My 1990 RG550 project thoughts - Jemsite
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post #1 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Colorado
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My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

Hey Everyone!

I'm sorry for the lack on pics, but, I am at work and will be taking/post some later this evening. I've recently acquired a 1990 RG550 that is missing a volume pot, edge trem is a little shot, fretboard is dirty/worn, paint is decent (but not the color I want), and there are some other small issues in the finish. I've had the 20th Anniv reissue and it was AWESOME! So, I hope I can get this one close to that quality/feel. I've seen the great thread of fretboard cleaning and neck sanding (which gets me very excited), but, as for other mods, I'll list them and see what your thoughts are!

Electronics:
-Custom Pickguard for an H-S configuration (Tone Zone/Air Norton or Tone Zone/Paf Pro) I love the Air Norton, but, I hear the Paf Pro is awesome!
-Single push/push vol knob (Gold)

Hardware:
-I love the edge trem, and since it is so worn, it will be replaced with an OFR in Gold.

Paint:
-I can't tell a lie; the DY is sexy! But, I am going to do my own thing for once and go with maybe a hot pink, bright red, neon green, neon blue or something that 'pops' but compliments the gold hardware. Bright colors add atleast 200 bpm to my shredding (j/k).
-I would like to match the headstock as well. I see you can buy decals, so, that should be an easy mod.
-I plan on painting myself as well.... wish me luck in that endeavor!

Neck:
-I plan on getting that sucker cleaned with the tips found on this forum because, it is hella-dirty and worn! Maybe a neck replacement might have to happen if I can't get the 'gunk' off.
-If I can get the neck looking spiffy, I want to sand the back of it and get that gloss off it. I love the feel of a satin finish neck. The instructions found on here don't seem too intimidating.
-I will embark on polishing my frets as well.
-Scalloped from frets 12-24

I think that really covers the meat n potatoes. This will be my first restoration! I've done stuff like, install pickups and other electronics, and have always wanted to get into doing some real body work like, paint and such! That way, I can really look at the end product and feel really good for doing it all on my own.

I don't plan on doing this until I have another guitar in my possession though. I will be receiving an RG7420 in a month, so, once that is on hand, I am tearing the RG550 APART! I'll have pics every step of the way!! Thanks for looking, and please, leave your input. I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions, but I will make sure to do my research. Thanks again!

Cullen

Last edited by feilong29; 04-20-2012 at 01:12 AM. Reason: additional info
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post #2 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 04:46 PM
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

How shot is the tremolo? Post some pics. If you are going to bin it you could always donate it to me. I like to try and restore them, sometimes it works!
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post #3 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
How shot is the tremolo? Post some pics. If you are going to bin it you could always donate it to me. I like to try and restore them, sometimes it works!
Maybe 'pitting' is the right term; there is some corrosion going on, and a a few, deep grooves on it. I will shoot pics tonight when I get off work! But sure, If I can acquire another trem, I don't mind donating.





Last edited by feilong29; 04-20-2012 at 01:56 AM.
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post #4 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

Photos!








Last edited by feilong29; 04-20-2012 at 01:55 AM. Reason: picture edit
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post #5 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

So after deciding that, since pickups/electronics suck, I totally gutted the guitar; this will prompt me to gather the required materials for stripping the paint and restoring the neck! I am SO excited about this guys! I've also decided on a color: Electron Blue Pearl, aka, Honda Civic SI (1999) blue I have ALWAYS loved that color. I think the gold hardware will look VERY clean. Now, if that doesn't work out, I will go with a purple that is close. I will also go with a black pick guard; but that leads me with figuring out what color I want my pickup bobbins :/ Either black or purple. Here is what I was able to come up with in the builder:


Last edited by feilong29; 04-20-2012 at 01:52 AM. Reason: additional info
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post #6 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

Time to start saving up some mula
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post #7 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

I used the neck sanding guide on this forum to get that smooth, satin feel/finish to the back of the neck... WOW, I can't believe it was that easy! And here are some more before pics of the neck before I cleaned it with Simple Green and 0000 Steel Wool! I will be doing another coat/treatment tomorrow when it drys some more. And also, two pics of the back on the body that I stripped with a heat gun; needless to say, some sanding and wood filler will be required lol. I can't believe I'm actually doing this!






