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#1
OK, so I spent a long time planning (read: procrastinating) but I have finally started =]

Things to know:

This is my own design =] but it will probably be likened to the 'Mattocaster' because to be fair... it is a very similar shape.

I didn't buy many router bits and the one with a bearing is 1 inch diameter, so i had to finish all the corners with chisels, which was rather time consuming. =[ But I'm quite handy with a chisel so it's still neat. =]

For the body contours, I saw a few people on t'internet using angle grinders and such like. Me and my dad weren't too keen on that idea, so i did them my own way. It probably took longer but hey. =]


Pics:
Got my buddies at the 'lumber yard' [lol] to cut this out for me:



I had some initial difficulties keeping the router stable, so there's a few mistakes I'll have to iron out:




(router has dug in to corner of neck pocket) =/

My hand chiselled neck pup pocket:





Fit of neck in pocket. It's slightly sloppy side to side and i accidentally cut the treble side so that it undercuts the neck =/ It's a neck off a pacifica btw.



Last edited by lozlovesstrats at Aug 10, 2010,
#2
Here's how much I could actually route of the pockets before chiselling. No, I didn't freehand, but I took the template away for the picture.



Did other things between, but hhere's progress on the pocket:



And done:





So I did the control cavity. Again I was using a template, not shown:



Clamping up for the final cut took a lot of aligning and careful clamping lol. The reason the template is raised is because my cutter was 1 inch long, and I only wanted to make a 3 mm recess for the cover, and the bearing had to run on something:



And finished =]

Last edited by lozlovesstrats at Aug 10, 2010,
#3
That's a rather sharp cutaway. Interesting. Nice woodworking dude.
Marshall amplifiers are the truest purveyors of rock and roll known to man.

"And give a man an amplifier and a synthesizer, and he doesn't become whoever, you know. He doesn't become us."

Holy crap, check this out!
#4
Thanks man =]
The cutaway will get some rounding, that pic is straight from the bandsaw lol =]

Marking out my cuts for the forearm contour... don't worry, I left plenty of time after the beer before using any power tools =]



First couple of cuts. It started to spot with rain so I took a break and put stuff on the kitchen table =]



Done with the router:





Plane sailing (har har) =]





And done:



Obligatory UG foot shot!

#5
And the belly contour - cut yesterday, but I'll finish it off neatly today. I need to go out and get a roundover bit for the router as well.

#8
Well I got some stuff done today but no pics, light went before I thought about it =/ Sorry lol.

Just realised I haven't really said much about the build itself:

Single piece of oak (bloody heavy lol)
Natural finish in all likelihood
Gotoh strat-type hardtail (chrome, along with everything else, I think)
No idea for pickups, don't want to spend too much money at this point
Ummm... what else do people normally put in these?

Also, I'll put pics up tomorrow, but I have some hand-turned by yours truly brass knobs (that need to be chromed) or there is the crazy option of... perspex knobs =]
#12
The shape reminds me of the Schecter Single Cut shape. But looking good


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RBY CYOA
#13
Cheers for the compliments guys =]

MintSauce: It's definitely oak. I wanted ash, but the timber yard had an 18 inch wide board of oak, so I had some of that instead. Trouble is it weighs a ton, I'll weigh it as it is in a minute to see lol.

Down&out: I love strat contours on teles, I actually think they look better on teles, the top horn looks so alien from the right angle =]

I managed to find a 1/4 inch radius roundover bit after much trawling around various hardware stores, and did that yesterday.

Hand tools are making this project take ages lol
Chiselling away at the belly:



Neatening with a spokeshave:



Oops, forgot to take progress photos... here's where I'm now at:
Forearm contours:





Belly contour:



Whole thing (I did a little sanding for the hell of it, the dark patch is where I didn't sand, there were clamps)





I have a couple of little shakes in the wood unfortunately, they'll need filling.

#14
And a couple of extra pictures lol
I have my own lathe, been making knobs for this and some pedals, the brass ones will be chromed at some point.







