Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reiland Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reilander Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reilander Pickups
Join TDPRI Today

A DG-Virage flat-top hybrid plan and likely build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by betocool, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    G'day gents and ladies!

    After finishing my Tele a few weeks back, I've had the idea to build something else. I was torn between a Red Special mod (no tremolo) or a Rickenbacker. And yet... I was not convinced by any of them.

    Some time ago I stumbled upon Dave Grohl's signature guitar, the DG-335 based on the Trini Lopez if I got my facts right. I saw that guitar on a youtube video, him and Jeff Lynne performing "Hey Bullodog" and I thought "Now that is a kickass guitar right there!".

    And even more recently I rememberd a model Vox put out in 2009 for what seems a limited period of time, the Virage. Those guitars are ultra expensive but very nice looking. That's the thing, the looks. They offer a couple of other gimmicks, such as the body not being straight, but going around the contour of the player's body.

    So after some tinkering in Inkscape and getting the sizes and lines right on an A0 piece of (digital) canvas, I think I'm ready with the choice. The result is a flat top, Virage sized (smaller than a DG-335) guitar with a 25.5" scale and the funny aggro inline neck. The body will be binded, perhaps the neck as well (depending on how difficult that is and how I feel about that). I'll hollow out the body as shown in the images below, and glue some plywood or something similar on top. I have not yet made up my mind on the wood, but possibly something refurbished. The body will be flat, I don't think I'm yet at the skill level where I want to carve something out or angle the neck. The Batman logo... well, I couldn't come up with something better yet.

    All hardware shall be black, not too shiny. Might consider some sort of pickguard á la Brian May, but dunno. Electronics, two PAF-90 pickups that I will get from a guy in Melbourne, soapbar shape, black too! Will keep it simple on the tone and pickup selector, probably a 3 way switch, neck, bridge or both. That's still up to debate as well. The bridge, this time I'll go for a tune-o-matic, I hope that will not be too high for the strings. In that case, I'll just route a slot into the body.

    I'm planning a hot-rod like finish, a la Dave Grohl, grey or blue... maybe some matt metallic green. All around body and neck, except the front of the headstock (black)

    Right, that's all on paper then, I think. Happy one little thing is off my chest (the plan), can start slowly with sourcing some tools, maybe some wood, maybe some hardware... we'll see.

    Don't expect too many updates too soon, though, I take these things slow. If someone is interested, the PDF is a 1:1 scale on an A0 piece of paper. I''ll get that printed first a few times, that should do it.

    Cheers,

    Albert

    virage.png
     

    Attached Files:

    h2odog and Newbcaster like this.
  2. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    Wow. I have to say this is very generous of you to share the PDF!

    Nice work!

    Looks like you have enough time till you start, so ditch the Batman thingie. If you can't find anything, do it as Mr. Chris Larkin does; Sign the headstock with a sharpie!

    I'd use a formica top, that'd be the easiest. Double bind the sucker and it'll be as good as gold!
     
    Newbcaster likes this.
  3. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    Yeah... the Batman thing was something as a placeholder really. I might go for something different. I'm trying to stray away from the dots, just to have something different. I will put side dots though... otherwise I don't know where I'm playing. Anyone ever tried filling the holes with epoxy or something similar?

    Formica top? As in the kitchen bench? Can you get a thin 4-5 mm formica top without any cover on it?

    Too many questions...
     
  4. Forum Sponsor Sponsored posting

  5. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    So, the blueprints have gone out to print on A0 paper. 3 copies, one will be kept original the other ones can be used as templates for the templates for the templates (and so, ad infinitum).

    Ditched the Batman, now it's the Poseidon (or Neptune, still unsure, sea tragedy vs. planet). Inspired by a glowing toy trident my daughter got for Halloween. And since the colour should be metallic ocean grey or green, it just fits.

    Got one of my jigs done, the neck sanding jig at 18° (a slow process, jeez!). Want to have a few more jigs done before I even start. I think I will give the neck a crack first... after having some decent templates.

    Updated blueprint and jigs below.

    Cheers,

    Alberto

    virage.png

    IMG_20161105_163715.jpg
    IMG_20161105_163733.jpg
     
    h2odog likes this.
  6. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    That will be one cool looking guitar!! Good luck. I'll be watching it come together.
     
