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Old February 2nd, 2013, 03:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Osage Orange/Yellow Pine Prototype Tele Thingy

So I picked up some osage orange from my local wood source. It was some re-saw trimmings he was going to burn, all about 3/8" thick and various widths. Had it sitting in my shop loft since July, so I figure its air dried long enough to work, and through periodical inspection I have noticed that the wood hasn't checked or warped in those six months. It may have been dry when I picked it up, but it was all piled around an old tree trunk out in the open, so I didn't want to take any chances.

After cutting it all up, I have enough for two guitar tops, or a buttload of fretboards. I selected the roughest looking pieces, trimmed them up a little, and plan on making a top for a yellow pine Tele body. A potential customer wants me to build him a custom Tele-style guitar with a bunch of crazy sounding combinations, like 45 edges all the way around the profile (think Jackson Flying V's), no pickguard, a humbucker in the bridge and a non traditional (non tele style) bridge, plus he wants me to slightly alter the overall shape at my discretion. I figure this is waaaaay to much stuff to risk on the nice expensive hardwoods I have set aside for customer builds, only to have him not like all these options crammed into one guitar, so I'm building this prototype to kind of give him a good idea of how it will all look before I start the real build.



Next up, Im gonna take it to the cnc and mill it all down, join the edges and glue it up. More pics to come.

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Old February 2nd, 2013, 03:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Next up, Im gonna take it to the cnc and mill it all down, join the edges and glue it up. More pics to come.
gosh dang CNCs. can't wait to see this!
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 03:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You'll like the osage, but your tools won't.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 03:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You'll like the osage, but your tools won't.
uh oh.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 03:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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gosh dang CNCs. can't wait to see this!
I have reservations about using the cnc to build a guitar. most i'll do with it is surface and join, maybe complex inlay work. I don't feel as comfortable using it to carve bodies and necks. To me, it seems like you lose something there with what is essentially a robot doing the work for you. I suppose I'm somewhat of a purist. Now, my buddy, the guy who built the cnc is a big fan of precision and tolerances, so he prefers the cold and calloused calculations of a machine. I just leave it all up to the customer. If they want it hand made, I'll build it. If they want it done on the machine, he builds it.

Having said that, this prototype will be done mostly on the machine, just to save time as I have about 6 other builds going on right now.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 05:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It came out pretty nice. Need to surface both front and back before I can do anything else. Got quite a bit done in the shop today, that is until I blew the circuit trying to run the cnc, two space heaters, a dust collector and a handheld router all at once. Now the workpiece clamped down on the cnc has to be re-measured and touched off, which no one felt like doing tonight :) Save it for tomorrow, I suppose. More pics soon.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 06:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Looks good. ;)

I've lived with the blown breaker thing before, and it's a hassle, to put it mildly.. I swear I'm going to run a new circuit out there, dedicated to just the cnc, but haven't done it yet. When I rearranged the shop last summer, I accidentally plugged the bandsaw into the same circuit and didn't realize it right away. After almost three hours running the cnc on a routine, I decided to make a small cut for another project, and fired up the bandsaw.. Boom, everything went down immediately. Lost all my calibrations and measurements. Luckily, I was able to turn off the router before energizing the circuit, so the work on the machine didn't get destroyed. Unfortunately, the machine had milled off all my marks.. Getting all the axes back in exactly the same place was a PITA. Winter has its drawbacks.. Sure didn't do myself any favors. That 30 second cut cost me half a day.. Live and learn, huh... LOL
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 09:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've used Osage for a fretboard. I really liked it. I have another board I plan on using as a neck shaft, possibly with a mesquite fretboard.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Looks good. ;)

I've lived with the blown breaker thing before, and it's a hassle, to put it mildly.. I swear I'm going to run a new circuit out there, dedicated to just the cnc, but haven't done it yet. When I rearranged the shop last summer, I accidentally plugged the bandsaw into the same circuit and didn't realize it right away. After almost three hours running the cnc on a routine, I decided to make a small cut for another project, and fired up the bandsaw.. Boom, everything went down immediately. Lost all my calibrations and measurements. Luckily, I was able to turn off the router before energizing the circuit, so the work on the machine didn't get destroyed. Unfortunately, the machine had milled off all my marks.. Getting all the axes back in exactly the same place was a PITA. Winter has its drawbacks.. Sure didn't do myself any favors. That 30 second cut cost me half a day.. Live and learn, huh... LOL
As a matter of fact, it wasnt a router i was trying to use, it was the bandsaw. I was trimming the top of that tele, had about 2 inches to go and the circuit flipped. Weve never thrown the fuse before last night, I'm sure it was running those heaters. We built the shop in the summer without the foresight that we might need heat in the winter...

