MoonJelly's 2019 Summer Build Challenge

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by MoonJelly, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Ok, officially not "starting" this build until I've left my crappy work environment (early May), but I did have the boards lying around already, so Saturday night I started whipping the rough shape together.

    [​IMG]

    What's decided so far:

    Elongated single cut style, 24(+) frets
    Multiscale 28"-26.5"


    $9.75.....3 piece Maple neck
    $16.21....Basswood body
    $3-$9.....Katalox, Maple, or Pau Ferro fingerboard (have some of each lying around)
    $11.24....Bitterroot Truss Rod
    $1.25....Bone Nut Blank
    $1.99....Cylinder-style jack
    $5.79....Dunlop Dual Design strap buttons
    $12-$20..CTS pots and possiblly a 3-way switch
    $7-$9.....6 single string bridges or saddles, depending on which works best.
    $34.99....GOTOH SG381 tuners
    $25-$50..Pickups


    Not everything on the shopping list is bought yet, but I'm looking at a rough total of $130-160 so far. Some hardware still in the air, looking at possibility of doing 1-2 pickups, and still undecided whether I'm doing 'buckers or p90s.

    I may "splurge" and do a veneer top :eek:

    Anxious for the next 3 weeks to pass so I can give full attention to it. Work sucks right now with 50-60 hours/week and doing the job of 3 people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  2. Defyantly

    Defyantly Maybe

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    Nice! I am also itching to start my build. Unfortunately none of my materials are bought yet except the stuff i have lying around (i.e. small hardware bits and fretboard) Good luck!
     
  3. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Thanks!

    I just canned the idea of doing a veneer after watching Love, Death + Robots on Netflix...gonna do a "Zima Blue" guitar.

    [​IMG]

    Going with chrome hardware, maple fingerboard and cream binding as a result of the color choice. So now y'all know the plan...let's see if I can execute. :eek:
     
  4. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Ok. After going over the rules, I added some things to my list that are not considered finish (fret wire, etc.) Just checked out the remaining items, it's officially happening now. Glad I still come in under $200, as I don't want to cut any more corners on hardware etc. To sum up:

    MoonJelly's Summer Build Challenge 2019

    Construction Materials

    Maple board (neck)...........................9.75
    8/4 Basswood (body).......................16.21
    Maple board (fingerboard)..................4.40
    Bitterroot Truss Rod.........................11.24
    Bone (nut)........................................1.25
    Cream Binding..................................3.99
    Jescar Fretwire 1.4mm height............15.98
    K&S Brass Tubing..............................5.29
    Strontium Aluminate Powder (10g)......2.65
    Hardware
    Dunlop Dual Design buttons...............5.79
    Single String Bridges.........................9.98
    GOTOH tuners.................................34.99
    Electronics
    Cheapo 3 Way Toggle........................1.50
    CTS 500k Pot (volume)......................7.52
    CTS 250k Fender TBX (tone).............11.99
    Alnico V Humbucker Set...................35.95
    Cylinder Jack....................................1.99
    GRAND TOTAL............................180.47
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  5. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Got the cheapo saddles in the mail today.
    I have read about how the cheap bent saddles have a little bulge on the back corner where the bend in the plate is. Lining them all up I'm seeing that the string spread is going to be 52-54mm, which I would term normal.
    [​IMG]

    Some other notable things, there are some channels under the saddle to hold it in place, but they don't extend back far enough. With the saddle screw all the way out, the set screws are resting in the very back of the channel. You can see the little side bulge here.
    [​IMG]

    That, and the saddles themselves are super tall. There is a keyhole in the bottom to anchor the string under the saddle, but additionally there is a second string hole under the saddle screw. I'd rather they eschew the second hole in favor of a lower profile.
    [​IMG]

    Overall I think they'll work just fine for the intended project. In just a few days, I'm going to have some dedicated time for how I'm going to work them into the build.
     
  6. Deegatron

    Deegatron SS.org Regular

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    That's a bummer about the channels not being far back enough. looks like they designed the lower piece first with a different saddle in mind and then neglected to update the design when the saddle changed... I bet if you put on a set traditional style saddles (rather than the roller style it was supplied with) it would rectify the problem....
     
  7. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Gonna vote for gold hardware here. I know my vote counts as much as a liberal in the Bible Belt (issa joke chill) but-ah-reckon I should “see something say something”.

    That color is going to look awesome!
     
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  8. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    I would, but I have too much gold hardware in builds right now. Chrome wasn't just cheap, it was a nice change.
     
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  9. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    One good thing about daylight savings. I can actually squeeze a little shop time in after work.

