CS 356ish build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by 1bad914, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    I can't offer a lot of help but I have built two ES-335's, one with a short center block

    IMG_2396.JPG

    one with the more traditional full length block and kerfed top and back filler pieces

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    I've also built a couple of chambered solid bodies

    IMG_1941.JPG

    That could be hogged out a whole lot more, I was being pretty conservative at the time.

    As far as the neck tenon, I would run it as far into the pickup cavity as you can. 335 style guitars have less gluing surface than a LP and some have a reputation for failure in that joint.

    IMG_2560.JPG
     
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  2. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the advice.
     
  3. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    Routed both blanks. Then cleaned them up with the OSS. I use the template for 2-3 cuts, them remove the template and use the body itself for the last couple of cuts. These a 1.70 inches thick. It took 5 times to cut them down completely. Be slow and steady and keep even pressure on. You can see my not so fancy dual shop vac dust collection system. My shop is in the basement, she gets a bit prickly if she comes down to work out and dust is all over her workout equipment. I guess I should add that I use a paint respirator on top of all that. 65DD8A69-1A4F-479E-8D5E-0C8278FCBBB6.jpeg
     
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  4. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    A true ES is on my list as they are one of my favorite guitars. Truly impressed with your skill.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    There will be enough things in common that I'll try to comment when its helpful, but otherwise I'll just sit back and watch. I've also built a couple of carved top LP style guitars so I have a feel for the geometry when it comes time to set the neck.
     
  6. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    Had some time after work so I started drilling out the body. Nothing special. Just remember to count the point on the forstner bit when setting the depth. I mark my end depth on the outside of the guitar and use it to set the depth for the drilling and eventually the routing. The best advice I can give on this job is to make sure the bit point is in solid wood. If not you need to hang on for dear life, it will pull the body all over. 26ED2615-D77B-4C05-8D83-59DD511C73E9.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
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  7. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    I am conflicted on whether to terrace and arch the inside. I need to make that decision soon. I don’t think it will effect it tonally, but it will make it lighter. I have the same thoughts on the inside of the top. Hrrrtmm
     
  8. clayville

    clayville TDPRI Member

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    Tough call on the extra work and weight relief. I can only offer two data points about how Gibson handles their small-bodied "archtops" (as they call these).
    1) On the CS-356/CS-336 the inside contour matches the outside for a similar wall/back/top thickness everywhere but the 'center block' area. On the Johnny A. Model (which debuted a few years later) the inside of the back is flat (and there's much less center block - just an oval under the bridge). I don't know how much of that decision was an ease-of-manufacturing call or a tested and prototyped call. But I do know JA was very involved in the design.
    2) My CS-356 weighs 7.2 lbs complete. Dunno how to extrapolate that to a body-only weight.

    But I think I agree that it's unlikely this decision alters the end sound appreciably - or at least in ways you'll regret or blame.

    FWIW, my CS -356 is brighter, with a more scooped sound than a typical LP's midrange - and that makes it really versatile...
     
  9. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the input. I will test the terrace templates out on the inside and see what it will take.
     
  10. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Such memories you bring back,here was mine WAY back in the day :)

    CD1943.JPG CD1982.JPG IM002014.JPG
     
  11. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeh, back when you could get one piece mahogany THAT big and that thick
     
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  12. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    Finished the drilling and routing of the bottom today. No mishaps. I was a bit nervous about the edges. It took 3 routing sessions. Total depth was.996. First two were just to smooth the edges down. The third cut to the final depth. Can’t believe how odd the color looks in that light. 6961CA0D-B9C0-443C-991D-0A0574D9B544.jpeg
     
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  13. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    The guy I bought this from bought a ton of it when Gibson left Kalamazoo. It has been buried under a bench since then. He is down to a couple of pieces.
     
  14. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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    Also picked up the material for the top today. Not I crazy flame, but it will do. I have some work to do to get it right. 824C10C9-9B94-46B2-B6F8-CF17CAB85172.jpeg
     
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  15. GotTheSilver

    GotTheSilver Tele-Meister

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    Great progress! And nice looking top wood!
     
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  16. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Meister

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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    I would definitely carve the top before cutting the f-holes. On the 335's with their pressed laminated tops I routed the f-holes after the top has been attached to the rim but before the back is on.

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    I use double stick tape to hold the template in place but I don't trust the tape so I add a couple of clamps. The clamps also hold the guitar to the workbench so it doesn't try to jump up and run away.

    Obviously your order of build will be a little different since your back is already in place. Having the back open allowed me to do all the wiring inside the guitars and then close it up. You also need to decide if you are going to dome the top or not - it will make a difference in how you do the f-holes and what they look like, and might make a difference in the length of pot shafts.

    Ps - make sure your wiring harness will actually fit thru the f-holes and that you can fish it into place after the whole thing is assembled. One trick there is that I put terminal strips in the pickup cavities so I didn't have to fish the p/u wires into the body and then out to do the wiring and if I ever have to change a p/u it would be easy.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    Actually, I don't know anything about a CS356 but I would be very tempted to route an access port in the back for the electronics. A 335 is a total PITA (I have a 1962 on my bench right now that needs the entire harness removed and I'm putting it off because I know whats involved). When I built all of my ES style guitars I have done the wiring before the box was closed and put the components inside with little strings thru each hole so they can be pulled in place when the guitar is done. I can still get them out if I have to, but its a whole lot better starting this way. Even be thinking about how you will hold them while you put the nuts on the outside and tighten them.

    Also, if you can drill your top and fit all the components before it goes on the guitar, do all the wiring, make sure things are neat and wires reach it will be easier in the end. I've got pictures but your guitar is different.
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    Just to keep you thinking, here is how I did it on the 335's. The top is on but the back is still off, I've routed the f-holes and drilled the holes for the electronic components. I've reinforced the inside of the top with some surgical tape and thin CA - it probably isn't necessary with the laminated top but I've seen too many solid tops that have cracked around f-holes so I just automatically do it.

    Use the top as a template for the wiring - duh.

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    Do a dummy dry run just to make sure I can get things in and out of the f-hole if I ever need to. I'm going to bind the f-hole so I want to make sure its big enough.

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    Bind the f-hole, again I want to do that while I still have access to the back of the top so I can scrape it flush

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    When the top is done I masked off the f-holes and component holes with the components inside the guitar. I tied a little piece of string (actually dental floss) on each component and pulled it thru a hole in the masking tape and put a knot on the outside. The idea is that when I'm done finishing I can work the masking tape out thru the holes and pull the component into its hole

    IMG_3330.JPG

    The back goes on (remembering to put my label where it can be read thru the bass side f-hole), then its just normal guitar building again until its ready to paint.

    The dental floss trick worked perfectly and you can see in the bridge pickup cavity the little terminal strips for the neck and bridge pickups. That means that the pickup wires are connected to the pots and fished into the cavity at the same time all the other wiring was done.

    IMG_3394.JPG

    As I said, I don't know how CS356's are really built but I would sure consider an access panel in the back to eliminate all this futzing around.
     
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  20. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    One more thing, while the back (top) is off if there is any place the needs reinforcement do it now. I put a little block in the upper bass bout for the strap button and one for the bracket that supports the pick guard. If you are going to run the jack out thru the side of the guitar you might want to reinforce that too. Just keep thinking ahead.....
     
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