90 RG550 (Lefty!) - Page 2 - Jemsite
Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2020, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
Day 1 of tungoil coats.

I'm going to let it sit for another 24 hours now and apply a few more light coats.

First time using tung oil, if anyone happens to read this and had advice, I'm happy to hear it.

What I'm currently doing is a thick coat this morning, and another thick coat in the evening.

My research says 2 thick base coats are best for protection. Then light sanding and a few light wiped on coats to smooth it out.

Edwood likes this.
KennyV is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2020, 04:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada U.S.A.
Posts: 42
Re: 90 RG550 (Lefty!)

Originally Posted by KennyV View Post
You think I should turn this into a restoration thread when I'm done?
I also think I would like to make a comparison video of the 87 to the 2018s
Yeah, I figure you got a good start on the one, and a great head-start on the other!
Nice axes BTW. Give your wife a big hug from us, she sounds awesome!
AttillaDeHunt is offline  
post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-18-2020, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by AttillaDeHunt View Post
Yeah, I figure you got a good start on the one, and a great head-start on the other!
Nice axes BTW. Give your wife a big hug from us, she sounds awesome!
Here's the 87 I just landed.
It's still in shipping so I dont have it on hand but this is what the guy sent me.

You can see the ding on the back.
Only damage the guy admits to.

aesthyrian likes this.

Last edited by KennyV; 06-18-2020 at 04:42 AM.
KennyV is offline  
post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
So I've come to find out that this is an extremely common issue on some of these older ibbys.

Seems like the original cellophane plastic tape that comes on the pickgaurds and such don't age like wine.
More so like milk..
So to anyone else with a plastic coating still on your guitar, take it off!

Restoring this part wasn't exactly fun or easy.
And many readers might glaze over this and just say "oh just buy a new one"
But.. I want to keep this guitar original. And I'm left handed so I can't find one online.

I soaked it in soapy water and tried to peel it off.
No go

So then I tried goo gone.

It kinda helped.. but not really.

So I ended up just sanding it off.
This kinda left me in a bit of a predicament cause now it was all scratched up.

The matching tremolo cavity plate is slightly textured as seen here.

It kind of reminded me of orange peel after spray painting something.

So I gave it a thin coat of black, and buffed it with a wax

End result isn't perfect, but I can love with it compared to how it started.
Edwood and aesthyrian like this.
KennyV is offline  
post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2020, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
So after the neck I moved on to the body dents.
There was only 1 I was interested in working on.

It the only ding with exposed wood.

I used the drop fill method.
Moderate success, but it is covered, and Alot better hidden now.

This will never be perfect again, but I'm happy with it.

Edwood and aesthyrian like this.
KennyV is offline  
post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
Just needs a set of strings and this project is pretty much done.

It's not 100% mint.. but it's a 30 year old guitar and I feel that the work I've done will give it another 30 years at least.

Edwood likes this.
KennyV is offline  
post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 122
Re: 90 RG550 (Lefty!)

Nice!! Thanks for the cool read.

Lifelong family friend bought a cheap lefty RG120 or something at guitar center for shiats 'n' giggles. Dialed in the setup and dug on it.

I was all like: No. No. No. You need a real RG.

By chance I quickly found an original owner, lefty RG550 w orig case and receipt for cheap!

Got my friend to return the RG120 to GC and revel in the awesomeness of the RG550

A couple years later, unbeknownst to me, my friend sold or traded the RG550 with a gigbag. He went with an American Elite Fender Strat.

/he gave me the Ibanez case though!
Edwood is offline  
post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
Ew to the strat lol.
I've never liked the feel of the neck or the way it twangs.

It always sounded like a whiny instrument to my ears compared to like a Les Paul or SG growl.

As a lefty the higher end Gibson's were never an option, especially about 20 years ago.

I was really lucky to grow up near a military base where many shoulders would come back from their tours and had money burning in their pockets.

Most of my gear from that time was from a local pawn shop.

The owner used to call me from time to time to let me know that he got a new guitar in cause he was a lefty himself.

A few cheap epis and squires and such mostly.

But the 1550 I bought from him was my "feels at home" guitar as Steve used to describe his Evo.

I wish I still had it, but it is nothing compared to these of 550s.

I'm currently sitting on 3 "golden era" 550s all with cases.

One has a locked clasp that I don't have the key to unfortunately. Trying to figure out what to do about that.

Also since I tracked down a rfr 87, I will probably be letting go of the 88 I planned to send off to be painted.

I'm prob going to clean it up like I did this one before I put it up.
Lucky for me the neck is pretty much perfect shape so doesn't need much other then a polish. I'm sure someone will enjoy it. I've not really touched it since my 90 here always felt better to me.
KennyV is offline  
post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-29-2020, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
Well.. the restoration has come to a close.

The feel is a bit different then I remember it prior to the restoration. Don't know if it's the difference in the fretboard, a different setup, or maybe I just remember the pickups being a bit different. Had not played it in around 5 or 6 months. But it's still fantastic.

There's a few things I wish was a bit better but it's still miles ahead of where it was.
My neck is almost dead straight with my string height at 3mm at the 24th fret.

I found out today that 3mm is concedered high action. I thought it was pretty low since most of my guitars are there and don't buzz.

For anyone who read and followed along, I appreciate it!
This was a special process for me. This guitar will never leave my ownership. So 2 or 3 weeks of hard work to remove 20 or 30 years of use.

Here's to another 30 years!







aesthyrian and Bankim like this.

Last edited by KennyV; 06-29-2020 at 06:35 PM.
KennyV is offline  
post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 5
Re: 90 RG550 (Lefty!)

Niiiice : )
harry_haller is offline  
post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by harry_haller View Post
Niiiice : )
Thank you!
I'm pretty proud of it.
KennyV is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome