Assembling the Body Pieces
Renewing Old Screw-holes' Integrity
Fitting the Pieces, Screws and Screw Holes
Nate Daniel's Ingenious Means to Provide More Ground Potential
Assembling The Pickguard Sheets
Ground Shielding the Electronics Cavity
A template is made of the top of the electronics cavity by using masking tape to hold a sheet of paper in place over the cavity; Then a pencil's lead side surface is rubbed along the edge of the top of the cavity using a finger to find the edge ahead of the pencil lead as the marking progresses. The pencil leaves darker marks as it strikes the edge of the cavity, ...which is then carefully traced back over with the paper removed from the Guitar and cut out with scissors. Before masking tape is put onto an old guitar finish, appropriate size strips are first pressed firmly onto a T-shirt worn for that purpose. Doing so will remove allot of the masking tape glue leaving just the right amount to use on the guitar without pulling up old paint or leaving a residue to have to deal with on old paint.
The template is again used to mark the cavity shape onto brown paper to make a paper basket similar to the foil shape, that will insulate the electronics from direct contact with the copper foil shield. A separte insert is cut from brown paper after applying a duct tape backing, the extra piece used to ensure good abrasion and electronic insulation from the copper foil.
The template is first used to trace the pattern onto commercial glue-backed cooper foil. Then the foil piece is cut out about 1/2" larger than what's traced; The extra is used to press into the bottom edges of the cavity so it will overlap onto the sides. The depth and length of the sides is then measured and 2 strips 1/4" larger are are cut out of the foil to use as foil tape to press onto the sides of the cavity, with the excess used to fold over to top lip as a flange for the electronics plate / cover to make contact with. Each of the above steps are rubbed into place with Q-tips. The foil will tear if care is not given to the work. Any small tears can be patched with small pieces of the foil placed upside-down / foil to foil and then held in place with a bit larger patch piece of the foil used as tape over the patch.
Here is the duct tape backed piece turned over for view.
The paper insulation basket and extra piece is installed by simply placing it in the cavity over the foil shield. The paper basket should be slightly shallower than the cavity.
I cut out and installed anti-corrosion paper liners for the pickup cavities as well; Again simply set loosely in place.
Pieces of round toothpicks are used to renew old screw holes. Although only tapped into place, they will expand into a tight renewal when the screws are installed.
This is started by placing small pieces of masking tape over each screw hole to insulate the finish from tools and keep the finish from chipping:
The sharp end of round toothpicks will find and penetrate into the old screw holes. If the pointed end fits too loosely, then the point is cut off with dike wire cutters and the now-fatter toothpick is reinserted into the hole.
Dike wire cutters are then used to clip off the toothpick near flush with the tape. There will be a small amount of toothpick left higher than the tape, which will be tapped down flush and tighter using a small hammer upon a wood chopstick like a center punch:
When the tape is removed the toothpick is left tapped in place. The toothpick filler cannot stick up higher than the finish; Otherwise it will stand-off the piece the screw attaches and therefore will prevent the piece from fitting flush.
Screwed-on pieces can now be layed in place and the first screws set half-way in at 3 corners. Pilot holes are tapped into the toothpick filled holes with a small finishing nail, taking care to center the pilot holes well. The screws will then thread right into the pilot holes. Temporarily leaving the screws only half way in allows for slight repositioning of the piece being installed, which is almost always required as it's installation progresses. The screws will be screwed down firmly after all pieces have been similarly staged with their screws.
Ground is nothing more than an abundance of atoms available to accept the abundance of charged electrons in an electronic circuit. Those charged electrons are seeking that abundance of atoms to accept and thereby neutralize the abundant charge. Such an abundance of atoms is often referred to as "Earth" (which is also the name for Ground in some countries). The body of the human Playing a guitar has an immediate abundance of atoms, even if inductively (passing through a short distance of air). So Nate drilled a small hole through the body in some of his guitar designs, through which a conductive solid piece of wire was inserted to make contact with ground (the electronics plate in this guitar design's case), while a screw placed in the hole on the back of the guitar would seal the hole in contact with the wire, and the screw would be in close proximity to the Player's body which would provide additional ground potential for the guitar's electronics.