  7. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    Not much in terms of updates lately... sorry! However, got some done today, in terms of tools and stuff.

    Got started on some tools and so to help out. I think I got the idea from someone here in the forum... If you feel you deserve the credit, well, just say so! It is a good idea!

    I'm a bit reluctant to pay the asked price for a radius sanding block, so I started to build my own. Took me all in all to get it dead straight about an hour and a half, but it was an hour and a half well spent. Since I don't have any other plans today anyway, why not.

    First the holder for the jigsaw, to cut a straight piece of wood at the correct radius:
    IMG20170319131003.jpg

    IMG20170319130918.jpg

    I marked 10 or 12 equally spaced holes to match the nail creating the radius. Then I started, very carefully, cutting each one of the pieces (18mm thick, the thickness of the piece of wood).

    IMG20170319131758.jpg


    Gluing them together with a bit of PVA glue and some SuperGlue. The super glue gives it the initial hold, the PVA will cure later and then hold it tighter. So I think, at least.

    IMG20170319135206.jpg

    Some minor mistakes, which I now corrected. The nail was centered on the front of the saw, I should have centered in the middle of the saw. That made the radius to be skewed from the borders. I put the radiusing block on a square, dead straight piece of aluminium, and cut off the rest so that it sits straight on it. A bit fiddly but now it's dead centered and straight. It's also large enough for a fretboard, thank goodness! On the last pic you can see the lines marking the new cut.

    IMG20170319144327.jpg

    The rest is cosmetics.



    Yeeeiii! I got some done today!!!!!



    Cheers,



    Albert
     
    h2odog likes this.
  8. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    Some little progress today, making the body templates. One for the hollow part and the other for the top and bottom. Have to be real careful, fragile little bugger the right one is!

    img1.jpg img2.jpg
     
    Freekmagnet and hfw01 like this.
  9. CyrusF

    CyrusF Tele-Meister

    Age:
    21
    142
    Nov 12, 2016
    Illinois
    Looking good! I'm excited to see it come together!
     
  10. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    More work done. Coming along slow, but I decided it's better to take my time and avoid unnecessary mistakes.

    Bloody hell, I gave the router some workout today, that sanding jig works, but it's too slow. Especially that the first cut was far away from perfect.

    However, it's good enough, and as good as it's going to get on the neck part. Next build I'll try something else. And a template for the neck as well. Gotta start measuring now and get some wood for the body, although the way things are going, I might just finish the neck first, which is always a pain.

    Cheers,

    Albert. IMG20170402130146.jpg IMG20170402150520.jpg
     
    CyrusF likes this.
  11. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    While the new chuck for the drill press is on it's way, I thought I'd set the thickness of the head piece to 13mm from 18mm. Some routing happened. And then, since the router was out already, I put in the channel for the double truss rod. The difference in price between a single and a double truss rod is ridiculous (as in very little), and the amount of work it takes to route an arched truss rod cavity is humongous.

    The thinning of the head piece went ok, just a smidge over 13mm, but the tuners will fit in nicely. A bit of sanding here and there, and it looks pretty good. A few passes with the router for the truss rod cavity, and she's also alright

    I'll see how I go on tomorrow. Still have to order some abs bindings, and since they'll come from China, it will take at least two weeks till they're here. I can still advance some things though. If I don't get much done, then there's still after Easter time.

    IMG20170412115821.jpg
     
  12. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    More today, and that's it until after the Easter break. I managed the rough and smooth cuts of the neck, no scraping or filing though. I will start the rounding of the neck once I have the fretboard on, or at least, ready to glue. And that will not happen until I get the binding material in about 2 or 3 week's time. In the meantime, next week I can start with the body.


    I was afraid the wood would chip, however, cutting it as close as possible to the edge and having lots of passes with the router, I managed not to chip one bit, which I'm happy about. Very happy. There will be some minor corrections, but mostly all is very well. I'll see if I glue the pieces tonight of after Easter break. No hurries.


    Not bad for the morning.


