COMPLETED -- $100 Telecaster Challenge, Lowecaster!

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Colt W. Knight

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Before I get started putting the radius on the neck, I will make a nice flush cut with my leatherman saw for future nut placement reference.
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Then onto putting the radius block to use.
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A whole lot of work, and two worn out arms later, I have the finished radius. Which turned out very nice. Better than I expected.
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Colt W. Knight

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Back to the body
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Apply some 3M double side tape in order to attach the router template.
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Can anyone point out what I screwed up on in the last photo?
Routing cavities.
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Routed Cavities
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Colt W. Knight

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Mark for the input jack.
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Drilling the input jack hole.
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Then start applying wood filler to the knots, gouges, and scrapes…
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I really like using a sharp-wide chisel for this because you can really push the wood filler down in the hole, then you can use your sharp edge to remove the excess flush with the top. This process also lets you reuse your waste/scraped up wood filler.
 

Colt W. Knight

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Now back to the neck. Contouring the back...
I will be using three tools. An antique draw knife my granpa gave me, the Oscillating belt sander, and the Milwaukee 1/4 sheet sander.
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I had to a lot of work to that draw knife to get it usable again. My grandpa tried to sharpen it with a grinder. Friends don't let friends sharpen things with a bench grinder!!!
Had to grind the proper radius back on it, use a 1" belt sander to put the edge back, then sharpen, polish, and temper the edge again. Now it is like a razor blade.
Im not going to post many in progress shots here, because this is a pain to do, and I cut myself trying to take a picture of myself using the draw knife.
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Colt W. Knight

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Well, that is all I have for you right now.

Oh yeah, did I forgit to tell y'all that this is going to be a fretless, baritone pinecaster?
Well, if I did, it is.
 

Tdot

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Being a genuine dog whisperer, I can tell you that the correct caption for Bo is:
"You've gotta be kidding. If he throws that stick, he's gonna go get it himself".

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Colt W. Knight

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Being a genuine dog whisperer, I can tell you that the correct caption for Bo is:
"You've gotta be kidding. If he throws that stick, he's gonna go get it himself".

wheresthebeef.JPG

Bocephus doesn't fetch anything. He just likes to chase things. It's hillarious to watch him chase something. It's amazing how fast he can run baying like he does. However, if whatever critter he is chasing just quits running, he will stop dead in his tracks and wait for them to resume play. One time he tree'd a guinea in our front yard, and the guinea and Bocephus made friends. The Guinea who mysteriously appeared one day, decided to stay. He lived at our house for years, until he died.
 

Colt W. Knight

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I must say Kudos to Ron Kirn, Jwells, Terry Downs, Ed Hawley, Bucko, and everyone else who posts and maintain all their build threads. These damn things are a bear.
ColtandBear2.jpg

Bears enjoy Twinkees more than I do, so I was happy to share in return for his friendship. I will be the first to atest to the fact it's better to have a bear as your friend, than a bear who doesn't like people who refuse to share.
 

Colt W. Knight

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Okay everyone, more updates.
I learned a valuable lesson while putting the roundover on this particular body. I wanted to keep things different, so I went with a 3/8" roundover bit. However, the bearing sits further down on the body, and that is where the 7/8" input jack hole is located. You could imagine my dismay when I encountered this problem.
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It's okay though, because I have some of this stuff. It's kinda like Billy Mayes magic putty, but available at wal mart. I am so through with bondo, this stuff is much easier to apply, sand, doesn't smell god awful, doesn't eat my skin, and it's cleaner to use.
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I took the liberty of filling in a few low spots, gouges, and knots all at the same time.
 

Colt W. Knight

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While that two part epoxy was drying I went ahead and marked the string through holes and bridge location.
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After sanding the epoxy down, I am extremely pleased with its results.
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Colt W. Knight

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Then I need to make sure the neck and body line up nice.
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Damn, I've seen willow branches straighter than that.
Lets just clamp it up, route the pocket straight and check it with a string. It all worked out in the end.
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Colt W. Knight

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Now I need to take my neck pocket jig and mark the neck attachment holes in the body and neck.
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Then I can take the same jig, and make a neck plate. This is where I am going to reveal another top secret special tip. Thick dense neck plates = GREAT TONE AND LASTING SUSTAIN. So what do you think, 1/4" brass flat bar? That should make this neck plate a monster shouldn't it. ;)
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Colt W. Knight

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I get to use one of my favorite tools to rough cut the neck plate.
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After a little bit of grinding, 1" belt sanding, and buffing, we get something like this. I am not going to show you any pictures because just about everything I did was too dangerous to depict here.(trying to protect the young people folks) I also drilled, and counter drilled the holes.
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It gets shinnier later.
 

Colt W. Knight

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I use my nifty string-through, hole jig to make the string-through holes. I thought I took pictures of this process, but apparently I didn't. Here is what I do. I mark the two outside holes. Then take the drill bit in my hand and make a little counter sink mark. Then I take two 1/8" drill bits and run them through the two outside holes on my jig and line it up on the body with the two marks. I am then able to take another 1/8" bit and drill the four middle holes. Move the bits around and drill the two outside holes. The key to getting these straight is to only go in short depths and clean the the hole and drill bit of debris.
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Nice and straight, score!!!
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I can use this same jig to one big string ferrule block out of guess what, 1/4" brass.
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I use the same procedure as the string through holes. After drilling the holes, I grind and polish the string ferrule block like the neck plate.
 

Colt W. Knight

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Of course, we can't let that just sit on the back of the guitar. I am going to have to mark it and countersink...
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Notice those cheap 1/8" bits that I broke. They still have a purpose.
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This is what it looks like in the end.
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Colt W. Knight

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Then it's time to install the nut. First I need to get all that extra material off there.
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Then cut a rough brass piece, and mark it with a pencil to rough shape.
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Then I just need to take it over to the grinder and clean it up and buff it.
Well, damn, damn, and double damn. I broke the switch off my grinder/buffer. Stupid cheap Harbor Freight tools. I guess it's Friday the 13th luck. Crap!!!
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I guess I won't be doing anymore buffing on this project.
I had to dig out my spare grinder, a black and decker thats been laying underneath my joiner since the Clinton Adminstration. I use to use it back in my knife building day, but I put it away after I accidently set the buffing wheel on fire.
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Colt W. Knight

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One thing I would like to mention. When you are grinding and polishing brass with holes in it. You won't to avoid holding it over the holes. As the brass gets warmer, the little air molecules get excited in the holes an super heat. You will burn yourself from the air inside the holes and not the brass, go figure. But that is not to say the brass doesn't get hot, because it does. So be careful where you toss it when it gets hot. Take for example...
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Ricky D.

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Man, that's really impressive. You know how to get a lot done with the tools you have. I like every bit of it.
 
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