A Humble Guitar Building Thread

Discussion in 'Project Depot' started by rrobbone, May 10, 2015.

  1. micahwc

    micahwc Well-Known Member

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    Just an FYI to anyone listening, please remember to unplug your router when you switch router bits so you don't accidently turn it on while your hand is still on the router bit. I have a nice scar on my left index finger from doing this. Surprisingly, it didn't really hurt that much, but man it bleed for a while.
     
  2. STACKS

    STACKS Well-Known Member

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    Great advice for ALL power tools.
     
  3. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    My garage smells terrific!

    Seriously, you should be here to smell this.

    I sent the cedar through my planer and jointer, and luckily, those power tools needed only minimal adjustment to be calibrated correctly. I got a little planer snipe at the ends of a couple of the boards, but that was my fault, having cut the boards close to needed length before planing them. The jointer worked like a charm (thanks again Rog).

    Note to self: leave the boards longer so as not to have snipe on the ends.

    I did leave the boards a little rough on the surfaces - about 1/16" more planing would have made them nice and smooth - but I really wanted to retain as much thickness as possible and I'm also dying to try the wood scraper I'll be picking up today.

    In all of the build threads I've read, there is usually a small apology tucked inside somewhere lamenting the fact that there are no progress pics of the body blank gluing process. Now I know why this is the case - one needs three hands to get it done properly, nevermind taking pics at the same time.

    After muttering some ever so slightly foul and highly technical terminology... we have blank.

    20150521_093824.jpg

    I managed to get the job done with all boards perfectly lined up and straight - three times in row. Once for a Tele, once for a JM, and once for a Billy Bo. I plan to go to Dad's shop today and get the bodies traced and cut out on the band saw. I may even get to sanding one or two down tonight.

    20150522_073242.jpg

    Again, these are just for practice. I'm not worried about any visible seams or having the grain lined up, etc. I do hope to have at least one of them turn out well enough to be a keeper, tho - we'll see.

    In the meantime, I scored a Bag 'o' Bodies from Kurt. These will all be refinished and I may pick one to keep. If I do, it'll likely be one of the Liquid bodies.

    boxobodies451[1].jpg

    They all have most of the hardware and full electronics, but as Kurt says - "no guarantees." Full pictorial will be posted upon delivery. Hopefully, those P90s will sound as good as the one in the Hawk I sold off.

    More as it happens...
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015

  4. pdcorlis

    pdcorlis Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Supporting Member

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    Cedar - yum! I saw a uke a guy made out of yew wood - it was crazy cool. I can't wait to see how your cedar body works out for you!
     
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  5. STACKS

    STACKS Well-Known Member

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    Looks good.
    I think you'll have nicer bodies than you believe.
    Nice grab on the box o bodies.
     
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  6. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    The real question is whether the corvus can accept a standard scale neck
     
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  7. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    It can if I move the bridge. :)
     
  8. STACKS

    STACKS Well-Known Member

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    At least the Liquids can:)
     
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  9. glasshand

    glasshand Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I overstated things a bit - yes, power tools are always dangerous, and you should always take precautions; I don't mean to deny that. I just think that compared to a table saw or bandsaw, a plunge or fixed-base router is relatively safe.
     
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  10. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    On Thursday, I tried to get my cedar blanks cut into bodies - but I didn't have the proper blade for the band saw. So, the cedar remains disappointingly intact. Depending on the weather, which has been pretty nasty for the area lately, I'll go get a new blade tomorrow. I did manage to pick up one of these:

    20150525_201129.jpg

    ... on recommendation of some of the guys on TDPRI. The card scraper seems like it works pretty well, but I'll have to reserve my review for when I can try it on a more prepared surface. As you recall, I left the cedar a little rough when I planed it. I may have the blanks revisit the planer before I cut it all out. I'll have a good chance to try the scraper out when I get those Rondo bodies in, we'll see how well it takes off thick poly and paint. I think it'll do pretty well.

    As for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I took the family to a waterpark to meet up with some old friends for a few days so there's no real progress to report. And, no - the irony of going to a waterpark while the rest of the southern half of the state is flooding due to excessive rainfall has not been lost upon me. It's a really fun waterpark tho, and it was no where near as packed as I thought it would be on Memorial Day weekend.

    Speaking of, there are a few family members I'll be remembering tomorrow - best wishes to those of you who have also felt the pain of losing family members in the service of our nation.

    This arrived over the weekend:

    20150525_201351.jpg

    From Mighty Mite via Amazon. Not bad for what I paid for it, but there are a couple small issues. Glue mishaps and ugly routing and drill tearout:

    20150525_201443.jpg

    20150525_201454.jpg

    20150525_201540.jpg

    The frets need some dress work, but they look okay (of course I haven't put a straightedge to them yet). It's just for fitment testing of the bodies, and to aid in bridge placement. I'll order a Strat neck later this week and be good to go for hard ware.

    The Rondo bodies are in the mail, due Monday of next week.

    I'll have more to report soon.
     
