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The Saga of Wonderboy---a Hero's Journey through time myth and legend.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Newbcaster, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert
    Rather than just do a build thread since there are so many(finished and unfinished) I thought I'd put some fun into it by weaving legends, stories about epic heroes and their tragic demise, suffering, comic happenings and cosmic redemption.

    A storied mishmash of myths about a guitar is by its definition heroic: the rise of and the sustaining of a man's virile power, despite what perils come, until at last his name is engraved forever in the Tome of History.(Or so a degree in literature and creative writing taught me... what a tragic waste of money!!!)


    And so our story begins, Dearest Readers, with a poem the likes of which is found all over the world and in all cultures, but most beautifully and succinctly said by a bunch of frozen Norsemen who, having got themselves in quite a pickle, were trying to rouse their spirits.

    Lo!! There do I see my Father.

    Lo!! There do I see my Mother and my Sisters and my Brothers

    Lo!! There do i see the Line of my People, back to the Beginning.

    Lo!! They do call to me!!

    And bid me take my place among them
    In the Halls of Valhalla

    Where the Brave
    May Live
    Forever


    We can imagine, just a few months prior to their definitive battle against the Skraelings of the New World... that they were in Denmark, that boggy, cragged and rocky craphole, at least it was in 800AD, huddled by fires in the marsh telling each other that if they burn the peat bogs and stones in a massive but contained fire, that they could finally solve that age old rebus... the Riddle of Steel.

    So they cut down their ash trees, some destined for firewood, some for scabbards and grips for their soon to be blades. They knew of steel because as "traders" aka thieving pillaging bandits who did some legitimate trading they came across the turban clad Persians who had conveniently "traded" with India for what has come to be known as "Damascus" Steel.

    The People of Wyk, you know them as Vikings, came face to face with the American Indian Horns of Power. But were they frightened? HELL NO. The Skraelings had no steel age weapons. Only bone and knowledge of poisons and Dark Magic.

    But the Wyks... they had magic of their own. The cobalt rich soil and stones made blades which, in the sun shone a bright blue. The incessant, unending hammerstrokes pleased Thor who routinely in the weeks and months prior to the battle, sent Thunderbolts into steel, tree and wyk alike, along with a lot of Rain.

    An interesting but necessary aside, the Tibetans and Indians call lightning and truth the same word; Vajra, which incidentally is also a hammer weapon shaped in their idea of what lightning looks like. The answer to all riddles is truth and so steel is truth being its own answer to the riddle, or at least so say the Visigoths, the Huns and and other tribes of the Central European Plains. What could be more truth-invoking than a whap upside the head????

    Nothing, according to the Zen Buddhists who think nothing of slapping you across the face. You have just been hit by-the vajra-lightning of epiphany... the sound of one hand clapping!!!

    But let's travel West for a time. To the land of Angels and Thor, or Tor, AhTor... Arthur. Let's go to England and visit the Picts, the Welsh and the Saxons. They were Wicca... pagans who worshipped nature's various alter egos, and it was their various clashes with the Northmen that caused them to realize. They too cut down the Ash and the Oak to fuel their fires to to pull steel from rock mines, ore mines as well as bogs, for England had many.

    Whosoever pulleth Sword from Stone shall be King. Marvel in wonder at how there, right there in legend, seeing beyond the sizzle, is the steak. the meat. the truth of it. To transmute one thing into another, to burn wood and stone ore to make steel... to transmogrify as Calvin would put it... there is the truth. To take crude things and make them something more. And there he is again.. the Once and Future King, Arthor, Thor, the Wyks own Pagan god, who like Prometheus "brought fire down from heaven" to change the land for the Secret of the Grail is that the Land and King are one.

    And so, when King betrayed by his brother Lancelot, as was Thor by Loki(many times) the land suffered as the King Suffered. The truth of Caliburn, Caliborg Calebwich(Welsh), the 'hard cleaver' was that Camelot was to be forever.. the truth that was pulled from the stone... Excalibur and that it would guard it like the Flaming Sword of Paradise.

