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Droste
.
Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#1
Welcome!
So finally after dubbing for a looong time I decided to start building. I was going to build a Les Paul but decided to go with the Explorer.

Specs? Specs!

Mahogany body.
Mahogany neck.
MOP inlay’s.
Fiber optic side dots!
2 humbuckers (EMG’s, to kill all of the natural tone of the mahogany, enter shitstorm).
Sperzel tuners.
Graph Tech Tusk 12mm nut.
Jumbo frets.
Tonepro’s bridge & tail piece.
And probably some more which I forgot to write down.

I’ve been building now since January but also took long breaks for I didn’t know how to continue and budgetary reasons.

Along the way I found myself making heaps of stupid mistakes, like, not gluing the fret board on before trimming the neck. Or making a chip out with the router… oh well, rookie mistakes.

So, of we go then:



Here we have the wood.




I printed some templates en was trying out headstocks. I decided to go with the Ken Lawrence one.



Unfortunately I can’t cut the body out of the wood I got so I had to improvise.






I cut some wood, I glued some wood and got some result!



Bought myself a router.
Droste
.
Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#2

I cut the headstock at 13 degrees, I filled the cuts up with glue and sawdust, didn’t like the result though.



Routing the body to the template, looks like a beard somehow.



Rookie mistake...



Pup routs!



Gluing the headstock!



The black spot is the glue with sawdust, I don’t like it as I said, I routed it away later on.



What I should have done here is buy a fret board and glue it onto the neck the way the neck was right there and then. Oh well, thing to remember for the next build.





Had to build myself a new tool.
Droste
.
Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#3

Routing the neck to make it straight and get rid of that black stuff.



Truss route, also made little errors as you can see.



It does fit though!



Shaping the neck.





Added some wood for the point, was quite difficult to find because I wanted the grain to follow the same direction.





Shaping the headstock.
Droste
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Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#4


Added some wood so I have the correct height for when fitting the neck to the body.





I created the 2 degree neck angle on the neck itself as opposed to the body.






Routed the neck pocket.
Droste
.
Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#5






Test fitting!




I got some copper wire isolation to put in as side dot and hold the fiber (I have no clue if it is plastic or glass fiber)
Droste
.
Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#6






As I did not have any more wood I decided to ruin someone’s stairs so I could make some veneer for my headstock.
Droste
.
Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#9



Glued the fret board.



Unfortunately 1 fiber got jammed or something and broke, I still was ok to send light through but in comparison to the other fibers I only got about 60-70% light out of it and that was enough reason for me to redo it. So I ironed the board for about 30 minutes and with a knife ripped through the glue and fibers





New side dots and fibers. I made the route in the neck bigger so the fibers would fit in more easily. Then I put heat shrinks around the fibers under the board so they are kept together tighter.
M_16A
^^ i'm a gun
Join date: Jan 2008
418 IQ
#11
dude, for a first guitar build this looks like you've been doing it for years! are the fibers going to connected to a light source some how or something?
"It's not about who has the biggest stick, it's about how hard you can swing it"
Droste
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Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#12
Quote by metalhead352
lookin great man. Love the fiber optics by the way.

Thanks!

Quote by M_16A
dude, for a first guitar build this looks like you've been doing it for years! are the fibers going to connected to a light source some how or something?

Wow thanks man!
The light source will be 1 LED in a little tube in which I will feed the fibers.


This is the current situation. It is a power LED, I have some more which are less bright. This won't be the one I will use, much too bright.
M_16A
^^ i'm a gun
Join date: Jan 2008
418 IQ
#13
man that is freakin sweet! i want that on my guitars! i've seen steve vai has a guitar that has inlays that light up but i thought that was too much but that is just right and its freaking awesome!
"It's not about who has the biggest stick, it's about how hard you can swing it"
n1ckn1ce
Slight douchebag.
Join date: Nov 2010
223 IQ
#15
First build? are you sure? it looks really ambious, but i t seams seams to turn really well. what finish?
Pikka Bird
Jack of no trades
Join date: Apr 2006
40 IQ
#19
You're definitely not one to be knocked out by challenges. I really like that. And it's coming out great.

I think the Explorer body basically always has the big wing glued on- a one-piece blank would have ludicrous amounts of excess wood.

Are you going to use pickup rings? Because I think the pickup routes are just a little wobbly. Perhaps nect time the template should get a little more work.
Droste
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Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#20
Quote by Wisthekiller
My god... Please do an "ExplorerBuilder" style picture (outside in the grass, being all sexy) when you're done. Yours is the only one that can even come close to matching his so it's a necessity.

Haha, I will try to remember it!

Quote by n1ckn1ce
First build? are you sure? it looks really ambious, but i t seams seams to turn really well. what finish?

First build indeed.
I'm not going to paint the wood, to be really honest, I don't know anything about finishes yet. All I know is you need to put something on the wood or else it will stain with grease etc.

Quote by michaelbot9000
excellent, keep going
fiber optics getting me excited

Quote by RiffYourFaceOff
This looks really really good. Amazing work on the fiber optics!

Quote by User_Name336
wow. this is looking amazing...

Thanks guys.

Quote by Pikka Bird
You're definitely not one to be knocked out by challenges. I really like that. And it's coming out great.

I think the Explorer body basically always has the big wing glued on- a one-piece blank would have ludicrous amounts of excess wood.

Are you going to use pickup rings? Because I think the pickup routes are just a little wobbly. Perhaps nect time the template should get a little more work.

