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#1
Hello all, the question of what to get for a new guitar has been weighing on my mind for quite some time now and I just can't seem to make a decision. Well, after I played a bunch of the guitars I was interested in, I fell in love with two: an Epiphone Explorer and a Ibanez S520. Here's my analysis:

Epiphone:
Pros - I want a unique shaped guitar and this is my favorite, set neck, the neck was good for chording.
Cons - Pickups sucked, no trem, 22 frets, not as fast as I would have liked, 24.75" scale.

Ibanez:
Pros - ZR trem is the best in its price range, fast and set neck, 25.5" scale.
Cons - Lackluster pickups, gains in speed = loss in chordability, 22 frets.

Basically, the Epiphone seemed like a great rhythm guitar while the Ibanez was a shredder, and neither seemed to do the other's job very well. So how do I choose? Neither is a clear cut choice, I either have to try to learn to solo and play fast on a slow necked guitar (like I am doing with the Jay Turser) or try to learn rhythm guitar parts on a flat, wide neck. Then it hit me: how about a compromise? Why not take the things I liked from each guitar and build a super guitar just EXACTLY how I want it?

So here is the plan: mahogany Explorer body, 25.5" scale, 24 frets, Floyd Rose, H-S-H pickup orientation with DiMarzio Joe and Mo Joe pickups (undecided on the middle), and I want to use a more conservative radius than the Ibanez, so I had kind of decided on 12" radius.

So whats the problem? Well, I was starting to scope parts today. I don't want to fiddle around with any used Ibanez trems or licensed Floyds, so I was looking at the Floyd Rose website. I wanted to go with just an OFR, but the radius on the nut and bridge is either 10" or 15" for the OFR's, however the Speedloaders are all 12" radius. I kind of wrinkled up my nose at the thought of the Speedloader at first, but its growin on me. It might be $50 more, but its also $70 less I have to spend on Grover tuners. So my question is this: should I stick with the 12" radius and get the Speedloader, or give in to the 10" radius, get some Grovers, and go with the OFR? I honestly don't care which is easier to restring or whatever, I am simply talking about which trem will stay in tune best and be most reliable. I want to go with the Speedloader now, I just don't want an inferior trem.

Next questions is where in the hell do I get a Floyd Rose? I've looked all around but aside from eBay, all of the Floyd Rose's I have found have been "made in Germany by Schaller." Is that ok? Is it as good of a trem, or should I go for the real McCoy?

As for color, I am having a hard time with that. I think I am going to with a gray or dull silver body and headstock, ebony fingerboard, and get black pickups/hardware. I did want to do something unique though, which I saw on a picture under the "custom shop" tab on ESP's website. LED inlays on the fretboard. I would put a piece of plexiglas or glass with spray on window etching over the LED for a smooth finish and to help make it more of glow than a penetrating light. I thought about doing something similar with a logo I would make for myself on the headstock, and maybe illuminate something on the body too. Any thoughts?

I will put up some CAD drawings when I get them made.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#2
Sorry to resurrect and old thread, but I figured I didn't need a new one.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately and have started some Solid Works drawings for it. The project was set back a little bit when I had/wanted to buy a new bike, but work has been going well and I am going to finish body plans in the next 10-14 days and order a body blank. With two jobs, school, and marathon training it will be a long build but hopefully I will have it finished in mid June or so. Here's the plan so far:

-Body: Carved top mohagany Explorer style, with a Floyd Rose speedloader trem, H-S-H pickup setup with either PAF Joe/Mo' Joe or Breeds in the nack and bridge, 1 volume, 2 tone, and 5 way selector controls.

-Neck: Bolt on maple with rosewood fingerboard with a 12" radius, 25.5" scale, and 22 fret neck.

I'm still undecided about the middle pickup and color scheme, but that isn't 100% necessary to know yet. I am kind of thinking about a dark grey body and headstock with chrome hardware and white pickups/controls but we'll see.

Before I get too deep into the plans though, I was wondering about a few things.

- Since I am going to be taking a guitar designed to be a 24.75" scale and adding an extra 3/4" to it, should I just leave the bridge in the original spot That way the extra 3/4" will come in having the nut moved that much farther away from the original bridge position, or should I move the bridge back 3/4" so the nut would be in the original position, move the bridge back 3/8" and the nut out 3/8", or doesn't it really matter? I can see positives of both. The Epi Explorer I played I thought the bridge was too close to the natural position of my pickign hand, but leaving the bridge in the original position will keep high fret access easier. At the moment I am leaning towards moving the bridge back 3/8" and making the rest up in moving the nut out farther, then modifying the bottom "cut out" to keep high fret access easy. If that doesn't make sense I will clarify.

