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Post new topic Vinyl Wrapped 70's BMI 12
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Author Topic:  Vinyl Wrapped 70's BMI 12
Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2019 3:49 pm    
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So a couple of months ago I posted a thread about my project to vinyl wrap my Mullen G2 SD-12, well I have a new vinyl wrap project! Instead of waiting until the end, I thought I'd start the thread now and update it as the project moved forward Winking

A few weeks ago I secured a 70's 3x5 BMI 12 string with pad from a friend. Her father-in-law had passed a few months ago and his wife finally decided it was time to let it go. I made an offer and they accepted (thank goodness it hadn't been owned by David Gilmour - his auction just got $93,750 for his 1977 ZB 3x1 S10 string!) Anyway, it hadn't been played since the late 70's and had spent most of the time sitting in the music room gathering dust...and it gathered a lot of it Smile

The past few weeks I've completely stripped and deep cleaned the changer/tuning rods/pedal rods/crossbars/etc in a nice Naphtha solvent bath. A few days ago with help from some very nice players in another thread (and Don from BMI) I learned how to remove the neck (screws were hidden under the fretboard). Once able to get a flat top surface, the vinyl wrap project was on!

Here's the BMI ready for removal of the pickup and a gentle wet sanding to smooth the neck screw points on the top mica:



I just approved the snowboard vinyl wrap proof from Mark at Extreme Board Skins (https://www.extremeboardskins.com/index.php). The 33" x 18" vinyl sheet should be on it's way soon:



More later Winking
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Josh Rossow


From:
Mchenry, Illinois
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2019 5:15 pm    
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That’s awesome Dennis! That’ll look sweet. That’s cool you found out where those screws were, good to know. Will you put a new BMI sticker over the wrap on the front when you are done?
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 29 Jun 2019 9:19 am    
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That's a good question Josh! I'm really not sure at this point...I know BMI sell's them for $5 so price isn't an issue. I guess it depends on how successful the refurbish is. If it plays great and deserves a new BMI logo then I'll seriously consider it Winking
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 29 Jun 2019 9:29 am    
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Very excited, today the post office delivered my vinyl wrap! Also, I was reading another thread about someone with tuning problems and many suggested making sure the string rollers were moving well. I completely forgot to give that part a deep clean! Got out the Naphtha solvent and disassembled the roller assembly. It was filthy! Cleaned the tuning tree, housing and the individual rollers (fyi: my BMI uses gauged rollers so a different size for each string). After, put it back together with a drop of model train engine oil and they all turn super easily. In fact, it's so smooth I can now remove the rod that holds all the rollers in place by hand!

Here's some shots of the vinyl and roller assembly. Next step, remove the pickup and begin the vinyl wrap Winking




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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 30 Jun 2019 4:57 pm    
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Today was vinyl day! Spent the day cutting and applying vinyl to the 3 surfaces.

Here's the completed backplate:




Beginning and completed top surface:




Beginning and completed front apron:




Here's a couple close ups:




Next job...eliminate any stray air bubbles and cut the top surface holes for the pickup, neck screws & corner screws. I also want to replace the screws that hold the backplate on with nice shiny new ones (the old ones look awful next to the new finish).

The hard part is getting the vinyl accurately cut (so the pattern stays intact), stretched on and trimmed...the rest is gravy Winking
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Daniel McKee


From:
Corinth Mississippi
Post  Posted 30 Jun 2019 7:05 pm    
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That looks amazing. Keep us updated on the progress.
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post  Posted 30 Jun 2019 7:46 pm    
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Freaking awesome, Dennis! I gotta come visit you and see this in person.
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 1 Jul 2019 5:05 pm    
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Thanks for the support guys!

Today's project was cutting the holes in the top and getting the neck, tuning tree, arm pad, pickup & changer back in place. Used the opportunity of having the pickup disconnected to hit the tone selector and output jack with electrical contact cleaner. Also, I'd noticed the finger for string 12 was sticking and not easily returning to resting position. I pushed the holder bar in the changer out enough to remove just finger 12. It appears one of the two washers between finger 12 and the changer housing was bent and that was causing the problem. For now, I removed the damaged washer and if that causes a problem I'll replace it later.

Here's the top with the cutouts complete:



Here's the top with the neck & tuning tree attached:



This is a set of comparison shots. The pickup and changer are back in and the fretboard is sitting in place. I took pix with and without the arm pad (not yet attached). Honestly, I hate to put the pad back on 'cause it blocks so much of the vinyl! Unfortunately, I simply have to play with an arm pad 'cause I've had tendinitis for years and that arm support is the only way I can keep the tendinitis away...no option. My wife tells me I can easily make a thinner arm pad with supplies from a trip to a local fabric store so I'm going to give that a shot. If it's not thick enough to be comfortable, I'll just have to go with the stock BMI pad. Too bad I can't build a clear arm pad, then I can have the support my arms need AND see through to the vinyl Winking






Next project, flip the beast over, attach the return springs, choose a copedent and attach the tuning rods. This is where the rubber starts to meet the road. If I can't get this to play as good as it looks I've just made a very cool coffee table Laughing
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Josh Rossow


From:
Mchenry, Illinois
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2019 3:46 pm    
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Wow! That’s awesome! Looks 3D, like your looking right into the guitar and right into space. Nice work!
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2019 1:54 pm    
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Thanks Josh! I really like this vinyl pattern and it really pops in the right light! Can't wait to finish this one and take it and the orange space nebula Mullen out on the front deck for some pictures in the bright July sun Winking
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2019 3:34 pm    
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That is GORGEOUS!
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 4 Jul 2019 12:34 pm    
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Thanks Richard! I'm really happy with how this is coming along Winking
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 5 Jul 2019 11:39 am    
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Today's update is disappointing, but not the end of the road. Spent yesterday and this morning working on the undercarriage.

