TVvoodoo's Insanitarium (slight return)

Discussion in 'Project Depot' started by tvvoodoo, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. fooman1994

    fooman1994 New Member

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    The control plate looks pretty nifty! I'm sure I'd sat it about the bridge too, but it's kind of washed out in the picture. Overall I'm liking the "coming together stages!"
     
  2. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    Control plate came out nicer than the bridge for sure, engrave technique improved vastly along the way. Should have done one more practice round before moving forward.

    Anyone about the controls? Tone is the back end pot correct? Vol by the switch? :hsugh:

    Bueller?
     
  3. fooman1994

    fooman1994 New Member

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    Conventionally, yes the tone control should be the furthest control, volume being closer to the switch. But both are close to "the switch" seeing as you have two switches on your control plate. :p
     
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  4. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

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    I think I got beat to the punch, but the volume should be up front so
    that it's easier to adjust while "picking".

    Do you have to put any type of protective clear coat on top of your
    engraving to prevent it fading out down the road?

    THe whole package looks really cool, btw!!
     
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  5. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    Makes sense on the v-pot. Thanks guys

    Thanks for that clearcoat tip... I have considered it... I'm kind of going for a more worn look here, I think. I'm wondering if it might over time get some of that green/turquoise copper patina to it... However, if it starts to look too shabby, I believe a quick run of a scotchbrite pad would shine it up, without taking the paint off where it needs to stay.
     
  6. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    Ok, a quick shot or three here, first a close up of the control plate if anyone is interested in
    "dremel engraving" and what can be possible. I'm sure much more is possible with practice and technique - probably different bits too.

    bbcdfcc98c6788d6527239f51c260978.jpg

    I've been asking pros who who know about how to get the electronics up - and have begun compiling various web diagrams to help me sort through it all, so I was getting close to that.
    Before I heat up the iron, I figured I'd best get after that new moosebone nut, so it can be strung up while I'm doing the electrics.

    Here's some of my tools I've collected.

    df042128906195210f6833a9f6add4c5.jpg

    Various files of all shapes and sizes, my home-made hacksaw nut grinder (very useful)

    My bone box, full of various tools, home-serrated feeler gauges, torch tip cleaners (pretty useless except for maybe cleaning a nearly finished slot), a beercan aluminum fretboard protector, etc...

    a7ece42cf08e10ffd4b89a378c1a3da4.jpg

    And I find it highly effective when rough cutting a blank to put my nuts in a vice :bouncy: Don't squeeze too hard, or they will crack:grin: and that is really painful,. In fact with these kind of jobs you have to start careful, and get progressively more gentle as you go, because one slip-up can put you back to the starting over stage if you break your blank in half or chip it badly - not bad when you have a great supply of bone material, but a pain if you waited a week after ordering a blank in from some supplier.

    4e860442f989d6cf1308455256ae2123.jpg

    Got lots more pictures, we'll continue this in a few hours, because I really should be working :rl:
    just took some lunch hour time to begin...
     
  7. Benny

    Benny New Member

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    The engraving looks pretty good for your first work after minor practice. I have one question for you. How do you turn a feeler gauge set into "precision saws"?
     
  8. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    ^ Question - I don't know where I got if from, but it's not my idea.
    Take a small triangular file, and file some teeth into the edge of the feeler blades. It's pretty easy work, takes only a few minutes. You only need eight or ten teeth - obviously the thicker the blade, the harder going - But a very handy nut saw to have - works very slick especially for the high strings, and the sizes are marked right on them, though I do all my nuts for your typical 10 gauge lighter top, heavier bottom set, which is what I try to buy mostly.
     
  9. Benny

    Benny New Member

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    That is good to know. Thanks for clearing that up. I need to make a nut for my project, I had bought the gauges and didn't remember anyone saying how they cut them. I looked just like this: :puzzled:
     
  10. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    One tip for you - when you are sawing your teeth into thinner ones, it will want to bend when you are filing it - lay it on something flat with just one sixteenth an inch or so hanging off, you don't need to file teeth any deeper than that - in this case less is more, because your new "saw" may end up cutting material too fast otherwise -
     
  11. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    Ok here's a little more "progress"

    7666eec53cd4ddf36764191e89386de8.jpg

    With the nut shaped close to where it needs to be, with the slot side fitted properly, I usually run it along a large file to make sure it's flat, then mark the bottom with a sharpie. then, I begin to carve the sides, top and ends with a file to where it's getting about "50% close". I like to lay it on a file because it's a fairly grippy surface. When I'm getting close, I switch to some 220 grit sandpaper - gets it nice and smooth and shapely.

    Keep it high, at this point. Don't take too much off the top - you can always do that later, but you can't put it back on - I know from experience! Once it's there, I'll mark the slots with a highly scientific method I've developed.

