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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:35 am 
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I recently bought an x260n on eBay. It's in pretty good condition for its age, but the finish has a lot of miles on it. I knew that beforehand from the pictures, and, in fact, bought it with the intention of stripping it down and refinishing it. Since receiving it though, and from the perspective of it being a vintage guitar, I'm wondering if that might be seen as "blasphemous." I guess I'm wondering what the prevailing thought is out there about refinishing these is, or if people think they ought to be sort of preserved.

It's got a lot of nicks, dings and such, but is still very playable. I had also intended to upgrade the hardware and electronics, and in defense of doing so:
  • the original bridge has been replaced
  • two of the original tuning keys have been replaced, and some of the remaining ones aren't working well
  • at some point an extra switch was added to switch the pickups in/out of phase and although it works, the installation in the wood was of poor quality (I'd like to remove this and fill the hole as part of a refinish)
  • the original bridge pickup has been replaced by a Dimarzio (cream on cream, so it looks fine). I know this was a fairly common upgrade back in the day (I did the same on my x280 back in the 80's)
  • the rest of the hardware looks original, including the other pickup (MMK 45)

Anyway, I'm just curious what people think. Thanks.

_________________

:D X260n Blonde Invicta! (1980)
:) Gibson Les Paul Studio (2007, walnut with black hardware, active EMGs)
:) Alvarez Yairi (1992)
:) Art & Lutherie 12 String


Last edited by Retsacnal on Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:37 am 
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
If it has need of repairs or does not play like you like then restore it or mod it to suit you. You can rig this one like you want and find another stock version as they do come up now and again. I love my stock version but the cream pickups that were original are almost impossible to find now.

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Always give thanks for everyday, It may be your last so Rock On Semper Fi!!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:20 pm 
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Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
If the guitar was a mint example then I might wonder about a re-finish but in your case I say have at it; make it yours!!

A set of Gotoh locking tuners is a worthy modification and from your description is possibly the only new hardware you require, ao that's got to be good, eh?! :D

Choosing a finish is quite exciting; I've done a few and had a great time deciding what to do: you will, too!

Keep us in the loop!!

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Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

Angus Young


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:11 pm 
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Thanks for the replies, guys! Glad to hear that you're not museum curating purists about this. :D Because last night I removed all the hardware, including the wiring harness, and tonight I stripped 99% of the finish off it! :lol:

I think I'll definitely hot-rod it a little. Higher quality tuning keys are definitely in order, although I'd been wondering about trying to find some originals. There was a set of six Electra tuners on eBay recently, but they weren't a 100% match (two screws, sorta Gibson style I think), although they did have the Electra logo on them. I watched them expire and re-list a couple times. At the moment, they're expired, but not re-listed. Anyway, I'd prefer higher quality.

I also like a bridge with rolling saddles. I put one on my Les Paul and it really seems to help with tuning stability.

I've wondered about veneering the front, to dress it up some and cover some holes at the same time, including the extra hole for the switch I want to get rid of. If I veneer it, then I may go ultra lean with a bridge pickup only, and a single volume knob. 99% of the time I use the bridge pickup, full volume and tone, and rely on my amp and effects for real tone anyway. Maybe a coil tap just to have an excuse to put a switch on it. ;) I don't know... still planning. And I'm not sure how well veneer would work, blended into the rounded edges (wonder if it might peel up or come loose--I've only worked with it with squared edges before). I like the idea of a nice veneer to cover up some holes, but also because it could be removed to return the guitar to stock at some point down the road.

_________________

:D X260n Blonde Invicta! (1980)
:) Gibson Les Paul Studio (2007, walnut with black hardware, active EMGs)
:) Alvarez Yairi (1992)
:) Art & Lutherie 12 String


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:18 am 
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I veneered a rounded edge body - Aria Pro II U-60 - a few years back and found it not too bad; I used a 50lb bag of sand on the opposing face to glue it up and then feathered the veneer into the body by judicious sanding. The glue I used was Cascamite, an English powdered substance that you added water to; I found it exceptionally good for purpose.

Would you fill the neck pickup pocket? I say build it into what you want; you don't need a switch - I'd use a push/pull pot for coil split!

You should find a Gotoh tuner to fit and I really do recommend locking units....

_________________
Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

Angus Young


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:49 am 
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Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Show us pics. Otherwise we will not believe you.

:D

Now show us your guitar!

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"GREAT Googiley moogilie Jack...jumpin jehosephat, hot dang and all".
- jdwhealton


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:33 am 
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corsair wrote:
I veneered a rounded edge body - Aria Pro II U-60 - a few years back and found it not too bad; I used a 50lb bag of sand on the opposing face to glue it up and then feathered the veneer into the body by judicious sanding. The glue I used was Cascamite, an English powdered substance that you added water to; I found it exceptionally good for purpose.

Would you fill the neck pickup pocket? I say build it into what you want; you don't need a switch - I'd use a push/pull pot for coil split!

You should find a Gotoh tuner to fit and I really do recommend locking units....


Thanks for the tips! Yeah, I was wondering if I could sand or file a thin veneer down to sort of just blend in. I may give it a try.

I had thought I could plug the neck pickup hole with something that could be removed, but enough to provide support under the veneer, but it looks like there's a screw in the same space to fix the neck in place (?), so I don't want to cover that over just in case the neck ever needs to be removed. So it looks like I'll go with two pups, even if I seldom use the one.

_________________

:D X260n Blonde Invicta! (1980)
:) Gibson Les Paul Studio (2007, walnut with black hardware, active EMGs)
:) Alvarez Yairi (1992)
:) Art & Lutherie 12 String


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:36 am 
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The Chad wrote:
Show us pics. Otherwise we will not believe you.

