Build for a friend - #2

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by DistinguishedPapyrus, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    So, this one if actually for a relative, a surprise birthday gift for him in May. That's when I need to have it done, hopefully a little sooner so it'll have time to settle with strings tensioned. His name is Vic, this dude has been so helpful to me in the past, it means nothing to me to build a guitar for him. He's a little more old school, his style is like Les Pauls, Stratocasters, Eric Clapton, Allman Brothers, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, rock, blues... that kind of stuff. Metallica is a bit too much on the heavy side for him. Literally THE nicest guy I've ever met though. He's been real solid to me in some of my struggles in the past... But he's owned, traded and sold dozens of guitars over the years, always open to trying new and different things, that's why this one will be built more in my preferred shape, but the neck is gonna feel close to a 70's SG.

    But anyway, my threads tend to be a little "wordy" in the past, less words more pics this time:

    6 strings
    22 SS frets
    25" scale
    Spanish Cedar body
    Bastogne Walnut top
    Sapele and Walnut neck
    Rosewood FB
    Pups TBD
    Hipshot bridge
    Hoping to be able to use Sperzel tuners, if not then Gotoh - depends on the budget

    I've already got this build a few steps in, so some shots to catch up:

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    This thread is for the one on the right. The left one is for an 8 string I'm currently building too.
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    Here it is on the right, with a few other slabs in the works and my last build I finished earlier this year. Neck is long enough to cut a scarf joint and match up the headstock.
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    Actually just bookmatched the walnut by hand today, didn't have a band saw to use so a couple hand saws were way cheaper... and more viking like :hbang: :shred:
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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  2. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    Damn, how long did it take to rip that top? I once had to split a maple blank in three with a hand saw... Don't feel like doing that ever again.


    Aaanyway, this project looks super promising. Might one suggest a dark veneer between the body and top? :2c:
     
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  3. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    The cut actually only took about an hour. I worked with a couple different saws, advancing it a little with the pull saw first then following up and widening the kerf with a hand saw, about an inch at a time, flipping the piece back and forth about every other saw change to cut from opposite directions. Not bad really, just have to understand the angles of attack and use a sharp blade. Woulda been quicker except that hand saw is a little dull. Next time I'll go buy the longer version too instead of this shorter saw.

    Also, thanks for the veneer tip, that definitely is something to consider... I think I might just have some wenge veneer laying around.
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Build the Wall of Sound™

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    looking good. god I tried to cut a maple top by hand but just gave up and used my sawzall/table saw like always. I think a maple veneer would work well sandwiched between the top and body if you want more contrast.
     
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  5. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Ripping that top might be the single most impressive thing I've ever seen on this forum. Well done.
     
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  6. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    Here's a side note about this build so far:

    Took some time to think this over, the bookmatch cut I mean; next time I do one of these I will definitely invest in a nicer Ryoba, that Japanese style pull saw. I cannot say enough what an awesome design it is, even though I did most of this cut with the hand saw just cause I had not yet had enough practice with the Ryoba. The one in the pic above I actually just bought earlier that same day that I did that cut, just a cheapo one from Home Depot. Bought it on a whim while looking for something to help finish that step of the build, I've never used one before but seen it on some thread somewhere on the internet. I can tell after using it for an hour that 1) it is an ingenious woodworking tool and 2) it shouldn't even be available in cheap Chinese versions, something like that should be fine quality all the way.

    I made several cuts on scrap material later that day and found that with some practice and a well made tool it theoretically should be possible to bookmatch an entire plank with a 0.030" kerf. That blows my mind. That's getting close to fret slot sizes. I mean... can a band saw even do that? It's because it works on the pull stroke, and the steel naturally straightens as it is tensioned, so the blade does not need to be super thick to stay straight, it's actually a very flexible blade. Thinner blade, thinner kerf, less material you're actually removing, easier to cut, more accurately matched faces of a bookmatch.