I took some pictures with the guitar on an innocuous garden table...
I made it a couple of summers ago with my dad, it's completely dismantle-able (or whatever) so we put it away in winter. It's been raining today anyway, hence the small puddles on it =/
It's made out of some hardwood decking (not sure what wood) and the A-frames are meranti I think.
It is also exceedingly heavy, it takes both of us to move it xD







Now I need to actually order the bridge and such like. Apart from drilling the holes between the cavities and the jack plug there isn't much that I can do for now, so the next update might be in a little while.

Decisions to make:

What pickups?
I don't want to spend too much money as this is a first build and I think I can improve on the next one (if there is a next one)
At the same time I don't want it to sound like crap lol.

Hardmount or rings?
I'm not sure the edges of the cavities are neat enough to do it, but having seen some guitar with hard mounted pickups they look awesome.

Contoured heel or no?
I like the feel of then, but it's a neck off a pacifica, so the holes are already drilled. I wouldn't really want to drill a new hole in the neck, so how much of a contour could I have with the screws in original positions?

If no, ferrules or neck plate?
I think ferrules look a lot neater when done well, but I'm worried about screwing it up =/ Are there any advantages/disadvantages either way?

Opinions welcome =]

Also, I have a metallic red pacifica 012 body in absolutely perfect condition, if anyone wants it pm me and offer me a price =] I'll throw in practice amp, ratty gig bag and strap, I don't want them =]
#15
As far as cheaper pickups are concerned I used IronGear pickups for my tele build. I've already got a Squier Tele so decided to go for something completely different and got the Hammerheads. I have to say that I really can't fault them. They've got a a really brilliant sound. Plenty of crunch but still very clear. I'd certainly consider taking a look. They are sold through Axesrus which I also used for most of my other parts and electrics.

Ferrules are no problem if you've got a bench drill.

Thrench
Ibanez AS73
Squier Blonde Standard Telecaster
Home built Telecaster Deluxe
Vox AC4TV amp
Vox V845 Wah Wah
Marshall reverb
Korg Pandora PX4 multi effects
Digitech Death Metal distortion pedal


God is busy, save yourselves!!!
#17
If you can't see it properly MintSauce I'll describe it.............The Dog's bollocks.

It is so cool and the guy building it must be a total perfectionist, it's really very nice.

Thrench
Ibanez AS73
Squier Blonde Standard Telecaster
Home built Telecaster Deluxe
Vox AC4TV amp
Vox V845 Wah Wah
Marshall reverb
Korg Pandora PX4 multi effects
Digitech Death Metal distortion pedal


God is busy, save yourselves!!!
#18
Thanks a lot guys, but here's a little something to show I'm not perfect:



I know it's not much, but the neck pocket isn't quite as wide as the neck. It doesn't affect anything but it's the sort of thing I'd notice if I was a prospective buyer.
I am definitely a perfectionist, there were a few mistakes when I was routing but I managed to iron them out with some careful reshaping =]

Regards pickups, I'll go with Irongear, but now I'm wondering which ones. I have a tele with an SD '59 in the neck and a Pearly Gates in the bridge, and that sounds great. I listen to bands like Muse, 30STM, RATM, Enter Shikari and RHCP and so on, so there's no real need for a super high output, so maybe a Hot Slag for the bridge and a Rolling Mill in the neck?

I'll get a load of other paraphenalia off axetec as well, including one of these, which looks like it'll be really neat instead of having a jack plate:

#19
Great work, it is looking good.

On the neck, if you want to keep the original screw positions, you could get away with a little heel contour by using shorter screws for the twin on the head end. This would let you slope the heel. To do that, you have to use ferrules instead of a neck plate.

The oak looks good. I slight amber finish might be neat, especially with the gold knobs.
What type of pickup selector and wiring scheme will you use?
#20
Very nice I like. And the amber thing that cedricsmods said is masturbation worthy in my head, might be worth a thought.
Quote by slash11896
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#21
TS.

Whatever parts you want, have a look Here and if you want me to sort it out for you, then I can...see my sig.

I can also get Seymour Duncans, but I am also of the opinion that Irongear Pickups are very good.
Quote by Cal UK

...that's what Skeet always says anyway and he's a sex god.


Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list


I support Shay van Fani
I can supply WD Music, ABM and AllParts products to UK builders at DISCOUNTED prices!
#22
The knobs are only gold (well brass) because they haven't been chromed, if I leave them they'll go nasty

Quote by Skeet UK
TS.