    But laid low by sin, the Ash handled sword was thrown back into the lake, back into the darkness, until another Artor, another Norseman would come to lay claim to the throne of the Angel Isle.

    Incidentally the Windsor family are Norse and German/Saxon Jew by blood. I find it interesting that the truth of this world, 'the world' is found in steel.

    Speaking of Angels, let us go back in time a bit further... back to the beginning, which for most of us is around 32AD at least, in the English Speaking World.

    Sent from upstairs was God made man. And he was on a mission, to bring the truth. And he started by plunging into the dark waters of Jordan, held down by his cousin John. A few words were spoken and voila!! he comes up from out of the darkness and into the light, which even for the day shone much more brightly and a voice pierced the clouds and shook the earth with thunderous authority:

    This is my son, in whom i am well pleased.

    Well That should have been it right there, but the hard hearts of man were not ready for the truth. What truth? That we had been deceived and robbed of our birthright as the made sons of God. We were his and always to be his. But we had fallen away, deceived by a mere whisper to the ear. So how, dearest reader, could the hero of this story make things right? For that we can thank those great importers and exporters of the day... the Romans.

    Ironically the Romans despised the Celts, the Saxons, etc.. for being pagan e.g. not worshipping the right gods. And they certainly didnt like those pesky blondes from the fjordlands, both of whom had something in common. Their highest truth was that the world ash tree had roots as big as the tree's canopy: As above, so below or so they say anyways. What the heck do i know lol. The Norse call the tree Yggdrasil, the gateway to Asgard and the divine. But alas, Bonny Portmore, the Oak and the Ash, they are all cut down to do what? Industry. Steel. They supplanted their own high truths for the truth of "this world", the deceivers truth-sounding lie that we should all cut one another down with weapons and be returned as wood in fire to damnation. I find it interesting that Jesus was a carpenter and mason, a builder of things. He had a better use for wood, methinks.

    Well the Romans, Hadrian's wall and all that sure helped out. They exported a lot of ash and oak lumber to Jerusalem. As you shall soon see, they will need its strength.... something strong has to carry the weight. The weight of Jesus on the cross and the collective sin of the whole world, past and future... so heavy incidentally that Jesus needed a touch of help to get to the finish line. from Simon whose name means "listener". coincidence that our burdens, when made heavy are listened to and lifted by the Holy Spirit? i think not.

    There are no coincidences in a hero's journey.

    Meanwhile, the Controller of "the world", the chief basement dweller had him crucified in the morning.

    Like Excalibur glistening in the sun. T View attachment 420642 View attachment 420642 20170419_191427.jpg here was our hero suffering in what Satan called his dominion, the morning. Maybe that explains why we all collectively hate mornings, especially Monday, which from the ancient Syriac means "Satan's sandy little butthole."

    Satan finally got his wish, The Son of Man laid low while the former angel turned Salacious Crumb basked in what he thought would be his day.

    But it's just like a hero to turn the tables and so elegantly too. With a whisper in the ear. With his last breath he uttered the Gospel's final words, bookending the fall of man from the divine to the dust of the earth with His own Eikóna kathréfti. The mirror image of the fall. Which Is??

    Pregnant Pause to end all pregnant pauses... The way it was supposed to be all along. A resurrection and a new, unending life.

    "it is finished" Jesus said, and like: the Vikings vs the Skraelings, like Arthur vs Mordred, like Thor vs Loki, even Roy Hobbs vs The Pittsburgh farm boy pitcher...those 3 words ended the eternal damnation of Mankind. One sound, one light, one thought, one indefatigable truth...one lightning bolt delivered as a whisper..... that we can wallow in the dirt muck and mire of whatever plagues us... or we can stand.

    Meanwhile. sharp eyes will note I'm making this guitar, this heroic symbol out of Douglas Fir and not Ash. Why?

    Truths slide by often enough but this one stuck with me for many years. Coincidence? i think not, for there are no coincidences in a Hero's journey. Jesus was a carpenter. What do we build houses out of today? 2x4's. Hobbs asks Bobby Savoy to pick him out a winner... the "Savoy Special".

