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B.B. II . . B16 Esquire

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by old wrench, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Cinco de Marcho!!!


    I scrounged up a few goodies for my BrotherHood Build guitar for 2021 :).

    It'll be an Esquire, sort of in the style of one of John Pages designs.

    I've always loved Pages take on a semi-hollow Esquire since I saw the first one. It had a Koa top on it and tons of clean-looking style. It really looked like a master built guitar.

    I don't have John Pages skills, but I do have a pile of raw materials and plenty of ambition :).

    I'm all in already, so I'll add a Bigsby B16 to make it a bit different from Pages beautiful looking design.



    I have a few of the usual suspects on hand -

    Light weight Swamp Ash

    Flamed torrified maple

    Gotoh tuners

    Cavalier Nocaster Lion pickup

    Not too sure at this point whether I'll use a Mastery bridge or a Wilkinson roller bridge. It's nice to have a choice between two very good bridges for the B16.

    I'm thinking about going with just a volume pot and a no-load tone pot - no switch at all.


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    IMG_1172.JPG



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  2. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Oh my :confused:
     
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  3. photondev

    photondev Tele-Afflicted

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    Good luck old wrench.

    I am curious about the Bigsby. I have never used one for a build .....
     
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  4. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    A pain in the butt to string , a pleasure to use lol
     
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  5. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Looking forward to seeing it un-fold.:)
     
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  6. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks photondev!

    I'm curious about the B16 myself; there's a first time for everything :) !!!

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  7. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I hope I've simplified the stringing a little bit ;).

    I drilled and counter-bored string holes in the B16's string shaft.

    Got rid of those six little pins :).

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  8. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    That does seem to be the ticket and I consider a roller bridge a must. Have one for my Guild clone and that's just a Teisco style trem. NOT a roller nut though by any means
     
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  9. nnieman

    nnieman Tele-Meister

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    I am loving this so far!

    I have 4 guitars with bigsbys - none with a roller bridge.

    They all hold tune just fine.

    Nathan
     
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  10. slinger

    slinger Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    My original plan was to use the Wilkinson roller bridge with this guitar, because I've seen it used all the time on James Trussart's guitars whether they had a B5 or a B16 Bigsby.

    You can find the Wilkinson version for about $20 bucks shipped, and the AllParts version (if they really are different - I can.t see any difference) for a few bucks cheaper.



    But then, I found myself looking at the Mastery website and I started looking at the Mastery bridge.

    From an engineering stand-point, the Mastery bridge is both pretty simple and pretty exceptional.

    The materials and design are all very good and very sound.

    But the price! - Jeez!!!

    I had a weak moment and hit the buy-it-now button ;).

    So now, after coughing up $206 bucks (with shipping) I have to use it :).

    I do have to say that it's extremely well crafted, damn near like a piece of jewelry.

    Very "elegant" ;).


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  12. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah Dave, I know what you mean :) !!!

    It's just what happens when I fall off the common sense wagon ;).

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  13. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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  14. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Holic

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    My B16 Thinline is the best guitar I‘ve ever played! Stringing a Bigsby is darn easy, dunno why so many guys are afraid about it?

    Anyway, my advice: don‘t bother with a mastery bridge. Get a Truarc Serpentune and you‘ll be happy!
    7556BCF3-2136-4976-9EB5-6395F8CFF46D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
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  15. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Finally, a little progress made; managed to get the "hard" part of the build out of the way today :).




    IMG_1178.JPG

    Drew out the body shape plus about 1/4" or so all the way around and marked off some cut-lines to reduce the blank size and get it ready for splitting in half (or there abouts).





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    I just raise up the blade on my old Makita job-site saw to maximum height and have my funky-looking fence set so I'll end up with a finished top face about 1-1/2" thick and a finished back face about 1/4" thick.

    This guitar will just be all Ash - no fancy Koa drop-top like John Pages' beauties. I guess it's probably pretty apparent by now that I'll do the hollowing-out routing from the back. I think Fender might have done some of the thin-lines like this. I'll probably also put a small access panel on the guitars back side to allow easy installation of the volume and tone pots.






    IMG_1180.JPG
    This is a pic of the "hard" part I was talking about :).

