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Old 08-21-2010, 04:47 AM   #1
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NSW, Australia
Ibanez S Build

Hey all.

I thought i'd get round to documenting the guitar i've been building recently.
It's an ibanez S type body with Korina back and a maple front.

It's supposed to look similar to a J-custom with tree-of-life inlays on the fretboard and a quilted top, although my build quality might be a bit less impressive.

Here's some specs:

- 22 frets
- maple neck with rosewood fretboard
- korina body with maple cap
- H/S/H pickup configuration
- ibanez ZR trem (i scored off ebay).

This is my first post so go easy... i had a hard time finding info i needed so if anyone's looking and wants dimensions or blueprints i can probably help.

Here's the template for the body:



I got this off some random french website. After smuggling a set of calipers into a local guitar store to check on measurements, it seems about right to use.

More pics to come..
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:24 AM   #2
matt154
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Here's the wood:


The top is bookmatched quilted maple i got a while back from northridge hardwoods. The Korina slab underneath is off ebay.

Here's the korina cut out:



Here's the body with some routing done:


The shallow routing is done to allow for the thickness of the maple going on the top.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:34 AM   #3
matt154
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Here's the control cavity routed out:



Here's the rough guide i drew up of the trem routing:


I'm only routing the section here that goes all the way throught the body since the rest of the routing will be done once the maple's glued on top. This guide is done by eye using pictures of actual ibanez guitars as reference. I'll get around to doing up a proper version once i get to actually doing the routing.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:11 AM   #4
matt154
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Here's the body routed and the top carved:





The bottom will also be carved but it's easier to do the routing and gluing while the bottom is flat.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
littlephil
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Yummy!
Looks great so far! How thick is your top? I probably would have finished the trem routing on the top before carving too, but if you're using templates it shouldn't really matter.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:03 AM   #6
matt154
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The top is 7mm thick, which is too thin to carve. It's a nice top and iv'e never liked the look of figured woods on anything other than carved tops. So i'm in the process of slowly steam bending it over the top of the korina. I'll bung some pics of the bending process up soon once i get them uploaded.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:45 PM   #7
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Nice. Make sure you're careful though! 7mm is probably as thick as I'd ever go trying to bend a top, I'd hate for you to break it or something, because that is one nice top
You should be fine though, just keep hitting it with steam and take your time.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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Looking nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt154
After smuggling a set of calipers into a local guitar store to check on measurements, it seems about right to use.

You sly one...

Stickied btw.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:50 PM   #9
matt154
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Here's a pic of the guitar as it is now:



The middle part is being held in a hydraulic press to stop it from bowing up while it's bending. The edges are being held down by about a dozen spool clamps.

Learned the hard way that you need even pressure all around while bending a compound curve because the wood has a tendancy to ripple and crease. Also learned the hard way to keep the steam away from the glue line (being a bookmatched top).

Here's another view:

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Old 08-21-2010, 11:56 PM   #10
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oh damn, i like where this is going!
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:27 AM   #11
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This is looking great so far. Stickied
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:56 AM   #12
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dude, that looks awesome. i love how the S series looks
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:00 AM   #13
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Could you explain the process of steaming the wood for the top?

My understanding of bending wood was that you place the wood in a jig and constantly apply the steam while slowing increasing the amount of bend until the wood is where you want it, but in this case it seems most of the wood is covered and im not sure how youre applying the steam?
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:50 AM   #14
littlephil
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^Well, clamping down in the middle keeps the top from moving around, plus the top isn't curved in the middle so only the outsides need to be bent.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:59 AM   #15
matt154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenthemann
Could you explain the process of steaming the wood for the top?

My understanding of bending wood was that you place the wood in a jig and constantly apply the steam while slowing increasing the amount of bend until the wood is where you want it, but in this case it seems most of the wood is covered and im not sure how youre applying the steam?


I tried that way first but i ran into a number of problems. Since i don't have access to a proper steam bending box and jigs i had to make my own up which failed pretty badly. The glue line down the center of the maple gave way and the middle bowed out. Plus it wouldn't allow me to properly do the compound curve at the back.

Since i needed a way to get at the edges with clamps, i figured this way was better, since the middle is flat can be held by the press, i'm now able to slowly pull the edges down. It's more cold bending than steam bending, though i give it some steam occasionally using hot water. It's working well and i'm about 1mm away. Once it's flat i'll use a wedge to hold the gap open while put some glue in and then clamp it down again while it glues.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:18 AM   #16
matt154
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Seeing as i need more clamps for the body (the spools clamps are giving up the ghost) it might be a while till i can glue.

In the meantime, i'll probably be working on the neck.

Here's the neck as it is now:



The neck itself is off a cheap ibanez RG copy and the inlaid fretboard i bought already done and slotted for frets from an ebay store in the UK. It's closer to a Jem inlay but i'm fine with that. Although i'm tossing up whether or not to pull it off and do my own neck since i originaly wanted it to be 5 ply with an angled headstock, maybe if i get bored while the body's bending...
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:44 AM   #17
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Glad to see I`m not the only one on GB&C at 2am

BTW, nice build, I like where it`s going.....

Jake
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:48 AM   #18
matt154
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Just some extra stuff:

Pic of the ZR trem and other parts:



The trem came from ebay with all the additional parts. This includes the 'zero-point' spring system, the whammy bar and the locking nut.

I'm expecting the routing to be a pain seeing as there are no templates anywhere i could find. Although it seems pretty self-explanitory: the routing depths on the front will probably be similar to floyd or edge systems except the shape itself will follow the dimensions of the trem. The back spring system needs to be aligned once the trem unit is fitted in the front so that the bar going across on the spring system just rests against the felt pad on the end of the trem block.

I can probably get round to doing up a diagram of how this works incase anyone's interested..
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:30 AM   #19
matt154
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Finally some progress...

Thanks all for the enthusiasm, so far things have slowed down because of the gluing but once the top is finished, then it's routing and sorting the neck joint which should be faster.
Bending and gluing the top is a nightmare so if you find yourself in such a position, i'd recommend against it. Better to go with a thick slab and carve it or use a proper veneer. Despite that the glue seems to be holding..





There are a couple of dried runs of glue and some rough edges but they should go with some sanding and when the edges of the maple are trimmed flush with the korina.

Btw i'm still tossing up what colour stain to do it in... iv'e already got a blue guitar so i might go with a deep blood red with some black around the edges.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:01 AM   #20
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Very cool!

Make sure you do faux binding
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