Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making a truss rod cover for an Ampeg Stud!?

   You are forgiven if you've never heard of the Ampeg Stud. An interesting mongrel of a guitar,these were made in Japan during the 1970's. The "Stud" family also included the Super Stud and the Big Stud. (No,seriously. It was the seventies.) Despite having some less than desirable features (hope you like plywood) they a pretty cool guitars.This one came in for a routine setup (along with a sweet 1976 Fender Telecaster Deluxe) with one additional request...

The owner mentioned that the truss rod cover was long gone and wondered if I could  find a replacement. Challenge accepted! With a semi-rare guitar like this,there is little chance I have an Ampeg Stud truss rod cover in my spare parts bin. I could just make one of my own design but a glance at the screw pattern on the headstock tells us it was really long. It was off to the Internet to see if I could find a photo and determine what the original looked like.
After taking a moment to giggle that I was using the store computer to look up pictures of studs on the Internet (tee-hee) I managed to find the photo I wanted and blew it up to life size.After seeing the pictures unique fish shape,I was glad I didn't try to make my own design. The original is pretty cool.

 I didn't have an exact match for the material but this cream pearloid from Allparts would do nicely,especially seen from way up on the headstock.
I made a copy of the photo,cut out the truss rod cover,double stick taped it to the pickguard material and cut it to shape on the band saw. After some minor filing I used a scraper to add a bevel to the side.
Looking um...studly! Very studly.
Here's our stud,all set up and ready to rock out a few more decades! As a bonus,here's a photo of the owners other guitar,also in for a setup:
This 1976 Telecaster Deluxe still has its "ashtray" bridge cover! Awesome.


Anonymous said...

Way kewl, but wish scraper type and technique would have been expanded on for creating bevel...

Phil Clark said...

Well,Anonymous,your critique is fair enough. In my defense,I throw myself at your mercy,after all I am taking picture while I'm at work. Thanks for commenting,Phil

Anonymous said...

Hi Phil,

Kudos on the blog and your awesome work. I know it's been a while since you posted the update on the truss cover replacement for the Ampeg Stud, but I just came across your page on Google, and incidentally, just happen to have the same problem, as I purchased an Ampeg Stud Tele off Ebay and lovin' every minute of it. Is there a chance in heaven you could make me a custom pearloid truss cover, exactly like the one you made for your Stud, and arrange payment via PayPal or somesuch. Needless to say, it would be a pleasure to do business with you. Sincerely, An Interested Customer