#1
Edit: I know a lot of you don't have 52k or any other crappy internet connection, but if you do, you should know that this thread has lots of photos in it. Cheers for looking

OK, take two. My last LP build flopped because I didn't have money, equipment or the basic know-how for building a guitar. But, I now have all three of these

The guitar will have an LP shapeI haven't decided on whether to make it a complete copy of a Gibson Les Paul (complete with a headstock decal) or to make it my own somehow. But the basic specs will be:

-rosewood fretboard
-Queensland maple neck
-24 3/4 scale length
-tune-o-matic bridge with stop bar tailpiece
-neck will be set-in
-red cedar body, natural finish
-white binding all over (I'm still wondering about this, I dunno if I will or not)

They're all the specs I can think of.

Anyways, I've got most of the materials I need to start the project. I'm yet to get fretwire, a nut, electronics and other hardware. I have the body, neck, fretboard, truss rod and fretboard inlays.

A few pics:

radius block. I figured that I was gonna use it again, so I went all the way and got it. 12" radius.


fretboard. Indian rosewood


truss rod. Gotoh 2 way truss rod


the neck. Queensland maple. I'm not sure if I'm gonna cut it lengthways and laminate it as suggested in another thread because the wood isn't quartersawn. The reason I wouldn't is that I don't have a bandsaw or thicknesser, and I would most likely screw it up. If I absolutely had to, I could get a quatersawn neck, but I'm gonna use this wood for this project. If it warps or breaks, meh, I'll just rip it out and put a new one in.



the inlays. Les Paul style block inlays, 10 to go in 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th and 21st fret. This pic is from the website I bought it from, but mine are pretty much the same


the body. Red cedar. I bought it for AU$50 from a friend of my grandfather. The guy said he cut it down the tree ages ago (like 30 years ago or something like that), and although it hasn't ever been in a kiln, it had been sitting under his house for 30 odd years, and it's pretty dry up there so the wood should be fine. I've cut about 1/3 of the wood on the right of the wood off, because the wood was cut at an angle and underneath the wood on the right is just bark, so it was pretty unusable. One thing that I'm gonna have to find a way to work around is that in the middle of the piece of wood, there is a small hole that goes through to the other side. The hole is natural; the entire diameter of the tree was cut and thus, this is the hole that would have run down the centre of the tree. I'll post better pics of the wood later, it's sitting in the shed of my grandparents' house.


I'll be starting the build once I go up to my grandparents' place in a few days, so there won't be much more from me till then. Opinions, comments are welcome

Kenan.
Last edited by kenan6346 at Jan 15, 2009,
#2
very nice

Maybe dowel the hole and if your going natural put a pickup or your bridge over it? or you can just have a hole in you guitar...

lookin forward to this
#3
Quote by guitarcam123
very nice

Maybe dowel the hole and if your going natural put a pickup or your bridge over it? or you can just have a hole in you guitar...

lookin forward to this


I was just thinking, I've still got all that other wood I said that I cut off, so I could just sand a bunch of that, get some glue and make a coloured putty and put that in the hole. I'll see what happens I guess
#5
Question for any handymen out there: I tried to get my router to work today (I bought it for this project, I've used one before but it'd been all set up and everything), and it works great. But I've got a bunch of 1/4" bits and they don't fit in the router; it's too big. The router came with 1/4" inch adapter collets, which fit int he collet nut, but when I put one of the 1/4" bits into the collet, they just fall straight out. Help?
#6
Sorry for double post, I'm also pretty stumped on the truss rod installation. I'm looking around on the net for help on it, but I can't find any concrete help. My main problems are: how deep and wide should I route the channel for the truss rod - should the truss rod sit really tight in the channel, or should there be room on all sides? Should I glue the truss rod at all? I've heard that you should use a "filler" of some sort, what is this and is it necessary?

Thanks.
#7
Whats the dimensions of that peice of redwood? Since its the middle of the tree you could saw it in half and glue the outside bits together, that will make the body more stable.

Measure the collet, if 1/4 bits are falling out it might not be a 1/4 collet?

and dont glue your truss rod in at all! Route out a channel that is the exact dimensions of the truss rod, it its too hard to get the TR in the slot you can run some sand paper round the edges for a bit, but wants to be a snug fit (but not so tight it cannot move).

