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Thread: Guitar building

  1. #16
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    The work day felt pretty long and took a lot out of me so i decided to skip some more neck template work in favour of something a bit simpler. I'd previously removed the finish from the guitar body I'm using and started filing in the body cavities under the pickguard that i don't need (I'll be using one humbucker only) and modifying the shape some. It's far from done, but now that I'm building a fanned neck the tremolo bridge it came with won't work for me. It'll be replaced with a stationary bridge that'll allow for the different lengths of each string.

    That leaves me with more body to fill. Today i filed in most of the cavity for the tremolo springs. I'll use some scrap maple to fill in the hole through the body for the old bridge.



    I'm not sure about the tonal properties of bondo, but the stuff is malleable, fills small holes and cracks well, and hardens quickly. It's reinforced with some nails in the body much like rebar in concrete. It's not pretty, but it'll be painted in the end and there's only so much you can do to fill a body like this. Maybe I'll build a new body eventually but it does the job for now.


  2. #17

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    Best thread Ciddies summer 16! Loving the updates! What style will the head be?

  3. #18
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Planning an ibanez style inline headstock i think. It's going to be slightly angled so i don't need string trees.

    Going to take a break from things tonight. I'm off for the next four days ago in going to rest up tonight and try and get some significant progress done. I wish the package with the truss rod would show up already so i can get the channel cut and glue the board on so i can just pound out the neck shape from start to finish without having to stop and wait part way through.

    Edit: based on the tracking info the package may come tomorrow actually. Fingers crossed.
    Last edited by Slothy; 03-17-2016 at 03:02 AM.

  4. #19
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    My truss rod came with some extra stuff. I wonder what it's all for?

  5. #20
    Taking care of business Cid's Knight Bubba's Avatar
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    Had a look at a few guides online. It looks so complicated! Maybe I should start with something simple... like a drumstick.

  6. #21
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Drum sticks wouldn't be too bad with a lathe. Without one?

    Been working part of the afternoon on guitar things. No real progress on the neck worth sharing so here's a guitar I'm fixing up as a favour to a friend. It's nothing expensive or impressive, but it was the first guitar he ever bought so there's sentimental value there. I never did get pictures of the body before I started refinishing it, but it was in worse shape than the neck in some ways so use your imaginations.







    The only two things I'm not happy with are the finish on the body and the slight colour difference from body to neck/headstock. The latter is because the spray primer I used on the body gave me tons of problems: the wood of the body literally soaked it up like nobodies business. A can that should have been able to prime a few guitars worth of surface area was barely enough for one. I switched to some different stuff that covers better for the neck but it was greyer and apparently the paint I used was more transparent than I realized. Doesn't really look bad, I just would have preferred a match, but at that point, redoing either would have been an incredible amount of work and my friend doesn't mind it.

    The finish on the body was also no fun. I tried using a brush on lacquer but ended up with all sorts of drips and runs. Then when I was wet sanding to try and level it I managed to burn through the finish into the paint and the stuff still wasn't level. Fixed it as best I could, but I'll never use a brush on lacquer again. Not so long as I'm allowed to use the spray room at work. I did the neck there and it was a night and day difference. Done in two days and the finish lay nice and flat without even sanding it. I decided to leave it as is actually. At this point I'm not tempting fate by wet sanding and polishing it. I'm done. This thing has been the bane of my existence.

    Going to cut out a pickguard this weekend, drill holes for the new bridge I'm putting in (I'll be sure to share some pictures of the old one. It's... interesting), holes to make it a string through body, and get a new nut put on. Then it'll just be a matter of wiring it up and stringing it.
    Last edited by Slothy; 03-17-2016 at 07:30 PM.

  7. #22

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    SG cut with a Strat head? That is interesting! Loving the stripy design : )

  8. #23
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Thanks. That was his idea.

    Today has been a good day for deliveries. Got my fret wire and guitar bridge at supper time.

  9. #24
    Blood In The Water sharkythesharkdogg's Avatar
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    L.O.L.

    Stop trolling. Even I know the Canadian post doesn't deliver anything.

    Ever.

    Good luck with the project. I know someone else who enjoys woodworking, and decided to make a guitar. From what he told me, the first 3 months or so he just made different jigs, and focused on keeping the humidity in his shop at a stable level. Sounds pretty difficult.

