Brainy presents: The Shockelele

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by barbrainy, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    I usually cannot be bothered to write a proper thread, but seeing as how mando sized stuff is all the rage round here these days, and a week or two ago a colleague of mine asked me to make him something little, I have made the wildly stupid decision to do a thread on this build, cos I went and thunk 'oh, it's only a little build! I won't do anything stupid, or mess anything up or in any way embarrass myself'.


    Sit back, relax and enjoy me regret my decision.......
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  2. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    So, my colleague, a jolly Northern chap with the surname Shock (for real) casually asked me if I could make him an electric ukelele. '"Of course!" I gladly said, while thinking 'please don't want me to make an acoustic electric'. "What are you thinking? Acoustic electric? Semi hollow? Solid body?"

    As luck would have it, he did want solid body. My poker face did not let me down.

    So, over the next week or two, I talked at him a lot about wood and grain and finishes and made him look at lots of pictures. As luck would have it once again, he rather liked ash, with a translucent finish, with the grain left open.

    Wizard!

    My favourite style, and easy, to boot!

    (In fact, his favourite guitar of my making (well, disembodied body at this point) was actually Thunderbird 2.)


    Other than deciding he wanted a honeyburst finish, he was happy to leave all other design decisions up to me. First things first, cobble together some sort of basic design. After an hour or two tossing about on my own little guitar designing doodad, I concluded I would like to go with an approximate LP Jr double cut shape body:

    [​IMG]

    Fannied around with that until it was the right size, drew a 17 fret fretboard, using a 17" scale and the stewmac fret calculator:

    [​IMG]

    And before you knew it, cos you weren't there, so how could you know, we had this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (next to a tele for scale)

    So off I tottered to my local woodshop to see what ash they had (not worth using any of the big swamp ash board I already have). Nice piece of two tone ash there, for £17, of which I will need less than half:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Whilst there, I also find a lovely long piece of flamed maple, for a mere £9. Now, it isn't wide enough for a normal neck (though could actually make a couple of necks if laminated) but it is wide enough for a tenor ukelele neck:

    [​IMG]

    I'm spelling ukelele wrong, aren't I? It's ukulele, yes? Ball bags. That means the title of the thread is wrong.
     
  3. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    So a mistake already! But just a few typos, I can live with that.

    An overcooked test piece of roasted maple can be saved from the scraps bin to make a nice little fretboard:

    [​IMG]

    After printing out my rough body shape, it was time to see how best to chop the piece of ash up:

    [​IMG]

    I had originally planned to get that eye-like piece of grain in there, but decided against this in the end, as it prevented me doing a nice stripe along the back, where the colour of the wood changes:

    [​IMG]

    That'll be the back.

    This'll be the front:

    [​IMG]

    Almost a reversed S shape. Someone may well tell me why I should not have done the grain pattern so it is aligned in opposite ways, horizontally, after chopping the original piece up....but I am happy with my decision:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. WisconsinStrings

    WisconsinStrings Tele-Afflicted

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    Very cool so far. I like the body shape.
     
  5. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

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    Subscribed!
     
  6. midget bar

    midget bar Tele-Meister

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    I like the way your grain lines up, I think it will be a fine looking ukulele. I will keep up with this thread.
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I might have to steal this idea....:)
     
  8. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    Looks very cool.

    How about making it a full 24 frets and then it could also be used as a 4 string mandolin (with appropriate string gauges)?
     
  9. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Looks great so far!
     
  10. ItZaLLGooD

    ItZaLLGooD Tele-Holic

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    I saw Shockelele and was expecting to see a certain green Jazzcaster, finished. This is pretty cool though.
     
  11. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice work so far. I'll be following too.
     
  12. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Cool. Like the tiny little LP Junior body.
     
  13. dazzaman

    dazzaman Tele-Afflicted

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    Looking forward to this. One of my favourite body styles.
     
  14. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Looks like a fun build. I'll be watching.
     
  15. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Dude, love your threads I always smile!

    I might be stealing this too. Rick's right the tiny lp junior look is the bomb.:cool:

    Nice job on the glue up, that's going to look pretty sweet. Dare I ask about a the finish? Honey burst? Amber to brown or a dark walnut? Nitro, Poly, Tru-Oil?
    Just so you know now, sanding something like that back and starting over = not fun! :eek:

    That neck is going to be pretty nice too.
     
  16. thecableguy

    thecableguy Friend of Leo's

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    Nice work Brainy! The grain match up on the front looks really cool!
     
  17. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    Yeah, Marty, if only you had thought of doing a little ukulele or mando something with a Gibson style body before me.....

    That would confuse my noggin.....plus I already chopped up the maple! Anyhoo, my colleague, though musical, is not a stringed instrument dude, so he just wants simple but pretty. Which describes both me and the instrument he will end up with.

    I'm not scared of bursts any more! My last one was perfect first time! I am going to do some tests using wood dye, but expect to have issues with end grain, since the burst needs to stay translucent. If I can't do that, nitro colour( oh, and light bramber (my mix of amber and brown that I use for necks, etc) to dark bramber) then shellac clear . Neck is nice and flamey, so that will definitely get some dye, then Tru oil.

    I have no idea how much fun stripping finishes is. Never done it. :rolleyes:

    Thank you lady and gents, good to have a friendly audience in.

    Hmmmmm. That does keep getting left at the bottom of my to do list. I wonder if I will finish it this year?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  18. KWhatley

    KWhatley Tele-Holic

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    Crazy Mandolin thingies popping up everywhere!!

    Looks cool mate. Looking forwards to following this one.
     
  19. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    So without further ado, let's get to today's progress (it's great doing something so little, stuff gets done so much more quickly! I am considering making something tiny in the forthcoming challenge, but standing far away when playing it, thus making it appear to be full size. It's foolproof!)

    Blank out of clamps and a bit of router planing/RO sanding:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now, I wanted the little vanilla stripe within the chocolate to be central, so I made a new centre line that was not the glue line:

    [​IMG]

    Continued that on to the front:
    [​IMG]

    There may be some good reason not to do this (I know the join will be off centre at the neck/body joint, but who spends a lot of time looking there? Nobody, that's who), but I don't know of one, and since I am allowed to do whatever I like with this, I am doing just that. And you should too. At all times.

    Fannied around with printed templates until I liked the placement:

    [​IMG]

    Checked the backside. Always check your backside. Never leave the house without doing so.

    [​IMG]

    So, at this point you check some more, make sure everything is right before cutting it up.

    YOU do.


    Because you are sensible.


    I just go mental at it with a jigsaw, with no further thought until either a) something ignites, b) someone starts bleeding or c) I end up with something that is more guitar shaped than a rectangle is.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At this point, several stars aligned and I was temporarily granted the power of thought. I used this power wisely, my friends! I thunk about how I was going to attach the neck to the body, about scale length, and so on. I concluded that some more thought and measuring might be necessary, so I would not cut the body blank around the neck joint yet.

    Instead, I went about touching up the Shockelele's bottom. Cos that is the kind of thing I do when I am alone in a secluded workshop:

    [​IMG]

    As expected, things got a bit hot, and there was a little bit of burning to the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Next up, Neck News.
     
  20. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looking good.
    Nice job on the center move, I too am learning that the little, some times finer, things can make all the difference!

    So, is it as heavy as it looks?
     
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