    Rough cut with the jigsaw:

    IMG20170413105734.jpg


    Attached to the template and routed:
    IMG20170413111541.jpg



    Head piece:
    IMG20170413111821.jpg IMG20170413111847.jpg


    Neck attached to the template and routed:
    IMG20170413113548.jpg


    Both neck and head pieces held loosely together:
    IMG20170413113812.jpg IMG20170413113922.jpg IMG20170413113927.jpg


    (Note to self: use less double sided sticky tape when gluing template to actual piece....)
     
    Freekmagnet and CyrusF like this.
  13. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    While the boards that make the body are being glued together and dry (tassie oak), I decided to start a new fretboard blank made out of jarrah.
    IMG20170418110202.jpg

    I love the look and feel of jarrah, unfortunately, a blank is about 7 or 8 mm thick and Bunnings sells 19mm thick planks. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing (and a major unsuccessful attempt at cutting it in half) I decided to route away the majority of it down to 8 mm, sand a bit and leave it. It's a very slow progress. It's a game of patience and steady hand. And a good routing bit.
    IMG20170419093641.jpg
    IMG20170419100035.jpg

    But it paid off. This is just after routing and before sanding:
    IMG20170419113501.jpg

    You might (or might not) some imperfections where the steadiness of the hand wavered a bit, but after sanding it away with a thick grid, I got a 7.8mm thick jarrah blank, and a bucket full of sawdust. There's one bit I could not sand away, however, that bit will go on the underside glued to the neck, so, no harm done. The rest is straight as an arrow.
    IMG20170419114649.jpg
    IMG20170419114710.jpg

    Body cutting and gluing starts tomorrow! Yeeeyyy!!!
     
  14. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    More work today, phew! Who'd think cutting a bit of wood would take most of my day.


    Tools used: jigsaw, router, clamps and a pencil.


    I have to half-thick body templates, which will go together to form the full thickness. I thought I'd start with the first half and see how we go and what I could improve for the second half. Things went well. Template on the top, routed first half on the bottom.
    IMG20170420105045.jpg



    I used the first half as a template for the second half, to make sure they are really the same size before gluing. Below, rough cut of the second half, plus the double sided sticky tape I'm using to hold it all together. I'm very lucky, I did an install in 2015 where we bought a complete roll about 1m wide and silly metres long of double sided sticky... thing. I got to bring it home. I think I have double sided sticky tape for the next 50 years. Anyway, once this thing holds it's almost impossible to take it apart, so you (I) have to use it sparingly. These little stripes you see were enough for me to struggle taking them apart afterwards.
    IMG20170420115125.jpg
    IMG20170420115230.jpg
    IMG20170420115359.jpg



    Bugger! A chip! F**K! Luckily for me it flew in one piece and it was easy to paste back. It was the second one, this thing is a game of patience. IMG20170420121600.jpg

    IMG20170420121625.jpg


    All sanded away now, plus the sanding and filling I'll do before the first coat of paint, it will be invisible. Still, gotta be careful. Now, another tricky bit, cutting the inside out. Lots of holes to rest the jigsaw, because this is very easy to break. However, things went very well, and both halves survived ok.
    IMG20170420151008.jpg
    IMG20170420151052.jpg
    IMG20170420154737.jpg


    Now they're glued together, with three nail pieces used to align them before clamping.

    IMG20170420154749.jpg

    I'll do the smoothing of the insides tomorrow. Not to much, just with a rasp, to make it even, but I won't bother with details. It's inside anyway, so, you'll never see it. If you see it... it broke.


    Little more tomorrow (I hope).


    Cheers,


    Alberto
     
    7171551 likes this.
  15. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    Somehow I had the feeling the body was going to be a breeze, and yet, I'm already a couple of days at it and still not finished. Plus I ran out of PVA glue, off to Bunnings tomorrow to get a freaking' bucket! It's probably the waiting of the glue to dry that makes it so slow, plus I'm taking it a step at a time, so, double that.


    Anyhoooo... The body frame was glued today in the morning, and even though it's a bit tougher than two halves, it was still very wobbly. Time to glue on the back. While they're waiting for the glue to dry, I'm working on the front.

    IMG20170421100542.jpg


    I'm really happy how the holes turned out! That is THE look I was hoping for, so tick that on the to do list.
    IMG20170421110753.jpg


    Back is glued, tomorrow the front goes on.
    IMG20170421160042.jpg


    Ah, yes, don'f forget the electronics cavity.


