Page 1 of 2
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#1
So, college wants a project out of me before the end of the academic year, and I've been needing a new guitar for quite a while now, and they have lots of lovely machines for me to make one on so we are all happy.

Specs:
neckthrough
Body and Neck: Ash
Fretboard: Bubinga (Love this stuff)
Hipshot Hardtail bridge
Bare Knuckle Nailbomb for the bridge and a diy sustainer in the neck
Sperzel locking tuners
Graphtec Tusq nut

I'm also doing a compound radius on the fretboard from 8" to 14"

So, Pics! I have none from when the wood was machined to when the fretboard was stuck on, but nevermind...



I really like this fretboard...



It seems the college has 3 bandsaws, and none of them have sharp blades. Pretty nasty burn from cutting the back of the neck, but hey, its the back of the neck.



Well, I had no way of cutting the fret slots, and I wasn't paying stewmac 50 quid for a mitre box, so I came up with this thing. Its basically a homemade mitre box that slides up and down the fretboard. It did the job but really needs improvement. Once its on the fretboard you can't see a damn thing that your doing so I had to draw lines with a square from the fret positions and try to line it up from underneath. It turned out ok in the end though.



Damn photo limit.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#2


The clamp holds the depth stop onto the saw, which in this case is a piece of wood.

Yeah, don't plane bubinga. or be very careful and use a very sharp plane.


Autocad Is your friend


Sooo, fret positions. I used a digital caliper as well, just forgot to take photos.




So far so good...


Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Last edited by Speckled_Hen at Mar 23, 2011,
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#4
Sorry about all the double/triple ect posting

Some pics of my crappy mitre box


When in doubt, cover up and fix all your mistakes with veneer!


Unrelated, but I made this grenade the other day too.


Anyway, Radius sanding is horrible. I'm going to make a router jig for this neck time.




Begone, Foul Dust!


Bandsawed the taper on the fingerboard, this was terrifying. Usual burn from the bandsaw but nm.



It was about this point that I realised I hadn't even thought about inlays or dots. The idea atm is to turn some of the leftover ash from the body on the lathe and use that for the dots, sort of like the necks coming through the fretboard. This isn't going so great atm, all the little bits of ash break. ideas?
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Lightbluemk2
New Zealand rep!
Join date: May 2010
816 IQ
#6
Despite the fact your bandsaw blades there are a bit rubbish, very clean work so far!
________________________________________

Chur
seano554
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2010
779 IQ
#7
that is pretty damn good looking! I love working with Ash, it's such a nice wood
how well does it work as a neck though? ya don't hear of ash necks often....
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#8
Quote by Lightbluemk2
Despite the fact your bandsaw blades there are a bit rubbish, very clean work so far!


They do see a lot of use, theres about 30 people qualified to used it, including me. I'll try to get some pics of the machines tomorrow. The bandsaw is utterly ginormous.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Calum_Barrow
(the return)
Join date: Apr 2004
1,255 IQ
#9
Shame about the saw burn, but some very neat work so far. Nice!
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#11
That workshop looks identical to the one at my old highschool, down to the bench vices and everything.
Also great job so far.
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#12
Quote by seano554
that is pretty damn good looking! I love working with Ash, it's such a nice wood
how well does it work as a neck though? ya don't hear of ash necks often....


Well, it seems to be going pretty well so far. Its a nice straight grained piece of wood, and I've heard of some people building bass necks from it so I figured it would be ok, I think the yanks make baseball bats from it too so it should be fairly strong. This is ordinary hard ash mind, not swamp ash. That probably wouldn't make a good neck.

Quote by matt154
That workshop looks identical to the one at my old highschool, down to the bench vices and everything.
Also great job so far.


Maybe they moved your old high school brick by brick to the other side of the world
Seriously though, you high school workshop looked like this?


Anyway, updates. I tried to find some maple today (thanks Jason) but there was none in a sensible size, so I moved onto a much smaller lathe and had another crack at the ash dots.


The outcomes. I think you can tell which ones are the good ones and which ones flew off the lathe at 150mph.




Ah Picture limit. How I love you.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Calum_Barrow
(the return)
Join date: Apr 2004
1,255 IQ
#13
Nice use of the ash there!
I turned some control knobs for mine with some scrap bits of wood but decided against using them in the end. Might dig them out and have another look actually...
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#14
I thought at this point I should probably get on with the body, so back to the wood raper itself:




Body Shape



The pickup wires are going down here, saves me buying a super long drill bit




That bottle of glue is the last bit of titebond we have left. I made sure that I got it and didn't have to use PVA.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#15
I really do take far too many photos...

