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matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#1
Hey all.

I thought i'd get round to documenting the guitar i've been building recently.
It's an ibanez S type body with Korina back and a maple front.

It's supposed to look similar to a J-custom with tree-of-life inlays on the fretboard and a quilted top, although my build quality might be a bit less impressive.

Here's some specs:

- 22 frets
- maple neck with rosewood fretboard
- korina body with maple cap
- H/S/H pickup configuration
- ibanez ZR trem (i scored off ebay).

This is my first post so go easy... i had a hard time finding info i needed so if anyone's looking and wants dimensions or blueprints i can probably help.

Here's the template for the body:



I got this off some random french website. After smuggling a set of calipers into a local guitar store to check on measurements, it seems about right to use.

More pics to come..
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#2
Here's the wood:


The top is bookmatched quilted maple i got a while back from northridge hardwoods. The Korina slab underneath is off ebay.

Here's the korina cut out:



Here's the body with some routing done:


The shallow routing is done to allow for the thickness of the maple going on the top.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#3
Here's the control cavity routed out:



Here's the rough guide i drew up of the trem routing:


I'm only routing the section here that goes all the way throught the body since the rest of the routing will be done once the maple's glued on top. This guide is done by eye using pictures of actual ibanez guitars as reference. I'll get around to doing up a proper version once i get to actually doing the routing.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#4
Here's the body routed and the top carved:





The bottom will also be carved but it's easier to do the routing and gluing while the bottom is flat.
littlephil
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2007
1,140 IQ
#5
Yummy!
Looks great so far! How thick is your top? I probably would have finished the trem routing on the top before carving too, but if you're using templates it shouldn't really matter.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#6
The top is 7mm thick, which is too thin to carve. It's a nice top and iv'e never liked the look of figured woods on anything other than carved tops. So i'm in the process of slowly steam bending it over the top of the korina. I'll bung some pics of the bending process up soon once i get them uploaded.
littlephil
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2007
1,140 IQ
#7
Nice. Make sure you're careful though! 7mm is probably as thick as I'd ever go trying to bend a top, I'd hate for you to break it or something, because that is one nice top
You should be fine though, just keep hitting it with steam and take your time.
guitaristren
UnRegistered User
Join date: Oct 2009
424 IQ
#8
Looking nice!

Quote by matt154
After smuggling a set of calipers into a local guitar store to check on measurements, it seems about right to use.

You sly one...

Stickied btw.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#9
Here's a pic of the guitar as it is now:



The middle part is being held in a hydraulic press to stop it from bowing up while it's bending. The edges are being held down by about a dozen spool clamps.

Learned the hard way that you need even pressure all around while bending a compound curve because the wood has a tendancy to ripple and crease. Also learned the hard way to keep the steam away from the glue line (being a bookmatched top).

Here's another view:

conor1148
Rhythm and jump.
Join date: Nov 2008
1,356 IQ
#10
oh damn, i like where this is going!
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RepBassCS
your head a splode
Join date: Aug 2009
65 IQ
#12
dude, that looks awesome. i love how the S series looks
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glenthemann
breifcase full of guts
Join date: Nov 2005
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#13
Could you explain the process of steaming the wood for the top?

My understanding of bending wood was that you place the wood in a jig and constantly apply the steam while slowing increasing the amount of bend until the wood is where you want it, but in this case it seems most of the wood is covered and im not sure how youre applying the steam?

Are you telling me theyre out of dragons?
They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
GET THIS GUY OUT OF HERE, FIND ME A DRAGON
littlephil
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2007
1,140 IQ
#14
^Well, clamping down in the middle keeps the top from moving around, plus the top isn't curved in the middle so only the outsides need to be bent.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#15
Quote by glenthemann
Could you explain the process of steaming the wood for the top?

My understanding of bending wood was that you place the wood in a jig and constantly apply the steam while slowing increasing the amount of bend until the wood is where you want it, but in this case it seems most of the wood is covered and im not sure how youre applying the steam?


I tried that way first but i ran into a number of problems. Since i don't have access to a proper steam bending box and jigs i had to make my own up which failed pretty badly. The glue line down the center of the maple gave way and the middle bowed out. Plus it wouldn't allow me to properly do the compound curve at the back.

Since i needed a way to get at the edges with clamps, i figured this way was better, since the middle is flat can be held by the press, i'm now able to slowly pull the edges down. It's more cold bending than steam bending, though i give it some steam occasionally using hot water. It's working well and i'm about 1mm away. Once it's flat i'll use a wedge to hold the gap open while put some glue in and then clamp it down again while it glues.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#16
Seeing as i need more clamps for the body (the spools clamps are giving up the ghost) it might be a while till i can glue.

