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DanoJet 7 - a 7-string Bigsbyfied rockabilly twanger...

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by RomanS, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Some slow progress:

    -) put a thin coat of amber shellac on my neck.

    -) sanded my master template to the line - easier than I thought, didn't even need my drum sanding attachment for my drill, did it all by hand.

    -) cut out the body blanks, the back and the top:

    [​IMG]

    -) sanded the back and the top really smooth, and applied a thin coat of amber shellac.
     
    jayyj and RickyRicardo like this.
  2. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu
    Looking like a good start!
     
  3. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    OK, tiny bit of progress:

    Made an improvised router table with an old board I had laying around, mounted my Makita router underneath:

    [​IMG]

    Used the router to make a working template from my master template:

    [​IMG]

    Then I used the working template to route the edges of one of my two body blanks; used my drill & jigsaw to hollow out the body blank, leaving some "bracing" for the top, and thicker walls for where the strap lugs, Bigsby mounting screws, output jack, and bridge will go, and also left a solid spot behind the bridge area, that's where the low B string will go through the body:

    [​IMG]

    Now going to glue the second (bottom) body blank to the first one, and then I'll use the edges of the top body blank to guide my router bit.
     
    LPTyler, Mat UK, jayyj and 1 other person like this.
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Looking forward to seeing this come together, nice stuff as usual!
     
    RomanS likes this.
  5. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Been a while, but there's a tiny bit of progress - routed the second layer of the body, so the "frame" is finished:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, despite following all the rules (take slow, shallow passes; route "uphill"; etc.), I still had a few spots with a little bit of tear-out. Well, lots of sanding and some wood putty will hopefuly help there - since that wood isn't really attractive, anyway, I had already planned on painting the sides in black or dark brown, anyway (which should contrast the honey-colored top nicely) - so all the mistakes will be covered.
     
    LPTyler likes this.
  6. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Also cut out the holes for the pots, switch, and pickups (going to backload those, so that I don't need pickup rings) - freehanded those with the jigsaw, they aren't super pretty, but hey, who's going to see the back of the guitar, anyway?

    [​IMG]

    Glued the back to the frame, now I'll have to wait for the glue to dry...
     
    loopy reed and LPTyler like this.
  7. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Update: The back has been glued to the frame:

    [​IMG]

    I was worrying about what to do with the sides of the body - as I said, I had some minor tear-out from routing; the seam between the top and bottom frames, and those between the blocks of wood that these laminated boards are made from pretty much prevent me from using a see-through finish, like a stain - it just doesn't look pretty; I'm not confident enough in my rattle can finishing skills to go for a solid finish on the sides, while getting a clean line to seperat that from the natural top and bottom...

    So, in the spirit of the Danelectro meets Gretsch vibe of this build, I decided:
    Danelectros have white vinyl tape around the sides; that would be good to cover up that ugly frame; but I'm not going to use white vinyl tape - instead, as a nod to the Gretsch Roundup and its tooled leather belt around the edges of the body, I'm going to cut a strip from some Western-style tooled tolex that I still have from an old amp-build - this type of stuff:

    [​IMG]

    So, to make for cleaner edges on the side, I routed a thin (0.5mm) rebate into the sides - by simply covering the sides of the frame with 3 or 4 layers of masking tape before routing the edges of the bottom - that way, the ball-bearing of my router bit was riding a bit higher, and after pulling off the tape, I had a rebate - kinda hard to take a picture of without a closeup lens...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  8. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Something else that had me worrying: getting a tight-fitting neck pocket...
    I decided to try something different than the usual routine of making a neck template from the actual neck, and then routing the body. I carefully positioned my neck on the top (that hadn't been glued to the frame yet), and traced around it:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The I sawed out the pocket by hand, making sure I stayed INSIDE the line:

    [​IMG]
     
    Zepfan likes this.
  9. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Mark & measure TWICE....cut ONCE!
     
    RomanS likes this.
  10. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    After a lot of careful sanding, I got a pretty tight-fitting neck pocket:

    [​IMG]

    Then I glued the top to the frame - didn't have enough clamps, so I had to try something else for putting enough pressure on the top:

    [​IMG]

    Currently waiting for the glue to cure, then I will route the edges of the top, also with a rebate, like the bottom.

    As you may have noticed, my neck pocket is only as deep as the top (6mm) - quite unusual for a Fender-style bolt-on neck...
    Well, since I'm going to use a Bigsby and a floating bridge, I need the strings to sit quite high above the top, and I wanted to avoid routing the neck pocket at an angle - so I'm going to try this. Got the idea from looking at Rickenbacker guitars - their necks are not glued in at an angle, but parallel to the top, and they sit quite high in the body, too. Not sure whether this will work with a bolt-on neck, we'll see...
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
    bottlenecker likes this.
  11. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Your wife/girlfriend got a home Vacuum Pack? Find a big enough vacuum-pack food bag for a very secure glue binding.
     
  12. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    My girlfriend has those vacuum bags for storing eg. winter clothes in summer - but it's too late for trying that now, glue is already setting...
     
  13. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin

    This is great! I had the same desire, except for the bigsby, many years ago. I ordered a warmoth 7 string neck, and bought a kay body (thin archtop, like the 6 strings I play), with a plan to mate them. I was going to make a bridge and trapeze tail, and put a hipshot tuner on the low string so I could switch between A and B quickly. I was going to use a 7 string lap steel pickup.
    Then I decided I wasn't going to get to it and tried to ebay it. The kay body sold immediately and no one wanted a warmoth 7 string neck ordered in mahogany.
    So now I have a neck. The inlays and headstock sure aren't beautiful, but they're not hideous. It is very flat/wide, but I can live with it.
    Theoretically if it ever gets to the front burner, I will make a hollow steel body for it, (which would be my second of this type), and build the rest as I'd originally planned.


    So about this bigsby thing... I think it's a great idea to give the 7th string it's own tail, but if you want to try to make 7 fit on a bigsby, I'd be happy to machine you a new main string shaft with seven holes.
     
    RomanS likes this.
  14. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Thanks for the offer, but I thought this over in the meantime - IMHO the shaft of a Bigsby is already pretty crowded with 6 strings (strings are always spreading apart from the shaft to the bridge - I'd prefer a straight path...); and the way I use the 7th string I don't need the Bigsby for it - I use the low B for typical baritone guitar lines, and the Bigsby would be needed for adding dips & shimmer to chords (and I never use the low B for chords).
     
    bottlenecker likes this.
  15. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin
    I actually think it'd be really cool to hear a solid note ringing out on the low b while a vibrato'd chord floats over it. It might sound like two different players.
     
    RomanS likes this.
  16. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Routed the edges of the top - now here's a quick mock up:
    [​IMG]

    One thing I had not considered: With the neck sitting so high in the pocket, I can't mount the pickups from the back, they could almost sit on top of the body...
    Going to order undrilled P90 dogear covers, and use those to mount the pickups.
     
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