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-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#1
So I'm embarking on a project to build a new guitar, and I figured it would be a good idea to start one thread here for any questions about stuff I come across, and to post pictures and such for you all.

Here's my current plan:
- Padauk body (natural finish)
- Padauk/Pau Ferro neck (order from Warmoth)
- H/H pickup config (Bridge: Dimarzio AT-1; Neck: Either Reilander Muckbucker or GFS Dream 180)
- Gotoh/Wilkinson VS-100N Bridge
- Vol/Vol/Tone wiring, w/push-pull tone pot for coil tap
- "Burn" switch (mini toggle, bypasses volume pot on bridge pickup to output at full capacity)

And in case anyone wants to see the body shape, I've already sketched out a template (inspiration for the body was taken by crossing a PRS with a Suhr Modern. I think it turned out well):



I should be getting the wood within the next few days, and then I can start! Chances are, I'll have to join two thinner pieces of wood together to get enough thickness for the routs, but it should all work out in the end.
Last edited by -Blue- at Dec 26, 2011,
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#5
Thanks, guys! Visited a few lumber yards today, one of which is closed for the day so I'll have to go back tomorrow. However, I found a great 2" thick board that looks fantastic; I'll be getting that assuming nothing at the other lumber yard surpasses it.

Also, I know I've seen some diagrams with exact dimensions of pickup and trem routs for an HH guitar (with distances from the neck pocket), could anyone link me one of these? I've tried Googling and searching the forums and have somehow come up blank.
Last edited by -Blue- at Jan 2, 2012,
nowa90
Strike the Earth!
Join date: Mar 2008
2,137 IQ
#6
There's a template thread somewhere, if not just buy them from Stewmac. You'll only need to buy one humbucker one, and then one also for the trem. They are spot on and you can't beat it....For the spacing, I do about 1/4 of an inch or so (from fretboard, and bridge), its all preference.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#8
Thanks! I got some templates for a humbucker, the trem cavity, and the neck pocket. I know stewmac's neck pocket template is made to be too large, so i figure I'll pad it with tape and cut it smaller until the neck I ordered gets here (as per stewmac instructions).

Also, did I hear wood pictures?






Took all of them with my phone, but as you might be able to see, it's a truly striking piece of wood. Beautiful red color; my phone's camera really doesn't do it justice at all. Only have to do one join to get the right width, since it's already 2" deep, which is more than I'll need. Now to figure out how to get that grain to look best with the join...
GandalfWh1te
UGs only Gandalf
Join date: Mar 2010
234 IQ
#10
Thats a very nice plank, look forward to seeing it evolve into a guitar

I did a little research on Padauk and was wondering how you plan on finishing it ? I read that it reacts pretty strongly to UV and won't stay that pretty red color for very long if exposed to sunlight. I even read somewhere that you can apply armorall before finishing to prevent color fade!! Much/ any truth to this?
nowa90
Strike the Earth!
Join date: Mar 2008
2,137 IQ
#11
i was just going to ask if s/he knew about it, but judging by the bottom picture its already "browned out"
I bought a little peice that i will someday use in the middle of a guitar, and it started from orangey red to a darkish brown, almost like a mahogany thats been darkened.
Just call me Julius, J, etc.
Taking an Internet break for a while, will come on when I can.
Papabear505
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
199 IQ
#13
Quote by GandalfWh1te
. I even read somewhere that you can apply armorall before finishing to prevent color fade!! Much/ any truth to this?

DO NOT PUT ARMOUR ALL ON ANY UNFINISHED WOOD!!!

unless you plan on finishing it with it.. because once you put it on there, it's done. You won't get anything to stick to it..

I'm not even a guitar builder and I know that.. Not sure where you read that Gandalf, but I'd delete it... cuz it's bad advice...

I see explorerbuilder beat me to it..
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#14
Quote by nowa90
i was just going to ask if s/he knew about it, but judging by the bottom picture its already "browned out"

I do know about it, and that picture isn't representative of it's current color. It's quite red right now. However, I'm embracing it. I saw some older padauk in the store (one of the staff had made a bowl) where the color had turned more brown and it was still stunning. So no UV protection, just a standard finish.