Whatever parts you want, have a look Here and if you want me to sort it out for you, then I can...see my sig.

I can also get Seymour Duncans, but I am also of the opinion that Irongear Pickups are very good.


Um cheers man, but looking at things I think it'll be cheaper (and easier) to get it all from axetec, depending on what your WD discount is.

At axetec I'm looking at about 20 quid for:
Jack socket (the one I showed the pic of) - 4.95
Orange drop cap and treble bleed - 1.95
Strap buttons + felts - 2.45
Neck screws + ferrules - 3.95
String ferrules - 4.00
Pup rings - 1.38
Screws - 2.00
Total = £20.68

WD:
Socket - 5.50
Orange drop cap - 0.98 (then cap-res for treble bleed from maplin or summat)
Strap buttons + felts - 3.00
Neck ferrules only (no screws) - 3.14
String ferrules - 5.10
Pup rings - 3.00
Screws - 1.50
Total = £22.22 then discount

But I'd have to buy a spare set of neck screws from Yamaha for 4 quid.
And you'd have to post it to me (more costs) and I'd have to figure out how to pay you. So it's probably easier if I get this stuff myself, right?


Can you get deals on SD pickups? 110 quid for a set is looking a bit dear for me, but I might stretch to more tan the 50 quid Irongears would cost me =]
#23
Quote by lozlovesstrats
The knobs are only gold (well brass) because they haven't been chromed, if I leave them they'll go nasty


Um cheers man, but looking at things I think it'll be cheaper (and easier) to get it all from axetec, depending on what your WD discount is.

At axetec I'm looking at about 20 quid for:
Jack socket (the one I showed the pic of) - 4.95
Orange drop cap and treble bleed - 1.95
Strap buttons + felts - 2.45
Neck screws + ferrules - 3.95
String ferrules - 4.00
Pup rings - 1.38
Screws - 2.00
Total = £20.68

WD:
Socket - 5.50
Orange drop cap - 0.98 (then cap-res for treble bleed from maplin or summat)
Strap buttons + felts - 3.00
Neck ferrules only (no screws) - 3.14
String ferrules - 5.10
Pup rings - 3.00
Screws - 1.50
Total = £22.22 then discount

But I'd have to buy a spare set of neck screws from Yamaha for 4 quid.
And you'd have to post it to me (more costs) and I'd have to figure out how to pay you. So it's probably easier if I get this stuff myself, right?


Can you get deals on SD pickups? 110 quid for a set is looking a bit dear for me, but I might stretch to more tan the 50 quid Irongears would cost me =]


WD Sell neck screws dude.

Yeah, with that level of parts and price, it would be cheaper to do it your self, but I can get it sent directly to you. They do Kent Armstrong Pups which I can also get cheap...any you like there?

What SD's were you after and I can ask my other contact.

Payment is Paypal or bank transfer, so easy enough.
Quote by Cal UK

...that's what Skeet always says anyway and he's a sex god.


Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list


I support Shay van Fani
I can supply WD Music, ABM and AllParts products to UK builders at DISCOUNTED prices!
#24
Quote by Skeet UK
WD Sell neck screws dude.

Yeah, with that level of parts and price, it would be cheaper to do it your self, but I can get it sent directly to you. They do Kent Armstrong Pups which I can also get cheap...any you like there?

What SD's were you after and I can ask my other contact.

Payment is Paypal or bank transfer, so easy enough.


I'm getting pretty bewildered by the Kent Armstrong site - it's stupid they don't have a product page for each pickup type, then you choose colour etc later =S

I wouldn't mind trying out some higher output pups a la Matt Bellamy, but I'm a little unsure. Obviously my current setup in my tele is decidedly vintage, with a 59 and a Pearly Gates, but how much of the tone is my amp? (AD30VT - yes, great for practice, but I'd like a tube amp at some point)

Also I'm half thinking about making this a slightly drop tuned guitar, to say, D standard or something, just to get out of the box a little bit.

