#6: TAM100 + M80M = ?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by jwade, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I've been slowly building myself an 8 string. I didn't see any point in throwing huge amounts of money at Ibanez for something I can build myself, so I'm working on a guitar that bridges the TAM100 and the M80M. I started this awhile ago, but due to limited access to tools combined with added responsibility/hours at work has led to this being a slow process. There have been a couple hiccups along the way, but it's been a good learning experience.

    Specs:

    29.4" 8 string, 22 frets
    5 piece neck (three pieces of wenge with two 0.125 inch quilted maple laminates) with bookmatched flamed maple headplate cut from the top used on the body
    ebony fingerboard w/maple purfling and ebony binding
    basswood body
    bookmatched flamed maple top w/bent forearm bevel
    single volume knob (gold w/fancy top)
    Hipshot fixed bridge, black base, gold saddles
    Gotoh tuners, exact model as on the TAM100. Gold w/pearl buttons.

    Undecided aspects
    :

    Inlays. I had planned to do flamed maple block inlays, but from what I've read, it sounds as though it may be exceptionally difficult to have the maple not end up affected badly by the ebony dust during the fb radius process. I've found a semi-local source for MOP, but having never worked with the material before, it's a bit of a question mark.

    Pickup(s)
    . I love the way the Meshuggah guitars look with only a bridge pickup, but since I decided on doing only 22 frets (not overly interested in much lead work, I'm primarily a rhythm type), I feel like the guitar could benefit visually from having a neck pickup. I've only ever had one guitar with a middle pickup, and I didn't use it at all, and found it to be frequently in the way. So, I don't think I'll be bothering with a middle single coil like the TAM. I think the best options here would be to have either a single coil or normal humbucker for the neck, but as I understand it, the single coil Ionizer isn't well-suited to being used on it's own. more research needed, clearly.

    Controls
    . This depends on the pickup decision. If I do go with a neck pickup, that will necessitate a bit more complexity, but if I do stick with doing the bridge pickup alone, that'll be dead easy to decide on. I'll be using a single volume regardless of the amount of pickups, but if I do go with only the bridge, I'll have a mini-switch to do a coil-tap of some sort.

    Anyway, it's late and I'm rambling. Here are some photos of the process/where I'm at currently:


    Some of you commented on the top in the 'What's on your workbench' thread, some suggested placing the body outline higher, but I chose to go the route I did specifically to have the headplate match the body. If I do the wood block inlays, they'll be cut from this same top.
    [​IMG]

    No shots from the body blank glueup, nor getting the shape cut out. Typical bandsaw/spindle sander action before pre-routing wiring channels. One idea I had near the beginning was to get a single coil middle Ionizer and have it placed quite near to the bridge pickup, sort of like Stephen Carpenters sigs. Hence the additional wiring rout near the bridge hb channel.
    [​IMG]

    First real setback. I made a thread about it. Long story short, glued everything, cut scarf, glued that, the wood shifted and was no longer square. I came across one of Knightro's posts on projectguitar showing a method of undoing a scarf, and it worked perfectly. Just needed a little bit of sanding after the fact and a quick meeting with a jointer/planer, and it was good to go.
    [​IMG]

    For the top, I left it a bit thicker than I should've to try bending over the bevel. I also made a thread about this topic.
    [​IMG]
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    The moisture method proved to be fairly easy, albeit a bit more drawn-out than I had thought it would be. Bottom picture is after something like 12 hours later I think. I re-soaked the towel with scalding hot water every few hours.
    [​IMG]

    After a couple days of using light clamping combined with the frequent re-soaking of the towel, I got to this point. The top is a hair over 0.25", so it took awhile to get it bent this much.
    [​IMG]

