Chop Shop: Bronco Edition

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dark Horse, Aug 29, 2010.


  1. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    This will be the victim -



    [​IMG]



    It was purchased at a pawn shop. They had it marked for $89.99, and on sale for $70. I noted a few things wrong (missing knob, loose pot) and offered them $50, which they accepted.

    Rule One: When purchasing from a pawn shop, point out what is wrong (i.e. why you are their only potential buyer !) and make an offer. If they say "no", be willing to walk on the deal. If they say "yes", you save tons.



    The plan for the Bronco is simple :

    *Make use of the short scale neck, possibly the tuners and neck plate, and ditch most of the remainder.

    *Reshape the Bronco headstock into a Telecaster headstock.

    *Construct a light weight Telecaster (guitar shaped) body for the neck, perhaps a semi-hollow with a F-Hole.

    *Purchase necessary parts (pickup, bridge, etc) to finish.
  2. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    An alternate plan would involve reshaping the Bronco body top horn to a more Telecaster like shape. I did a quick mock up, attached below.
  3. BassCycle

    BassCycle

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Disclosures:
    Builder: Classic Bass Works
    Sounds cool! Short scales have a nice boomy/punchy tone that you can't get from long scales. I'm looking forward to seeing this.
  4. SBassman

    SBassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Location:
    Northeast, US
    Disclosures:
    Dealer: PiccoBass Guitar-scale Basses
    Cool. It's a definitely a good neck.

    I'd consider not saving those tuners, though.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    I've gotta start somewhere, so I'll start with the neck.


    First, I traced the headstock, and then drew the shape that I "wanted" the headstock to be -


    [​IMG]



    Then I cut out the headstock shape and used spray adhesive to affix the template to the back of the headstock -


    [​IMG]




    Then I carefully clamped the neck down so I could cut it with my jigsaw -


    [​IMG]


    Once "rough cut", it looked like this -


    [​IMG]



    A quick trip to the drum sander smoothed it out a bit -



    [​IMG]


    I also wanted to reshape the headstock/neck transition. I like a nice smooth transition like the vintage Fenders, instead of todays more "sharp" transition. I roughed out the transition on the drum sander as well -


    [​IMG]


    A bit more work on the drum sander -


    [​IMG]


    And finally some manual "elbow grease", and it has a nice, smooth transition, just like I like !


    [​IMG]




    Just for the heck of it, I stopped to take a look and see what a Bronco would look like if it had a Tele style headstock instead of the Strat style -


    [​IMG]



    Not bad. :)

    That done, I decided to sand a bit more and then shoot some tinted nitro to give it a bit of color -


    [​IMG]




    That brings us up to "now". I'll be shooting nitro clear coats on the neck, and starting on the body (most likely) tomorrow.

    :)
  7. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    I find that most tuners, if properly adjusted and maintained, work just fine. Most tuning problems result from improper string wrap and lack of maintenance. I'll try these first. If I'm not happy with them, it's easy to swap them.
  8. giacomini

    giacomini Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Media:
    11
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    Looking good, fellow TBer!! :D
  9. SBassman

    SBassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Location:
    Northeast, US
    Disclosures:
    Dealer: PiccoBass Guitar-scale Basses
    Our mileage varies. :) I'm aware of the stringing mistakes, but, I have certainly found big variances among tuners as far as stability. You're putting lots of energy into this special project. Don't hose it with stock Bronco tuners.
  10. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Again, if they need changing, it is easy enough to do at a later time. After building a few hundred basses and guitars, I've found that you "don't fix what ain't broken, and you take the time to verify it's broken before spending the cash".

    :)
  11. electracoyote

    electracoyote

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Purple Mountain Majesties
    I like the Tele headstock DH, great idea. Anything that makes that pygmy look a little longer!
  12. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I love your step by step, I did this and then I did this story-like postings! You also do terrific work!
  13. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    I shot a bit of clear nitro on the neck just to seal in the amber. It will get a lot more clear coats. but as you can see, for a cheap neck it has some pretty nice looking wood -


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
  14. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Thanks !

    Hopefully it helps inspire people to get more involved with the "mechanics" of their instruments...eliminates some fear.

    :D
  15. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    I'm really kinda surprised that more people don't reshape their Bronco headstocks. The "stock" one just seems so big compared to the body. Then again, opinions are entirely subjective... :)
  16. Praxist

    Praxist

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    British Columbia
    If you shoot the fretboard with lots of clearcoat, how do you clean up the frets afterwards? I'm running into this problem in my P-Rick build for the competition. Any advice for me?
  17. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    1 penny + 1 needle file


    file a notch in the penny using the needle file that matches the fret size

    use exacto blade to score the finish at the base of the frets

    then use the notched penny - put the fret in the notch and lightly scrape/move along the fret - it will take the finish off the frets

    if done carefully, it will work just great

    :)
  18. ponticat

    ponticat Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Location:
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Modding a Bronco is fun and, relatively, cheap. I do it all the time. Here are some examples:

    [​IMG]

    Actually, I've gotten to the point where "modding" is not an accurate description. The Bronco has become a donor of its neck, bridge and some hardware.

    Two of the Broncos from the picture above have moved to second generation mods:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  19. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    That blue Jag style is my favorite, all are awesome though.....
  20. BassCycle

    BassCycle

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Disclosures:
    Builder: Classic Bass Works
    I think you're a Broncoholic. The first step is to admit you are powerless to your addiction.
  21. RedsFan75

    RedsFan75 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    I like the powder blue one a lot!

    Hmmmm.... How would one of those sound with a lipstick pup in it?

Share This Page