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W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#1
I have recently started another build, a 7-string, multiscale neck-thru. It's been pretty confusing so far, loads of planning.

Scale: 25.5"-27"
Construction: Neck-thru
Neck: 5-piece wenge/maple
Fretboard: Macassar Ebony
Wings: Spanish Cedar
Top: Carved Walnut(either black or Peruvian)
Pickups: One custom-made humbucker in the bridge(I'll be making that myself...with wooden bobbins. Should be fun :ugh
Tuners: Gotoh
Bridge: Made by me(using graphtech saddles)

So far I've got the wood and bridge ready to go, except I'm looking for a new top. I bought some curly Peruvian walnut, but it's not big enough for a carved top, which I've now decided is something I really want. So I'm going to find something else locally.

I've never worked with wenge before. Besides the obvious problems, that it's super heavy and it splinters something fierce, it also likes to move when cut. Apparently, the wood is loaded with tension. I'm pretty worried about it twisting on me, even as a 5-piece neck. I've read horror stories about Warwick bass necks twisting, even 5 and 7-pieces. I might invest in some of those carbon fiber rods stewmac sells for added insurance.

The bridge came out pretty good, except for one intonation screw hole, which is off by 1mm :wallbash:. I'm not very experienced with metal working, I didn't really expect the drill bit to skate like it did. I might make a new base plate later on if I have time, but this one should work just fine. I used some "Appliance Epoxy" paint on it, and baked it for an hour at 400 degrees after each coat. It seems like it's a very hard finish. I did 5 coats all together.

As for the intonation screws, that was an adventure trying to find something that would work. I ended up using M4 philips head screw and shaving down the head on a drill press to make them fit in the saddles. Then I painted and baked those.

Ok, enough talk, here are some pics:





This piece of ebony I found is just gorgeous:
manikmunky
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2009
89 IQ
#4
Very nice so far. I'll definitely be following this thread, you do some great work!
eddiehimself
Call me EH, eh?
Join date: Jun 2006
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#5
I will be following this.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
Carl6661
UG Freak
Join date: Oct 2007
2,099 IQ
#7
Looks good so far - keep up the good work!
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Don't Panic Ok?
Clive Dunn
Join date: Oct 2007
279 IQ
#8
I support any instrument thats fanned fretted/multi-scaled!

DON'T PANIC! DON'T PANIC!
THEY DON'T LIKE IT UP 'EM!
W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#9
Thanks guys!

Progress has been very slow lately. I've been super busy and spending all of my free time planning this build so I don't overlook something important and screw everything up. Also, the frets will likely be cut out on a CNC. I'm in a CNC class right now and I'm about to buy a fret slot bit and collet for it. This is the "easier" way to do it, but still very stressful to plan out.

So I made a new bridge plate because the other one was off. I forgot to take pics of it, but I will when i get a chance. This one came out wonderfully, and the plate protruding beyond the saddles on each side is about 3/16" less.

I got the headstock angle cut out and planed and the truss rod installed. I also made templates for the body, fretboard, and headstock. I think I'm going to do some sort of fancy overhang for the fretboard, since I don't have a neck pickup in the way.





Also, wenge is the devil. Heavy, very prone to massive movement when cut, splinters like mad on a planer and even a jointer, and the splinters I've had are like jamming sewing needles into my fingers. It's definitely not a preferred wood for me.
W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#12
Well, not many updates but I'm still working on this.

I build a jig for making a compound angle headstock. I wasn't happy with the idea of the end of the fretboard being 90 degress while the zero fret was fanned. Came out pretty good:




And I was paranoid about the wenge moving on me when I carve the neck, so I epoxied in 2 carbon fiber rods:



I wish I'd taken some pics of gluing the wings. I know a lot of people like to use a dowel or something to align the wings and neck, but I just clamped everything down to a polished marble slab and then clamped the wings to neck. This method is definitely worthy of consideration.