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post #8 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

Oh what the heck! Here are the after pics so far of the fretboard. I don't think I can get ALL of that 'dark' out of there... unless you guys say otherwise

Before:


After:


Before:


After:
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post #9 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 10:08 PM
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

wow sweet neck.... played out like crazy
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post #10 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 12:53 AM
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

I tried simple green, windex, bleach too which did nothing. I lightly sanded and refinished mine, still some mojo showing but a huge improvement, I'm not against 'mojo' but the finish was just too rough and gone in places. When sanding between frets, it was next to impossible not to create lines that can be seen in reflections, and it created a very slight scalloping in places. But the neck needs a refret, so when I do that I will have it radius sanded. My advice, don't sand it too much unless you want to refret, then you can sand the whole length of the neck at once.


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post #11 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 04:52 AM
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

Great work on the neck. Looking much better.

That trem is looking a little sorry for itself, but I reckon it could be cleaned up with a bit of work, and polished to chrome. If you are planning on a new gold one, and want to donate the old one I'd be happy for it.
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post #12 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Great work on the neck. Looking much better.

That trem is looking a little sorry for itself, but I reckon it could be cleaned up with a bit of work, and polished to chrome. If you are planning on a new gold one, and want to donate the old one I'd be happy for it.
I'm definitely going for a gold one, so, I will gladly hook you up when I get it... and, since we are on the topic, I've read that there are a few replacements I can go for.... the OFR will pop right in right?
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post #13 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

This is coming along nicely man!!

Did you scrape your fretboard? It doesn't look like you did from the pics. Scraping may be a good option to help get out that deep down staining. DO NOT try it until you've watched several video tutorials and read as many tut's as possible first. It can go horribly wrong if you don't have a good grasp on what your doing.

As far as your trem.......have you had an OFR in the past that you can compare to your OE?? I only ask this because you say you love the feel of your OE and that there's a big difference in the feel of an OFR. You can get a gold OE or LP from Rich brand new for not much more than an OFR. I bought a complete set of gold hardware from him (full LP kit, tuners, nut, tree, knobs, strap buttons, TRC screws, switch screws.....EVERYTHING) and I only paid a little more than double what a gold OFR would have cost. Just food for though, but I always think the original equipment is the way to go.

BTW....I donated an Edge-Pro to LonePhantom last year and I'm glad I did. He did a great tutorial on restoring one both here AND on his blog....... I highly recommend donating to him if you have no other use for it.

http://www.lonephantom.com/category/diy/hardware-diy/
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post #14 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
This is coming along nicely man!!

Did you scrape your fretboard? It doesn't look like you did from the pics. Scraping may be a good option to help get out that deep down staining. DO NOT try it until you've watched several video tutorials and read as many tut's as possible first. It can go horribly wrong if you don't have a good grasp on what your doing.

As far as your trem.......have you had an OFR in the past that you can compare to your OE?? I only ask this because you say you love the feel of your OE and that there's a big difference in the feel of an OFR. You can get a gold OE or LP from Rich brand new for not much more than an OFR. I bought a complete set of gold hardware from him (full LP kit, tuners, nut, tree, knobs, strap buttons, TRC screws, switch screws.....EVERYTHING) and I only paid a little more than double what a gold OFR would have cost. Just food for though, but I always think the original equipment is the way to go.

BTW....I donated an Edge-Pro to LonePhantom last year and I'm glad I did. He did a great tutorial on restoring one both here AND on his blog....... I highly recommend donating to him if you have no other use for it.

http://www.lonephantom.com/category/diy/hardware-diy/
Thanks for the words bro! I didn't try scraping the fretboard, but, I think I'll leave it as it is for now (until I decide to scallop it) to leave that 'vintage' feel to it. Since I'm repainting it, I want to leave something behind that still shows that it's a true 1990 RG550! With that, I'm gonna get a new, black Original Edge Pro, and donate the old one for sure. I have also decided to change the color to Basalt Grey:



And will do blue bobbins:



and blue vol push/push knob:



Now I just need to decide what color pickguard... any suggestions? I don't think I want to do black or white (unless I have no choice :/). I might have to fiddle with the VR builder some more.
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post #15 of 81 (permalink) Old 04-21-2012, 02:08 PM
 
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Re: My 1990 RG550 project thoughts

I like the color choice. The only thoughts I have on a pickguard is a silver or blue mirror??
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