- Will I need to recess the trem to keep from having to angle the neck? How far should it be recessed?

I guess thats the only things I am worried about at this point. I am still analyzing the stock Gibson picture to get relative measurements and tweaking it to my liking.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#3
Sounds nice, havent seen a HSH Explorer before.
Tim.

You have entered the Twilight Zone
Beyond this world strange things are known
Use this key, unlock the door
See what your fate might have in store
Come explore your dreams' creation
Enter this world of imagination
#4
Back again, hoping for a few pieces of advice.

I'm farther into the planning stages of the build, and have started solidworks models as well as a picture I photoshopped. I took the Gibson Explorer and Ibanez Destroyer stock photos, scaled them to equal scales, set one on top of the other, then turned the opacity down so I could see the outlines of each. I also took the neck, pickups, and trem from a S470 to aid in the graphical representation. I printed this out, then drew in my own lines so I could take the things I liked from both the Destroyer and the Explorer, then I cut it out. I'd definitely have to say I am pleased with the result! Here's the spec list as of now:

-Carved top Explorer/Destroyer style body
-Bolt on neck
-Maple neck
-Ebony fingerboard
-Mahogany body
-22 frets (this wont be my 'shred' guitar, so the extra two frets aren't necessary and would take too much of a cut away to access)
-Floyd Rose Speedloader trem
-H-S-H pickups, Dimarzio PAF Joe in the neck, Dimarzio HS-2 middle, and Dimarzio Mo' Joe in the bridge
-Double expanding truss rod (stewmac hot rod deal)

As of right now I haven't decided on the controls. I've been thinking of putting a tone on the middle and neck and just a single volume, but I might just do away with the tone controls. I mean, I use them on my ghetto Strat copy, but would I on this? We'll see how frisky I am feeling. Regardless I'll do the standard 5 way selector.

Color scheme is up for debate as well, though I think white guitars are sexy as hell. I'm pretty sure its going to be a white guitar with black knobs, trem, and I think I am going with white/black pickups if available.

Now for the questions. PLEASE somebody help me!

A) I am planning on doing a standard Strat neck pocket, but I am having trouble with the neck planning of that. So in doing this, do I want the part of the neck that will sit in the pocket to be square, or should the sides of the neck be 100% straight all the way down?

B) I can't find anything with info on the speedloader nut. I just need to know how deep to cut the neck and the dimensions on it so I can finish my solidworks model of the neck.

Any info greatly appreciated, and I'll get a good photoshop or illustrator rendering of my idea when I get a chance.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#5
Most necks taper from thinner at the headstock to thicker where it meets the body. For strat necks, most of them have a square heel.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#6
My plan is to use a 1.6875" nut and have the 22 fret width be 2.1875". That means that the fretboard is an extra .5" wide at the end, or .25" per side... which means that the neck would get .01363" wider per inch of neck. To have a square 3" heel, you'd have to come out to 1.09375" from center line at fret 16. If there was no square heel and it was just plain taper the 16th fret would be 1.05286" wide, which means the square heel only extends the fretboard by .04089" on either side.

Now, I pulled out my handy dandy digital caliper and looked at how far .040" is and its thinner than a dime. Normally I would just laugh that off, but hands seem to be a lot pickier than my mind. For example, ask anyone to play a guitar with a 1.65" nut like my Strat copy has, then play a guitar with a 1 11/16" (1.6875") nut, that .0375" is a HUGE difference. Compare that with the overall width addition of .08177", which is over twice as much as the difference between the aforementioned nuts, if I make it a square heel and the results might suck.

Another thing that I didn't realize until now is that I don't necessarily have to have body wood on the side of the neck all the way up to fret 16. Looking at the Warmoth Explorer, they don't have much wood past the body side screw holes, so if I just tapered it to 2.1875" at fret like 20 of something, I'm sure it will be fine. The flip side of that is would having less body wood on the side of the neck kill sustain or severely alter tone? Anyone want to weigh in?

Anyone want to weigh in?
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#7
So I've done more thinking/research on the build and it's parts and I've made a few conclusions. I am going to have a contoured and non square heel, and the neck part of the heel will be square from frets 19-22. I've also decided on a coloring scheme, it's going to be white with a black faux body binding. I don't want to actually dick around with routing and installing a body binding, but I am going to paint black stripes on it. Black hardware and knobs, black and white pickups. I'm a little worried how it will look, but I'm not going to paint the neck white, it will just be the maple color. I'm also canning some of the destroyer influences, after a few more looks I realized they really weren't what I was looking for. Now the horns will all be rounded rather that with that little 'hook'.

