First semi build project

trancedental

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Tried doing the F hole with a router, almost wrecked it, went back to the old school chisel method! :confused: This was a job I should have done earlier in the build!

I'm still not sure what order to do everything so after spending a few months checking my neck angle was level over & over I decided to glue the body & neck tenon. :eek:

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It has taken a while to get to this stage, because I wasted time wrecking stuff & doing things in the wrong order! But I do have some templates I've made recently plus enough wood for 2 more builds. It's a prototype after all LOL!
 
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trancedental

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So I've got the bridge slotted, nut is brass, so I stringed her up, plays but with high action, adjusted the truss rod, plays OK at around the 7th frets / relief area.

So I'm wondering why is this Axemaster brass nut is so high, compared it to my 360 then I realise my fretboard is not as thick as a usual Ricky neck, more Fender 1/4" as this build is a prototype & so I'm saving a Ricky style fretboard for later.

So I've got to make a Ricky style nut with depth to suit my fretboard thickness. Only made one slotted bone nut from a blank before & it took me ages.....................! :confused:

So here goes!

1st try cut out of bone, chipped corner, at least I didn't start slotting!;)
2nd try cut a blank out of Corian, because I've got plenty to practise on, then I realise it's not wide enough :eek:
3rd try Cornian, cut & slotted, copying the Axemaster brass nut, shaped the top curve with a 10" radius block.

I've just got to reduce the depth to match the fretboard, I'll think I'll go & measure some guitars & check the nut clearance above the fretboards. :confused:

Epi Sheraton nut is about 1.5mm above the neck, 360 maybe slightly less, maybe go with 2mm at first?

I'm wondering if there is a recommended distance between top of nut & fretboard?
 
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Freeman Keller

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I'm wondering if there is a recommended distance between top of nut & fretboard?

There are as many values for "ideal setup" as there are people who set up guitars. Most of the time the nut clearance is measured from the bottom of the string to the top of the fret - since frets have different heights measuring to the f/b is different from one guitar to another. Here are some different values that I've found over the years, the first number is the high E clearance, the second is the low

Gibson factory - 0.015, 0.030
Fender factory - 0.020, 0.020
Martin factory - 0.016, 0.024
Dan Erlewine (gibson) - 0.009, 0.015
Freeman Keller - 0.014, 0.018

These numbers assume perfect frets, minimum relief (0.004 or so), and medium attack by the player.

Another really handy way to check nut slots is to fret each string at the third fret (which also holds it down on the second fret). You want a hair of clearance at the first fret - maybe two or three thou. You can check it by tapping the string over the fret - you want to hear a tiny ping.

Last thing to remember is that if you play light strings and/or up the neck the nut clearance is less important and can be a little higher. If you play in the first position you'll feel the height more so you might want to lower it slightly.

Oh, and don't forget, it is always easier to go down that to come back up. I have made new nuts several times when I thought "just one more swipe with the file...."
 

trancedental

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The Corian nut broke after 20 minutes on the guitar, I almost had all the slots perfect LOL! :rolleyes:

I'll try another different piece of Corian just for the practice, but each piece goes in the bin once it breaks. I've just got enough bone for one more nut!

Seems that some have problems with Corian & 12 strings, it's supposed to be OK for bass.

I'll try these different colour samples & see what happens................!:eek:
 
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trancedental

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So I didn't have the patience for Corian & didn't want to use bone until I got better at this nut work. :cool:

I went back to the brass nut, took a mm off underneath, I've done all the slots & the strings are snug. I'll start taking the slots / top of the nut down after I level the frets.

I managed to break the low E string I liberated from an old set, as well as a few B & E's.o_O

So now I'm waiting for some new strings, these flatwounds are expensive! :(
 

Freeman Keller

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A couple of more comments on your nut slot depth question. One really handy thing to do is take a pencil and sand half of it away. Put it on the first few frets and draw a line on your nut blank. That is a "zero fret" line and is the very lowest you would ever want your slots to be. I like to work my way down to it check at the first fret, but it gives me a good reference

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If you decide you really want to measure the slots above the fretboard and not the first fret, you can use a digital caliper to measure the nominal height of your frets and then stack feeler gauges right behind the nut. Best to add a couple of thousands, then file down until your file just hits the feeler gauge. I tried it once, is pretty hard on feeler gauges and prefer to measure at the first fret.
 

trancedental

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Thanks for the tips, Freeman Keller & Meteorman. I will get back to making some nuts so the advice will be useful.

