4th of July Caster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by I_build_my_own, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    This is the official start my “4th of JulyCaster”.

    Pickguard has a 4th of July compliant theme :lol:
    Body is poplar and will be painted white, which will go well with the pickguard.
    Bridge and middle pickup are 80s (NOS) hot wound ALNICO 5 Rockinger single coils,
    Neck pickup, 2 ceramics single coils.
    Neck will be a repurposed Charvel Model 3 neck with rosewood fretboard
    To honor the 80’s design, I’ll put a Kahler style tremolo on which I am currently finishing up.

    Since I am a slow builder with other ongoing construction sites, I hope I am done in time for the next Jul 4th celebration.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  2. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe I should build a July 1st Caster! that would be cool.
     
  3. ItZaLLGooD

    ItZaLLGooD Tele-Holic

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    I really like it. Where did you get the pickgaurd?
     
  4. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Looks cool, Helmut, with all the builds you've got going, you're a contender for the Rich Rice Award
     
  5. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    I got it off ebay, a while ago. I think I saw it a Allparts at one point.
     
  6. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    The spare time over the last days was dedicated to polishing the tremolo, before it gets nickel plated by a fellow TDPRI member. Here the tremolo / pieces that will go on the guitar - before and after polishing. It collected some rust over the years of patiently waiting for a purpose in life.
    [​IMG]

    Tremolo frame and fine tuning holders polished with 800 grid.
    [​IMG]

    I have to redo the initial brass clamp covers and make them out of steel. The local Home Depot didn’t have any 2mm flat steel raw material, but they had $1 door hinges with about 2mm thickness that worked out perfectly as a donor. 
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    String roller holders and 3 of the bases polished. 3 more base pieces in the (upper right corner) to go.
    [​IMG]

    Before I put it in the mail I will hit it with 1500 and 2000 grid.
     
  7. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Wow, that's some impressive metalworking. Do you have a full metalshop?
     
  8. nickhofen

    nickhofen Friend of Leo's

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    This is awesome Helmut.
    What metal is it made of ? is it all made of steel?
     
  9. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    No, I wish I had a full metal shop. This was done decades ago when I was in Germany and had family/friends who had access to milling machines, or when I worked as a student at a toolmaker shop. I cannot take credit for the milling of the "cam/swing" and the "frame" that hold the fine tuners.

    Though I take credit for drilling holes especially at the the wrong place: :lol:
    One day, after putting the big radius on the "cam/swing", I drilled the hole for the tremolo arm. It all looked perfect, until I put everthing together. The trem arm was in the way of the B string. Normally a hole at the wrong place with steel is not a big deal but, but I forgot that the steel used was from scraps from metal tool making with high carbon % (so it can be hardened). I went to my father and we plugged the hole with the welder. I threw it in cold water so I could touch it again. Then I went on to file it flat and drill the hole again. The file didn't make a dent, and the drill just went hot. I'd had it then put in a oven and "unharden" it again, - letting it cool down from glowing temp to room temp very slowly. :lol:
     
  10. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    Except for that Home Depot door hinge, all is from scraps of good grade tool making steel, which is was used to build tools for i.e punching car doors from a coil of steel.
     
  11. nickhofen

    nickhofen Friend of Leo's

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    That is a cool story, thanks for sharing.
     
  12. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Tele-Afflicted

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    Looking good! Can't wait to see that bridge after its nickel bath. :)
     
  13. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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  14. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Tele-Afflicted

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    No rest for the builders Helmut!
     
  15. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    I know it looks unrelated.. but it is actually a bit related :lol:

    I had posted pictures of the jack plate of this guitar over at the Electro Socket post http://www.tdpri.com/forum/5199281-post13.html and “sjohnbruton” asked for some details about this Strat like guitar. I didn’t want to highjack the Electro Socket post – so I post the details here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I started it back in 1985 - It was initially intended to actually carry the Kahler copy tremolo that will go on my “4th of Julycaster” which you can see further up. I had the body already routed for 3 pickups and the trem cavity, too I made the neck from maple with a dual truss rod that’s adjusted from the heel.… Different things in life came in between…. In 2007 I picked up the pieces again. I decided I didn’t need another single coil strat and went on to turn it into Nylon Strat – or at least wanted to try it out because I have never been able to embrace classic guitars with their 2 inch nut spacing and that flat fret board. I wanted something that looked and “felt” like an electric guitar but sounded a bit like a nylon string classic.

    The idea was, not to modify the guitar too much, so that I could turn it into a real strat again with steel strings and real pickups in case everything didn’t work out. First I went on and plugged the trem cavity. The saddle I made thicker than what you normally find on a nylon string guitar. The idea was, if it doesn’t sound good with nylon string then put in a compensated saddle and steel strings without re-doing that wooden part that holds the saddle.

    The body is obviously mahogany. Under the saddle is a simple Artec UST pickup. It plugs right into an Artec 3 band EQ/preamp under the pickguard. The pickguard is 3mm birch ply wood from Michaels’. The sound hole is fake. I just put it there because without it, the pick guard would look pretty boring. The “rosette” inlay around the fake sound hole is from house siding scraps - red cedar. I didn’t have any mahogany scraps left over and the red cedar came pretty close for this purpose. The sound hole is plugged with a black recessed plastic cover. Behind this cover I am hiding the battery for the preamp. The paint is clear Minwax PU and the sunburst is some darker Minwax Polyshade “Bombay Mahogany”. After grain filling the body I sprayed on the few clear coats before I did the sunburst and then gave many more clear coats. Since I plugged the trem cavity, I gave it in that area also a bit of sunburst.

    The neck has mahogany dots on the side and fretboard. The inlay on the headstock is also mahogany. It is painted with the same Minwax clear gloss PU like the body.

    I tried the guitar with steel and nylon strings. The steel string sound was ok through the piezo, but since I was after a nylon sound I settled for nylon strings in the end.

    Here is a sample how it sounds.

    http://soundcloud.com/user844585359/nylon-strat

    Thanks for looking
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  16. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    That's a super cool guitar!
     
  17. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

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    Helmut, thanks for the details!

    That's exactly what I was interested in. Great looking guitar! I like the false sound hole idea. I think it helps the overall aesthetic.

    It sounds excellent, too! Nice work.
     
  18. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    After digressing, back to the build:
    After sanding all pieces up to 2000 grit, I polished all visible parts of the tremolo on the buffing wheel with some Ryobi polish compound stick.
    [​IMG]

    While the bigger parts were no problem to polish, the small pieces were too hard to hold. A) I didn’t want to polish my fingernails too much, B) these small items get pretty hot while polishing and C) if you don’t hold them securely, then the buffing wheel will just grab them and throw them across the garage. Since pieces have some holes or even threads I just screwed them on to some “handle”.

    [​IMG]

    All pieces are finally shiny and ready to be send over to Mark for nickel plating.
    [​IMG]

    And the final drop off at the postal office.
    [​IMG]

    ... needless to say, I cannot wait to see theses pieces even shinier.
     
  19. nickhofen

    nickhofen Friend of Leo's

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    This will be a real headache for Mark to nickel, he must shut all the holes, so the nickel wont get in there, or else the diameter at the end of the process the holes will be smaller and the screws wont fit.
     
  20. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Tele-Afflicted

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    It's not going to even be an issue. I have total control over the thickness of the nickel depending on how long I let it go in the tank. It will be a very thin layer of nickel to stop corrosion. We are not triple chrome plating. I'm not going to use any strike coats, just one very thin nickel layer. I'm excited to see it together!
     
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