Dano-Style Cutting Board Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Picton, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Some time ago I became intrigued at the thought of doing a Dano clone using a poly cutting board I found at a local home store. I liked the look of the plastic, and I figured it would be pre-finished and obviate the need for a PG.

    Here's the cutting board in question:
    [​IMG]

    Up close, the texture is nice and pebbly, with silver bits scattered throughout. I bought an extra board for experiments, figuring I'd need to so some research on how to cut, rout, shape, and (most importantly) glue it.

    Cutting? As expected, a bandsaw.

    Routing? As expected, the friction melted the plastic.
    [​IMG]

    Shaping? Files do okay; sandpaper is fairly useless. A cabinet scraper works best.

    Gluing? Well... That's what this next bit will be about. Turns out superglue is useless, epoxy is chancy, and even heating and melting it together is risky. So... screws!

    Sides are poplar. I began by making side patterns out of MDF.
    [​IMG]

    Once laid out on the poplar, it made pretty economical use of the wood.
    [​IMG]

    Trial and error taught me how deep my pilot holes should go into the underside of the cutting board; the plan was to countersink them deeply enough into the sides to allow me to cover the holes with more poplar, prior to gluing on the masonite back.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Neck pocket and bridge anchors are mahogany; I should point out here that this won't be a faithful Dano shorthorn "copy;" I just like the basic body shape and the lipstick pups (straight, though, not slanted). For a bridge, I'm using one of those compensated units like early SGs had.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    More later. All of this took me about eight hours or so, spread out over the past several weeks.
     
  2. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Forgot to mention: biggest problems so far?

    Marking the material. I've had to resort to non-black Sharpies and a lot of squinting.

    Being tidy. I'm used to being able to fix minor boo-boos and scratches; with this stuff, ahh, no.

    Making straight, crisp edges. This material does a bad job at getting shaped.

    ...but I'm trying.
     
  3. rusticoaf

    rusticoaf Tele-Meister

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    china marker... they write on everything.
     
  4. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey, glad to see you cranked this one back up, can't wait to see it :)


    Dave
     
  5. syrynx

    syrynx Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm looking forward to finding out how this works.

    I just know Nat Daniel would have tried it his ownself.
     
  6. slotrod65

    slotrod65 Tele-Meister

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    Very interesting experiment.
     
  7. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    It's not the ink sticking; it's the black material. A silver Sharpie works fine, but it's not exactly precise.

    Few more pics: I had to true up the sides, but I lack a ROSS. I'm still kicking myself; I found one at a yard sale while I was on vacation recently, but I couldn't haul it back. $60.00! So, while I wait for yard-sale lightning to strike twice, I put together a spindle sander with an ancient, unused drill fixture and some laminate from the IKEA as-is room.
    [​IMG]

    Works fine, but not on anything thicker than 1.25 inches. Laying out the pups on the masonite back went well; you can see the vaguely kidney-shaped outline where the control cavity will be.
    [​IMG]

    I'll cut out another piece of masonite as a cavity cover; I had to glue some mahogany into the sides to secure the eventual screws, which went well enough.
    [​IMG]

    So now we're up to date on the body; I'll glue the back on as soon as I decide where the electronics will go. I await some concentric pots and the right kind of knobs; Dano electronics, it turns out, can be pricey.

    The neck should be more fun; straightforward woodworking will be a relief after dealing with the cutting board. I just hope the whole thing comes out decently.
     
  8. slotrod65

    slotrod65 Tele-Meister

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    For your cavity cover: go to a craft store/art store, and look for masonite dry erase boards. They are already glossy white on one side, and look just like what Danelectro used. I picked up a few locally at a craft store, in the children's craft section for a buck or two.
     
  9. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Picton.... I thought you said you did't use power tools... :eek:
     
  10. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, slotrod; I actually bought a bunch of masonite about three years ago and have been working my way through it, piece by piece. I've got plenty left.

    Mike, I'm not big on routers, jointers, or planers; I'm a handplane-and-chisel guy at heart. For sawing, drilling, and sanding, though, I'm all in favor. I did have to fire up my router the other day for a truss-rod slot; it still works fine. ;)
     
  11. Olav

    Olav Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]
    I think I see a Thor drill thingamajigg.

    This is one cool project. Looking forward to seeing this finished.
     
  12. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Update...

    Got the neck knocked out while waiting for the electronics I ordered to show up... basic 1-piece, walnut skunk stripe, walnut inlays in a pattern I've always wanted to try. I LOVE the Dano Coke-bottle headstock, so I used its shape while altering the end of it a tad.

    Going to use 3x3 Kluson-type split-shafts.

    [​IMG]

    And, since the pots showed up today, I was able to finalize the control cavity layout and FINALLY get the back glued on. It's in clamps at the moment, as you can see...

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow I'll decant it, bandsaw the back to shape, and start the roundover.
     
  13. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

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    what an interesting project!

    thanks!

    ill love to watch this one turn into a guitar. :)
     
  14. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Progress report

    You and me both, I think; the end is in sight, though. I've been spending days with a wallpaper sample book trying to figure out what to use as the edge banding.

    I did get the neck finished, so here it is...
    [​IMG]

    I spend all year getting angry at my students when they plagiarize, so I do feel guilty about filching Nat Daniel's idea for a logo... but I penciled five or six different things on there, and I just kept coming back to this one. We say Leo got it right the first time; perhaps Nat did, too.

    I'll hopefully have the body finished over the next few days; electronics after that, and I'll be home free.
     
  15. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why not use some of the original stuff. It's cheaper than wall paper :)
     
  16. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks; I've been to that site about a dozen times lately, and it seems almost everything is out of stock much of the time. At the time I was doing my ordering, I think they lacked white tape.

    Besides, I found a free workaround: one of my wife's co-workers had a wallpaper sample book, and she donated one to the cause. I can cut the pages into strips and do it that way, plus there's more variety. Right now, I've got a few tests going on with some scrap wood downstairs... we'll see which wallpaper wins.
     
  17. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Too cool :cool:. I'm really diggin' that neck, what scale length did you make it BTW? I keep thinking what a cool guitar your going to have when this is finished. Hope you can post a vid, I think it'll kick a$$ :)
     
  18. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks; it's 25". My other two builds are 24.5, then I've got my regular ol' Tele at 25.5; they all sound nice, so I figured I'd go with what Nat went with for this one. I'm really proud of this neck; it's my third one (seventh if you're counting ukes), and it's by far the best yet. It's nice to see that practice is helping.
     
  19. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    My second-least-favorite lutherie task...

    ...is soldering.

    It's been difficult to find reasonably-priced Dano parts (1 mag/100k concentric pots, with the right kinds of knobs), but I finally got everything together.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    That bright little lump in the middle of the back on the lower pic, just north of the paper towels, is not a solder drip; it's an adjusting screw of the neck pup.

    But now it's done, and aside from some static (I think I've got a grounding issue someplace), it sounds delightful. I've got a temporary nut on it until I can find my aluminum downstairs; here it is, settling in with its first set of strings, alongside its buddy.
    [​IMG]

    I'll tweak it over the next few days or so. It sounds MUCH louder than expected, unplugged; plastic cutting boards, apparently, have great tonal properties.
     
  20. tuuur

    tuuur Friend of Leo's

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    Whoa, really cool guitar! That turned out pretty nicely.
     
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