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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by preeb, May 3, 2011.
Thanks Nick, From looking at your work, which is great, I knew you would be interested.
The block dictates the length of the body. It must be square in all directions so subsequent operations are correct. I first draw the cutaway pattern on its end and since my ribs have been different thickness during this testing "prototype" process, I have devised a method so every body comes out the same as my pattern.
Before I draw it though I have to thickness the block. I use my planer to get within a few thousands of my final body thickness. This is around 1.70 inches but some are as thin as 1.62 up to 1.75.
Now I draw the cutaway on the block so the ribs can get glued on.
Like this and bandsaw to the line.
I employed a semi-pro photographer (aka 11 year old son) to take some candid shots so things should start getting better...
I cut the outline of the cutaway, staying just shy of the line and sand the pencil line with a drum sander mounted in the drill press.
Then I use this to set the pipes. An important point here is that the thickness of the ribs must subsequently be removed from the block to conform the the perfect copy of the outline.
I am full capable of moving the pipes around to get them set in the sweet spot of the curve of the cutaway. First having lined the block up with the centerline on my mold platform. I also have a line where the neck/body line is.
I find the sweet spot where the radius of the ribs fits on the tubes, paying attention to the outline drawn on the platform. I mark where they will meet the block ... like this
And here is where I remove the wood from the block where the sides will go. I do this by measuring the side thickness and lock the caliper using it as a scratch stock. Like this...
I sand to remove the pencil line and I am left with the correct contour on the end of the block.
The ribs get put in their spot and clamped with luthier clamps. No glue yet.
The length of the maple center block plus the mahogany end block plus the rib thickness = the length of the pattern.
In reality I always try to mark and cut without measuring. This photo shows how I mark the maple for length.
The pencil mark would go on the back side of the mahogany end block on the maple.
I can now clamp the block to the ribs. I put a the spacer down of 1/10 inch veneer so the ribs go below the block by that much. The after applying hot glue to the maple, I place one single clamp on and bring it tight.
Since you can't see it, the other end has the ribs free and the mahogany block is out so the clamp will fit.
After the glue dries I remove the clamp and keep the block and ribs in place. Now I can mark the ribs for length at the tail end.
I cut the rib using a fence that is a square. The handsaw rides against it while the other surface rides on the rib bottom. I cut to the pencil line and trim with a very sharp block plane to undercut it a bit.
Next I clamp just one side using the pencil line drawn down the mahogany block as a guide. Let the glue grab and then do the other side.
Great stuff, Ken. I've always wanted to know how these were made, it's such a great design, you can go from smooth jazz to heavy metal with a 3 series. Very versatile.
This is already my favorite example of American-Israeli cooperation since 1948, and preeb hasn't even had his turn yet!
Finally I clamp the mahogany block to the maple centerblock where it should fit perfectly.
And now the ribs are attached to the blocks and the blocks are attached to each other. The ribs being over height will need to be brought down equal to the thickness of the center block.
Hah, yep so true, all the trouble seem to float away with great things of art, music, common interests.
Do you think there was any justifiable reason for using a mahogany end block when they designed these things? It's kind of an odd duck with the rest of it (so far). Oh, and a very nifty sander you have there.
Are the side so rigid and stable at this point that there is no need for a mold or form? I've seen a picture from modern construction where it looks like the center block is mated with the sides in a jig with toggle clamps that also forms the sides, sort of like an inverse of an acoustic guitar mold. Maybe an offset clamp of your master template would be the same thing?
Did you try a valiable speed router controller? Not sure if it was designed for this but I know it can handle high Wattage.
Harder maple will emphasize the EQ edges (highs and lows) resulting with a more "scooped" and punchy tone. On LP's most of the maple mass is around the center line due to the carved top pattern, so using the same maple board blank in different orientations will affect tonality, especially with rift cuts where one edge is closer to quarter and the other to flat.
I found that the best results (for my taste that is...) are achieved with the quartered area facing the center with both flitch matched or book matched tops.
For a 335... well... we'll have to further test the different options but I still believe the two above factors (density and cut orientation) will affect tonality in the same way. It is also important to take the softer kerfed spruce into account as being a part of the guitar's core along with the maple block. TMHO, dense hard maple center married to a soft spruce on both top and bottom will cancel each other and result with a dull tone so my basic instinct was calling for a soft maple core to get those warm 50's mids in a light package. There's enough maple and PF glue mass in the veneers to add lively highs anyway...
The equipment needed to regulate his heat blankets is called a Variac, I used them with those exact same heaters to do bonding on the Space Shuttle. I have to go on station but will try to find a link for them later.
The heat blankets just plug into the Variac and you dial in how much heat you want. Some folks use them to slowly bring power onto a new amp build to slowly check for problems instead of just shooting the juice to a new build.