7 String headless build

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by foreright, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Ok, this is my first build thread so go gently :)

    This will be my sixth build although the first four were a VERY long time ago (ie. in the 90s at uni!). I got the bug back again last year when I built a neck-through superstrat for my wife for Christmas.

    This is to be a bolt-on necked 7-string Strandberg shaped headless with TFM hardware and EMGs. It has a one piece Rosewood neck, a Cocobolo (I think - been a while since I bought it!) fretboard and English Ash body. It is a 25.5-27" multiscale also.

    It is going to take me quite some time to complete I expect (it has so far...) due to a recent house move and the wife thinking that fixing up the house is more important than me "playing with my toys".

    Anyway... on with the build...

    Neck blank squared and fingerboard cut to size and slotted...

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    Body blank and template...

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    Neck cut out, truss rod routed. The neck is bolted on with machine bolts and t-nuts:

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    Body cut out and tidied up, neck pocket cut - this is the tightest I've ever managed to make a neck pocket which is good. You can pick this up by the neck and shake it without the body falling off :)

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    Holes drilled for controls and pickups...

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    Testing out what the hardware looks like... pretty cool I think!

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    The dog looks suitably impressed...

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    3mm Luminlay dots installed - not sure what's up with this pic as the dots actually DO line up in real life!

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    Anyway... that's it for now - planning to radius the fretboard, finish off shaping the back of the neck (specifically transition at head end) and drill mounting holes for hardware this evening if I get time.

    I'm pretty impressed with this shape incidentally - it balances pretty nicely albeit I have no hardware installed as yet. Access to the top end of the fretboard is really nice even with a non-contoured heel (still to do!). It also looks REALLY small. Putting it next to my headless Hohner G3T, it's barely any bigger at all despite the scale length being quite a bit longer - magic I tell thee.

    Note - this is my version of a Strandberg Boden guitar, designed by Ola Strandberg, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. It features Technology for Musicians headless hardware and EMG 81-7 pickups. My modifications to the original design are to the design of the control cavity and modified output jack location and these are free for you to use under the same license, please contact me if you have any questions.
     
  2. SevenStringJones

    SevenStringJones Oh Billy

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    This is looking great! The only problem I see is with the truss rod adjustment being blocked by the neck pickup.

    What kind of neck carve are you going to do on this?
     
  3. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Thanks - yes the truss rod adjustment location is a bit of a compromise - I wasn't sure that I would have enough depth under the string locks if I put the access at the top of the neck so I decided to go with this setup. The weather is pretty stable (temperature wise!) here so I don't anticipate having to adjust the rod THAT often - I certainly don't on my other instruments.

    The pickups are going to be mounted using threaded inserts so removing the pickup every now and then should not be too much of a chore. We'll see!

    This is using the EndurNeck profile - my last build also used it - I find it REALLY comfortable albeit the last build was a guess as to how it worked as it was pre-the patenting and before the kit with the DXF/STL files was available.
     
  4. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Got the body edge rounded and rough sanded (9.17mm radius) and the carve for the back of the neck sorted. It is REALLY tough to get the transition on the back of the neck at the head and body ends looking ok with hand tools!

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    Body/neck rear:

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    Detail of edge:

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    Looks really nice with the edge radius - kind of like a sucked boiled sweet according to the wife. Not sure I'm going to bother with either the forearm rest contour or the rear belly cut as it's comfortable enough already.

    Rear cavity tomorrow I think!
     
  5. DredFul

    DredFul Maple fretboard enthusiast

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    That's pretty darn nice
     
  6. 9Lives

    9Lives GuitarHaggler

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    That's badass fret board dude. I love that grainy knot! Looks good can't wait to see finish pic w/ metal face.
     
  7. Alikingravi

    Alikingravi SS.org Regular

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    Wow, excellent job so far. Really nice work.
     
  8. Serratus

    Serratus SS.org Regular

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    Looks awesome!

    My only comment at this stage would be that you might want to change the position of the jack socket (assuming that the little cross you've drawn on the edge is where the socket is going?). I built a similarly shaped headless guitar earlier this year, and part of the attraction of that body shape is that when you're sat down the lowest point sits between your legs, holding the guitar at a nice angle to play. And it looks like the jack plug and lead would be in the way of your leg where it is on the body?
    That's why Strandbergs have the jack coming out at an angle towards the tuners, and I did the same with mine :)
    Just a heads up anyway - looks really good!
     
  9. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Yes you're right, the cross was originally for the jack socket but I've been vacillating between putting a Neutrik there or just going with the "normal" barrel jack in the usual place that you referred to. I think you're probably correct BTW and will almost certainly end up doing just that.
     
  10. jarnozz

    jarnozz Let´s Get Wasted!

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    where do all you guys get those bolts and posts.. All I can find are the posts but with a bolt with a screw head.. Great looking build man!
     
  11. Riley

    Riley SS.org Regular

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  12. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    ^ yup! the bolts with the big flat low-profile heads are called "furniture connector bolts". These are stainless M6 and have a 15mm diameter head IIRC. They came from an eBay vendor in my case. They mate to M6x12mm T-nuts.
     
  13. Mr_Metal_575

    Mr_Metal_575 SS.org Regular

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    Amazing build mate!! The timbers and the truss rod are tits
    Would you mind to share the template? It's perfect. I have
    MDF ready to do the template. You would do me a great favour. You can PM me if you want.
     
  14. bloodstaindewok

    bloodstaindewok Well-Known Member

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    Looking sweet! If I might ask what exactly is the EndurNeck profile and why particularly do you like it over a more traditional neck profile? Keep it up good sir!
     
  15. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    The EndurNeck profile is Ola's parent pending design - there's a pretty good illustration of what it looks like on his website here: EndurNeck(tm) Information Kit | Strandberg Guitarworks. Basically it's a kind of trapezoidal cross-sectional neck with the back being completely flat. The idea is that your thumb follows the flat bit and it helps keep your wrist straight.

    I play with my thumb on the back of the neck in a kind of classical style so I find it extremely comfortable and natural. Others don't find the same so YMMV!
     
  16. bloodstaindewok

    bloodstaindewok Well-Known Member

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    Cheers mate. So you had to buy a license to DL the file or did you just mess with the idea until you got the profile right? Thanks for the response sir.
     
  17. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Yes it is licensed - you get cad plans and a full description of how it all works as a download.
     
  18. iamnoah262

    iamnoah262 SS.org Regular

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    This looks awesome! What kind of finish do you have in mind for this beauty?
     
  19. Coreysaur

    Coreysaur SS.org Regular

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    Please don't stain it, give it some oil finish and leave it natural. That swamp ash looks beautiful. :rolleyes:
     
  20. foreright

    foreright SS.org Regular

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    Well I was torn between a Ceruse (black with purple highlights) finish or leaving it natural / oiled. I think that natural wins so far - as you say, this is quite a nicely grained piece of wood. It is Northern/European Ash incidentally rather than Swamp Ash and certainly feels like it weightwise!
     

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