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COMPLETED : RockRabbit’s Black & Titanium ES-Tele 2015 Build

Discussion in '2015 TDPRI GSM Build Challenge' started by RockRabbit, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Cool technique. What kid of sander? drum or platen?
     
  2. RockRabbit

    RockRabbit Tele-Meister

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    It's a General 24" dual drum. I had considered a wide belt machine, but I liked the idea of having a course grit on the front and a finer grit on the back. I don't recall how much lower the rear drum sits because I just adjusted that the one time when I bought it. I'm using a 100/150 combo right now, which is great for removing material quickly.

    Cheers,
    Joe
     
  3. RockRabbit

    RockRabbit Tele-Meister

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    Fretboard slot, radius and dots

    So, while waiting for some glue to dry, figured that I'd work on the fretboard...

    Decent looking piece of maple here. The body-side end is probably the nicer part of the flame figure, although the headstock-side isn't too plain.

    [​IMG]

    Using the stewmac rule and table saw blade, it's just so fast! But, it's also so fast that I make sure to 'block off' the frets that I'm not cutting. Otherwise, I can get so happy just cutting slots that I forget to stop at 21!

    [​IMG]

    I'm usually pretty happy at this point when all the slots look like they should.

    [​IMG]

    I totally forgot to take any pics of radiusing this thing, but you can probably just image me starting with 50 grit sandpaper and a 9-1/2" radius block and then putting in the elbow grease?

    Went through plenty of different ideas for the fret markers, from fancy (for my talent) down to none at all. Finally I thought to just KISS and go traditional dots, keeping it a little bit more Tele. I had some 1/8" ebony left over from the headstock, so I used a 1/4" plug cutter to make the dots.

    [​IMG]

    And then just drill, dab a little glue and press in.

    [​IMG]

    And here she is, sanding the dots down and everything flat with 220 grit.

    [​IMG]

    Although nothing fancy here, I'm pretty happy with this. Keeps things simple and hopefully won't detract from the rest of the cool parts of the finished guitar.

    Cheers,
    Joe
     
  4. Bagman67

    Bagman67 Tele-Meister

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    Very handsome work on that fretboard. Nice touch using ebony dots instead of phenolic.
     
  5. thecableguy

    thecableguy Friend of Leo's

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    It's always good to find a use for scrap ebony! Looking good!
     
  6. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's

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    That looks great!!
     
  7. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very nice, they look very sharp. I'm going to do something similar for my sons guitar.
     
  8. Daverius

    Daverius Tele-Meister

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    Very elegant looking. +1 on the ebony on maple. Looks and feels better.
     
  9. RockRabbit

    RockRabbit Tele-Meister

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    I know! With the price of and difficulty even finding quality tonewoods, I really hate wasting any scrap at all. Feels good to put those little pieces to use and it somehow feels nicer under the hand than plastic, even though it's probably just in my head.

    Cheers,
    joe
     
  10. RockRabbit

    RockRabbit Tele-Meister

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    Headstock Veneer

    OK, guys, let's bring the neck posts up to date with the ebony headstock veneer. This piece started out at just over 1/8" thick, which I wasn't sure that I could bend very easily. It doesn't need much of a curve, but I did thickness sand the piece down to just over 1/16" to make life a bit easier.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I sanded a piece of maple into a clamping block and bent the end of the ebony. It wasn't too bad to bend, but it did take a few easy bends to make the curve. With the rough-cut shape of the headstock, it was difficult to keep the piece bending square with the iron. Anyways, here's the piece bent and test clamping for the fit.

    [​IMG]

    Also, I put some tape in that channel and trimmed with an razor, hopefully will catch some of the epoxy squeeze out?

    [​IMG]

    I used the same Smith epoxy on this, letting it fully dry. I had coated the pieces pretty well and had plenty of run out coating the overlap of the ebony, so I could just check every day until I could feel that the epoxy wasn't at all sticky. Instructions said about 30 hours, but it took 3 days before I felt it was ready. And here it is glued up.

    [​IMG]

    Next, getting rid of the excess before I sand it down level. I must have checked that piece of tape 6 times before I made that cut!

    [​IMG]

    Flattened with some sandpaper and made a 2-1/2 degree wedge to support the router.

    [​IMG]

    I first tried to just follow the 3/8" route with a 1/4" trim bit, but instead of following the route, it followed the epoxy squeeze out on the inside. I also had better than a 1/16" of solid epoxy at the very end of the channel. So, I switched to the same 3/8" roundnose bit that I originally used for the route and cleaned the whole thing up.

