First semi build project

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by trancedental, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    After previously assembling a Jazzmaster guitar, in which I bought the unprepared alder body, shaped the contours, routed out some of the cavities, installed the electronics, & finished the body, colour Ocean Turqoise & then bought a neck & set the guitar up I’ve decided to really make my own guitar. Now after a few years research online I’ve finally plucked up enough courage to try my own build.

    I was going to build a Fender style neck for my JM a couple of months back & bought the wood truss rod & fretboard but decided to make a semi acoustic type guitar instead.

    I know some woodworking skills but usually build diy projects such as guitar amps & studio recording gear such as mic pres, EQ’s & compressors & some guitar pedals.


    So after spending too much on hardwood including another slotted bubinga fretboard, I’ve got enough wood for 2 guitars. I needed more tools so I’ve also had to buy a table saw, I already had a router & a jigsaw plus some hand tools, plus I needed some more drill / forstner bits, chisels & more hand tools!. Also bought another truss rod & two sets of tuners. So far it’s not been cheap!


    So this is what’s happened far, I’ve got all the wood cut into lengths on my table saw, first task is to make the neck, which consists of a walnut length with maple sides, I made a pair of neck length just in case of problems. My walnut length was a bit warped but once cut into two pieces & joined together with maple lengths seems to be a bit more straight after glue & clamps.

    [​IMG]


    After that I practised making a headstock on some rough scrap oak & fitted the tuners to get an idea of how it will look, I’ve adapted my design plans slightly & will try another test piece before I attempt to cut the headstock shape & on my real neck.

    [​IMG]

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    Meanwhile I cut the headstock angle at 6 degrees & routed the hotrod truss rod channel & cut the headstock access hole, then I glued the walnut headstock wings.

    [​IMG]

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    Now I’m waiting for some fretwire & inlays, plus hammer & nippers in the post.
    Don't be surprised if I start to ask silly questions as I'm not too sure exactly
    which or what task order I need to follow to finish this neck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  2. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sounds like a great start.

    I'd keep checking on that walnut, make sure it doesn't pre-dispose your neck to bow!

    Oh, yes, and I've never heard anyone refer to this as a cheap hobby. You can do things to cut some costs, but there are less expensive ways to amuse yourself. This just happens to be one of the more gratifying and fun ones.
     
  3. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    The walnut was expensive, if I'd noticed at the yard that it was warped I would have asked for another piece. It's been glued up for 4 weeks like the other neck length has, hopefully it will be fine.

    As for expense, lol! I already want & need a better table saw blade & even more clamps for when I get to the body!
     
  4. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

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    Bahahaha. If you're in woodworking, get used to this feeling - it never goes away.
     
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  5. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    I have a old Strat fretboard that I wanted to practise installing fret wire on, so I needed to first remove the frets.

    As a fret puller is silly money I instead just filed down the claws of some cheap end pliers with a metal file.

    Then heat the frets up with a soldering iron tip & off they come!

    [​IMG]

    £15 for a fret wire cutter, no way, I'll buy a pair of cheap £4.00 heavy duty cutting pliers & grind them down the same way!

    Fret hammer £15, nah! the same type is called a double face & costs £4.00!

    So I also need a fret bevel & a fret wire radius bender, looks like there's a some genius solutions already worked out by other guitar builders online!

    I'm being a bit mean I know but need to reduce my spending for the more important stuff like hardware & pickups
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  6. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    I've marked the neck out for the taper from nut to the body join & will also need to do this for the slotted fretboard.

    The neck taper is a bit narrow in width to take out with a tenon saw or chisels without risk of damage & I don't have any planes or rasps so I've ordered a Japanese rasp for the job. Something that I couldn't adapt or make so I had to buy!

    Meanwhile I've practised installing frets on my old fretboard. Mine have all seated fine in their slots so far so I'm assuming the advice I've sometimes read online on using super glue is only if they won't stay down?

    Also another question regarding the truss rod & channel, does it really need to have some silicon added at a few places, there seems to be some debate about this subject?
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have put a dab of silicone caulk on every hotrod brass block I have installed. A dab isn't much, as I don't want it oozing out when the rod is placed on it.
     
  8. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Only down side I'm aware of is that you need to be very careful not to get silicone anywhere it can contaminate anything that will come in contact with a surface that will be finished. It causes fish-eyeing big time, and a tiny bit can cause big trouble. Otherwise a couple of small dabs can keep a neck from rattling, and will cause no interference with function. It's there to provide a resilient vibration damper for the rod. I have an old Gretsch Tenneseean I otherwise love, but the rattlly truss rod drives me nuts.
     
  9. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    Doh! Double post!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  10. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    My 1st template for the 12 string headstock didn't come out very well, even though I first practiced on scrap. I've had to reattach new walnut HS wings & have made a new template. Going to try that on some scrap wood.

