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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by brandonh, Jul 26, 2019.
Wow, that grain is outrageous! Good looking guitar. Are you putting in a neck pickup?
Yes, its getting both neck and bridge P-90s
The wood is some Koa that I scored for next to nothing from a local lumber supplier. I have about 8 more bd-feet of the stuff left.
Also I went with a 3.1-degree angle on mine. The neck angle calculator here:
Actually says I should use a 3.5-degree angle with a scale length of 24.75, body-neck join at fret 22.5, height of fingerboard at neck join of 0.22 inches, and bridge height of 0.625. I hope it works out...
You can do all the math, but ultimately the best check is to temporarily mount the bridge you will be using and just check. My rule of thumb is that if the fret plane hits the bridge at the lowest adjustment then there should be enough adjustment to get playable action and still have travel for future changes in the geometry. I've learned from hard experience to use the actual bridge that I will put on the guitar - ToM's vary from generation to generation and other bridges are different from that.
October's been very busy, but I'm still finding some small time to play at guitar building.
It's not my best inlay work, but it looks fine from 3 feet away. The walnut I used for the inlay and truss rod cover is offcuts from my dining room table.
The small pieces are coming together. I made the jack plate from the fretboard offcut.
I didn't have a plan for the neck carves and I think it shows. The idea now is to stop fiddling and get the scratches sanded out.
When I routed my neck pocket, I didn't do it to final depth in case I didn't like the angle of the joint. I put the angle on the heel, got it very, very close, and today I decided not to mess with it any more. I dropped my neck pocket down the final 1mm and I'm happy with the results.
I propped up my bridge on a popsicle stick to mimic the height of the bridge posts, ran a yardstick from the nut to the bridge to show me where the strings will run, and I was mostly pleased with the results. All the necessary adjustments will fall in my favor, especially once I get the neck under tension. The bridge will need to come up ever so slightly and the nut needs to come down a good bit (it's a Tusq, I had to do the same thing with the one I put on my Telecaster). Freeman kindly sent me his setup worksheet a few months ago, so between today's geometry homework and his setup thread, I think I'll be good when the time comes.
I have a few more small jobs on the body (strap button pilot holes, jack plate pilot holes) and the neck (installing the truss rod cover), and then there's no avoiding it: time to set this neck...
I have my neck and body in clamps, so my next operation will be placing the bridge. I didn't really have my head around this until last night. If I have my reckoning right, the key thing for locating and drilling the bushing holes is getting the treble-side E located at the intonation line.
Does this look about right? The picture is from my phone, so the wide angle lens has it a little distorted. The red line is the intonation line, and the white line is between the two bushing centers. I believe I'll need to adjust the bridge down a little. I think I'd rather adjust it with the grub screw rather than risk drilling the bushing outside of my adjustment range. The grub screws are fully disengaged in this pic.
The center of the bass side bushing is down 1/8-inch and the center of the treble side bushing is down 1/16 from the intonation line.
For what it's worth, the bridge is a MojoAxe CWT60-A Compensated and the studs are Tone Pro lockdown jobbers.
That's where I'd put it especially with the compensated low E like that.
Have you asked Dan @ mojoaxe? He knows a little bit about these things.
IIRC... the 4-2 wound G version of this bridge first appeared on early 60s sg jrs... with even posts... i.e. not angled. (see http://www.mojoaxe.com/)
you can also check this page for what to expect in terms of compensation for each string: https://www.liutaiomottola.com/formulae/compensation.htm You'll need to measure the core of wound strings you'll use for the calculations.
measuring for the 2 Es (24.625+comp.) should put you in the ballpark... and yes, leave room so you'll need to adjust the screws out a bit.
Thanks for the advice and the link. I think I can get the bridge located and pickup routed this afternoon. There won’t be much left to do after that.
some nice details in here. rock on!
Thanks for the kind words! I'm itching to get this thing set up and howling...
Well, this video build has devolved into a photo build I was too concentrated on the steps in this post and I didn't want to have the distraction of tripods and cameras and all that. For better or for worse, I'm just about done with the build stage and I have one foot in the finishing stage.
Checked my math a few times before I pulled out the big bit. Holes right where I want 'em!
I bought a pre-wired harness for my first build, and I wanted to do it from scratch for this one.
I have enough ebony to do a pickup cover and knobs. We'll see how inspired I am and how fast the finishing goes.
Looks good! In person the contrast between red, brown, and amber is more pronounced. The left side is Watco Danish Oil + wipe on poly. Right side is a fresh can of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal I didn't realize I had. I was planning on using the former until I discovered the latter. I'll build up a few more coats and decide. If Arm-R-Seal is good enough for our dining room table, it should be fine for a guitar. I did Watco+poly on a stereo shelf I made over the summer. I'm not planning to fill the grain, not looking for a mirror gloss.
Sweet guitar my friend
Beautiful figure on the top plus I love the natural ebony pick guard!
Thanks Dave! I appreciate the encouragement in the home stretch.
I got two coats of Arm-R-Seal on in the last few days and block sanded this morning.
Then I decided I didn't like how any of these knobs looked so I rolled my own.
I drilled 2 sizes down from the potentiometers. Then I used a 3/4 forstner bit to give a little recess for the mounting hardware.
Chopped down to size.
Making some octagons.
I chucked up a bit 1 size larger than my hole (and 1 size smaller than my potentiometer).
And went to town with files and rasps.
Pretty close, but like all good sets, one's just a bit bigger than the other.
Side dot rod.
It's too dusty in the shop to resume finishing and I'm off to work soon, so I'll pick up finishing tonight or tomorrow. Aiming for 6-7 coats on the body, maybe a few more on the neck. That puts me at a week or more for finishing, plus 2-3 weeks to cure.
Those knobs look outstanding! I may have to consider that idea for my "number three" build as I'm not liking anything I've found for that particular instrument yet.
I've got five coats of Arm-R-Seal on, 18-24 hours between coats. I usually have strong and immediate opinions about what I like in a finish. When I started, my thought was to knock the finish back to a matte look. Now that it's on, though, I'm surprised how much I like the look of the gloss body.
In this pic, I've knocked the neck back with a grey Scotchbrite pad. That's what I did on my Tele neck (Tru-Oil) and I love how it feels. I'll probably do that for this guitar, too. I haven't touched the body since I put on the fifth coat. If I stick with a gloss finish, I'll put on one or two more diluted coats.
Any strong opinions on gloss vs matte body as I mull it over?
For me, if the grain is filled I like a high gloss finish. If the grain isn't filled, I prefer a semi gloss finish. It's your guitar so that means it's your preference .
Thanks Marty. It turns out to be an academic question in this case. Sitting at lunch with my daughter, it occurred to me I did our dining room table in gloss Arm-R-Seal. Checking my notes, I did six coats.
After 3.5 years of baby-toddler-preschooler use, it has definitely come down to a semi-gloss. That solves this one!