    Savoy is a region in France overrun by fir trees. Another use of fir is to make soap. Soap, perhaps, to wash our sins away. Savoy, etymologically speaking comes from Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus (c. 330 - c. 400)
    coined the word Sabaudia, or Sapaudia meaning land of fir trees.. and in modern french, Sapiniere...

    So I guess this was my way to combine those two bats into one guitar.

    But why Wonderboy? I guess, its my way to "go back to the beginning" I was 10 when my life was turned upside down... I wont go into it but it was horrifying. Life ending, really. I spent the next 18 years hating life and everyone in it. I saw The Natural the same year... 2 years after the movie came out... so 1986.

    The way Roy hit that last homer...it struck a very deep chord in me and I didn't even play baseball. I really feel like I've been on my own version of Homer's Odyssey. I want to go home. Back to the beginning where everything went wrong and make it right so that the rest of my life isn't as plagued by turmoil as the last bit. I always wanted a bat. Hell thats halfway to a guitar neck really. Always wanted to play guitar and be in a band and do all the things I couldn't back then as a poor kid with a traumatic injury. I guess Robert Redford said it best as Roy in the movie(1:25) :

    Newbcaster

    PS: I bet you didn't think guitars and Easter had a relation did ya?? Happy Belated Easter folks.
     

    Attached Files:


  2. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert
    A quick update on Wonderboy. Ignore the pencil lines.. just messing around with body carved and trying to explain to the woman where the pickups go and stuff.

    Im a biiiiig fan of slide playing. Probably got over 30 different slides.

    John from Circle 6 Studios in Phoenix did a fantastic job making 3 guitars slides for me... gave me 3 trial pieces free too. Total of 6.


    Now Wonderboy needs a fretboard, contour routing and then sanding. Sanding and more sanding.

    Newb
     

    Attached Files:


  3. chiefline

    chiefline Tele-Holic

    756
    Mar 18, 2014
    new jersey
    I felt like i was studying for final exams again with all that reading! Yikes! Lol
     
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  4. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Newb, that writin' bounces around like a well-hit 3-wood in a tile bathroom. You covered a lot of ground there and I got just a little lost, but I have figured out you are making a one-piece strat out of Douglas Fir, and you reckon it "needs a fretboard, contour routing and then sanding. Sanding and more sanding."

    It likely needs a truss rod too. What do you have in mind for that? I would plan to get that set up before you do any thinning or contouring on the neck or body. That way it'll be a lot easier to keep that work accurate.

    Based on your other post about sanding grit and grain filling the wood, I'm just wanting to make a helpful hint not to get too excited by the fun, artsy, shaping part and miss a key step along the way.

    How do you see the rest of this build coming together - probably a good idea to write out everything you plan to do step-by-step if you haven't already, then post it to this thread. Get some of the way smarter than me people here to eyeball it for you.

    How thick is the wood in its present state, and is the whole shebang the same thickness?

    Happy belated Easter to you too!

    Rex
     

  5. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert

    There was a show way back when on the BBC called Connections wherein the narrator pulls together seemingly wholly disparate pieces of data and finds some thread that relates all of the various topics of the show.

    The idea was to see it as having a narrator. I watch a lot of documentaries..lots... one of my faves is: The History of Maths by Marcus du Sautoy.

    Anyways a hero's journey tends to bounce around a bit.. look at Odysseus for example. So the writing ends up being a physical device to reflect that... or its a very late at night, tired bit of stream-of-consciousness autobiographical outline of an essay.. or something like that.

    Truss rods. The 2x4 were laminated together and sitting in a hot Arizona garage for something like 5 years or more. They were laminated face to face and were flat sawn, which makes the whole thing very nearly quarter sawn and is 2.25 inches thick.

    this guitar should end up being vry similar to the jason becker numbers guitar, but with a few twists.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017

  6. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    I, too, enjoyed "Connections" immensely, especially the earlier episodes. Later ones seemed to "stretch" a bit too far to establish some of the connections. I noted the similarity in your writing, so that was a successful effort.

