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Author Topic: My brace of damaged Mercury IIs  (Read 6749 times)

Offline ncmreynolds

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« on: June 16, 2010, 02:29:52 PM »
As mentioned elsewhere I've bought a pair of NOS damaged Mercury IIs from eBay in a fit of overenthusiasm.

I seem to have an MG440P-TPU and MG440B-PWS according to the labels. One is a gloss trans purple finish/maple board and the other a satin 'padauk stain' finish with rosewood board.



Both are as expected in pristine new condition except for the fact that the trem bushes have crushed the body at the holes drilled for them and shifted on the treble side.

The satin one is quite pretty and seems the least damaged. If I can only save one, this will probably be the one.

More on this when I get some time to look at them, which may not be for a few weeks.



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Offline ncmreynolds

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 03:55:16 PM »
Hmm, I found an old thread and looking at the photos this guys guitar probably has the same fault as mine but he hadn't noticed. I suppose you might be able to compensate for it at the bridge if it hasn't move too far.

I couldn't resist and had to quickly strip one of them down and take a look...



...the body has cracked and a small piece separated from it between the stud and pickup cavity. My half formed plan before seeing this was to fit larger diameter bushes but this won't really work. Glueing the loose bit is very unlikely to be good enough on its own no matter how well I do it.

I wonder if the bathtub pickup route being so close to the bushes is a bit of a design flaw that makes them weak at this point. I'm no luthier and I've never had an RG (ostensibly a similar guitar) so don't know if they leave more wood in this area.

Anyway, I may try one of the 'Floyd Rose lockdowns' that AxesRUs sell, they're only a fiver.



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Offline neilb

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 04:08:42 AM »
Loving the padauk stained one with the blk scratchplate...hope you can save them both!!!
 

Offline ncmreynolds

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 04:38:50 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by neilb

Loving the padauk stained one with the blk scratchplate...hope you can save them both!!!



Yes it's definitely the prettier of the two in my opinion despite my fondness for the look of maple fretboards. Although neither of them feel as solidly built and well finished as my KC90s, there's a slightly cheap feel to the plastic parts and they use cheapo switches/pots.

They have the truss rod adjustment at the heel, which is different from that other MG440 I found on here.



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Offline N4ESA_UK

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2010, 05:09:43 PM »
NCM,  nice looking guitars man!  thats deff. a design flaw, there should be more meat next to that post otherwise its inevitable that it will split.  That post lock down bar should work well, although I would double check the width of the bar connecting the posts as it may foul the scratch plate next to the bridge. You could always rebate the lockdown bar if thats the case though.
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Offline ncmreynolds

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2010, 06:03:16 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by N4ESA_UK

That post lock down bar should work well, although I would double check the width of the bar connecting the posts as it may foul the scratch plate next to the bridge.


I've got the 'lockdown bar' and it looks really solid although it's a bit roughly finished.

However the bushes are a larger diameter than the current ones so I'll need to drill out the holes if I use it. Which will mean they're even closer to the pickup route, even if bigger fasteners are generally more secure. If it gets in the way of the scratchplate I'll have cut that down a bit until it fits.

I'm not sure when I'll get the time to do this of course, my weekends are kind of full at the moment.



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Offline ncmreynolds

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 04:49:00 PM »
The bushes are about 2mm larger, I'm definitely going to have to drill the body.



Looks like it won't interfere with the scratch plate though.



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Offline ncmreynolds

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2010, 03:40:40 PM »
Over the weekend I stripped one of them right down, removed the studs then glued and clamped the cracked section. After drying for a day it seems OK, but I'm under no illusion that it'll hold under string tension.



This is just so it's all in the right place when I drill the holes out.



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« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 03:42:20 PM by ncmreynolds »
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Offline ncmreynolds

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My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2010, 11:09:47 AM »
Having dismantled the 'padauk' MG440 the other week and tried to glue the cracked section, I've had a go at finishing off the repair.

The 'lockdown bar' I bought to deal with the failure of the wood at the bridge stud needs larger holes drilling. I'm no luthier but the body is effectively scrap at the moment so I couldn't make it much worse.

There's no way I could ever drill the holes out accurately enough by hand so I clamped the body to my cheap Chinese pillar drill and lined it up using a 5/16 drill bit in the chuck. This was a perfect snug fit in the existing holes, so I got the body nicely centred on it then swapped bits to the 10mm one I needed.



I drilled very slowly and after about 2mm stopped to check it was still nicely centred. The first one went well so once finished I moved the body and did the same with the other hole.



With them both done, the 'lockdown bar' is a perfect fit. Sadly the drilling has broken through into the tremolo route, again emphasising that the design of this guitar really doesn't leave enough wood in the area.



Dropping the pickguard into the body showed that it should fit nicely and not need trimming down so I just reassembled and set up the guitar.



Once it was all back together the repair is hardly noticeable. The 'lockdown bar' is visible but it mates nicely with the pickguard so it almost looks like it should be there. Having strung it and played it a little, the repair has held. I'll use this as my practice guitar for a couple of weeks to make sure it stays that way.



Longer term I'm not quite sure what to do with this, I bought the pair to rob for parts (mostly the 600S tremolos) but thought fixing this one would be a fun project and it has been. However I don't really need another midrange Korean superstrat and if I leave it whole I'll still need to find a tremolo. I'm not sure I could sell it given the repair, even though I'll be upfront about it and this leads to me having yet another guitar.



Oh well, I guess there's still the other one to strip down.



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Offline choyt80

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Re: My brace of damaged Mercury IIs
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2015, 07:05:43 PM »
I know I'm posting in a very old thread but to the OP, nice job on the Floyd fix! I'm going to attempt to revive my MG42. I know, why would anyone fix that import? Well, it was my first rig over 20 years ago so it has some sentimental value to me. I'm going to do a complete rebuild with high quality parts and even new paint. I believe all of these Mercuries have issues with the trem posts. After dissecting the MG42, I noticed that the bottom trem post was miss drilled, roughly 1mm to the tail of the body.This caused the post to crack thru to the tremolo cavity. While taking it apart, the posts were still tight so it was an issue during manufacturing. Anyways, will add a new Gotoh 1996T with wider posts. I'll most likely reinforce the cavity with a sliver of wood then fill in the old holes.... Eventually. Lol