Basically there's just too much choice at the moment =S

How much could I expect to pay for say a Jazz SH-2 and a Custom TB-5?
Or a set of Full Shreds or summat? The name is off putting lol, I'm not a shredder, but the description sounds like exactly what I want... tonal control, articulation, definition and not too aggressive

HELP! I cannae decide =/

EDIT: maybe a custom 5 isn't the greatest idea
I'm expecting this to be rather trebly, what would you suggest to make it a little more balanced?
For an example, when I played a '72 Deluxe Tele, I had to turn the tone to about 5 before I got any tones I liked =/
Last edited by lozlovesstrats at Aug 15, 2010,
#27
Quote by Ippon
This is much better than what my 1st build will probably look like! What finish are you doing? Transparent White or Blonde?


Cheers man =] It's just a question of taking things slowly and making sure you've planned every cut before you make it. With the router, I literally followed each cut round with the router off to check that there were no obstructions etc before I even turned it on =]

As for finish, god only knows =] This oak is really porous, so any spray on finish is gonna need lots of care with grain filler etc. I'm considering an oil finish too, and there's some yacht varnish somewhere if I get desperate lol! I doubt I'll do a white, the wood isn't really pale enough... plus I've got a hankering for a white explorer at some point >=]

Quote by salgala2000
^ You can use a lower value tone pot


It's a possibility, but I'd like to have the pickups right first, to match the guitar. Changing the tone pot will probably tame the high end, but... yeah. The tele example was just to sort of show my preferences.

Bah if only I had the money for Nailbombs ='[

The SH-10 is a little worrying
Quote by Which pups? thread
...devastating to poor playing

Now I'd consider myself a pretty average guitarist, but I found that when I got my tele, the clarity in the pickups forced me to improve. Would it be the same for these?

The thing I hate most is muddiness!

I like the description of the SH-12 Screamin' Demon... but
Quote by Seymour Duncan
...for balanced and warm instruments


I'm seriously considerig waiting til results day and pleading that my awesome results mean I should be given lots of money for pickups lol.

EDIT: maybe a single Warpig or Nailbomb in the bridge until I have the money to buy another pickup? I may need a bank loan lol.
Last edited by lozlovesstrats at Aug 16, 2010,
#28
dude, thats pretty rad, it looks really good. i should build my own at some point too..., not jsut assemble one, LOL
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#29
Well... just ordered a set of Steam Hammers off axetec because they looked badass. That was most of my reasoning. =D

The rest was that I don't want to spend too much on a first build, at some point I want to do a full build, neck as well, and I'll make that one my uber guitar with nailbombs, gotoh 510 hardware and whatever other expensive stuff I can throw at it. =]

Pups were ordered with the rest of the stuff needed to complete the build (apart from finishing), that should arrive tomorrow/thursday, but it's doubtful that I'll actually do anything on it, it's results week and we're partying every night =]
#31
Great build man! I might have missed it in the comments if it was mentioned earlier, but there are some stuff you can do to the neck joint without moving the screws.

You can angle it towards the top-left corner:



Or just make the whole thing thinner, like on old Ibanez and now Caparisons:

#32
Could you maybe try to pencil the outline of the heel onto the neck? Just so we can estimate the potential for cutting it down.
#33
As far as your finish is concerned if you were going for a clear finish I really wouldn't recommend varnish, certainly for me it was a crap finish and I stripped it off and did it again with Tru-oil. However, I can see the grain being a major headache. With my ash body I used tru-oil grain filler and I really don't think that it had much of an affect. I'd really advise a trial before doing anything to the axe.

I've got the Hammerhead's which I believe sound very similar to the steam hammers, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at their quality.

Thrench
Ibanez AS73
Squier Blonde Standard Telecaster
Home built Telecaster Deluxe
Vox AC4TV amp
Vox V845 Wah Wah
Marshall reverb
Korg Pandora PX4 multi effects
Digitech Death Metal distortion pedal


God is busy, save yourselves!!!
#34
Well yesterday I went and saw Enter Shikari in Oxford, great show =D had a mega time

But before that, somethinmg arrived in the post:



Being made in Japan instantly makes anything like 1000 times cooler:



And the actual bridge:



Axetec/Irongear stuff might arrive today if I'm lucky.

