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Old 11-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #61
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it will be difficult to thickness (through a planer thicknesser) now that the top has beem routered. Will have to pass over the top.....dangerous operation.

You could also carve the back to a certain degree...that would help weight wise i suppose.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:12 PM   #62
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oh wow i didnt even think about that! Ya i guess the best way to thin the body more would be to use a handplane and just make the body stable on a tabletop with something underneath it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:35 PM   #63
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Looking good boysie! You've motivated me heaps, I've actually started work on mine ! (took me all day to route 15mm off the plank!! its just abit too wide for my thicknesser, so had to build a routing jig)

^ dsss : the plans I've got say 61mm total width, 45mm back and 16mm top. Mind you the spalted maple was 20mm I think he said, so it'll be somewhat thicker ! I guess you could beltsand 4mm off the back ?
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:10 PM   #64
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Dsss, while you're not wrong about the usual thickness, you have seen a les paul before havnt you? Refer to these plans for a les paul standard and look at the depth dimensions to the left

http://www.guitargranny.com/electri...aul%20plans.jpg
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:10 AM   #65
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She's a heavy girl, but that's the way I like 'em.

In all seriousness, I have no issues with a heavy guitar (though the balance could be a bit of a hassle), and as LBMk2 said, Les Paul's are a whole lot thicker than a typical strat or tele. Anyway, today's theme is angles:

I found this thread on TDPRI about LP neck angles, the most useful part of which was this diagram:



So with a quick bit of trig and a flurry of MDF, I build this bad boy to get the angles right:



Which gave me pretty much perfect angles of 4.2 and 2.1 degrees for the neck and pickup planes respectively. The result:



And so begins the sanding... more soon.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:20 AM   #66
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nice stuff man!
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:38 PM   #67
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excuse my ignorance but what did you use to design this guitar. the first picture of the op?
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:13 PM   #68
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Travs, I've been using a full-size pdf of LP plans for this, plus a few other resources scattered around the internet.

dsss, as it turns out it is incredibly soft in parts (you could make a pretty reasonable dent just with your finger) and rock hard in others. This has been giving me some major issues in sanding since the softer parts pretty much dissolve as soon as they touch the sand paper - I now have a few designer dimples in the surface.

I need to take a step back and drown the cap in diluted varnish to try to harden up the cap - the beauty of this is that the softer woods are less dense, so (in theory) should soak up more varnish and hopefully become much harder, while the solid parts should only become slightly harder.

I'll have to leave it a couple of days to make sure it has well and truly set, so it could be a good opportunity to start on the neck.

Edit: I gave it a coat of varnish cut with 50% turps, and just had to share this with y'all. The flame on this puppy looks amazing!



You can see the darker patches on either side of the centre stripe - these are the soft patches. The varnish did indeed soak into them faster, making them dull faster than the rest of the wood - a good sign.

Last edited by Boysie8 : 12-02-2011 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:25 PM   #69
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I wouldve routed cavities before carving,

Nice top btw
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:42 PM   #70
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Hot damn thats a sexy top, where abouts did you get it from again man? That kinda stuffs so impossible to find around here
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:54 PM   #71
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Jaw. Floor. That top is soooooooooooo freeking beautiful. I've never been a fan of natural color finishes, but I sure hope you do one to that top.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:28 PM   #72
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I was actually thinking gold top maybe... I kid of course, it is amazing. I don't think I've worked with a more frustrating wood though. It's got so many soft spots in it, I'm really struggling to get an even surface. It may be that the best way to do it is take it down so the contour cuts are gone, then just layer it up with varnish and sand repeatedly to build up the divots. Not the most efficient way, but probably the most effective.

n1ck: I figured I could get a more even surface without extra holes (ie. won't round over the edges of the p/u cavities). It doesn't really matter either way though, I'll have a flat surface with the MDF template clamped onto it anyway.
LBMk2: I got it delivered from Northwest Timber in the States (and it did cost a bit - worth it for this build, but I don't think I'd do it again in a hurry).
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:58 PM   #73
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looking good! (isn't it funny were both doing LP builds at the same time? except urs is coming out a lot better than mine! )

btw *sticked*
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:11 AM   #74
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Finally made some headway with the shaping. It's taken hours of minute scraping and sanding, but I've got it down to this:



I still need to round off the flat-curve transition around the outside, but it's definitely taking shape! Just the neck and pickup cavities to follow, then on to the neck.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:27 AM   #75
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My......that is looking good.......One "good" tip i saw for spalted timbers, is to cover in superglue using a flexible bladed instrument. Apparently it helps to stabilise the timber structure by hardening the soft bits. Don't get me wromg....i've never tried it so don't know if it works. My only concern would be staining from the glue which would only show when the lacquer is applied and then it's too late.......might be worth some research. The diluted varnish idea is good but i'm not a fan of varnish on instruments......personal opinion.
Keep up the good work.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:37 AM   #76
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Wow! That looks very nice. I like the contour of the carve, looks more "vintage" style. Is this beast going to be bound?
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #77
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looks really good =]
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:22 PM   #78
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I actually really like the way it's flat around the edges before going into the carve. Looks really cool. Nice job!
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:19 AM   #79
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dsss: I have seen that used a lot online, but as you said, there is a chance of the glue showing through the varnish. I figured varnish would be a good compromise for hardness, and it won't matter if there's some still showing through.

She's got a bit of a belly, but the edge of the contour is a bit more flowing now, with a slight recurve around the base. I'll post piccies tomorrow once I've got the pickup cavities routed.

I also must say that although spalted maple looks incredible, I am NEVER touching the stuff again. It is a right prick to work with - never again.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:07 AM   #80
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I got the pickup cavities routed down to 15mm tonight (that's as deep as I can go using the 12mm template - I'll have to invest in some 8mm MDF to finish it off). Unfortunately, in trying to avoid leaving any dents in the top I didn't clamp the template down hard enough, and had a slight shift:



Luckily it slipped sideways and not forward, so it'll be covered by the mounting ring. It Since local councils around NZ are slowly banning patches from public display, I figured I should move quickly:



It's a close colour match, so although there will be a seam, it should hopefully pass first inspection.
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