7 String Black Limba Star Guitar Build

JSil13

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While I'm on the finishing stage of my current build I've been collecting all the parts for my next build. I've been loving my last star guitar that I made using a Warmoth neck and since I sold my baritone build I wanted something for that low B again. I've never owned a 7 string, so this is my first attempt at making one as well.

Here's the last build. Basswood body, metallic gray duplicolor, Black Winter, Hipshot bridge and tuners, and a Warmoth neck.
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JSil13

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I got a pretty good deal on this Explorer sized black limba blank. The last build I had to glue on a piece for the bottom wing which wasn't a big deal since it was getting painted. I also picked up some figured maple for my last build and got an extra piece of flame maple. It will be getting the ziricote fretboard that I already slotted, a set of Black Winters, Tusq XL nut, jumbo frets, Hipshot bridge, and Hipshot open gear Grip Locks.

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JSil13

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Using the nut width, scale length, and bridge string spacing I drew up the neck. I'm using a larger version of the headstock I use on my last build. The nut width is 50mm, but I may make it 48mm just to get a little thinner. The heel width is 65mm which I guess is the same as some Charvels and other guitars. This leaves 1/8" on the sides of the strings to the edge of the fretboard.

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JSil13

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Since I don't have a drill press I use this jig for my string through holes and ferrules. I wasn't sure that it was going to work on this build because the string through holes are angled. So I did a test. I drilled the low B,high B, and high E holes all the way through, flip the piece over and attach the drilling jig, then drill the ferrules using a 5/16" forstner bit. Then after I have those 6 drilled I slid the jig over a space and drilled the last hole. It looks like this will work.

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JSil13

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Back to working on this one a bit while I'm still wrapping up my last build. I made a simple radiusing jig to use with my new radius beam. It's still a workout, but it works so much better than the little wooden blocks I was using before from Aliexpress.

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Then I routed the truss rod into the maple. I still have a few of these Bitterroot truss rods. They work fine, but the require three different sized bits to get the rod to fit. I can't remember the size off the top of my head, it's either 1/4" or 5/16", then I use a chisel for the wider part before the nut, and then a cove bit for the nut and the rod access point on the headstock.
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JSil13

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Once the glue has set I can route the neck using the fretboard as a template and then finish the headstock shape by hand. I still need to joint the body blank. Not sure how I'm going to go about it yet. I may call a few cabinet makers around me to see if they can throw it on their jointer for me. I don't have a jointer. I know I can use a router, but I'll have to look into the best way to go about it.
 

ChrispyFinch

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Once the glue has set I can route the neck using the fretboard as a template and then finish the headstock shape by hand. I still need to joint the body blank. Not sure how I'm going to go about it yet. I may call a few cabinet makers around me to see if they can throw it on their jointer for me. I don't have a jointer. I know I can use a router, but I'll have to look into the best way to go about it.
if you can afford a couple hundred $ you could go the hand plane route, as i did. Get yourself a #7 and hand jointing isnt all bad and has taught me a bunch about wood and tool keeping (if youre into that kind of thing).
Love your first star build, my kind of guit for sure!
 

JSil13

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if you can afford a couple hundred $ you could go the hand plane route, as i did. Get yourself a #7 and hand jointing isnt all bad and has taught me a bunch about wood and tool keeping (if youre into that kind of thing).
Love your first star build, my kind of guit for sure!

I've thought about going that route as well. I like using hand tools when I can, but I never got into using planes. I always wanted to though.
Very nice! Love the neck and really like that headstock design. :metal:

Thanks man. I used a strat template originally and then kind of mixed the Jackson headstock with a bit of my Schecter. I might make this one a little smaller than it is right now, but I want to figure out the definitive tuner locations first.
 

JSil13

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And this is where I screwed up. The bearing on my router slipped before I noticed it and gouged out a bit of the fretboard and the heel. It isn't very deep, so I may end up making the heel 63-64mm instead of 65 and still be alright with the outside string spacing. It's my fault for using the Stew Mac bit without using one of their teflon spacers. Also for not noticing right away.
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abeigor

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While I'm on the finishing stage of my current build I've been collecting all the parts for my next build. I've been loving my last star guitar that I made using a Warmoth neck and since I sold my baritone build I wanted something for that low B again. I've never owned a 7 string, so this is my first attempt at making one as well.

Here's the last build. Basswood body, metallic gray duplicolor, Black Winter, Hipshot bridge and tuners, and a Warmoth neck.
View attachment 115340
Extremely cool. Great choices here!
 

dmlinger

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Bummer man, I hope you can salvage it. What if you bound the fretboard? Not ideal to do it after the fretboard is glued on, but some guys do it that way.
 

JSil13

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Bummer man, I hope you can salvage it. What if you bound the fretboard? Not ideal to do it after the fretboard is glued on, but some guys do it that way.
I actually already have some black binding on the way because I was thinking of binding this body. I hadn’t even thought about doing the neck for some reason. I think it would be tricky too since it already has a radius on there.
 

JSil13

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I think that I've decided to change the heel width to get rid of my dumb mistake. I can use the fretboard template and slide it over 1mm on each side. That will leave me with a 63mm heel and should get rid of the little divot there.

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JimF

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Love this and especially love your recently completed build above!
How did you stop the black stain colouring the black limba body?
 

JSil13

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Love this and especially love your recently completed build above!
How did you stop the black stain colouring the black limba body?
I was originally going to do the faux binding thing, but some of the dye bled into the contour and no matter what I tried I couldn't get it to come out. As for the dye I used Transtint mixed with denatured alcohol. When I masked the faux binding and contour I used dewaxed shellac to mask it. Big mistake since apparently denatured alcohol dissolves shellac. So when it came time to dye the sides and the contour I used Zpoxy since that was what I used to grain fill the black limba. I thinned the last coat with denatured alcohol and used a small paint brush to cut it in like I was painting a wall by a ceiling or something. Then just used painter's tape. That seemed to work pretty well.
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