tone worth mentioning. More like cardboard.

The cheapest quiality neck I know of is what the guy called "olliedan" is selling on ebay for about $100, it is good canadian maple but quite raw work, no options and needs some additional tuning (rolling off the fret edges etc.).


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 Post subject: Firebird build
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:17 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 1442
Location: Germany
kremark wrote:
...and I wonder if the peavey tracer or whatever that pointy one they made would fit the bill?


Tracers and family were short (Gibson) scale, no fit for any Kramer build.


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