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Old March 13th, 2012, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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tehcnalp's Former Challenge Build

This will be my first year entering in the challenge. Going to try to keep this simple. For me the real challenge is going to be trying to finish a guitar project within two months. (I have several projects that I have been working on for the last couple of years. Have not finished one yet - haven't quick working on them either.)

Wish me luck.

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Old March 13th, 2012, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't worry over the little imperfections (the Fender Custom shop has them too )

Welcome! And good luck!

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Old March 14th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good luck, David! Glad you decided to join up and jump in
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Old March 17th, 2012, 11:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's my official start photo:


The guitar will be a three piece maple back, with a book-matched curly maple top. Between each of the three back pieces and the top will be a thin mahogany veneer. The neck will have a maple flame on the back with a curly maple fret board.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Dave and Roger.

I finally got underway today. I have a feeling that this will be more of a weekend project than anything.

First I sketched out on the body blanks the Tele shape using a template as a guide. I also sketched the basic shape of the neck with a center line for the truss rod channel.





Before routing the channel for the truss rod. I drilled 1/4 inch holes at either end of the line for the truss rod. The depth of each hole was 7/16th deep.


In the past I had tried a couple different methods for routing the truss rod channel. Including using a router table and a fence and building a jig to hold the router still. I've since discovered that the easiest method is clamp a guide and the neck to the edge of a table with the guide exactly 2 inches away from the center line.




There is, however, one problem with this method. Because the edge of the neck is so close to end truss rod hole, I was not able to finish all the way to the edge. Instead, I made four passes as far as I could go. Then I re-clamped the neck blank on the completed side. Removed the tow end clamps. And re-measured the distance from the guide to the center line, carefully adjusting the necks so that everything properly lined up.




This is the cleanest truss rod channel I have cut to date. Next up I will glue edges to the headstock and cut y fretboard.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Today's progress on the neck. I had a very productive afternoon in the basement today.



















After the glue cures overnight, I will be able to cut the shape, plane the surface and drill holes for the tuners. I've also prepped a miter box for the fret board which I hope to work on this week. I am surprised at how quickly this has progressed, I have spent less than 8 hours over two days this weekend working on the neck.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 03:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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looking good david. love the flame.

just a thought, next time round cut the channel before you cut the blank down to length. that way you can clamp on the extra wood.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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welcome from a fellow Ohioan...

That's some purty maple...progress looks great so far, looking forward to more.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks volowv and dilbone,
Yeah, I'll probably have to make that mistake about a half dozen more times before I learn.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It looks like Ohio is a good place to build guitars! Your build is looking good.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 09:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have been thinking about what would be an appropriate fretboard for this build. I knew that I wanted something that went well with the curly maple top I was planning on using. But I just wasn't happy with the wood I had lying around. I wet the wood with mineral spirits to get a better look at how the grain will look when finished.

The first thought I had was the curly maple at the top of this first frame. I liked it alot but it just doesn't feel dramatic enough to me. The flame maple at the bottom of the frame is from the same batch that I'm creating the neck out of, but it doesn't compliment the figure or color of the body.



I considered (briefly) a bird's eye maple. Then I decided to give the local wood stope another try.



That's where I found this 1/4" board. I like how the tightness of the grain matches the center of the book-matched top. The figure is running on a slight angle to the edges. I will cut it so that grain follows the center line.


Bellow, I've taped off the edges just so that I could get a good sense of what this would look like once I cut it. I'll also have to do something about the slight differences in color. The fretboard is slightly redder than the top.


Today, I plan to cut the fretboard. and hopefully move on to other work as well.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Nice figure in that wood, and good progress on your neck! Looks good.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks mk.

Today I had some help in the basement:

That's Scout, she's inspecting my cuts on the fret board.


Before cutting any slots, I marked the depth that I interned to cut to on the side of the fretboard - just under 3mm. This compensates for the eventual 14 inch radius of the fretboard and the frets.



While I did set the miter box guides to keep me from cutting too deep, I made sure to check each cut just incase.



After cutting the slots, I cut the shape of the fretboard just slightly larger than the neck. I will clean this up with the router after glueing the fretboard to the neck.
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Old March 24th, 2012, 11:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Very good work. It's coming along nicely.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 06:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Over the weekend I worked on gluing the fretboard to the neck, shaping the fretboard to the profile of the neck and shaping the headstock.

In order to help properly glue the fretboard to the neck I used a technique that involved drilling small holes in fret slots and using straight pins. The line on the left of the is the position of the zero fret. In order to line this up properly I drilled two small holes in the zero fret slot. Pushed the straight pins through, lined them up on the line on the neck, then drilled tow small holes there as well. I repeated this process at the twelfth. I checked the placing of the straight pins, measured their distance to make certain thy all matched up.








I removed the fretboard and pins and covered the neck with Titebond glue (removed the masking tape that protected the truss-rod.) I then carefully placed the fretboard over the neck lining up all of the straight pins. This was followed by my somewhat obsessive clamping process (this is actually fewer camps than I used on previous necks.) I allowed this to dry for about an hour, then removed the clamps. I then called it a night.









The next day I used my table router to clean up the edges of the fretboard and cut it flush to the neck. I followed this by sanding the headstock smooth to 120 grit and cut it's shape.


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Old March 27th, 2012, 08:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Now that I have the fretboard glued to the neck I can turn my attention to gluing the book-matched top and the three piece back. The top is about 3/8th of an inch thick and difficult to clamp. I clamped two pieces of wood to each side of the top to a table, so that the wood two pieces of wood are pressed tightly against each other. I used masking tape help insure that the pieces lined up properly. I then closed the book-match so that the interior edges are up. I apply the glue to one edge, press them together.



I clamped down three pieces of wood on top of the wood to keep it from popping upon the edges, and to hold the center in place. I then placed about 60lbs of weights on top of the center board. I let this sit over night.



The next day the top had even seem with a little excess glue that I'll sand off.

Next up, I'll glue up the back.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 12:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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A lefty neck on a righty body, this should be cool.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 06:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Looking good!
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Old March 28th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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You're doing great work. Slow and methodical. That top is going to really pop once finished.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 06:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That top is going to really pop once finished.
Yeah, can't wait to see it.
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