I also did some reading on body wood and realized mahogany isn't really what I am looking for. I had some big preconceived notion that a guitar basically HAD to have a set neck and mahogany body, but I now think quite the opposite. There are a surprising amount of people playing bolt on necks, and I noticed that almost ALL of my favorite guitarists don't have mahogany bodies. I've decided on going with a basswood body for this first build, partly because its cheap and easy to work, but mostly because it has the tone profile that I am looking for.

With finals kicking my *** I haven't had time to get the solid works drawings done yet, but I did my paper scale mock up and measured it out to get dimensions for everything. I am ordering my wood later this week (probably after my two finals on Wednesday) and hopefully I can get the solid works models done on Thursday or so. I'll post pics as I am able!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#8
More thought, more decisions.

School completely kicked my ass for time this past semester and I wasn't able to complete my drawings . On top of that, loans didn't come through with as much as they were supposed to so ended up with a bit of credit card debit I didn't exactly need. Now I am working 65 hours a week getting that **** paid off, and I've decided to "marginalize" like $100 or $125 soon to get the project going. There's been a couple changes though.

First off, I kinda want to do it out of Alder, but it will be Basswood if they don't have any 2" Alder. Still bolt on 22 fret neck, still 12" radius, but I will most likely do a Rosewood fretboard just to keep cost down. I may go with GFS pickups and H-H setup to keep cost down as well, and I have decided to go for a non trem type bridge.

So here's my questions:
-As far as non trem type bridges go, I don't know a lot. I was kinda planning on using a Tune O Matic, but I dont really want to F around with a neck angle either. What do you guys think? Use a different bridge that I wont have to use a neck angle, just deal with the neck angle, or is it possible to recess the Tune O Matic far enough to not have to worry about neck angle? Is the GFS Tune O Matic decent?
-I found it once, but I cannot for the life of me seem to find the maximum moisture content for making guitars. Anyone know?
-I'd prefer to keep the finish as simple as possible on this beast, but still look relatively good. What do you guys think, rattle can or dye-and-oil?

I have another double tomorrow (the 8th in a row) and then I FINALLY have a one shift day Friday, so Friday night I plan to buy some rasps, clamps, scrapers, and so on. I'm also going to get the body wood hopefully this weekend, but for sure on Tuesday which will be my first day off in 18 days.

Anyway, thoughts please!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
Last edited by xstillspinninx at Jun 18, 2009,
#9
Mini update. I went to the lumber yard yesterday and got some basswood. I had to buy two 2' x 8.5" x 2" slabs and I am now in the process of gluing them up. I got four clamps, a rasp, some sand paper, and a hand planer from Harbor Frieght and I must say, their stuff isn't worth a half ****. I knew it wouldn't be as good as the stuff at Home Depot or whatever, but I was surprised by how bad it actually was. The clamps bow when tightened and though it works fine now, I am just waiting for one of them to break. The rasp is working ok but isn't as sharp as it could be, and the hand plane doesn't even come close to working. I knew I'd have to replace this **** after a while, but I didn't know it was going to be an hour after I bought it. The one good thing is the ruler, much cheaper than Home Depot and not as sturdy but plenty good for what I need it for.

Anyway, tomorrow I should have the glue joint sides of the slabs of wood good enough to glue (pain in the ass and verrrrry tedious when doing it by hand, but yes, it is possible) and then I am going to get a reasonable block plane from Lowes tomorrow and hopefully start thicknessing it. Once I get it flat on both sides I am going to lay it all out, cut it out at my friends, then go to work on carving the top. I get the feeling that thicknessing, laying out, and carving will take a while, so I am going to start looking for a good deal on a drill press and plunge router. I'll post some pics when I get something worth taking a picture of.

Also, anyone happen to know how much commission the guys at Guitar Center get?
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#10
I'd guess somewhere around 10-15% commission. Also, thanks for the headsup on the Harbor Freight stuff, almost bought a bunch of stuff from them.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
#11
This sounds like a neat project.

Quote by xstillspinninx
-Neck: Bolt on maple with rosewood fingerboard with a 12" radius, 25.5" scale, and 22 fret neck.

I'm still undecided about the middle pickup and color scheme, but that isn't 100% necessary to know yet. I am kind of thinking about a dark grey body and headstock with chrome hardware and white pickups/controls but we'll see.

Before I get too deep into the plans though, I was wondering about a few things.

