#1
Thought I'd share this commission here. We already had the Echo bass in the range before which was very much in the style of a Tele but with some unique features (30" bass with MM pickup). However with this guitar we have slightly revised the body shape to give a more sophisticated curvy look, a long with a more dynamic headstock, though it is still very much Telecaster inspired. Here are the specs.

1 Piece Ash Body
Quarter Sawn Ash Neck
AAA Grade Ebony Fingerboard With 24 Frets
Gotoh Tuners
Wilkinson Compensated Bridge
Kent Armstrong Pickups
Brass Nut
EVO gold Fret Wire
Finish: Trans Orange With Black Grain Fill

As you may be able to tell, the theme will be black and orange which is why we are going for the Wilkinson bridge, brass nut and EVO fretwire to compliment the Ebony fingerboard. Work has begun already, so here we go!

Ok, to get the ball rolling we have a shot of the 1 piece body blank and some of the parts: the Wilkinson bridge Kent Armstrong pickups and the Gotoh control plate. Apologies for continuing to get my feet in the pictures!



Here is the quarter sawn neck blank and double action truss rod. Ignore the curly grain and knots to the edges, this will be cut away leaving a stable neck.



The body template, as you can see we have gone for a rounded bottom as opposed to the standard flat Tele's. We have also reduced the waist of the guitar to give a more flowing shape...and the horn is a little curvier too!



Here is the revised headstock shape, just a little sharper than the standard offering.



And all the templates together.



The AAA grade Ebony fingerboard with 24 frets slots already cut.

#2
We'll start work on the neck first. The first job is to rout for the truss rod, you can see the very simple jig I use for this in this picture. It is attached to the blank with double sided tape and a router bushing is used to rout the rod in multiple passes.



Next we prepare for cutting out the outline of the neck. In this picture the templates are attached to the blank, the next step will be to rough cut on the bandsaw to within 2mm or less to the template.



After rough cutting on the bandsaw, we use the router to trim the neck to the template. This has been completed here.



Next is time to place the russ rod into the neck and glue the fingerboard to the neck. It is extremely important both neck and fingerboard are perfectly flat to get a good joint. You'll notice I use a 2 X 4" to distribute the clamping pressure evenly. Before this I have inserted a couple of brass tacks through two of the fret slots to keep the board from slipping ...And yes, I got my thumb over the camera lens *facepalm*.



Out of the clamps before trimming. Notice the brass tacks mentioned earlier. These are a real life saver, ensuring the board does not move while the clamps are tightened.



Next we cut the board (again to around 2 mm) from the neck with the bandsaw and follow up with the router using a bottom bearing flush cutting bit. Its important not to leave too much material for the router to remove or you'll get tear out so I always get as close as is safe with the saw.



A shot of the now tapered fingerboard with an air tight glue joint. Stay tuned for more neck work!



Thank you for checking out this build
#3
Continuing on with the neck, I drill the tuners. A simple job done with a 10 mm Brad point bit and careful measurements.



Next the fingerboard gets its radius, here is the neck in the radius jig. The router runs on rails above in a cradle and the rails rest on the two semi circular end pieces. We are going for a 16" radius here. You may also notice I have roughly thinned the headstock to the correct thickness, I did this using the Safe T Planer.



Onto some body work. The body blank unfortunately came with some nasty tearout from where the mill planed it, so my first job to the blank was to plane these out. The one piece blank is too wide for the planer we have, so we did it the old fashioned way with a hand plane! Which was no bid deal and didn't take long.



Here's the body with templates attached. I missed a couple of pictures here, prior to this the waste was sawn away on the bandsaw and then routed flush to the template. You can see I attach the template with two screws, one is in the neck pocket so will be routed away and the other under the bridge which will be utilised for the start of the ground wire hole. I also use double sided tape but the screws ensure it stays in place.



Here the template has been removed leaving nice clean edges.



A shot of the back. We are further advanced than the progress shown here, so more updates coming soon!



Thank you for checking out this build .
#4
Very interesting.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#5
Time to start shaping the headstock/fingerboard transition. Here I'm about a quarter of the way through and just roughing it out with a chisel.



Here is the slope nearly finished... it just needs some sanding.



Installing frets will be the next job but first we need to polish up the Ebony to a mirror. It's quite difficult to photo gloss but you can see the tree reflecting off the board. It was sanded to 600 before moving onto Micro Mesh up to 12000 grit.



I have also rolled the edges of the fretboard slightly to give a more comfortable feel.



Then the frets go in! The EVO gold wire looks quite striking against the black Ebony! Normally I'd have to give the fret wire a radius first with my fret bender, but the EVO wire came pre bent. I use a non damaging hammer to install them.



Onto the neck taper, or lack of in this case...it has been commissioned with no taper, so the thickness at the first fret will be the same as the thickness at the 17th. This is to recreate a Strat neck he once had and loved the feel of. Even though it's not tapered, it still needed taking down to the correct thickness, this was done once again with the Safe T Planer.



That's all for now, thank you for checking out this build
#6
Onto carving the neck profile, the most enjoyable part of the whole build! After deciding on a neck profile shape we draw it up. This drawing gives us a series of facets which need to be carved from the currently square neck. Here you can see these facets have been drawn on to the neck.



These primary facets are removed with the drawknife, I'm using this awesome tool more and more these days.,..it can take off large amounts of wood and do fine shaving like you see here.



Some of the tools used for the carving: the drawknife and a Micro Plane rasp (used to get into smaller areas). Not in the picture is a sander and lots of paper, plus chisels for carving the heel and headstock transitions.



Here is the rough carved neck. After all the carving it has revealed a rather attractive neck!