Top and body, ready for glue-up:



Gluing the top on(think I used enough clamps?):



After glue-up and routing sides:




And an idea for the carve. What do you guys think? It wouldn't be a contoured carve, just a straight angle:

kiaba94
******
Join date: Jan 2009
736 IQ
#13
absolutely gorgeous! that carve looks a bit odd in my eye, however it is super late so i may just not be seeing it correctly. lol
W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#14
Quote by kiaba94
absolutely gorgeous! that carve looks a bit odd in my eye, however it is super late so i may just not be seeing it correctly. lol

What about it looks odd?
Kyleisthename
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2010
1,584 IQ
#16
Quote by Jason Jillard
Looks great!

care to give a bit more detail on that jig for the compound headstock angle?

and where did you get those bridge saddles from?

http://www.graphtech.com/products.html?SubCategoryID=36

He said what they were in the details but here is a link to them.


This looks like it's going to be an amazing build.
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DeathByDestroyr
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#17
Looking quite nice so far. That ebony is simply breathtaking.

Nice shop as well!
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W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#18
Quote by Jason Jillard
Looks great!

care to give a bit more detail on that jig for the compound headstock angle?

and where did you get those bridge saddles from?

I actually ordered that particular set of graphtech saddles from an ebay seller, perfect pitch music. I think they charged me around $54 for all 7 of them, which wasn't a bad price at all.

As for the headstock jig, it's basically 2 sides that I cut to the headstock angle, 10°, but I moved one of them back a little to the second angle, 78°. I used a plunge router with a wide base for the planing. It's actually quite simple, you just have to make sure that the angle is set to the edges that the router will ride on. After all of that was done, I used a Safe-T planer to remove material from the back.

Quote by DeathByDestroyr
Looking quite nice so far. That ebony is simply breathtaking.

Nice shop as well!

Thanks! Unfortunately, the shop isn't mine, it's part of the wood working program at the local community college. It's an awesome shop and they have everything, but it gets pretty crowded during the week.
Last edited by W4RP1G at Mar 10, 2013,
Jason Jillard
Luthier
Join date: Mar 2009
2,151 IQ
#19
thanks. =]

i just wanted to make sure the jig was as simple as it looked, and that there wasn't any other sort of magic happening.

i just cut a compound headstock angle on a fanned fret 5 string bass by hand. took foreverr

but ive also been looking for bridge options for my other fanned guitars, so thanks for the tips.
Flux'D
Plays a pitchfork
Join date: May 2006
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#20
I'll be watching this, good luck
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eddiehimself
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#21
Quote by W4RP1G

Thanks! Unfortunately, the shop isn't mine, it's part of the wood working program at the local community college. It's an awesome shop and they have everything, but it gets pretty crowded during the week.


Oh yeah, one of my friends used to go to somewhere like that when he was having occupational therapy after being knocked off his bike...
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#22
Quote by Jason Jillard
thanks. =]

i just wanted to make sure the jig was as simple as it looked, and that there wasn't any other sort of magic happening.

i just cut a compound headstock angle on a fanned fret 5 string bass by hand. took foreverr

but ive also been looking for bridge options for my other fanned guitars, so thanks for the tips.

No problem! Maybe I'm just lazy or perhaps I doubt my hand carving abilities too much, but I usually go for the power tool/jig option, even if it will cost more time in the end. But I think this jig was the all around better choice.

It's definitely good to know how to make one of these bridges, since it's cheap to make but looks and feels really solid. But I think if I do another one, I will try a different method for finishing it, probably either a Duracoat epoxy finish or a powder coating.

Quote by eddiehimself
Oh yeah, one of my friends used to go to somewhere like that when he was having occupational therapy after being knocked off his bike...

They sent him to a wood shop?
eddiehimself
Call me EH, eh?
Join date: Jun 2006
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#23
Quote by W4RP1G

They sent him to a wood shop?


