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#1
This is my second guitar build. The first one is in my signature if you haven't seen it.

Specs -

Ash body loosely based on the Firebird but reshaped to my liking
Set maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
10 degree tilt headstock with flame maple head plate
12 inch radius, 24 3/4 scale with 22 frets like a Firebird
Lefty mini 6 inline tuners (haven't decided on a set yet)
HSH pickup configuaration (planning to use P-Rails in the neck and bridge and a Hotrails in the middle)
Nashville Tunomatic bridge, haven't decided on string-thru or tail piece


Getting started on the neck - It's two piece flat sawn maple.

I cut the side profile rough and jointed then glued the two pieces. After drying overnight, planed the top side. Next, planed the back so it has a nice flat surface for clamping to.



The neck is the same basic dimensions as the Gibson Firebird Studio. I'm building it as a set-neck like that one.



You can see the hump for the volute that will go on the back of the headstock, right under the truss rod pocket.



With the headstock template traced on, it overlapped both sides by a tiny bit. I had to attach two small blocks of maple and glue overnight. Then I planed it and redrew the shape. Next I cut off most of the excess.

The headstock is the same exact one I made for my first guitar, just reversed like a Firebird. I need to get some lefty tuners on order for this one.



This monstrosity is what happens when you use far too many clamps to glue a head plate on. I was running short on time last night and didn't take pics of the process, but I will try to explain.

I routed the truss rod pocket before putting the head plate on.



The headplate is flamed maple. I cut it from the same piece I made my flame top and control cavity cover from on my first guitar. I chose to run the flame figure from end to end instead of side to side. This should look a little odd, but cool anyway.

The plate is .065" thick. I drilled and counter sunk 4 small screw holes outside of the headstock area to place the plate. Once I glued it, I aligned it with the 4 screws and then clamped it down like crazy. I wanted to make sure the whole thing adheres really well, so the clamps aren't ultra tight, there's just a lot of them.



These shots show my body template, rosewood fingerboard and the ash blank I'm using. It's currently very heavy, but there's a lot to cut off.

I already slotted the fingerboard on the mill and drew out my inlay dots. It will have offset inlays, very close to the top edge of the board.



And a nice shot of my body design - I shortened the body by a little over an inch in the tail. I also pulled the neck joint back into the body about an inch. The lower curve is shifted forward, and the lower horn is reshaped to compensate for the structural changes.

I don't like how the Firebird sits in my lap when I play it. It's great standing, but sitting down the original design slides forward so that the bridge is above my thigh. This makes it feel like the guitar is super long and not a 24 3/4 scale. I moved the bridge back substantially in this redesign so it will sit closer to a Fender feel.

The pickguard is just roughed in by hand. I will reshape it a bit and make the top line straight. It comes back a bit further than a Firebird, and I'm still considering how to arrange the controls at the tail of it. I'm planning to do an HSH pickup arrangement on it.

The neck joint will resemble that of an SG. I'm also redesigning the tenon (the tail of the neck under the pickup) to more of a PRS style. It's a very strong, wide joint that works almost like a dovetail. This along with the maple neck should make the guitar hold together through some serious abuse.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
Last edited by zeroyon at Aug 27, 2008,
#2
ash/maple/rosewood, SG neck joint....im in the middle of doin the same f***in build with a different body/headstock shape!!!!

looks good!
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
#4
Quote by AngusJimiKeith
ash/maple/rosewood, SG neck joint....im in the middle of doin the same f***in build with a different body/headstock shape!!!!

looks good!



Haha, and I'm leaning heavily towards doing a transparent blue, too!
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#5
I was thinking about doing a firebird for my GCSE tech project, but at the last minute I'm gonna do a Rhoads V, despite having drawn out plans for a firebird....now I'm unsure
#6
I might be doing a neck thru firebird for a buddy of mine soon... flame maple on sapele with a 5 laminate exposed neck thru... trying to work out the logistics of it right now... first i have to finish the workload i have coming in along with my 2 builds
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#8
My first guitar was a bolt on. This one is a set neck. I may do a neck-thru next, but time will tell.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#9
personally i think neck thru is easier than set neck... you dont have to worry about cutting your joint wrong and f*king it all up. Although, if the neck ever warps, it's as good as firewood
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#10
The same could be said for many set necks, too. When you go to pull it out and the body explodes around the joint... haha.

What do you guys think of my body design? Does it still capture the Firebird look right?
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#12
Haha... well I guess your opinion wouldn't be tainted by liking the guitar so much you had to say something nice.

Like they say, to each his own. There's a ton of guitar shapes out there I can't stand. For some reason this one is the most extreme shape I can stomach, and I quite like it.

No figured top on this one. I'm still considering the finish. I'm leaning towards black grain filler and something transparent over it... possibly blue. I'd love to stain it gray and clear it, but my last guitar was black/gray... so I suppose I'll do something different.

A nice ash with dark grain with blue over it looks sweet - so that might be the way to go.

I suppose I'll just try to make the headplate match somehow. I was about to use plain maple and realized I had some flame sitting around. No sense in wasting it.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#13
Make that with the grain filler ala gibson voodoo series. (my build is also from ash so i want to learn from yours) Staining seems to be easier than painting a perfect opaque color.
#15
Quote by superbadboy2
Make that with the grain filler ala gibson voodoo series. (my build is also from ash so i want to learn from yours) Staining seems to be easier than painting a perfect opaque color.


I'm not going to make it quite like that. I'd rather not have the grain texture... but if it happens, I wouldn't be mad about it. Black grain filler and blue stain on the ash? Sounds like a plan.

Maybe I'll just stain everything blue so the maple neck sorta matches up with the ash.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#16
Headplate done, roughed out headstock shape. Cleaned up taper of neck and placed the fingerboard on.