Onto fretwork. The board has been carefully masked off before moving onto leveling, beveling and crowning. The frets went in almost completely level, so there it wasn't a lot of material to remove during leveling.



Here's the (almost) finished frets which have been carefully shaped/beveled to give a nice comfy feel at the edges. All that remains for them is a fine polish. Also notice the side position dots have been fitted. Please excuse the wood dust all over the fingerboard!



Next it was fine sanded to 320 grit, I would have gone higher if it were to get a natural finish, but polished wood does not take dye as well. This is a shot of the neck being wet back to raise the grain during the sanding process.



Test fitting the tuners to drill the small mounting screw holes.



That's the neck done minus finishing and dyeing. Onto the body now!



Thanks for checking out this build
#7
First up we are routing the neck pocket. The template is attached with two screws which go into where the neck pickup will be.



The router wont be able to get into the very corners of the pocket, so here I'm tidying/trimming them up with a few chisels.



We have chosen ferrules rather than a plate to attach the neck, which gives a much nicer more modern look. Here they have been drilled for and are being test fitted



And the test fit....like a glove! Now it's time to rout for the pickups.



Drilling away the waste in the neck pickup cavity before moving on to routing. It looks a little messy at this point, but it's all going to be routed away very shortly!



Here I'm routing for the bridge pickup, ignore all the unnecessary lines (such as the bridge outline), they are from previous uses. Notice how I attach the template with the bridge screws, this ensures the rout is in the right place and at the right angle. It also prevents it moving!



This is the control cavity template. I'm drilling away the waste in the control cavity with Forstners bits before routing.



All routs completed, next up is the roundover.

#8
Here is the roughed out roundover. We have gone for a much more rounded edge than that of a Tele to again give a more modern, flowing look.



Drilling the jack with a 20 mm Forstner bit. It's important this is done after the roundover! Otherwise your roundover bit will "fall" into this hole when routing and make a huge mess!



And here we are, the nearly finished body! All that remains to do is to sand and apply dye, grain filler and finish.



That's all for now, thank you for checking out this build
#9
Nice
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
Thank you both . No, I probably wasn't very clear, the body and neck will all be translucent orange with black grain filler. The black is the Ebony and hardware (plus grain filler). We are also using brass for some of the hardware (saddles, nut and frets) which will add a bit more orangey colour to the guitar.
Last edited by Manton Customs at Aug 8, 2014,
#12
that sounds interesting for the finish. looking forward to seeing how that turns out.

just out of interest, which KA pickups are you using?
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#13
We are using a bit of an unusual choice for the pickups at the clients request, it's going to be the Twanger Tele pickup at the bridge, then with a Strat pickup at the neck (Howler, high output). To hopefully get a bit of a different tone from the neck.
#14
Ah right, thanks EDIT: I think I actually have the howler in the neck position of a patrick eggle new york STH-1, the code, sort of rings a bell, though I can't remember for sure.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 9, 2014,
#15
Onto grain filling. Here is the before shot, the body has been sanded to 320 grit and is ready for the filler. We have chosen to highlight the grain by using black grain filler. The basic process is to apply filler, scrape off with a squeeze then allow to dry for 24 hours before sanding away the excess.



Here is the body after grain filling and sanding. The neck gets the same treatment.



Now to give it some colour! Rather than dye the wood itself this time we are going to spray the translucent colour mixed with shellac. This is my preferred way of working when the guitar has had the grain filler treatment.



Here's a shot of the back.



...And the neck!



A shot showing the colour a little better. The next step is adding the clear coat.



Getting there now! Thanks for checking out this build .
#16
Nice
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#17
God thats beautiful!!
I shouldn't post when drunk..



07 LTD MH400NT SD SH2/SH5
15 Jackson SLATHX-m 3-7 Slime green
Squier std tele (modded to hell)

Engl Powerball
Laney Ironheart 60h
Zilla Superfatboy 2x12 v30's

Pedals
#19
Just a couple of shots of the now complete finish. These pictures were taken after the wet sanding and buffing. As you can see from the reflection of the blanket in the top, it's a high gloss finish!



Here's the neck. Please ignore that little white speck at the middle, it's a bit of lint from the polishing cloth...I should have dusted it before taking the picture! The guitar is now assembled and mostly finished (just awaiting string trees and name plate) so we'll get some completed pictures up shortly.



Thanks for looking
#20
wow very nice
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#21
I think that is terrific, especially the matching neck and body. I can't recall seeing an alder neck before.

I love the old style chisels and the draw knife, I'm a real Luddite over things like that. Were guitars your first woodworking experience, or did you come at it form another direction? Cabinet making maybe?
#22
Thank you both!

Tony: glad you like it, it's actually an Ash neck (same as the body) and no it's not that common! Though it makes a very good neck material if you are prepared to grain fill or have a coarse natural feel if not.

Yeah, the old tools are great and I firmly believe they are better than their modern equivalents in terms of the edge you can achieve. I've always worked with wood, my first wood working adventures were carving small sculptures such as birds and fish, then came some ornate sticks with carved handles. Then guitars and basses! And yes, somewhere a long the line there were a few simple cabinets in there too.
#23
Ok, all done here. Enjoy the finished pictures! Quite proud of this picture, so it' gets to be first and the main picture for the website.



Shot of the back showing the single piece Ash body. Using a top loading bridge meant we could keep the back clear from any unnecessary hardware and keeps the focus on the wood.



The colour proved difficult to photograph, but I believe this picture shows it closest to how it actually is.



The Ash neck





The headstock, the black and brass theme is continued here with the brass nut and name plate.





Thank you for following this build .