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#1
I'm stepping up my game for this one; I'm going to build the body. I'm also going for a tremelo and a couple of pickups so there's a marked increase in complexity.

The basic idea is to build a guitar that is LP-shaped, but has the body profile of the Ibanez S-series. I've had this idea in my head since before my first build but I'm only just getting around to it. The main reason is that I've finally given up on being able to get a ZR trem and have settled for a Floyd. Once again, I'm going for super-low budget so I don't get desperately upset if it all goes horribly wrong. Here's the specs...

Body: Pine - multi-part made from a length of 2x2 I had lying around.
Neck: Bolt-on, 24 frets, 25.5", Rosewood fingerboard - scored on ebay for £37, looks a little PRS-ish.
Pickups: Iron Gear Hot Slag + Rolling Mill.
Controls: 2 Vol, 2 Tone with pull for coil tap, 3-way switch.
Bridge: Licensed Floyd Rose - another horribly cheap ebay bargain. £18 new. No good can come of this.
Finish: I have something in mind but I'm keeping it a secret for now.

This is going to be a slow affair due to availablity of spare time and the fact that I'll be doing it pretty much ad hoc (that's Latin for "making it up as I go along").

So here's the timber.


All glued and clamped. Those 500mm clamps were another bargain bin find: Just over £4 each from MP Direct (dot co dot uk).


And here's the body template, pretty much taken from the "catto" version. There's 16mm MDF under there. I'll be filling in the blanks as I go along.


The main object of the exercise is to get practise at making a body - hence using scrap pine. The thing that's troubling me most at this point is how to go about routing the control cavity. The pickup and trem cavities are no problem because I can do those before shaping the body. But the control cavity will have to be done after shaping (I'm guessing) if I want to have any chance of getting the top thickness uniform. Like this...


I'm also wondering whether I'll have enough room in such a slender profile to use push-pull pots for the coil taps, or whether I'd be better off going for toggles - but I'd rather not.

Time will tell.
#2
Ew, pine D: Dont be sorry when you get feeback from your gutiar cuz your wood's too thin to contain the signal!
o()o

Quote by JamSessionFreak
yes every night of my entire life i go to bed crying because i wasnt born american
#3
o()o

Quote by JamSessionFreak
yes every night of my entire life i go to bed crying because i wasnt born american
#4
Quote by EpiExplorer
Ew, pine D: Dont be sorry when you get feeback from your gutiar cuz your wood's too thin to contain the signal!

Wow! So soon? And what part of the signal goes through the wood, exactly?

Don't get me completely wrong, I'm more than willing to wolf down some humble pie if you turn out to be right but until then you can keep your voodoo tonewood mumbo-jumbo to yourself.

And £72 doesn't even come close to the cheapness of about £14 of stuff "I had lying around". As I said, this exercise it mainly to practise the build process. Did you even read the post? Or did you just see the word "pine" and your head exploded?

Last edited by von Layzonfon at Jul 8, 2012,
#5
Quote by EpiExplorer
Ew, pine D: Dont be sorry when you get feeback from your gutiar cuz your wood's too thin to contain the signal!

I made a pine guitar and it was fine.

This guy makes a living out of making them: http://www.pinecaster.com/

I'm sure it'll be fine
#6
The very first Fender Esquires were made of pine and they sound great. Don't worry. Just be careful while routing 'cause pine is a softwood and likes to tear.
Last edited by Seref at Jul 9, 2012,
#8
Quote by LeviMan_2001
I don't understand what's going on with the control cavity picture there... As far as I know, a les paul is just a regular old control cavity in the back. Also, pine will be fine, it won't feedback. It takes a lot to make a guitar feedback to the point where it's a problem.

He wants to make the body like an Ibanez S-series, which is thinner towards the edges, so he's worrying about the push-pull coil taps being too big for the outside edge of the cavity.

I think.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#9
Quote by LeviMan_2001
I don't understand what's going on with the control cavity picture there...

I'll try and clarify later when I've got time to sketch up some more pictures. But slapsy has it partly right.

Thanks to all for the reassurance about the wood. As you'll have picked up, I'm not at all worried about that. I have a post waiting in the wings along those lines, but I'm going to wait until I'm in a really cantankerous mood before unleashing that one.
#10
Quote by whoomit
I made a pine guitar and it was pine.