- Since I am going to be taking a guitar designed to be a 24.75" scale and adding an extra 3/4" to it, should I just leave the bridge in the original spot That way the extra 3/4" will come in having the nut moved that much farther away from the original bridge position, or should I move the bridge back 3/4" so the nut would be in the original position, move the bridge back 3/8" and the nut out 3/8", or doesn't it really matter? I can see positives of both. The Epi Explorer I played I thought the bridge was too close to the natural position of my pickign hand, but leaving the bridge in the original position will keep high fret access easier. At the moment I am leaning towards moving the bridge back 3/8" and making the rest up in moving the nut out farther, then modifying the bottom "cut out" to keep high fret access easy. If that doesn't make sense I will clarify.

The distance from the nut to the 12th fret and the distance from the 12th fret to the bridge should be exactly the same. So if you use a 25.5" scale neck on a body typically designed for 24.75" scale, you will need to either move the bridge back, or if you are making your own neck, increase the neck tendon length (which effectively increases the distance from the 12th fret to the bridge.

Quote by xstillspinninx

- Will I need to recess the trem to keep from having to angle the neck? How far should it be recessed?

You can recess the a tune-o-matic bridge to eliminate the need for a neck angle, or you could use a hardtail strat bridge. Is that what you are asking? If you install a strat trem or a floyd, you will need to route a cavity, but I don't think that was your question.
#12
Crap, yeah, I meant recess the TOM to avoid the neck angle. But you did answer my question, and thanks!

I have another quick question... I am going to snag a reasonable hand plane tomorrow, anyone have any idea what I should get? Would a 10" block plane do me ok or do I need to get a longer jack plane or something? Keep in mind this is just a 2' long piece of wood.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#13
Another mini-update, as long as I have a minute to do it. Last night after posting on here I went to work on the gluing edges and got them good and true with a flat 10" rasp, then I used the **** planer as a sanding block to smooth it out a little. This gave me a great, flat edge with one problem.... a slight radius. When I put the wood together and clamped them with the clamps biased to one side or the other I'd get a perfect glue line on that side, but a giant (just a bit bigger than my .7mm pencil lead) crack on the other. Some more rasping and sanding got it pretty good, but I decided to just wait and true it up with the plane I got today.

I went to Rockler today and picked up a Groz Smoothing Plane #4, a reasonable rasp (to carve the top), and sharpening stone for the plane. The guy showed me how to sharpen it and gave me a 10-15% "luthier" discount (he has been a guitar builder and repairman since like '93 he said) and I was on my way. I spent about 20 minutes this morning trueing up the gluing edges and BAM! It's all glued up. I have to say I am very glad I waited to get the plane, the edges are much better.

I work tonight and tomorrow morning, but I should be off at 3pm then I'll start thicknessing it. Wish me luck!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#14
The right tools make a huge difference! By the way, why not post some pictures of your build? People love pictures.
#15
They sure do! That **** planer looks like its going to be a good sanding block, but the nice one is something I hope I can have for a long time.

Today I had a shorter work day, then I had to show a friend my place for next year, THEN I got some quality time with my wood. I have been planing since 3pm today (it's almost 9 here now), and I have one side as done as I care to see it at the moment. The interior few inches is flat as hell, which is all that REALLY matters since I am carving the top anyway. I've removed half of the saw marks on the back side but I am just too tired to spend another 5.5 hours planing tonight.

The blank is going to end up being about 1.65" thick if things go the way they did on the last side, When I do the good guitars later I would fret about that a little, but I am fine with that for now. I do have to say the basswood was soft, but not entirely happy to be planed... there was some rough spots that just wouldn't come out. Again though, it wasn't in the interior 4" that will hold the pickups, bridge, and neck route, so it'll get carved off anyway.

Anyway, tomorrow I plan to at least remove the saw marks on the back, then start laying out the outline on the top. As for the pictures, I lost my point and shoot so my roommate was going to take some of it with is DLSR, but he is staying at home tonight so no dice. Tomorrow hopefully though!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#17
Quote by smartalec007
DONT GET A SPEEDLOADER! you need to get special strings for them made by flyod rose!

dude, calm down.

#1. they are great trems and are as good as the regular OFR.

#2. he said like a month ago that he changed his mind and is going to use a hardtail.
The Best Floyd Rose Is A Setup Floyd Rose!

Gear:
STARcaster Strat
Dean Tradition Acoustic
03 B.C. Rich NJ Warlock Speedloader
Xaviere XV-599
Epi 1984 Explorer
Crate GTD65
Epi Valve Jr
Bogner Alchemist Head
Marshall 1960B
#18
F22 is right, this one is going to be a TOM, but the next one will be a Speedloader. I am aware the speedloader needs special strings, but I want a 12" radius and I don't feel like dicking around with a 10" OFR radius on a 12" radius fretboard. They are also a lot easier to setup (as far as my research has told me), but that is secondary to the radius matching. This first one is just a practice, so if I screw up real bad, don't like it, or suck at it I don't have too much into it.

