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Old 02-11-2013, 02:06 AM   #1
W4RP1G
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Talking Multiscale 7-String Neck-Thru Build

I have recently started another build, a 7-string, multiscale neck-thru. It's been pretty confusing so far, loads of planning.

Scale: 25.5"-27"
Construction: Neck-thru
Neck: 5-piece wenge/maple
Fretboard: Macassar Ebony
Wings: Spanish Cedar
Top: Carved Walnut(either black or Peruvian)
Pickups: One custom-made humbucker in the bridge(I'll be making that myself...with wooden bobbins. Should be fun :ugh
Tuners: Gotoh
Bridge: Made by me(using graphtech saddles)

So far I've got the wood and bridge ready to go, except I'm looking for a new top. I bought some curly Peruvian walnut, but it's not big enough for a carved top, which I've now decided is something I really want. So I'm going to find something else locally.

I've never worked with wenge before. Besides the obvious problems, that it's super heavy and it splinters something fierce, it also likes to move when cut. Apparently, the wood is loaded with tension. I'm pretty worried about it twisting on me, even as a 5-piece neck. I've read horror stories about Warwick bass necks twisting, even 5 and 7-pieces. I might invest in some of those carbon fiber rods stewmac sells for added insurance.

The bridge came out pretty good, except for one intonation screw hole, which is off by 1mm :wallbash:. I'm not very experienced with metal working, I didn't really expect the drill bit to skate like it did. I might make a new base plate later on if I have time, but this one should work just fine. I used some "Appliance Epoxy" paint on it, and baked it for an hour at 400 degrees after each coat. It seems like it's a very hard finish. I did 5 coats all together.

As for the intonation screws, that was an adventure trying to find something that would work. I ended up using M4 philips head screw and shaving down the head on a drill press to make them fit in the saddles. Then I painted and baked those.

Ok, enough talk, here are some pics:





This piece of ebony I found is just gorgeous:
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:07 AM   #2
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Bridge construction:







After painting and recessing some holes:
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:08 AM   #3
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All put together:



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Old 02-11-2013, 06:06 AM   #4
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Very nice so far. I'll definitely be following this thread, you do some great work!
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:29 AM   #5
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:44 AM   #6
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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Looks good so far - keep up the good work!
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:59 AM   #8
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #9
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Thanks guys!

Progress has been very slow lately. I've been super busy and spending all of my free time planning this build so I don't overlook something important and screw everything up. Also, the frets will likely be cut out on a CNC. I'm in a CNC class right now and I'm about to buy a fret slot bit and collet for it. This is the "easier" way to do it, but still very stressful to plan out.

So I made a new bridge plate because the other one was off. I forgot to take pics of it, but I will when i get a chance. This one came out wonderfully, and the plate protruding beyond the saddles on each side is about 3/16" less.

I got the headstock angle cut out and planed and the truss rod installed. I also made templates for the body, fretboard, and headstock. I think I'm going to do some sort of fancy overhang for the fretboard, since I don't have a neck pickup in the way.





Also, wenge is the devil. Heavy, very prone to massive movement when cut, splinters like mad on a planer and even a jointer, and the splinters I've had are like jamming sewing needles into my fingers. It's definitely not a preferred wood for me.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:56 AM   #10
Jason Jillard
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i freaking love wenge, you will too after the end result is there.


its worth all the pain.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:11 PM   #11
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Definitely following this one! Digging the shape and lumber selection!
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:24 AM   #12
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Well, not many updates but I'm still working on this.

I build a jig for making a compound angle headstock. I wasn't happy with the idea of the end of the fretboard being 90 degress while the zero fret was fanned. Came out pretty good:




And I was paranoid about the wenge moving on me when I carve the neck, so I epoxied in 2 carbon fiber rods:



I wish I'd taken some pics of gluing the wings. I know a lot of people like to use a dowel or something to align the wings and neck, but I just clamped everything down to a polished marble slab and then clamped the wings to neck. This method is definitely worthy of consideration.

Top and body, ready for glue-up:



Gluing the top on(think I used enough clamps?):



After glue-up and routing sides:




And an idea for the carve. What do you guys think? It wouldn't be a contoured carve, just a straight angle:

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Old 03-10-2013, 03:11 AM   #13
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absolutely gorgeous! that carve looks a bit odd in my eye, however it is super late so i may just not be seeing it correctly. lol
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiaba94
absolutely gorgeous! that carve looks a bit odd in my eye, however it is super late so i may just not be seeing it correctly. lol

What about it looks odd?
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:17 PM   #15
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Looks great!

care to give a bit more detail on that jig for the compound headstock angle?

and where did you get those bridge saddles from?
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Jillard
Looks great!

care to give a bit more detail on that jig for the compound headstock angle?

and where did you get those bridge saddles from?

http://www.graphtech.com/products.html?SubCategoryID=36

He said what they were in the details but here is a link to them.


This looks like it's going to be an amazing build.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:00 PM   #17
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Looking quite nice so far. That ebony is simply breathtaking.

Nice shop as well!
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:16 PM   #18
W4RP1G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Jillard
Looks great!

care to give a bit more detail on that jig for the compound headstock angle?

and where did you get those bridge saddles from?

I actually ordered that particular set of graphtech saddles from an ebay seller, perfect pitch music. I think they charged me around $54 for all 7 of them, which wasn't a bad price at all.

As for the headstock jig, it's basically 2 sides that I cut to the headstock angle, 10, but I moved one of them back a little to the second angle, 78. I used a plunge router with a wide base for the planing. It's actually quite simple, you just have to make sure that the angle is set to the edges that the router will ride on. After all of that was done, I used a Safe-T planer to remove material from the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathByDestroyr
Looking quite nice so far. That ebony is simply breathtaking.

Nice shop as well!

Thanks! Unfortunately, the shop isn't mine, it's part of the wood working program at the local community college. It's an awesome shop and they have everything, but it gets pretty crowded during the week.

Last edited by W4RP1G : 03-10-2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:24 PM   #19
Jason Jillard
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thanks. =]

i just wanted to make sure the jig was as simple as it looked, and that there wasn't any other sort of magic happening.

i just cut a compound headstock angle on a fanned fret 5 string bass by hand. took foreverr

but ive also been looking for bridge options for my other fanned guitars, so thanks for the tips.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:49 PM   #20
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I'll be watching this, good luck
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