    Just really impressed with this tool, wanted to share that, more people should try it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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  7. Walshy

    Walshy SS.org Regular

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    One hour to rip that walnut by hand?! Seriously impressive. I've tried it before and gave up about two inches in haha.
     
  8. Walshy

    Walshy SS.org Regular

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    Have you tried resawing anything deep with a ryoba saw? I only mention it because I resawed a flamed maple top recently (before the big bandsaw purchase) and it wavered a little on the way down and I lost a few mm of material. You are right that it should pull straight on the backstroke but the blades are so thin that you might be surprised that you can pull off the centre line if you're not careful. That said, it sounds like you've much more hand sawing experience than me. Just go slowly if you are attempting a bookmatch or something.
     
  9. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    Top is glued... plus a few shots of the steps it took to get there:

    Pieces joined
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    Top milled flat and rough cut
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    Finishing up some schematics on how it'll mate to the neck
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    Dry fit in a redneck (but very useful) press jig
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    Pup wiring channels are pre routed and dropped in a couple drinking straws to make wire passages
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    The press worked great, will be curing for the next couple days.
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    [​IMG]Untitled[/url] by Chris Mardani, on Flickr[/IMG]
     
  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Build the Wall of Sound™

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    Ooh I like that press jig idea.
     
  11. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    well... shame on me, I kinda forgot about this thread and left it idle. But skip now to the ending, the guitar is finally in the finishing stages!!!

    Here she is getting the first few coats of oil. Unfortunately the tuners I ordered are on back order and I won't be able to string it up for a couple weeks, but that's ok, it'll give plenty of cure time. I don't have to deliver it until the end of May anyway so it's all good.
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    Day two, a few more coats of oil:
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    Love the detail of the scarf joint, nice tight lines. You can see the joint of the headstock through the volute.
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    Couldn't resist doing a quick mockup, this is gonna be so dang tasty...
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  12. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Wow. Really, really spectacular work.
     
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  13. IGC

    IGC SS.org Regular

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    Dude, that guitar looks top notch! Did you use tru oil?
     
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  14. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    Thanks mate!

    Yep, tru-oil. Super easy DIY, also you can cut right through the finish to alter the shape of the wood any time you should ever need to and then just sand it smooth, apply more oil and it'll blend right in, no one could ever tell.
     
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  15. IGC

    IGC SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the tru-oil finishing tip. Really good results and not so risky like a spray on. I guess you can just keep adding more to get that shiny clear finish?
     
  16. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    I'm seriously impressed by the cleanliness of your work and your design choices. Top notch work, indeed!

    After you glued the set neck in place, was the portion of the guitar neck rising above the body blank equal in height to the width of the walnut top you glued onto the body later?
     
  17. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the kind words!

    But yes, the front face of the neck was very close in height to the walnut top thickness. Actually the walnut was just a little thicker. I made sure of that so the top could be shaved down a little to glue on the fretboard.

    In fact, I had a close up shot of it, the body, neck, top and fretboard are all sort of layered and interlocked.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Grand Rabbit

    Grand Rabbit SS.org Regular

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    Interesting, and very cool. What made you want to fit them all together rather than gluing the top on, then routing the neck pocket and setting the neck in from there?
     
  19. DistinguishedPapyrus

    DistinguishedPapyrus SS.org Regular

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    I don’t really know, I’ve done that method once before... it works fine and all but just wanted to push it a little further. See what I could do. The top wood tucks slightly under the edge of the fretboard. The neck core sits deep into the body, past the neck pup cavity. It has a great amount of surface contact area between the neck and body pieces, with no gaps that I know of anywhere... just all around fascinating to me at least. It was an itch that needed to be scratched.

    Maybe I’m just nuts but I swear I can hear a difference in sustain and tone like this...
     
  20. Walshy

    Walshy SS.org Regular

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    That's some very nice joinery there. That top clamp jig you made clearly does the job because you've got no glue lines whatsoever. Lovely work overall.

    I particularly love the story behind this one - your mate will be over the moon with this!
     
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