I'm actually kind of thinking about making my dream guitar (as outlined above, white w/ black binding, black hardware, ebony fretboard etc) and then making an exact replica of it with the opposite color scheme with a TOM bridge, that one I will probably leave a half step down for GNR covers and such. We'll see though.

Didn't get much done on the guitar today, just did some more planing on the back. I really wanted to start laying out the front, but working from 6:45am-8pm can kinda take it out of you.

I had my roommate snap some pics with his Rebel XS, but I wont get them til tomorrow. Until then!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#19
I spent a little more time on the top yesterday and got it about as close as I think I can. It isn't perfect, but to the hand it feels flat and even against the straight edge you need to be looking at something light behind it to see the gap. The saw marks on the back are all taken out, but I still have a LOT of planing to do back there. I'm going to be a lot less picky though.

Today I did some planing on the back and started laying out the design. I have a solid center line and a lot of the dimensions pencilled in, but I have yet to get the outline done. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the outline done and do more planing on the back, and I'd like to have the whole thicknessing and control/pickup/bridge placing done by Monday. If I can manage a day off next week I think I can get my roommate to go to his parents house and get this bitch routed, band sawed, and ready for carving.

Still no pics though. My roommate's computer wont recognize his XS for some reason.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#20
Another quick update. So I continued to lay out the dimensions, then connected the dots to get a rough idea of how well I was doing. Bad. Turns out my scale model was small by about 15%, so now I've realized my blank is small by about 2-2.5". I'm a bit bummed, and now I really wish I would have been a bit more proactive about sizing the model properly. I think I am going to have to either do an Iceman or cut and reglue some of the black to get it to the right size. Work is killing me though, so I probably wont get to do much til Tuesday.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#21
Update quick, and I am piss drunk so bear with me if it gets bad. I finished getting the guitar laid out today. I ended up just taking a Gibson Explorer stock photo on my screen and using my micrometer to convert dimensions then tayloring them to my liking... turns out the blank is *just* big enough. I thought I could use my buddy's stuff to get it cut and routed on like Sunday, but it looks like that wont work. Hopefully I can get it done next week!

On a much separate bassier note, I just saw my friends band play. They were good, along the lines of Muse, Radiohead, etc. I was talking to him after the show and he said another one of his friends is looking for a bass player, well I played bass in a band for like 3.5 years! I am going to call them this week. It's been a while, but I think I can dust it off and get back into it! This also means that though guitar is really what I love, I am probably going to be building a 5 string bass before I get my twin Explorer's done. Or maybe I will just make a 5 string Explorer bass?? Ha ha ha.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#22
Ok, so not much new progress wise, I still need to level out the back, lay out the pickup and bridge spots, and cut the beset out, but I am finished with the outline. This one is kinda the guinnea pig, if there is anything I don't like about it when it gets done I will change, otherwise I'll just make a tamplate of this one and let it rock. Anyway, here's a couple pictures of it so far!





What I ended up doing was taking my micrometer to a picture of a Gibson Explorer on my laptop screen, measuring the nut-12th fret distance to get a scale, then measured the important dimensions on the screen to calculate the corresponding dimensions on the lifesize blank. Once I got the lifesize dimensions I tweaked them to my liking... see there is some things I like about the Gibson, some things I like about the Destroyer, and some things I like about the Warmoth Explorer. I did my best to combine them, but I feel it took on the most influence from the Gibby. I also realized that I used 12.75" for the nut-12th fret distance to scale it, when in reality its supposed to be 12.375". The result, I think anyway, is a little bit bigger body but not too big (which I like, Gibson is 25" long top horn to bottom long horn while the Warmoth is 27", mine is like 26"), a little more meat on top of the guitar around the pickup area, a little less on the bottom, and a more Warmoth like but less pointy big lower horn. What do you guys think?
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
Last edited by xstillspinninx at Jul 7, 2009,
#23
I'm back! 60+ hours of work a week all summer plus no internet at the new place I moved to in at the end of July kept me from here, then when once school started again I realized I forgot my password. Well I found it again, so I'm here for an update.

Things have been moving kind of slow, but forward nonetheless. I realized just how much tools cost and that's really what has kept my progress from really going. I bought a 15.5" Craftsman drill press, a 12" Craftsman band saw, a ghetto Ryobi plunge router, a uber ghetto 1/3 sheet finish sander (Tool Shop brand, surprisingly not a total POS), and a bunch of hand tools this summer. As it sits now, the body is cut out except past the front horns (so I have something to screw my neck pocket template to), the holes for the TOM bridge are laid out, the big upper left horn is fully carved, and the lower left horn is about half carved. I also have the back and all cut sides rough sanded, just waiting to get the rest of it cut out before I start finish sanding.

