Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Another Walnut Build Thread

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by dhempy, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    As posted in my welcome the main reason I fund and came to this site is for kibbutzing on my Tele build. I started this 30 years ago and am just getting back to it now (for all of those details, see my welcome thread here). So below is the pic of my special piece of walnut, mostly cutout but in need of CNC routing. I'm going for an early 50's vintage body, and I'll likely purchase some sort of birdseye maple neck and period matching replica hardware in terms of pickups, bridge, tuners, electronics although I will likely go for up-to-date modern / reliable versions .. I just want them to look vintage. At the moment I'm leaning towards not having a pickguard to leave as much of the grain showing as possible ... which isn't true to the tele era but is appropriate I think because of special nature of the grain. Right now I'm working thrrough trying to learn how to use Fusion 360 and get the CNC machine code ready to go. I think I will purchase all of the things that go in cutouts and have them on hand _BEFORE_ I start cutting anything so this thread may take a while to get going. First question for the group (and Yes I will do a search next) is for tuners. Kluson, Gotoh? I need to make this decision before I buy the neck. Don't know if I'll go for locking ... never used 'em and I'm kind of an old school guy ... but willing to consider if they don't stray too far from a vintage look. To all that chime in .. thanks in advance, I'm truly appreciative.

    Dan
    20170128_191425[1].jpg
     

    Attached Files:


  2. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Holic

    641
    May 29, 2016
    Kansas
    I really like the vintage style tuners with the split shaft where you put the string down the shaft. But go with what's good for you. They're both good brands but I think (I'm not sure) my tuners are mostly gotoh.

    I'm usually not a fan of strats and telescope sans guards, but in your case don't cover that up! What about a clear pickguard, all the protection plus it's see through. Just a thought! I'll be following this build. Thanks for sharing!
     
    fortj3 and El Tele Lobo like this.

  3. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida

  4. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    Thanks Steve: A clear pickguard is certainly in the realm of consideration. I think I've found a neck ... I'll be making that call today and before I order it I need to specify what size tuner holes. Therefor I need to get tuners picked out. I suppose I could just specify the 11/32 and ream if necessary but would prefer to get it right the first time and let the pros put the correct holes in for me. At this point, I've pretty much ruled out lockers. So far I like the specs on the Kluson Revolution (19:1 ratio) and they are close enough to vintage I may go with them. I'm going to call Kluson and chat 'em up a bit. The Schaller STB6 is a nicer vintage looking unit as well and I think they can be had with the slotted head and a 16:1 ratio. The Grovers are 14:1 and the Gotoh's are 15:1 as are the Stamped Klusons. I know the tuner discussion is like a Chevy/Ford discussion so I know I'm going to avoid that question. That leaves the Nickel vs. Chrome question ... weren't most of the early parts Nickel plated? And does anyone happen to know if most replica parts can be had in one or the other?

    Dan
     

  5. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    I've been busy behind the scenes choosing parts and working on my Fusion 360 Tele model. I've got a note out to the adult education group but haven't heard back ... just in case I'm lining up another option (a local guitar manufacturer has kindly agreed to kibbutz on my build ... I'll pay them for "shop" time if I have to).

    As far as parts go, I've settled on a Warmoth neck (just ordered) and will use the Gotoh Vintage tuners in nickel. I expect those to arrive in a week or so and would prefer to have them in hand to finalize the neck cutout in the CAD model. Pickups / electronics will likely be from Mojotone. I'm still looking for a nickel plated control plate and vintage bridge (Ashtray too ... nickel if I can find one). Some of the more vintage looking parts will probably come from Rutters Guitar (knobs, string hold down, jack plate) as he seems to have a real passion for creating exact replica hardware. I'm also still noodling what to do for a neck plate ... I may go with a nicely engraved one OR keep it closer to the pure vintage look of the rest of the hardware.


    I'll post a pic of the neck once it arrives. Dan
     
    Marn99 likes this.

  6. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    Ordered knobs, milled jack, and string Tee from Rutters guitars ... neck should be here Monday. After more research, I've added Lollar and Peter Florance Tele pickups to consideration. Electronics will now probably come from Emerson Custom. Still looking around for a neck plate and bridge ... entertained a Rutters bridge but they seem a bit pricey comparatively. Anyone care to chime in on vintage bridge options? Trying to stay as true as I can to '52.

