Squier VMJ 5 Mods

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chubfarm2001, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Ok, so I have this idea. I want to get a new Squier VMJ 5 and customize the crap out of it. The plan is to add a buckeye burl top to the body and headstock. Basically a cheap Mayones ripoff. If I run the body through the planner to remove roughly 1/8-3/16, and if I can get a piece of burl at around that thickness, it should work (in my head, at least). The headstock will probably involve mostly sanding to get thicknesses where I need them. I really don't know how I would seal it all, though. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I would like to keep it with a high gloss finish, but I don't know what to use. I know my way around woodworking, but not on a luthier's level.
  2. Firesalt

    Firesalt Is good enough.

    May 18, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I thought about doing the same exact thing with my VMJ 5 when I owned one (with chambering the body because it was too heavy for my taste) but decided to sell it instead and build from scratch. One thing to keep in mind is the bridge height. When you're done making all of those cuts and gluing the new top on you want it to be around the same place it was before relative to how it lines up with the neck. If you take off 5/8th of an inch for the top it better be 5/8 of an inch worth of top thats on there after you sand back, harden, and finish it.
    I've never worked with burl, but plan to in the near future. From what I understand it must be hardened in order to keep from having problems down the road because its a very soft wood.
    I'm quite interested to see what you do with the project. Please post pics of the process if you would.
  3. As far as hardening it, is that something I need to do or can I get it from a supplier pre-hardened?
  4. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    The finish will contribute to it's hardness. I'd go with no less than 5/16 off the top and work with a 3/8 top to get it to the right thickness. Not a negative, but this will be a LOT of work... :)
  5. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    More on the hardness, I did a few soft tops with oil and lacquer finishes and although it's fine, I would not do it again. I use epoxy on punky burls and driftwood now, it's a more difficult process, but not too bad once you get used to it. Epoxy is not the be-all end-all either, but it does improve on the hardness of the finish and means you don't constantly have to handle it like a cedar-top acoustic... :)
  6. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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