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Old March 18th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Voodoo Tele build

Today I finally made the first steps in turning my paper plans into wood and sawdust for my latest build.

It is going to be a far from traditional T-style guitar.

I'm taking inspiration from Fender's Voodoo Strat, which has a reverse headstock and a left-hand angle for the bridge pickup. I was playing a friend's a couple of months ago and I really liked the twangier bass and warmer treble and thought it would suit a Tele, so I'll be fitting this with a leftie bridge. I'm not too sure about the reverse headstock. He swears it changes the feel of the strings, but I couldn't tell. I'll make up my mind when the replacement belt arrives for my bandsaw.

The other unusual aspect of my plan is that I'm going to make this one a thru-neck. Externally it won't be visible but the nut and bridge will both sit on the same piece of wood. If all goes to plan it will be virtually heel-less too.

Talking of wood, the neck and body back are going to be sapele with a 1/4" maple cap.

So today I started turning the raw chunk of sapele into a body blank. It would have been so much easier with a thicknesser and jointer but I don't have access to either so it was a router, table saw and lots of creative sandpapering.







And today's lesson learned? Don't wear a black fleece jacket when you're creating sawdust. Oh, and bullmastiff's will eat sapele sawdust if you let them.



Last edited by davmac; March 18th, 2011 at 05:01 PM. Reason: spelling and punctuation
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Old March 18th, 2011, 05:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hope it goes well, looking forward to watching.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Best of luck Dave. This looks like it will be loads of fun to do and to watch. Made me wonder how good a nut a Black Cat Bone would make.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 04:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Spent a few hours making templates yesterday, but once I was happy with them, the work on the body blank went quickly...



You'll spot the lack of heel and the left-handed bridge pickup rout shape.





And this is as far as I got. If the rain clears up I'll finish the chambers today. I'm also going to try an fix up an old bandsaw that has been given to me, so that I can start the neck.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old March 25th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A little more progress today. I need the maple cap and fingerboard to arrive so that I can calculate the height of the cuts for the neck tenon, so in the meantime, finished off the template for neck with its huge tenon...



...and did the round-over on the body back.

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Old March 25th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow! That's pretty intense. Love that piece of wood you have for the body. I'm really looking forward to how you attach the neck. Beautiful. Looks like you've got some serious skills, Dave. Kudos.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Be careful when you drill the holes for the strap buttons (especially the bottom one) that you don't put a little piece of wood inside the body to rattle around. It will drive you crazy! (don't ask me how I know) You may want to drill the hole before you glue on the top.
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Old March 25th, 2011, 05:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow! That's pretty intense. Love that piece of wood you have for the body. I'm really looking forward to how you attach the neck. Beautiful. Looks like you've got some serious skills, Dave. Kudos.
Much appreciated! I bought the wood as a bunch of offcuts and have been pleasantly surprised with it after the rough layer was planed off. I'll definitely be going back there for timber again.

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Originally Posted by mlp-mx6 View Post
Be careful when you drill the holes for the strap buttons (especially the bottom one) that you don't put a little piece of wood inside the body to rattle around. It will drive you crazy! (don't ask me how I know) You may want to drill the hole before you glue on the top.
Wise words and obviously from experience!

I've actually left chunks of wood behind where the strap buttons screw into to hopefully avoid this (you might notice in the pics that I install two buttons on the tail end), but I'll take your advice on board and install the strap buttons before the top goes on. Thanks.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 06:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Made good progress today, which is just as well because we have rain forecast for the rest of the week.

Got the truss rod in.



The top of the neck big tenon cut.



And the bottom.



And the matching mortice in the body.



The next job is to cut the body cavity shapes into the neck tenon and then on to shaping the neck and headstock...
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Old April 1st, 2011, 02:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Things have been progressing pretty well the last couple of days. Headstock is just about done.



And I'm a fair way in to carving the "heel-less" neck body transition.



Unfortunately my router went bang yesterday showering me and the garden with fragments of cast metal. I'm really glad I keep those safety specs on!

Until the new router arrives (probably Monday) I'll keep myself occupied with carving the neck...
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 12:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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looking great - shame about the router - +1 on the safety gear !

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Old April 4th, 2011, 01:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I managed to find this part of the bearing housing about 40' away from where I was working. If anybody is pondering whether that safety gear is worth it, imagine this hitting an unprotected body part...



We've had heavy rain the last couple of days so not too much progress, although I did get ebony fretboard cut close to shape and the copper marker dots installed.



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Old April 4th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Dave, you have a nice project going. That looks like a cool dog too. Kudos.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 04:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I love the micro dots on the fret board. The rest of the guitar is really cool too. :-)
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Old April 4th, 2011, 04:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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A very nice looking project. Nice to see something a bit different.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. It is certainly keeping me busy!
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Old April 4th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This is an amazing build i am totally following this one!!!
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Old April 5th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #19 (permalink)
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That looks like a cool dog too.
I'll tell her you said so! Thanks.



Wet and windy today so I'm reduced to posting dog pictures! Anyone want to see the Newfoundland and Border Terrier?
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Old April 5th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The weather eased up so I managed to get a few jobs done. First made myself a really simple fretwire bender.



First tapped in the fret ends, then three or four firm strikes with a copper faced hammer seems to do the trick.



After seeing the video about how PRS do their frets over at flatfive's build challenge thread, I reasoned that if it was good enough for Carlos, it'll be good enough for me



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