  11. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    Hurry up and wait to get to the band saw so I can cut these damn things out.

    In the meantime...

    20150526_123426.jpg

    Anybody pickin' up what I'm layin' down?
     
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  12. RogerC

    RogerC Well-Known Member

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    The neck looks like it was a good bargain, Rob. All the little detail things are easily remedied or will be hidden by the tuners.

    Hmm, a tele/liquid hybrid all tarted up with bottle caps... (y):sunglasses:
     
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  13. RedLesPaul

    RedLesPaul Well-Known Member

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    I think I see what you're doing there and if so you sir are an evil genius :)
     
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  14. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    It was, all I need it for is a placeholder.

    Oh, yeah. You think ol' Rev. Billy G. might rock something like this? His style/collection with my own brand of weird is what I'm going for.

    I've been listening to you guys, as well as a few other forums - I really think there's a market for this kinda stuff. I'm gonna find out.

    I have a few more tweaks and twists in mind for the Billy Bo. If what I want to do works out I'll be out money - because I'll want to keep it!
     
  15. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    Well, I finally got the proper bandsaw blades (never shopping at Sears again) and got these darned blanks cut out.

    20150528_120540.jpg
    It's not the most quality thing I've ever turned out. Getting used to using a bandsaw takes a few minutes of practice, but as I went along it got better. The Tele shape was first, and the Jupiter was last. You can really see the difference as I became more comfortable with the saw. Next up was the router, but it shouldn't have been. I cut fairly close to the body lines (tried to stay around 1/8") in order to leave less work for the router to do. That's all well and good in theory, but I strayed inside the lines at least twice in all that cutting and it left really rough surfaces that probably contributed to the tear out I experienced while routing. Perhaps harder wood than the cedar I'm using will react differently, but I think I'll cut a bit wider of the lines from now on, then clean up on the ROSS before routing.

    And the middle plank in the Tele body has warped for some reason. The body is now concave, not perceptible to the eye, but if you lay it down on a flat surface... It rocks side to side. I'm still going to rout it and see it through. Who knows what secrets doing so can teach me?

    I knew what I was getting into by buying cheap, soft, builder's grade cedar - but I didn't get as much tearout as I expected. I ran the bodies through the ROSS and filled in the bigger mishaps with a little bondo. Good enough for practice runs.

    Today, I'll clean up the sides of the bodies and I also want to try to rout the electronics and neck routs. I'm pressing forward knowing full well that I probably wouldn't wish any of these bodies on my worst enemy. The Tele is junk as it sits, the JM is still good, and I really want something playable out of the Jupiter.

    Boy, am I glad I decided to do the practice runs though! The experience is huge.

    Lessons learned:

    *Wood scrapers are useful tools, but only on planed surfaces. They will not replace a good Rigid planer anytime soon. I am anticipating that they will be excellent in scraping the poly and paint from the Rondo bodies incoming. They do quite well in scraping away the dried glue squeezed out of the joins of the planks, though.

    *Following the "downhill routing" technique is a very logical thing to do to minimize tearout, since you're going with the grain of the wood rather than feeding against it. However, this means using "climb cutting," which didn't work out so well in this case and in fact did cause tearout. I got much better results from feeding the wood into the rotation of the router bit blades as normal, even against the grain of the wood. Either I'm not very good at climb cutting, this wood is cheap and shitty, this brand new router bit is crap, or some combo of all the above. I'll try on some scraps of the hard wood I get in the next run to see what I can do to clean that up.

    *I need to cut wider of the lines on the bandsaw and sand close to finished before routing. This will give me better control and better results.

    *I need more refinement of techniques before attacking such soft wood ever again.

    *Impatience in this hobby is severely punished.

    *It's a good thing I know some finish techniques that can hide blems pretty well.

    20150528_155720.jpg

    Rondo Box 'o' Bodies due for delivery Monday!

    Ever forward!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  16. micahwc

    micahwc Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure the bottom left pic is a Leo 1 piece body. If so, nice score. While I'm here I'm wondering how interested you would be in selling one of the P90 bodies; I'm looking into getting a P90 guitar. Or perhaps just the strat guard with the P90s for my blue Leo?
     
  17. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    Whoa! I hadn't even noticed that! I was just in so a rush to get the damned order in before someone bought it that I just pulled the trigger. Cool!

    Well that's what I bought them for! I can make that loaded guard available for you since that Hawk (or Leo, or whatever it was) will likely have a swimming pool rout. PM me an offer.
     
  18. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    Damn fine Saturday to be working in the open-air laboratory. I hope everyone else's day is going as well as this...

    20150530_124342.jpg

    #ain't raining now
    #make hay while the sun shines
     
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  19. rrobbone

    rrobbone Well-Known Member

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    20150530_163520.jpg
    Well, it was fun while it lasted. Crazy weather, man. We're wet again.

    Dammit.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  20. MrM0964

    MrM0964 Well-Known Member

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    I can feel it coming my way. FYI, my SX Ash Hawk came with S-S-S routing, no swimming pool sadly.
     

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