The stainless wire I installed, set in the hole to receive the screw which will press it into the wood and seat upon the screw. The hole in the picture has been digitally hand-painted / enhanced to show the idea better than the photo provided.
Only the surface deposits of corrosion should be cleaned from any hardware. Grinding into the meat of the part will take away from the part, make it not fit properly, etc. Pitting will be left that donated the corrosion deposit, but this is OK and taken as patina of a vintage instrument.
Cleaning is started by soaking the screw in an acidic penetrating oil such as WD40 or JC, for at least a day. An ultrasonic cleaning transducer can also be used in contact with the oil bath. After soaking, a Dremel with small wire brush is used on slow speed, ...or a small wire brush can be used, to brush off the corrosion residue. Screwing the screw into a small block of wood greatly helps handling it during cleaning. The screw is then cleaned with paint thinner or acetone; Lighter fluid also works good as it is naptha which evaporates quickly although slower than acetone. The screw is then lightly oiled a light oil and press-wiped off as much as possible; A thin film will remain which is good. Any fluid oil left on the screw will get into and soften wood over time, and that's not good.
Corroded screw on the right. Cleaned screw on left.
The prismatic plastic sheet that goes under the clear acrylic pickguard of this guitar is delicate in it's precision etching which creates the holographic prism effect. Since some spots of the reflecting backing paint on the prism sheet had come off over the years, ...I made an innocuous free-mounting reflector plate from aluminum foil glued onto heavy paper; Recoating the backing would have altered a very rare and valuable part. The reflector plate will reflect light back through the prism similar to the original backing paint. Here's how I aligned those sheets on the pickguard. See below for how I kept them aligned while mounting the assembly:
The parts will remain aligned on the wire ties while the 3 sheets are tied together with sewing thread that is easily removed after the assembly is mounted and it's screws pulled up snugly:
With sewing threads holding the pickup sheets together, the assembly is set into place to check fit.
The assembly can now be handled to mount the pickups. The left hand holds the pickup pieces in place while inserting the screws in succession with the right hand.
The assembly and wires are is then carefully wiggled into place and aligned for fit. Then the screws are installed, ....again only about half way to allow for small realigning of the assembly installation work. The sewing threads are not removed until it's certain that the assembly will not have to be removed again.
The hand-rest springs were soaked in acidic oil and cleaned along with all screws. Here the springs are inserted through their pickguard holes; Which would have been impossible without pre-aligning the sheets with the wire ties and thread. The nylon bushing caps are then set into place ready for the screws to be installed. The screws reach through the bushings and springs and screw into recesses in the guitar body.
Even though the pickguard screws look like they're down snug, they are not yet; The pickguard is pulled down onto the curved body by the screws once the whole assembly is assembled and fit is assured.
With the assembly now complete, the perimeter screws are pulled up snug, careful not to stress the pickguard's plastic.
The bridge is staged to gather all of it's parts into assembly. For instance, ...the staging revealed a need to acquire some wider stainless washers for the base of the front bridge posts, to more asthetically flash the electronic plate's bridge post holes.
Voila, the body is ready for fine inspection / tuning / setting of all of it's parts fit. The strap buttons will be installed later as they often get in the way of good handling / jigging / etc.
Next comes putting the tuners, nut and logo back on the neck; Installing the neck; Setting the bridge and neck-angle geometry with a straight edge; Stringing the Scorpion and setting intonation; Installing the strap buttons; Reinspection of all work assembled; Making any final adjustments and incidental tasks. Then it's Packing and shipping to it's new home in a grand far away land.
An important note about
the Master Volume pot shaft:
Notice that the split in the shaft is narrower than the rest of the pots. The split had been mashed-in sometime in it's past. I opened it up to fit the knobs, but it is not opened up all the way; Doing so could very easily break one of the split's ears off; A very common occurance when the splits are attempted to be fully opened. It is much better to prime a knob's inside knurls with a thin coat of Elmer's glue and let it dry as a shim coat, than to break the shaft on a very difficult to find original era / kind pot.
PLEASE NOTE: These webpages are under construction and their meanings incongruent until finished.