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Unread 05-15-2012, 06:34 PM   #101
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This is all coming out amazing
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Unread 05-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #102
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Man, that headstock binding turned out awesomely!
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Unread 05-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #103
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Stoked to see your build since you've been doing such a fine job with this.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 10:34 PM   #104
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Man, that headstock binding turned out awesomely!
This x30. Good call on the new trussrod cover too.

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Unread 05-16-2012, 01:00 AM   #105
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WARNING: I'm tired as hell so this update is going to be all over the place.

My plan was to just leave it as is and work on it in California. Nope. Didn't happen. I've been stressed all day, and when I'm stressed, I work. I worked my ass off. 10 AM to midnight. Since my last post, I had made a fretboard, truss rod cover, and installed the piezo saddles in the bridge. After that I kicked it into overdrive. I drilled a hole between the bridge posts the route the piezo wires. I drilled a connecting cavity between the bridge pickup route and that hole I made. I made a makeshift brass ferrule for the piezo wire route. I drilled out the bridge post holes, glued dowels in, and drilled the new post holes. All without a drill press. I didn't take any pictures of the actual process. I feel bad about it. I always take tons of pictures and have to weed out the bad ones when I post here. Today, I took one while I was working and the rest were after I cleaned up. I was in the freaking zone today!

The piezo route drilling was the first thing I did. I nearly had a heart attack drilling basically blindly with a three foot long drill bit (either that or a stubby one). I wish I could have videoed it. I looked like a crackhead pacing back and forth when I thought I ....ed it up. I drilled the ferrule hole first. Then I drilled from the bridge pickup route into that hole I made. It came out about 3/4" deep. I then intersected that hole from the ferrule hole. It's hard to explain, but a drawing would clear things up. Unfortunately, I'm exhausted and that will have to wait a few days.

After that, I doweled the bridge holes. I sucked it up and used the terrifying drill. I smeared glue on the dowels, and used a mallet to hammer them in. After about half an hour I sanded them flush and started a pilot hole. The very first hole veered about 1/8" northwest. Shit. New strategy......nothing. My dad noticed I was frustrated, so he stepped in. We tried it all. Smaller bits, step bits, trying to fit it in the drill press (The press's mouth is 4 inches deep. The holes are just over 4 inches in. ). We were about to give up and have him take it to a mill, but I wouldn't be there for that. He then suggested taking it to LA and making a template. I don't have a drill, so I sacrificed a piece of cocobolo. (Please don't hate me.) I drilled a 7/16" hole in it, pressed in the insert, lined the bridge up, marked it, and drilled another 7/16 hole. Boom. A template. Cover it in sticky tape, place on guitar, and viola. "Perfectly" drilled bridge post holes. The holes are about 1 mm too far apart though. It's nothing too bad. Hell, we managed to do all that without a drill press. I should be able to figure something out.

I don't know what I'm going to do when I get it back in Cali. I didn't drill the Ghost Quick Switch hole or a hole to ground the string ferrule(s). I might buy a small hand drill and do it when I get back.

Anyway, in my flustered state, here are some pictures.

Marking where to drill for the piezo route.


Cocobolo bridge template. I tried to save as much of the board as possible. Cocobolo has gone waaaaay up since I bought that piece in December. Now it's up to almost $50/board foot, which is certainly more than what I paid for.



Sticky tape.


Line it up, slap that bitch on, and drill.


Posts aren't pressed in all the way. I'm going to wait until I apply the finish. You can barely make out the makeshift ferrule. It will be polished by the time I press it in. The piezo wires are going to funnel into that and snake through to the bridge pickup route. From there, they'll go into the pot bay with the pickup wires. Pretty neat I think.


^^That red drill in the background is the devil. It's as long as my forearm, fast as hell, loud as hell--it's just one pissed off power tool.

I won't be updating for a while. I'll have to have everything shipped back to me, so it could be a week or so before I get to work on it again.

EDIT: I didn't drill the bridge post holes. My amazing father did that. I held the template on (by hand--pretty scary with a drill an inch from your fretting hand) as none of my clamps were deep enough to safely clamp on. Not the smartest thing.
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Unread 06-01-2012, 03:55 AM   #106
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Alright, everybody. I've been pretty quiet over here for a while. I never had my stuff mailed back to me in California. I'm flying back to Oklahoma tomorrow for a friend's wedding. A dry wedding at that. Boo-hiss. After that, I'll get to work on this thing for a full day and a half before I have to AGAIN fly back. I've started a list of things I need to do while I'm there. I'm saving all the stuff I can do without power tools for later--just trying to get the last of the big things done.