And for the record, I'd probably coat the guitar in SPF 100 before I'd finish it with armorall I'm using some sort of glossy finish on the body with an oil on the neck, if anything (I've read the neck can remain unfinished... wary, but I'll see how it feels when it gets here).
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#16
^which templates?

Today was a mixture of cleaning power tools and using them. I had already cut the board into 2 pieces, and now both pieces are 1 13/16" thick and being joined into a blank. I think the color of the wood shows better in these pictures, too, except the one on the left looks more orange than it is.





Also, back to the finishing, there are some finishes that contain UV inhibitors that I've discovered, but nothing will completely stop UV effects from happening. So I may use one of those, I may not. We'll see.
Last edited by -Blue- at Jan 1, 2012,
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#17
Time for another update! Got the body traced onto the blank and then got a rough cutout. I've still got lots of sanding to do (doesn't look like much, but padauk is a very hard wood), but it's nice to see the shape in wood finally.





And the grain on the sides looks spectacular! There's some burn marks from the bandsaw right now, but you can definitely see it. Can't wait to see how the arm contour ends up looking...



-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#19
Also thought I'd share some findings on finishes for this that I'm researching. I've come across two different products that have been recommended for finishing padauk, one of which is a poly finish (link here) and the other being teak oil (link here). Can anyone attest to the UV protection of either of these, or suitability as a guitar finish feel/tone-wise?
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#20
Minor update, I've got the body sanded down to the actual shape now. Looks very smooth, sadly I don't have pictures yet, and progress will be slow from here on out as I'm off of break from college So progress will be made on weekends, luckily my house is only 20 minutes away.

However, I've come across a problem. I had originally been thinking 2 vol/1 tone pot, but the switch I got only allows for one volume control (megaswitch E model). So now that I'm down to 1 vol/1 tone, which I'm fine with, is there any cool wiring mod I can do with the extra pot?
bj_squeelie
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2010
1,009 IQ
#21
You could use 2 different tone pots, for example one on the bridge pickup and one master tone with different capacitor values. I have absolutely no idea what filtering the signal with two different caps would do. But it sounds like an idea to try. ^.^


Also...

Nice wood.
My Gear:
Schecter Hellraiser FR Special.
EpiG400 lefty w/Dimarzio X2N/ Irongear Hot Slag
Peavey 6505+112 (head)
2x12 Cab w/ WGS v30 / gt65
GFS Tuner
TS-9 (Keeley ish mod)
Dunlop GCB-95 Wah truebypass
ICP Gstring Decimator
Speckled_Hen
Dr Monkey Pants
Join date: Mar 2009
243 IQ
#22
Lovely looking body you've got there. That red wood looks fantastic.

One thing confuses me though. Whats this burn switch your talking about? A pot turned all the way up has a resistance of 0 ohms, which does provide max output. How is bypassing it going to do anything other than that?
Was lacking a decent sig. Still is.
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#23
Thanks for the comments, guys!

Quote by Speckled_Hen
One thing confuses me though. Whats this burn switch your talking about? A pot turned all the way up has a resistance of 0 ohms, which does provide max output. How is bypassing it going to do anything other than that?


I don't know the specifics of how it works, I just know that I've seen it done and can hear the difference very clearly. It sounds like it has a bit more high end/attack to it than simply putting the knobs on 10. I think it has something to do with the fact that simply passing through the pots colors/degrades the signal, but I'm fairly new to wiring so someone else may have a better explanation. All I know is based on sound.
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#25
It's been a while since an update, but... good news! The neck I ordered from warmoth should be coming in today! I'll be able to get to the house this weekend to check it out and start doing some routing (I've been holding off on that part until I have the actual neck, just to be sure all measurements are as accurate as possible). Pictures will be posted come the weekend.