Quote by Calum_Barrow
Nice use of the ash there!
I turned some control knobs for mine with some scrap bits of wood but decided against using them in the end. Might dig them out and have another look actually...


I glad that you are reconsidering I can't get the camera to focus on the dots, but the grain of the ash is all pointing in the same direction as the grain in the fretboard. Maybe It'll work better when I sand them down.

Look whos got a second bubinga fretboard blank!


Chiselled out the nut slot today too. Happened to have a chisel of exactly the right size. I love the rare times that happens


Tuners are it this one too. All the hardware is black

Sorry about the blurry photo, this is the best I have of the nut.


No more updates now until monday, cause of the weekend and I get fridays off
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Last edited by Speckled_Hen at Mar 24, 2011,
xstillspinninx
McNubbin
Join date: Dec 2007
557 IQ
#17
Looks great so far, but isn't ash in a neck a no-no, and how the hell are you going to negotiate that 1" step down from fretboard to headstock?
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#18
Quote by xstillspinninx
Looks great so far, but isn't ash in a neck a no-no, and how the hell are you going to negotiate that 1" step down from fretboard to headstock?

Why is it a big no no?

I wasn't too bothered about that step, but I can build it up with some more layers of ash if its really going to harm things
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
xstillspinninx
McNubbin
Join date: Dec 2007
557 IQ
#20
I dont think it's strong enough, Warmoth doesn't offer it as a neck option so I'd personally be a bit concerned.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
vodkanoodle
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2008
537 IQ
#21
Firstly, and most importantly, I think I speak for everyone here: you can NEVER have too many pictures! Keep posting.

And nice work so far. Keen to see how this turns out. You seems to be so chilled about the whole thing like its not all that difficult to build a good guitar! I like the confidence man.
Nutter_101
...
Join date: Aug 2006
1,826 IQ
#22
Quote by xstillspinninx
I dont think it's strong enough, Warmoth doesn't offer it as a neck option so I'd personally be a bit concerned.


A fair few luthiers make necks out of ash, Michael Tobias definitely does.

I don't think he needs to worry.
In the bass chat:

<Jon> take the quote of me out your sig plx
<Jon> i hate seeing what i said around lol


Leader of the Bass Militia PM to join!



And now on BANDCAMP!


Officially the funniest member of the Bass Forum.
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#23
Well, this particular piece of ash is pretty damn strong, I'm actually surprised that I haven't managed to dent it at all yet, as I usually somehow do.

According to wikipedia, ash apparently has a hardness of 1320, which is harder than walnut, and MUCH harder than both african and honduran mahogany. Plus this is a pretty straight grained piece so I figure that I'll probably be ok when it comes to warping and twisting. We'll see how it turns out.

With the headstock I can always build up the face side with more ash and plane the extra from the other side to get it to a manageable thickness, If its too weak I'll leave space for some steel rods inside the headstock, sort of like mini truss rods.

Quote by vodkanoodle
And nice work so far. Keen to see how this turns out. You seems to be so chilled about the whole thing like its not all that difficult to build a good guitar! I like the confidence man.

My course is in cabinet making, and this is way more fun than making tables and surprisingly easier...
I don't want to sound like I know it all but thanks, we'll see how it goes.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Last edited by Speckled_Hen at Mar 24, 2011,
xstillspinninx
McNubbin
Join date: Dec 2007
557 IQ
#25
Quote by Speckled_Hen
According to wikipedia, ash apparently has a hardness of 1320, which is harder than walnut, and MUCH harder than both african and honduran mahogany. Plus this is a pretty straight grained piece so I figure that I'll probably be ok when it comes to warping and twisting. We'll see how it turns out.

Hardness =/= Strength. Flexural modulus is what you're looking for, and it is lower than the normal neck woods. Just trying to help, but either way its good practice and I'm sure it'll work for at least a while.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
Last edited by xstillspinninx at Mar 29, 2011,
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#26
I know what you mean there, I was just going for a general figure, thanks anyway.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
nowa90
Strike the Earth!
Join date: Mar 2008
2,127 IQ
#28
If the truss rod does it job too, you'll be fine. If yo do see warping (which I doubt) just switch to lighter gauge. Looking god though, I need to make an explorer soon....
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#30
Its one of those hot rod double truss rods they sell at stewmac, so I'm pretty sure it'll hold out.
Thats actually the reason that theres that massive drop on the headstock, according to their instruction you have to have the adjusting nut at the bottom, so I cut away enough so i could get the Allen key to it.

Also +1 to the explorer love

EDIT: Major, major edit.

So, managed to get the body cut out, and look, no burn!



The body is a bit smaller than normal, sort of a 7/8ths normal size which i should probably have compensated for as the longer neck makes it look tiny...