    I've finally glued the fretboard to the neck making sure it was square, after first making a sled jig to cut the neck & fret board taper properly to size & installing the truss rod.

    Still considering if I should use my first neck for a 6 string build & the next for the 12 string, depends how my 2nd HS template works? After the headstock is finished, it's time for shaping the neck & fret installation.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    I wasn't happy with my first neck due to cutting the taper past the nut area & taking off the start of the curve for the headstock, I'll try & rescue that another time. In the meantime I built another neck & got the neck taper right this time, next up fretboard radius, dot & side inlays & when I get my pillar drill attaching walnut wings & drilling headstock holes.

    [​IMG]

    I'm doing a 1 & 3/4 44.5mm width neck & have bought a Axemaster brass nut, you can see the width difference between that & a 41.4 nut, also got some free Corian samples for making nuts.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  12. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    Started work on the body, had to cut down the thickness of sapele from 48mm to 35mmish, I done this with a handsaw but it took more than a while. :mad: Printed out a scale plan & checked the parts & made a template, then I drilled some holes to help the Bosch jigsaw, maybe I should cut nearer to the body as I had to use a rasp afterwards.

    My new spindle bobbin sander really helped with the template shaping & later the body horns & curves, I'm assuming that getting the router too dangerously close to the horns would have wrecked them, so a shinto rasp & spindle sander was a better idea?

    Finished routing the body, I got fed up waiting for my Trend bits to arrive in the post so used some cheap Screwfix ones instead, not very sharp so needed some patience & time. The body will now go on the spindle sander when I get the chance. At least I'm making some slow steady progress.....................!:D


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    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  13. ModerneGuy

    ModerneGuy Tele-Holic

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    Nice work, I somehow have missed this one up until now - a very challenging first build you given yourself, I see you've gone for a "Rose Morris" style f-hole rather than the "slash" sound hole too - a very English thing to do;). Re the router v spindle sander, I think the answer is to do what you're most comfortable with. If using a router just make sure you creep up to the final profile and then there's still no guarantee of a blowout. If I had a spindle sander (and why the hell can't you buy a Rigid Oscillating Spindle Sander in Australia?!!) I'd be tempted to use it lieu of the router pretty regularly.

    I'm currently building a twelve too with a slotted headstock and Rickenbacker style stringing. I see that you opted to go for the partial route on the headstock rather than routing all the way through - I assume this is for the "R" authenticity? I decided against it as I couldn't really see any other advantages to it ...and I'm otherwise not going for this style of guitar.

    Anyway nice work and look forward to seeing updates.
     
  14. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    Cheers ModerneGuy, Thanks for your input, I maybe be going for authenticity, but priority is doing it the easiest way for me, less hogging out wood on the f hole than the slash & under the TRC no one even sees that afterwards!

    As for spindle sanders I just bought a cheapie Triton https://www.screwfix.com/p/triton-t...gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CPX89piIoNkCFVWeGwodTcwJKA

    Does the job fine & sanded my body edges perfect in 10 mins. Plus made the body horn shaping on template & body less trouble than getting too close with a cheapie router bit...! :eek:

    Good Luck with your 12 string build.
     
  15. ModerneGuy

    ModerneGuy Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for that, I guess I'm just being stubborn/petulant but I want one of these and I'm annoyed I can't buy one locally. I could import one and get a step down transformer but that would be ridiculously expensive. I also sense that just after I compromise and buy something like what you linked to they'll become available. :mad:. Anyway sorry to derail. Looks like it will be a nice build. Carry on.
     
  16. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Backside (gets a cap covering later!) & Frontside , got to do the cavities, headstock wings, shape neck, tailpiece slope. My neck body joint length is a bit long but maybe it will be stronger this way?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  17. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Looking good!!
     
  18. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still a long way to go but anyway I took some quick pics, sapele body, walnut / maple rosewood fretboard & neck, made the TRC / pickguard out of gold perspex, seems to have a bit of green it it LOL!

    Jobs to do carve the neck backside & dot inlays, finish the cavities / f- hole / back cap etc.......!
    At least I've got something that looks sort of like a guitar! :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  19. loopy reed

    loopy reed Friend of Leo's

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    Excellent! Where did you get the drawing for the body?
     
  20. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    I used Bigprint to dimension a 60's RM 1993 (22 fret) picture then made a template.

    https://woodgears.ca/bigprint/

    My block of sapele was slightly less total width, by about 1/16" than I needed. I just shaped it afterwards on the spindle sander until it looked OK. The body probably has slightly less width on the upper horns, I thought it looked better that way. I think the original '50's Capri's had much slimmer upper body horns anyway.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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