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Friday, December 30, 2011

Engine parts inspecting and a polishing rag..

Went down to the bike today and got some solvol on the frame.By all accounts the person who previously owned the bike put a lot of time and effort into polishing the frame and after a few rounds with the solvol the frame had a mirror finish. So that was fun!

Then I had a look at the box of parts that currently is filled with a genuine and neglected ow01 engine.
everything is in a pretty sorry state but not past the point of no return.
The cases need a cleaning and the major job and decision is to decide to try and rescue the bottom case or replace with a YZF which is the same. The only difference will be of course that the bottom end shells will have to be measured and the correct set purchased.
What has happened is that the previous owner managed to crack the casing by over tightening an engine bolt.There has been an attempt at a repair and the case has been welded.Just requires more work. I'm really tempted to try and rescue the case. However...I do have a spare bottom end from a YZF as well which came with the bike, so common sense would be to just use the bottom case and retain the top case..anyway, more on that later..
Basically the starting point is to clean up all the parts.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

OW01 :the start of the inspection

Winter hasn't hit sweden yet but the bike has now been moved into a bigger area and I've started the strip down.
Fairly obvious by it's condition that the bike has been in a lock up and just needs a serious looking over and some loving care. I'm not sure, but as far as I'm aware, the engine in the bike is a YZF engine which has the CR flat slides and race pipe of the original boxed racing engine. Big difference here, as the YZF has all the starting gear on the engine which the racing engine has not.

So there are two possibilities here.First of all, retain the bike as it is but do a complete engine out strip down and clean/replace all the necessary parts. Wire up the bike correctly to start off the starter motor ( as opposed to bump start) and basically make the bike road legal with the twin lights but retain the rest of the bike. Would still look the business and be a fairly easy job.

At the same time, do a complete engine rebuild on the full race engine. This should also be a fairly easy job despite the surface rust on some of the parts and the fact that one of the engine casings requires replacing as I have a spare YZF bottom end. That would take care of all the race parts and should produce an engine output as was the original that had Dyno rear wheel figures of 138bhp.

Another question of course would be to fit the original front wheel back on the bike with a speedo drive and keep the Dymags currently fitted for the bike once the full race engine is back in it.

I'm not sure as yet, but the best way forward imo is to strip the bike down to its skeleton and then rebuilt.
Then you know every nut and bolt of the bike.

oh what wicked webs we weave ..when we try to deceive..

Got some interesting things going down around me at the moment...
Projects on the way up..
Projects on the way down..
Projects deliberately pulled down..

Why it's interesting is because despite the constant grey mass convincing me of conspiracy theories et al..I also get reminded that most of the times my gut feelings have proven worthy..

And just now I'm bang in the middle of a "closed door" project gutting that is very interesting to say the least as the blast effect may leave ripples of considerable proportions..

Ever had that that feeling that despite wanting to retain integrity you may just have to play such a diplomatic card that goes against everything you really feel..but you have too? Thats my place just now and even at this minute the paranoia switch is on defcon 4.

This of course will mean absolutely nothing to an outside reader..except for the very few..the point is to leave a fingerprint on this wicked web that people have weaved to try and that I have a record to recount..

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The sum of all parts...Character will a Capital C !

..back in the 90's I was in Nashville, Tennessee . I was there for 6 weeks buying up Harley Davidsons for the Scandinavian market..well, my boss was and I was carrying the cash for him..
I'll never forget looking through some small ads in the local paper looking for Hogs locally and coming across an early 70's Gibson Les Paul Custom. On the way back from buying a bike we stopped by the seller of the guitar and 10 minutes later I was the owner..
Upon my return to sweden, things got tough at one point and I sold the guitar..I always regretted selling the Custom..
So, a few years ago I was looking through the 'bay and all of a sudden a stripped Les paul custom came up.Advertised as a 71-75 with neck repair and all offers welcomed, I sent a mail immediately.It was mine..
I wasn't after an investment, just something to replace the mistake I'd made of selling the one back in 93..

The Rock'nRoll chassis arrived and I set to work to find the parts that I thought would really bring this carcass back to life. So, the running gear ended up as 61 tailp, 63 ABR, 50s grovers, 68 pafs and the original fretless wonders were left in place..the electrics were bought from an R9 with bumble bee caps and the plastic was all sourced originals..

The result is a memory surpassed. The weight, the smell, the sound is all's soul was resurrected and many have mentioned it's their favorite of the collection..purely as a player for the sound..

Collectors would probably want to use the guitar for the spare's the sum of all parts that has made this one the way she is..irreplaceable and a genuine relic of days gone by.

Friday, December 16, 2011

x-mas came early..Gibson '56 junior gets back to p90 roots..

removing the humbucker and checking the route

So, the Tom Shorts P90 dogear arrived and off I went, with tools in hand , I removed the poorly applied plastic wood that covered the original route for the original p90. Once I'd taken away the putty I found original screw holes which helped lining up the pup. With the cream cover on , there is a very slight gap, but lets face it, this guitar is a player and thats that.

I managed to get the pup in and solder up and the result is a classic vintage 50's sounding pickup.Before the overwounds started..but once I put her through the silver jubilee Marshall gain, the sound was awesome. The guitar is so light (haven't weighed but is very light) and sounds brilliant.

The tom shorts p90 was a custom wound for a guy in London and when it arrived I noticed it was meant for the neck. Not sure if he has made the pickup slightly weaker, but it still sounds raw vintage.
I always wanted a Gibson with p90s. The Melody maker was the start and ended up with hand made overwound mini humbuckers.
This guitar has a history and this is the next part.Out with a duncan antiquity and in with a handmade scatterwound p90 from Shorts. I was gonna put in a soap bar p90 but the route for humbucker was too big and there would have been a lot more work to pull off, so when I saw the shorts pup on the 'bay, I thought it would keep the guitar with an originality to being the dog she the end of the day, it's a great guitar which has character in both sound and feel..brings a smile everytime I plug in!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Pickup on the way for the 56

So basically the '56 Gibbo les Paul jr is what you'd term as a player.With it's history, disappearance 30 years ago and then return to it's former owner through a basic mistake..the amount of work gone through the guitar is impressive in my opinion. To take a Jr and turn it into a Special is a lot of work..digging out cavitys for the extra pots and switches, the wiring in the body and all the rest..

But...I just wasn't happy with the fact that a humbucker was routed in the bridge position...It had to be returned to some kind of former self...
Initially I bought a Lundgren p90 soapbar, thinking this would suit the set up and fit. I was therefore disappointed to find that the routing for the humbucker simply wasn't right for a soapbar in the tail..So, the hunt was on..
And here it is..found on ebay and already in London  (so no custom taxes) was a custom built p90 with the required cream colour and dogears setup for the body cavity. Not only that, but a boutique handmade scatterwound job from a guy called Tom Shorts who makes Marc Ford his pickups..and Ford has an awesome sound.
What was also positive was the fact that he doesn't overwound but leaves them as the originals, very much like Sliders pickups I have in the strat and tele, so you get the best sound from both guitar and use the amp to distort...
Hopefully will be here soon...can't wait to fit it out to some old wood!