In the meantime, i'll probably be working on the neck.

Here's the neck as it is now:



The neck itself is off a cheap ibanez RG copy and the inlaid fretboard i bought already done and slotted for frets from an ebay store in the UK. It's closer to a Jem inlay but i'm fine with that. Although i'm tossing up whether or not to pull it off and do my own neck since i originaly wanted it to be 5 ply with an angled headstock, maybe if i get bored while the body's bending...
Valkyrie_Design
Bass Bass Bass Bass Bass
Join date: Aug 2010
234 IQ
#17
Glad to see I`m not the only one on GB&C at 2am

BTW, nice build, I like where it`s going.....

Jake
Luna Phoenix, Kustom II bass amp, generic 15" PA speaker
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It`s my guitar, and if you don`t like it, well I don`t care if you like it now do I?
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#18
Just some extra stuff:

Pic of the ZR trem and other parts:



The trem came from ebay with all the additional parts. This includes the 'zero-point' spring system, the whammy bar and the locking nut.

I'm expecting the routing to be a pain seeing as there are no templates anywhere i could find. Although it seems pretty self-explanitory: the routing depths on the front will probably be similar to floyd or edge systems except the shape itself will follow the dimensions of the trem. The back spring system needs to be aligned once the trem unit is fitted in the front so that the bar going across on the spring system just rests against the felt pad on the end of the trem block.

I can probably get round to doing up a diagram of how this works incase anyone's interested..
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#19
Finally some progress...

Thanks all for the enthusiasm, so far things have slowed down because of the gluing but once the top is finished, then it's routing and sorting the neck joint which should be faster.
Bending and gluing the top is a nightmare so if you find yourself in such a position, i'd recommend against it. Better to go with a thick slab and carve it or use a proper veneer. Despite that the glue seems to be holding..





There are a couple of dried runs of glue and some rough edges but they should go with some sanding and when the edges of the maple are trimmed flush with the korina.

Btw i'm still tossing up what colour stain to do it in... iv'e already got a blue guitar so i might go with a deep blood red with some black around the edges.
Absent Mind
Celibate Porn Star
Join date: Apr 2006
259 IQ
#20
Very cool!

Make sure you do faux binding




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matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#21
Quote by Absent Mind
Very cool!

Make sure you do faux binding


Yeah i think i will have to, because routing for actual binding would be a pain. Although proper binding would help hide the glue joint... the neck's getting curly koa binding so it'd be nice if it could match..
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#23
Quote by archenemyfan
stickied!!!

this looks awesome



thanks, i'm sorta regretting having set such a high goal but hopefully if it pulls through, at the end i'll have plenty of experience and a kick-ass guitar to boot... never heard a korina/maple electric before...
deftonesordie
ENGL Fireball 100 Abuser
Join date: Oct 2007
513 IQ
#24
Quote by matt154
Btw i'm still tossing up what colour stain to do it in... iv'e already got a blue guitar so i might go with a deep blood red with some black around the edges.


I'd think a nice aqua-style burst could be awesome, Hit it with a nice blue, sand it back, and lay a nice light teal on top...
------

Shwiggity.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#25
Quote by deftonesordie
I'd think a nice aqua-style burst could be awesome, Hit it with a nice blue, sand it back, and lay a nice light teal on top...

Yeah sounds nice, it'd look like water then... i'll probably see how i feel about it when i get to the finishing stage. I'm kind of limited to the colous i can have since iv'e got a pretty basic selection of analine dyes, mixing up a teal color would be tricky. but the basic blue's pretty nice as it is..

since i've got some scrap maple left over i'll probably do up a bunch of different colours and see what people think..
the1967mustang
UG Newbie
Join date: Aug 2008
175 IQ
#26
Sweet. I'll have to keep up with this build. Looks really good so far!
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archenemyfan
UG Addict
Join date: Apr 2010
2,358 IQ
#27
Quote by matt154
thanks, i'm sorta regretting having set such a high goal but hopefully if it pulls through, at the end i'll have plenty of experience and a kick-ass guitar to boot... never heard a korina/maple electric before...


haha its ok,...well see,it could be a great combo.....
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#29
The top is finally glued... I ended up having to use epoxy to hold the bastard down because it kept wanting to lift. I also trimmed the excess maple around and gave it a quick sand around the edges. Looking good..





btw i used what's called a card scraper to finish the top. I heard on another forum somewhere that it is better than sandpaper on figured woods because it cuts cleanly and doesn't leave sawdust in the pores.. it gives a very nice smooth finish..

Pic of the back.. The maple top makes it convenient for mounting the pots and stuff in the control cavity



Next up is routing the pickup cavities and neck joint
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#31
Quote by littlephil
That top looks really nice!