    In fact this is right at the point where I take the mandatory "smoke break" ( that's for @PeterUK ;))

    To be honest, as long as your hand-saw is reasonably sharp, there is nothing "hard" about it ;).



    If you want to split a blank like this yourself, I can offer a couple of suggestions-

    Before clamping the blank in your vise or work-holder, stick a skinny piece of wood in the kerf left from the table saw - so when you tighten up the vise it doesn't bust off the kerfed part of the blank.

    Also, have a few small wedges handy, so you can wedge them in the kerf as you are hand-sawing, in the event that the kerf wants to close up. Makes the hand-sawing go a lot easier.







    IMG_1181.JPG

    Here is a pic of blank "cut half in two" as my old pal Frank from Ft. Smith Arkansas would say. You can see how the hand-saw nicely follows the guiding kerf left from the table-saw.






    IMG_1182.JPG

    Getting a little closer now :).

    Next step will be to surface the hand-sawn faces with the router/planer setup.


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  16. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Ha ha! Tobacco and a short fat Englishman!

    A lethal combination! :lol:
     
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  17. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    I've left this build simmering on the back burner for a week or two :).

    It looks like the night-shift has been slacking off again - the dang guitar looks the same as it did two weeks ago ;) !!!




    I recently picked up an old used drum sander, a tool I've wanted to get for quite awhile.

    The guy I got it from wasn't able to mount the sandpaper on it properly, so it languished in his basement for a long time.

    I figured out what the problem was - the latching mechanism that fastens the end of the the sandpaper and then draws it tight under tension was busted.

    To get at the latch I had to tear the machine down and remove the drum so I could get at the latch.

    Once I was able to get at and work on the latch the fix was pretty simple - just needed to fab up a new pin to replace the old busted one. It's the pin that passes through the two parts of the latch and the torsion spring that creates the tension that pulls on the sandpaper's end and keeps it nice and tight on the drum.

    The drum sanders first job was sanding down the two pieces of the Ash blank that I split for the guitar's front and back.




    I'm using a carrier board underneath the pieces as I pass them through the drum sander -

    IMG_1192.JPG
    The carrier board seems to work real well; it spreads out the load over the whole surface of the conveyor belt.

    Although I have the machine dialed in so that it takes an even cut all the way across the width of the 16" drum, a carrier board could be used to compensate for for a mal-adjusted drum which is cutting more on one end than the other. Just run the carrier board through the sander until it's been cut all the way across it's width and voila! - you now have a bed (the carrier board) that is parallel with the sander's drum ;).

    Then, lay your work piece on the carrier board and run it through the machine and it will take a nice even cut off it regardless of how out-of-whack the drum adjustment is.





    Back to guitar work -

    I laid out the guitars shape on both faces of the front piece of Ash, so I could see where to remove material for the semi-hollow interior.

    Front face of the guitar -

    IMG_1195.JPG



    Back side of the front piece with the cavities marked out -

    IMG_1194.JPG





    Ready to hog out the bulk of the waste with a 30mm .diameter Forstener bit. No special significance to the size of the bit, it's just a nice sharp bit that matches fairly closely to radius at the corners of the cavities.

    IMG_1196.JPG





    A good sharp Forstner bit makes quick work of hogging out the waste wood - it's far more efficient (and probably quite a bit safer, too) than routing all that stuff out ;).

    IMG_1197.JPG





    Next step will be cleaning up the profile of the cavities and taking them down to their finished depth with the router.

    Got to get going on the neck too :).


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  18. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Today is the first day of spring, and it really looks and feels like it :).

    Mother Nature is putting on a fine show today.

    Spring didn't come a day too soon this year.

    It's been one hell of a long winter.

    I'd already had more than I wanted of winter after the first couple of days.

    Me and my old gal had plans for a warmer winter, but other major events up-staged and pre-empted our plans.

    Maybe next year? ;)

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  19. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    eq2vzm.gif
     
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  20. RiversQC

    RiversQC Tele-Meister

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    I hear ya. This winter wasnt even that bad but today was the first day that I was just working in a sweatshirt and it feels w o n d e r f u l ! Kids are out skateboarding. I'm going to spray paint something tomorrow. Aaaaaah.

    Anyway, carry on! I'm enjoying the build :)
     
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