Build 3 - Something Different

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Jim_in_PA, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you for the encouragement! I do dabble on partscasters, but its the building from a slab of wood that Id want to do.. but who has time? in between being a corporate slave, I am a new dad of a boy who's turning 1 this friday, and all the other life admin work I have to do like laundry, cooking etc etc.. hehehe..

    I plan to retire early, and do this as a hobby.. Im just hoping my son would take up guitar, otherwise all my collection will go to someone else.. LOL..

    but yes, this is a dream hobby for me.. not to sell, but to create my own guitars for myself. hehe
     
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  2. brandonh

    brandonh Tele-Meister

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    I started thinking about building my first guitar around this time last year with a then newly-minted two-year-old, a full time job (and overtime, daycare doesn’t pay for itself), and an even split of the domestics. It only took me from November to March worth of weekend naptimes to go from ZERO guitar knowledge to hanging a self-built Telecaster-like guitar on my wall. Seriously—the first guitar I owned is one I made myself. I probably screwed up 40-50% of the steps, threw away two necks before the third one stuck, and learned a lot on the job.

    All that to say, I totally agree with Jim! Building guitars is SO much fun, and eventually you’ll get around to scratching that itch.

    Happy birthday to your boy! And congrats to you—You made it through the first year!
     
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  3. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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  4. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I decided to re-cut the neck for this build today...there were some things I just didn't like at the interface to the headstock and I wanted to move the break at the heel a little closer to the end of the neck pocket since I'm considering making this a set neck. The one I already cut will not go to waste as I have another body I'll likely mate it with where the things I don't feel work with this body will be less of an issue for me.

    It was the same "put in the stripe"..."flip it and cut the top"..."flip it and cut the neck contour on the back" thing as last time. There was a slight onion skin because of a minor variation in thickness, but that sanded out while I was cutting it free from the blank.

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  5. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Oh yeah, that looks great!!
     
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  6. maple

    maple TDPRI Member

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    Forgive my ignorance. But are those locating pins I see to align during the "flip"? and is it a separate program or code to run for each flip?
     
  7. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    The first thing I do for a two sided job is to place alignment holes for location on one axis so that the material can be flipped and have exact registration so files for each side can line up. In this case, the alignment is on the Y axis of my machine and I flip horizontally. (There's also the option to flip end for end, but I don't generally use that for the work I do) As to your question about the programming, yes, there are separate files for each side. Depending on what machine someone has, there may be only one file for each side if they have tool changing capability, or one file for each tool operation that needs to be done. Multiple tools are used for this work, both in size and what the "business end" looks like. The finish cut for the back of the neck is done with a .125" ball nose in my files while the roughing work is done with a .25" spiral end-mill. (router bit) My machine requires me to physically change the cutters when the programming indicates, but it automatically measures tool length before proceeding to the next set of cuts with that particular tool. With most small CNC machines, one has to manually measure the tool length after it's installed in the collet so that the the depth of cut is correctly calculated based on the material thickness.

    With this particular neck, I actually had to "flip" twice because needing to put the stripe on the back/bottom first, then cut the front/top (which is generally flat except for the reduced thickness of the headstock) and then move back to the back/bottom to contour the neck. Remember, the machine is generally just doing the grunt work...there is still a lot of hand work remaining.

    There is also the decision to use up-cut or down-cut (or compression which has both in one bit) for each operation. Down-cut gets used when the top edge is critical, for example, but's not a good choice for deep pockets because it packs the chips into the recess, rather than ejecting them (relatively speaking...) like an up-cut would do. The direction for down-cut and up-cut is relative to the direction that chips are pulled, not the machine so much, but with a CNC, up-cut actually does pull the chips upward toward the ceiling. The same applies to a hand-held router. On a router table, the opposite is true...up-cut pulls "down" and down-cut pulls "up". :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  8. maple

    maple TDPRI Member

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    All good info thanks Jim!
     
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  9. Twang

    Twang Tele-Holic

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    Love it! Subscribed
     
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  10. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I did a little refinement of the neck to body fit after gluing up a couple of basswood body blanks. It's almost where I want it to be in that respect, so I can then move on to final neck contouring after I mount the truss rod and fretboard...maybe this weekend, depending on getting a copious free moment or three in the shop.
     
  11. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    So...back to work on this build this week in between some small CNC jobs for a client. It was time to deal with putting the neck together so I could then proceed to refine some contours based on my decision to make this a set neck guitar. I cut the slot for the truss rod about 3mm longer than required, so my first step was to fill in that space up at the heel end with some scrap.

