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A chambered LPish looking thing

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Like everything else, I've found a way to do frets that works for me but other people do it differently with equally good results. I find fretting the board before gluing it to the neck lets me be much more consistent. I also use a combination of hammering and pressing. First, radius the fretwire on a home made gizmo. I said I do lots of different scale lengths but I only do three radii - this works fine.

    [​IMG]

    Lately it seems I've only been doing bound fretboards - this one will be simple. Cut the frets a little oversize and keep them separate by length. In the foreground of the picture are my little fretting hammer and the StewMac caul.

    [​IMG]

    I know its not designed for pressing but so far the quill of my drill press has stood up fine. I keep thinking I should by an arbor press before I have to buy a drill press and arbor press. Just once more....

    [​IMG]

    Not a great picture but the routine is wick a tiny bead of thin CA in the slot, tap the fret in to start it, tap all the way across, the press and hold for the count of 30 while the glue kicks off. Repeat. I check each fret with a 0.003 feeler gauge to make sure its totally seated. When its done I clamp it over night with a 12 inch radius caul and check again in the morning.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
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  2. Telemarx

    Telemarx Tele-Meister

    101
    Mar 6, 2015
    south africa
    Wow. Thank you for sharing this with us Mr Keller, she is shaping up beautifully!
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Clip the ends of the frets flush with the edge of the board and lightly hit it on the belt sander. I'll do the actual beveling of the fret ends when I level and crown them, for now I just want to get rid of the sharp ends (no pictures). However now that I have the body, neck and fretted board, along with the bridge I can put it together and do one final check on the neck angle

    [​IMG]

    What I am looking for is that the fret plane just hits the top of the saddles with the bridge in its lowest position - I know that will give me enough adjustment to get the action I want and have some in reserve. The bridge is sitting on a couple little blocks that simulate the thickness of the studs and adjuster

    [​IMG]

    Notice the rosewood pickup rings...

    Angle seems OK so I glued the f/b on to the neck

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. fmmlp

    fmmlp TDPRI Member

    Age:
    45
    70
    Jul 19, 2017
    Buenos Aires
    This is a magistral class. Thank you.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Cleaned up the glue squeeze out and finessed the neck into the edge of the fretboard. Neck and body are basically assembled now.[​IMG]

    That lets me lay out the scale length, bridge and stop bar location and a few other holes

    [​IMG]

    As a double check of the scale I measured to the 12th fret and put a piece of blue tape on the scale, then moved the end to the fret. I want the bridge 1/16 farther on the high E side and 3/16 more on the low to be within the range of adjustment. Use two brad point bits as transfer punches to locate the hole centers.

    Drill 'em

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Both the mahogany and Spanish cedar are open pore woods and I want to do the pore filling before I glue the neck in place. Back when I built the tri cone I did a little experiment with pore fillers - I put paste, CA and epoxy fillers on scraps of koa and evaluated the results. Paste is fine for mahogany where the grain isn't all that important and CA is such a hassle that I pretty much rejected it, that leaves slow setting epoxy as my choice. In particular I like Zpoxy which not only really pops the grain but can add a bit of warmth to the finish. Here is a coat of Zpoxy

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    I just found this thread, wow, what a great project. I love that stripey top, love the inlays, the binding, love the wooden cavity covers! Thanks for giving us a look.
     
  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    With the neck still off its a good time to clean up the fret ends. The little gizmo on the fretboard is a drafter's (aka draftman's) eraser shield - in a previous incarnation I was an engineer and and before computers we used to draw things with a pencil (and erase)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Can't put it off any longer. Smear some glue in the pocket and the tenon

    [​IMG]

    Clamp that sucker together

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. brogh

    brogh Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    :eek: wow this thread is great !

    Man you have such great skills ! thisguitar is coming out fantastic, i like the top very much !

    i'd like to see a tele build of yours ;)
     
    24 track likes this.
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Thank you Brogh. I'm pretty new to the forum but one of the first threads I did was about the four barncasters that I had built and donated to a charity. For some reason one of the mods felt that I was in violation of the rules on commercial posting and deleted some of the thread. Kind of ironic because what I was mostly bragging about was the story behind the guitars and the fact that I gave them away

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/four-little-barncasters.864983/

    Anyway, what you are missing from the thread is that the fourth barncaster was purchased by a guy in New Zealand (he had seen my article on another forum). I hand delivered it to him and had a wonderful tour of the South Island. Yes, he gave me some money, yes I brought it home and donated to the organization in the thread. For some reason that part of the story was removed - oh well.

    However, since the guitar in this thread is coming into its long boring finishing phase I actually today started laying out a tele style guitar - chambered mahogany body, mahogany fender style neck, outrageous flamed maple cap. Its very similar to this one in execution but tele shape, pickups, neck joint, etc, and since I plan to keep it for my self I don't think the mods will complain. Stay tuned.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  12. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    I cant say it enough , beautiful work, keep this comming ,

    If you are interested I have a 19 inch rack mountable fan 4 rack spaces high 7inches high with a removable screen on the front that may be usefull for your spray booth , if you are interested PM me , I bought it to use but it didnt suit my needs but would be perfect for a small spray booth , let me know and Ill send you pics if you are interested.
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Next day. Clamps off, neck angle is good.

    IMG_2051-1.jpg
     
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  14. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    Simply fantastic! I want one of those sooooo much!! However, I would be more than honored to have one of your stunning acoustics. Your electrics are so elegant. Your acoustics are out of this world. If they sound (I'm sure they sound amazing) anywhere near as good as they look, WOW!!
     
  15. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    48
    120
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    This is a really an inspirational thread, thanks so much for posting. Could I ask a couple of questions?

    First, could you go into just a bit more detail with how you did the grainfill using epoxy? What was your application process?

