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#1
Ok, so... I've been working on this build for quite a while now. I figured it's about time to post it up.

So here we go. I'll start you guys off with 10 pics from the very beginning of the project and post more over the next few days whenever I have time. I'm also going to reserve the next 3 posts so that I can put up the rest of the pics I have and the ones I take in the future. I've got a deadline for the end of April so this should be finished in another 6 weeks or so.

So starting off, last summer, I got bored and started planning out a couple of builds. I got in touch with a luthier in the area, who offered to show me the ropes. Every week since August or so, I've been working on this project in his shop on Saturdays.

Now, I started with the intention of building 2 different guitars and selling one. In the end we decided 1 project at a time was more than enough for me, and I ended up just making one for now. You'll see, however, that in the early pictures there was enough wood involved for 2 guitars.

So actually, if anyone wants a solid doublecut body blank like this, I've got one laying around that I can glue up for you. You'll have to wait for the next post to see what it looks like though . PM me and we can talk price.

Anyway, back on track here. The original plans were much different from what I ended up doing by the time I got to the lumber store. I like it there. I actually redesigned my guitar inside the shop after seeing some of the cool stuff that was available. Impulse buy? Perhaps. But I'm glad I did this instead of walnut like I'd planned on.

So here's the lumber I bought last summer.

Starting with some lovely ash boards--







This is northern white ash. Kind of heavy but it sounds really nice. Also, not very expensive at all.


And some purple heart







These have a nice grain to them. Got a great deal on the pieces cause of the odd cut. They ended up not being quite wide enough so I revamped my plan to include...







Spalted maple. Another odd sized piece that I got a decent deal on.

Here's a rough shot of the original plan...


More to follow tonight or tomorrow!

Also, if you see this is new, please don't post yet until I reserve a couple spots for more. I'm going to talk about what I did in each pic of the build process so I'll probably need the space. Plus there's a 10 pic per post limit right?
EDIT- spots are reserved. post away!
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
Last edited by Rebelw/outaCord at Mar 19, 2009,
#2
Alright ladies and gentlemen... heh... who am I kidding.
Alright gentlemen, here's the next set of pics!

Now, I have to mention that there were some other maple and purpleheard boards I didn't get photos of. But here's the whole stock of lumber I started with--

4/4 Ash, 8" wide. 80" length?
2 pieces of 4/4 purpleheart, 12"x24"
That spalted maple piece, which was 4/4, then 6"x 48" or something like that
Rock maple for the necks... I believe this was 4/4, 6" wide, and should have been 10-12 ft long
Purple heart in the same dimensions but half the length

Now, the neck blanks looked like this duing gluing



It's a brick shithouse of tone. These things each weighed a TON! But I had enough material to make 2 necks out of one blank, and the other is still untouched. I'm going to build a few necks to strat specs when this project is done and sell them to recoup some of the costs.



More of a neck blank being glued. The biggest trick to these, near as I can tell, is to oppose the grain in order to ensure stability and to use a lot of clamps.


Now, the idea behind the body blanks was that I wanted to accomodate the shape of the guitar while still doing something artistic. The tapers allowed me to save a lot of wood and do something a little different at the same time.

Here are both body blanks glued up side-by-side with some massive bar clamps. This preliminary work was done with a local cabinet-maker who moonlights as a glockenspiel specialist. He traded me some shop time for some help assembling a couple of his glocks. You can't make these things up.




And here's one blank with the outline in pencil. Hard to see!




And of course, I did the same thing with the ash boards. Each of these is made of 2, 8" wide pieces. Most people can't spot the joint from the top, but it's obvious in the endgrain.



Then of course, I cut the bodies out. Here's a purpleheart top-



This is the point where I switched over to doing one guitar at a time.

The truss rod channel was the first thing. I cut one of the neck blanks in half, ran it through the jointer, routed the channel, and cut the peghead angle. The result is here:




Then, using a bigass forstner bit, I drilled some holes into the neck blank so that I wouldn't have to make tight turns through 3 inches of hardwood with a resaw blade on the bandsaw.



Then came some mediocre bandsawing. Check out the size of this volute... haha




In addition, in between these projects, I also had done a bloodwood fretboard. I have no eye for color coordination, so putting a bright freakin' red fretboard seemed like a good idea at first. It probably wasn't. I managed to get the bloodwood board cut, radiused, and put some position markers on it before I noticed that it wouldn't look so good on this axe.

That's ok, though, cause now I've got a figured bloodwood fretboard ready for the next guitar I build.

This is what the bloodwood blank looked like. $9 at woodcraft, minus my student discount.



After I came to my senses, I got a purpleheart blank at woodcraft. I finished radiusing it today-- pics to follow at a later date.

Sorry for the decline in picture quality. My cell phone camera was all I had around for 90$ of this project.
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
Last edited by Rebelw/outaCord at Mar 12, 2009,
#3
So, of course, today I posted this picture and said I'd explain what it does:

Basically, it's a solution to this guitar's biggest problem: weight.



Everyone was sort of right. It's a router template that I made from a piece of maple with sapwood intrusions. The colors are really varied and it smells like syrup when I cut it... therefore I like it. The template was used to hollow out the inside of both body pieces.