You can use 'silcone bath sealer' in the slot to stop the rod rattling around.




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#8
Quote by Absent Mind
Whats the dimensions of that peice of redwood? Since its the middle of the tree you could saw it in half and glue the outside bits together, that will make the body more stable.

Measure the collet, if 1/4 bits are falling out it might not be a 1/4 collet?

and dont glue your truss rod in at all! Route out a channel that is the exact dimensions of the truss rod, if its too hard to get the TR in the slot you can run some sand paper round the edges for a bit, but wants to be a snug fit (but not so tight it cannot move).

You can use 'silcone bath sealer' in the slot to stop the rod rattling around.


I'll tell you the dimensions in a few days when I start the project.

The collet says '1/4"' on the outside of it, and the bits are 6.4mm (which is like 0.251") so it should work. Will bad things happen if I use some sort of adhesive to hold the bits in?

So with the truss rod, there be a tiny bit of wiggle room on all sides? Also, should I basically douse it in silicone sealant or just use a little bit on the sides of the truss rod?
#9
Quote by kenan6346
I'll tell you the dimensions in a few days when I start the project.

The collet says '1/4"' on the outside of it, and the bits are 6.4mm (which is like 0.251") so it should work. Will bad things happen if I use some sort of adhesive to hold the bits in?

So with the truss rod, there be a tiny bit of wiggle room on all sides? Also, should I basically douse it in silicone sealant or just use a little bit on the sides of the truss rod?

You should just be able to get it in and out ok, it should be pretty tight if it's a little loose you can put some shims (thin wood, manila folder, etc) to make it tighter. I put 3 spots of the silicone down the length of the truss rod.
#10
Quote by 420 FREAK
You should just be able to get it in and out ok, it should be pretty tight if it's a little loose you can put some shims (thin wood, manila folder, etc) to make it tighter. I put 3 spots of the silicone down the length of the truss rod.


I never thought of just using shims, thanks

The underside of the truss rod is covered in some sort of tape, so I assume I should put a few drops of silicone on either side of the truss rod? Thanks

Leaving in a few hours, I'll probably start work tomorrow
#13
you wont be able to radius your fingerboard with a sanding block unless you build some type of contraption to make the pressure equal on the corners. its not long enough to flatten the fingerboard, you need atleast 16'' or so
#14
Quote by LP Addict
you wont be able to radius your fingerboard with a sanding block unless you build some type of contraption to make the pressure equal on the corners. its not long enough to flatten the fingerboard, you need atleast 16'' or so


Honestly, I'll have to make do. Some bloke on a Les Paul forum made a copy of a Les Paul from raw wood, and only used a small sanding block that big. I see where the problems will occur and hadn't thought about it. I guess the best I can do is sand the edges off a bit so I have less wood to work with.

I haven't had the chance to start work yet. I'm gonna look for places to plane the wood tomorrow or the day after; I tried a few days ago, but everywhere was closed for the holiday season.
#15
i use the same sanding blocks and my fretboards are as flat as can be... then again, i'm anal about that kinda sh*t
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#17
Cheers guys I didn't get the wood thicknessed today because all the mills are on holidays until the new year. I could start on the neck, but I'm lazy and I don't have the keys to the workshop. I've still got over a month until school goes back, so I'll get started sometime soon.
#18
Well I got back home today with 2 weeks and nothing to show for it, and I'm really mad about pissed off that > The mill wasn't open the whole time I was there, so I couldn't get the wood thicknessed at all. And now, the body has a crack in it (it isn't huge, but I don't know if it will crack more). I'll see if I can visit a woodworking shop in Sydney and get them to thickness it. I might even be able to get them to roughly bandsaw the body's shape too. Anyway, this is where I am so far...
#19
I did some stuff today. All I did was angle the headstock. I might start shaping the neck tomorrow.









edit: I thought I might as well show you the wood for the body:

This is will be the front:


This will be the back:


The reason is because there is a fat knot in the middle of the wood there:


Also, this might be a problem:


It's a pretty small crack, but I don't know how it got there or if the wood will keep cracking. I'm pretty sure it wasn't there when I got the wood, but I can't remember
exactly. What do you guys reckon I should do about it?

edit2: those lines going across are cut lines and will be sanded out

edit3: I routed out the truss rod cavity, and I'll be going to a mill sometime today (9/1/09) to get the wood for the body thicknessed. I'll make a new post later.
Last edited by kenan6346 at Jan 8, 2009,
#20
Sorry for the third post in a row, but I thought I should make an update to my progress.

