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#1
I started out using the three three big chunks of wood on the left. The outer left one is my wood for the neck. The yardstick is there to give a size reference to the wood.


I cut it down to width, and started building...



Since the Les Paul plans I bought were for a set neck, I used them pretty much for dimensions of everything, not really to build from.
#2
wow thats alot of flamed maple, love it!

How many guitars you built?




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#3
From there I did the normal work to the neck blank;

drew out headstock size
roughcut headstock angle and shape
cutout truss rod slot
installed trusrod
glued down ebony fretboard
slotted fretboard
cut inlays and side dots into fretboard
radiused freboard
installed fretwire and superglued then in
trimmed fretwire to length
and roughcut neck blank to size.

Now I was ready to start carving the neck. I left the portion of the neck where it would meet the body alone since I still had some measuring to do. Also, the Garnet in the gold trim is the side dot marker for the 12th. fret.

Headstock rough cut. You can see the pencil marks for the location of the tuners.


Here's the fretwire rough cut and superglued in place.



This is after I got the fretwire down to where it needs to be and got the side dot holes drilled. I set them in black epoxy, as well as filling the void under the fret wire tang.
#4
Quote by Absent Mind
wow thats alot of flamed maple, love it!

How many guitars you built?


This is my third guitar build, but this is the first neck I've built.
#5
Here's what I ended up with...


12th. fret side dot; Garnet trimmed in a gold ring


Tuners



Abalone side dots



Neck profile


A little out of sequence, but you can see the abalone diamond fret markers and the open book design I cut into the fretboard end.
#6
After I got the neck to this point, it was time to start working on the body. I cut it to rough shape, and hollowed it out, first the back half, then the front. You can see in the second picture where the forstner bit work was done. Once you get it hogged out with it, time to bring in the router and clean everything up as you can see in the first picture...





Once she was hollow, this is what I had. You can see that the body wings are not cut to size yet and the heel area of the neck is still VERY rough. You can also see how thick the neck is. I had to have it this thick to get the headstock angle out of it, (10 deg.), and to get the neck to body angle for the bridge (4 deg).




Now it was time to drill the holes for the electronics and start carving away at the front. Since It's hollow, I couldn't make a double curve like a real LP, because the wood was too thin, (lesson learned), so I just sloped it down to make a nice edge. By using this;



It made quick work of getting me where I needed to be, soon it was sanded and ready to be glued up so it looked like a guitar.
#7
Thats coming along nicely, 10 Degrees is a lot for the neck angle though mate. A regular Les Paul is around 5, how did you come up with the angle?
Last edited by jscustomguitars at Jun 15, 2008,
#8
That is sweet. You gonna do binding on it?
#9
Once she was all glued together, I worked on the heel area. I blended the two body halves together and let the line flow inbetween for the heel area.



I drilled out the bridge post and Bigsby B7 holes, cut the pickup holes and started to think about making the trim out of flamed maple. I had already bought the trim... pick guard, pick up rings, truss rod cover, but I thought about trying them in flamed maple. Here are the pickup rings, cream and flamed maple side by side. You can also see that one of the bridge post inserts is in and pressed just beyond flush. I had to wait to do the second one so I could get a ground wire in there to ground everything out. You can see the hole is drilled then beveled out to make the shoulder of the insert bite into the wood when pressed in and to keep the lacquer from flaking away when it's all done.

This ring was a prototype just to see if I could make one. I cut it free hand and didn't really care for the shape of it... too chunky or something. I made up aome templates and made the ones that will go on the guitar from them.



Once they were done, I got her in primer, (Reranch). I don't want to cover all of that killer flame, so I am just painting the body front and sides, and the front of the headstock. The back of the body, neck, back and sides of the headstock will be natural flamed maple. As seen here, she has a couple of coats of primer and has some of my mistakes, (read sags), sanded off.

#10
Quote by jscustomguitars
Thats coming along nicely, 10 Degrees is a lot for the neck angle though mate. A regular Les Paul is around 5, how did you come up with the angle?



10 degrees for the headstock, 4 degrees for the neck to body angle. Depending on the year of the LP, they used 12-14 degrees for the headstock, and 3-4 for the body to neck.
#11
Quote by imgooley
That is sweet. You gonna do binding on it?



No binding on the front. You'll see in my next posts where the binding I did came in.
#13
Since the very onset of me designing this guitar I wanted to use the Fender color of Vintage Cream. In different light it shows up as a light yellow to a cream color, (as I found out). The true color is the color of bannana pudding.

With all of that cream color on the front with the natural maple trim, I wanted to reverse it on the back to blend the front and back together.

I've always liked the look of guitars with the cavity covers in whatever the back is. Since this will be natural, the covers will be natural too. What I did was cut out the holes for the cavity covers and used the same wood that came out of the holes for the covers themselves. That way the grain and color/tone would be perfect. In order to blend the front, (cream), and the back together, around the covers, I used cream binding.

