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Erix 2021 Brotherhood Build - Elevatorcaster

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by erix, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I think I first came to TDPRI way back in the barn wood days. A google search brought me here. A friend had recently lost his barn due to a tornado and I saved a chunk of wood to make a guitar out of it. Turns out I never did but I did stick around here to watch others get built and eventually learned enough to do my own!

    So now it is time to build a reclaimed pine guitar proper out of some really nice wood from a really amazing structure, the Globe Grain Elevator, once located in Superior WI, just across the bay from Duluth MN.

    At one time it was the largest wood grain elevator structure in the world and used to look like this:
    Screen+Shot+2019-04-30+at+3.12.36+PM.png

    Construction began in the 1870's with white pine from Northern Minnesota's virgin forests along Lake Superior's North Shore. The trees were felled and dragged to the lake where they were floated down to Duluth in huge chain-encircled rafts. Sawmills on site processed the wood.

    It was in use almost continuously from 1887 until 1988! It then sat dormant until the mid-2010's when new owners set about to dismantle it and sell the salvaged wood. There are lots of youtube videos of this deconstruction and a great page with in-process photos can be seen here!

    In 2017 Fender bought a bunch of the wood, sent it out to be torrified, and built a limited run of Teles, Strats, and Jags from the wood. They were beautiful with dark roasted color, nail holes, and knots. They fitted amazing birdseye necks and a Lollar CC neck pickup. I shoulda bought one of those....

    Sadly, the contractors who were dismantling the structure started a fire on Dec 17, 2018 and the whole site went up in smoke. There is still some of this amazing wood available on eBay, which is where I bought mine, as well as the owner's website.

    This build will feature some wood from the elevator and, I hope, an amazing neck. It will be kind of personal for me and my family as the Minnesota's North Shore is our favorite place on earth and we used to drive by the elevator every year on our vacations.
     
  2. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I bought three 24" x 6" x 2" pieces. They are very lightweight and bone dry. One of them had an ugly knot situation and was heavier than the other two.

    One edge, the edge nearest to the camera, was on the inside face of the elevator and a hundred years of grain falling down has worn it down.
    IMG_1075.jpg

    Cut off the ugliness on the middle board and laid out the template to miss the nail holes. This stuff cuts like hot butter and smells delicious!
    IMG_1076.jpg

    The neck is going to be made out of this CRAZY figured maple board. It is just wide enough...
    IMG_1077.jpg

    I'm gonna try to make a one piece neck but uses a 2-way truss rod.
    IMG_1078.jpg

    Bakelite pickguard, pickups from a Baja, and not-new-but-not-relic hardware rounds out the BOM.
    IMG_1079.jpg

    Ready for glue up..
    IMG_1080.jpg

    Here's that worn face. I might try to use this somehow.....
    IMG_1081.jpg

    You will meet my router tomorrow my old piney friend....
    IMG_1082.jpg
     
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  3. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Cool story - looking forward to more progress pics

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  4. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Afflicted

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    You have made my day! I love a guitar with a story. I built a guitar from reclaimed American Chestnut. It still had one of the old square nails in the wood. A little research said these were in use until around 1892 when the cheaper modern nails came on the market. I inset a 1892 US penny in the neck. The guitar was one of my firsts and has been parted out. Google says that a 1870 Indian head costs around $5. Might really look cool on your build. I hope you have some nail holes showing. I like putting clear epoxy in the hole. If you can keep the epoxy clean you can see down into the hole a bit after the top coat.
    20210307_091713.jpg
     
  5. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Glad I could help! Yes, I like to have a story in mind on everything I build. Makes a me pay more attention!

    I like your inlaid coin idea, I was just on a walk and thinking about making an inlay out of that worn down knot and the area around it.
     
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  6. photondev

    photondev Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with Deeve. Very cool project and story. Good luck erix.
     
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  7. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    I saw this wood yesterday, it is amazing. Can’t wait to see it progress.
     
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  8. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    Love it!
     