It's also a center laminate that goes in between the ash and purple heart pieces in the body. It adds about 1/4" of depth to the body, as well as making the chambers 1/4" deeper. It also gives the illusion of wood binding that hides the join between the ash and PH.

Note the pre-routed slot in the template/laminate that will give me space to run wiring between the pickups without drilling! It looks like I drilled a square hole in the guitar now that it's all glued up. I tell people I used a square drill bit.

So to do this I put spacer blocks on the template like you can see in the first picture. These added a uniform height so that I could drop the router in, a little bit at a time rather than trying to hog out 3/8" of solid purple heart at once.

Then the template got taped down, the whole deal gets clamped to the table, and the big guns come out.



Close up of the ash being routed



The curves aren't perfect but it won't be seen anyway... or make a tonal or structural difference.

Purple heart got the same treatment. Spalted maple smells horrible when you hit it with high-speed tools, by the way.



Here's the inside of the top after routing. My routing job here looks like absolute **** but I cleaned everything up afterwords.



After all that, I had a top and back with a 3/8" cavity in each, plus a 1/4" laminate... all together this thing has 1" chambers in either side, which relieved a lot of weight and will hopefully help with resonance. I considered adding sound holes but it would make the design too busy so I decided against this.




Then the whole thing got glued up like a delicious maple sandwich. Check out this ridiculous clamping setup.



Here's a close up of how the layers look...



Some spots didn't come out as flush and needed some sanding and filing to get right



Here's the whole thing, glued together but before any sanding, filing, or routing on the edges:



Enjoy! Next update should be tomorrow or Saturday afternoon. Saturday I'll be fitting the neck and hopefully putting some brass position markers on the side of the new fretboard.

Oh, ****. Some specs on everything else for you guys, as I don't think I've mentioned any of this:

Gold GFS hardware...
Bridge
Tailpiece
Tuners
Strap Locks
Jack Plate
Pickup Rings
Knobs (I may upgrade these to gold knurled knobs at some point)
Switch


Pickups- EMG 81/85 (black, not gold unfortunately. I guess I'm going all out with the Alembic look)
2 vol 2 tone
I want to add push/pull controls for a PA-2 and an active treble boost, but that will probably have to wait.

Scale = 24.75"
I did this to mellow out the sound a little, as it's going to be a very bright sounding guitar to begin with. I also like the feel of 24.75 more, especially in Eb.
Strings = .011 - .049

The neck profile is very wide and relatively skinny, without much taper.
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
Last edited by Rebelw/outaCord at Mar 13, 2009,
#4
To the guy who asked for the side-on picture, I took this the other night:



This shows how I took the router around the outside of the body to round off the sharp edges. It also shows how I burned it. Oops. My project for tonight (as soon as I finish this update) is to hand sand the edges to get the curve perfect and eliminate the burn marks.

As all this was going on, I had also been working on the neck. I'll catch you guys up on that:

I finished cutting it out lengthwise and added wings to the headstock





I'd rather cut more off than glue it twice, hence the comically large ears.

Then that whole mess got sanded relatively flat





And cut into some approximation of what I want. Final sanding to follow. It's a pointy design so I'll wait until the guitar's in a less tumultuous phase of its life before I make it more fragile...

I also cut a taper into the neck but there don't appear to be pictures of that. Next time I'll try to remember to get pics to show the neck taper, and how I've set up the heel to fit in the neck pocket.

Meanwhile, the neck needed a pocket. So I got out the Forstner bit and reamed out the general area to a uniform depth



This means less wood to rout, less passes with the router, and less risk of a tear out. Also, more time on the low-speed bench mounted tool and less time on the high speed handheld tool. Everyone wins!

I made this template out of some sort of very hard plastic. It's long so that I can use it again with a longer tenon design or whatever.



I also made a "male" template to match. This one got screwed into the heel and it allowed me to cut the neck and the body to nearly identical shapes on the router, with about a .050" overlap. I used the shaper/upside down router on this part, but the screws were countersunk after this pic was taken so that I can run the template on top too.



And here we have the neck pocket after routering--




And a quick demo of how it's coming out (I'm still doing some fine tuning on the fitting)



I'm holding the body up by the neck with no glue or other support. This is a good pocket, which will hopefully add some Jet-Fretz-esque SUSTAINNNNN
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
Last edited by Rebelw/outaCord at Mar 19, 2009,
#7
If you could somehow get a thick spalted maple stripe down the middle of the purple heart for the body and then put on a gloss coat that would look absolutely tight.

Gear:
Agile AL-2000 > Maxon OD808 > Boss DD-20 > Strymon blueSky > Splawn Pro Stock > Emperor 4x12

the lives to come

#8
The spalt was used for accent stripes down the sides of the body. Here's a teaser from the next set

Pic removed to save some load time on the thread. It's in the 2nd post now
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
Last edited by Rebelw/outaCord at Mar 12, 2009,
#12
^This.
And a new carpet.
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#13
that is teh shiz.

beautiful.
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#15
god dammit, i gotta change my sheets now (if anyone else was looking at that flying V shaped "ice-cream" guitar, i think this would count as an ice cream guitar too)
Quote by Øttər
I'll accept Jesus into my heart if the neighboorhood accepts my penis into it's street.
#16
Ah-- this doesn't go back to the first page when I edit posts that I reserved... So for those who are interested I've added another 10 pics!