    Though you didn't specifically say so, it sounds like you reckon you "don't need no stinking truss rod." Fair enough - it's your build. I'll be quite surprised if construction grade Doug Fir ends up not needing it though. The recommendation to plan out all your steps and post them for review is just a neighborly suggestion to save you some potential heartache, as with this thing being all one piece, it is very critical not to miss an important step, and to make sure certain things get done while the guitar is still all one thickness. I'm not sure if you don't want any such help or not and if the latter that's no problem either. In the meantime, here's one thought:

    Assuming normal Strat hardware, the plane of the fretboard needs to be 3/8" above the plane of the body, and they need to be parallel planes. You can accomplish that with a 3/8" thick fretboard in what I perceive to be your build's current state. If you use a regular 1/4" thick fretboard, you need a way to thin 1/8" off the surface of the body other than the neck. A 3/8" thick fretboard may help a little with the absent truss rod, but also necessitate thinning you quarter-sawn neck a bit more.

    Lot's more to talk about but I'll shut up now unless more is desired. I can tell this build really means a lot to you and I am hoping it is successful. If you already have everything doped out good for you.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
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  7. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert

    Hey by all means keep chiming in!! You guys are all a wonderful fount of info. I will probably put one in. while brian may technically has a truss rod in his.. it actually doesnt function and isnt actually engaged on his. He has a similarly thick neck, albeit out of mahogany. I dont know what kind i would put in, maybe even just a thick brass bar and some graphite stiffening rods from stew mac.

    i was hoping to make the neck thick enough to not put one in, but I like 12's... and lord knows I dont want any twist.

    Also, the fretboard is likely gonna be 3/8ths and no radius. I never saw the point of trying to put a 20 inch radius on a fretboard like some of my guitar heroes. It's essentially flat and the curve is JUST enough to invoke severe ocd issues!! May as well be flat.

    The fretboard will be q-sawn maple.

    I havent figgered out which whammy bar I will use... probably not a strat trem. its a 7 string anyways so likely a floyd.
     

  8. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert
    For those crazy enough to make a body out of douglas fir... if you are laminating pieces, make sure all the pieces are very similarly TIGHT GRAINED.


    When passing the roundover bit around the guitar, the brown grain is A LOT harder than the white wood... which makes for very regular undulations. now i have to take a sanding block and level all the high spots!
     

  9. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    Gilbert
    Progress report. My fave Neck is a large Brian May neck I carved years ago, but since I havent done the fretboard yet i spent most of today sanding and doing body 20170425_154115.jpg 20170425_154115.jpg 20170425_155936.jpg 20170425_160824.jpg contours with a belt sander and spindle sander. They are very roughly done. Ill tighten up the lines with successive grits. The center 3 inches remains untouched so I have a flat level reference point. The contours are very deep and retro spacey.. my influence for that was watching Knopfler in an documentary talking about his 60's Fiesta Red Strat.

    Guitar went from like a 10lb brick to like 6 lbs. I'm really excited. Im aiming for 4.5 lbs final wood weight b4 adding pickups and tuners, etc.

    Tomorrow its trying to finish up the shape of the contours and lines and start the fretboard. Havent had this much fun in years!!! If I end up with something playable it will truly be a miracle, but its a learning experience nonetheless. More pics of the contours and edges tomorrow I hope and the fretboard getting started.

    Newb.
     

  10. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    Hi,
    I really recommend you keep that body flat until you have all the other drilling and routing done. The more you contour it the less support you'll have for any routing, like the tremolo you have planned.

    Here is the set up you can use to rout your truss rod slot as we discussed on you PM conversation:
    Great easy routing jig idea.jpg
    This is with a "workmate" style clamping table which hopefully you have.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     

  11. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert
    Hey quick update. So tomorrow at 8 am i am meeting with a local firm who will in theory, cut out the numbers on the fretboard for me using a laser. I'm bringing him a piece of plain maple to try out. it may be that there is too much burn that i wont be able to sand out but Im hoping this works.

