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ESP LTD style build with a few twists

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Muzikp, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Sup TDPRI'ers?

    It's been a while since I've started a thread, been building and working on stuff just not documenting.

    I'm endeavoring to build a guitar that's not my typical build. Here's the layout plan of it. I'm excited about it because it's a complicated build with a few features I've never done before. This neck is going to be a challenge to get perfect and the carved top is nothing at all like a Les Paul carve.

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    First step is to prep some maple for the neck. It will be neck-thru style, not the style where you glue on wings for the body, but the neck will go well into the body. Think of it as a really big tenon, like really big... and fat.

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    Cut it down to a workable length, this is probably the longest neck blank I've ever made, even longer than some of the 35" scale bass guitars I've built.

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    Rip it in half, yes I know, exciting documentation, but I must have thought it was important enough to take the picture so now you can enjoy it also. To distract you from the boring photo, notice the yellow bandsaw table. It was a mod to my saw I did a while back, that table sits about 2" lower than the standard table it came with. I also modified the guard on top and made the rollers tuck way up inside the guard. I can now resaw 9" boards on this standard size 14" saw, so there's that.

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    Glue it together and square it all up and we have this really, well... glued up square neck blank, which turns out to be perfectly quartersawn and likely be extremely stable over time.

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    A slab of Alder for the body. This alder is a real nice weight, has great grain, and is about 2" thick. Sounds like an online wood dating profile.

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    Usual stuff, cut it down to size, run it through the joiner and planer to get it square and the correct thickness... I think in an old thread I vowed never to post another picture of a piece of wood sitting on a joiner, guess I let myself down.

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    I purposely put the glue joint off center because I could make the grain match almost perfect and you would really have to stare at it a while to determine it wasn't a one piece body. Came out great. I've drawn a reference center line on here since I can't use the glue joint as a centerline. You can see how well the grain matches, the glue joint is obviously where the longer board is attached to the shorter.

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    Here is the build drawing, it's different than the layout plan I posted at the top. I don't plan on making a template for this one, not likely to build a lot of these so we are going straight to the hardwood, hopefully no mistakes as those would be costly with this method.

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    So straight to the body with the plan

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    And then straight to the bandsaw. Which incidentally has a huge blade on it from book matching some tops recently, I didn't feel like changing it so it took some work to do the corners with the huge blade. But I hacked away at it and made this

    [​IMG]

    A bit of sanding on the ROSS and it's starting to look like something. I can't remember the last time I used a template and router to cut a body. Sanding it takes longer but guarantees no tear out and produces fantastic results which can't always be said about the router. Can you find the glue joint (don't cheat and look at the end grain). Actually I can see it pretty clearly but I know where it is so my eye goes right to it.

    [​IMG]

    The body can sit and warp and twist for a while now, I'll flatten it all out again if it moves and let it sit one more time, or more until it stops moving, if it moves at all.
     
  2. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Oklamerica
    Good to see another build thread from you, James! This one definitely looks fun and interesting.
     
  3. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    So time to cut up that neck blank. Sketchy doing it without a template and just going straight to the saw but it keeps things exciting.

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    First cut

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    And another

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    Make sure everything is square and coming together nicely.

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    And continue widdling away at it

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    I make several passes through the table saw to cut the truss rod slot. Just set the blade the correct height and keep inching over til it fits snug, real snug.

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    Unfortunately the blade wasn't set to the correct height and the truss rod sticks up.

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    Do it all again and...

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    Needs ears for the headstock

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    And I'm at the end of day one, starting to cut the neck-thru pocket but not done yet.

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  5. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Hey Roger, you snuck in the middle there. Been following your stuff on IG, you are doing great stuff as usual. I wish I had your creativity.
     
    RogerC likes this.
  6. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Wow!!! Just catching up with some threads around here, I shouldn't stay away so long. You people are building some amazing stuff and sharing great knowledge, it's all very inspiring.

    I should probably dig up the thread and put this one to bed, but that probably won't happen so it's here now.