Last night I had a few... or 7... beers while I was working on it and after I got the big horn carved I realized that I am actually doing this and got really excited about it. Before it was a nice pass time and something I would just work on for like an hour or two a week, but I am definitely counting the hours until I can get home and get back to carving! I am hoping to get the body done this month and start on the neck like last week in September or first week in October.

Money is still the limiting factor here though, its such a bummer. Neck/fretting tools are going to be a couple more bills not to mention hardware, and I really want to get a table saw, jointer, and a planer before I make a run at the Twin Explorers.

Another interesting bit of news is while working on the Twins I will be doing a bass build too. My best friend got married this summer and I offered to make him a bass for the wedding present. I'm pretty excited, it's going to be a 5 string Gecko style bass with a 5 piece maple/mahogany/walnut neck-through with mahogany body wings and stained red maple top.

Anyway, heres a drawing of what I have done so far:

The red lines are where its cut, the green is fully carved, and the blue is where I have started carving.

The plan now is to route the neck pocket, make a template for the pickups, route the pcikup holes, finish cutting it out, and finish carving the top. After that I am going to carve the back and route the control cavity hole, then sand and paint it. I think its going to be metallic black with silver racing stripes. I'll get my roommates camera this weekend and get some pictures up Monday!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#24
Update time! I had a really dumb day yesterday so instead of going to sleep like I should have, I decided to do a little work on the guitar. 3 hours later I had the neck pocket routed and the rest of the body cut out. Getting the template shimmed and lined up for a 2* neck angle took the most time, but overall it went smoothly. The Ryobi router worked a lot better than I thought it would.

The plan for tonight is to finish rough sanding the outside of guitar and keep working on the carve. Later this week hopefully I can get the humbucker template done and get those done. After that I need to carve the back and get the control cavity dealt with. Then its finish sanding and paint time!

This one is going to get mainly chrome guitar fetish stuff to save on cost, I am going for the big bushing TOM and stop bar, the cheaper locking tuners, and probably some Classic II's for the pickups.

Quick question though: How deep do I drill for the hardtail and TOM bushings? Stewmac doesn't list a concise depth, but their specs put the bushing length at .99" and .897" for the stop bar and TOM respectively... is that how far I should drill down?
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#25
Time for an update!

So it's been a while since I've actually worked on it, but I finally have time to do something about it! The pictures are as it sits right now, and I think I am going to do some work on it tomorrow.

Here it is straight on.


From the back.




From the front.



Hopefully I can get it finished up over break, I want to start on my real guitar and my buddy's bass soon. I used to have a bunch of money saved for finishing this up, but then I got interested in this girl and there went my money. Then I get this whole ****ing "I'm not ready for a relationship" talk from her, so **** it. I'm just going to toss the rest of the stuff on the ol' CC and deal with it later.

I want to get the pickup holes routed and finish the top before Christmas, then get the control hole routed, back carved, and the whole thing painted black before New Years. Hopefully in January I can get the neck made and the hardware ordered and start playing it! It's getting a chrome TOM, locking tuners, and I think Classic II GFS's, though I might get some used DiMarzios if I can.

Also, I've changed my mind on the Twins. I am just going to make one guitar and try to have it versatile enough. Now I am thinking it's going to be a mahogany body with a thick carved blue stained flamed/quilted top, white binding, 24 frets (if I can swing it without making the lower horn look too gay), maple/walnut neckthrough with ebony fretboard, HSH pickup setup, and chrome hardware. I kinda want to start collecting material for that and the bass around the middle of
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#26
I haven't been able to do much on this lately, but I got to some of it tonight. My current guitar (POS Jay Turser) needed a bit of maintenance and once I got it apart I realized it was only 4 screws and I could check how the Explorer looks with a neck and test the neck pocket fit.

I have to say I am very pleased! The neck pocket is the same for the Jay Turser as the one I made for the Explorer, and it passed the "neck pocket test." The guitar looks great with the neck on, though I did learn a few things.

First off, there isn't much wood on the lower side of the neck pocket, and that can get the neck to sit in there a bit wonky. Secondly, I noticed the radius of the cut on the lower horn (where your hand would end up if you were to play on the upper frets) is too tight. Third, I was worried about the bridge position. I thought that I might have the bridge to close to the neck in relation to how it would rest on your knee and the back of the guitar, but that just isn't a problem. Lastly, I was worried about the neck angle, more specifically how it would affect the playability. It actually felt pretty good sitting in my hands.