When I bought it, I knew several knees/pedals were very hard to engage and didn't easily return to position. I thought a good deep clean would correct the problem, and I did get these assemblies to easily move with very little resistance, but that was after I removed the pull rods for cleaning. When I began reattaching the pull rods, I realized the sticky feel of the knees/pedals was mostly due to the end of the pull rods binding between the finger and the end plate. This style of old BMI requires the pull rods to be completely straight in that area passing through a small metal cap, nylon spacer and eventually the tuning hex nut to work properly. Well, it's simply not going to happen with the hardware I'm working with Sad

I'm guessing the pull rods were altered and bent this way in it's previous life as part of an unsuccessful copedent change. That might also explain why when I bought it only the middle 8 strings were present and none of them were connected to knees or pedals. They simply wouldn't pull or return to pitch accurately with so much friction.

As I said though, all is not lost! Last week b0b and I were exchanging ideas about extending the tuning on my 8 string Fender 400 to a 12 string (you can find my Fender 400 copedent on the Unusual Copedents page at: https://b0b.com/wp/copedents/dennis-montgomerys-stacked-7ths/).

That tuning really shines for soloing without pedals. I don't play out, but spend all my time recording...so with my Mullen handling all chordal work and the Fender 400 handling all the solos, converting the BMI into a 12 string version of that solo tuning sounds like lots of fun and the direction I'm going to go Winking
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Danny Goddard


From:
Tallahassee, Florida
Post  Posted 5 Jul 2019 12:01 pm    
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That is awesome!
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 2:27 pm    
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New project update Winking

Got the BMI partially strung in it's new life as a console steel - missing a couple string gauges but b0b has them already on their way Smile

Today's goal was...how to show off as much of the vinyl wrap as possible while still having an arm pad. Since I've never had a need to use an arm pad up by the tuning tree, off it goes!

Here's some shots:





Next steps, finish stringing, replace the worn metal screws holding on the back panel, and finally take it outside for some finished pictures in the sun Smile
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 2:55 pm    
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I was thinking that arm pad only needs to go where your arm goes, but I didn't like to interfere.

That vinyl design is one with your music! (I listened to some and will listen to more.) Is it safe to display it out of doors?
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 5:24 pm    
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Hi Ian,

I wouldn't have thought of your suggestion as interfering...just sharing a great idea I hadn't figured out yet Winking

Luckily the BMI had the front arm pad hole near the end of the neck so the tuning tree area is solid mica. My Mullen has the front arm pad hole next to the tuning tree - and I already used it so nothing I can do about that now but cover it up. I am thinking of making a new arm pad for the Mullen which is thin like the BMI so I can see more of the pattern Smile

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my music, glad to hear you'll be back for more! I'm definitely not a country player (though I highly admire many of them), but love the sound of pedal steel in unusual settings. I agree the space nebula vinyls are a good visual fit for my music Winking

As far as the vinyl, I chose the kind that's made for snowboards so it has to be tough and fade resistant. That said, I personally wouldn't display either of mine in the sun for more than the time it takes to shoot some pictures. Believe me, I don't want to go through the vinyl wrap process more than once if possible Laughing
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tom anderson


From:
leawood, ks., usa
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 12:11 pm    
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The vinyl looks so nice I would just fold a towel and put it under my right arm. That’s what I do on my double neck. Or get used to holding your arm off the guitar.
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 8:35 pm    
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tom anderson wrote:
The vinyl looks so nice I would just fold a towel and put it under my right arm. That’s what I do on my double neck.


That's a good idea, but I already mounted the pad so the holes have been punched through the vinyl.

tom anderson wrote:
Or get used to holding your arm off the guitar.


Not going to happen. The arm pad support is the only way I can play without my tendinitis making life miserable for a few months at a time Winking
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 12 Jul 2019 2:49 pm     Done!!!
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Hi all,

here's the final part of the project...pictures in the sun! I actually finished a few days ago, but we've been having rain and clouds all week...this afternoon was the first time the sun's been out in days Smile

So, the tuning is a 12 string extension of my 8 string copedent based on stacked 7th chords (see https://b0b.com/wp/copedents/dennis-montgomerys-stacked-7ths/ for more info) with a high A on top.


Code:

1   A  .011
2   G# .011
3   E  .015
4   C# .017
5   A  .020
6   F# .026
7   D  .034
8   B  .038
9   G  .046
10  E  .056
11  C  .064
12  A  .070


Here it is...and thanks for coming along for the ride Winking










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