    Finally glued and clamped it. Do you see my mistake? That's right, somehow completely forgot to use cauls and directly clamped the top. It stained the wood. Also, I should've done a bit more of the moisture work, as clamping it caused some minor grain separation :wallbash: Ah well, hopefully, I can get some of the marks out, or hide them while finishing. I've made a dust/wood glue paste to attempt to fill the separated areas, I've not got a picture handy but I think it worked out mostly. I'd say the moisture bending method was fairly successful.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of the fingerboard after gluing the binding. I'd made a thread about gluing many pieces of binding/purfling, but ended up only going with one piece of purfling w/the binding after all.
    [​IMG]

    So here's a shot of the result of my method for doing truss rods. I set up a fence on a router table and do 3-4 passes to get to depth. Then I switch to a round nose router bit (something like this) to end up at this point.
    [​IMG]

    One negative aspect is the gap it leaves if you glue the fb at this point, so I made a couple little fill-in pieces.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Moving on to the body, I've gotten the belly carve and the lower horn scoop done. I always see people badmouthing basswood, but in my opinion, basswood is ****ing gorgeous. The grain on mine looks like butterscotch or something.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's a couple shots better showing my extremely high-tech work bench, or I guess I should say 'work deck'.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, here's the result of a couple hours of carving/scraping/sanding/frequent breaks to stop the landlord's dogs from freaking out at my cats wandering around outside:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bonus shot, everybody getting along for once:
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, once I get the little truss pieces finished/cut flush, I'll get the fb glued and get the headstock plate glued down, and hopefully by then I'll have sorted out what I'm doing about inlays.
     
    M3CHK1LLA, nikt, aesthyrian and 22 others like this.
  2. J_Mac

    J_Mac SS.org Regular

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    Superb. Looking forward to more updates dude! \m/
     
  3. Hywel

    Hywel SS.org Regular

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    Man that bound fretboard looks great. :yum:
     
  4. Slunk Dragon

    Slunk Dragon Gear Nerder

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    Nice! Loving the progress so far.
     
  5. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Looking forward to updates man. Cool project and I'm stoked to see it done!
     
  6. dankarghh

    dankarghh SS.org Regular

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    Excellent work and very much looking forward to watch progress. I'm about to start a fanned 8 build myself and i'm prettyyy excited.
     
  7. nutsock

    nutsock SS.org Regular

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    Looking good. Is there a thread on the Iceman?
     
  8. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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  9. metale

    metale SS.org Regular

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    Subscribed!
     
  10. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Seconded, basswood is sexy awesome. I think some people knock it because it dents easily.
     
  11. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I really can't wait to get some oil/finish on it. Should be able to make a lot of progress on the neck this week, hopefully I can decide what to do about the inlays, should be getting the headplate glued up, headstock shaped, fb glued down, and some preliminary neck shaping happening. A simultaneous bit of Iceman progress will be happening, I've just got to get the neck knocked down to a more manageable thickness and I should have the shaping finished midweek.
     
  12. TamanShud

    TamanShud Finished

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    This combo is gonna turn out so good, a single pickup TAM with a real scale length :lol: What are you planning on for finish on that maple?
     
  13. metale

    metale SS.org Regular

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    You could have a neck single coil wound by someone (SD custom shop, Oil City UK, etc) to your specs.
     
  14. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    The finish will be nitro, I'm waiting for white lacquer to show up from a semi-local supplier. As I've only ever done a clear nitro finish previously, I'm unsure as to what results I'll be able to achieve, but my hope is to use a small bit of tint to get a more greyish blue finish than the TAM had.
     
  15. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I haven't had access to a ship in a few months now, so there's not much in the way of updates. I've got the neck profile probably 90% done, just rasping/scraping away in the yard. Had a short burst of shop time offered to me yesterday, so I got my neck pocket routed:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    that neck is pure sex /\
     
  17. Dust_to_Dust

    Dust_to_Dust Mathew

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    Dat neck!
     
  18. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    Spent a few minutes getting the end of the neck heel rounded over. Just about there!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    aesthyrian and skisgaar like this.
  19. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Really missing that like button :wub:
     
  20. Tonejunkie

    Tonejunkie Bored

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    I wish I had your skills
     

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