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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I have recently finished restoring an Ibanez RT-150 and I would like to share it with you guys. Feel free to comment if you like it, or if you would have done anything different. I don't claim to be a pro at this and I made many of mistakes along the way. I'll try to document all of my sucesses and mistakes along the way, probably in several posts.

Here is what i got from evilBay for $76 plus $24 shipping.





 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes there were one of the last lines to be made in Japan and sold in America. I just tried to post more pics but i took too long on my reply and it logged me out losing everything I typed. I don't know why that happens but even if I am active it logs me out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is the body with painted removed with a heat gun. Lot's of burn marks. First time I ever attempted it but they sanded off with a couple of passes using an orbital sander and 220 grit paper.



After this process I sanded again with some 0000 steal wool to create a satin sheen. Then I held up to a light to check for imperfections in the surface.



After sanding the neck down (I took about a mil and a half off the back and reshaped just to thin it up a bit to my liking) I lightly stained to bring out the grain. I later sanded that again lightly to lighten it up but keepin some of the stain in the darker grain. (doesn't work very well with such a light colored stain but it did what i wanted it to do)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know I am skipping a lot of details on how I sanded and what I used but this isn't a tutorial. I just want to show off the hard work and a few things I learned along the way.

Anyway here is the first coat of Vintage Amber from Stew Mac. Later I will add the fade to black. (reminds me of a good song I know).

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Before I begain painting I traced the body on some poster board and then cut out the shape. I measure one inch inward and cut out a smaller shape of the body to use as a mask for fading. (a technique I learned just before attemping this on youtube lol)

Here is a pic of the body with the black painted on the sides. (I just laid the cut out over the top before I removed the inch all the way around it and painted the sides so no black gets on the top or bottom) But anyway here it is with the mask hovering above the body with some screws. I recommend not doing this and use thumb tacks instead-placing the plastic end on the body.

But what I was doing here was trying some mahogany red first to see if I liked that. I eventually covered that with the black. You basically just stand over the top painting down at the sides of the body at an angle and it leaves a nice fade from the over spray getting under the mask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here is the fade with the black instead of the redish color. I realized that I messed up and made the black wider on the top that I wanted and I eventually sanded the whole body down again after this pic to restart the entire process. Yes I am a perfectionist. I will show the final pics tomorrow when I have more time.



Here it is redone and more to my liking.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I added a slight mist of red mahogany over the whole thing just to give the amber a little bit of an orange tint to it. It is more pronounced in other pictures I will add tomorrow.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I actually thought about doing it with gold hardware when I first sealed it. I thought the natural alder wood looked great and I pictured it with the Gold hardware and a black guard
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I tried staining the neck and then lightly sanding again so it would leave the darker figuring behind like my prestige but it didn't work that well.


I took this picture of the headstock with ruler so I could put it in photoshop and remove everything but the logo. I then reprinted on waterslide paper to make the decal. So the decal that is on it now is the actual decal that was on it before, just reprinted. cool huh?




Here I am putting on the water slide decal.




decal applied before lacquering to remove the edges made by the decal. You can't see this in the picture though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is a pic that I took before I made a pickguard for it. It is photoshopped with orginal pickuard in place but with HSS configuration and one extra tone knob. I suck at photshop so don't judge me. lol. The white block in the humbucker position is photoshopped as well. I have a black dimarzio breed bridge pickup that I am going to put in it so I thought about putting a cover over it like this.

If you haven't noticed yet I am pretty much making an Andy Timmons AT100 clone. Rosewood fretboard is the obvious difference here. That and a few other things you will see in later pics.



 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I forgot to take pictures of my progress while making a pickuard but what I did was by a blank from StewMac and made a template out of wood to use as a guide to route out the shape and holes.

It was the first time I have ever attempted anything like this. From stripping the guitar to painting the sunburst, making the pickguard, making a logo on water decal, and buffing/polishing the final coats of lacquer, it was all relatively new to me.

I made lots of mistakes like sanding down to far on the clear coat and having to retouch the black and shoot again. Like I said before I wound up sanding this thing down to the wood 3 times before finally figuring out how to paint it correctly. As a result the body is about an 1/8" thinner than what it used to be so I am not sure how much that effected sound.

But I will stop jabbering and show you the final pics. Sorry the pics are so bad. All I had at the time was my phone's camera and lousy lighting. I will try to take some better pics and post them later. Please feel free to comment and ask questions or tell me how much I screwed up. lol.













 

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I think you have done an amazing job with this guitar! it looks great - nice work man!!! I thought you were going to go with gold hardware and a black pick guard? In any case, it looks great. You also mentioned a black Dimarzio but if it were me I would want to keep the bridge pickup white in that guitar. Amazing you got that for $100... What do you think you've spent on it through the whole restoration process?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks man. I knew I was going sunburst all the way. I did consider leaving it natural with gold harware for a minute.

Paint and supplies cost about $100
New Wilkinson Trem - $38
Tusq Nut - $12
Pickguard Blank - $24
Used Dimarzio Breed Bridge - $40
I got 3 brand new Dimarzio Cruisers on Reverb for $100 so about $60 for the singles

So if I never screwed up and didn't have to reorder paint twice I have about $400 in it. But I had to buy a few tools like polishing pads, compound, bunch of sand paper, lacquer thinner and stuff like that.

If I counted all that I would be out about $550-$600.

I just bought another ibanez RT on ebay for $185 but it is an RT450. I'm going to give it similar treatment. I'll post pics along the way. I plan on replacing the fretboard with maple. should be a nightmare of fun.
 
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