Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in '2015 TDPRI GSM Build Challenge' started by jvin248, Jun 14, 2015.
So... I have to wonder... Is that enough finger room to work those tuners?
Tight, yes. Design goal was to protect the tuners - I see a lot of guitars with smashed tuners from falls slipping off amps they are leaned against.
After I radius the edge of the body around there it will open up more. The tuner set are the smaller knob version that I had here. The tuners are closer to the back of the body so they are easier to reach than they appear from the front. A regular string winder certainly won't fit so string changes will be slower. If it's too obnoxious to tune I can always bandsaw+router the slot wider.
Drilled the hole for the jack. I had to use a long spade bit and attack the area from two directions, first from inside the control cavity and then from an angle at the back. Dicy and nervous the two holes would meet and that the spade bit would behave. Not a pretty bore but it fits.
Route the rear gadget cavities for covers that I will need to make. I still haven't decided what method I'm using with the covers. I have a bit of time working on other parts of the guitar to decide this though.
Guitar body needs a pickup cavity.
I debated pickup choice for quite a while. I wanted a standard Tele single coil in there but with the focus of a traveling guitar, I'll never really know where this will play and what kind of electrical interferrence may be in the vicinity. Having a humbucker option seemed like the best compromise with using electronics to make it more versitile with single coil tones. I'm using a covered humbucker since I've found good noise reduction with them compared to uncovered humbuckers.
The humbucker selected a hot 16kohm. This is a stock single-wired non-split humbucker. A future post I'll dismantle this pickup and break out each coil separately giving me an 8kohm single coil option which is "approximately" a Tele bridge that I've seen at 7.kohms (MIM Standard I have is 10.5kohm) while Strat bridges tend to be 5.5-6kohm.
I made my own HB template to route the cavity shape, planning on mounting the pickup to the body rather than suspend it from a pickup ring.
Wiring channel drilled for the pickup to the control cavity.
... ! Almost forgot the ground wire channel to the bridge post but did that here too.
Need some dots on the neck.
Cut a piece of copper pipe, drill a hole at the 12th fret. I counted the frets a dozen times to make sure I'm on the right one as well as put it next to another neck. A birch dowel goes in the center of the copper pipe.
I mark and drill side marker holes. A fence on the drill press kept everything square. I aimed for the pencil mark and the line between the walnut and maple. I've noticed on the Squier guitars that most have their dots located in the center of the fretboard except when they do a Xth-Anniversary-Edition they put them like I have mine.
I cut, glue, and file down #12 house copper wire for the side dots. Blue tape to protect the neck from the file-wielder. Same tape and file technique for the 12th fret marker.
Sand the markers flush.
Take some pictures.
Sunlight glints off the 12th fret marker ... "one ring to rule them all"?
I've looked at that single marker for a couple of days since and determined that the scale is a little off (too big) to be off-set. If centered on the fingerboard it would fit better. To balance it out I added another 12th fret marker with a different shape.
I wrecked the Tele body!
Several locations on the body needed edges eased over - the jack area and the tuner slot the most necessary. While set up I ran the router around the outer perimeter just because the rounder edges would be better for handling a travel guitar.
Amazing how a 1/4inch round-over router bit can so drastically change the character/feel of a Tele body.
The body "feels so thin" now. I measured against my other guitars and it's just as thick or thicker than some, certainly not super thin. The images here were posted earlier, but it's taken some time to adjust after handling the regular square-edged Tele body for several weeks to the new rounded over version. Next time I'll only break the outer edges with the sander. I guess it's not too different than the neck contour carving where material distribution is as important as width x thickness.
No putting the corners back on! That would be some wood wizardry. So I carry forward. :neutral:
One of the options I considered was getting out a router bit and putting some binding around the guitar. I only have a 3/8inch rabbitting cutter and that seemed too aggressive for binding. I considered layering tape or a spacer strip around the body to reduce the router bite and go with binding but after the 1/4inch roundover mishap I'm cautious about the router getting another whack at the body.
I try out another idea I've been thinking about. You may have noticed some pencil lines on the body in earlier pictures where I sketched out an inlay design. I decide now to pursue that concept.
I have an old block scribe, but as the picture shows, the block is too chunky to fit around the body curves. So I make one up with wood scraps, a nail I file to a point, and a clamp. The profile tracer portion of the marking jig is sanded to a point to ensure I can follow even the tightest body contours.
Once I have the trace line, I start hammering my little precision screwdriver to make a slot in the body. A lot of little tapping. Before I'm done I feel like I'm working in Santa's Elf factory. Tap tap tap.
14 gage house ground wire provides the source material. A piece of 12 gage was used on the neck fret markers. I lay the wire over my little vice anvil and tap tap tap on the wire to flatten it out.
I flood the channel with CA glue, hold the flat wire with pliers, tap the narrow side of the wire into the groove. How much working time am I going to have and how many itty bitty fibers did I miss cutting with the precision screwdriver? A spot in the wire wants to fold over so I grab my screwdriver and tap it back square. I hammer it all in. Whew! More CA glue gets flooded around both sides of the wire and any chip-outs that happened along the steps.
I work in sections inlaying the wire with adhesive and then fitting the next piece of wire. Scroll curves take a while to bend correctly.
Wire inlays completed except for sanding. I want to sand it all to see what it looks like but I know how nice the neck markers came out and only expect this to look the same -- there is more rough work to do on the body like drill the neck bolt holes and probably other tasks that are likely to ding up a finish sanding. So I must wait.
I've been putting a larger radius on my tele bodies since last year's challenge guitar. It is so much more comfortable. I think it'll grow on you.
I like a big roundover, too. Certainly not wrecked!
The body went from a chunky block of wood to a thin import guitar feel, I was surprised. It's grown on me a little since I've kept going on the build, just was a shock at first how much the feel changed with the radius.
I'll have to make sure on future builds that I know what will happen when I radius the edges.
The radiused edges do really improve the comfort holding it - which is perfect for a travel guitar. The more generous radii will also make the guitar more dent resistant.
Attach the neck to the body. Use a spare plate to locate the drill pattern.
Create a safety drill stop so I don't go through the fingerboard -- better than wrapping the bit with tape.
Countersink the screws and finish washers
Check the gap of the body to the neck after bolting together ... and seems as good as many factory made guitars. Slight resistance/grip of the pocket to the neck that will tighten more after applying the final finish.
I like this!
A little metalworking day.
Using a piece of metal stock I have I cut out the control cavity cover
Saw off the corners so it's eight sided then grind to the lines.
Drill some holes; two screw holes are used in the back so as to avoid screwing into the jack that is directly below the cavity. Leo Fender probably saw that problem too when he designed up the Tele so the jack is angled to the side of the control cavity - then he only needed two screws.
Sand it smooth
... Think about wanting more interest than a plain painted plate.
Trace the plate on paper.
Doodle a bit.
Put pencil lines on the plate.
Use my awl and hammer to selectively texture the plate.
Test fit with the switch and a handy knob.
Not shown, but I duplicate this process for the jack plate.
Thumbs up on the textured control plate!
The copper inlays and the texturing are starting to morph the build toward Steampunk rather than Picasso, I think.
The neck circle inlay looked a little lonely so I added a smaller wire inlay that matches the scale of the curl inlay on the body. Same technique as before. Artistically, I should have made the curl go the opposite way but this direction makes a stylized "J" initial with the dot.