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    Some folks drill the truss rod access hole after the fretboard is placed, but I dove in and drilled it while I had the neck clamped down already. I subsequently glued the fretboard on in the normal way and left it clamped over night.

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    Speaking of drilling...this is a solid body, so wiring channels had to be drilled to connect the pickup recesses with the control recess. For the neck pickup, it went in through "the wall". The bridge pickup was pretty standard.

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    I'm pretty happy with where things came out with no unnecessary and unsightly holes where they shouldn't be...considering this was the first time I've done this particular process. :)

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    While I had the bottom facing up, I took the time to final fit the control cavity cover. I didn't originally intend to have a finger recess, but there was some slight damage to the edge of the pocket, so rather than trying to grain-match a "fix", I created the finger hold instead.

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    The CNC cut contour was certainly a good starting point but the "hand test" required some further refinement using a rotating "60-grit gouge", some hand tools and a bunch of sanding. At that point, it "felt right" and I was happy with the top.

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    The bottom got a lot more attention in the same way to refine the cutouts, smooth transitions and modify things that would look and feel nicer with a set neck that couldn't be done with a bold-on and its associated plate. Again, the CNC cut design I created was a great starting point, but my plan was just that...it would be a starting point.

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    Part of this change required filling the pre-drilled screw holes. Since these were created with a 1/8" drill bit during the CNC machining, anything "manual" I had to create plugs was going to be too large. 2 minutes of computer time and I had the CNC cut some mini plugs... these are 3.7mm in diameter for a tight, "hammered" in fit.

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    Holes-no-more.... :)
     
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  12. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    This is almost where I want it with a little more work to go...

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    And that brings us to endless sanding and refining and sanding and...

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    A little "naptha enhanced" look at the sapele...

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  13. maple

    maple TDPRI Member

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    Pink cheetah.
    Gramercy holdfasts.
     
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  14. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Man that's one badass drill bit!
     
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  15. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I covet them greatly. Best. Bench Accessory. Ever. They are important enough to me that despite having adopted/standardized on a regular 96mm grid of 20mm dog holes for the replacement top I'll be fabricating for my main bench as well as for the dedicated guitar bench I'm about to build (a la Festool MFT), there will be provisions for me to be able to continue to use these hold-fasts on the main bench for sure. Despite being primarily a "machine based" woodworker, those holdfasts get a whole lot of work, both for hand-tool refinements as well as during assembly of some larger projects, like the high-end tack trunks I build for the equestrian crowd.

    Yea...but they are the right tool for the job. I have .125", .25" and .375" (1/8", 1/4" and 3/8") versions that I bought specifically for this guitar building thing; the latter two are Irwin branded off Amazon and the small one came from Home Depot under the DeWalt brand. They are not terribly expensive, honestly. The two larger Irwins cut pretty impressively. The reason I used the .375" bit is because I'm using GFS Kwikplug hardware and .25" is a bit tight to get the connector up through the channel. .25" would be more than sufficient for more traditional pickup wiring.
     
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  16. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q Tele-Meister

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    Oh Pooh. I just realized I'm using Kwikplugs on my project. And I drilled at .25". Guess I'll check that out before I mount the neck today.
    You may have saved me from a debacle. Thanks.

    Q

    Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk
     
  17. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Don't get too excited...you will probably be able to get them through...it will just be really snug. That's why I upsized. If you do feel you need to go to 5/16" or 3/8", it's not hard to "follow" the existing hole, although you obviously need the drill bit. Or you may be able to "wiggle" the long 1/4" bit to ream it out a little. :)
     
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  18. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q Tele-Meister

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    I gave it a little lovin with a needle file, and I think i'm good to go. Appreciate the advice.
     
  19. brandonh

    brandonh Tele-Meister

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    I agree. I made a humble Nicholson bench when I started woodworking. These holdfasts were amongst my first tools. I can't recall how much I paid for them, but I do know they're worth every penny!

    1-01.jpg
    (That pile of wood turned into a Telecaster-like guitar.)
     
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  20. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Yes, the Gramercy hold-fasts were worth the investment..I've had them for a very long time. Tools for Working Wood still sells them...$40 for a pair. On the auxiliary bench I'm building for my guitar making efforts, I designed a row of .75" dog holes down the middle so I can continue to use them on that surface, too. (I actually got started building that today...will post a thread in the future in the DIY Tools forum area at some point) Such a simple thing that's easy to use and does their job in an incredibly reliable way. There are other hold-fasts on the market, but I really like the simple curved design of these.
     
    maple likes this.
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