:D

Now show us your guitar!


I snapped a few "before" pics. Right now it's completely stripped. Last night I worked most of the finish off and then cleaned it with stripping cleaner. It was getting late and dark (in my garage), so I'm sure there may still be some finish, or at least some bits of stain, but I think a little sanding should finish it up.

_________________

:D X260n Blonde Invicta! (1980)
:) Gibson Les Paul Studio (2007, walnut with black hardware, active EMGs)
:) Alvarez Yairi (1992)
:) Art & Lutherie 12 String


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:38 pm 
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Location: Tenn.
I did a repaint on a X175 JB (jet black). I went with the euorthane for the clear coat and it matches the bolt neck finish. Good luck and enjoy your project.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:14 pm 
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slmguy wrote:
I did a repaint on a X175 JB (jet black). I went with the euorthane for the clear coat and it matches the bolt neck finish. Good luck and enjoy your project.

Thanks for the tips. I'm thinking about a polyurethane too, partly because I want to keep the maple neck light colored, and I think the urethane stains less. At the same time, I like the original golden yellow for the body and headstock. Doing a little research now about colors. Saw a "lemon yellow" at Lowes today, but think it's a little too yellow, and not light/gold enough. Probably have look a little harder to source what I want. I'm open to suggestions though.

Edited to say: when I look at the x260m pictures on this site and others, I realize that perhaps it wasn't golden yellow at all. They look pretty natural. I'll tell you, I like the cleaned up wood and it's tempting to just seal it up in natural.

_________________

:D X260n Blonde Invicta! (1980)
:) Gibson Les Paul Studio (2007, walnut with black hardware, active EMGs)
:) Alvarez Yairi (1992)
:) Art & Lutherie 12 String


Last edited by Retsacnal on Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:38 pm 
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Progress Report! :D

So... things are progressing. I'm not rushing too much. Do a little each day.

It's actually cleaning up pretty nicely! I was thinking about veneering it, but maybe not. I'll have to give it some more thought. I want it to be a player, and veneering would be sort of taking the project to a little more extreme end (although I still kinda want to do it...).

I've sanded it quite a bit, and I guess I'll be leaving a few imperfections, because I don't want to sand it down to nothing! After sanding it tonight, I applied a little wood filler to a few nicks and scrapes, and also to the hole that was drilled for the extra switch. There was also a sizable gouge/crunch at about 5 o'clock on the lower bout where it was apparently dropped at least once too hard (about 1/2 inch by 3/8 and about 1/4 deep). I hope the wood filler will hold to these two spots in particular!

I'll tell you one thing that shouldn't surprise anyone here:
I'm definitely impressed with the quality of this guitar! The materials, original workmanship, etc, are all top notch.
When I first received it, it felt sort of "light" compared to my Les Paul, and I'm sure it's a little smaller/thinner/lighter, but the more I mess with it, the more it seems just right. Haven't had my LP out since I got this one, so I'm curious how it's gonna feel when I do pull it back out.

Anyway, I snapped a few pics tonight (before wood filler--you can see the extra hole for the 2nd switch):

Image

Image

_________________

:D X260n Blonde Invicta! (1980)
:) Gibson Les Paul Studio (2007, walnut with black hardware, active EMGs)
:) Alvarez Yairi (1992)
:) Art & Lutherie 12 String


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:48 am 
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Love that wood! Butchers block style; I'm doing a rat guitar now which has the same construction, but mine isn't as clean as that!!

I vote for a 2 pack clear.... loads of very thin coats and flatted back after each one!!

_________________
Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

Angus Young


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:00 am 
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Seconding Corsair's vote.

That's a proper couple pieces of wood right there.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:07 pm 
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I'd like to see a charcoal burst on that thing. Or a clear like the others said.

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"GREAT Googiley moogilie Jack...jumpin jehosephat, hot dang and all".
- jdwhealton


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:47 pm 
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I've been looking at it more...

One reason I don't want to go with just clear, I think, is because the body (ash) seems to be a smidge lighter than the neck (maple) and that looks a little odd to me. If there's contrast, I'd rather the body was a little darker than the neck, and one way to do that is to introduce a little color.

I'm still a little fixated on having a hint of yellow, to otherwise keep it in the "blonde" family. There was an x260n body and neck on eBay a week or two before I bought this guitar, and it looked a little yellow (at least in the picture). Perhaps that's where I'm getting the notion that x260n's are "supposed to be" yellow. I was tempted to buy that body and just hot-rod it with nice hardware! At the time, I thought it was bid up too high, but in retrospect, maybe not. I think it went for about $225.

In general, I agree that a charcoal burst would be really cool, but I don't want to veer too far away from its roots, and it's supposed to be blonde. I'm thinking maybe a lemon burst, starting with natural wood in the middle, then light yellow transitioning to a more saturated yellow on the edges, back and headstock. Or maybe just a gentle yellow wash all over.

I should probably plan farther ahead, but the above is what I'm daydreaming about while I continue sanding. In the pics it was sanded with 80 grit. After taking a day off, tonight I hit it all over with 120. Probably hit it again with 180 before I start applying finish.

Another thing that I'm wondering about now is that my conscience is telling me that I should pull the frets and replace them. Most are ok, but there 4 or 5 with some significant wear. It plays ok, but pulling them would let me do a better job of refinishing the fret board, sanding in particular.

_________________

:D X260n Blonde Invicta! (1980)
:) Gibson Les Paul Studio (2007, walnut with black hardware, active EMGs)
:) Alvarez Yairi (1992)
:) Art & Lutherie 12 String


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