This guy makes a living out of making them: http://www.pinecaster.com/

I'm sure it'll be pine


^you don't say

but really TS, would like to see how this turns out, and now curious for the finish...
#11
Quote by Leon987
^you don't say

but really TS, would like to see how this turns out, and now curious for the finish...

Oh God That was supposed to say "and it was fine"

Edit: ARRGGHHH! You got me there!
#12
The Cavity Routing Conumdrum Clarification.
Sounds like an episode of Big Bang Theory



Fig. 1
On a standard, non-carved or shaped body, routing the cavity poses no problems. The thickness remains contant across the bottom.

Fig 2.
If I were to rout as per Fig. 1 and then taper the wings, we end up with the bottom of the cavity getting thinner toward the outer edge. This results in the knobs not being level with the face of the body (unless I recess them, which I don't want to do) and the possibility of breaking through into the cavity when shaping.

Fig. 3
Trying to rout after shaping just makes the problem worse.

Fig. 4
Shows the ideal cavity, with its bottom parallel to the surface of the guitar. But it also shows the angle the router will have to be to the back side of the body to achieve this.

It may be that I can rig something up with my thicknessing jig. A bit like this.



But I think there's only about 55mm clearance under it, so this may not be possible. Plus, it's not really a 2D problem as the whole bottom end of the body will get shaped, making it more of a very shallow cone shape than a wedge.

It's a puzzlement.
#13
Set your pillar/pedastal drill (assuming you have one) to stop a few mm from the bottom. Then you rough it out with the pillar drill, rout the edges of the cavity (not to full depth), and carve the rest by hand with sharp chisels, or perhaps violin makers planes if you happen to be lucky enough to own some.
#14
Quote by whoomit
Set your pillar/pedastal drill (assuming you have one) to stop a few mm from the bottom. Then you rough it out with the pillar drill, rout the edges of the cavity (not to full depth), and carve the rest by hand with sharp chisels, or perhaps violin makers planes if you happen to be lucky enough to own some.

The pillar drill I have access to (pictured in my last build thread) actually took somone's finger off last week. But that's what you get for using a drill while wearing gloves and prodding at your workpiece, I guess.

Other than that, sounds like a reasonable idea.
#15
Rough cut with my trusty £14 jigsaw.


Took me blummen ages. I'm starting to think that if you really want to do a decent job hand tools just don't cut it (pun intended).

And here's the neck.




Looks like an AANJ configuration so I guess I'll be trying to work that into it.
#16
Carve your top, then clamp the body and route the control cavity so that the walls are perpendicular to the rear face. You'll have a gradient on the top, but that's what long shaft pots and spacing nuts/washers are for!
#17
Quote by -MintSauce-
Carve your top, then clamp the body and route the control cavity so that the walls are perpendicular to the rear face. You'll have a gradient on the top, but that's what long shaft pots and spacing nuts/washers are for!

It's an idea. I'm really pushing the envelope on this one because I'm planning to shape it front and back á la S Series and because I want switched tone pots I need at least 32mm body depth. I've not actually looked for long shaft switched pots, but it's another idea to throw into the mix.
#18
Quote by von Layzonfon
It's an idea. I'm really pushing the envelope on this one because I'm planning to shape it front and back á la S Series and because I want switched tone pots I need at least 32mm body depth. I've not actually looked for long shaft switched pots, but it's another idea to throw into the mix.


WDMusic sell long shaft pots with DPDT, but they're not cheap:
http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/500k_Push|Push_Pot_Long_Shaft_with_US_Specs_WD500XLPUSHUS :S

Or you can get something similar for £7 from Axesrus:
http://www.axesrus.com/axeElectronicsPots.htm#MiscPots (halfway down the page).
#19
Hey dude--this is certainly an interesting idea and project. That body, in it's current state, could double as a cutting board...lol.

Why have you given up on the ZR trem? I see them all the time, and there are a handful on evilbay right now for about $100.00

For pickups--go with something really different and outrageous! Try a high output DiMarzio in the bridge, a medium output DiMarzio in the middle and a Tele lipstick tube pickup in the neck. That would be so friggin' odd looking, give you a wide sonic spectrum to play in and really be a conversation piece. Add a push/pull volume pot that splits the middle humbucker, too.

