COMPLETED -The LumberCaster

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Maricopa

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$100 Dollar Tele Challenge-The LumberCaster

It's gonna rain all weekend here so this should be a good excuse not to sit inside and watch DVDs.
Here's the beginning. Gonna do it 'Dano' style with a 2X4 and some 1/4" MDF.

(please ignore the '12' in the date. Not sure what I was doing there. :confused: )

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Maricopa

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A few minutes with the thickness sander and joiner and we have the frame glued-up.

100_dollah2.jpg
 

Maricopa

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Or the 'DanoTele' :cool:

After another pass through the sander to true up the laminates the frame, top and back are trimmed out, a couple wiring holes drilled in the center block and the top is glued on.

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The back comes next but first I need to do a little planning and decide whether the controls will mount on top with a pickguard or from the rear. Time to dig through the 'pile 'o stuff' and see what's available.
Hmmm....
 

Maricopa

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OK, last stuff for tonight. Decided to install the controls from the back so I used a hole saw to cut a round hole then added a small 'donut' behind it with a couple tabs for the screws. Then the back got glued on.

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I have an Eastwood neck position P-90 left over from the Esquire-style build and it was only fifteen bucks so it gets the nod. This will be a single pickup guitar.

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Tomorrow I'll double stick tape the pattern on and use a follower bit to clean up the edges. Then route the neck pocket and p/u cavities.
 

Maricopa

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Hey John, small web eh? :D

After 3 'nice' guitars in a row this budget build is a breath of fresh air! It's gonna be fun to be let loose with the details.
 

Maricopa

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Routed, rolled and sanded. And yes, that's bondo, the 2X4 had some 'goobers' and I went a little too quick with the round-over bit on the horn so a little Rage™ cleaned everything right up. I'll be doing an opaque finish anyway.

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Now on to lunch, and then the neck.
 

Maricopa

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Now here's where things get a little crazy. This is the neck blank and the truss rod....yes it's a piece of 3/16" square steel and it's gonna be epoxied in that mortice. I've been building since the late '90s and have done many necks on acoustics, resonators and electrics like this and all of them have remained dead straight. That said, most of the time on electric necks I use an adjustable rod but this budget build cried out for simplicity.

Even though the lack of adjustability is a drawback for those that like a little relief I will say that necks with a solid bar sound a hell of a lot better than those with adjustable rods. When you 'rap' on them they ring much louder than those with airspace inside. Not saying that makes a huge audible difference when the guitar is together, but it can't hurt.

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Here it is epoxied and clamped in. I also made a maple board and cut the fret slots. I'll glue it up after the epoxy has set a bit and in the morning it will be ready for fretting and shaping.

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Maricopa

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It's tuner time. I had no 6 on-a-side sets laying around so I dug into my cache of open back Grover 18-1s. A few years ago some friends and I bought 100 or so sets for $15ea and split them up. What I did here was simply grind off the tabs so they'd butt up and form a single hole. That narrowed the post-to-post distance enough to fit my headstock (not the headstock in the pick BTW, just a test piece).

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Of course now I have to make a reverse-head guitar sometime down the road to use the orphans. :D
 
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Maricopa

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Here's where it stands after 2.5 days. Body is done except for some holes for the controls, jack and bridge. Neck is fitted for tuners, dotted and fretted but still needs carved. I used the same plastic tubing made for side dots on the front of the fretboard. Not sure I like it but it will be a PITA to change at this point.

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Made a neck plate from 1/8" aluminum and am thinking a Dano-style matching bridge might be just the ticket here.

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Maricopa

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Back at it after work today. Got the neck carved and a washcoat of garnet shellac on it. The shellac adds a little vintage vibe. Not completely happy yet with the profile so that will probably change some. Got a little eager with the belt sander so it's going to be a vintage 'V' shape and a little thinner than I usually carve 'em.

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I decided to go string through so I grabbed some 1/8 X 3/4" aluminum stock and drilled and countersunk some holes. Then I set it into the back far enough to keep the ball ends from sticking out and epoxied it in.

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Here's the beginning of the bridge. Again, 1/8" aluminum from stock you can get at Homey or ACE. The 4 holes in the center will be for some small screws that will attach a wooden piece, probably Rosewood. I haven't decided whether to use a bone insert or just do it like Dano did.

100_dollah13.jpg


Just a comment on budget building, in reading the lead thread on this challenge I saw a few posts saying you couldn't build a guitar for under $100. Well, so far, everything included, I have about $50 in this one. That's the wood, tuners, control pot and $15 P-90 from Eastwood. I've got a few years worth of 'stash' so most of this is scrounged. So far all I've had to go out and buy is some stainless screws and a new bottle of Tite-Bond. Rattlecan paint will probably add another $20 or so.

Yes my guitar is a quite a ways from an ash body, three-barrel saddle twangster but it's gonna sound great and weigh about 6 lbs. This has also all been done since about 2PM on Friday. Yes I have a lot of tools that speed up the process and yes I've built guitars much 'nicer' than this, and that took me months to finish but this stuff ain't rocket surgery. So for anyone that's hesitant to do the DIY thing I can only say go for it. If a schlub like me can do it anyone can.
 

Mark-00255

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I think this is a very cool build, man! Nice work all the way around!

One question: Where did you get the Eastwood P-90? I would sure like to try one of those!
 

Maricopa

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Got the bridge done and strung up the outside strings just to make make sure everything was OK. On top of the aluminum it's walnut with a rosewood saddle. A couple screws go in through the underside of the aluminum to hold the walnut 'base' on.
I'll be able to mess around with different woods, bone or metal for the saddle to see what that does to the tone.

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And a shot of the modified tuners on the headstock.

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All that's left is to figure out a color, spray it and and wire it up. I also have a scrap of MOTS left over from a lap steel build that I'll make a small pickguard from.
 
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