Here's where I'm at right now:

Front before any laquer with my flamed maple accents just laying in place:



Headstock with truss rod cover on:



Back of guitar with bound covers in place:




A few things....

....From the first two pictures you can see what I'm talking about as far as the color of the paint kind of changing. They were painted from the same can, at the same time. The pictures were taken at the same time, in the same room, with the same camera. The only thing that changed is the angle of the subject, ( body and headstock). The body was taken at an angle as to where the headstock was taken more straight on.

....In the headstock picture, I rushed the picture and didn't get the headstock covering the hole very well. It covers it just fine.

....See how the grain lines up in the covers to the body? For some reason, I love that look.

....In the last two pictures you can see in the cutaway that I had to do a bit of sanding. That's where the primer and paint snuck under my masking tape on the radius. No biggie, I just had to sand the area down a little to get it where it needed to be.

....The back is going to be done with the same finish as the neck; Tru-oil. The stuffis very nice and easy to work with, and as you can see makes the grain pop like crazy... plus it's cheap! The little bottle in the upper left corner of the last two pictures, (the one that's upside down), it the Tru-oil. It's made for gunstocks, so that's what it will look like when it's done, like a very smooth gunstock. What I'm planning on doing is once I have all of the coats on it, buffing down the body and the back/sides of the headstock to keep them shiny, and then steel wool the neck so it's matte and feels like bare wood, (read a VERY fast neck).

....Both cavity covers and the truss rod cover are held in place by rare earth magnets. I don't care for the look of screws on the back, so I figured I wouldn't have any. The covers are stitting on little pedistils (sp) inside the hollow body of the guitar. I epoxyed them in once I had them made, then drilled a hole in the cover end of them and ran an adjustment screw into the hole. This way I could adjust the screw to get the covers flush with the back of the body. See?
#14
Quote by jscustomguitars
sorry, thought you meant neck angle, dont the older Les Pauls have an 18 degree headstock pitch?



You may be right, but 18 degrees is a lot! lol I don't know the history of every Les Paul, so maybe someone else would be a better person to ask than myself. I do know that the plans I have, (1959 Les Paul Standard from Stewart MacDonald), has a 14 degree headstock angle. The only reason I went with 10, is because that's all the wood I had, thickness wise.

10 looks very good so 18 would be a lot and I think it would be more prone to breaking because of such an angle with all of the string tension.
#15
When some people read this and look at the pictures, I would think someone will comment on the binding on the large cavity cover, and why I did it that way. It was actually a screw up, (lesson learned again), on my part.

It's very difficult to cut a piece of wood that you are planning to use both the inside and the outside pieces once done. It's even harder to do when they have to fit back together in such a way that the smaller the gap, the better it will be. What I mean is this; You have to drill a hole that is large enough to get a saw blade into. You can't drill a big hole just anywhere, you have to drill the smallest hole you can, right where your cut will be.

Do you cheat the drilled hole to the inside of the pencil line or the outside?

I drilled the smallest hole I could on the line and started sawing with a jigsaw blade held in my hand to get it started. Once it was about 1/2" long I put the saw back on the blade. To do this you have to;

1) Take the little retaining pin out of one end of the blade. It's pressed in and doesn't want to come out easily. You have to pull it out so you can slide the blade into the small hole you just drilled.

2) Once you get it out, start cutting the cut you want.

3) Once you've cut about 1/2", stop cutting and put the pressed pin back in the saw blade. Now remember that your saw blade is still in the wood. You have to hold the wood, get the pin to line up with the hole in the saw blade, (the pin is 1/4" long and smaller in diameter than a pencil lead), and some how press it into the hole. It isn't easy.... ask me how I know!

4) Once the pin is started, you have to press it back in the hole so it's halfway in so it can rest on the keepers in the saw.

5) Once it's in and in the right place, put the saw on the blade while holding the saw, the blade, and the wood???? Yup, it's time consuming!

6) Once said blade is in the saw, continue sawing the wood freehanded until done. It is very hard to cut a straight line with a saw blade this thin.

That's why my large cavity cover looks like it does. I had to straighten my crooked cuts so the cover would look right.

By sanding them until they were straight, you take away wood.
You take away wood, you make a larger gap.
You make a larger gap, you have to fill it in with binding glued up and stacked together.

Once you have it all glued together it looks bad. You take your trimmings, put them in a jar and mix with acetone to melt them. Once you have them melted, you slop it on all of the binding, wait for it to set up and harden, then sand it back to whatever shape you want it to be. See? Easy huh?

For the small round hole I used the hole saw bit/attachment on my drill press. BAM, it was done. End of story. Slap some binding on the inside of the hole on the body, wrap some around the piece I cut out, scrape it a little to get everything flush & tidy... presto.
#16
Love the covers man, and the guitar overall.
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+1. This man knows his ****.