    [​IMG]
     
    Barncaster and RogerC like this.
  7. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Island NY
    James ! Long time no read (see) .:D Good to see another build thread from you .
     
  8. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    Looks like you are off to another great start. I love your threads, always well thought out and documented. I'll be watching closely.
     
  9. CraigB

    CraigB Tele-Holic

    831
    Nov 6, 2009
    Central Coast of CA
    Yeah, James, really great that you're back with a new thread and very cool design. I'll echo the comments from our friends earlier and add that this thread immediately caught my attention!
     
  10. Reckless Rat

    Reckless Rat Tele-Meister

    348
    Feb 26, 2014
    UK
    Whoa, that's all day one?! Usually, by the end of day one I'm about partway in to holding bits of wood up to the light and twisting them back and forth, and thinking, 'What the heck do I do here?' :lol:

    Welcome back!
     
    Wahoo and MoMo_the_Peach like this.
  11. Barncaster

    Barncaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 3, 2010
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Hey James,
    How does the BB sound? Looks spectacular!
    Rob
     
  12. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    It's great, really great. You know I rarely like neck pup tones since they are typically so muddy and dark, but this one is actually good and usable to me so nice work there. And remember those P90's you made me recently? Those are performing well. Which reminds me I have many pickup needs I need to talk to you about including this build. Can you clone those strat pups you made me? They are so freaking good in all positions. And I have a tele on my bench that is seriously under-whelming in the bridge pickup department. I wish we had time to get together again, I have so much data for you and things I'd like you to hear, and I owe you a package of stuff that's sitting on my bench.
     
  13. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    I set a pretty low standard on picture taking today. But I took a couple.

    Got the neck set in

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    And got the sides tapered

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    The heel looks like this for now, it will get shaped and carved into a real smooth curvy sexy thing. The important part right now is that everything fits tight.

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    Now it's time to focus on the top

    I have this piece already glued up, think it was intended for a LP but never happened. I recall it having a real nice flame, but obviously my recollection isn't very good, it's pretty average and lame.

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    But I have this board which is not average and lame

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    I hope it's long enough :D

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  14. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Tonight I chopped the best two parts out of that flamey maple board, it's hard to capture in pics but it's definitely got a lot of nice figuring in it.

    I made one long so I would have room to match up the flamey parts as best as possible. Obviously it's not book matched but it should line up pretty nicely.

    Once I had them lined up they way I liked I traced the body outline on it to keep track of how it's aligned.

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    And we all know what comes next, the gratuitous joiner picture :rolleyes:

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    Get the clamps all setup and smear the glue on

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    And clamp

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    I always use some clamps on the bottom and some on the top so I don't end up with one board higher than the other (been there done that).

    Tomorrow I can rough cut the top and start carving on it. Still sorta thinking through how to carve this one. I might just make some carve templates and attack it with the router first. That's probably the safest easiest way to get the rough shape in.
     
    CraigB likes this.
  15. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2012
    Kelowna B.C, Canada
    That's a neat way of doing it... Definitely sparks some ideas for me! Maybe I'll have to steal this next time theres a challenge build! Looking great as always, James.
     
  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  17. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Thanks B. I've been gone a while, what are you working on these days?
     
  18. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Wow!!! Check that out. They stole my ideas, I should send them a cease and desist letter. All kidding aside that's crazy how similar that is to the ESP and of course this build. Body shape is slightly different, I wonder if that's how ESP get's around the copyright part. Thanks for the link, very informative.
     
  19. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Oklamerica
    Looking good, James!

    Sorry, I can't remember if you touched on this, and I'm too lazy to look back, but what are the finish plan in this one?
     
  20. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Translucent purple, very very purple. Lots of binding and some custom fretboard inlays.
     
    RogerC likes this.
  21. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    Thx. Hey Rebel how are the grandkids? Are they playing guitar yet? Hoping they play someday so you can put your skills to great use for them.
     
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