Mash's Epiphone Workpage

Epiphone Deluxe Tenor
Convert to 5 string with custom neck by Mash


 Cut some more MOP.
A few more fingerboard  inlay and lettering, " EPIPHONE RECORDING ", I have to do.
These letters are small and will take time.



Routing  by Dremel.
Drawing is glued with Titebond on a ebony plate, first . The cavity has to be a bit larger than MOP, so I traced the shape again.

It will take several hours more.

Every piece is embedded and filled with epoxy-charcoal powder mixture.
The Dragon is hiding in  the dark clouds . . . like.



several pits have to be filled, later.

Very black Cameroon ebony fretboard.

fret board inlay.

The next step is engraving .  A challenging job for me.


All the MOP inlayed with epoxy and charcoal powder then sanded.




I will use a graver  made of an old file(top), along with standard gravers.
The bottom one is metal wriggler



The ebony neck is for Epiphone Dragon. The laminations are red-blue-red .


Engraving of this Epi Dragon is made by line graver and not deep. So, the lines are partly worn out.
The lines which I made are not very smooth, with some over run and staggering. But you can find similar things in the original. That makes me relieved.

Some modification is made.

In close inspection, you can find some inferiority, but in this distance, it's OK


Now the Dragon has tracing lines  and waiting for engraving.

Peghead graving completed

Routed for the truss rod

Steel rod is too heavy for this ebony neck, so I put a  carbon fiber rod .  Ebony is stable and the rod might not be necessary

Peghead ears glued

Dyed veneer  glued

Tracing paper  glued and the peg head sanded.

The Dragon is still hiding behind the veil.

Fret board is glued

Routed for marquetry , flush with the side of the fret board.

The marquetry is from Germany and the dimension is almost same as the original.

Additional cut to accommodate to the neck contour.

The fifth string peg area is tricky.  It can not be bent to this steep angle, so, separated pieces are needed.

My Epiphone Deluxe, from early 20s,  has a decal.

A friend of mine,  Juta ,  who is  a graphic designer, musician and the guitarist of our band,  took his time to recreate the decal.
Great job !
When applied on the peg head and coated with lacquer or shellac,  no one might notice it is a replica .

Actually it is not a sliding film like a true decal, but just a print on a paper.
But it will work  fine.


This is a set of Epi anchor rod and bolts which Vinnie sent to me .
It is a very useful and important model for replicating Epi necks.

This example has a smaller upper bolt, but usually two rods have same diameter.

The original rod is 5/16" ( 7.9375mm ) diameter.  I use 8mm steel rod.

Several years ago, when I made for the first time, I didn't know about center drill bits, so drilling two parallel holes in a rod was extremely difficult.  I made several rods and chose only one lucky rod .

Now, center drill bit makes it easy.

Then ordinary  drill bit finishes the job.

Banjo heel cutting is tricky.
I used to use other device but it was not good enough. I made a new one.
It can be used on a router table or a spindle sander.

Even with a router table, ebony is not easy to cut.

Tension hoop cut out.


Neck angle is 2 degree.  Final adjustment will be necessary in assembling

Shaping of the neck

The file is made of metal saw blades .  It files fast and doesn't clog.


The heel rod is inserted. The machine screw helps to pull out the rod before the final depth is determined.

Lag bolts fitted.  The rod should have been slanted a little to accommodate to  the angle of the neck.

Ebony heel cap was glued and sanded smooth.

The next step is heel carving.

When I took a bath after sanding, the water turned grey because of the ebony dust.

The Dragon ?   Lion ?   traced from the original neck.

Drawn  with a chalk pencil.



Still shallow and flat.
It needs to be deepened.

A few hours of  carving  caused me a blister on the middle finger.

The grey part of ebony is less compact and dense than black part.

Before final smoothing.

One coat of shellac. The ebony of original neck is not solid black.

The original peg head veneer is, probably, dyed pear wood.  It must have been black when new .

Several coats of shellac will be needed.


Hello,  banjo friends !

Finally it's done.
The decal helps it look like  " genuine ".

Thank you for looking.