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Old December 17th, 2012, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Non-traditional LP style build

This one's gonna be interesting.

Les Paul body outline
Guild Bluesbird style cutaway
Carved top
Roller Tune-O-Matic
Bigsby B7
Bill Lawrence humbucker in the neck position
No bridge pickup route
Cream binding on body and headstock (but not fretboard)
Scarf joint neck 3x3 headstock
Tele style neck heel and neck pocket
Neck mounted with countersunk bolts
ES-345 style split parallelogram inlays
All Georgia sourced lumber
White Ash body
Walnut carved top
Walnut neck and fretboard - may "ebonize" the fretboard.

The first step is the body blank. Need to joint and glue this up:



I forsee building a lot of jigs in my near future, so I procured a decent drill/driver. My 18V Ryobi was an awesome drill, the batteries were less awesome. It finally bit the dust and a replacement was necessary.



I looked at the "18v Lithium" Hitachi, but I thought the grip was too skinny and I didn't like the chuck either. I bought my dad a 12v Hitachi set for his B-day about a decade ago and its still going. I've already put it to use building a work stand for my ROSS. Its so nice not to have to drive 2" long screws by hand.

Now, I will need to alter an LP plan to include the more rounded Bluesbird style cutaway. I haven't decided if I will have my friend who does computer graphics have a go at it on a full size .PDF, or if I want to do it myself with a pencil and French curve.



I figure once I get my plan printed out I'll make a practice neck from Poplar, to get the method for scarf joints and the truss rod route worked out before using the good lumber. I have a StewMac "Hot Rod"truss rod with the 1/4" hex nut that should work for a LP style neck. Stew Mac says their Hot Rods require a .225 route with their special bit. Could I use a 1/4" bit for this route or do I need the extra .03"? (I know this goes against the quote in my signature, but truss rods are serious business )

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Old December 17th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That sounds pretty sweet. I'll be watching...
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Old December 17th, 2012, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Know of a good site for a tutorial on scarf joints? I'd like to try one but I'd like to see it laid out step-by-step.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like a nice build. The SM bit is smaller than a 1/4", so there would be some play in a channel cut with a .250" bit. Their bit is an exact fit for their TR. You could give it a try on your practice neck, and see how it goes, worst case scenario you can pad both sides of the channel with .0125". Chances are it will work fine with the slightly wider channel, but you will want to epoxy the ends in, and make sure to add a few dabs of silicone along the length of the rod. Nothing worse than a TR rattle in a neck..
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Old December 17th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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LMI has some pretty good videos of neck making on Youtube. I'm also gonna be checking Preeb and MusikP's LP threads and Scatter Lee's Junior thread heavily.



The LMI vids are mostly acoustic guitar oriented, but the cutting/clamping etc techniques seem to be great for LP style necks.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've done this two ways (which is exactly how many hot-rods I've used). The first, I routed with a 1/4" bit, then glued a strip of veneer on the side to take up the extra space.
On the second, by this time I had a couple of 3/16" bits. I made one route clean, then moved the jig over slightly, to get the .225 I needed. Easy peasy
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Old December 17th, 2012, 03:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do have a 3/16" router bit. I will probably be doing the first route 3/16 anyway, so that I can use a spotfacer with it to cut the truss rod access.



I ordered one of these today. Shipping cost more than the actual bit. I've never had good luck making elaborate drilling jigs, so this should help with that.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 03:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sweet looking outfit there. Seeing as how your using that, you may have to move your jig/straightedge twice (a little on each side) to make sure that stays centered
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Old December 17th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, thats the plan. Shouldn't be too hard to clamp up a fence to my router table.

The plan is to do a mockup neck from pine or poplar to see how the scarf joint/truss rod works out before I try it on the walnut.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That wasn't so bad. Its just a pine test blank to test the jig, of course. Got it glued up in some clamps now. May use it for a CBG or something later on.

I put in the wrong zipcode on my order for the spotfacer so it may take a while to get to me.

Anyone have any tips they'd like to share about clamping scarf joints? I'm all (glued on) ears.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you have enough meat left on the sides, use a couple screws like I do it...

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home...ml#post3882583

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Old December 19th, 2012, 10:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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That sounds like a plan. I can cut a 3" wide blank with this jig. And I'm guessing that clamping the joint without glue will hold it tight enough to drill for the screws? I know when I put the clamps on the mockup without glue it seemed to clamp easy enough, once I put glue on the pieces it started getting slippery.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenG Capo4 View Post
That sounds like a plan. I can cut a 3" wide blank with this jig. And I'm guessing that clamping the joint without glue will hold it tight enough to drill for the screws? I know when I put the clamps on the mockup without glue it seemed to clamp easy enough, once I put glue on the pieces it started getting slippery.
You're spot on Mate.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 10:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenG Capo4 View Post
Anyone have any tips they'd like to share about clamping scarf joints? I'm all (glued on) ears.
As fate would have it............
I have the habit (learned from my father) of clipping the heads off 1 1/4" finish nails and using them as drill bits for fine wood. It also allows you to use said nails as locator pins . FWIW, when I make a scarf neck, I cut it like you just did, so I know this will work. After you make the cut and flip the piece, use the cut-off nail to drill two holes through both pieces, one inch from the neck piece and 3/" in. After you glue up the pieces, knock in two nails as pins then glue normally. When you profile the neck and shape the peghead, those holes will be gone


Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenG Capo4 View Post
That sounds like a plan. I can cut a 3" wide blank with this jig. And I'm guessing that clamping the joint without glue will hold it tight enough to drill for the screws?
Right on! Nails or screws, this method work for either


P.S. FWIW, I always use at least a 3" neck blank with a scarf joint
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Old December 19th, 2012, 11:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a broken Gibson les paul neck I have to scarf today and start the reconstructive surgery. Must be something in the air.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 11:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I am pretty sure I'll position the joint at the headstock as that seems to be easier to repair than positioning it before the headstock. I know I may lose a bit of strength by not having the fingerboard cover the joint. I'll use a veneer to cover the joint on the headstock face which should add a little more strength, as will having the Grover tuners bolted on through it.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by OpenG Capo4 View Post
I am pretty sure I'll position the joint at the headstock as that seems to be easier to repair than positioning it before the headstock. I know I may lose a bit of strength by not having the fingerboard cover the joint. I'll use a veneer to cover the joint on the headstock face which should add a little more strength, as will having the Grover tuners bolted on through it.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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scarf joint.... here's one I'm doing now!

I have made several scarfed necks and beef up the join with my custom volute which adds condiderably to the join glue surface area.
Never had one fail and if you measure correctly it will provide a backing wall for your tuners. Apologies in advance for the lousy pix.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 09:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
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A couple of neck blanks. Sawn to 3" width. I ran them on the jointer after this photo was taken, and will run them on the planer this evening.

I was told the neck blank wood is 80-100 years old. The marks seem to indicate an old timey sawmill, and its super light and really dry feeling. There are also some tiny worm holes, but I think I can work around them. Once I planed the faces, I see that the color fades in it too. It goes from a deep purpley brown at one end to almost blonde at the other, with a big streak of red in it. I don't know if I like it, I might end up staining it.



Some walnut for the neck and fretboard blanks. The stuff I'll be using for the fretboard is quartersawn and looks as nice as any Rosewood I've ever seen.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 10:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow , those fret board blanks look great
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