Anyway, I laid out the rest of the work that needs to be done. I'm still debating the places for the vol, tone, tone, and selector controls, but the control cavity is penciled in, as is the jack location. The carve for the back is setup too, that'll be a 3/8" carve, just like the top. I don't have anything to get done tomorrow, so I kind of intend to get as much done as I can. Pics tomorrow!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#27
I saw up top that you mentioned 'explorer twins' and building a 5 string bass
by this i assume you're making two (for some reason I'm thinking a black and a white?)
you could just do a guitar and a bass? that'd be a cool matching set
#28
Ha ha, well, the Explorer twins were going to be two guitars built differently and setup for different things... the original plan (I think) was to build one of alder with a bolt on neck with hot pickups and a floyd to be my "Satriani" guitar, then I was going to do the other one set neck and of Mahogany with more Gibson-ish pickups to do the Gibson thing. Lately though, I've decided to just make some compromises and build one instead. I don't really need two guitars to do that I don't think, and it will be nice to not have to buy/build two guitars when I'm sure one will do. I still have yet to finalize the plans (and probably wont until the parts are one order, but I think it's going to be a 24 fret neck through guitar with mahogany wings and a dyed blue figured maple top, and a HSH pickup configuration. That thread will come soon enough, I still need a few tools and to get this one wrapped up first. The bass is going to be for my buddy for a wedding gift.

I also have an update on the guitar. The top is basically done! The carve is done and the holes are drilled for the TOM, 3 way toggle, and single volume. I decided to just go with a simple control setup for this one, if all goes well I'll have a better one soon enough. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the pickup and control cavities routed, and maybe start on the back carve, but we'll see how far I get... school does start Tuesday. I'll get some pics up tomorrow after I work on her a bit.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#30
First off, thanks DisasterMatt!

I had a fairly productive build day today. As I alluded to in a previous post, I recently bought two table saws. First one was a Pro Tech Menards deal, but I was drawn to it as it had a 2.5 hp motor. Well I was so excited over a $70 saw that I didn't even think about the lack of blade wrench and rip fence! Doh! Well, there was a Craftsman 2.5 hp table saw I picked up a few days later, complete with rip fence, stand, and few other misc things the guy felt like throwing in. I think I'll just put the Pro Tech back on craigslist for what I bought it, or maybe I'll just hang on to it incase the Craftsman's motor bites it... after all, they are the same saw. The cast aluminum deck is the exact same on both as is the plastic body part of the saw, I'll dig into both eventually to see if the motors are the same, but I assume they are.

Anyway, I made a pickup route template and routed for the two humbuckers. That went ok, but not great. The first one I did was the bridge and the tape slipped and I whacked out a chunk on the neck side of the route. It may get covered by the pickup ring, but maybe not... might have to use some filler. Same sort of thing happened on the neck, except it didn't slip, I just didn't have the plunge set far enough on the first pass and the bearing slipped over the top of the template which took a little off of the template and thus the rest of the route. Not a huge deal, definitely will be covered by the ring, but it's just and ugly hole.

After that, I contoured the heal and drilled the recesses for the neck screw washers. I then continued to work on the back contour. Remember, I'm doing this sorta Ibanez S series style, contoured front and back. I plan to do my next Explorer the same way, I loved how the S sat in my lap so I hope it will A) lessen the weight of the guitar and B) feel nice.

All I have to do on the body now is to route the control cavity and finish the last 1/4 of the back's rough contour. Then I just need to finish sad the beast and it's ready for paint!!

I am going to go to the lumber yard I think Monday after class to get some mahogany, maple, and walnut for my second build and I'll use some of that maple for this one's neck. I know my sig says the neck wood and tools are on order, but that night my internet shit out mid stewmac order and I haven't been feeling frisky enough to try to order again. This week, hopefully, and I can finally order the neck stuff and finish this pig up! I also hope to get a planer I've been eyeing as well as a really cheap jointer, and then I can get the wood planed and squared for Poseidon. A thread for that beast will pop up soon after!

Hopefully tomorrow I can jack a roomie's camera and post some new pr0nz for y'all, I really wish I hadn't lost mine.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#31
Got my roomie's camera and got some pictures taken! Looking back it's kind of hard to see exactly whats going on, but here they are anyway.

Top is basically done, just need to finish sand and make recesses for the knobs.


Close up on the ****ed up pickup routes. Doh! Might need to fix the bridge one, but the neck should be fine.


Angled from the back.


Angled from the front.


