GB Brotherhood Build!

gb Custom Shop

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My finish of choice for the neck is Osmo Polyx in satin. The first coat goes on fairly heavy, let it soak in for a few mins, then wipe off completely. I use a lint free rag for this. This is a shot after the first coat. NOW the flame comes to life, and that's not even a great picture.

20220729_161708.jpg


I think I'm at 7 coats of oil on the neck, at 1-2 coats per day. It really doesn't need that much, I was mostly curious to see what more coats will do. It doesn't build a film comparable to Tru-oil, but I think it feels better.

Here's where we're at now!
20220805_143223.jpg
20220805_143145.jpg
 

gb Custom Shop

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Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Well, summer has finally wrapped up, and after spending most weekends at the lake, I finally got around to finishing this project up.

I level and polish sanded the body up to 3000 grit. A day later I buffed with Menzerna medium compound on a Canton wheel. I use a bench top, low RPM 8" buffer, with an extender, and dual 10" wheels. Another day later I moved on to the Domet wheels with some Meguiar's machine/mirror glaze (I got that tip from driftwood guitars). I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Once buffed, I shielded the pickup cavities, and the floor of the control cavity. That should suffice for my purposes (and does).
20220924_173407.jpg


Next up was the electronics. My control knobs turned out to be for 6mm pot shafts, so instead of buying new knobs, I just used split shaft pots - 250k volume, and 250k no load for the tone pot. Switch is a 4-way Oak Grigsby. Puretone jack. 0.022uF cap.

Pickups are from a winder in the Ukraine - BB Guitar Lab, and I gotta give him a shoutout. I found him on eBay a couple years ago, and I appreciated all the specs/materials he notes for all his pickups, as well as the price. I took a chance, was impressed, and later ordered 5 other pickup sets from him. I was impressed with each set, and now this is the last set of the total 6 I've ordered from him - same as the first set I bought from him. Exceptional pickups regardless of the affordable price.

Once soldering was complete, it was time to assemble everything! All went smoothly. Now it just needed a nut, and a set up.
20220925_163057.jpg


I fabricated a nut from bone. I won't bore you with my whole process for that, but I'll mention I'm a big fan of stewmacs nut vise, and the nut file backer. I also use a dial caliper for gauging the nut slot depth. As for slot depth, I use Freeman's guide of 0.018"-0.014". Once slotted, it gets its final shaping, and polishing with 3M polishing paper (if I recall up to 6000). Lastly, I smooth out the nut slots with some abrasive cord. The above tools I've mentioned really took my nut making game to a new level.
20220926_221403.jpg


I've done 99% of the set up, but the neck hasn't been under string tension for that long, so I'll need to review the relief again. But for now it's playing great at a fairly low action. I'll need to play around with the pickup height, add the string tree, and possibly some fine adjustments for the saddle height & distance. Winter is also coming, and we get -40C, so I'll likely need to address the fret ends at some point too. Oh, and I'll need to take more pictures for you guys!
 

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Steve Holt

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 29, 2016
Posts
3,610
Location
Kansas
Well, summer has finally wrapped up, and after spending most weekends at the lake, I finally got around to finishing this project up.

I level and polish sanded the body up to 3000 grit. A day later I buffed with Menzerna medium compound on a Canton wheel. I use a bench top, low RPM 8" buffer, with an extender, and dual 10" wheels. Another day later I moved on to the Domet wheels with some Meguiar's machine/mirror glaze (I got that tip from driftwood guitars). I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Once buffed, I shielded the pickup cavities, and the floor of the control cavity. That should suffice for my purposes (and does).
View attachment 1034555

Next up was the electronics. My control knobs turned out to be for 6mm pot shafts, so instead of buying new knobs, I just used split shaft pots - 250k volume, and 250k no load for the tone pot. Switch is a 4-way Oak Grigsby. Puretone jack. 0.022uF cap.

Pickups are from a winder in the Ukraine - BB Guitar Lab, and I gotta give him a shoutout. I found him on eBay a couple years ago, and I appreciated all the specs/materials he notes for all his pickups, as well as the price. I took a chance, was impressed, and later ordered 5 other pickup sets from him. I was impressed with each set, and now this is the last set of the total 6 I've ordered from him - same as the first set I bought from him. Exceptional pickups regardless of the affordable price.