    042dacc2fdae6bb3f83fc1f0ea439d9b.jpg

    then, I use a triangular file just to mark the spots - not deep, just enough to take the ink off, and leave a mark that is easy to see.

    440577ec16b087c4ee5caf7fd383b6fe.jpg

    For the smaller three slots, I will use the feeler gauge saws to continue - again - go easy here, you can go too deep easily. Just make a nice slot so the string won't be popping out. I clean the holes to make them "slidey" with the torch tip cleaners for a nice round groove

    fccc602e15490b6907c6f1858828bad7.jpg

    Then I go after the bigger slots with my old string as a hacksaw blade setup. I don't actually use the saw as a saw most of the time, I'm finding it's better just as a tensioner, and I run the nut along with my hand. I'll add a bit of pressure side-to-side just for a teeny bit of wiggle room. These slots won't need extra cleaning via the torch tips.

    And here we go... Unstrung hero...

    790ae3b1d2ff9768e146f9a59fede7a5.jpg

    and... not long afterwards...

    fd8b82e6bc5da95cf4c8ae8d7eb0b886.jpg

    I actually once again went just a tad to far on this one, as far as height, and I need to develop a better way to radius the slots. But, after stringing it up, and tuning, I marvelled at how close it was... action-wise - maybe too close for my tastes, and the saddles are up pretty high.
    However from the fifth fret down or so there was a lot of buzz, and a dead string or two - but FINALLY after approximately one year, I finally got to play this thing - I marvelled at it's chunky big, but very unpolished frets - it has a wonderful neck by the way. frets will need levelling, and fret dress/polish. maybe a half or 3/4 spin on the truss rod to give this thing some relief.
    The neck has been in my very warm dry furnace/room shop for a year, and a bit of fret sprout has also reared it's head - I'm the cause of some of it too, with my binding scraping - if you may remember, this fretboard was ebonized, which stained and ate into the findings. Some of it still shows in places, I did do some filling here and there, but it kind of has a rustic, trail worn feel.

    So, rather than taking the neck off, and doing all that, I figured I'd do a quick test with do a bit of a neck bend to see how much it might have to go... BAD MISTAKE... Whoops!

    a6daf1deaa5c3da2c49d79261cdb8e69.jpg

    pulled the screws right out of the neck. :nono: Stoopid idjut.:rl:
    Oh well, two steps forward, one step back... such is the life of an untrained DIY luthier!
     
  12. fooman1994

    fooman1994 New Member

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    Everything else was looking so promising! The neck coming undone is a bummer!

    I hope fixing the issue (and preventing it from coming back again) comes swiftly!
     
  13. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    Ah heck neck issue was nothing but a thing....

    Jammed some trimmed up popsicle sticks into the holes with glue, redrilled, rescrewed, etc.
    I did not realize that the GFS screws, (aftermarket plate) were actually a bit smaller than the
    original SX hardware. Now I know!

    The nut work up above... Well I went through the whole process again, and cut a new one, with
    a proper (or very close) top radius - because, well it was absolutely necessary - middle strings kept bottoming big time. Once that was done, two days of minor truss rod adjustments and the wait, a bit of heel and pocket shaving, install, uninstall, shave, install, uninstall, shave, repeat... :rl: finally, I have the neck properly re-installed very, very close to where it needs to be, except the saddles are still maybe just a tad high for my tastes. Perhaps after a fret level, I'll be able to take them down just a bit.

    this morning I set up a template for engraving the neck plate and glued it on.

    ca62eb9f072ec08bc3e5744ac91a6bfd.jpg

    So, I hope to get after that later today. Moving forward again.

    - adding a few more shots to show the progression... in case anyone wants to ruin their hardware like I did mine :grin:

    main figures outlined...

    33f690131522bdabd37287875a34b8e5.jpg

    details added, some fill in...

    48e694f4ff7f773ad886257d7e15b019.jpg

    Actually in retrospect I should have stopped here. Less is more.

    then I changed bits to a round one to emphasize the long stems, main lines, and touch up some edges that seem to hard. The round bit works great for softer lines, but it tends to want to wander more, so a very light touch is required.

    5616c591612d9d968e921a284f85cdcd.jpg

    Here's what I learned.

    Contrast is very important. I had a tendency to want to fill in the black spaces, or crowd them with too much artwork. Less is more I think. Practice on a few things before you attack.
    There's a time for flowing lines, there's times for very light touches while you make small movements with the bit that gives great detail. Try to flow with the direction of the "grain" of the artwork.
    Outline first, so your bit has something to stop to when you are close to the lines. You can brace your engraving wrist with your other hand for the touchy stuff next to the edge. Work from the edges of the elements inwards, Slow and methodical wins the race.

    Overall, would I do this again? Maybe. It was quite fun. If I really wanted an authentic look, we all know a pro would do it much better, but I can say I did it myself and it cost me nada :thumbup:
     
  14. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    Here's a new one for all you guitar mod freeks 'n friends... At least I hope it's new because I figger I just invented it like ten minutes ago...