Back straight on. I still need to make a template for and route the control cavity, but I need to figure out how much wood is needed between the pot/switch and the knobs.


Here's the countoured heal. I drilled out the spots for the neck screw washers. Also, you can kinda see the back contour. Part of it is rough sanded, but I definitely need to do a bit more once I route for the control cavity and finish the contour.


Here's a pic to show the front and back contours.


So yeah! I'm still thinking I can get to the lumber yard this week along with snagging that planer, then maybe this week or this weekend get the neck roughed out. Sooner or later I'll get the necks for a few of the coming builds put together, then I'll start threads for those.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
Last edited by xstillspinninx at Mar 21, 2010,
#32
Suggestions: The radius for the Floyd Rose is 14" I believe, the normal radius. This means you could still use a 12" radius and avoid string buzzing.

Something else you could do is a compound radius fingerboard like what I'm doing, only do a 12" radius at the nut and 14" up top at the 24th fret. Also, make a neck roughly between the two thicknesses of your two guitars for comfort, and do more of the Explorer's contour at the lower frets, smoothing out to more of the Sabre's contour at the higher frets.

Could also go between the two scales and do a 25" like on PRS, Carvin, and some BC Riches.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
#33
OFR's have a 10" radius and I believe the Schallers do too. You can shim them though, using some thin copper stuff I think. This one is getting a TOM, but most of the next ones will get some sort of Floyd Rose.

I like your idea of compound radiusing the fretboard, but I just don't like the actual product. I played a few Jacksons at GC with the compound radius and I liked playing either high or low, but moving up and down the neck just felt funny to me.

I also like the idea of playing with scale length, I've lately been thinking about way down the line doing a crazy 27" or 28" 7 string baritone and making a really small travel guitar, but we'll see. I like the longer scale lengths because my big hands don't like the small frets and even though the difference might be small, I like the extra scale length for the bigger upper frets.

Thanks for the response!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
Last edited by xstillspinninx at Mar 22, 2010,
#34
Mini update. Today I tried to get some maple good for a neck for this thing. I found out my table saw sucks ****ing nuts and after I got it squared up it was 2 1/4" when I designed my heal around 2 3/32". ****. I ran out of day light and had other shit to do, so I didn't get a new neck cut. I can still use the other piece for neck laminates though, so it's all good.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#35
Never seen a carved explorer before - looks interesting.
I'll be keeping an eye on this thread so keep those pic's comin.
Looking good so far. Check out my profile and see the one I finished at christmas.
Cheers and sharp tools,
Dessi
#36
looks sweet man! the contors look pretty nice on the explorer, i wonder if its comfy or not
"It's not about who has the biggest stick, it's about how hard you can swing it"
#37
Thanks for the replies! When I put my crap ass Strat copy neck on it, it really felt good! We'll see though.

I am still working on the neck for it, but it's coming along. Now that I have an infeed table (my new jointer! lol) cutting is atleast a bajillion times easier and I'll make a run at the neck either Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. Here's some pics of it as it sits and sorry the pics suck, I have to use my phone until I get a new camera.





Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#38
Quick update. I got some time yesterday to do some work, so I got the holes drilled for the pickups wires and got the body primed. I think I got like 4 coats of primer on there, so I hope I can do some sanding tomorrow and maybe hit it with another coat or two before some more primer. I lost my 1/2" bit to do the jack hole, but I'll find it sooner or later or buy a new one. I think I am just going to do a black finish and clear the hell out of it. I'll post some pics when I'm not dog ass tired... getting them off my phone can be a pain. More later!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#39
Quick update! I got the first set of primer sanded with 220 and it came out surprisingly amazing, very smooth and sexy-like. I hit it with a couple real light coats and let it dry, and I will sand it with the 320 tomorrow after work. The new coats look really good, it got SUPER bumpy after the last time, apparently there was a lot more shit in the air. Now its almost as smooth (just a few bumps this time), just not scratched. I think I'll do one more coat of the primer tomorrow, let it set, and sand it Monday, then I'll hit it with the black paint Monday night!! Camera phone took super shitty pictures this time, I'll try to borrow the roomies camera tomorrow!
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
#40
Hello everyone! So I pretty much sped home after work, ripped off my uniform, threw on my shop clothes, and went to work! I did some other work, but finished up by sanding the Explorer body. I just dry sanded and used 320. It's coming out really well! The grain still shows on the bridge side of the body a little on the top and a little more on the back, so I'll have to hit it with a bit more primer, but that'll wait to later... it was like 85 and pretty humid. Hopefully it'll be drier later this week and I can get into the painting, I just bought some black for it.

I'll get some pics up when imageshack isn't being gay.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
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