    As a side note, or general thoughts, it is a tricky job this one. Plywood tends to chip sometimes, and working with wood in general is difficult (at least for me). I noticed just now that the joint at the bottom of the guitar body split. It's not a dealbreaker thanks goodness, and good things the frame was already attached to the back, otherwise I'd be sh**ting kittens. And there'll be some MASSIVE filing and sanding and smoothing to do before I consider the body worthy of paint or further work.


    Still... when I see the pieces lying in the room waiting to be attached and this is taking shape slowly, I'm still optimistic about the outcome. I'll concentrate on getting the body ready this weekend (no pressure here), and then on Monday it's off to work again. Good thing... short week.


    Cheers,


    Alberto
     
    Freekmagnet, Mat UK and src9000 like this.
  16. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

    I'm loving this build. I'm glad you made a nice size access hole. That's something I really wish my epi dot had.
     
  17. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Holic

    728
    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    This is looking great!
     
  18. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    Thanks for the motivation guys! I'm just at the end of my two weeks holidays, so updates will become less from tomorrow, at least the work is so far ahead that I have something to go on with!

    Some work today. Feels like I'm doing stuff all day and then little happens. But yeah, little can be done when the body is gluing... Oh, and I did get the glue and the acetone and all that jazz.


    At risk of repeating known information, I'll share something that's working out for me very nicely.


    I got this square aluminium profile from Bunnings (our local big hardware shop) for a few bucks, straight as an arrow, like properly straight. Cut it in half, put it side by side, and it's amazingly straight and robust. I have now 2x 60cm lenghts. What I do if I want to get a straight cut, I clamp it to the piece of wood I'm intending to cut, parallel to the line of the cut, at the distance from the edge of the saw. I think a picture shows it better:
    IMG20170422144007.jpg


    Best straight cuts I've done on delicate parts.


    So I worked a bit on the neck today, cut the fretboard to size, and drilled and filled the fretboard dots. I went along with a different approach that I saw on here some time ago (was it an Explorer build or something similar?), and it appealed to me. The dots are plain 6mm wood hammered into the fretboard. Man, the drill press does such a good job!


    And here below, just for motivation (to motivate myself, that is), a mock up of what it's supposed to look like.

    IMG20170422154531.jpg
    IMG20170422154254.jpg
    IMG20170422154232.jpg


    I have to get a good fretting saw this week. Some woodwork shop in Perth has one that appeals and seems to be good, but I need to ask about the thickness before I commit to buying it, 0.5mm should do.


    Cheers,


    Alberto
     
  19. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    Looking good!!
     
    crazydave911 likes this.
  20. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    28
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    Bit of a whoopsies moment today, more like a big f*** up! However, not giving up, just have to eeermmm... hide things a bit. As I was routing the neck pocket, the bit started sliding down slowly. Stupid me, I should have checked it was tight enought. Ok, lesson learned, at a cost (and a fine selection of curse words).

    IMG20170425120956.jpg


    Anyway, got lucky in a way, so I just need to fill up that "valley". On the other hand, it raises the question, should I still go bolt-on neck as I planned to, glue the neck in, or both?

    Bolt-on, I'm afraid it won't have as much grip as it should. Good thing though, I can paint the neck and body separately (original plan).

    Glued on, I think I can get a good hold of the neck to the body, but I don't like the idea of painting the whole guitar in one go.

    Both, maybe glue the neck on while bolting it on the final assembly. I'd have to clean up any glue residue carefully, and I would not be able to remove the neck afterwards (not that I'm planning on that). I think I could get a good strong joint though.

    At this point, opinions based on experience or maybes are appreciated.

    Anyway, here's the fix, doesn't look like much, but it'll do, and it's hidden anyway

    IMG20170425124820.jpg
    IMG20170425153325.jpg
    IMG20170425164227.jpg
    IMG20170425164251.jpg


    Cheers,

    Alberto
     
    src9000 likes this.
  21. metecem

    metecem Friend of Leo's

    If you are using a smaller router like the Makita RT0700 with a single slot collet, be sure to change it often. They notoriously get loose in the middle of a job and screw it up.

    I buy them in dozens and the moment I think it might get loose, I change it.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.