Also, another advantage of the "burn" is that since I use the volume and tone knobs to get certain sounds, I can switch from a full-on rock sound to a setting that uses the knobs' settings and any of the pickups with the flip of a switch. Fairly good option, especially now that I'm down to one volume pot.
GandalfWh1te
UGs only Gandalf
Join date: Mar 2010
234 IQ
#29
Dang looking sweet blue, liking the shape very much.

Will you be doing a carved top or arm/ belly contours?

Also papabear if you read my post correctly you would realise I was asking if anyone heard of using armorall NOT advising TS to do so; I thought it was abit of a far out idea, so I asked.
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#32
Thanks all!

Quote by GandalfWh1te
Dang looking sweet blue, liking the shape very much.

Will you be doing a carved top or arm/ belly contours?

Thanks! No carved top, as this is my first build and I'm scared of screwing that up somehow, but I will be doing arm and belly contours. And a PRS-esque contour on the lower horn, though i'm still debating on that.
n1ckn1ce
Slight douchebag.
Join date: Nov 2010
2,348 IQ
#33
^Seems your doing the sames contours as me
I was debating wether or not put the scoop on the lower horn, but I did and i dont rtegret it. Link in sigf if you want to know how mine came up
-Blue-
Sarcastic block of color.
Join date: Dec 2007
2,385 IQ
#34
Just got done doing some more work this weekend... did the most crucial rout, the neck pocket. Measured for centering about 30 times before I finally clamped it down and routed the edges to finish it off

First, taking out a bunch of material with a Forstner (started on the neck pickup rout a bit too... didn't finish that one though)...


Then was working with the Stewmac template for the edges. It comes oversized, so I had to tape the insides of it... but I didn't want the router bit to get gummed up with tape and screw up the whole thing. So I made another template from MDF, screwed the templates together, took the tape off the Stewmac one, and used the MDF to guide the router bit (thinking about it, the clear one simply provided the right center line after I attached the MDF one).





This is the difference in size between the Stewmac template and the actual neck pocket. No me gusta, Stewmac...


...But anyways.
Viban
UG's resident bum
Join date: Nov 2011
1,669 IQ
#37
thats one sexy lookin' red guitar, maybe some clearcoat to go on it? and maybe black hardware?
Mufassa
Real Pimpin goin on
Join date: Feb 2012
55 IQ
#38
Quote by Speckled_Hen
Lovely looking body you've got there. That red wood looks fantastic.

One thing confuses me though. Whats this burn switch your talking about? A pot turned all the way up has a resistance of 0 ohms, which does provide max output. How is bypassing it going to do anything other than that?


You are miss informed..

What he calls a volume bypass is also called a solo mod and the sound true 100% volume.. as the signal.. even passing through a pot turned to max still has a tad bit of resistance...

I have this mod on my guitar but I use a push/pull pot.. The reason I decided on the mod is because I really got tired of playing rhythm and hitting my volume knob..volume kept on getting quieter and quieter.. really REALLY annoying..

The solo mod and a kill switch made me a happy guitarist..

<edit>
Nice build btw.. i think I have a woody
</edit>
#1 2001 MII Jackson DK-2
#2 1995 MIK modded Fender squire
#3 2001 MIK Squier Stagemaster Deluxe
#4 2007 MIJ DKMG/DXMG Jackson
#5 1985 MIA Gibson SG Special
#6 1999 MIK ESP LTD M107
Last edited by Mufassa at Feb 11, 2012,
GandalfWh1te
UGs only Gandalf
Join date: Mar 2010
234 IQ
#40
Also, another advantage of the "burn" is that since I use the volume and tone knobs to get certain sounds, I can switch from a full-on rock sound to a setting that uses the knobs' settings and any of the pickups with the flip of a switch. Fairly good option, especially now that I'm down to one volume pot.


^ Sounds like a useful feature to have, but whilst we're on the topic, you might like to know another way to do this, its a tone pot made by fender that has no load when turned up fully.

They're expensive though (like $13) so You can make you're own with a CTS pot and nail polish. No-load mod for a CTS pot