Do something cool for the headstock logo, too. Let me know what your body finish/design will be and I'll come up with something cool.
Oh, frack! But, I didn't say frack--I said "THE" word. The F-dash-dash-dash-dash word.
#20
Quote by von Layzonfon
It's an idea. I'm really pushing the envelope on this one because I'm planning to shape it front and back á la S Series and because I want switched tone pots I need at least 32mm body depth. I've not actually looked for long shaft switched pots, but it's another idea to throw into the mix.

Would it be worthwhile rearranging the pots so both the bigger push-pull pots are closer to the midline, like
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#21
@Spectre13: Hmm. I guess ebay.co.uk isn't so hot at fishing them out in the "also available from international sellers" section. Maybe I'll go for crazy pickups on the next one. The idea of this is to look classic LP, but with a bit of a twist. And don't worry, the finish I have in mind is pretty "cool" - although I need to do some practising to make sure I can pull it off.

@slapsymcdougal: That's the current plan. I'm hoping to model it up in CAD later today to make sure it's going to work.
#23
Quote by slapsymcdougal
He wants to make the body like an Ibanez S-series, which is thinner towards the edges, so he's worrying about the push-pull coil taps being too big for the outside edge of the cavity.

I think.


On an ibanez S series, you can idneed not fit a push pull in the tone position.
Vintage V-100, EMG 81&60
Chapman ML-1

Jet City JCA20H
#24
Quote by whoomit
I made a pine guitar and it was fine.

This guy makes a living out of making them: http://www.pinecaster.com/

I'm sure it'll be fine


After I clicked that link, I just left the tab open in the background. I usually don't listen to classic rock-ish stuff, but the music they have recorded for the site is freaking awesome. Just instrumentals, but plenty to keep listening to. I'm impressed.

Someone listen to those recordings and tell me pine sucks as a tone wood.

Edit: It was all good until a country song came on. No worries, a quick tap of the F5 key and I'm good to go.
Last edited by ExDementia at Jul 11, 2012,
#25
Quote by -MintSauce-
Have you considered IronGear pickups?

In the specs, chap. Hot Slag + Rolling Mill set on the shopping list.

Quote by SquierLolz
On an ibanez S series, you can idneed not fit a push pull in the tone position.

Well, I did my CAD modelling and it appears that there is a couple of millmeters of problem, yes.





So I have a couple of choices: not go quite as thin as I planned, or use toggle switches.
#26
With every new job, it seems, comes the necessity for new tools; a nice long drill bit and would you believe I didn't have a template cutter?



So I got the profile routed...


...with the almost inevitable uber tear-out (or two).


Still, nothing that won't be shaped out or can't be filled...I hope.
#27
So I've had a fiddle with my CAD model and I think by increasing the thickness by just 1.5mm I can get those switched pots in. But how to translate that to my build?

I've made the main body template from the CAD model, so I'll continue to do so for the rest of the templates I need.

So, I select the edge surface and "unfold" it.


And then make a drawing of it. The text is added to help me out at the next stage.


But we don't have a large format printer so I save it as a JPEG and use the rather fabulous PosteRazor to chop it up and print it out on A4.


A quick check to make sure it's the right size and I'm good to cut it out, stick it together and paste it around the edge of the body.


And that's as far as I've got tonight. Beer sort of got in the way.
#28
So what're you doing with that print-off? Is it just to show you how thick you need to leave the edges of the guitar so that there's enough room for the pots yeah?


Nice router bit btw
#29
Quote by whoomit
So what're you doing with that print-off? Is it just to show you how thick you need to leave the edges of the guitar so that there's enough room for the pots yeah?


Nice router bit btw

Pretty much, yeah. I know what area I need ot leave full thickness for the trem and pickups so with that round the edge I just carve it down between the two limits. That's the theory anyway.
#30
well also you could just tier the control cavity. kinda like a stair step?
#31
Quote by kiaba94
well also you could just tier the control cavity. kinda like a stair step?

This is true. Although it would result in knobs that aren't quite parallel to the face of the guitar, unless I do some subsequent shaping. But it's a good option to have in the mix, thanks.
#32
So...before I started today I thought it would be a good idea to clean up my workshop (a.k.a. garage). Three hours later...and it'd started raining.

But I still got some stuff done.

Made a template.


Screwed on and ready to go. With some Dutch courage to spur me on.


And done. It's starting to look like it might become a guitar.