Thanks, it was a birthday present from my dad some time ago. He got it at http://www.northridgehardwoods.com/PrivateStock.htm if anyone's interested. They've got some nice stuff that comes through occasionally that's a little better than their regular stuff.. you could liken it to prs's private stock. Not that i'm plugging for them or anything...
extra heavy
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2006
233 IQ
#32
This is a pretty sweet job man good work. What type of glue did you use to hold down the top of it just regular wood glue or something specific?
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#33
Quote by extra heavy
This is a pretty sweet job man good work. What type of glue did you use to hold down the top of it just regular wood glue or something specific?


I used regular titebond white glue for most of it but there was a bit which lifted towards the back where i had to use epoxy. The epoxy is just Araldite 2-part which i left set for about three days just to be safe..
extra heavy
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2006
233 IQ
#34
Quote by matt154
I used regular titebond white glue for most of it but there was a bit which lifted towards the back where i had to use epoxy. The epoxy is just Araldite 2-part which i left set for about three days just to be safe..

Nice So is it the way its clamped and steamed that gives it the arch top? I read in an earlyer post you had a little trouble with steaming so did you end up just doing it flat on the body?
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#35
Quote by extra heavy
Nice So is it the way its clamped and steamed that gives it the arch top? I read in an earlyer post you had a little trouble with steaming so did you end up just doing it flat on the body?


No, i carved the korina to the right shape first and the maple is bent and glued over the top of the korina
The top of an ibanez S is only curved around the edges so i could hold the middle down while i applied pressure and steam around the edges to pull it down until it met the korina, then i shoved some glue in the gap and clamped it while it set.

There's a pic put up before showing a side on view near the front where you can see the maple formed over the surface.
extra heavy
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2006
233 IQ
#36
Quote by matt154
No, i carved the korina to the right shape first and the maple is bent and glued over the top of the korina
The top of an ibanez S is only curved around the edges so i could hold the middle down while i applied pressure and steam around the edges to pull it down until it met the korina, then i shoved some glue in the gap and clamped it while it set.

There's a pic put up before showing a side on view near the front where you can see the maple formed over the surface.

Oh alright that makes sense. When you bought the neck what did you have to measure or know to make sure it fits becasue im looking into replacement necks and I was wondering if it was just scale length or if there are more things to it.( sorry to kinda go off topic. )
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#37
Quote by extra heavy
Oh alright that makes sense. When you bought the neck what did you have to measure or know to make sure it fits becasue im looking into replacement necks and I was wondering if it was just scale length or if there are more things to it.( sorry to kinda go off topic. )


Well scale length was the major factor, other than that the template i found had 22 frets and my neck had 24 so i had to chop some frets off. i could go with 24 but then i'd have to move pickups around to accomodate the extra length.

I'm not an expert, but if you're looking for a replacement neck the biggest concern would be scale length and neck joint type. Ibanez used to use a strat type neck joint, now they use what's called an AANJ. So if you have an older ibanez you might have to look into getting an older neck or find someone who makes that type of joint. (Strat necks might even work, i think the scale's the same)

Seeing as i'm making both the guitar body and modifying the neck to suit i don't really have to worry about joint compatibility, although making like an AANJ joint would help if i want to replace it someday.
extra heavy
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2006
233 IQ
#38
Quote by matt154
Well scale length was the major factor, other than that the template i found had 22 frets and my neck had 24 so i had to chop some frets off. i could go with 24 but then i'd have to move pickups around to accomodate the extra length.

I'm not an expert, but if you're looking for a replacement neck the biggest concern would be scale length and neck joint type. Ibanez used to use a strat type neck joint, now they use what's called an AANJ. So if you have an older ibanez you might have to look into getting an older neck or find someone who makes that type of joint. (Strat necks might even work, i think the scale's the same)

Seeing as i'm making both the guitar body and modifying the neck to suit i don't really have to worry about joint compatibility, although making like an AANJ joint would help if i want to replace it someday.


mmk thanks man so did you modify the necks inlays or just leave it as is?
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#39
Quote by extra heavy
mmk thanks man so did you modify the necks inlays or just leave it as is?


Apart from chopping the last two off and radiusing the fretboard which sanded them back a bit, no changes at all.
WinterSteel
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2008
157 IQ
#40
Oh wow, that top looks absolutely amazing! Blood red with a black burst would look absolutely killer on that!

Just...do the headstock the same way? Here's hoping you've got leftovers.

Also, interesting way of dealing with the neck. Means a bit of work with changing the drilling locations, but that's nothing hard. Love to see how this turns out.
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