First build - multiscale 7

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Kaff, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    So.. I'm committed to building my first own design guitar. I have built one guitar out of crapwoods in my youth but now I feel more comfortable about my craftsmanship skills and patience, and I'm ready to try it! I have access to most of the tools required and I'm a mechanics designer by trade so I'll be modelling everything in CAD. I was about to order woods online when my friend (a luthier hobbyist, TJV @ss.org) let me know he had a pre-glued and pre planed body and neck woods for sale so I'll get a head start on the build. And let me tell you, these woods are BEAUTIFUL:
    19897760_10212228279235125_1466500192_o.jpg


    Body: Mahogany with book matched Redwood top
    Neck: 7-piece Wenge/Maple/Mahogany with book matched Redwood top
    It will have a Macassar Ebony fretboard

    So there's my starting point. The shape will be a superstrat with design elements from several production guitars, it will have a very slight multi scale (26,25" --> 25,5") and a solid bridge. I haven't locked in on all the hardware or pickup configuration yet they'll sort themselves out as the build progresses. A few glimpses on the CAD model as it stands now:
    20106880_10156389607399606_270635288_o.png
    20048765_10156383428034606_1077264988_o.png

    I'm in no rush and going to be doing A LOT of planning before actually cutting anything. I have access to CNC-machines but unfortunately they are preferably not used on wood as it messes up the fluids and stuff. So my plan is to water jet cut good router jigs and do most of my work with the router. For the neck-profile I'll probably 3D-print shape gauges and use them as I shape the neck.

    We'll see how this goes.
     
  2. NickS

    NickS Carvinite

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    Looks sweet!! I love the wood choices too! Will be watching this one.
     
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  3. Sir Ibanez

    Sir Ibanez SS.org Regular

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    Love it! This one gonna be great guitar!
     
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  4. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    I'm having a hard time modelling the neck profile (smooth transitions to heel and volute), but slowly getting there.. I've initially designed a 5+2 machine headstock and really like my design, the only drawback is that as there's a book matched top, the centreline will look a bit off. Hopefully I'll have more pics to share soon.
     
  5. IGC

    IGC OCDG

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    Sweet! It's hard to ask at work if you can use the cnc mill to cut your projects and not have to worry about making a "thing" amongst co -workers. At least for me it is.
     
  6. Slaeyer

    Slaeyer SS.org Regular

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    This looks awesome! Nice choice of woods as well.
    And a 5+2 headstock is always a big plus for me :)

    I only hope you have more luck with redwood than I had. The one I used on my first build developed some big cracks after finishing it. :(
     
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  7. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    Got the neck modelled, sort of.. The model wouldn't be CNC-proof since there are a few minor ripples on the quilts where odd curvatures unite. But since I'm using this model mainly for making templates and I got the main shape of the neck modelled correctly, it'll be usable. Sneak peek:

    20464981_10156447911194606_1998377575_o.png
     
  8. IGC

    IGC OCDG

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    Looking good:yesway:
     
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  9. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    So the neck 3D-model is about 80% done (missing truss-rod cavity, bolt inserts, frets and nut), I've gone with a symmetric ellipse neck profile, thickness stolen from the tried and true Ibanez prestige Wizard (19mm 1st and 21mm 12th) with a 17" radius fingerboard. The "nut" will actually act only as a string separator since I'm using a zero-fret in front of it. All the tuning machines line up nicely, I've even taken the string gauges into concideration - hence the machines actually aren't evenly spaced. I'll probably use Jescar Gold EVO Jumbo-frets, Schaller M6 locking tuners (I just didn't bother modelling the locking mechanism) in gold/ebony, and probably make the nut out of polished brass myself. Couple more renders:
    headstock_render_2.JPG
    headstock_render_1.JPG
     
  10. dankarghh

    dankarghh SS.org Regular

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    This looks very cool! lets see the redwood top wet already.
     
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  11. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    All in good time, sir!
     
