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Author Topic:  MCI Welded Frame Rebuild project
Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 2:34 pm     Reply with quote

I bought this D10 MCI Rangexpander 8 and 5, brand new in 1986 and played it constantly on shows and sessions etc until 2001 when I got my first Zum. Regrettably I sold the guitar to a guitar playing friend - who promptly put it into storage and moved to Australia for a few years - upon moving back to NZ after 14 years he decided he wasn't going to learn to play it so contacted me to see if I wanted it back - yep !!!
Over the years I had added 3 more knee levers to the C6th neck but they weren't original, they did the job but the just didn't belong - so I decided to completely tear the guitar down and rebuild it to factory specs as best as I could. So began 3 months of rather enjoyable work - as I had the time.

Many thanks to the following people for parts and advise:
Jim Palenscar for crossrods, bellcranks and knee lever stops
Jerry Roller for fabricating some new knee levers
Michael Yahl of PSG Parts for Rods and tuners, and also for his wonderful adjustable return spring sets.
Jim Flynn of Lonestar guitars for the extra pedal.
Dave Beaty of Telonics for the pickups, and his magic friction fighting secret lube.

Not surpringly after 14 years in storage the guitar was decidedly shabby looking, a lot of oxidation on the metal frame and undercarriage and some surface rust on some of the crossrods - so there was some serious elbow grease, wet and dry sanding and mothers mag wheel polish applied to transform the guitar back to new looking.



The oxidised welded frame before cleaning




Changers now removed.




31 years of gunk and sludge ....!!


After considerable application of elbow grease :-}


more pics to come .....!
_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
86' MCI Rangexpander D10 9+8
Beard MA6 Reso, 72 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Taylor T5, Telonics, Peterson, Steelers Choice, Steel Seat, Red Dirt Cases.
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 3:23 pm     Reply with quote

Here's some more progress pics on the rebuild.



Changers back in - the pickups are Telonics 409 on E9th and Telonics 206 on C6th.



Necks all polished up and back on.


keyheads polished up and back on as well.


Crossrods and bellcranks going back in - these take a bit of time as they have an expandable bolt on the end which has to be turned into the bearing hole in the back rail.


Installing some of the knee levers as well.



Another shot of the knee lever installation - lots of polishing went into the undercarriage as you can see.


The addition of adjustable return springs - available from Michael Yahl at www.psgparts.com


Ok here's where the fun starts -- rodding hehe !!!


_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
86' MCI Rangexpander D10 9+8
Beard MA6 Reso, 72 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Taylor T5, Telonics, Peterson, Steelers Choice, Steel Seat, Red Dirt Cases.
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 3:31 pm     Reply with quote

And last but not least ...all setup and tuned and tweaked over several days -- sounding fantastic - sorry the pics are bit washed out with the flash !

I'm sure I will adjust and tweak it a bit more yet, the more I play it. Configuration is 9 pedals and 8 knees.
For the keen of eye - the original factory push button neck changer switches failed and broke following the installation so I had to change those to a standard 3 way switch ...and a nifty little cap to fill the hole left by the 2nd button switch.














And the seal of approval from my 3 year old grandaughter Zoey :-}
_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
86' MCI Rangexpander D10 9+8
Beard MA6 Reso, 72 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Taylor T5, Telonics, Peterson, Steelers Choice, Steel Seat, Red Dirt Cases.
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Dick Sexton


From:
Greenville, Ohio
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 4:05 pm     Nice work... Reply with quote

Paddy, besides being an obvious superb player and restorer of pedal steels, I wonder if I'm the only one that may have noticed that you are an archer, tournament/bowhunter and it looks like you work on your archery gear and build your own strings. Just a guess... Me too!
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 4:13 pm     Reply with quote

Gee Dick your an eagle eye yourself mate hehe ...yes my garage doubles as an archery shop as well - bowhunting is my main pursuit, though I do shoot 3D and target archery occasionally as well -- and fix people's gear, and build strings etc etc ....

