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Old April 24th, 2013, 12:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Three bundles of joy!

These are my first three builds ever. I must first say thank you to all the exceptional builders in this forum. The knowledge and insight you all provide really helps a newbie get started.

After doing a ton of research, I started buying tools and materials in December of last year. I was able to finally start in January of this year. The first two bodies are one-piece swamp ash, and will have SD Lil 59s in the Bridge, a standard Tele bridge PUP in the mid position, and a standard Tele neck PUP in the neck position. The third one will have a TV jones HB in the bridge position, standard Tele bridge PUP in the mid position, and a standard Tele neck PUP in the neck position. It will also have a Ghost Tech piezo system as well.

I haven't built a router sled yet, so I have one side jointed at a wood working shop and then level the other side in my planer, as well as reduce it to the proper thickness. Here are some pics of all three builds so far. Once it stops snowing and warms up here (northern Michigan) I'll be able to spray some color and clear coat on them.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks good. If you don't have a planer, then a router planer jig will help you get by, but it if you do have a planer, you don't need to fabricate one. I'd put that effort into other other jigs for making necks. Unless you have horribly twisted wood, you can carefully alternate plane both sides of rough wood up to the width that your planer will take, at least for bodies and necks.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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c'mon.. you can squeeze a few more knobs 'n switches in there... where's your sense of adventure..?

Oh.. that TonePro bridge is a really nice piece...

rk
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Old April 24th, 2013, 02:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks good. If you don't have a planer, then a router planer jig will help you get by, but it if you do have a planer, you don't need to fabricate one. I'd put that effort into other other jigs for making necks. Unless you have horribly twisted wood, you can carefully alternate plane both sides of rough wood up to the width that your planer will take, at least for bodies and necks.
I'll give it a shot on my next blank. I don't have any twisting, just some cupping. I thought my planer would push it flat and let the cup reappear after it comes back out.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 02:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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c'mon.. you can squeeze a few more knobs 'n switches in there... where's your sense of adventure..?

Oh.. that TonePro bridge is a really nice piece...

rk
Lol! I was thinking of naming it the millennium faulkencaster. I like both bridges I've ordered so far. I'll probably stick with the Schaller when possible, but the Hipshot works better with the Ghost Tech saddles.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 03:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lol! I was thinking of naming it the millennium faulkencaster. I like both bridges I've ordered so far. I'll probably stick with the Schaller when possible, but the Hipshot works better with the Ghost Tech saddles.
Also, I love your avatar!! I just moved to north Michigan in March of last year. Before that, I was a Jacksonville, FL native for 12 years. Before that I was born and raised in West "By God" Virginia (that's how we are taught to say it there)

My home office (CSX) is still in Jax so I'm there 4 weeks out of the year. I'll have to stop by and say hi next time I'm in town.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll give it a shot on my next blank. I don't have any twisting, just some cupping. I thought my planer would push it flat and let the cup reappear after it comes back out.
Start out with the cup down so the planer takes off some from the middle or the high point of the wood, then flip it and run it in so the knives are cutting the edges, them flip it again, and so on. Eventally both sides are flat and parallel. Take small bites each time....This is exactly how I plane my one piece blanks.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 03:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like the way you have fearlessly taken on some fairly challenging builds for your first(s). These are going to be very cool and I have no doubt you'll do great on them. What do you have planned for the necks?

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Old April 24th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cool! I'll do that with my next blank. Thanks for the tip!!
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Old April 24th, 2013, 03:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I like the way you have fearlessly taken on some fairly challenging builds for your first(s). These are going to be very cool and I have no doubt you'll do great on them. What do you have planned for the necks?

Rex
I wouldn't say fearless. I did spend A LOT of time learning how to do what I want to accomplish, which includes a lot of reading the tips and tricks from the builders in this forum.

For now I have ordered three necks from Warmoth. I plan to buy the rest of the tools I need this year so I can build my own.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 10:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Lesson learned! I'll admit it... Since birth I have been a "learn the hard way" individual. Life experience has helped reduce the hard way lessons, but they still occur from time to time.

I was so eager to complete a build, that I decided not to do a practice build on some cheap lumber, which would've let me learn from any mistakes I was making. Instead, I went head first into three nice pieces of swamp ash. Not to sound cocky, but I think I did really well. I made a few errors, but with the help of all the great info in this forum I was able to correct them. The big error, while correctable, will take a bit of work and the acquisition of some wood.

I was trying a new set-up, in which I would place a humbucker in the bridge position, and move the standard Tele single coil bridge pup to the mid position. The mistake I made was not understanding the difference in string spacing between the two positions. While 17/73/107 degrees (depending on how you look at the protractor) works in the bridge position, it does not let the pole pieces line up with the strings in the mid position. Instead, it has to be at 28/62/118 degrees.

I have set these three bodies aside for now, and plan to fill the mid pickup rout, and re-rout it at the correct angle, after I glue on a nice maple top.

