#1
Ok, might as well start a thread on my next build now. I've been on and off planning this one for a long time while engaged in other more important (says the lady of the house) projects involving mostly home improvement. Hopefully I get this one going soon. I already have most of the wood and parts so it shouldn't take too long.

I just noticed that since my old domain has expired a lot of old project pics had broken links. I fixed the ones I could (#2 and #3) but since the first thread is locked I can't fix it anymore. For those interested, those pics can be seen at Picasa

Specs for the #4

- body shape of 'Parker Fly meets JEN Custom'
- 1pc body of swamp ash
- 3pc neck, maple with walnut in between
- 6-in-line headstock with volute, double action truss rod, probably with an ebony veneer
- ebony fretboard, 25,5" scale, 24 wide frets
- some kind of inlays which I will not reveal for some time because the future owner is known to lurk here and it's supposed to be a surprise
- probably H/H pickups, currently thinking about some DiMarzios, active preamp
- Super Vee Bladerunner bridge (an all-black custom), will try the mag-lock too
- graphtech nut
- Schaller locking tuners

BTW, what is it about the word '*******' that the forum software thinks it should be obscured?
[EDIT] Damnit.. the room that's mainly used for cooking. Has it acquired some obscene meaning I'm not aware of?
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Last edited by jenrg at Oct 26, 2014,
#4
Ok, pic time at last. I don't know about you but I've found the amount of pictures taken of a project goes down after the first couple since they start to pretty much just repeat themselves, at the early stages at least.

Here's the neck wood glued up. Straight maple with walnut this time.


Endgrain.


Truss channel done. Still have to take a bit off under the brass block.


I bet you guess what's next.


All glued up. The nails are there to keep things straight.
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#5
Neck roughly sawn. No bandsaw this time around so I had to go with a jigsaw instead. Worked well enough, sawn side actually looks less rough than with a bandsaw. The blade did get a bit hot though, going through 70mm (~2 3/4") thick hard maple / walnut.

As you can see, the headstock angle is fairly shallow. Only about 9 degrees because there will be no locks either end and a floating trem. Sort of at least.

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#6
Did some more routing today. I got the neck sides routed clean and also got the heel to proper thickness. I used a router this time instead of a Wagner Safe-T planer I used on my previous necks. I have to say I did a lot cleaner and more accurate job with the router although it did take a bit more time. Maybe I just never learned to use the Wagner properly, who knows.

BTW, after having shared tools and working space with 10+ other builders for years it's a real luxury to finally have my own tools in my own basement workshop. What a difference when you can be sure the blades are sharp instead of having dings and dents all around

Everything square.


Nice straight lines here too.


Thickness-routed heel.
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#8
That I did with a big jointer / surface planer I happened to have access to at the moment.
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#9
A bit more wood came off the body blank today. Just have to take away all that does NOT look like it belongs to this particular guitar.

Neck pocket pre-drilled.
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#10
Pic of the day. Got the neck pocket routed clean. Next will probably be positioning the bridge and pickup cavities and doing the same thing to them. This time around I'll probably also make a bit more space in the electronics cavity so that things will fit without banging them in with a hammer. Might even go with externally changeable battery holder for ease of use.

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#11
That's one sexy neck pocket.
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#12
A bit more progress on this. Tremolo cavity is now done to pretty much standard stratocaster specs. I'll still have to take away a bit more wood to get some extra range both ways since the trem will be installed floating (and the future owner is used to an Ibanez with a floyd rose).





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#13
A bit of neck stuff again. I finally got the much waited belt sander and to test it I thinned down an ebony headstock veneer blank to 2mm. Doing that I also realized how quickly it's possible to cover a mid-sized room with ebony dust in every possible place.

Fitting the veneer. Nails are of course for positioning and keeping the veneer in place.


Gluing the veneer.


And done. This one too will have a graph-tech nut.
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#14
A couple of progress pics. I'm really beginning to like the looks of swamp ash. The more the body gets shaped the more interesting grain figures come out. Can't wait to see it with some color and lacquer. BTW, what do people use for grain-filling swamp ash? I was thinking about trying with wood putty thinned with black stain to accentuate the grain.