Thats when my grandaughters aren't taking up all my time hehe
_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
86' MCI Rangexpander D10 9+8
Beard MA6 Reso, 72 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Taylor T5, Telonics, Peterson, Steelers Choice, Steel Seat, Red Dirt Cases.
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Dick Sexton


From:
Greenville, Ohio
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 5:41 pm     Could tell... Reply with quote

That 452X gave you away... I'm gearing up to hunt next Oct, whitetail and hogs. Using a PSE Premonition these days, but have used most of them. Don't do 3D or tournaments anymore, just hunt. I guess I will as long as my legs can get me up a tree, I'm 73. Have a great next season.
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 6:44 pm     Reply with quote

Great job my friend. A lot of work goes into a project like that and you really did a great job on a great guitar.
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Henry Matthews

D-10 1975 Emmons p/p Black Woodneck Bolt-on
LTD amp, Nashville 400 amp, Hilton pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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Ivan Posa


From:
Hamilton, New Zealand
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 8:06 pm     Reply with quote

Well done Pad, superb job. Now you have the expertise, you can do mine for me, ha ha.
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Micky Byrne


From:
Essex United Kingdom
Post Posted 23 Apr 2017 10:07 pm     Reply with quote

Well done there Paddy....she's a real beauty Very Happy

Micky"scars" Byrne U.K.
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Dan Kimpel


From:
Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 2:30 am     Reply with quote

Wow, that's a lot of guitar! It looks great too. How do you like the pickups? Also, I'm curious about your copedent with all those levers and pedals. Thanks for sharing all the pictures, you did a really great job restoring that.
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Mike Scaggs


From:
Nashville, TN
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 3:00 am     . Reply with quote

Great work on this guitar. I know first hand the hours involved... bravo!
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Everything affects everythng

Infinity D-10 9x8, 73 Emmons P/P Lacquer/Metal neck D10, Telonics TCA-500c & Pedal, NV400, 64 Twin (JBLs), KT66 Deluxe Reverb, Tremendous Reverb, p2p JTM45... Visit my website www.p2pamps.com
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john widgren


From:
wilton CT USA
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 5:18 am     Mci Reply with quote

Beautiful work Paddy. There is somthing very special about these welded frame models. Compact, and a joy to play, even if a tad heavy. Congrats and thanks for sharing. Well done.

Best, JW
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Jeff Spencer


From:
Queensland, Australia
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 6:12 am     Reply with quote

Nice work Paddy!!!!. Well done. As you know I have the Anapeg to do the same too...looking forward to it but working full time and festival planning sucks the time up!!
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Billy Knowles


From:
Kenansville, N. C. 28349 usa
Post Posted 24 Apr 2017 7:23 am     Paddy Reply with quote

Paddy, that is great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Billy Knowles

STEEL GUITAR EAST

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my web site: http://www.steelguitareast.com
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 25 Apr 2017 12:52 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks guys it has been a real labour of love, first time I have completely stripped a guitar back to the bare frame hehe ...a bit daunting at first but once I got into it it was fun - I made a point of mapping the rodding before I started deconstructing it and that made a difference. But I have two Zum Hybrids to refer to if things didn't quite work right :-}

Dan: I have Telonics 409s in my Zums so I knew that pickup would be spot on - still need to tweak it a bit but it sounds pretty good... the 206 has been in one of my older Zums too and is a nice pickup for the C6th tuning (for which it was originally developed)

Billy: thanks so much mate, I'll take that as a compliment from the all time expert at this game hehe

John W: Yes your right mate, they are pretty special guitars - you've done a pretty impressive job on that Red one of yours too :-} Oh and I bought some lightweight legs for it in Dallas last month - they do take a few pounds out of the case weight hehe


Fortunately I had no time restraints for the rebuild so took my time with the cleaning and polishing - it certainly was worth the effort - it looks and plays great.