Yep, he got to build birdhouses and shit (after they patched him up at the hospital obviously)
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
Jason Jillard
Luthier
Join date: Mar 2009
2,151 IQ
#24
Quote by W4RP1G
No problem! Maybe I'm just lazy or perhaps I doubt my hand carving abilities too much, but I usually go for the power tool/jig option, even if it will cost more time in the end. But I think this jig was the all around better choice.

It's definitely good to know how to make one of these bridges, since it's cheap to make but looks and feels really solid. But I think if I do another one, I will try a different method for finishing it, probably either a Duracoat epoxy finish or a powder coating.


They sent him to a wood shop?


i want to try to mount the saddles to a flush mounted aluminum rod. then i will either veneer it or powder coat it.
kiaba94
******
Join date: Jan 2009
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#25
the treble side towards the bottom looks a bit weird to me but i am sure once it is all carved i will change my mind. haha
W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
2,847 IQ
#26
Holy crap, I've been neglecting this thread.

So I've gotten a bit further. I've carved the top(a little different than the idea I had), but I forgot to take pics of it. Also, I made a program for cutting out the fretboard on a CNC. I did a practice piece on MDF and everything went smoothly, so I bought some .0235" fret slot bits and did it for real:





And the practice piece:







I'm going to install the fretboard this week, and then I should be moving pretty quickly. And I'm going to be making the pickup bobbins out of wenge on the CNC. I have those drawn up and ready to go, just waiting on some more CNC time.
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
1,110 IQ
#27
Quote by eddiehimself
Yep, he got to build birdhouses and shit (after they patched him up at the hospital obviously)




I guess there are worse things they could send you too.


Great build so far. I love the wood and shape design.
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BirdRiverCustom
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#29
Call me stupid, but how exactly does a fanned fret board work? Us bass players never get that kind of option.
von Layzonfon
UG's Grammar Stickler
Join date: Dec 2010
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#30
Quote by BirdRiverCustom
Call me stupid, but how exactly does a fanned fret board work? Us bass players never get that kind of option.
According to the laws of physics and the way stringed instruments work, having the bass strings longer means you can either use lighter strings or have them at higher tension to achieve the same pitch.
Whether this is noticably different from a playability point of view, I don't know, I've never tried one. Personally I think it's mainly, "because we can do it and it looks cool."
joey-only
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2010
449 IQ
#31
Quote by BirdRiverCustom
Call me stupid, but how exactly does a fanned fret board work? Us bass players never get that kind of option.

There are a few companies that make fanned fret basses, Dingwall springs to mind immediately.
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eddiehimself
Call me EH, eh?
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#32
Quote by BirdRiverCustom
Call me stupid, but how exactly does a fanned fret board work? Us bass players never get that kind of option.


Not true. Check out Dingwall basses:

EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
ryan_nadon
ass brain
Join date: Mar 2008
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#33
Quote by von Layzonfon
According to the laws of physics and the way stringed instruments work, having the bass strings longer means you can either use lighter strings or have them at higher tension to achieve the same pitch.
Whether this is noticably different from a playability point of view, I don't know, I've never tried one. Personally I think it's mainly, "because we can do it and it looks cool."

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W4RP1G
Please, call me Pig.
Join date: May 2010
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#36
Quote by ryan_nadon
You're ****ing ******ed and you're talking out of your ass.

get out of here.
Carl6661
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#39
Quote by \m/slipknot\m/
I havnt looked into fanned fret boards as of yet but I definitely like the looks and the ideas behind it. How do you figure out the spacing though? Is there some kind of calculator similar to the ones available for normal fret spacing?

That fretboard is gorgeous btw!


http://www.ekips.org/tools/guitar/fretfind2d/ That's one popular calculator that works with multiscale/fanned frets.

If you're more into figuring that stuff out rather than using a calculator, I would guess that you could also decide what fret will be the perpendicular one, and work out the positions of the other frets from around that depending on your two chosen scale lengths.
I deeply regret the 6661 in my username. Siiiigh. Damn you, 14 year old me, you edgy little bastard.
Last edited by Carl6661 at Apr 18, 2013,