    Also, and this is a question from a set neck noob (I've only ever done bolt on necks up till now), what's the reason for gluing the neck before finishing, rather than finishing seperately?
     
  16. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2017
    UK
    Made me giddy looking thru all these. Heavenly stuff
     
  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    I'm glad you are enjoying it.

    Pore filling with epoxy has two things going for it - it fills the pores nicely and does a heck of a job of popping the figure of highly figured wood. I used it on the resonator and OM in the post about acoustic guitars.

    The basic procedure is to sand the instrument to 220 or 320 getting rid of every cross grain scratch - it will just make them stand out. Mix it per instructions and apply it with some sort of squeezie, I like to use one of my wife's credit cards. Work it into the grain and get as much off the surface as possible, but there will still be some ridges and high spots. After 24 hours I sand that flat and level with the wood. If it looks like the grain is not filled I'll do one more application. If it looks good (or after the second app) I'll apply one more coat mixed 2 or 3:1 with denatured alcohol trying to get a smooth coat on the surface of the wood. That is the grain popping coat - I think it helps to have all the DA.

    Lightly scuff sand that but don't go thru the coat or it will look blotchy (if you do sand thru just apply another coat of the alcohol diluted epoxy. That basically what you are seeing in the above pictures - its got a coat of full strength sanded to wood and a coat of diluted just lightly sanded - I'm ready to shoot finish on top of that.

    There are two things going on here. First, the reason to finish a neck separately is that you plan to take it off and don't want to damage the finish (or possibly that you want to use some other finish). The other thing is what you expect of a certain class of guitars. These seem to work together.

    If I build a classical acoustic I don't ever expect to take the neck off and it is traditional to finish the neck on the body. Therefore I use a Spanish heel (which doesn't come apart) and FP the neck and body together.

    If I build a steel string acoustic I know the neck will come off sometime in 30 or 40 years so I make it easy on the luthier who will do it. I either bolt it on or I use a dovetail joint and I only use hide glue which will separate easily. I finish the neck and body separately so the finish won't be damaged.

    If I build a Fender style guitar I adhere to Leo's specifications which means that you can take any neck made anywhere in the world and screw it on to any body - as long as the both meet the specs. I know the neck will probably come off for a variety of reasons (much easier to refret off the body, maybe I want to change something about it, maybe the geometry is screwed up...). Besides, that's what we expect of a F style guitar - the neck probably doesn't match the body, we expect the seam and rough joint and metal plate and all the other little things about Leo's genius.

    With a set neck guitar I expect to never take the neck off. I build the geometry perfectly into the guitar, it will not change. The glued joint is stronger than the parent wood, it will not fail. There is no reason to build disassembly into the guitar.

    Secondly, with a set neck guitar we expect the body to flow smoothly into the neck. We expect woods to match, we don't want to see or feel joints, we might expect binding to be continuous, and certainly we expect the finish to match from neck to body. There is something very classic about this kind of construction - each neck is individually fitted to its body and it will stay there for life.

    Here is an example, a 335 style guitar with a set neck. The back binding goes around the heel which is capped with the same wood as the back. You simply couldn't do this stuff with a screw on neck

    [​IMG]

    I'll try to remember to take a picture of the neck joint on this guitar so you can get a better idea
     
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  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    So lets start finishing this puppy. The next few weeks are going to be pretty boring, kinda like watching paint dry. Duh. I'll try to post a few pictures but mostly I'm going to be running out to the shop three times a day, shooting a coat, coming inside and cleaning up, then doing it again.

    I'll be using a water born cross linking lacquer known as KTM-9. There are a lot of water born lacquers on the market now, I've used this on a couple of guitars (including the resonator) and I mostly like it. I also still shoot solvent based nitro cellulose lacquer - the parlors, OM and the red guitar in the previous post are all nitro). I love nitro - it goes on easy for an amateur like me, I can do tints and 'bursts and all kinds of things with it, its easy to fix, each coat burns into the last. But it is also toxic, explosive, bad for the environment and messy to clean up.

    Water born lacquers are easy to clean up (soapy water), not toxic or explosive. But, the coats don't burn in to each other and they sometimes have a slightly blueish cast. However, thats what we are going to use here

    IMG_2055-1.jpg
    KTM-9 (which you can get from LMII), some DA and my little guns. The gravity gun seems to work better but I frankly don't know what size nozzle its got. Here is my yard sale compressor - 2 hp, 8 gal - seems to do the job for 50 bucks

    IMG_2056-1.jpg
    The other thing I do is put the guitar flat on a little low table (it was my daughter's tea table when she was about six years old). I like to walk around the guitar shooting down at a slight angle. I put two blocks of wood in the pickup cavities so I can spray the front, then turn it over and spray back and neck. I've also got a few odds and ends - pickup rings, cavity covers, truss rod cover - I put double sticky tape on them so the blast from the gun wouldn't sent them flying.

    The first couple of coats are thinned about 1:1 - that seems to bind pretty well to the Zpoxy (note, I did not spray any shellac on this guitar, the finish is going directly onto the epoxy)

    IMG_2054-1.jpg
     
  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    73
    332
    Aug 22, 2018
    Washington
    Poop. Had a bit of a setback.

    As I mentioned before, I've switched from hanging a guitar while I shoot it to putting it flat on its back or top. I've taped little blocks of wood in the p/u cavities so I can put it face down and the the guitar won't touch anything - if I shoot the top first I can pick it up by the neck and turn it over while the top is still wet. At least that is the idea

    IMG_2057-1.jpg

    Guess I'll have to let this cure for a day before proceeding.
     
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  20. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Jan 6, 2008
    Franklin, TN
    What type of clear coat are you using? Maybe solvent can remove the paper, and refloat a layer of clear on the top?
     
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