Double trouble

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freeman Keller, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Last November when I was visiting my son he dropped a not too subtle hint about a guitar that he thought he might like.

    At Christmas I gave him a hunk of wood and a scratched up set of plans and told him to return it to Santa's workshop.

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/my-son-wants-me-to-build-him-a-guitar.991083/

    Since then I have bought a few odds and ends and futzed around with the design. We've had a lot of e-mails back and forth about ideas, finally he just said "Dad, I trust your judgement". If I trusted my judgement we wouldn't be here, but here we are.

    The other thing that we did at Christmas was let him play a double neck guitar - a buddy has one, I borrowed it hoping to scare my son away, he just dug it.

    If you recall the original guitar, it has some, er, interesting design features. Its a double neck 6/12 string with thru neck construction, half of the 12 string tuners are on the but end of the guitar, it has more knobs than a Moog and points in places I didn't know there were places.

    I made a few decisions that would affect the design. I didn't want to make a thru neck, must less a double thru neck so it will get conventional neck joints. The whole idea of the smaller 12 string head appeals to me, but its execution sure doesn't, so it will get a conventional head (with smaller tuners). The idea of all the sonic options at the flip of a switch is appealing, but we tried that once and failed terribly, so it will get conventional electronics. The angled necks seem like a good idea, we'll keep that as long as I can fit it in an available case (which means the EDS case sitting in my shop)

    This would be the perfect candidate for computer aid drafting (particularly a parametric design) but I quit doing that stuff 8 years ago when I retired. I'm proud to say I don't own a license for any CAD on my home computer but I do still have a tee square and a few French curves. Lined got drawn on a set of EDS plans...

    1213191533.jpg

    I made a couple of templates to try out ideas

    IMG_5867.JPG

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    The black line at the bottom is hedging my decision to not put six tuners there. I could do it if I wanted to, but I don't want to.

    I took a deep breath, bought a new blade for my yard sale band saw that has built every one of my 25 guitar and set it up

    IMG_5866.JPG

    Proved that I could resaw a piece of 1/4 wood, I'll need this later

    IMG_5874.JPG


    Sharpened all my cutting tools. The block plane and yellow handled chisel where my grand father's, once again they have been used on every guitar

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    Shot the edges and glued the top together

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    I keep sanding it but I can't get those damn wrinkles out

    IMG_5871.JPG
     
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  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    That's a nice piece of maple lumber there.

    You do know you can get a copy of FreeCAD for ... like free.

    Fusion 3D is free for hobbyists ... if you look close at their website you can find the links.


    .
     
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  3. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh my.
     
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  4. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Meister

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    I never thought I would see the day that you would build a double neck
    But I know the result will be excellent
     
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  5. nickhofen

    nickhofen Friend of Leo's

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    Nice top!
     
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  6. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Holic

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    Freeman, I distinctly remember you telling me that building a double was not a good idea. Lol. I still plan on doing it also in the future.
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    We've already had that discussion and decided it makes no sense at all. End of discussion....
     
  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    OK, so I've mostly settled on the design - some of it is dictated by the size of the pieces of wood I have available. Transferred everything to a piece of 1/2 MDF and made the working template

    IMG_5876 - Copy.JPG

    IMG_5911.JPG


    One decision that I haven't made yet is which fret to put the body joint at. This will have a Gibson style heel without the little ridge that an SG or EDS has. The EDS plans that I have put the joint at the 15th fret with a 20 fret neck. The Rich monstrosity has it at 19 with a 24 fret neck. I had a similar double neck on my work bench a few years ago with a broken neck joint - at the time I thought it was the guitar from hell.

    Most "normal" guitars have the joint at 16, some of the shredder guitars move it to 18 and add a couple of frets. I am a terrible electric player but have a lot of experience with acoustic 12 strings, I almost never go much above 12 on them. My son has played an EDS and seemed OK with the 15 fret joint.

    So I hedged on the design - I can put the joint at either 15 (EDS) or 16 (most electrics). As you can see from the template, there is a bit of cutaway but not a lot - I figure playing one or two frets above the joint will be reasonable, I can make the cut a little deeper but not a lot. Moving the joint to 16 makes the heads slightly heavier, I don't think it will weaken the joint. I'm leaning towards 16 but haven't decided

    Any thoughts?
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Oh, I went out and bought some mahogany

    IMG_5884.JPG

    Traced the template and it just fits

    IMG_5885.JPG
     
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  10. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Go with the 16th fret you won't be sorry.You can hem pants to long but can't lengthen too short lol :)
     
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  11. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I still think this is probably kind of a bad idea...but how much more fun can you have and it still be legal anyhows?!

    The most epic "Home Depot" threads ramble on for miles. So though I do appreciate you peeling this off of the original "should i do this thread" I thought I'd disrupt it a little bit and hopefully give you a little more time for sanding.

    I happened to be a watching a Tex Ritter movie earlier, which led me to an old video of Lorrie and Larry Collins (and his double neck Mosrite) If you like guitars, check out Lorrie's Martin D-28 with custom Mosrite neck and it's beautiful western style pick-guard as well.
    lorriecollinsmartin.jpg



    so here's this. Somewhat fascinating article about double-neck players

    it doesn't mention boris, with First act custom shop double-necks
    so here's a picture. boris_ph.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  12. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    cool!!
    Subscribed!
     