I took the wood for the body in to get thicknessed today, but they said that they couldn't do it because the wood kept on rocking around in the thicknesser, and they said that basically no one would be able to do it, which is a real bugger. I'm thinking I might just have to cut the shape of the body out and rasp, hand plane and sand the body to thickness (I also thought I could use a bandsaw, but I don't have access to one and don't really wanna go back to the mill). I might end up doing a carved top because it would mean that there would be less wood to cut, but I'm not 100% sure about that yet. I'll think about it tomorrow. On a happier note, the wood was kinda gritty and dirty, and the small bit that has been thicknessed off revealed a really nice colour

I'll post pics of the neck tomorrow. I routed out the cavity for the truss rod (the truss rod fits pretty snuggly on all sides - the router bit I used was the perfect size - but the cavity is a bit deep. Should this matter much?), and shaped a veneer for the headstock out of some sort of plywood (it shouldn't make much difference to the sound I'm sure, and I'm gonna plane it to as thin as possible, so it won't really be plywood when I'm done). I'll probably start shaping the neck tomorrow and possibly the body. I don't have any pics at the moment, but I'll post some tomorrow.

G'night all
#21
I know someone is gonna get mad about the fact that I keep making consecutive posts, but this thread is basically a blog of my progress and I'm writing down all the steps I took, taking pics, etc. Please don't report me

Anyway, I started shaping the neck today, and it's not goin' bad at all

I thought it'd be good for me to show you my work space. It's in need of a serious clean; I'm gonna brush all of the sawdust off tomorrow before I start working and do a bit of a sort out too:





It actually too me ages to get to this point: I had never used a chisel before, so this was the first time I tried after I realised that rasping or using a coping saw wasn't feasible:








Part 2 of this post coming up, because I have too many pictures in the post...
#22
Part 2:

This is where I am now. It's taken a number of hours to get to this point: I started working at maybe 3 or 4 pm, and finished at 9, with breaks in between. Overall I'm pretty happy with my progress. The neck's only been roughly shaped; the shape at the moment feels like more of a wide U than a C profile (just so everyone knows, I'm roughly working off plans for a 1959 LP, meaning that I'm using the plans to find the basic shapes, but then adding my own touches for whatever reason).







Tomorrow, I'll finish shaping the neck, shape the headstock and put the veneer on it, and start the fretboard.

G'night everyone

Edit: I'm probably not gonna do binding because it's pretty difficult and I don't have the tools for it. My question is, do you guys think that block inlays look out of place on guitars without binding? I could just save the block inlays for another project and instead just do a blank fingerboard with side dot markers. What do you guys think?
Last edited by kenan6346 at Jan 10, 2009,
#23
Well, I was planning on finishing the neck today, but whaddayouknow, as soon as I start working, a thunderstorm starts with no warning at all (it was warm and humid, but I wasn't thinking that there would be that big of a downpour) . Since I work under my house, it started flooding like it always does; when I got out I was ankle deep in **** smelling water.

Anyways, not to worry, I got all my gear out and instead decided to take some pictures of the almost finished neck. In all the pics the neck is doing sexy poses on my bed :



Headstock is almost finished:




The neck volute (or lack thereof, I dunno what that part of the neck is called ) is pretty comfy IMO. I'm gonna sand down the headstock veneer to a couple of mm, it's only there so you can't see the truss rod cavity:


Looking down the back of the neck from the headstock (the back of the headstock still needs sanding too):


Part 2 coming, as this post has too many pics.
#24
Part 2:

The heel is also pretty comfy too, but hasty work with the chisel meant that I needed to make some wood filler to even it out, which is unfortunate. I know the neck will have a finish on it, but I dunno if I'm gonna do a natural finish or a solid finish, given the number of imperfections on the neck:






The neck tenon is also not absolutely perfect, and I'll either make do with that or do some more sanding to even it out:





Anyway, I'm almost done with the neck. I've still got 2 weeks of holidays left for serious work, and about $200 in the bank for supplies.

edit: I wanted to ask a few questions. 1. Does anyone know if the woods I'm using are open grained or not (Queensland maple and red cedar), so I know whether or not to get grain filler or not. 2. If the cedar is open grain, do I need to get grain filler if I'm doing a natural finish? I'm sure I'll be able to think of more questions, but I'll ask them later. Cheers
Last edited by kenan6346 at Jan 15, 2009,
#25
Quote by kenan6346
Sorry for the third post in a row, but I thought I should make an update to my progress.

I took the wood for the body in to get thicknessed today, but they said that they couldn't do it because the wood kept on rocking around in the thicknesser, and they said that basically no one would be able to do it, which is a real bugger. I'm thinking I might just have to cut the shape of the body out and rasp, hand plane and sand the body to thickness (I also thought I could use a bandsaw, but I don't have access to one and don't really wanna go back to the mill). I might end up doing a carved top because it would mean that there would be less wood to cut, but I'm not 100% sure about that yet. I'll think about it tomorrow. On a happier note, the wood was kinda gritty and dirty, and the small bit that has been thicknessed off revealed a really nice colour

I'll post pics of the neck tomorrow. I routed out the cavity for the truss rod (the truss rod fits pretty snuggly on all sides - the router bit I used was the perfect size - but the cavity is a bit deep. Should this matter much?), and shaped a veneer for the headstock out of some sort of plywood (it shouldn't make much difference to the sound I'm sure, and I'm gonna plane it to as thin as possible, so it won't really be plywood when I'm done). I'll probably start shaping the neck tomorrow and possibly the body. I don't have any pics at the moment, but I'll post some tomorrow.

G'night all

The reason it probably wouldn't work is because it wasn't face jointed, the edge that's not getting planed needs to be flat because the planer will just make a copy of it. Unless they tried to face joint it and the wood was too warped to get much out of. Most people don't have access to jointers that big though. You could set up some rails and attach a long piece of straight wood to your router base and rout away until one face is flat then flip it over.
#26
Quote by 420 FREAK
The reason it probably wouldn't work is because it wasn't face jointed, the edge that's not getting planed needs to be flat because the planer will just make a copy of it. Unless they tried to face joint it and the wood was too warped to get much out of. Most people don't have access to jointers that big though. You could set up some rails and attach a long piece of straight wood to your router base and rout away until one face is flat then flip it over.


I think I'm just gonna go with what I've got, if I do a carved top, I don't have to rasp that much off the top (less than a centimetre at the highest point). I reckon it'll be fine. Thanks for your suggestion though
#28
you shaped that neck with a chisel?!?!

That is nice

One question...
How will you cut out the body?
#29
Quote by guitarcam123
you shaped that neck with a chisel?!?!

That is nice

One question...
How will you cut out the body?


I used the chisel for getting rid of slabs of wood because it was faster than using a saw, and then I rasped and sandpapered the wood to how I liked it. I also used a small chisel for straight, precise stuff that I couldn't reach with a rasp or sandpaper.

I dunno how I'm gonna cut the body yet, I'll probably copy the design onto the wood, then use a handsaw or circular saw (if I can figure out how to work it...I think the blades are too dull ) to cut the wood to a size that is easier to work with, then I'll use a chisel, a coping saw (the coping saw may not work because its such a thick, hard piece of wood) and a rasp to get it to the shape I want it to be. I'd use a jigsaw or a band saw, but my grandfather has the jigsaw and I don't have access to a bandsaw.

It's probably gonna take the two weeks before school goes back for me to get the wood shaped and routed for the neck and electronics, but that's OK because it'll mean that the hard stuff is done ('cept the fretboard, that'll be the biggest challenge IMO, mainly because of my lack of required tools) and I can just put all the electronics in and finish the wood when I have the time and money for it. Also, during the first term of school I'll have free weekends with less workload than the rest of the year. I'm planning to have this project completely done and ready to play by Easter.

