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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

Mini ME

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Ripthorn, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    So some background. Around 5 years ago, my daughter asked if I could make her a guitar. So I built 3/4 scale PRS style guitars for her and for my son. A couple years later, I built one for my 3rd child. Each time I pick one up and play it, I really enjoy it, so I've told myself I should build one for myself sometime. I am finishing up the Baryon and decided I needed something to inspire me. I poked around my stash and found a piece of nicely figured maple that was too small for a normal guitar and resawed it to create a top about 5/16" thick. I then found a piece of beautiful, quartered anigre that is too narrow for a standard sized guitar. I pulled out some nicely figured maple for the neck and scarfed it up. I still need to decided what to do for a fret board. I decided to call this Mini ME because PRS makes the Modern Eagle, frequently referred to a ME. Now, this won't have nearly the accoutrements that an ME does, but it should still be a little showy.

    Anyway, as many of you know, I like to do new stuff each time I build, so for this build, I want to try a few new things:

    - An inlay design I've been kicking around for several years
    - A tiger eye finish
    - A dyed maple neck and heastock to match the top
    - Headstock binding
    - Firebird pickups

    So here are some photos of what I've got so far:

    The anigre (still needs planing)
    [​IMG]

    The maple top
    [​IMG]

    The maple for the neck (I couldn't capture the figure very well, it's quite nice figure)
    [​IMG]

    Now for a few general specs:

    - ~22" scale length (lop off first two frets from a 25.5" scale length)
    - Firebird pickups
    - Tiger eye finish
    - Curly maple drop top on anigre body
    - Curly maple neck
    - Dark fretboard

    Now, a couple questions I would like to put to the brain trust.

    1. With how thin the top is, I think I want to do binding on the body, neck, and headstock so that I can do deeper bevels on the top. The finish will be tiger eye, so I am contemplating plain white, plain cream, white pearloid, or abalonoid (pearloid with abalone colors, see below). I am thinking of doing the abalonoid for my inlay, so that would match, but I also plan on having tuner buttons that will likely be some kind of pearloid or white or something. Thoughts? Would pearloid binding just look cheesy?

    [​IMG]

    2. I found lots of great options for inlay material at Rothko and Frost, and I am thinking of doing two tone inlay. One will be the abalonoid stuff. I am thinking that perhaps doing their "tiger pearloid" might be cool too:
    [​IMG]
    3. For the fretboard, I want something dark. I would prefer to go with something I have on hand, but at the same time, I am loathe to use something like ebony on this little guy. I have cocobolo, afrormosia, pau ferro, bloodwood, and ebony. I'm kind of leaning pau ferro, but am open to opinions.

    So there we have it. No idea how fast this will go, but it should be fun.
     

  2. fortj3

    fortj3 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    47
    266
    Feb 5, 2017
    Georgia
    I really like that tiger pearloid.
     

  3. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Here are the fretboard options. From top to bottom we have: Jatoba, afrormosia, ziricote, pau ferro, monkey pod, and cocobolo.

    [​IMG]

    I think I'm going to go with the cocobolo, since the underside is a lot of sap wood. This smaller fretboard would allow me to trim a lot of the sapwood and hide the rest with the binding.

    [​IMG]
     

  4. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston

  5. Deegatron

    Deegatron Tele-Meister

    139
    Feb 5, 2014
    Alberta, Canada
    Loving this build... yeah!
     
    crazydave911 likes this.

  6. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Well, a little bit of progress made. I joined the top, roughed in the radius and slotted both the cocobolo and a piece of jatoba. I intend for the jatoba to be a practice board to go through all of the steps first in case I mess something up. It will get inlaid before the cocobolo to make sure that the inlays will have the right scale on a board this size. I also did plenty of work on the computer creating drawings for different components. I am thinking I'll make my own neck ferrules, tone bar (like a string ferrule but a big block), cavity cover, pickup rings, truss rod cover, and possibly even tuning buttons. I really want some kind of cream or aged white tuning buttons, but a lot of the sets I see are more expensive than the tuners they will go on! Granted, their just inexpensize sperzel knockoff locking tuners, but still. I may go curly maple, or pick up some natural acetal. Anyway. Here are the woods after today. Man, that jatoba was wickedly hard stuff...

