Lockdown Project: George Lynch Skull n' Bones

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Randy, May 10, 2020.

  1. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    21,862
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Alright, goodies delivered = rapidfire updates are back.

    Last of the important stuff is in, thanks to ye' ol' adminishredder. :yesway: Shipment complete with CQ picks and the scent of scrotum, which means this is authentic.

    1.jpg

    Glue dried/cured, so it was time to take another swing at the truss rod. Much happier with the new fitment.

    2.jpg

    Most of the rest of the day was dedicated to fretboard schtuff. Input one 'blacker than Dick Cheney's soul' piece of ebony.

    3.jpg

    I tried a new CAM carving profile this time. My old one was, I believe, all 3D adaptive and a horizontal parallel process but the 3D adaptive took some deeper than I'd prefer passes and the stepover on the parallel passes made it a long process to get it cleaned. So I tried 3D pocket clearing and widthwise parallel clearing instead. I'm super happy with it this way. This should give you an idea of the tool marks you need to get out.

    I also included a snap of how I mount when I glue to the table. Super glue and accelerant, bonds in 2 or 3 seconds. :yesway:

    4.jpg



    5.jpg

    After this, onto the fold-up bench to hit it with some elbow grease. 16" radius block with 60 grit paper for fast clearing. I have that glued to the block and I use the grip of the sand paper to hold each successive grit. Sand up to 220 and it's soft smoooooth (just like-a silk-a).

    6.jpg

    7.jpg

    8.jpg

    I have fret slotting CNC bits, but they break easy and they take a while. I have an old school 'Randy's secret weapon' rig I use for slotting that still does it faster and more reliable than anything else. It's an old 'overhead' sliding miter saw with a .023" screw slotting blade and a jig I threw together. The board sticks to a notched slotting template, and an indexing pin locks into each position. The saw needs the slide oiled every use to move freely but otherwise it's pretty seamless and fast.

    8a.jpg

    The slots come out clean but they don't go super deep, so I clear out each slot by hand with a fret saw. I've got the HF cutoff saw and it's insane value, I've been using the same one for ~12 years. This deepens, slightly widens the slot and the manual sawing lets me follow the radius, which gets you the depth you need for the fret tang without cutting too deep and losing rigidity in the fretboard.

    9.jpg

    Fretboard still needs inlays but they're on their way. Allparts shipment showed up without them because they're on back order, so I ordered them from elsewhere. MOP.

    Not sure what I did wrong in my neck programming but the contour came out ~1/32" wider than the template, so I'm going to sand that down to narrow it up a little better. Face of the headstock can use some thickness sanding before the tuners go in, and a little cleanup from the truss rod fill.

    I cleaned up some of the tearout on the fingers of the body carve. I had a little more hand carving left before I snapped the flexshaft on my Dremel, replacement just came in yesterday so fine carving left to do with that.
     
  2. KR250

    KR250 Build addict

    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    838
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle
    Cool build! Regarding the Richlite, they do sell 2'x2' sheets that ends up being way cheaper than their actual pre cut fretboards, getting cost closer to $10 a fret board. At least for the diamond black. It's been kind of hell on tools though. I'm totally with you on ditching head stock adjusting truss rods.
     
    Randy likes this.
  3. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    21,862
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Thanks and thank you for the tip. I'll look into that. I've got a few other builds in mind and wouldn't mind giving them a shot, especially at that price point.

    Incremental update.

    Finally got the neck and body mated up. Ran a pocket contour procedure on the CNC. That definitely cleaned up the pocket some but neck still didn't fit until I sanded the neck down to the width of the template. Not 100% sure what the neck width issues was but I suspect it's because I had the carving procedure set to leave some stock on the back of the neck for sanding but it probably wrapped around to the edges as well.

    I know what the pocket problem was though; normally I use the neck tenon to set the pocket contour, but this time was funky because the heel block and neck I chose didn't line up 100%, so I made an asymmetrical carve. Too many variables putting a symmetrical neck in an asymmetrical route. Cleanup up process was a clear pocket based on tenon.

    1.jpeg

    Drilled for the tuners. Started photographing the process but had my hands full. Also went to snap a pic with the tuners installed, but I misplaced one of the retaining nuts and wasn't going to spend a lot of time looking at the moment. So anyway, a somewhat anticlimactic pic of the headstock with tuner holes. You can also see where I filled the truss rod. If it were natural I'd have gone a different route but it's gonna be black like George's, so that'll do.