Thank you so much.
I had planned before I started building to use pick up rings. I have to agree with you about how they turned out.
When I made them they were fairly tight but also tight as in I couldn't get a pick up in them. So I had to make the route somewhat bigger, and to be honest I'm not that good with a router yet so I may have drifted a little. But still, all should be covered by a pick up ring.

Same thing with the route for the fiber optics. I made that with a special Dremel tool so you can use it as a router, but then again, with the fretboard over it nobody can spot it.


Right now I am fiddling with some inlay designs so the momentum of the build is going down. Also I want to try and design the same control cavity like explorerbuilder. I want the knobs in the same lay out as the 84 and ESP explorers. The plans I have are for the 76 explorer. The ESP explorer's are somewhat pointier and the lower horn is slightly longer if I am not mistaken.
metalhead352
UG's bacon strips
Join date: May 2011
50 IQ
#22
Quote by Pikka Bird
Wooden pickup rings, perhaps? You know you want to, hm?

dude. yes.
*insert witty statement here*
robertito696
Cybernetic Comp. Organism
Join date: Oct 2008
140 IQ
#23
Quote by Pikka Bird
Wooden pickup rings, perhaps? You know you want to, hm?

Seconded.

That's fantastic for a first build.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
nowa90
Strike the Earth!
Join date: Mar 2008
341 IQ
#24
How the heck is this only your first build? Its awesome. I can tell you did your research, you did everything correctly so far.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
xadioriderx
Gnome from Wiring Thread
Join date: Jan 2011
166 IQ
#26
everyone else has already said, very ambitious for a first build. way to jump into it!
one thing i noticed. did you cover the truss rod before gluing the fretboard? didnt look like it, i could be wrong. but all that glue will go straight to the rod and glue it in place, not a good thing! although numerous people have done it that way. i just did my first one, and it just takes pushing a little tape down and over the truss rod to keep it clean =)

i have to admit, every few pictures i was like "ohhh crap heres where it takes a bad turn..." , but suddenly in the next picture the issue would be cleaned up nicely!

thumbs up for your first build!
Droste
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Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#27
Quote by Pikka Bird
Wooden pickup rings, perhaps? You know you want to, hm?

Very tempting!

Quote by xadioriderx
everyone else has already said, very ambitious for a first build. way to jump into it!
one thing i noticed. did you cover the truss rod before gluing the fretboard? didnt look like it, i could be wrong. but all that glue will go straight to the rod and glue it in place, not a good thing! although numerous people have done it that way. i just did my first one, and it just takes pushing a little tape down and over the truss rod to keep it clean =)

i have to admit, every few pictures i was like "ohhh crap heres where it takes a bad turn..." , but suddenly in the next picture the issue would be cleaned up nicely!

thumbs up for your first build!

The first time I actually did cover the truss, but I forgot to do so this time. It moves perfectly though.
Droste
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Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#28

Inlay blocks! They're about the size of the 1st fret, so plenty of material to work with. 10 pieces.

After trying out some inlays I've decided to go with a pulse which goes to a flat line and into a pulse again. Something about an accident I had earlier this year.

Other things I came up with were the ten plagues of Egypt. But that turned out way too busy to look at. Then I went with pistons but that just didn't really work out.
IronMaiden76
UG's Krabby Patty
Join date: May 2009
170 IQ
#29
i dig this build! but one question... what's the additional triangle on the headstock for?
Call me Chris
Quote by jimihendrix6699
had a blast until the person in front of me whipped out his dick and started pissing all over the floor..

Ducks and guitars or fish and guitars. I lead a simple existence
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
110 IQ
#31
F'in sweet! You have made some great choices for your guitar. Good wood working skillz too.
Pikka Bird
Jack of no trades
Join date: Apr 2006
40 IQ
#32
Quote by IronMaiden76
i dig this build! but one question... what's the additional triangle on the headstock for?

Nothing except for kickass looks. It's the Ken Lawrence headstock.
Droste
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Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#33
Quote by n1ckn1ce
when do you think it will be done? :P

I have no clue. But I'm close to the finish.
Droste
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Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#34


So I just made the inlay for the 1st fret. It was a real hassle to make it. Took me like an hour to cut it out completely. Also snapped a bit on the left side of the inlay.

I just need to get used to the fretsaw and it'll come more easy then.
Beastmuffin
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2011
10 IQ
#38
This is looking really sweet so far. You wouldn't mind if I used the fiber optic idea, would you?
Droste
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Join date: May 2011
40 IQ
#40
Quote by GandalfWh1te
Hey Droste impressed with your build so far, nice work.

I'd love to have a crack at the fibre optic fret dots idea, can you tell me where you got you're F.O cable?

Cheers

Sure! I bought them off Conrad electronics. Conrad.com

Quote by Beastmuffin
This is looking really sweet so far. You wouldn't mind if I used the fiber optic idea, would you?

Ofcourse you can! Like Pikka Bird says, it's not actually my idea. Good luck!

I didn't show it on the photos but I used tiny heat shrinks where a new fiber would join the bundle. So in stead of the tape I used the first time I put heat shrinks on those locations. I did not heat shrink them but just took the correct size to keep them tightly together.
I tested a fiber with a heat shrink around in and put a lighter under it but the fiber started oozing and then it won't carry light. Still, I have no clue if it is a plastic or genuine glass fiber. But I don't care too much, the result is cool.
Last edited by Droste at Aug 27, 2011,
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