My next project is an older MCI (non-welded frame) that I originally bought for parts - So I will probably build that as a 8 and 5 D10 and then sell it. It's a Red one and should look pretty flash once I am finished - now that I know what I'm doing hehe.
_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
86' MCI Rangexpander D10 9+8
Beard MA6 Reso, 72 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Taylor T5, Telonics, Peterson, Steelers Choice, Steel Seat, Red Dirt Cases.
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 25 Apr 2017 1:09 pm     Reply with quote

Dick I'm a long time Hoyt shooter - currently the Carbon Defiant ... and we don't have hunting seasons in NZ - we can hunt all year round which gives us a fair bit of scope :-} Enjoy your upcoming season too.
_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
86' MCI Rangexpander D10 9+8
Beard MA6 Reso, 72 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Taylor T5, Telonics, Peterson, Steelers Choice, Steel Seat, Red Dirt Cases.
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Darrell Birtcher


From:
Phoenix, Arizona
Post Posted 25 Apr 2017 1:18 pm     Reply with quote

Beautiful job Paddy.
How well do these guitars stay in tune with temperature changes, with all that aluminum in the frame? I'll bet the cabinet drop on this stout machine is next to nothing!
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 25 Apr 2017 4:00 pm     Reply with quote

Stays in tune pretty well actually, about the same as my Zums and minimal cabinet drop which is barely measureable.
_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
86' MCI Rangexpander D10 9+8
Beard MA6 Reso, 72 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Taylor T5, Telonics, Peterson, Steelers Choice, Steel Seat, Red Dirt Cases.
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Quentin Hickey


From:
NS, Canada
Post Posted 25 Apr 2017 4:33 pm     Reply with quote

and a tone that no other steel has!!

looks good!!
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Billy Carr


From:
Seminary, Mississippi USA
Post Posted 25 Apr 2017 4:44 pm     psg Reply with quote

Nice job.
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J R Rose


From:
Keota, Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 25 Apr 2017 7:07 pm     Reply with quote

VERY NICE INDEED SIR. A GREAT JOB. J.R.
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post Posted 25 Apr 2017 8:44 pm     Nice work Reply with quote

Nice work on that rebuild and a sweet little Zoey for a grandaughter too.
What else could a guy want...
_________________
Custom inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners. Tone Monster.
Todd Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel.
Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 All Polished Aluminum including covering.
1960 Wright S-10 Cable PSG
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Korean D'Angelico EX-SS Electric Single Cutaway.
Morrell 8 string lap steel in E7th. Resophonic by Edwin Root.
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Hook Moore


From:
South Charleston,West Virginia
Post Posted 26 Apr 2017 2:29 am     Reply with quote

Great job Paddy !
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Blaine Moore
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post Posted 26 Apr 2017 7:22 am     Mci & Emci Reply with quote

Have seen these guitars from time to time for sale on the forum but never knew much about them.

This post showing the great rebuild work got my interest going so I looked up all I could find.

Really very interesting, both the guitars and the history, and the names of players and builders behind them.

Was of interest how often a large company takes over or buys a PSG builder and proceed to totally destroy the business.

Feel like I've had a good education class over the last 24 hours, opened my eyes a little more.
Thanks for that Paddy. Shocked Very Happy
_________________
Custom inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners. Tone Monster.
Todd Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel.
Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 All Polished Aluminum including covering.
1960 Wright S-10 Cable PSG
Todd Clinesmith Triple 8 Console Ordered.
Korean D'Angelico EX-SS Electric Single Cutaway.
Morrell 8 string lap steel in E7th. Resophonic by Edwin Root.
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 26 Apr 2017 12:40 pm     Reply with quote

HI Andy thanks mate, glad you enjoyed the pics - yes they are a pretty amazing guitar - this was my one and only guitar for many years so it got played a hell of a lot - never ever let me down - I was originally attracted to them when Buddy Emmons became involved - so I figured they must be pretty good for him to be playing one.
It was a big step up in reliability and playability from my Sho Bud Super Pro that preceded it :-}
_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9
86' MCI Rangexpander D10 9+8
Beard MA6 Reso, 72 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Taylor T5, Telonics, Peterson, Steelers Choice, Steel Seat, Red Dirt Cases.
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