    Dan
     

  7. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    408
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    If you're trying to stay true to a '52 tele, whatever brand you chose, the bridge will have to be a 3 brass saddle bridge without any slotting or compensation, it can make intonation a little funky but you can almost always fix that with adjusting the saddles.
     

  8. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    Neck just arrived ...
    neck.jpg
     

  9. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    Hold on, let me wipe away the drool... GOOD GAWD MAN! Stunning!
    it's going to be smashing with that top!
     

  10. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    Thanks! That's the plan. The plan is to do justice to that piece of wood I've had for 40 years. I just hope I can pull enough skills together to do this thing justice. It won't be because I'm scrimping on parts though. I hope to chat with the lab professor that has the CNC router later this week and get going on getting the cutouts done. Now that I have the neck I can get the _EXACT_ measurements and complete my Fusion 360 CAD file and do a couple of dry runs on scrap wood to be sure everything works as planned. I'm planning on getting Vintage replica pickups so the other cutouts should be good. I managed to find a clear pickguard and I plan to mask and paint enough to cover the neck cutout so it will only be clear where there is wood behind it. That reminds me to get a good high-quality pic of the area before cutting it out ... if I do a mirrored reversal, I can try to fake some of the grain in.

    Dan
     

  11. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    Great discussion over in Marn99's build thread about the neck pocket ... pages 6 and 7. I kind of hijacked his thread there ... hopefully, the discussion will be as valuable to him as it was for me.

    My vintage parts from Rutters Guitars have been ordered. Need to order the control plate, electronics, and clear pickguard (decided to buy vs. build). Still trying to decide on a neck plate and pickups ... I'm waiting to hear back from a couple of the pickup manufacturers on what (if any) adjustments / tweaks they would recommend based on a Walnut versus Swamp Ash body as far as tone goes. I'm probably overthinking it but a couple professional guitarists I know made comments and so I'm asking the manufacturers ... it may be mostly for my education anyway. I also asked the co-founder of a pedal manufacturer for advice ... therein lies the problem no doubt ... information overload! All 3 put me onto different manufacturers AND validated that I will most likely be very satisfied with pickups from any on my list.

    Dan
     
    Marn99 likes this.

  12. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    I've been working for a while now on the CAD to do the cutouts on the body. I'm finally there I think (or at least close enough to move forward). The next step is to build a holder for the body so I can line it up in an orthogonal fashion consistently and then create a couple of practice pieces to do some cutting and verification measuring on. Pic of the drawing below.

    Dan

    upload_2017-2-27_11-11-24.png
     

    Attached Files:

    Marn99 likes this.

  13. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Feb 24, 2015
    South Lyon, MI
    Is there a reason you chose not to use a hand held router?

    Regarding the neck pocket, it may be best to cut that using the real neck as the template. You can clamp the neck to the body (or to 3/4" MDF) to create a template. This was discussed earlier today - here. See posts from today.

    I got a bit annoyed after using a standard template for a build I have in progress, and ended up with a loose fitting neck. Especially since I knew how to make the cut using the actual neck as a template. Was just too lazy to find a long piece of 3/4" MDF or hardwood.

    EDIT: Well, I guess if you are taking your measurements from the actual neck and will trial on scrap, you will probably be ok.
     

  14. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    Thanks Mark:

    The reason I'm not using a router is that I had a bad experience when I did my first guitar many years ago. One of the reasons it has taken me so long to finish this is because I wanted to find a better way. Well, I recently found an adult ed situation where they have a CNC router and they are making guitars in the classes. I'm able to use the software for free and am just paying as I go to use the equipment. I've dabbled with CAD and wanted a real project to get some more experience. I'll probably go back to Google Sketch after the student version lapses.

    As far as the neck pocket goes, I measured the neck I purchased (see above) with a digital caliper, added 0.0313 (1/32") to the overall width dimensions (at the top AND bottom of the taper) and then created the neck pocket in the model. I saw somewhere in TDPRI that 1/32 was the original Fender spec so I'm going to start there. I'll adjust after my practice run(s) as necessary. Hopefully I can dial it all in. I've got a bunch of parts ordered and won't do anything to that body until I have them all and can verify that all o the cutouts are correctly dimensioned and in their proper place. I expect to do at least 2 practice runs: 1st to see where everything is and the second after adjustments. Once I'm comfortable that everything is the right size and in the right place, then we'll strap up the walnut and do the final run.