The good news is, I was at the point of color and clear coat, so this issue won't happen again. I know now to make a template and verify all angles and measurements before working with the good wood.

Luckily, I had more blanks in the shop, and I have three new bodies ready to go. I'll use those for now, and repair the first three at a later time.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Where are you at in Northern Michigan? That's a far cry from Jacksonville FL and there's not a more beautiful place on the planet than Northern Michigan in the summertime but the winters can get pretty brutal. Heck, I am down in Flint MI and I have the heat on today it's bleeping cold man
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Old May 24th, 2013, 11:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I am about three hours north of you in Petoskey, MI. It's on Lake Michigan in Little Traverse Bay. It's about 40 minutes south of the Mackinac Bridge.

It is cold here too! The week before Mother's Day weekend it was up in the 80's and I thought I was finally going to be able to paint. But then it snowed that weekend, and has been raining a lot since then. Good thing, as I hadn't discovered the improper angle for the mid pickup. Had I painted them, I would have had to remove the finish to make the corrections.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am about three hours north of you in Petoskey, MI. It's on Lake Michigan in Little Traverse Bay. It's about 40 minutes south of the Mackinac Bridge.
I know right where you're at been there many times. Petoskey MI is beautiful and former Flint native and Grand Funk Railroad bandleader "Mark Farner" lives up there too.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey Mark Adkins,

Have you found any good sources for rough sawn hardwood up your way? I know there's lumber mills all over the place up there so was just wondering if you've had any luck? I get up that way quite often throughout the summer months actually so if you know a place I would be interested in checking it out. There's a great source for rough sawn cedar in Boyne City but I don't know how that would work out in guitar building. I have some Spanish cedar here to build a classical but ht was purchased through a luthier supply house.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 02:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hey Mark Adkins,

Have you found any good sources for rough sawn hardwood up your way? I know there's lumber mills all over the place up there so was just wondering if you've had any luck? I get up that way quite often throughout the summer months actually so if you know a place I would be interested in checking it out. There's a great source for rough sawn cedar in Boyne City but I don't know how that would work out in guitar building. I have some Spanish cedar here to build a classical but ht was purchased through a luthier supply house.
I haven't really had a chance to check out the local mills, but from what I've seen and heard, they mostly focus on construction timber and sheeting. There is a place I heard about in Traverse City called Rare Earth Hardwoods that I've been meaning to check out. They deal with local domestic as well as exotic woods, and even cater a little to the luthiers with some tone wood.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I know right where you're at been there many times. Petoskey MI is beautiful and former Flint native and Grand Funk Railroad bandleader "Mark Farner" lives up there too.
I've met him. He is good friends with my Wife's family (Pastorius family - related to Jaco Pastorius). He even helped my father-in-law build the deck on his house.

I fell in love with this place the first time I vacationed here. Jacksonville, FL was a big adjustment for a WV country boy, but I grew to love it there. But the last few years the crime has just exploded there. And don't get me started on the traffic! Then I met my wife and that really cemented my decision to relocate. Michigan is part of my territory for my day job, so my boss was kind enough to let me set-up a home office and work from here. I still have to spend a week every quarter at HQ in Jax. Now instead of sitting in traffic for an hour each way, I just walk down the hall and log in. I love it!!
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Old May 24th, 2013, 02:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I've met him. He is good friends with my Wife's family (Pastorius family - related to Jaco Pastorius). He even helped my father-in-law build the deck on his house.

I fell in love with this place the first time I vacationed here. Jacksonville, FL was a big adjustment for a WV country boy, but I grew to love it there. But the last few years the crime has just exploded there. And don't get me started on the traffic! Then I met my wife and that really cemented my decision to relocate. Michigan is part of my territory for my day job, so my boss was kind enough to let me set-up a home office and work from here. I still have to spend a week every quarter at HQ in Jax. Now instead of sitting in traffic for an hour each way, I just walk down the hall and log in. I love it!!
Yeah Mark is good people as is the rest of the Farner family. I am real good friends with his brother Ricky and ironically he's now living down in Florida. There will never be another innovator like Jaco ever. He was from another planet I think.

I am a network admin by profession and work from home 80% of the time and remote into all my client locations. Occasionally I have to go onsite but I work from home most the time and have been for years.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I haven't really had a chance to check out the local mills, but from what I've seen and heard, they mostly focus on construction timber and sheeting. There is a place I heard about in Traverse City called Rare Earth Hardwoods that I've been meaning to check out. They deal with local domestic as well as exotic woods, and even cater a little to the luthiers with some tone wood.
I will have to check that out do you know the name of the place? I have a few gigs up in TC this summer as well as a couple in the fall. I know a lot of musicans up there and believe it or not, Traverse City has some damn good musicians in that town. Of course Interlochen school of performing arts is right there so I guess it stands to reason but there are some great players up there
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Old May 24th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Rare Earth Hardwoods sorry my bad
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