New 6 string build.

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Connor, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    Hello all,
    Just starting this thread to go from start to finish of my 6 string build.
    The reasoning behind the build to start off with is partially for a university assignment, I will be building the guitar with HAND TOOLS, no CNC's no routers, no power tools.
    I've got about 12 weeks from now to have it done, I'll update this possibly weekly, maybe more frequently depending on what's happening etc.
    I'm hoping this thread will inform everyone how much work actually goes into building a guitar from scratch, I haven't even started the build yet and I'm already losing sleep.
    Now for the fun stuff, here's the specs:
    Curly Maple top
    2 piece Walnut body
    1 piece Curly Maple set-neck
    Pacific Blackwood Finger Board
    25.5 inch scale
    Bareknuckle Aftermath covered calibrated set*
    1 vol 1 tone 3 way switch*
    Hipshot Bridge*
    Schaller locking machine heads 3-a-side*
    500k CTS pots*
    (things marked with * haven't been bought yet)

    Total budget from start to finish is around $1600 at the moment including the tools that I'm going to be using.


    And heres a picture of the top I've sourced:
    [​IMG]

    Obviously not the shape that is drawn on.
    I've got someone drawing up the designs on 3DS Max, when he's finished I'll chuck the designs up saving you from seeing my dodgy drawing skills.
    The neck has arrived today too, I'll be picking it up and getting it prep'ed for some intense shaping.
    Wish me luck, especially with routing using chisels, files and sandpaper, it going to be a long 12 weeks, hopefully my patience will hold up.

    Let me know what you think of the build below and any advice or any questions are welcomed!
     
    Purelojik, scherzo1928 and ElRay like this.
  2. HighPotency

    HighPotency SS.org Regular

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    It all sounds well and good but I'm curious about the neck... isn't figured maple not as stable as non-figured maple? I've heard it's not good to use it in necks on its own.
     
  3. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    I forgot to mention that it is roasted which would give more strength. I've also seen it used on a lot of EBMM guitars as well as the Family Reserve series as a one piece neck so I hopefully won't have too many issues.
     
  4. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    Figured maple is used on necks every now and then, but mostly multi-laminated ones.

    So, Connor, will you at least allow yourself to rough in the cavities with a hand drill?
     
  5. HighPotency

    HighPotency SS.org Regular

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    Ah, it all makes sense now. Apparently even roasted soft maple is extremely resilient. :hbang:
     
  6. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    I will probably use some form of drill for the tuners and for the installation of the bridge and the strings thru body. For the cavities I probably wont worry too much, I'll go at it with a chisel, file it down then hack at it with some 40-60 grit sand paper.
    I'm also going to chuck the input at the back angled at about 30 degrees away from the headstock probably at a similar position as it would be on a strat, but on the back. Seems logical to put it over the strap when playing live.
     
  7. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    Here's the neck with the rough shape. 42mm at the nut and 56mm at the 24th fret.
    Took forever to file/cut/sand it just to the rectangle, I'm probably going to want to end my life in a few weeks time.

    [​IMG]
    (Taken with iPhone)
    The figure looks better in real life theres an almost quilted kind of look to it at certain angles. (Taken with iPhone)
     
  8. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    Ohhhh yeah. Huge props for doing it this way though. Excited to see how it turns out.
     
  9. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    For anyone wanting to hand craft a guitar, Filing will take you approx 45 minutes for the top curve of the headstock as seen above. Only the top curve, everything else is untouched.
    On the plus side, that 45mins will lose you what seems like 5kgs of fat.
    I'm planning on finishing the shape of the neck/headstock by the end of the week.
     
  10. dis89

    dis89 SS.org Regular

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    stoicism is war, dude...
     
  11. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    Progress!
    [​IMG]
    ... Kind of.
    Thats about an hours work, tools used:
    - Chisel
    - Saw
    - Half round file.

    The 3DS Max drawing is taking longer than expected so heres a ROUGH idea of how the body will look...

    [​IMG]

    The rough sketch lines are approximately where it will curve. I'm not going to measure everything out perfectly in terms of shape for this build, a lot of the decision making will be made at the bench.

    Any thoughts on the design? I'll upload the vector design when it's finished.
     
  12. scherzo1928

    scherzo1928 has wood for you

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    I like that shape. I'm a sucker for asymetrical shapes.
     
  13. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    I really like that shape, too. My arms hurt just thinking about working on that by hand.
     
  14. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    The fretboard is here!
    [​IMG]
    Its Pacific Blackwood, Probably going to stain it a bit darker.
     
  15. HighPotency

    HighPotency SS.org Regular

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    That has some really cool grain patterns... How much was it, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  16. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    It was surprisingly cheap, only just over $50AUD including shipping. Dimensions of the blank are 510mm x 70mm x 8mm.
     
  17. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    Headstock shaping complete.
    [​IMG]
    Still a bit of sanding to do.
    I also have a AAAAA curly maple head piece coming for it which will match the body top.
    I think the top is waiting for me at the post office so I might have some photos of it for you guys tomorrow.
     
  18. Connor

    Connor Guy

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    The top came through customs with no issues and its here :)
    I ordered it from Northridge Hardwoods, a quick google search will find them.

    Heres a couple of photos, once again, sorry for the iPhone quality.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Can't wait until the body gets here so I can start shaping!

    Today I'm going to try finish a rough carve of the neck and hopefully get close to getting the trussrod cavity in.
     
  19. havocvulture10

    havocvulture10 SS.org Regular

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    Really liking that rough body sketch. Sub'd! :hug:
     
  20. crazygtr

    crazygtr SS.org Regular

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    Using hand tools builds stamina and really connects you and your work. If you have any doubts or questions on any of the upcoming steps look for a guy named Barnaby on the MLP forums, he has some hand tools only builds under his belt and he has it down to a science. Good Luck. :hbang:
     

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