Another quick question, should I route the hole for the neck to go in before I cut the body? I guess that way I can work around the neck pocket instead of having to be absolutely precise if I were to do the neck pocket after shaping the body.
#30
Sorry for bumping, but it'd be good if I knew this tonight. I'm gonna go out tomorrow and get some supplies from Bunnings, basically all I need is a bunch of sandpaper but I thought I might as well buy finishing supplies now too.

So what I'm asking is what do I need to do a natural finish? I've looked around and have read that I should get either polymerised/stand/boiled linseed oil (all same thing) or tung oil. I've also heard from elsewhere that I should wax the wood. Should I do this, and if I need to, what sort of wax should I look for? Car wax or something (lol I have no idea )
#31
Tung oil or linseed should work, if you want it to be more glossy put some coats of laquer on it
(this is as far as my knowledge extends, I may be wrong... but this is how i'm doing my guitar in the next few days.)
Looking great! I don't know why people aren't commenting on this... It's great!
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#33
Keeping in mind that we're talking about the body, I'm just gonna go for clear, and I don't want it to be glossy or anything so I'll get some tung or linseed oil tomorrow.

I'm not sure what I'm gonna do about the neck yet. I might paint it or stain it a really dark colour, because the wood has various imperfections that are the result of my hastiness to finish it. But I don't want it to be completely black, which is really the only solid colour I would do, 'cept maybe a dark brown.
#34
Quote by kenan6346
So what I'm asking is what do I need to do a natural finish? I've looked around and have read that I should get either polymerised/stand/boiled linseed oil (all same thing) or tung oil.

They are NOT the same thing

Polymerized oil is done by cooking oils in an oxygen free environment, causing them to 'crosslink' (you change their build up some how I dont understand) without going through oxidation, and so when they are exposed to oxygen they cure faster.

boiled linseed oil means a liquid drier has been added to speed up curing, but linseed oil isnt actualy heated or boiled any more to create boiled lineed oil

Pure tung oil isnt really used much as a finish either and requires at least 5 or 6 coats to get a good looking finish and water protection.

Pure tung oil will not list petroleum distillate on the label, so if you see that its not pure tung oil, or raw or boiled linceed oil (polymerized oil will have it listed).

Basically

polymerized oil (hard fast cure excellent water protection if built up) > tung oil (soft and slow cure, good water protection after 6 coats) > boiled linceed oil (cures faster than tung, still a soft cure, low water protection) > raw linceed oil (soft very slow low water protection cure)


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Last edited by Absent Mind at Jan 15, 2009,
#35
^lol if only I'd stayed online just an hour more, I would have known that. In any case, I went out, bought a bunch of sandpaper 40-600 grit, and I bought a product called "Pale Boiled Linseed Oil", and also some turps because the directions on the linseed oil bottle said to mix the linseed oil with turps in different ratios depending on the coat. I also bought a tube of silicone sealant, which will be used to keep the truss rod in place and stop rattling.

I'll get to work on finishing the neck in a bit.

edit: if I do a clear finish on the neck, should I just use the linseed oil too?
Last edited by kenan6346 at Jan 16, 2009,
#36
So...I didn't get to finishing the neck yesterday because a surprise visitor came over, and I haven't finished it today either; I've put bits of wood putty on areas that I've oversanded, and I'll finish those parts this afternoon or tomorrow. After I put the wood putty on, I make an attempt to start the body...and let me just say that red cedar is a bitch of a wood to work with.





This pic is to roughly show how thick it is. It's something like 60-70mm thick:


As you can see from the following pick, I'm doing it the old fashioned way because I don't have any other tools to work with (I do have a circular saw, and I did use it to get rid of a large bit of wood, but I'm not gonna use it again because there was blue smoke coming from either the wood or the machine that didn't smell all too good and probably wasn't the best thing for my health:


This pic shows how far I got in a few hours:


If you look real close, you might be able to see the template lines (but then again, you might not be able to). I'm stumped on what to do about this piece of wood. I'm trying to find someone who has a jigsaw (even that might not work for a piece of wood this thick), and if I can't do that, I'll have to find a woodwork shop that'll bandsaw the rough shape out.

Anyway, that's where I am now. I wanted to be able to have the main part of the wood cutting, routing and sanding out of the way before school goes back (28th Jan), but that may not be possible. I'll see how I go though. Still committed to having this project done by Easter.