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Old 03-15-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
ProblemChildVT
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Firebird Build

I used to always read through build threads on here years ago (under the username GuitarGod127 I believe ). Just started my own first "real" build (as in not from a kit) recently and figured I'd start my own thread here!
The project will be slightly slow-going as I'm doing it all in my school's woodshop, so working hours are limited, but I'll be steadily posting my progress here.

So here's the deets':
-Firebird Modeled
-Mahogany Body
-Maple Neck
-Rosewood fretboard w/ abalone dot inlays
-Single Seymour Duncan SJM-3 Quarter Pound Jazzmaster Bridge Pickup
-Grover Mini Locking Rotomatics
-Nashville-Style TOM Bridge
-Gotoh Stop Tailpiece

Got the wood last week from a local hardwood store and got most of the parts the other day from StewMac, plus a WBW pickguard from Pickguardian.

3 Part body being glued today:




Rosewood Fretboard from StewMac (pre-cut fret slots as I don't possess the correct blade):


Stay tuned for more!

Last edited by ProblemChildVT : 03-15-2013 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #2
R_Gallagher_Fan
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Very nice to see another build around here. It's been very quite around GB&C. Hope this build goes well for you
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
ProblemChildVT
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Glued-Up Board ready for it's final planing:


Tracing for the template:


Template progress (just need to sand those curves down with a cylinder sander):
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:02 AM   #4
ProblemChildVT
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Drilling holes for anchoring the template to the body wood from the other day. Which means today is the fun part, cutting out the body!
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
ProblemChildVT
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Finished routing the shape the other day.
Cutting the neck area nice and straight:


Success (with only a minor burn mark)!


Body, ready for pocket routing:
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:57 AM   #6
DESTROYER5000
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Sweet, man! I have contemplated buying a ghostly white thunderbird bass like the one twiggy uses if I ever come across one on ebay. Thumbs up brethren
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
ProblemChildVT
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Glueing up what will soon become the neck:
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:11 AM   #8
sytharnia1560
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looking good...have you played a firebird before??? they can be quite "odd" beasts to play
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:12 PM   #9
ProblemChildVT
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Just realized I haven't been updating this thread. So here's a big photo-dump!
The guitar should be done by next week. Loving how it's coming together.

Neck post-gluing:


Routing the shallow pocket for the control-cavity cover:


Routed out shallow pocket:


Routed out control cavity:


Controls/output jack holes drilled (I decided to recess them a bit):


Checking the fit (it fits!):


Cutting the bevels of the fretboard:


Many test cuts went into this process:


Post-Beveled Fretboard:
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
ProblemChildVT
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Routing the truss-rod slot:




Marking out positions for the dot inlays:


Inlay-hole drilling:


Glueing-in the inlays (picture taken before filing/sanding):


After cutting and routing the neck down to the fretboard dimensions:
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
-MintSauce-
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Looking good with the neck so far! Seeing plenty of jigs and clamps is always reassuring
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:43 PM   #12
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Nice man, can't wait to see the end product!
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:09 PM   #13
ProblemChildVT
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Rough cut neck:


Drilling out a recess-cavity for access to the truss rod:



Installing the side-dots:


Finished side-dots:
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:17 PM   #14
ProblemChildVT
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Neck joint cut:


Routed out neck pocket:


Hole for truss rod drilled:


Template for the headstock (modified the original Firebird style after realizing I didn't have enough width):


Finished cut:



Routing the neck down to the correct thickness:

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Old 06-17-2013, 09:19 PM   #15
ProblemChildVT
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Installing frets:



Filed and sanded down:
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #16
Explorerbuilder
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Eek. fretting before the fretboard is on. That is asking for horrible problems. Should always glue it on first then fret.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:13 AM   #17
ProblemChildVT
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I actually prefer fretting before gluing the fretboard on. First off, it's much easier to work with just the fretboard alone (no rounded back, easy to vice-hold, etc.), especially when it comes to filing down, glueing, and finish-sanding the frets. Secondly, it gives a little extra room for error since it's not actually attached yet.
I had no problems fretting before gluing and I don't see why any real issues would arise in the future because of this...
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:34 AM   #18
ProblemChildVT
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The Neck-Shaping Process:







Gluing in the truss rod:

Perfect fit!:


Gluing the fretboard to the body:
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:36 AM   #19
ProblemChildVT
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(Mostly) Finished neck:



Now that school's out, the woodshop is closed up and the remainder of the build will be done at home (as you can tell by the carpet shots).

Pickup cavity routed and bridge/tailpiece holes drilled out (tailpiece holes were a little too exact, and now I can't get them out, which isn't necessarily a bad thing):



One good lookin' body:

Last edited by ProblemChildVT : 06-20-2013 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:39 AM   #20
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Most of the time if you fret it while its not glued on, it will bow. Then you have to find a way to glue it on perfectly level. Instead of fretting an already perfectly flat, level surface.

You can also just glue it on and fret before you carve the back. that is what i do. But if it works for ya, then alright. Just not the best order of operations.
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