And what's an ice-cream guitar?
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
#18
when i saw that spalted maple i was hoping it was gonna be part of the neck.

looking good though.
#19
^ never. Spalting is from dead wood, not strong enough. fretboard maybe, but it'd have to be laquered to hell.

Ice-cream guitar means it looks like neopolitan Ice cream, with the different layers of colour from the laminates.

the spalting looks like butterscotch.
------

Shwiggity.
#20
the spalt maple would have looked better if it was bookmatched but i guess it wasn't thick enough?

Very nice by the way
#21
this looks sick man! good luck with the build ..it looks sexy already
"When I tried to play something and screwed up, I'd hear some other note that would come into play. Then I started trying different things to find the beauty in it."
-Dimebag Darrell
#22
Alright-- next update is coming late tonight, cause I've got to work/teach all day and then I'm catching up with a friend who is home from college.

But in the mean time, who can figure out what I'm going to do with this in the next set of pics?

Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
#23
It's a router template so you can make the guitar hollow. You then put some kind of top on?
#24
*Checks*
Yep, I need new pants.

EDIT to the above pic:
A thin sheet of wood you're gonna glue to the top to make it look 3-D ish? O_o


Quote by Saint78
Jackal is like 90.

Quote by Jackal58
Buy stock in Viagra. Imma gonna fuck you in the ass.
Last edited by Scowmoo at Mar 12, 2009,
#25
Its a piece that goes in the middle?
Quote by asfastasdark
+1. This man knows his ****.


Walker Rose.
#26
Answer posted w/10 new pics. Enjoy!
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
#28
Pity you're hurting the beautiful look with EMG's. But still, should look decent.
Looks like its coming along well!
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#29
I want to get the gold EMG's but i can't afford it. I already have these so they'll have to do for now.
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
#31
Here are some older pics that don't fit into my story so well-- check the first page for another set of 10 pics though.



Pre-neck pocket routing. Just a test fit to see what the guitar might look like. This is the best pic I have of the 2nd fretboard. It was taken while I was still sanding the radius.

An interesting note, for those contemplating using PH for a build: If you look carefully you can see a dark spot on the board just above where it would hit the body-- Purple heart is incredibly easy to work when precision in required because of its color changing properties. An area that has not yet been sanded will be a different color! That dark spot is a low spot where the radius has not yet been sanded in. This way, I can see what needs work as I'm going, instead of having to stop and mark it with a pencil.



More of the same. You can see there is no neck taper in the above picture, but the others have it.

Here's the neck, test fit in the pocket


And here's what it looks like with some sexy gold hardware on top of the body...



Nothing's installed yet but this makes me restless to finish the project. I should get back to work. Enjoy!
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
#32
I really wasnt liking the looks of things on page 1...and now...i am impressed beyond all belief.... looking much better now, and starting to look sexy as hell
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
#33
Looks awesome dude. Natural finish I'll assume?
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#35
i also going to be hollowing out a guitar like that tomorrow but i cant seem to get my head around if i hollow the sides out how will it have a place for the electronics and cavity covers
#36
Quote by DANGERSTRANGER
i also going to be hollowing out a guitar like that tomorrow but i cant seem to get my head around if i hollow the sides out how will it have a place for the electronics and cavity covers


Put it in the hollow area!

Actually, this makes cavity covers very easy. Once you've got it hollowed out, you can cut a piece of of the back and set it up so that you can screw it back in to cover everything. I'm debating using this method-- I didn't plan it out ahead of time. I don't want a big ugly piece of plastic on the back of this guitar though. If I can find a reasonably similar looking ash veneer I might use that on the cavity cover to make it look less like **** than a plastic one.

Electronics can safely sit inside of the hollow cavity as long as everything is securely attached... think about an archtop or semihollow.

Quote by Natrone
Looks awesome dude. Natural finish I'll assume?


Of course
Quote by bangoodcharlote
^Owned.

I suggest not screwing with the UGer with the best name on the site.


Quote by Albino_Rhino
I don't see how prostitution is going to help out your string buzz...
#37
looks awsome man.
Quote by maiden03
Ahhh damn you vinc3nt!

Downpressor man

Where you gonna run to

All along that day


੧_\\\
#38
Quote by DANGERSTRANGER
i also going to be hollowing out a guitar like that tomorrow but i cant seem to get my head around if i hollow the sides out how will it have a place for the electronics and cavity covers

If you plan ahead a little then this is your chance to have a guitar with no control cavity cover... You can just make some channels into the hollowed-out portion and provided they're roomy enough you'll be able to feed all your electronics through those channels instead of via back side access. Or do like they do with the LP Supreme and feed it through the larger-than-usual jack hole.

Heh, jackhole...
#39
Woah... very nice. I wish I could do stuff like this :P
"In peaceful sedation I lay half awake, and all of the panic inside starts to fade. Hopelessly drifting, bathing in
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