    2.jpg

    I did a short video showing the Sperzel reversal process. Forgive my fat hands in the way but should give folks who haven't done it before an idea of the process. Video is a minute and a half but I think you can do it in 30 sec if you're not trying to show it to the camera :lol:



    Last item of the day was getting the fretboard glued on. Transferred the shape to the board and tapered it on the bandsaw, plus ~1/8" for wiggle room that'll get sanded out after it dried.

    3.jpg

    A couple passes with 60 grit on the back gives the glue more places to sink in for better adhesion.

    4.jpg

    More clamps! If Hell exists and I end up there, it'll be twisting those goddamn wingnuts for eternity. I've seen acoustic builders use the same clamps but with nuts and a nut drive set to medium torque. Might convert over to that to save my fingers.

    I typically drill four holes in the fret slots and tap in brad nails to keep the board from moving but I had the wrong bit and nails today. In lieu of that, I got the wood glue tacky and wiggled the board around to get it to bite, then clamped down with the nut-end pump clamp to hold everything in place.

    Screw clamps are handling edges, Irwin clamps are handling the middle. I also fired up the dehumidifer to speed up the drying process. You'd be surprised how long wood glue stays wet deep inside these things, despite the advertised drying/curing times.

    5.jpg

    EDIT: Found it

    I1yTtCJr.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  4. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    21,862
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    The dehumidifier did me well. The wood glue was rock solid by lunchtime today. Thumb plane on the sides for some ebony shavings.

    1.jpg

    Hit the edges with the belt sander, and 60 grit by hand to round the edges. Usually I have a squared off fretboard for overhang but the original and this both have the fretboard rounded off to match the shape of the heel to fit around the carve.

    Made it out of the cave to get an outside shot.

    2.jpg

    Waiting on the MOP dots, which will put me back a few days. I might clean up the body and do some prep for the bridge in the meantime.
     
  5. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

    Messages:
    5,796
    Likes Received:
    4,669
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Middle East
    #SSOFappening
     
  6. Samark

    Samark SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    1,245
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Really cool mate. Great way to spend time during isolation
     
    Randy likes this.
  7. KR250

    KR250 Build addict

    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    838
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle
    Wow, seriously impressed how this is turning out!
     
    Randy likes this.
  8. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    21,862
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    High praise, coming from you. Much appreciated. :yesway:
     
    KR250 likes this.
  9. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    21,862
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Fretboard day!

    Marked everything out in pencil for centerlines. 1/4" MOP dots. One of the things people typical skip that makes things way harder is using a wood awl to dimple their center points. If you do that and chase it with a bradpoint bit, you get as close to exact as you can when drilling a piece of wood. Works for the face AND the side dots.

    1.jpeg

    Didn't take pics of the process but drill press for the face and drilled by hand for the sides. I see a lot of people use really complex jigging for side dots but if you mark and punch your centerpoints, you can drill for recesses by hand and get them clean every time.

    The front dots I'd typically drill a sliver over 1/4" for an easy fit but my larger bit was missing, so I went with a clean 1/4" bit and just used the Irwin clamps to seat them with super glue. I leave them a little proud of the slot or just up to the edge of it, and the radius block with 100, 150, 220. No idea why but the Gorilla brand CA glue seems to take a lot longer than the Loctite brand I swear by. Either way, happy with the results.

    DOTS!

    2.jpeg

    3.jpeg

    On to the fretwork. I have a press that I spent good money on buying and modifying for pressing frets but it's crazy inconvenient and doesn't get as much leverage as I'd like. A lot of guys work with just a fretting hammer, which is nice but doesn't distribute impact evenly and is easy to mar your fretboard with errant strikes. Best compromise I've found is using the pressing caul and blocks, and hammering on that with the fret hammer. One or two on the center to get it to hold, then, up from center and down from center for the arch.

    4.jpeg

    My fretwire comes straight, and it's semi-useable that way since some bending happens in the seating process but you still need to prebend them. Especially with stainless. This is a fretbender I made years and years ago that's done the trick. Most of what you're seeing is self explanatory but the cliff notes is that it's a piece of 2" aluminum flat bar with skateboard bearings and bolts, one side slotted to adjust the amount of relief. The feeder are a couple washers and a bolt, with a window crank as a feeder. This thing bends a 2' piece of fretwire pretty reliably in about 15 seconds. Sometimes I give it more than one pass to get there, especially stainless because it's springy.

    5.jpg

    6.jpg

    Next was the actual fretting process, as described above. Not much to add. It's stainless jumbo. I used to cut my fretwire with a pair of long handled end nippers but the stainless fights it too much and I ruined a couple pairs, along with getting blisters. I switched over to a pair of mini-bolt cutters and they snip the stainless wire pretty effortless. This is how it looks after seating them, before final trimming, beveling, etc.