    [​IMG]

    Testing the clearance for the wrench, I'm thinking that it's looking okay.

    [​IMG]

    And here is the side, showing the work that I'll have to do after the fretboard is glued on to sand out that joint between the maple and ebony.

    [​IMG]

    Next on this neck should probably be to put in some side dots and then glue on the fretboard. I've made some progress on the body, too, which I'll show you guys next time.

    Cheers,
    Joe
     
  11. Onebean

    Onebean Tele-Holic

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    Very nice work. I'm getting lots of ideas here. Keep up the good work and posts.


    Onebean
     
  12. martin_smith

    martin_smith Tele-Meister

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    Very cool design idea for the body. You going to add an f-hole or two, or leave the top unperforated?

    I like the way you set up the cauls for inside your body mold, might have to steal that idea if I do another hollowbody build. :D
     
  13. RockRabbit

    RockRabbit Tele-Meister

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    I'm not sure yet. Thinking that I'll first place the titanium control plate where it looks best and then decide how a top f-hole or other shaped-hole might balance the look.

    Cheers,
    Joe
     
  14. RockRabbit

    RockRabbit Tele-Meister

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    Kerfing

    So, today lets get the kerfing glued on and then start working towards getting a top and back going. My kerfing strips are spruce and I'm going for a sizing of 7/32" x 9/16" with the kerf cuts spaced at 1/4". The width of the kerfs will be whatever blade happens to be in my bandsaw at the time, somewhere between .020-.030.

    First I made up a little sled for the bandsaw and arranged a clamp on the table so that the kerf cut stops about .070" from the back of the piece. This spruce is pretty bendable, so I'm hoping that it will bend around the lower horn without giving me headaches.

    [​IMG]

    Briefly considered making a little stop on the sled to make the cuts eqidistant, but in the end I was lazy and just marked out 1/4" increments with a pencil using my tablesaw fence rule. Here's one piece cut and four more to go. Figure that if I don't make an extra, then I'll certainly need one.

    [​IMG]

    Not much to say about gluing this up, it was pretty straightforward. I did have to cut out a little more material at angles for the kerfing to make the tightest bend. And I did use my bending iron, but I think that I could have gotten by without it. Just misting the water on the spruce and it became really pliable. Here is a piece drying under the clamps.

    [​IMG]

    And here are both sides dry and ready for a little light handsanding.

    [​IMG]

    Next up will be the carving of the top and back and figuring out the best way for me to clamp those for gluing, and also to get the fingerboard glued onto the neck. Lots to do!

    Cheers,
    Joe
     
  15. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Slick!
     
  16. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    That looks sweet!
     
  17. RockRabbit

    RockRabbit Tele-Meister

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    Carving Top and Back

    Thanks for the compliements, guys! Been so busy working and also making this guitar, that I've not been as active posting lately. Have a bunch of pics in the camera and I'll be making extra time to bring everyone up to date this week(end).

    Next up with the body was to glue up the spruce for the top and the maple for the back. Planed all the pieces down to the same thickness, jointed and glued them up.

    [​IMG]

    Both pieces I made using the same techniques, so I won't show both pieces, but there are mix of which piece I took a picture of as I went. Sorry, for that lack of consistency. First, I used my master template to route the outside shape down to a 1/4" thick. Give me an outside reference that I shouldn't sand past.

    [​IMG]

    Then I made up a couple of rough-idea contour templates to stair step about 3/16" each. It's not a very accurate contour, I'll admit, but since I don't have a finished guitar handy or drawings of a finished shaped guitar I figured that I'd just carve until it feels 'right' and stop?

    [​IMG]

    Nothing fancy with the carving process here. No cnc magic or anything. Started with some 40 grit in my air grinder and roughed it out, then switched to 40 grit in the DA and then 80 grit in the DA. Here's a side pic of the back, trying to show the belly in the middle-

    [​IMG]

    And here's a pic from the front end-

    [​IMG]

    The back should be OK with whatever contour that I finally arrive at. It's the front that I'll need to finesse the shape to get the hardware to sit where I want it. Thinking to do that, I'll first glue up the spruce top to the centerblock/sides and leave off the maple back. That will give me a flat surface to jig up to cut the angled neck pocket and also to get the Tele bridge plate sitting flat and angled with the strings. Anyways, that's my working plan...

    Cheers,
    Joe
     
  18. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

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    Great looking carve!
     
  19. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's

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    That is looking good!!
     
  20. Daverius

    Daverius Tele-Meister

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    Beautiful carve, indeed.
     
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