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-Blue- 12-25-2011 04:52 PM

Padauk build thread
So I'm embarking on a project to build a new guitar, and I figured it would be a good idea to start one thread here for any questions about stuff I come across, and to post pictures and such for you all.

Here's my current plan:
- Padauk body (natural finish)
- Padauk/Pau Ferro neck (order from Warmoth)
- H/H pickup config (Bridge: Dimarzio AT-1; Neck: Either Reilander Muckbucker or GFS Dream 180)
- Gotoh/Wilkinson VS-100N Bridge
- Vol/Vol/Tone wiring, w/push-pull tone pot for coil tap
- "Burn" switch (mini toggle, bypasses volume pot on bridge pickup to output at full capacity)

And in case anyone wants to see the body shape, I've already sketched out a template (inspiration for the body was taken by crossing a PRS with a Suhr Modern. I think it turned out well):

I should be getting the wood within the next few days, and then I can start! Chances are, I'll have to join two thinner pieces of wood together to get enough thickness for the routs, but it should all work out in the end.

itamar100 12-25-2011 05:03 PM


Jason Jillard 12-25-2011 05:15 PM

nice, paduak is great!

divinorum69 12-25-2011 06:08 PM

Yes. I'll wait for wood pictures. The idea sounds great!

-Blue- 12-26-2011 04:33 PM

Thanks, guys! Visited a few lumber yards today, one of which is closed for the day so I'll have to go back tomorrow. However, I found a great 2" thick board that looks fantastic; I'll be getting that assuming nothing at the other lumber yard surpasses it.

Also, I know I've seen some diagrams with exact dimensions of pickup and trem routs for an HH guitar (with distances from the neck pocket), could anyone link me one of these? I've tried Googling and searching the forums and have somehow come up blank.

nowa90 12-26-2011 05:06 PM

There's a template thread somewhere, if not just buy them from Stewmac. You'll only need to buy one humbucker one, and then one also for the trem. They are spot on and you can't beat it....For the spacing, I do about 1/4 of an inch or so (from fretboard, and bridge), its all preference.

divinorum69 12-27-2011 02:18 PM

Stewmac templates are superb.

-Blue- 12-27-2011 07:19 PM

Thanks! I got some templates for a humbucker, the trem cavity, and the neck pocket. I know stewmac's neck pocket template is made to be too large, so i figure I'll pad it with tape and cut it smaller until the neck I ordered gets here (as per stewmac instructions).

Also, did I hear wood pictures? :)

Took all of them with my phone, but as you might be able to see, it's a truly striking piece of wood. Beautiful red color; my phone's camera really doesn't do it justice at all. Only have to do one join to get the right width, since it's already 2" deep, which is more than I'll need. Now to figure out how to get that grain to look best with the join...

guitar-tin 12-27-2011 07:39 PM

reminds me my mahagony strat... :)

GandalfWh1te 12-27-2011 07:50 PM

Thats a very nice plank, look forward to seeing it evolve into a guitar :cool:

I did a little research on Padauk and was wondering how you plan on finishing it ? I read that it reacts pretty strongly to UV and won't stay that pretty red color for very long if exposed to sunlight. I even read somewhere that you can apply armorall before finishing to prevent color fade!! Much/ any truth to this?

nowa90 12-27-2011 09:29 PM

i was just going to ask if s/he knew about it, but judging by the bottom picture its already "browned out"
I bought a little peice that i will someday use in the middle of a guitar, and it started from orangey red to a darkish brown, almost like a mahogany thats been darkened.

Explorerbuilder 12-27-2011 09:34 PM

do NOT apply armorall! Worst idea ever! You will not be able to apply a finish over that.

Papabear505 12-27-2011 09:54 PM

Originally Posted by GandalfWh1te
. I even read somewhere that you can apply armorall before finishing to prevent color fade!! Much/ any truth to this?


unless you plan on finishing it with it.. because once you put it on there, it's done. You won't get anything to stick to it..

I'm not even a guitar builder and I know that.. Not sure where you read that Gandalf, but I'd delete it... cuz it's bad advice...

I see explorerbuilder beat me to it..

-Blue- 12-28-2011 12:59 AM

Originally Posted by nowa90
i was just going to ask if s/he knew about it, but judging by the bottom picture its already "browned out"

I do know about it, and that picture isn't representative of it's current color. It's quite red right now. However, I'm embracing it. I saw some older padauk in the store (one of the staff had made a bowl) where the color had turned more brown and it was still stunning. So no UV protection, just a standard finish.

And for the record, I'd probably coat the guitar in SPF 100 before I'd finish it with armorall :p: I'm using some sort of glossy finish on the body with an oil on the neck, if anything (I've read the neck can remain unfinished... wary, but I'll see how it feels when it gets here).

divinorum69 12-28-2011 02:14 PM

looks great the wood, post pics of the templates please!

-Blue- 01-01-2012 06:04 PM

^which templates?

Today was a mixture of cleaning power tools and using them. I had already cut the board into 2 pieces, and now both pieces are 1 13/16" thick and being joined into a blank. I think the color of the wood shows better in these pictures, too, except the one on the left looks more orange than it is.

Also, back to the finishing, there are some finishes that contain UV inhibitors that I've discovered, but nothing will completely stop UV effects from happening. So I may use one of those, I may not. We'll see.

-Blue- 01-02-2012 07:36 PM

Time for another update! Got the body traced onto the blank and then got a rough cutout. I've still got lots of sanding to do (doesn't look like much, but padauk is a very hard wood), but it's nice to see the shape in wood finally.

And the grain on the sides looks spectacular! There's some burn marks from the bandsaw right now, but you can definitely see it. Can't wait to see how the arm contour ends up looking...

Jason Jillard 01-02-2012 08:00 PM

love me some paduak =]

good stuff

-Blue- 01-02-2012 08:48 PM

Also thought I'd share some findings on finishes for this that I'm researching. I've come across two different products that have been recommended for finishing padauk, one of which is a poly finish (link here) and the other being teak oil (link here). Can anyone attest to the UV protection of either of these, or suitability as a guitar finish feel/tone-wise?

-Blue- 01-07-2012 11:52 AM

Minor update, I've got the body sanded down to the actual shape now. Looks very smooth, sadly I don't have pictures yet, and progress will be slow from here on out as I'm off of break from college :( So progress will be made on weekends, luckily my house is only 20 minutes away.

However, I've come across a problem. I had originally been thinking 2 vol/1 tone pot, but the switch I got only allows for one volume control (megaswitch E model). So now that I'm down to 1 vol/1 tone, which I'm fine with, is there any cool wiring mod I can do with the extra pot?

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