    The neck is a hair flatter with rounder shoulders than my cushion. Had to do one pass with it in place with light taps, then second pass without it and pretty hard to get them in without it rolling. Kitchen drawer mats to keep the heel tenon and back of headstock from getting scratched with all the pounding.

    7.jpeg

    After they were seated, I tapped the extra fretwire to round the edges more (typically the edges have more relief from the sanding process). Everything got clipped as close as I could with the bolt cutters, then sanded flush on the vertical belt sander (the Rigid one that converts to a spindle sander; it's worth it's weight in gold), and beveled around 30 degrees thanks to the variable deck on it. You have to be careful how much pressure and how long you keep the sander on the fretwire or they glow orange, burn the fretboard and discolor the fretwire.

    After that, the frets get another couple taps to fully seat the edges and they're done. Typically you don't need a full on fret level on a new fretjob, but this will get taped up and the frets will be sanded/polished and fine tuned for level in the later stages.

    8.jpeg

    Definitely nearing the finish line. The ebony is kind of a bitch because the dust breaks up like dirt and stains any unfinished lighter surfaces. I kept sanding the maple to pristine, then I'd fine tune the fretboard and have to clean up sand the maple again, ugh. Luckily that's pretty much done with. Neck is sanded up to 150, so one or two grits left and it's finish ready.

    Neck is pretty much ready to take a break though. On to final sanding on the body and finish. I glaze/fillered the top to body seam as a final precaution, and I'm pretty much done with the actual sculpt as well as the relief on the edges. So pretty much sanding the sides and back and we're ready for paint.
     
  10. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

    Messages:
    13,869
    Likes Received:
    6,388
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Location:
    California
    This is about as much fun as one can have living vicariously through another human. Damn, I love this build!
     
    Extrafunk, Zhysick and Randy like this.
  11. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

    Messages:
    5,796
    Likes Received:
    4,669
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Middle East
    I clicked on 'recommended for you' on pornhub and it brought me here.
     
    Spicypickles, BenjaminW and Randy like this.
  12. DiezelMonster

    DiezelMonster Complainasaurus Rex

    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    392
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    @Randy

    This looks killer! I've wanted to dive into this, I want to make one body but I can't find anyone willing to make one so I've contemplated buying this sort of get-up but I have no freaking clue what to do hahaha.

    anyhow, this is awesome.

    Cheers.
     
    Randy likes this.
  13. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    21,862
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Thank you!

    Well hopefully it's a crash course in some of the basics. Like I said, I primarily learned from books and build threads, so hopefully someone gains some useful information from this like I did. Ideally, I'll be able post another build thread or two in the future to cover some specifics that I might've missed here or elsewhere.
     
  14. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    430
    Likes Received:
    740
    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Dudley,West Midlands
    Totally cool build, i remember seeing mr lynch sporting that bones guitar during an opening support set with lynch mod for queensryche during the UK empire tour

    btw Love those fretboard edge clamps a great idea(wish id had those earlier this week) is that rounds of cork you have as padding?
     
    Randy likes this.
  15. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    21,862
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    Just the wood, no padding. I think it's 3" roundstock that is used for railings, but it's softwood and my edges are sanded, so it typically doesn't leave any marks on hardwood surfaces. Cork wouldn't be a bad idea to prevent slipping though, or as an extra layer of protection; good thought. :yesway:

    99% of the time I'm using these around the edges on a guitar top, which is nice because it's got square faces to sit against top and bottom. On things like fretboards with a rounded back and radiused top, it does take some trial and error. A softer surface to back them would help slip, another thing I was considering are maybe metal bridges top and bottom to basically bind the clamps together on opposite sides to help hold them in place.
     
  16. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,571
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Location:
    Never Neverland
    Cool project, and it's turning out much better than I would have thought given all the work on the skull and bones. Good job, man.

    What are you using for the min bolt cutters you mentioned in the fretting section?
     
    Randy likes this.
  17. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    21,862
    Likes Received:
    7,155
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    I got them from Lowe's, I forget what they're marketed as, maybe nail head/screw cutter? But they're Kobalt brand. I'll get a pic next I'm down in the shop but they're ~10" long and weren't very expensive (sub $20?).

    Actually a side note on these, I was cutting my fretwire too short when I started using them, and the angle of the cut was twisting the fret tang, so I'd have to go back with a pair of pliers and straight them.

    This time, I cut them longer so that the twisted fret tang was past the edge of the fretboard, then when I went to trim them flush, I cut them so that the tang is down on the 'V' of the cutters, which centered the pressure and keeps the tang from getting bent. Way less work.
     
    tedtan likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.