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  9. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    :D
     
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  10. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Yesterday was a router day! Loaded the blank onto the flattening jig. It barely fit!
    IMG_1119.jpg

    I love this process, especially with reclaimed wood. You never know what you're going to find. I was making 1/16" deep passes and it cut smooth as silk. It was relaxing and quite fun.
    IMG_1120.jpg

    A little too much fun...
    OFLQ4030.jpg


    Oh well, I can't hear the difference .125" makes!Then it was layout time.
    Avoid all the features in the front?
    IMG_1128.jpg

    Or show them off?
    IMG_1127.jpg

    What's on the back side? A big 'ol knot!
    IMG_1129.jpg

    I could flip it around and hide the knot in the control cavity - that will be super fun to route....
    SKKO3694.jpg

    But the discoloration and punky wood talked me out of it...
    WNVR3866.jpg
     
  11. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I slept on it and looked at the sides again this morning. I like the clean look on the front so...
    to the bandsaw!
    IMG_1133.jpg

    Then the ROSS
    IMG_1134.jpg

    And on with the template.
    IMG_1135.jpg

    Then the router table..
    CRTE7101.jpg

    First cut the top edge with a template cutter. Then switch over to a flush trim and take off the template. Switch over to 1/8" roundover bit now before cutting the neck pocket and drilling the jackhole.

    Template goes back on and over to the drill press to remove some waste material from the pockets.
    IMG_1139.jpg

    All done with the dirty work - until the neck is made...
    I know some will question hiding all the character knots and nail holes but I have a plan.
    IMG_1140.jpg

    For right now, think of this as a telecaster with a mullet.
    Business in the front:
    IMG_1141.jpg

    Party in the back:
    IMG_1142.jpg
     
  12. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    Nice clean work!
    I love the look of that wood. I build with reclaimed wood a lot. I can sort of see when a wood has got some "age" on it. (All mature wood is old. I mean when a piece of lumber has been lumber of some kind for a long time)
    That wood makes me breathe hard, lol.
     
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  13. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Thanks!

    This stuff cuts amazing. I've never worked with pine that is so tolerant of sandpaper and router bits. It is like working with floral foam, just stronger! Also, it is really old. Those trees were cut down 140+ years ago. I kept thinking of that while I was working with it.

    Up along the north shore, on Highway 61 (yes, THAT Highway 61), is a tourist destination called Tom's Logging Camp. It has a vast array of old wagons,buildings, tools, etc... that were used by loggers in the area at the time this wood was harvested. When you think of what those people did,what they endured,what they lived through, just to get that piece of wood to your table saw - it is pretty humbling, for lack of a better word.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
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  14. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    Old and well seasoned(dry).
    I built a bass out of a piece of pine from an antique table my mother in law gave me. Was over 100 years old(the table. who knows how old the wood was?). The wood literally blew away in front of the router bit like dust. P bass body weighed 2 lbs. when finished.
     
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  15. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Wow, that’s light! This one is 3.8lbs right now it’ll go a bit lighter with the neck route but nowhere near 2lbs!
     
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  16. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    3.8 is a good weight for a body, IMHO.
    2 lbs is crazy light, but it was really old wood and came from my mother in law, so there was no way I wasn't building with it.
     
  17. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I love pine :)
     
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  18. erix

    erix Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I did some reading up on F. H. Peavey, the man who built the Globe Elevator. Quite an inspiring rags to riches tale! The Peavey Company logo was a red diamond with white letters "Pv" in the middle. I've always liked the look of red and natural wood....
    This is 75 drops of Trasntint Cherry Red in DNA.
    IMG_1167.jpg

    And this is what it looks like on Mr. Peavey's pine...
    IMG_1169.jpg

    Ready set go!
    IMG_1168.jpg

    After two applications.
    IMG_1179.jpg

    I missed a spot..
    IMG_1172.jpg

    I ran the body over the round over bit this AM and cleaned up the edge with 220 before shooting a few coats of vinyl sealer all over it. The natural color gained a golden hue,,,
    IMG_1181.jpg

    The back and sides got a little lighter - but not pink!
    IMG_1182.jpg

    Think I'll scuff it and dump a can of nitro on it tomorrow and call this body done.
    IMG_1184.jpg

    No wonder people like to build with pine - so fast!
    IMG_1183.jpg
     
  19. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks great, love the contrast.
     
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  20. gitlvr

    gitlvr Friend of Leo's

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    I love it, and the connection to the history of the wood.
    FWIW, I'd shoot the front with that. The grain is clearly visible, and I think that would be a fantastic semi trans finish.
    Love it.
     
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