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  13. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    bw I thought you going to make a full on...

    B.C. Rich Bich clone.

    This design, while nice, seems more like a Gibson that's stretched a little bit, and it's a little bit stodgy, somewhat neither fish nor flesh.

    You could still make the top guitar a traditional 12 string headstock.

    and you could wire at least the 6 string with real mockingbird electronics as a nod to the Late Great Bernando Chavez Rico.

    Why spend that maple on an SG?

    Honestly though, after looking at these old Bigsby and Mosrite Doubleneck designs, the BC Rich seems a little stodgy too. but just to remind myself of the original inspiration and the guitar your son has in his minds eye.

    We'd hate to disappoint Jr.

    Isn't he going to play this thing in church?

    I think the double badass bridges make it double BA!!


    richbich.jpg
     
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  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Here are a couple more shots of the materials. LMII fretboards (one task that I'm happy to off load to their cnc), the maple and mahogany. Big pieces of wood. The maple in the back ground is for the head plates, however I think I can get them out of the top piece.

    IMG_5887.JPG

    Cut the body out

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    Set up a little table outside with my router table, screwed the template on and buzzed off the overhang


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    Took my little bench to drill press outside, set the depth stop and hogged out as much waste as I could

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    Cleaned up the chambers

    IMG_5898.JPG
     
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  15. Captain Nutslot

    Captain Nutslot Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Awesome man! I think it’s gonna look friggin sweet... plus it’ll be built like a melodious tank! :cool:
    I better hurry! If you beat me I’ll be pist lol
     
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  16. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

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    Freeman, is there anything you don't build?
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Monkey, that is one of the really fun parts of this little game - I can build almost anything I want.

    Carrying on, I got started on the necks. I do scarf joined heads, these will have the adjusters in the head but I try to minimize the impact of the route. I started with a couple of boards of Honduran mahogany 2-1/2 by 7/8 and long enough... Cut a piece off long enough to be the head for each neck - the 12 string head is pretty long. Years ago I made a little jig for my band saw but now I just draw a line at 16 degrees, clamp to a big hunk of wood and push it through the saw


    IMG_5893.JPG
    There are two ways to do the joint - with the head on the end of the neck stick or under it. There are advantages to both - on the end you have a larger gluing surface, if its under the stick the head plate helps reinforce the joint. It will change where the joint line shows on the neck. I've done both and give a slight nod to putting it on the end.

    The cutoff pieces that will be the heads get thinned down to 1/2 thick on the band saw and belt sander - I'll have to thin them more after I've put the headplates on but I'll wait until I have the tuners in hand

    IMG_5895.JPG

    Its always tricky gluing something at an angle - the glue is a wonderful lubricant and the pieces become a text book example of a wedge from high school physics. Years ago I built a jig for holding everything in alignment (mostly for repairing broken heads) but I learned a little trick with toothpicks from a forumite and it works beautifully.

    Clamp the pieces dry - they won't skate around without glue. Drill two holes for round toothpicks outside of the area of the head (where wood will be routed away). When you apply glue and clamps the toothpicks keep everything in alignment. You can just see them sticking up next to the little white pieces of UHMW

    IMG_5896.JPG

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    If you do this don't forget to put waxed paper under the joint.......
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
  18. nnieman

    nnieman Tele-Meister

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    The tooth pic thing is a great idea!


    I vote 16 fret joint as well

    Nathan
     
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  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Here are the necks after the glue up. I like to make the head piece stand just a little bit proud of the neck stick - if its going to slip under clamping it will move down and I don't want it lower. Its much easier to sand that little bit down to the level of the neck

    IMG_5899.JPG

    Routed the truss rod channels. A cheap little router table makes this task so much easier I could justify its cost for this operation alone

    IMG_5905.JPG

    However the fence did slip a tiny bit and one channel isn't quite on center. I'll shim it back with some veneer but I hate it when something like this happens

    IMG_5907.JPG

    Put some waxed paper on the workbench and glued the blocks on for the stacked heel

    IMG_5914.JPG
     
  20. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I've got to give a shout out to Brother Nutslot and the TDPRI forum in general. I'm working on the body layout and a critical part of this kind of build is the width of the neck right at the joint. The fretboard width is determined by several things - some of them fixed like the string spacing at the bridge and nut, and the offset from the strings to the edge of the board. With a guitar like a tele it is established by the design - neck and pockets were standardized a long time ago and you simply build to that standard.

    I have some cheap plans for an EDS and taking a pair of calipers to them I get the same value for the width of the neck at the 16th fret (I've decided to use that) on both the six and twelve string necks. If that is true I know I'm going to hate playing that 12 string - I like 'em wide. This is all complicated by the fact that I have not bought the 12 string bridge yet, its sitting in a shopping cart but I haven't pulled the trigger.

    Fortunately, I have a real live Epiphone EDS under my work bench (kind of a scary thought) so I pulled it out and sure enough, the 12 string neck is a bit wider than the six. Not as much as I would like, but hey, its not going to be my guitar, eh? However I have one last ace in the hole - last night I fired of a message to the Captain and bingo, in my box today was all the right information from both a much better set of plans and from his neck and hardware. They confirm everything I thought I knew and I feel a whole lot better moving forward with building the necks and the body.

    Thanks, Captain, and remember guys, if you have a question someone on this forum will have the answer.
     
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