The neck doesn't fit yet - I deliberately undersized it so I could fine tune by hand. That knot in the neck pocket also tore out, so that'll need fettling.

I had a couple of router "incidents". Nothing too drastic though. Still need to put more hours in with that thing.

Lesson 1: Wait until the bit has stopped before retracting from the workpiece.
Lesson 2: When routing to depth, especially in a closed hole, set your depth stop, retract, start up and then plunge to depth and lock off. Don't lock off and then try to lower into the workpiece.
Lesson 3: Always remember to clamp your work.

Right. Curry time. Not for breakfast, whoomit.
#33
Looking pretty good.
And the router 'incidents' ought to be hidden underneath the pickup rings, so shouldn't trouble the finished guitar, right?
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#34
Quote by von Layzonfon
Right. Curry time. Not for breakfast, whoomit.

Disgraceful
#35
Quote by whoomit
Disgraceful

Curry for breakfast is best if you combine with a can of last night's flat lager. You should always have a tea strainer handy to sift out the cigar dibs.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#36
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Looking pretty good.
And the router 'incidents' ought to be hidden underneath the pickup rings, so shouldn't trouble the finished guitar, right?

Absolutely.

Had a pretty productive day today, thanks to the unseasonably fine weather we've had.

First I did the final shaping of the neck pocket. Here's some stupid test or other.


I have to say I've usually looked a pictures like this and tought, "There's no way I could ever make something that accurately." So I'm actually quite chuffed with myself.

And from a quick fit up it seems to be aligned perfectly.


Another day another template...


And no mishaps. You can see in this picture that I also drilled one of the holes for the wiring.


Didn't bother with a template for the spring cavity. Just fenced it (getting cocky now).


And another success. Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of it.


I couldn't resist putting some bits together.


One thing I did pick up from this is that there isn't much scope for dive-bombing so I think I'm going to widen the trem route to give a little more play. Better to do it now than wait until I'm finished and then decide I really need it doing.

I think I need to do some shopping now and get the rest of the parts I need - just to double-check my design of the control cavity is in order.
#38


You will be pleased to know that the following items from your order have been despatched.

1 x Backplate Screws (Black, 25 Pieces)
1 x Cylinder Jack Socket ( Mono ) (Black)
2 x Hi Wires Guitar Strings (6 String) (Orange 09s)
1 x HOT SLAG + ROLLING MILL SET (Black Open Coil)
2 x Humbucker Mounting Ring (Black, Neck, Flat Top, Black Screws)
1 x LP-Style Control Cavity Cover (Black)
1 x LP-Style Switch Cover (Black)
1 x Neck Joint Bushings (with Screws) (Black, 4 Bushings+Screws)
1 x Pickup Selector Switch (Black, Black Tip)
2 x Potentiometer (10 mm Collar ) (500 K Ohm, Log)
1 x S-Style Backplate - 6 Hole - 1PLY (Black)
2 x Sprague Orange Drop Capacitor (.022uf)
1 x Strap Buttons-Pair (Black, Black Felts)
2 x Switched Potentiometer (PUSH-PULL) (500 K Ohm, Linear)
1 x Truss Rod Cover (Style 03)
1 x Tuner: Button Head (3-a-side) (Black-45 Degree)

Once again we would like to thank you for shopping with Axetec Ltd
#39
NGPD!

I've got everything I need now. A couple of "wow" factors:
1. Wow, those caps are huge!
2. Wow, the control cavity is a dumb shape!

Also in my post bag was this little beauty. £13 well spent. Got the post holes drilled accurately and with confidence.


And so to the shaping. I've got the top done.






I've decided to leave the tail end a little thicker than planned for a number of reasons:

1. Each time I look at my CAD model I can't help thinking it looks a little unbalanced.
2. I really like the way it looks and feels at the minute.
3. It'll look a little thinner with the 1/4" round-over.
4. I was concerned about having it too thin to cope with the strap button.
5. A little extra thickness should help with the switched pot issue.
6. It was taking flipping ages and I'm lazy. (Not really this one.)

I may make the horn and shoulder a little thinner. I'll see how it looks once I've got the back done.
#40
Got the back shaped this evening...before the rain set in. And daubed a bit of filler over the worst tear-outs.


OK. Here's a question: what's with the holes in trem cover plates? And I don't mean the ones the screws go through. I've had guitars with trems for over 20 years and I have never had the need to do anything through those holes.
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