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Old 08-09-2011, 02:49 PM   #1
Droste
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1st build, Explorer

Welcome!
So finally after dubbing for a looong time I decided to start building. I was going to build a Les Paul but decided to go with the Explorer.

Specs? Specs!

Mahogany body.
Mahogany neck.
MOP inlayís.
Fiber optic side dots!
2 humbuckers (EMGís, to kill all of the natural tone of the mahogany, enter shitstorm).
Sperzel tuners.
Graph Tech Tusk 12mm nut.
Jumbo frets.
Toneproís bridge & tail piece.
And probably some more which I forgot to write down.

Iíve been building now since January but also took long breaks for I didnít know how to continue and budgetary reasons.

Along the way I found myself making heaps of stupid mistakes, like, not gluing the fret board on before trimming the neck. Or making a chip out with the routerÖ oh well, rookie mistakes.

So, of we go then:



Here we have the wood.




I printed some templates en was trying out headstocks. I decided to go with the Ken Lawrence one.



Unfortunately I canít cut the body out of the wood I got so I had to improvise.






I cut some wood, I glued some wood and got some result!



Bought myself a router.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
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I cut the headstock at 13 degrees, I filled the cuts up with glue and sawdust, didnít like the result though.



Routing the body to the template, looks like a beard somehow.



Rookie mistake...



Pup routs!



Gluing the headstock!



The black spot is the glue with sawdust, I donít like it as I said, I routed it away later on.



What I should have done here is buy a fret board and glue it onto the neck the way the neck was right there and then. Oh well, thing to remember for the next build.





Had to build myself a new tool.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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Routing the neck to make it straight and get rid of that black stuff.



Truss route, also made little errors as you can see.



It does fit though!



Shaping the neck.





Added some wood for the point, was quite difficult to find because I wanted the grain to follow the same direction.





Shaping the headstock.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:52 PM   #4
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Added some wood so I have the correct height for when fitting the neck to the body.





I created the 2 degree neck angle on the neck itself as opposed to the body.






Routed the neck pocket.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:52 PM   #5
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Test fitting!




I got some copper wire isolation to put in as side dot and hold the fiber (I have no clue if it is plastic or glass fiber)
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:53 PM   #6
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As I did not have any more wood I decided to ruin someoneís stairs so I could make some veneer for my headstock.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:53 PM   #7
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Routed the sides.






Still test fitting.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #8
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Drilled space for the side dots and the fibers and checking if it all fits.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #9
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Glued the fret board.



Unfortunately 1 fiber got jammed or something and broke, I still was ok to send light through but in comparison to the other fibers I only got about 60-70% light out of it and that was enough reason for me to redo it. So I ironed the board for about 30 minutes and with a knife ripped through the glue and fibers





New side dots and fibers. I made the route in the neck bigger so the fibers would fit in more easily. Then I put heat shrinks around the fibers under the board so they are kept together tighter.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:39 PM   #10
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lookin great man. Love the fiber optics by the way.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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dude, for a first guitar build this looks like you've been doing it for years! are the fibers going to connected to a light source some how or something?
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metalhead352
lookin great man. Love the fiber optics by the way.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by M_16A
dude, for a first guitar build this looks like you've been doing it for years! are the fibers going to connected to a light source some how or something?

Wow thanks man!
The light source will be 1 LED in a little tube in which I will feed the fibers.


This is the current situation. It is a power LED, I have some more which are less bright. This won't be the one I will use, much too bright.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:47 PM   #13
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man that is freakin sweet! i want that on my guitars! i've seen steve vai has a guitar that has inlays that light up but i thought that was too much but that is just right and its freaking awesome!
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #14
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My god... Please do an "ExplorerBuilder" style picture (outside in the grass, being all sexy) when you're done. Yours is the only one that can even come close to matching his so it's a necessity.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:22 PM   #15
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First build? are you sure? it looks really ambious, but i t seams seams to turn really well. what finish?
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:57 PM   #16
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excellent, keep going
fiber optics getting me excited
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:04 AM   #17
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This looks really really good. Amazing work on the fiber optics!
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:50 AM   #18
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wow. this is looking amazing...
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:12 AM   #19
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You're definitely not one to be knocked out by challenges. I really like that. And it's coming out great.

I think the Explorer body basically always has the big wing glued on- a one-piece blank would have ludicrous amounts of excess wood.

Are you going to use pickup rings? Because I think the pickup routes are just a little wobbly. Perhaps nect time the template should get a little more work.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisthekiller
My god... Please do an "ExplorerBuilder" style picture (outside in the grass, being all sexy) when you're done. Yours is the only one that can even come close to matching his so it's a necessity.

Haha, I will try to remember it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by n1ckn1ce
First build? are you sure? it looks really ambious, but i t seams seams to turn really well. what finish?

First build indeed.
I'm not going to paint the wood, to be really honest, I don't know anything about finishes yet. All I know is you need to put something on the wood or else it will stain with grease etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelbot9000
excellent, keep going
fiber optics getting me excited

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiffYourFaceOff
This looks really really good. Amazing work on the fiber optics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by User_Name336
wow. this is looking amazing...

Thanks guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikka Bird
You're definitely not one to be knocked out by challenges. I really like that. And it's coming out great.

I think the Explorer body basically always has the big wing glued on- a one-piece blank would have ludicrous amounts of excess wood.

Are you going to use pickup rings? Because I think the pickup routes are just a little wobbly. Perhaps nect time the template should get a little more work.

Thank you so much.
I had planned before I started building to use pick up rings. I have to agree with you about how they turned out.
When I made them they were fairly tight but also tight as in I couldn't get a pick up in them. So I had to make the route somewhat bigger, and to be honest I'm not that good with a router yet so I may have drifted a little. But still, all should be covered by a pick up ring.

Same thing with the route for the fiber optics. I made that with a special Dremel tool so you can use it as a router, but then again, with the fretboard over it nobody can spot it.



Right now I am fiddling with some inlay designs so the momentum of the build is going down. Also I want to try and design the same control cavity like explorerbuilder. I want the knobs in the same lay out as the 84 and ESP explorers. The plans I have are for the 76 explorer. The ESP explorer's are somewhat pointier and the lower horn is slightly longer if I am not mistaken.
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