Monday, June 7, 2010

Chapter 1 - Frankie Comes Home

One of my local music stores was having a sale.  About a million bucks worth of inventory damaged by a flood.  Unable to resist potential bargains to be had on every conceivable kind of musical instrument and equipment, we (our band Beer Supply), headed down to sift through two tractor-trailer loads of gear.

Chapter 2 - Project Frankanez Is Born

Next came the experience with this guitar.  The pickup combinations and open access to 24 frets was really nice.  The neck seems huge (in length) and upper areas seem inviting.  But two major problems were apparent right away, and one minor issue.  

Chapter 3 - Scalpel, Please

I did a lot of research on what is involved in installing a Floyd Rose.  In fact, I spent more time researching on the internet, than I did actually performing the work.

And I sincerely thank all you guys out there who have generously posted videos, instructions, and diagrams.  This whole thing would have been terribly difficult without those sources of information.  There are too many to list.

Floyd Rose, I'm afraid you are not one of these resources.  Your new web site was "coming soon" during this whole project.  As I write this, it still is.  

Chapter 4 - Planning For Floyd

I had two major mods to do on the body, one for the Floyd Rose and the other for the controls.  I'll explain how I approached the planning first.

Chapter 5 - Planning For The New Controls Position

The existing setup on these guitars is all controls and wiring installed from the back and popped up through the body.  That was going to be a challenge moving the controls, since I had very little depth to work with on the other side, due to the body contour for left-handed players.  Also, the kidney-shaped wiring cover is shielded on one side, and needed to be reversed to fit the other side.

Chapter 6 - Routing For The Controls

Important:  this is where things get pretty hairy.  I did all routing without the aid of templates or jigs.  Totally free-hand.  And, I've never used a router before.  All this shows in the final cuts.  I didn't care about how this $40 guitar would end up looking.  You probably do care about the guitar you may attempt this on.

Do not do what I did unless you are willing to severely hack your axe.

Chapter 7 - Routing For The Floyd Rose

Now for the important routing.

Chapter 8 - Frankie's New Suit

I had ordered the black Floyd Rose, thinking I was going to keep the black finish.  But, my fellow Beer Supply guitarist Pat recalled an old Jackson he once had that was yellow with black hardware.  So, that's what I went with.

Chapter 9 - You're Gonna Love My Nut

I have a tradition of making things up as I go.  The nut was no different.

Chapter 10 - He's Alive! HE'S ALIVE!!!

Home stretch time.  Let's get this sucker back together again.