Once soldering was complete, it was time to assemble everything! All went smoothly. Now it just needed a nut, and a set up.
View attachment 1034562

I fabricated a nut from bone. I won't bore you with my whole process for that, but I'll mention I'm a big fan of stewmacs nut vise, and the nut file backer. I also use a dial caliper for gauging the nut slot depth. As for slot depth, I use Freeman's guide of 0.018"-0.014". Once slotted, it gets its final shaping, and polishing with 3M polishing paper (if I recall up to 6000). Lastly, I smooth out the nut slots with some abrasive cord. The above tools I've mentioned really took my nut making game to a new level.
View attachment 1034561

I've done 99% of the set up, but the neck hasn't been under string tension for that long, so I'll need to review the relief again. But for now it's playing great at a fairly low action. I'll need to play around with the pickup height, add the string tree, and possibly some fine adjustments for the saddle height & distance. Winter is also coming, and we get -40C, so I'll likely need to address the fret ends at some point too. Oh, and I'll need to take more pictures for you guys!


Very nice! Do you have a theory on waiting a day in between the two different styles of buffing wheel?
 

gb Custom Shop

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Posts
267
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Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Very nice! Do you have a theory on waiting a day in between the two different styles of buffing wheel?
I actually did try to buff the fine compound on the same day I buffed with the medium. The little area I attempted had slightly marred the finish. That's why I held off continuing until the next day lol.
I raked the wheels pretty good, put a very small amount of compound on the wheels, and buffed on a piece of scrap maple for about a minute before buffing the body. I think my issue the first day was just too much compound. But hey, now I know better.
 

ToujoursLire

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2020
Posts
33
Age
44
Location
Hamilton, Canada
My finish of choice for the neck is Osmo Polyx in satin. The first coat goes on fairly heavy, let it soak in for a few mins, then wipe off completely. I use a lint free rag for this. This is a shot after the first coat. NOW the flame comes to life, and that's not even a great picture.

View attachment 1013403

I think I'm at 7 coats of oil on the neck, at 1-2 coats per day. It really doesn't need that much, I was mostly curious to see what more coats will do. It doesn't build a film comparable to Tru-oil, but I think it feels better.

Here's where we're at now!
View attachment 1013406 View attachment 1013408
Quick follow-up—how many coats do you think are ideal? I’m at four on my current neck, and impressed by the build—but would love to know more about your experience of going further, if you’ve got some time to share!
 

gb Custom Shop

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Posts
267
Age
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Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Quick follow-up—how many coats do you think are ideal? I’m at four on my current neck, and impressed by the build—but would love to know more about your experience of going further, if you’ve got some time to share!
I'm not sure there is a right answer. I think after 4 you get a little bit more sheen, but also law of diminishing returns kicks into play. It really isn't meant to build up. I was happy with 7 coats total.
 

wadeeinkauf

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 24, 2010
Posts
1,352
Location
Monterey CA
I've seen some pretty expensive fret beveling files around, and honestly the prices are a bit outrageous. Anyone with a half decent table saw can make one in minutes. Here's mine

View attachment 977167

I use my hand as a stop at the nut end, so I don't smash the file accidentally into the headstock. Did that on my first neck though lol. A few minutes of filing and that's done.

I will eventually tape up the fretboard for when I'm leveling, crowning, and polishing. Before I get there I want to do a couple things.

The very bottom corner of the fret end, I want to file that now, before applying tape. Here's a closer shot of what I'm talking about. The left side had the corner relieved, whilst the right side is untouched. I'm only doing the very bottom here, I'll do the rest after crowning. View attachment 977169

I'll follow that up with some 320 attached to a piece of leather, attached to a piece of wood. I go in circular motions, clockwise down the neck, counter clockwise up the neck, focusing on the fret ends. This will further smooth those fret ends, but also start to break the fretboard edge.