    [​IMG]
     

  7. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I only had a couple minutes to play around, but whipped up this quick prototype for a knob. I am thinking I might make knobs, pickup rings, truss rod cover, switch tip, and tuner buttons all from curly maple. Hopefully that should help accent the tiger eye. Anyway, the knob. It's 3/4" so that it doesn't look massive on the small body:

    [​IMG]
     
    mPacT likes this.

  8. Barncaster

    Barncaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Man if you did the fretboard in that abalone pearloid MOTS you'd have to drop acid just to play it. That is the craziest pattern Ive ever seen.
     
    Anniballe likes this.

  9. mPacT

    mPacT Tele-Holic

    893
    Dec 23, 2014
    Burbank, CA
    I started a PRS travel sized guitar awhile back. Been thinking about finishing it recently. I think it is 19" scale, don't remember.
     
    Barncaster likes this.

  10. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, they are a lot of fun. Mine will actually be 21". After all the measuring, I found that to be optimal for what I'm doing. It's just funny that this should look like a really high end instrument, but be the size of a kid's guitar.
     

  11. mPacT

    mPacT Tele-Holic

    893
    Dec 23, 2014
    Burbank, CA
    Here is a bad picture of the components, finished fretboard, neck through made of oak believe it or not and body wings of redwood I think, lol. I was planning to faux paint the top so it looked like 3A tiger maple with my airbrush.

    IMG_6340.jpg
     
    dchwhite, nosmo and Barncaster like this.

  12. Chordophonic

    Chordophonic Tele-Meister

    227
    Oct 4, 2013
    Isle of Wight UK
    Liking this....subbed....
     

  13. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Alright, between some church commitments, building some projects for my wife and kids, and going down a rabbit hole, I arrive at today. I started working on my knobs and promptly blew two of them up on the lathe. Looks like I'll need a different style :).

    Also, I decided that with the tiger eye finish, I need the switch tip, knobs, pickup rings, and tuner buttons to all be lighter so that they stand out. I don't like just straight chrome tuners all that much, so I made curly maple tuner buttons. Let me tell you, there's a reason aftermarket ones are $50 a set or so, and relatively well priced at that. I first roughed out the buttons, then machined the bushings to go in them so that they engage the tuner stem appropriately. Then I had to install the bushings, radius the buttons, and sand them all by hand. Then finish and install. I think they look great, but I probably have 5 hours just in the buttons. Gross. Anyway, I think they will work really well with the project, but ugh, if you are tempted to do so, really think it through. It took me that long and I have a CNC milling machine and a metal lathe. Lots of small scale precision work. Anyway, the glamor shot:

    [​IMG]
     

  14. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

    Jan 31, 2012
    Lake Jackson, TX
    Nice knobs. And I mean that in the nicest way.
     

  15. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I got the drop top cleaned up and glued on to the back. Then I cut and routed to shape:

    [​IMG]

    I also resawed some curly maple for a headstock veneer, pickup rings, and cavity cover, but no pics as they are just thin pieces of wood...
     

  16. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    35
    Oct 22, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I got my pickups finally, so I made up some pickup rings out of curly maple. I also made up an electrosocket from some aluminum I had kicking around. I bought a tap for switchcraft jacks for $4.50, so I can make up a bunch for next to nothing. Then I measured the body thickness and realized that, after bevels and roundover, I won't have enough body thickness for an electrosocket. Oh well, I've got this for a future build.

    [​IMG]

    Next up is waiting for stuff to fix my burnt up dremel, then do some inlay, yada yada yada.
     
    guitarbuilder likes this.

  17. MoMo_the_Peach

    MoMo_the_Peach TDPRI Member

    Age:
    32
    79
    Sep 26, 2016
    Australia
    Loving this build. How do you think a smaller size build would go in terms of body size, but with a full size scale length?
     

  18. sergiomajluf

    sergiomajluf Tele-Meister

    311
    Sep 26, 2015
    Santiago, Chile
    Can you adopt me so I'll get one of these mini prs? Dad? Yes?
     

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