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  12. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    headstocks dont need to be book matched. If not they look worse when done like that. They are small enough that you could cover them up with one side of a top and look far better, IMO do that and forget the drama of where to put a centerline
     
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  13. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    Agreed, unfortunately if you look at the first pic, the wood already has a book matched top on it.. I'd haveto plane it off and find a suitable piece to replace it with. So I'll just forget about it and continue on.
     
  14. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    aww yeah I see that now. Oh well. Still looks dope

    As long as the center line would be the guitar/neck center line I recon should be fine. Either way still looks great. Maybe for the next build dont do a book matched headstock
     
  15. geoffstgermaine

    geoffstgermaine SS.org Regular

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    Looks great! My opinion on bookmatching headstock veneers to match the body - it works well on symmetrical (or close) headstocks. All tuners on one side or the 6+1, 5+2 etc they have the potential to look odd if the headstock really tends to go off to the left or right a fair bit.

    Your woods look great as does your modelling. Looking forward to seeing some progress.
     
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  16. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    So it's been a while since my last update and frankly this project has been on hold because of life happening.. This week I reminisced the 3D-model and got inspired to progress it a little. I started toying with the idea of a carved top. Now this wasn't on the menu earlier, but I might get a chance to route the body via CNC after all, which gives me a whole lot more shapes to play with.

    Here's a quick screen cap of the first draft for a carved top: 26236532_10156982553949606_1143152543_o.jpg

    This carve is designed so the redwood top would be intact on all edges. My initial idea was to do a really steep picking arm relief (think EBMMJP) but the drawback there would be the exposed mahogany on the top left corner of the body. The pickup cavities are modelled only for size reference, the pickups will be slanted in the final product. I'm also thinking about omitting the tone pot and go with a push-pull volume pot + 3-way switch configuration. The pot and the switch will be placed so they don't interfere with my picking hand - a phenomenon I've started to get really annoyed about with both the UV777BK and the AW-7.

    Anyways, not much of an update but any progress is still progress. What do you guys think, to carve or go flat top with picking arm relief (or... do both)?
     
  17. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    Looks cool. I say carved top, no need for arm relief if you do a nice tummy cut on the back side.
     
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  18. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    agreed. Honestly, even the slightest dip for your forearm is going to be enough. Drastic forearm bevels are actually a hindrance for efficient right hand technique since your wrist has to curve inwards towards the bridge. For my needs, I don't even necessarily prefer an arm bevel at all.
    So between the two, carved top... but that redwood looks so beautiful, it doesn't need any more curves than the ones it's already got xD
     
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  19. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    So while I'm slowly modelling the body and neck, I decided it's time to order some hardware, and these are on their way:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was super happy to find out that Hipshot sells fixed multi scale bridges so I don't need to fabricate a custom baseplate for the saddles. I opted for the 11* tilted bridge as my theoretical bridge angle would be 12,18* so I think this will work okay. I initially was going to go with Schaller M6-tuners but decided to get Hipshot as I was ordering stuff from there anyways.. plus I like the idea to have "matching hardware" if that makes sense.

    The Alpha/Omega set has been on my wishlist for a long time and figured this is the time to get them. I'm thinking about slanting at least the bridge humbucker as I want really tight low end on this instrument, so I'll need to fabricate a custom baseplate for the Omega.
     
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  20. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    The pickups arrived and what do you do first when you receive fresh new pickups? -why take one of them apart ofcource!

    First I calculated how off would the Omegas B- and E-polepieces be if the standard pickup was slanted 11* and they’re about 0,57mm closer to the centerline than their counterpart strings so I recon the mod is theoretically good to go.

    Having never taken a humbucker apart before this was all new to me, but I managed to remove the baseplate and gently slant the coils without disconnecting any of the wires. Now I just need to design and manufacture a new baseplate. I have no idea wether or how this mod will affect the sound of the pickup.

    7A4B859E-241B-4F89-B371-BDF91C34B47F.jpeg 73188710-CA45-4FFF-9428-ABE7BE6572A4.jpeg 5313DA0C-0C18-4A2A-A93A-96E661BC8FA7.jpeg
     
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