Walker Rose.
#17
Very nice Im working on a neck thru now myself. I dont have all the nice wood working stuff tho so had to go with a premade neck from stewmac. Ah maybe someday to be able to build from scratch. I used mahogany wings and will make it a strat shape with a LP headstock. I was pondering how to plane the thickness down without benefit of a planer. But I do have a grinder as you used so see how that works. Havent decided what do to about inlays yet. I did some basic dots on another guitar the other day, first time. So maybe some nice abalone diamonds on this one. Where did you get the 12th fret dot you used an inlay supply place or something like jewelry? Im wanting a natural finish to and your right about gunstocks some look really nice so Im gonna go with tung oil havent decided if want to tint it yet or not.
Last edited by Tackleberry at Jun 15, 2008,
#18
Thats gorgeous! Great build, can't wait to see more.
Quote by Kensai


Awesome guy right here
#19
Quote by Tackleberry
Very nice Im working on a neck thru now myself. I dont have all the nice wood working stuff tho so had to go with a premade neck from stewmac. Ah maybe someday to be able to build from scratch. I used mahogany wings and will make it a strat shape with a LP headstock. I was pondering how to plane the thickness down without benefit of a planer. But I do have a grinder as you used so see how that works. Havent decided what do to about inlays yet. I did some basic dots on another guitar the other day, first time. So maybe some nice abalone diamonds on this one. Where did you get the 12th fret dot you used an inlay supply place or something like jewelry? Im wanting a natural finish to and your right about gunstocks some look really nice so Im gonna go with tung oil havent decided if want to tint it yet or not.


I used my table saw, band saw, and spokeshave to make the neck. Most of it was with the spokeshave. I used the spokeshave and a lot of sandpaper to cut the neck to the body because of the neck wood being so much thicker than the body.

The inlays were not that bad to do, just take your time and you'll get it just like I did. As for the 12th. fret side dot, I bought a cheap ring on the net, and took it to a local jewlers to have them cut the ring away from the stone and the gold around the stone. I drilled a hole and made sure it fit. When I put it in for good, I plan to paint the bottom of the hole white, then use clear epoxy to hold it in. I think the white paint under the stone will make it pop and sparkle a lot more than the dark ebony.

Try the Tru-oil before you go with tung oil. It's cheap and easy to work with. If it's tough enough to be on a gunstock out in the environments, it should be tough enough for the back of a guitar.
#20
That is some amazing looking maple. Where do you guys come across all this beautiful wood?
#21
Well I already have a bottle of tung oil I use for my guns and have used on a guitar neck so no real cost there. Dot inlays are pretty easy as a 1/4 forstner bit makes the perfect hole for 1/4 inlays. The diamond ones will be a little more complicated. I already have a dremel and the plunge router set up so see how it does. As Im here in kentucky near alot of caves there are alot of tourist places selling some really nice stone so maybe Ill try some stone for side dots dont know how well they would do on the actual fret board but Ill go see what I can find. Never know where that will lead as inlay work pays pretty well. Ill have to put a scratch made neck on the list of all my other projects so could be a while for that. When I get some more work done on my build Iill get some pictures posted. I have another guitar to finish painting and a fret board I need to finish the frets on so it will take a little while. I have to use stainless frets as regular nickel ones dont last long with me.
#22
Quote by Tackleberry
Well I already have a bottle of tung oil I use for my guns and have used on a guitar neck so no real cost there. Dot inlays are pretty easy as a 1/4 forstner bit makes the perfect hole for 1/4 inlays. The diamond ones will be a little more complicated. I already have a dremel and the plunge router set up so see how it does. As Im here in kentucky near alot of caves there are alot of tourist places selling some really nice stone so maybe Ill try some stone for side dots dont know how well they would do on the actual fret board but Ill go see what I can find. Never know where that will lead as inlay work pays pretty well. Ill have to put a scratch made neck on the list of all my other projects so could be a while for that. When I get some more work done on my build Iill get some pictures posted. I have another guitar to finish painting and a fret board I need to finish the frets on so it will take a little while. I have to use stainless frets as regular nickel ones dont last long with me.



Well, I used stainless frets on my second build,



and they are nice to play on, but a bitch to work with! You can bend a long way easily with stainless, but to work with them to get them ready, a lot harder than nickel.
#23
Quote by ESP_Shreder
That is some amazing looking maple. Where do you guys come across all this beautiful wood?


Believe it or not, I got it on Ebay. I did a search, and kept going back to it until I found something I liked. I bought the neck wood first and then a couple of weeks later I got the wood for the body. I think it took me about seven weeks to find and buy the wood.

I only buy from people that have a 99.5 or higher rating and have never had a problem.