    Dan
     
    MM73 likes this.

  15. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    I just finished the first test run on the CNC for the cut-outs. You can see my body holder with a test piece of ply in the pic. The test piece is the exact length of my cut out body and sits at the exact height as the body would if it were clamped in. You can see my hand drawn centerline that matches where the center line is if the body were clamped in. I set the bridge over the drilled holes and did a measurement ... 25 1/2" dead on. The neck pocket is loose however so I have some work to do there. It needs to be deepened a small bit AND be tighter on the sides. So there will be at least one more test run. I don't expect any issues but I won't do a final cut until I check and test fit everything. My PUs are on the way and I can't wait to drop 'em in!

    Dan
    upload_2017-3-21_19-55-27.png
     
    MM73 likes this.

  16. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    Progress has been slow (especially when you're low man on the totem pole for scarce shop time) but I finally have an update and thing should progress a bit more quickly now. Time for some guidance (for those willing to give me their .02). I presume everyone can see the open spots in the wood between the foot of the neck and the neck pickup. There are multiples of these everywhere ... one pretty good sized in the bottom side through to the back. Such is the nature of burl I'm told. It is kind of hard to see but there is also some very rough grain in the sapwood just to the left of the control pocket. My plan is to try to get a high gloss finish with as much depth as I can muster. I'm planning to use a darker (rosewood or darker) pore filler on everything but the sapwood where I'll look for something lighter ... I love that contrast. But what about the larger opening like that one coming into the neck pickup pocket? The largest one that is just a bit wider and longer goes across the width of the side. Some thoughts I've considered are epoxy (tinted or clear), creating some shavings/sawdust/ or even shaping a filler piece if appropriate from another piece of the burl (I have some scrap), dark wood filler. The ones in front will ultimately be covered by a pickguard and will not be visible.

    I also have a question about how best to "bring out" the grain along the butt of the guitar (the sapwood area). The end grain has some birdseye that needs to be accentuated somehow ... maybe some light stain? Or maybe some darker pore filler? I'll try to post some additional pictures of the problem areas and the end grain.

    Thanks in advance to all who chime in! Happy Easter.

    Dan

    BTW for Mark: I wound up with a perfect neck pocket. It took two practice runs but it fits like a glove. Thanks for reinforcing the need to test!

    20170416_163140.jpg
     

  17. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    408
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    Take a look at crimson guitars finishing oil. It is literally just tru oil but reverse engineered and made specifically for guitars. While the oil is still wet, sand with 1,200 grit sandpaper, this both works the oil in deeper and the sanding dust becomes its own natural grain filler when it hardens with the oil. It is an oil varnish blend and can be built up to a semi gloss. I would watch the video on youtube that they did on it to demonstrate their product, it has a much more detailed description than what I just gave.
     

  18. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    Here are a few shots of some of the burl imperfections. I had a wood filler in them to help keep the integrity during the shaping etc. I believe that I can "fix" a bunch of them (especially the non sap-wood) by cutting another piece of similar looking walnut to fit and sanding it smooth. The larger edge crack (pic #3) will be a particular challenge .. thankfully it is mostly on the back. The "rough" sap wood probably got that way from being run through the planer (that was 30 years ago and I don't remember exactly). Unfortunately, it is on the front of the guitar. I may have some sap-wood scraps somewhere to fix the blemish on the back and maybe I'll try the cyanoacrylate/sanding dust trick in the "rough areas" (if I can find enough sapwood to sand down.

    20170416_143938.jpg 20170416_143949.jpg 20170416_143959.jpg 20170416_144004.jpg 20170416_144021.jpg
     

  19. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    408
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    As long as they are structurally stable, I would either fill them with powdered turquoise mixed with epoxy or leaving them as is. It adds an absolutely awesome looking character to the instrument.
    Here's an instrument with turquoise filling on a burl headstock veneer.
    [​IMG]
     
    BigDWS62 and dhempy like this.

  20. dhempy

    dhempy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    61
    62
    Jan 23, 2017
    Santa Rosa Valley, CA
    That's a cool thought. Lapis Lazuli, Red Coral, even Pyrite might look good too. I also saw crushed mother of pearl that might work well in the sap-wood areas.

    Dan
     
    fenderchamp and Marn99 like this.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.