    Body and neck sanded at 220. Waiting on truss rod/carbon fiber stiffeners.

    The fretboard is gonna have these numbers, in colored clear epoxy rather than opaque so I can light them with LED's [​IMG]
     

  12. Darkness

    Darkness Tele-Holic

    Age:
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    Go, Newbcaster! Go!

    I hope the laser does what you're hoping.
     
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  13. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    I have no idea what I just almost read, but now I'm starting to see some pics of wood and stuff, so :).
     
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  14. oldfish

    oldfish Tele-Holic

    514
    Aug 23, 2015
    uk
    trex love your setup for routing trussrods thanks for posting.cant believe I never thought of something this simple before
     
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  15. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    This is looking cool. Glad you've decided (at least, that seems to be where you're heading) to put in a truss rod. Shame to put in so much work and end up with an unplayable, or poorly-playing instrument from such an easily prevented cause as curved neck. I had forgotten Connections, but that was a fascinating show. I'd spend about 95% of the time trying to figure out how the heck he's going to tie these all together.
     
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  16. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic Ad Free + Supporter

    703
    Jun 17, 2008
    omaha
    • You will play eternal, shiny and chrome!
     
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  17. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert
    It's a bit of a strange thing really. I felt very moved to write it just out of the blue and I could hear what I was writing come out in a stream of conscious kind of monologue, done by some Oxford guy like the Connections guy or Marcus du Sautoy.....very late night sort of thing. And then I just felt very, very driven to make something.

    Part of me hates the idea of a truss rod but the more practical side of me says I want this to truly suit me and so adjusting things seems necessary. Kudos to t rex for changing my mind.

    This weekend I'm at a fencing tournament, I should be able to carve some time out on Sunday after church to take some photos of tbe tremolo... it's pretty cool.






    Nice Mad Max reference!!! Kinda wanna spray my teeth with Krylon silver spray like that dude...but I'll settle for a nice fat Balvenie single malt pour. :D
     
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  18. rscalzi

    rscalzi Tele-Holic

    Age:
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    Macomb MI
    Holy Geez,
    Why didn't I think of this? Could have used it on more than a few occasions.

    Rex be genius! :)
    Rick
     
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  19. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    380
    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert
    So while I'm waiting for shipping from eBay for truss rods and stuff...

    I decided I really wanted a stouter, more robust version of the Brian May term system.. and since I'm using much thicker strings and 7, not six...
    20170507_154137.jpg 20170507_154137.jpg 20170507_184840.jpg 20170507_190240.jpg
    I guess I should explain... I'm not a big fan of routing big holes that go all the way thru gui tars. Just seems odd and though I couldn't prove it... It just seems like a kind of tone suck.

    So the Brian May trem is kind of like a jaguar term really or maybe a bigsby.

    So I figured I'd give a shot at making a bridge by hand... using a drill, hacksaw, and files.

    This is one job I wish I could farm out to someone with a mill. But still despite the poor sawing and lacking a really heavy duty file...and this took forever btw.. here are some pics of the semi finished for now product and the various stages it went through to get here.

    Now I gotta make rollers out of stainless, cut the slots for adjusting the rollers forward and back, and otherwise pare down the brass to take off some of the weight.


    Lastly, to make sure the rollers wont fall out of the bridge, I'll use brass sheet and embedded magnets to keep the rollers in.


    I'll redo this bridge or at least redress it when I have more and better tools...and skill but for now...

    Onward to the trem mechanism...well tomorrow anyways.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 7, 2017

  20. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    380
    May 10, 2015
    Gilbert
    So I'm off to buy some 1/8th inch steel for the tremolo but I just wanted to give a quick shout out to guitarbuilder(marty) for doing such a fantastic job of creating a file in Rhino a month ago and giving me the desire to work in it to create something. It's a fantastic program and does some pretty cool things... like make fretboards.
    upload_2017-5-11_17-37-40.png
     
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