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V706_1

Padauk/Maple neck attached to a super thin Padauk/Maple topped V body with tonepros parts and custom prototype blade pickups.

Neck : Padauk/Maple
Fretboard : Ziricote
Scale : 24.75
Frets : 24
Trussrod : ALLPARTS

Body : Padauk/Maple (33mm)
Tuners : Locking
Pickups : New prototype blades
Bridge : Tone Pros
Electronics : 1 Push/Pull Volume

Laying out the laminates. Since this is a prototype I am using whatever woods I have laying around. This means Padauk and maple veneer, not a bad combo.


 

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Neck blank done and scarf cut. We are using a large single piece for the headstock as this neck is really built from scraps I had laying around.


 

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I am going to rough shape the headstock ahead of time on thing.



Got a lot of projects going on.
 

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So routing a trussrod slot for a neck with a headstock requires a spacer. I use double sided tape to attach the spacer.


 

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Run a quick test. Since this gets a head plate being a mm off doesn't show. However you always try to be right the first time. Most of the time I use a scrap to test the alignment. At this point I have been at it all day so no need for a test piece. ALWAYS use push blocks. NEVER trust a router... I can't say it enough. Use sharp bits, push blocks, and think. I am using a whiteside 1/4" spiral down-cut bit using 2 passes. Never try to get it all in one pass.



 

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Time for profiling. Double side the template to the neck. Bandsaw off everything sticking out from the template as close as you can. Don't hit the template... I repeat don't hit the template. Then sand it within .5 mm of the template... again don't hit the template. Never try and route more than half the cut depth of the router bit. So we sand the sides on the spindle sander so that we are within 1/2 the depth of the cutting depth of the router bit.


 

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Looks like this when it goes well.



This piece of Khaya will end up being the body...after I cut another S9 and remove the bad parts.
 

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Had to patch up some cracks before slotting. They were not that bad but never trust Ziricote. Never. It will split when and where you least want it to. Never trust Ziricote.... Clamp the crack. If it is tight hit it with thin CA and leave it. If it still shows after clamping unclamp it and work some thicker CA into the crack and reclamp.

 

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Here is the slotting rig. The long board holds the board down and pushes it against the fence. I use the board because the saw sits low and there is no way to hold it with your hand. Not that you would want to with the radial arm saw... later I added a feather board near the edge of the table to hold the board against the fence.



There is an index pin on the fence. The template fits tight to the fence. The fretboard is square to the template (I true one edge before attaching it).

 

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Set the depth of the blade. You don't want the teeth buried in the wood as it will burn up the expensive saw blade so make sure there is a little gullet showing.



After the first pass check the depth of the slot. It needs to be deep enough but not cut through the board. We need as much wood left as we can get. The slot can be a bit shallow as we will clean it up by hand during the fretting process.

 

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Finished slotting the fretboard.



And the neck monster attacks... 14.62mm with about a 5mm fretboard (leaves .5 - 1mm to adjust the profile). In order to get consistent neck thickness all the way to the heal it is better to use a machine.



Trussrod glued in. Really have to let these dry over night or else they will never dry.
 

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Prep the fretboard. I could not see the pencil lines for the taper so I used masking tape to mark them. It also served to protect the face of the board from the epoxy.

 

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Holes are drilled to align the board and prevent slipping during and after clamping. I use 3 really small brads in 3/32" holes for this. No pictures after this point because I need all my hands to align and clamp before the epoxy sets. It always ends with every clamp in the shop.


 

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This is the first run using system three T-88 epoxy to attach a fretboard. Initial thoughts. Glad I ran a test run before trying it on other necks.

Neck and fretboard are still dead straight, no woops - bumps - or backbow. I like that part.

Joint came out clean. Just like titebond or better. Ziricote is always hard to glue without a little piece chipping here or there... the epoxy filled any of that.

It sands like epoxy... not that titebond is any better. I ended up using the router to clean up the edges. In the future I will protect the sides of the neck with masking tape (Same as I do with titebond).

Things left to test: flexing the neck and tightening the trussrod. It takes 24 hours to cure and says it builds strength as it ages until fully cured. Will need to make sure it doesn't become brittle and loose its hold on the wood after fully cured.

I will have to test it before using it on maple to maple joints.



After using the router to clean the joints I sanded it clean.

 

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Roughed in the body blank.



After much debate I decided to get into my good stock for the top on this thing. I didn't really want to but I needed a top and do not have time for some other ideas I had. So here it is.

 

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This is how you join a seriously flamed top. Sandpaper. Anytime you use a blade on figured wood there is the chance things go bad. This is a pretty simple setup. 120 grit paper on the cast iron router table with a square block as a guide.



Worked well enough. I can close the gap with hand pressure.

 


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