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A build, or an array of bad ideas

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by LuckyJinx, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx Tele-Meister

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    I'm going to try to turn some bits and bobs of wood into a guitar.

    I've got:
    - a bit of decking for a fretboard and a length of pine to try to turn into a neck (I need to somehow cut around the knots)
    - a couple of panels of craft/modelling store plywood

    [​IMG]

    - an old IKEA beech chopping board I've dismantled and turned into a laminated block

    - a couple of plywood crates that came with weekly veggie deliveries

    [​IMG]

    The idea is this:
    The craft plywood panels can be cut in a way that will allow me to get a couple of tele-sized plates, so they will become top and bottom;
    The chopping board becomes a centre block;
    The plywood sides of the veg crates will be bent to make the sides;
    The sides will have to be a bit taller than the block, because I want to have the top free to vibrate so I can get the dulcet tones of resonant plywood;
    I have a few bits to try to make into braces (also some more bits of chopping board);
    I have some strips of proper kerfing, so no idiotic ideas there.

    There are, of course, some blockers here.
    1) that piece of pine is really not suitable for a neck
    2) I don't really know how to bend plywood (or anything, really)
    3) the sides of the veg crates are not long enough so I'll need to have segmented sides
    4) I don't really know what I'm doing, what with only having a half-arsed restoration, a kit build and an ongoing scratch build as experience to fall back on.

    Some other "pioneering" ideas:
    I bought a strat wiring harness off wish.com which came with 500k pots (I knew that when I bought it, but find it odd) - I want to use this harness, with an Artec 'tron for the neck, a P90 for the bridge (middle in the harness)... and a bunch of piezo discs to use as the third pickup.
    I need to figure out a way to mount the pickups to the centre block, not the top (which will need all the help it can get to vibrate)
    Ideally, I'd also want the knobs and switch to be poking through the top without actually touching it... (maybe some sort of hole on the top with a control plate poking up?)
    Not having a vast stock of scrap wood to use for jigs and stuff, I'm going to try to make the mold for bending the sides out of a whole bunch of pieces of cardboard stacked and glued together...




    At least I know enough to know what I've written above is really dumb and will never work. I'm still going to try it. :eek: If I at least succeed in making a wall hanger (not guaranteed) I can call it Iconoclaster.

    I promise I'll try a slab body when I crash and burn. I'll probably cheap out and try to joint a bunch of lengths of 2x4 to make it, though. :oops:;)
     
  2. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    This is amazing and adventurous :)

    Still unpacking...

    My first thought after reading your post was "glue". Put a pin in that, but I think it will be important.

    Dulcet tones from plywood has worked for Gibson's ES series for decades, no problem there.

    I don't know how an array of piezo discs will work.... won't you need to mux them together to form 1 pickup? Or did you have other plans for the output?

    I built a side-bender with 4" muffler pipe and an electric bbq grill starter. It's down there somewhere, but it worked for my project at the time.

    I'm not sold on using the ( pressure-treated? ) decking for a neck.
     
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  3. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    If I used pine for a neck I'd buy a decent 2X6 and use a piece of that, no knots. Bonus being all the other wood you get from it :) (even sliced for sides ;))

    Dave
     
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  4. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    If you're careful and willing to spend the time to pick through the entire bunk you can find boards approaching quartersawn, too.

     
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  5. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeppers, though I sometimes have to go wider to get those

    Dave
     
  6. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx Tele-Meister

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    I'm not sure how to use those discs, I'll need to try things out. I did find somewhere that claimed you can just hook them up in series or parallel (parallel is supposedly better). There is a problem there with phasing (if they're different distances from the source of vibration the sound waves are captured at different points and can interfere with one another). If it doesn't work, so be it. I'm not sure how the things are going to play with the other pickups anyway, there's a bit of an impedance mismatch problem, I think...

    There's a bit of pressure treated softwood in that pile that I'm hoping I can avoid using, but the piece of decking is some sort of hardwood, I think it's iroko or something teak-ey like that.

    I'm not sure about using heat to bend plywood, I'm afraid it will delaminate.

    Yeah, the neck's going to be the dicey (diceyest) bit and I may need to rethink that one if I can't cut the parts for a scarf joint without knots (no way for a straight neck, that's for sure). I'm probably going to have to look for a decent piece of lumber. The remains of the 2x6 could also end up as that body blank I may have to fall back on...
     
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  7. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Bingo, there was an old defunct forum I was a member of had a build contest every year dealing with cost. A guy there built an entire acoustic except for the bridge and fretboard from ONE 2 X 4 and it sounded pretty good ;). Just be careful and preplan, prepare and measure three times before you cut once :cool:

    Dave
     
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  8. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx Tele-Meister

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    Someone linked a place in another thread that sells maple neck blanks for £11, that's an idea....

    But fiiiiirst...

    Glued up a bunch of pieces of corrugated cardboard cut roughly to shape (I crossed the "grain" on the slats to make it stiffer all around) and traced a tele outline on it, threw it on my wonderful Lidl sanding table thingy:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    That actually worked quite well and feels solid, I'll coat the edge with something and use this as a bending form.

    [​IMG]

    Also, the sandpaper disks I used (which started out pretty heavily loaded with sawdust) now look pretty clean, I'd recommend a stack of cardboard as a sandpaper rejuvenation device.
     
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  9. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]

    A while back I was given a strat-shaped chopping board, and it came with a couple of protective sheets of plywood. The middle bits are, by my measuring, long enough to make into the whole side of the guitar, so I'm going to try to use them. Some of the protective oil on the chopping board seems to have seeped into the ply. I should probably try to get that out before I try to put a finish on things.


    Also, I cut a strip of that ply, gave it a good soak in hot water (tap hot, not boiling), and put it into my "knockoff Fox bender" to test the process. I think the soak was a bit too long, one of the ends seemed to want to start delaminating. I was also a bit too aggressive pushing the strip into the recurve, I'll need some sort of form to push it in without focusing too much of the force, or the inner curve of the ply may crinkle up. I'll probably have at least another experiment before trying to do the actual sides.
     
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  10. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx Tele-Meister

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    I bent a side:
    [​IMG]

    I used a roll of duct tape as a form for the recurve, and then pushed the soaked ply around the main form and ratchet strapped it in place.

    That sort of worked ok, I got a bit of springback on the lower bout:
    [​IMG]

    There was a problem here because of a void in the inner core:
    [​IMG]

    But more annoyingly, this happened:
    [​IMG]

    I should really have made a few more experiments. Now I'll need to figure out if there is something I can do to repair that. Some glue to push in to relaminate it, a bit of clamping, some wood filler... We'll see. That crack is around the place I'd put the jack plate, so that might help with camouflage. The crease through the void might end up disappearing into a Florentine cutaway, I doubt I'll be able to get a bend tight enough for a Venetian.

    In the meantime, I pre-bent the other side, hopefully it will help avoid a repeat of that crack.
    [​IMG]

    I was thinking of trying to back the board with a steel ruler while bending, but it's not really wide enough... I'll probably still try.


    I'm wondering, would the shaft of an old soldering iron, clamped down, work as a tight radius bender?
     
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  11. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    The easiest bender to make and use is a around 4"(10cm) tin can over a homemade base with roughly a 80 to 100 watt lightbulb and base. Make the top has several small vent holes. You should never immerse the wood in water, just spritzing with a spray bottle is fine. What you need around the wood I make from lightweight roof flashing to pull/push on to support the wood. When it gets hot enough the wood is said to plastisize and you will feel the wood give. Preplan for those moments so you'll know how far NOT to go ;)

    Dave
     
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