Pickup cavity pre-drilled.


Another one routed clean.


Here you can see a bit of the upper body shape rough cut.
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#15
This time it was a bit more drilling and headstock shaping. Actually, the way the grain goes in this body it sometimes looks a bit like plywood in some places

This is kinda swimmingpool-ish for my taste but hey, you got to stuff the electronics someplace. In my previous builds the electronics cavities have been a bit too tight for active preamp with battery so this time I went with externally changeable battery and more room for electronics.


The usual Ibanez JEM style jack placement.


Here's the new headstock design. A bit rough around the edges but this is pretty much how it will be. Some Parker and Moog influence may be seen here.


The same from backside.


Test fit with tuning machines on.
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#16
That headstock design is beautiful man. I'd totally rock one of those.
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#17
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
That headstock design is beautiful man. I'd totally rock one of those.
Thanks! It turned out nicer than I thought actually, I was originally about to go with a more of a Parker copy.

Here's a couple more photos. I made a recess on the top for the floating trem to have a bit more room to move.


Control knob holes drilled. There's also a slight curve routed on the top, can be seen better in the next pic.


The curve in a better light. At the moment it's only very roughly routed. I did most of it freehand which was a bit scary but worked out ok. This will still need a lot of smoothing out.
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#18
The body shape is now sawn and sanded so the shape is pretty much what it will be. Still needs quite a bit of sanding. Upper body edge is also slightly curved.


Swamp ash grain pattern looks good.
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#20
Seriously beautiful headstock design mate.

Nice clean work and some great grain on the ash body to work with.
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#21
Quote by Ben2k9
probably the most gorgeous looking headstock Ive ever seen.

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Seriously beautiful headstock design mate.

Nice clean work and some great grain on the ash body to work with.

Thanks! There will also be a truss rod cover of ebony with black screws. I want to do this one clean and simple. Today I got to do a bit of fretwork as you can see in the pics.

Frets cut to length and tang ends cut and filed. Fret ends will be filled with ebony dust + glue for a kind of bound look as I've done in my previous projects.


Frets pressed in and ends flush cut.
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#22
Hand tool time. A bit of rasp, file and spokeshave and the result looks like this:

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#23
Some more progress again. I've been mostly refining the shape on both the neck and body and also sanding a lot to prepare everything for finishing.

I made a fret end beveling tool, mainly because the ready made ones are ridiculously expensive for what they are.


MOP side dots installed, fret ends beveled and rounded, fret slot ends half-way filled with ebony dust + glue.
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#24
Amazing craftsmanship. The recipient will be one really lucky person.
#25
sure is pretty
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#26
Quote by jds2
Amazing craftsmanship. The recipient will be one really lucky person.
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sure is pretty

Thanks! This one is currently in the finishing stages but sadly I can't post more pics for now, have to keep the final look a secret one more week. A couple of pics anyway ->

Makeshift spray booth in the garage. Thin plastic combined with a roll of duct tape.


This much I can reveal
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#27
That spray booth is oddly similar in design to mine...

Only my garage is jakier in that it has no ceiling.
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#28
The birthday is now over so I can finally post the rest of the pics. Here's the first batch from the finishing process...

Back ready for finishing.


Front first stained yellow.


Second layer with red on both sides.




Sealed with lacquer.




Accenting the grain.




And last the headstock.


On the backside the lacquer runs a bit.
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#29
Here's a couple more from the finishing process.

Final clearcoat on, waiting for final sanding and buffing.




Shielded electronics cavity. I used copper tape this time. While it's maybe a bit more work to do than just brushing on conductive paint it's a zillion times more conductive and you don't have to wait for the paint to dry. I'd imagine it provides better shielding too.
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#30
Here are the pics of the finished guitar I took last night. Pickuprings are made of flamed maple I had leftover from previous projects and electronics cavity cover is laminated wenge veneer.













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#31
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.
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