Neck:



Joint:



There's quite a lot to play around with I suppose. I'll do it angled, I drew the top and bottom horns specifically so that they 'joined up' if you know what I mean. If you follow the lines with your eyes they flow from one to the other.
I think doing it by thinning the whole area would be a bit excessive, plus I'd want a router to do that, and the router's gone back the rental man.

I think an oil finish would be much better as well, just need to find the right stuff.

EDIT: Update, but seeing as I was last to post it's an edit.

Well the Axetec stuff has arrived today (yay!) but I've run into some problems.
Remember I said I'd undercut the neck by about 1mm?
Well it turns out, that thanks to what I'll politely term 'tolerances' the position of the neck screws on the neck itself are all over the place. This has left me with one neck screw which is only 8.5mm from the edge of the pocket, and yep, you guessed it, it's the one that's on the treble side, furthest from the bridge =C
The reason this is a problem, is because the neck ferrules are 14mm in diameter, so 7mm radius, so a measly 1.5mm clearance =[ It's just really annoying that a small error by me has been multiplied thanks to an enormous one at the Yamaha factory.
I'm going to have to try to find/make smaller diameter ferrules. And I've checked WD Music, 15mm OD.

Here's how close it is:



I'll explain how i got the dots there in another post, it's a helpful method if you've got a neck with holes already drilled in it.

On another note, the Axetec string ferrules are 10mm in diameter. Considering a normal hardtail has 10.5mm spacing they are huge, they'll look stupid all together. I suppose it would be fine with a string through TOM where you can place them in a nice fanned patterm, but it's not going to work for me. So the hunt is on for smaller string ferrules as well, I know they exist, the ones on my tele are 8mm. WD Music have 9.4mm OD ferrules.

Buh, not fun times. Axetec's refund policy is full of crap as well, I'll just keep the stuff and see if I can use it another time.

Anyway, here's a couple of mockups, haven't taken the plastic off the pups yet. Who was it said rings? I'm still liking hardmount...









I might make the pup rings matte black with the help of some wet and dry. gloss black isn't doing it for me at the moment. I'll wait until I've got a finish on it though.
Last edited by lozlovesstrats at Aug 18, 2010,
#35
Bummer. Running into more and more problems. The 12mm neck bushings still haven't arrived, and I need to order the 8mm string ferrules.

As it turns out, my nice neatly routed control cavity isn't deep enough, I can't quite get the nuts on the pots and the switch. Just route it a little deeper you say... but no, the router was on hire =[ Luckily the guys at the hire shop are really nice and will let me borrow it quickly so long as I bring all my stuff in and do it there =] Literally only needs 2mm more depth, pain in the backside.

I also noticed that the pickup cavities aren't quite central. It's not much, (1-2mm) but I know about it, so I have to fix it for peace of mind. It's marked out in the photos.

So in a nutshell, the only progress I've made in the past 3 or 4 days is drilling a couple of holes, yay =[
The connecting holes are quite nice though. I couldn't drill them any further down in the pockets, so I took a little off the bottom of the hole to allow the pickup cables to go through easily. Actually the hole going through to the control cavity splintered out, as there was no way I could clamp a piece of wood at the bottom to prevent it, so that's why there's quite a big curved area round that hole







Sorry about the terrible focus in these... turns out crappy digital cameras from about 6 years ago have no idea where you want it focussed.



#37
Couldn't you just use a hand drill with a somewhat wide drill bit to thin out the areas just around those holes in the cavity? So your cavity will be as it is now, but just a little thinner around the holes?
Last edited by Aziraphale at Aug 23, 2010,
#38
Quote by Aziraphale
Couldn't you just use a hand drill with a somewhat wide drill bit to thin out the areas just around those holes in the cavity? So your cavity will be as it is now, but just a little thinner around the holes?


That would have worked if I'd done it earlier. Any drill bit that wide has a pip in the centre so that it stays centred and doesn't shake around like a bitch., so once you've drilled a reasonably big hole first you can't use them. I could have hand chiselled but hey.

It doesn't matter anyway =D I took all my stuff in to the hire shop and the manager let me do it quickly free of charge in the back shed. He's a really nice guy, and his claim to fame is having made one of the moulds for the curved glass pieces at the ends of the pods of the London Eye =]

So a couple of mockups:
(No flash)






(Flash)


Told you this would be neat:

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