I broke my recycled low E string, so I'm waiting for a new pack of strings. I've got a few jobs anyway to do in the meantime.

I'm going to move the trapeze tailpiece towards the treble side as it seems to be off by at least 1-2mm from the centre line.

I've also got to take down the thickness of the neck by the same amount so that should keep me busy until the strings arrive,

I also ordered a clip on tuner to make tuning easier & quicker, much too much messing about with an old school button desktop tuner with 12 strings!
 

trancedental

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A few months back I rebuilt one the cheap Rick ripoff bridges, new bolts & saddles, I've got some U bar aluminium so will be building a 12 slot adjustable saddle version next.

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I've been playing it with my upgraded cheap MIC bridge, until I finish my 12 saddle DIY bridge, the first prototype is not 100% there as I used perspex as a template to line up the intonation saddle bolt holes but they are slightly misaligned. :mad:

I'm going to try some aluminium or stainless steel sheet for the intonation screw bolt hole positioning template on the next prototype. When I get the 12 saddle bridge done I'll post some updated pictures.



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The DIY 1993 does sound different acoustically to my 330 & 360/12, I think some of that is due to 21 frets compared to 24. Plus Sapele body, mahogany fretboard, maple / walnut neck.

The top is done about the same thickness as a modern Ricky but I made the neck length / tenon joint & pocket longer to end under the bridge. I also didn't route out the wood area under the tailpiece, to see if I could get more sustain / . I think it was Telenator who did that on his builds a few years back.

I've just started cutting out another new neck & body, maybe a 6 string version, c/w Bigsby. :rolleyes:
 
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trancedental

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No luck with a template for the 12 string bridge holes, I'll have to get one custom made for a price? In the meantime I decided I didn't want to pay crazy money (up to £300!) for a pair of pickups!

So I built a pup winder instead, it cost about £25 & after a few clown wigs o_O:mad::(
I managed to wind my first pup, a 6.5KOhms, 5270winds , 44AWG cut down ABS plastic P90 bobbin which fits inside a MIC toaster cover.

It's within 200 turns of a real toaster according to the Coil Estimator program

As soon as I've built another I'll fit them in the guitar & see what they sound like! :eek:

 
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wingcommander

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Looks nice.

Just curious as to advantages of doing fret dot inlays after you shape and added your frets.
I'm still on my first build but I could only see adding inlays to my fretboard before I did final sanding with a radiused sanding block.
 

Crafty Fox

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Looks nice.

Just curious as to advantages of doing fret dot inlays after you shape and added your frets.
I'm still on my first build but I could only see adding inlays to my fretboard before I did final sanding with a radiused sanding block.

Yep, that's how I do mine too, before fretting.
 

trancedental

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Looks nice.

Just curious as to advantages of doing fret dot inlays after you shape and added your frets.
I'm still on my first build but I could only see adding inlays to my fretboard before I did final sanding with a radiused sanding block.

That happened because I forget to do them before I shaped the fretboard!

I know now it would have been easier when the neck was still straight edged, they're not 100% properly lined up either, but 12 strings covers up some of the mistake. I sanded them down with a glued on wet/dry piece of sandpaper on a radiused scrap of rosewood. ;)

I've actually got another shaped & fretted fretboard I rescued from my first neck build disaster so I'll be doing it all again on the next build! :eek:

Eventually I'll learn from my mistakes! :(
 
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trancedental

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Start of last week I managed to wire up the pickups, after being confused for a while with the various mono / stereo schematics.

Sounds just like the typical chime, sparkle, jangle single coil sound, much closer to a toaster than a Fender or P90 IMO. Great bridge sound & I'm not generally a fan of bridge pups. Plenty of sounds on tap with the interactive mixer control.

Some construction differences to toasters, 250 difference in number of coil winds (4%), Alnico 5 magnet rod size 6mm instead of 1/4" / 6.35mm (-5%), -6% less bobbin core area. (P90 bobbins cut to size). Wired with 44AWG, RWRP.

I call that minor engineering differences. ;)

Neck String spacing 48mm
CW North to strings
5.95KOhms DCR, 5040 winds.

Bridge String spacing 50mm
CCW South to strings
6.44KOhms DCR, 5270 winds.

So, with a bit of patience I managed to build a winder & working pickups. It was not as hard as I thought, although my LCD counter is only reliable up to 400RPM. :rolleyes:

Next up, rewind a faulty Jazz Bass pup, wind some P90's & some more toasters! :)
 

trancedental

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I forgot to put the finished pics up from all all those years back! Geetar on the right is my auld Ricky 360 / 12.
 
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