    We're all looking for a slicker, more efficient way to pull our knobs, ain't we?

    e939978afe4dcb695450eeb6223bfd4b.jpg

    Here you go. a simple 10" length of shippers' webbing, with a 2" slit cut down the middle. You can find this stuff behind almost any store, everywhere. I also use it to bundle up my weekly newspaper.

    Insanitarium tested just minutes ago for quality, ergonomics, and above all... maximum affordability.

    Tell 'em you heard it here first. :thumbup:[hr]
    And, my NK&PD (knobs and pointers) - haven't even plugged it in yet, but it's about a 40% "visual-tone" improvement already

    2e965045ad54e6f12d108706e73538e6.jpg
     
  15. ScreamingYellowZonkers

    ScreamingYellowZonkers Well-Known Member

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    Damn I really like that Tele, and great idea on the shipping straps. I've been using thin cloth, and that can be a pain sometimes.
     
  16. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    Ok quick update on the rangecaster: it is together, and playing. However I am still battleing back the electrics. At one point I was able to get four distinct sounds, but couldn't get the phase reverse going. So i took it apart and fiddled. then I had two sounds - mini switch did nothing. Took it apart and tried again. Now it seems I have one sound, mini switch does nothing, volume and tone don't seem to work, well volume maybe a little bit. At least I am able to play it. :umm:

    I'm waiting on a 10" block of corian I scored free, to do a fret level, (she's got some high frets), and then I'll take it apart fully, and try to figure it out again. I'll tell you - It's wierd that there seems to be no definitive diagrams on what I want to do - 4 way tele wiring, w/reverse phase/humbuck kill/ normal phase options on the 3 position mini switch. I'm no a wiring guru - I'll work through it eventually. If all fails I may post an empty diagram up here, see if there is anyone out there who can help me work it out if my next try fails. Right now I am just happy to be playing it finally - it's like a long awaited NGD - but it does sound pretty phasey all the time right now. it's like a real snotty twang machine as is.

    I'll put up finished project photos, maybe even a vid of the rangecaster only when I have it playing well, and the controls worked out, but I'm also kind of waiting for the snow to melt.

    So, with that project nearing completion... my thoughts have been turning to the next project.
    Maybe I should stop and just be happy, and play more for a while. Nahhhh! Can't do that, you see because I suddenly have the paisley bug. Actually, not sudden, that's a lie. I've been shopping fabric store bargain bins for months - and dug up some interesting things.

    So, I have a question for you AGF axe-steticsologists - if you were to do a paisley fabric refin, would you choose this:

    5efae5376a00f9db2bb9abac25dcbbc7.jpg

    or

    92d012ab4c89189b1544b35b1cfdd32a.jpg

    Without taking into account what is under the fabric, they are both tele styled and refin worthy.
    Either one I would be happy to keep, but one would probably be more trade bait down the line. The peacock fabric is sheer, almost a satiny shine to it overall, and the gold bands have a distinct metallic glint. The multicoloured paisley also has metallic gold highlights around the paramecia, or whatever they are called. I like it because more pattern shows- but I like the other one too!
    For the blue tele, which is a semi-hollow, I would also be inclined towards cutting in an F-hole of some sort, (there is none now) and trying my hand binding it. Both are single pup and will have no guard.

    The black one would probably be more suitable for a first time attempt at fabric finish, but I ain't scared to attack either one as a first go.

    Ideas, comments, discuss? I'll put up some more revealing pics later on. Thanks for your input, Happy Saturday!
     
  17. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Well-Known Member AGF Registered Dealer

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    No love for a fabric refin today? :puzzled: Busy boards! - lots of interesting things going on - I'm bumping for added pics. Don't make me go ask project guitar or TDPRI - you folks have better taste!

    Behind door #1 we have...

    add7108c63a88f53b3d1ab4bc0b48af1.jpg
    29fbce15a5628cf8c48b3747bfa1b989.jpg
    ed53b68c4d907a845578aa48e71cef32.jpg

    I'm leaning t, no chippages - It's still brand new, original box - picked up before christmas as an impulse buy for a massive $47 investment. Plays nice, but will need upgrades.
    Or, I could go this direction, behind door #2...

    04adac69deacc8231c955e1592b27689.jpg
    5653e68616058d4bc9b4e544e142eeba.jpg
    d6c7a37133720f93ec31fd20b7835474.jpg
     
  18. midnightblu

    midnightblu Well-Known Member

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    No idea what ya did...but I LIKE it. :thumbup:
     
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  19. Tritone

    Tritone Well-Known Member

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    Don't you dare touch the Scrapcaster--it's beautiful as it is!
     
  20. Mr. Chow

    Mr. Chow Well-Known Member

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    Lookin good, my Canadian friend. :thumbup:
     

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