  10. #25
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Girlfriend was visiting this weekend so I didn't get a lot done while I was introducing her to the wonders of season 1 of daredevil.

    I did get the nut made for my friends guitar which was easy since it's one of the only Guitars I've ever seen with a zero fret so as long as it was shaped well and the slots are deeper than that fret you're golden. Also installed a new zero fret using some jumbo fret wire since the old one had string grooves in it. Some small fret board chips came out with the old one showing me the rosewood was just a veneer on a plywood neck. Glued then back in place to keep the illusion up.

    Also started drilling the holes for the new bridge but need a larger bit than i own to finish it so I'll get one tomorrow. Once all of that is done I can probably wire it and i still need to get the pickguard cut out.

    Since there's not a lot of picture worthy progress, here's a link to a guide on shaping guitar nuts for anyone interested in taking a stab at some diy. Some specialized tools are required, the files mostly but others make the job a bit easier, but it's a pretty straightforward thing to learn and definitely worth it. Not all guitar nuts are well shaped from the factory and could use modification. Our you can replace a cheap plastic but with something better. Sure, you can pay someone to do it, but if you think you'd like to try it yourself to four it. Like most diy it'll cost five times as much and take just as long or longer, but it's fun and satisfying.
    http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online...p-by-Step.html

  11. #26
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    This is nifty. Looking forward to the finished product.

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    That guitar is starting to look bitching

  13. #28
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Slow progress this last week but got a bit done. My friends guitar now has the bridge and tailpiece installed. The bridge is a roller bridge to replace the utter piece of crap that came in the guitar. The tailpiece is what came with the guitar though. It looks cool enough that we decided to keep it on there.


    And here I've started trimming one side of the fret board. Hard to get a straight cut with a coping saw so I stayed well back of the line i want to cut to, have sanded it a bit more level, and I'll finish the job with scrapers and sanding once it's mounted to the neck and I'm shaping everything. I've started cutting out the neck but the hand saw i was using just isn't up to the job. Going to bring the stuff with me and use my girlfriends dad's bandsaw when i bring her home tomorrow.

  14. #29
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    So this is my new best friend:

    A Japanese style pullsaw. Ryoba is what they're called if I'm not mistaken. I hate traditional style handsaws that cut on the push stroke. Never been able to use them well. This thing cuts a lot faster and with less effort once you get used to it. This thing saved my ass (and arms) when it came to sawing the neck blank to its rough size.


    Still staying back from the final size when i cut off course. With practice I might get more confident in cutting more precisely.


    The picture is a bit blurry but you can see where I cut with the pullsaw on the left and my attempts with a carpenters saw and a coping saw on the right. The pullsaw cuts are a lot better and a lot cleaner. Very happy with this new toy.

    I'm going to layout the slot for the truss rod later and start cutting it. That should be interesting since it'll be cut using a small router plane and some chisels. So another first for me to try. I've practiced a bit so we'll see how it goes.

  15. #30
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    A few progress pics from this afternoon. I marked the truss rod slot and used a hobby knife to score the lines a bit. Then i went in with a chisel to start cutting the wood along the lines i marked. Thinking about it now, something like my fret saw might have done a bit cleaner a job but i only have the one and don't want to dull the teeth on other things unless necessary. It's a lot easier to sharpen chisels. The first pic is of my router plane in using to cut the channel. You basically shave away the wood until it's deep enough. Shave the channel, adjust the blade a hair lower, shave some more, repeat. Actually goes pretty fast for the most part.


    Next is the channel where i left it. It's a bit rough looking at the top because my initial attempts at chiseling and planing weren't perfect, but once you've got a bit of depth going and the channel is straight it practically cuts itself.



    The ends of the channel aren't at the same depth as the rest yet so the rod doesn't sit quite at the bottom yet but I'm at about half the needed depth and setting it in confirms the channel is straight. I stopped her because it was starting to get hard to pull the plane through so it needs to be sharpened. I'll get out the water stones tomorrow and bone is edge so it'll shave like a champ again. My chisels could probably stand to have their edges honed again as well for that matter.



    And anyone working with tools that are meant to be sharp, make sure you keep them sharp. I nicked myself with my 1/4" chisel today. Stung a bit and bled a little, and it did cut me fairly easily because it was sharp, but the wound is also completely closed now and will likely heal up without a visible scab or anything. Give me a clean cut over the alternative any day.

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