I have a few questions for some of the more experienced users here. The padauk fretboard blank I bought was 3/8" thick. Massive for a fretboard. I already slotted it. Fairly deep I might add (to make up for thinning it out later). I was planning on trying to find someone to plane it down to roughly 1/4". The thing is that I've already slotted it. I didn't think much of it at the time. Would that be safe to do? If it won't cause any problems, I'll just run it through a thickness planer (if I can find one--I didn't have much luck last time). I don't want it to tear out at the fret slots I already cut though. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was in such a hurry a few weeks ago to get it completed that I just slotted it without thinking. Another possible solution I thought might work would be to glue it as is and use the radius block to take it down to size. My only qualm with that is that it would take for-freaking-ever. Also, I have doubts that it would be perfectly straight.

I also failed to mention in my previous update that the piezo push/pull volume pot shaft is smaller than the original tone pot I'm replacing it with. It wobbles around in there a bit. If I were to use washers in there, would it be stable? Or would I have to dowel that part and re-drill to the correct size? It's not a huge problem right now. I'm more focused on the fretboard. I can always get a cheap hand drill and do it myself later, but it's still worth an ask.

The rest of my to-do list includes:
  1. Clean up the piezo route (Still very rough).
  2. Do all the fretboard modifications afore mentioned (Plane, taper, glue).
  3. Possibly re-drill, re-dowel, and re-drill bridge anchor posts (They were a bit off. Not too sure if it will be adequate. I'm a perfectionist.).
  4. Somehow ground the ferrules.
  5. Finish sand.
  6. Apply oil finish.
  7. Do all the fretwork.
  8. Install hardware.
  9. Electronics (Not looking forward to that).
  10. Finally jam.

If I were to keep the fretboard a bit thicker than normal, I could always set the bridge higher than normal. That might help with the anchors being slightly askew. I'll be tapering the fretboard on my table saw at my grandmother's house. That's where my ShopSmith drill press is, so I could pull that out and accurately drill the bridge anchors if I have to. I don't want to if it'll work, but I will if I have to.

I'm not too worried about having the neck super-slim. This isn't a shredding machine. That's what my Ibby is for. This is mainly an off-the-wall-melt-your-balls-off-don't-mess-with-this-pissed-off-face-chugger. And an acoustic. So, basically a chuggernaut. And fingerstyle acoustic baritone 7.

I have another idea for the volume knobs instead of using only the wenge. I won't say anything about it yet, but when I get back I'm going to try it out. You'll have to wait for that! If it works out like I think it will, I'll be doing that. If not, then no harm no foul?

See you all in a few days.
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Unread 06-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #107
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awesome thread! I've been looking for a natural one for ages but am considering just sanding down the black one I have. Maybe even shifting the middle pickup to the neck......wondering how ugly it would look? how to fill it etc

without messing with the binding , if you sanded off all the paint what do you need to do to the finish? use tung oil?
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Unread 06-04-2012, 03:55 PM   #108
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I started the fretboard today. I tapered it by hand. Pretty time consuming. I mapped out the outline in pencil, gave myself a few millimeters of "this is in case I screw up" space, and started cutting. I didn't want to drive al the way across town to use the table saw. Plus, it looks like it's about to rain. I don't want all my tools out when it eventually does decide to start pouring.

I clamped a straight edge along the line I drew and clamped the whole thing in the vice. I then used a new hacksaw blade to slowly go the whole length of the board.


After it was cut, I wiped the fretboard down with acetone, put a piece of tape over the truss rod cavity, and glued the fretboard to the neck. I used the neck caul for the back and a flat piece of 1/8" steel for the top. I drew a center line on it before I tapered it, so I used that to line it up with the center of the guitar. It's not 100% perfect, but it's pretty damn close.


I hope I used enough glue. I squeezed some on and then spread it around to cover the entire gluing surface. I think it should be fine though. If there are some gaps, I have a ton of padauk dust I can mix with epoxy to fill anything. I used Titebond I for what it's worth. I read padauk is also oily as crap so I hope that doesn't bite me in the ass later. I realllllllly don't want to remove the fretboard and then re-glue it with Gorilla Glue. It got three or four full acetone wipedowns so it should work, right?

I'm leave for California tomorrow at noon, and I want to keep the clamps on for as long as possible. It's 2 PM right now. The glue instructions say clamp for 30 minutes and don't stress for 24 hours. I would feel better not doing anything for a few days, but I don't have that time. We'll see what happens!
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Unread 06-04-2012, 04:38 PM   #109
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mmmmmm updates

This has been a refinish and a half! Seriously good stuff going on here

Regarding the Titebond. It should be fine to unclamp after 24 hours. If it hasn't dried by then something is wrong! I used it to glue the scarf joint on my wenge neck blank and that is meant to be a fairly oily wood. Solid as a rock the next day.
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Unread 06-04-2012, 05:56 PM   #110
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Thanks for the insight on the glue! That relieves a lot of stress.

Mini update while the fretboard glue dries. I worked on one of the volume knobs in my free time. This is what I came up with. I think it's kind of fun looking.