Tomorrow I will taper the fingerboard and drill for the inlay dots.

I know its not a ton of progress, but people seem to like the regular updates... so I'll post them as I can.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#17
Quote by zeroyon
I'm not going to make it quite like that. I'd rather not have the grain texture... but if it happens, I wouldn't be mad about it. Black grain filler and blue stain on the ash? Sounds like a plan.

Maybe I'll just stain everything blue so the maple neck sorta matches up with the ash.



I think i decided the finish on my guitar. Grain filler (with color or not), stain, tung oil. This seems the easiest way of finishing a guitar. Does tung oil protect the wood well? Is the surface of the guitar going to be oily or greasy with the tung oil or does it dry completly?

I found this video that can be helpfull on painting the grain on a different color.
http://www.truveo.com/How-to-Make-a-Homemade-Electric-Guitar-Staining/id/458386073
#18
No, the Tung Oil dries completely. It does seal up the wood nicely, too... but the finish is very dull.

I'm not shooting for easy on this one, necessarily.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#20
Have you buffed it out shiny? I've never taken past a matte finish.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#22
Holy crap, man... that could take all day.

You couldn't do about 1500 grit and buff it?
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#24
^I think that there are high gloss tung oils. Do i still need to use grain filler if i use tung oil?

EDIT: The kind of finish i want is this http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w134/briantangen/Bolt%20plus%20kits/DSC00008.jpg

The guys from carvin use dyes and then use tung oil so i guess i don't need woodfiller.
Last edited by superbadboy2 at Aug 29, 2008,
#25
Quote by LP Addict
doesnt take all day haha. makita random orbital sander makes it a 10-15 minute job.


Sure, I've got one... but how do you use that to get into tight spots like the cutaways and the contour of the neck where it turns into the headstock? Those areas were all hand sanded on my stuff.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#26
i use my orbital sander for everything but insides the horns, for the horns i use a drum sander with 400 grit attached to my electric drill, then i hand polish it with non-abrasive pads (equivalent to 2000 grit or so)
#27
Fingerboard on. The inlays will be offset, all the cross marks were used to draw a center line down each space between the frets. I placed them in from the edge of the neck at a uniform distance.






Taper done, double checked inlay locations. Marked/drilled side inlays and inserted them. I used white plastic for these. The top inlays will be abalone.



Next I drew on the volute and thickness of the back of the neck. The basic profile is heavily influenced by the Firebird.



This is like a two-dimensional idea of what its going to look like. I hit the spindle sander to cut it all back, shaping the high points of the volute and roughing in the transition to the heel a little.



In the interest of keeping things simple to fit into time constraints, I'm going to adjust the neck joint contour a little. It will actually have better access to the upper frets than the Gibson, and the maple neck as opposed to mahogany will ensure it stays strong, anyway. I'll see about shaping it into the ash body nice and smooth after I've set the neck.



Tomorrow its time to fill out the 3rd dimension and get a real contour going on this thing. I'll work out the real shape and hopefully be down to the details by tomorrow afternoon.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#28
Very nice build!




Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#29
Exciting build. I really enjoyed your last one, so I'm looking forward to seeing this one come together too.
Ibanez PGM301
Ibanez GRG170DX
Fender Telecaster MiJ - 1986
Swing T-Through

Ibanez TS9DX
Sovtek Small Stone - c.1985
EHX Big Muff
Kimbara Wah - c.1974
Boss GE-7

Orange Rocker 30 Combo

http://www.myspace.com/paythelay
#30
The neck looks sweet man!

Good job!

Gear
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Carvin V3 and Marhall 1960A cab
2 B.C. Rich Ironbird Pro
Schecter Hellraiser 6
Boss ML-2

#33
Quote by Killedelphia19
The firebirds gonna look beautiful, shoulda done an explorer tho...


You build the explorer. This guitar is for me. (and I don't like Explorers)
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
Last edited by zeroyon at Aug 30, 2008,
#34
Forgot my camera, these are cell phone pics of me shaping the neck.








I forgot to take pics after I smoothed it out and reshaped the volute. The volute is rounded off towards the center now, and the edges are all rounded on the headstock.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#35
I've made serious progress on this thing now.



The volute and transition to the headstock are all rounded out.



The neck profile feels really nice. I'm surprised I did so well with the rasp and a lot of hand work. I shaped this using a spindle sander to start the thickness, then rasped out the basic shape. Then I used 80 grit sandpaper up and down the neck like a shoe-shine. (following the grain only) I finished using a random orbital and a little more hand sanding in the rough spots.



This heel is for the set neck. Once its glued in, it will run all the way under the neck pickup. I'll route the pickup out of the tail of the neck. I'll also do some final sanding to shape here after that.



The profile is based on the Gibson, but I took it down thinner to make it feel a little smaller in your hand. It seems like it will play pretty fast. I haven't decided on frets yet, but most likely something a little fat.



I got the body cut out and sanded to shape. I just band sawed it close to the line, then shaped it with the spindle sander. A little finishing by hand smoothed out the curves.



These shots give you an idea of the final shape. The neck is laid on where it will fit.



I'm still waiting for my inlays to arrive. As soon as I get them, I will have them installed.

Next I am working on the template for the neck pocket. I'll have it glued in by the end of the week and the rest of the shaping complete.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#37
That necks really nice, very smooth




Quote by dogismycopilot
Absent Mind, words cant express how much i love you. Id bone you, oh yea.

Quote by lumberjack
Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

Quote by littlemurph7976
Id like to make my love for Neil public knowledge as he is a beautiful man
#39
Looking good, subscribed.
Kit:

Tanglewood TW28STR
PRS Soapbar SE II
Epiphone LP100

Roland Cube 30x (New!)
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