Go back to the first picture I posted and look at it again. The little piece on the right was thrown in by the seller. Why? I dunno. Maybe it's because I'm just a swell guy.
#24
wow, a one piece neck through? that sucks. amazing looking guitar though. gibsons are supposed to have a 17 degree headstock, 4.5 degree neck pitch i believe. i think the industry standard for headstock angle is around 11 degrees. gibson headstocks break all the ****ign time for that reason.
Last edited by LP Addict at Jun 15, 2008,
#25
damn thats nice!!!!!

all this makes me wish i could start doin my build....just $35 away!!!!! come on!!!!!
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#26
Quote by LP Addict
wow, a one piece neck through? that sucks. amazing looking guitar though.



Whaa????

"Wow, a one piece neck through"

Whaa???

Thanks for the kind words of the amazing looking guitar, but I don't understand what you mean by a one piece neck through.
#27
basically, if the neck itself is only one piece, be prepared for some serious warping
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#28
Quote by AngusJimiKeith
basically, if the neck itself is only one piece, be prepared for some serious warping


+1 I hope it is quartersawn atleast!
#29
you didnt even hard finish it, my guess is your guitar is playable for 2/4 seasons of the year. doesnt matter if its 1/4 sawn or not, maple moves without being sealed/hard finished. **** it moves anways. next time, rip it down the middle, flip a piece over and re glue it, it will be about 300 times stronger.
#30
Quote by LP Addict
wow, a one piece neck through? that sucks. amazing looking guitar though. gibsons are supposed to have a 17 degree headstock, 4.5 degree neck pitch i believe. i think the industry standard for headstock angle is around 11 degrees. gibson headstocks break all the ****ign time for that reason.



Well, through the years they changed the amount of angle of the headstock. I don't know how far they went in either direction, but 10 degrees should give me enough break angle over the nut to keep tension on the strings/nut to keep me in tune without having problems. With a 10 degree angle, I'll have less of a problem of the neck breaking because of all the undue pressure at the base of the headstock right at the neck which is the weakest point in the neck.

The neck/body angle goes from 3-5 degrees depending on what year and which bridge. The way I found mine was to run a straight edge down the fretboard after having a measurment of where the bridge was going to be and how high it would be. Since it has screw in studs, I have adjustment to get just about any amount of play I'll need which should be very little.
#31
Ahh, I see what your saying about the one piece neck. Well, I suppose that's what a truss rod is for, but you may be right. It isn't a laminent neck. I thought about it, and left the ebony fretboard thicker than normal as to help the neck wood against warpage. The neck is a little thicker than most as well, not because anything to do about warpage, I just like a thicker neck. The first one I made has a huge baseball bat shaped "C" neck that I just love. That's the profile I used a model for this one.

#32
well, if you let wood season, it doesnt matter, because once you remove wood from a piece, its fair game to move. truss rod is metal, it doesnt move, wood is wood, it moves. ebony wont stop a neck from warping, it will stop it from getting excessive relief though, as will the truss rod. twisting is where you will be ****ed. about 140 pounds on bass side, 80 or so pounds on the treble. the difference is significant, but it doesnt matter, its already done, just see, you might get lucky, you might be screwed, dont matter.
#33
I see what you mean. Not much to do now but see how she goes. If it twists, it twists. On the next one, I'll laminate the neck and go from there.

Thanks for the info.
#34
wow thats a really cool guitar. where u buy the les paul plans from?
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#35
Quote by J_48_Johnson
I see what you mean. Not much to do now but see how she goes. If it twists, it twists. On the next one, I'll laminate the neck and go from there.

Thanks for the info.



we had a neckthrough come into a shop i worked at once where the neck was compltely ruined, cracked all up and down, twisted like complete balls. we actually cut his neck off and made it a bolt on neck out of a new neck, turned out to be an amazing guitar.
#36
Quote by J_48_Johnson
Believe it or not, I got it on Ebay. I did a search, and kept going back to it until I found something I liked. I bought the neck wood first and then a couple of weeks later I got the wood for the body. I think it took me about seven weeks to find and buy the wood.

I only buy from people that have a 99.5 or higher rating and have never had a problem.

Go back to the first picture I posted and look at it again. The little piece on the right was thrown in by the seller. Why? I dunno. Maybe it's because I'm just a swell guy.

what kinf of wood is it and what did u look up on ebay. Btw the way do u know the seller

srry im building a guitar and looking for good wood.
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#37
ebay wood is a huge rip, go to your local lumber yard, you can get the whole piece that is cut off of for 5-6 dollars a board foot, whereas ebay prices are upwards into 10 dollars a board foot.
#38
^ I agree with LP I refuse to buy ebay wood anymore because I've realized what a rip off it is. I might sell some wood on ebay (curly spanish cedar tops) but I'm gonna sell them for WAY more than I bought the lumber for. I might buy some spruce from ebay just because you cant buy it locally in my state.
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