The idea came from topped guitars. If people can glue tops on bodies and headstocks, then why not knobs? Obviously not done yet. I want to add some bevels to both sides and possibly slim it down some.






Not really necessary, but neat nonetheless. It may work in the end, it may not.

I also decided to attempt to make a switch tip out of padauk. It's quite a bit harder than I had anticipated. I got the hollow chiseled out. Now it's all about shaping. Again, it may not work, but it's a cool concept. Or maybe I should cut tiny filets of wenge and padauk and do the same dual-color design I did with the knobs. It seems like a lot of work for a switch tip though. I honestly think I'm past the whole "let's just get this done" phase. Now I'm at the "let's see how far I can go with this" phase.
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Unread 06-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #111
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Impressive thread man, cool vol/tone knob and i really like the idea of the two tone switch tip.
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Unread 06-04-2012, 11:15 PM   #112
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That is an awesome looking knob! If you can and want to go for the switch tip then I say more power to you, should look very interesting at the least. This has been one hell of a refinish, man!

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Unread 06-04-2012, 11:16 PM   #113
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Maaaaan, I NEED to start reading these mod threads. I always open up the build threads and discriminate these awesome mod ones... no more. It's all looking awesome dude!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicFlail View Post
I read padauk is also oily as crap so I hope that doesn't bite me in the ass later. I realllllllly don't want to remove the fretboard and then re-glue it with Gorilla Glue. It got three or four full acetone wipedowns so it should work, right?
Should work very well. Titebond is a LOT stronger than Gorila glue btw. A lot!

Oh, and this might be too late, but use the respirator when you work with padauk as well. It's not as bad as cocobolo, but it's still up there.

Is this... guitar?
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Unread 06-05-2012, 12:39 AM   #114
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Shit, this thread has been an awesome read. Keep up the awesome work, can't wait to see future updates
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Unread 06-05-2012, 01:13 AM   #115
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Quote:
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Oh, and this might be too late, but use the respirator when you work with padauk as well. It's not as bad as cocobolo, but it's still up there.
.....shit.

Duly noted, scherzo. From now on, I'm just going to wear a respirator when I work with everything that isn't a 2x4.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:32 AM   #116
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I'm in awe of this project. Very motivational and inspiring! Wow!
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Unread 06-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #117
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Quote:
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Shit, this thread has been an awesome read. Keep up the awesome work, can't wait to see future updates
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Unread 06-05-2012, 10:47 PM   #118
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I woke up early this morning to check on everything before I had to drive to the airport. I took the clamps off of the fretboard. Not much, but here are a few pictures. I didn't have time to get super detailed shots of every single angle. I'll save that for the NGD.

The gross spots between the nut and first fret slot are residue from the double sided tape I used to keep the steel bar attached. There's also some around the 20-something'th fret too. Not a big deal. I'm going to thin the fretboard down significantly before I fret it. In my haste, some of the glue seeped down into the cork on the neck caul and into the rag I used to protect the neck where the caul wasn't long enough. Again, not a big deal. That will all come off when I finish sand it and apply the oil finish. You can kind of see how terrible my tapering job was. That just means I'll have to sand a lot of it off. Hey, it's better to have too much material than not enough! The nut shelf is also a tiny bit too long, so that'll have to get sanded/cut down too.




I wish I was home right now. If I'd have had an extra day or two, I could have gotten so much more done. The good news is that all of the big stuff is out of the way with the exception of drilling the QuickSwitch hole. I'll just buy a cheap hand drill when I get it shipped to me. Apart from that, it's basically just finishing, fretting, and doing all the electronics. Oh yeah, and finishing the knobs and switch tip.

EDIT: Before I left the house, I put some super secret things in my carry-on bag that I want to use for another refinish project. I'm not going to go into detail about what it is, but I'm positive nobody has ever done this before. As soon as I get another guitar TO refinish, I'll start another thread for you all. I'll give you a hint though. FINGERPRINTS.
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Unread 06-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #119
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This looks very nice I can't wait to see the finished product

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Unread 06-17-2012, 07:39 AM   #120
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This is awesome, can't wait for it to be finished.
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Unread 06-17-2012, 07:57 PM   #121
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Bad ass knob idea dude. Can't wait to see the end result!

And unrelated, but c'mon. No pics of that beast on wheels behind your guitar?!?!?!

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Unread 06-20-2012, 10:57 PM   #122
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I've been following this build since the beginning and can't wait till See the finished product.

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Unread 07-24-2012, 09:18 AM   #123
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why y u no update

hah, GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY ! ! !
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Unread 07-24-2012, 12:30 PM   #124
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Yea! We demand update!
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Unread 07-24-2012, 05:17 PM   #125
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Just starred reading this from the beginning, such an interesting read. Looks incredible so far, and im sure this is going to turn out stunning!!
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