Levelling the body with a scraper plane. Great tool.



Sanded down the dots. Sorry for the blurry photos, the camera will not focus on them



Anyway, time to fix that headstock. I thought up a few different solutions for this, recessing the tuning pegs so they'd stick out more, cutting this one of and going for an angled headstock, or building it up and reinforcing it. I chose the last one in the end. These metal bars are going into the neck/ headstock area, and are fixed in with silicon.

Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Last edited by Speckled_Hen at Mar 30, 2011,
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#31
Forgot to photo it but I chiselled out a nice tight channel for each rod in the back of this piece of wood, lots of silicone went in with the rods so they won't be going anywhere.





The veneer is just to fill in a small gap caused by the rods between the old and new parts of the headstock, I didn't want to chisel any more wood away from the channels or else they would too thin and would be useless. It shouldn't affect the structural integrity of my botched together headstock, I'm sure the titebond seeped through it.



Extra little piece of headstock so I can cut it to the right shape



Truss rod access hole, I'll do a cover later too.



Now that I've finished hideously botching my headstock, I'll try to get the tuner holes drilled tomorrow. Also, I just thought of a solution to my small body, but I'm saving that for later :P
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Lightbluemk2
New Zealand rep!
Join date: May 2010
816 IQ
#32
Nice solution, looking forward to seeing more

edit: how about you thickness the body down until its rather thin, then glue basically a scaled up version of that design on the bottom, then use a rasp to fade them in togeather, you'll have a cool carved top that way too
________________________________________

Chur
Last edited by Lightbluemk2 at Mar 31, 2011,
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#33
Ah god its been a while. My idea with the body was to plane the top down quite a bit, cut out a larger version like a cap and then bend and glue dark veneer round the body side to take up the remaining space. Or I could just leave out the top altogether. In the end I decided that it wasn't small enough to worry about anyway :P

So, lots of news. Got the tuning peg holes drilled, made a little template first so I didn't **** it up royally.



Shaped the neck and then the heel







Sorry about not having any good pics of the finished neck, I'll get some tomorrow.
Carved the belly and leg contours too



Also done today, routed most of a roundover and the control cavity. Pics come tomorrow
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#34
As promised, neck pics.




Had to use a forstner bit to cut the control cavity, as the routers were all being used :/



20 mins of chiseling later...



And the wire slot from earlier on


Bridge located and screwed in


Next thing on the list is the holes for the strings to go through the body.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
matt154
Subtle Overdrive
Join date: Jan 2007
230 IQ
#35
Damn this so nice. The grain on the heel area looks awesome. My browser keeps dieing on this page though and i can't see the last couple of pics. Keep up the great work, i can't wait to see the end result.
wolvenrick
rock n f'in roll
Join date: Nov 2008
720 IQ
#37
that thing looks smooth. i love this thread! you've got so many pictures that i now have more of an idea what i takes to make a guitar by myself. i've seen many thread if builds but none of them show it the way yours does. sincerely, thank you!
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#38
^ Thats the nicest thing you could of said
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
xstillspinninx
McNubbin
Join date: Dec 2007
557 IQ
#39
Dope ass dude, that neck looks sexy.
Chain:
Fingers -> Schecter Damien FR -> Fulltone OCD -> ABY Box -> Bugera V22 / Peavey 6505+
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#40
Alright, I know this has been over a year since I last posted in here (and finished the guitar) and that this is a massive necrobump, but I forgot to post the rest of the photo's until yesterday and I thought I better do that before I come out of hibernation for another build.
So, a year and a half after it was finished, the rest of my explorer:

I pick up just where I let off, with the bridge. These next couple of photos are blurry, sorry about that, my camera wouldn't focus. The problem I had is that hipshot had send the bridge with the wrong type of screws, and the heads stuck out and messed up the bridge saddles. I emailed them and they basically told me to go down the shop and buy some new one, which was shitty of them seeing as they mucked up and the thing wasn't cheap to begin with. Alas.



Lovely pic of that clamp. Thanks, camera. Anyway, you can see how the saddle tilts to the side from where the hipshot screw gets underneath it.



String holes drilled. Just put the bridge on and drilled from there, no template needed



Shiny fretboard pics. I sanded up to 400 and then went over it with some wire wool. These are after a few coats of tru-oil, to protect the ash dots.





Fretting time. Started with just the hammer but I found that that dented the frets a bit much, so I found a bit of some dense hardwood and hit that instead. It worked pretty well.




My end nipping plier things. Just got a normal set of these and ground the face flat like stewmac's ones. They worked perfectly and I have no idea why anyone buys the ones from stewmac.
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.