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I've used Osage for a fretboard. I really liked it. I have another board I plan on using as a neck shaft, possibly with a mesquite fretboard.
I think I have a piece big enough for a neck, I may try that next.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 02:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Cut the pickup routes yesterday and put the 45 chamfer around the edges. It came out alright, the chamfer bit burned the osage orange in a couple spots, but I'm sure it will sand out. Had a little tear out on the humbucker route, but I can repair that when I epoxy all the knots in the top.



I wasn't sure how this would look when the customer requested it, he'd seen it on one of my other non-Tele builds, but I think it looks pretty cool applied to a Tele body. See that little hole where the jack should go? I forgot to carve wiring channels in the body before I glued the top on, so to remedy my rookie mistake, I got a 12" x 1/8" drill bit and drilled from the jack location through to the humbucker cavity, and then from the neck pocket through the neck cavity and into the bridge cavity. Wiring problem solved.



Really good join and grain match on the back. This was not necessarily planned, I just cut up some pine and glued it in a drunken stupor one night last week, which reminds me I should drink more often. It enhances my woodworking skills and sex appeal. The neck plate recess is just something I did on the fly. Not sure if I like it, I may do some additional work on it, not sure yet.



I think it will look 10x better once I clean it up a little and do some fine sanding. And here's a drawing in Rhino of the pickup rings that we're going to cut. Haven't decided what wood to use for the rings. We have padauk, wenge, maple, mahogany, walnut, ash, oak and cherry. What do you guys think would be a good contrast to the osage orange?

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Old February 6th, 2013, 02:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That looks fantastic. The 45 deg camphor works well.
As for pickguard rings, as dark as possible. Or match the fretboard if that's a darker wood.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 02:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Walnut is a good contrast. Wenge and Mahogany would probably look good as well.

Maple could be stained really, really amber to blend in and not contrast.

I think Padauk or Cherry would clash. Red on yellow would just be too loud for my taste.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 03:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The 45 looks great. I wouldn't have thought it would, but I like it a lot.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 08:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'd go with walnut or wenge. If you can find some macassar ebony, that would look even better (IMO).

Are you planning on staining the pine? Seems like going to a darker stain would tie it in nicely to the darker pickup rings, and accentuate the osage.. Just a thought.. ;)
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Old February 6th, 2013, 12:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd go with walnut or wenge. If you can find some macassar ebony, that would look even better (IMO).

Are you planning on staining the pine? Seems like going to a darker stain would tie it in nicely to the darker pickup rings, and accentuate the osage.. Just a thought.. ;)
I plan on giving it a nice rub down with either watco danish oil (natural) or boiled linseed oil before I clear it. The only stain I have on hand is some of that Minwax water based rub in stain that comes in a toothpaste tube looking thing. And its blue, bleccchhhhh! Would not go with the rustic motif at all, but I can see where some dark walnut stain would look cool on this body. The actual build is going to be a walnut body with a book matched ash or maple top.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 02:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I do the 45 edge thing a lot and what's extra cool is to blend it into a little extra forearm and belly cut.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I do the 45 edge thing a lot and what's extra cool is to blend it into a little extra forearm and belly cut.
Pictures? Sounds cool.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I do the 45 edge thing a lot and what's extra cool is to blend it into a little extra forearm and belly cut.
The thought has crossed my mind, believe me. Now that I've got two more devils on my shoulder, chanting "belly cut... arm rest..." I just might have to do it.

But like the fellow above me said: Pictures?
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Old February 6th, 2013, 03:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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This is all I could find right now. I have one of the top but it doesn't show very well.



Neither are very extreme and the 45 creates a pretty comfy armrest/belly cut on it's own but I think it adds some flair. I tried to keep the cut relatively flat and not 'scooped' to better match the rest of the edge.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 03:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Okay, so how did you do that? With a chamfer bit or by hand?
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