    Started with a layout I totally did not draw, copy, cut out and tape together at work.
    [​IMG]

    Cleaned up the profile on the band saw and then the spindle sander.
    [​IMG]

    Did some more measuring/layout on the body, and I now have conclusive evidence the saddles will work just fine.
    [​IMG]

    I also worked on the neck but didn't take pics, I cut the shape of the head and glued 'ears' on it. More to come in rapid succession once I'm free from my day job.
     
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  10. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Solved the saddle length problem with some Home Depot screws. I think the height issue will be resolved also if I flip the saddle upside down. Oh, this does add $1.22 to my total :eek:[​IMG]
     
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  11. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Made some cuts :hbang:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I swear I've already redrawn my center line 5-6 times.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Almost ready for routing the binding channel and truss rod channel. I didn't have my drill onsite so it's about to get a lot more holey :eek:
    [​IMG]
    The area by the bridge pickup on the bass side was mealy and soft. You can still see a weensy bit of chipout on the pickup route. All the dark lines are where it's had a good superglue soak.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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  12. Taylor

    Taylor Formerly... someone

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    Really dig the shape :yesway:
     
  13. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Thanks! The idea is it's like a smaller, warped Teuffel Antonio.

    So the area under the bridge and the lead pickup still had some pithy soft spots. I injected some super glue with a syringe to make sure it was really deep in there, and then clamped a block over the top of the area. After an hour it's much more sturdy.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Here it is after sanding. I periodically tapped the area while i was applying glue to make sure all the voids were filled. May end up being about 90% glue :yesway:
    [​IMG]

    Routed the truss rod channel, put the headstock cap on.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. dmlinger

    dmlinger SS.org Regular

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    Looks great! Where did you get the pale moon ebony fingerboard?
     
  15. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    I got that PME board on eBay. Just to clarify, it doesn't belong with that body lol
     
  16. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    I forgot to snap pics on a few steps getting the head plate and fretboard to really jive.

    One thing I like about making guitars is how much attention to detail it requires. Like in the case here, in order for the look I wanted to be preserved I have to lengthen the scale slightly. Makes me glad I didn't cut fret slots yet :ugh:
    Anyway, it may end up 22 frets, we'll see if it sticks with 24. It was originally planned to be 28-26.5", now will be 28.675-27.125".
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Deegatron

    Deegatron SS.org Regular

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    It takes huge kahoney's to change spec mid build like this.... Hat's off to ya. I've learned the hard way that I need to draw everything out in EXACTING detail before I start cutting wood or I'm in for some pain.
    28.625" scale length is absolutely MASSIVE. what in gods name are you planning on tuning this to? 4 hz?

    Just for reference....

    What is the lowest note in music?
    The lowest note that a pipe organ can sound (with a true pipe) is C−1 (or CCCC), which is 8 Hz, below the range of human hearing and not visible on this chart. However, if acoustic combination (a note and its fifth) counts, the lowest note is C−2 (or CCCCC), which is 4 Hz.
     
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  18. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Lol it's not that big. Actually fretted at the 2nd, it's 25.5".

    But yeah, I intended for it to be a baritone from the start, hence I bought a 20" truss rod.

    With standard strings, it should be pretty nice in Bb standard tuning, or drop A. Originally I was thinking light strings in C open to play some In Flames, SOAD etc. on. I know much longer and you're in Meshuggah territory.
     
  19. MoonJelly

    MoonJelly a subtle stinging sensation..

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    Welp, the improvised scale doesn't quite reach a 24th fret. It's so close though, I may glue a scrap of wood on the top of the neck tenon and fudge it in there.
    [​IMG]

    Next little hurdle; turns out there was a slight backward bow to the neck, enough that it wobbled a little when you place it on a flat surface with the fingerboard down. About a 3/4 counterclockwise rotation of the truss nut proves that I did in fact install it correctly :yesway: it's not exactly there but much closer.

    And even though my band saw is one of the weenie starter ones, herein lies proof that I've got it dialed in pretty well.
    [​IMG]

    I used a router sled to get the correct thickness on the neck, which was a bit more challenging with the bow in the neck. Basically I did it one half of the neck at a time, with a line at the peak of the bow as my reference. Wish I'd taken more pictures because it turned out great.
    Finally I thickness planed the headstock, again using the router sled.
    [​IMG]

    Next is the worst part (cutting fret slots, flattening, and radiusing the fingerboard).

    Then comes the best part (fret dots, fretting and neck shaping).
     
  20. Deegatron

    Deegatron SS.org Regular

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    God, I love my router sled. I honestly don't know how I'd ever build without one.... that one tool does SOOOO much.....
    Looking great so far! Not quite as mysterious and suspenseful as mine... but still looks great....
     
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