View attachment 977173

I'll further break the fretboard edge with thin strips of sandpaper, working in a lateral motion, not up and down! I focus toward the fret ends, and then bring the centre together.

View attachment 977171

I personally dislike when rolled fretboard edges take on a scalloped look. That's why I do it this way. Although you wouldn't want to go overboard here

However once that's done, I'll give it a smooth over with 800 grit real quick up and down the fret ends, with the same block and and piece of leather. Feeling pretty good so far!

I'll get the fretboard taped up now. It's kind of nice leveling and crowning while the neck is still flat. Just comes at the risk of having to do it all over again once the neck is under string tension. I'll take my chances 😃



First of all, a very impressive build. The wood is gorgeous. Regarding the fret end dressing. These 30-35 degree beveling is still too sharp for me for a “standard” fender fret wire, medium jumbo as Fender calls them. It might the way I have learned to play or how my hand is built. I have built many guitars and I have 10 hanging on the wall in my music room, (read garage hide-a-way). This is the fretboard of the guitar I play the most. It is sooo comfortable to play. I will also say it is too extreme. If you have downward pressure on the high e string it can be pulled off the fretboard. I have other guitars beveled at 45 degrees and these work well for me. Of course if round over the edges and use primarily 400 grit sandpaper just running up and down the neck on fret edges, followed by steel wool and 3M scotch brite pads.


2.jpg
 

gb Custom Shop

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Posts
267
Age
29
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
First of all, a very impressive build. The wood is gorgeous. Regarding the fret end dressing. These 30-35 degree beveling is still too sharp for me for a “standard” fender fret wire, medium jumbo as Fender calls them. It might the way I have learned to play or how my hand is built. I have built many guitars and I have 10 hanging on the wall in my music room, (read garage hide-a-way). This is the fretboard of the guitar I play the most. It is sooo comfortable to play. I will also say it is too extreme. If you have downward pressure on the high e string it can be pulled off the fretboard. I have other guitars beveled at 45 degrees and these work well for me. Of course if round over the edges and use primarily 400 grit sandpaper just running up and down the neck on fret edges, followed by steel wool and 3M scotch brite pads.


View attachment 1035759
Thanks Wade! I can tell by that example the fret ends would be super comfortable. Thanks for sharing.

I did a full fret job on another neck a few weeks ago, and for the fret ends I used my fret crowning file to round them down. That probably yielded the most comfortable fret ends I've experienced - you literally don't feel them at all. I'll likely do that again on my next build
 

wadeeinkauf

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 24, 2010
Posts
1,352
Location
Monterey CA
Thanks Wade! I can tell by that example the fret ends would be super comfortable. Thanks for sharing.

I did a full fret job on another neck a few weeks ago, and for the fret ends I used my fret crowning file to round them down. That probably yielded the most comfortable fret ends I've experienced - you literally don't feel them at all. I'll likely do that again on my next build
I have seen some guys do a beautiful job of rounding the edge before installing each fret wire. Looks like it would be the best of all worlds….except…I don’t have the patience or skills to cut the exact size and then install them without a way to hold them in place to press then in.
 

crazydave911

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Posts
14,118
Age
63
Location
East Tennessee
I have seen some guys do a beautiful job of rounding the edge before installing each fret wire. Looks like it would be the best of all worlds….except…I don’t have the patience or skills to cut the exact size and then install them without a way to hold them in place to press then in.
I'm not that big a cork sniffer, I've even quit advocating my no trussrod necks. There was a time almost none had a trussrod and it demands a certain skillset. I've pretty much determined I'm the last dinosaur and don't bother my roars anymore ☹️
 

gb Custom Shop

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Posts
267
Age
29
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
I still haven't installed the string tree, and frankly it doesn't seem to need it, but I'm calling this project done. I took a bunch of pics to share with you guys, and I'll just share some random & overall remarks.

- the katalox fretboard feels and looks in between Rosewood and ebony. It's nice stuff, but was a pain to work with.
- torrefied maple is an absolute joy to carve
- I'm glad I didn't stain the mahogany, it's beautiful the way it is naturally.
- using Zpoxy gave me the best results for grain filling I've ever achieved
- Kovax super Assilex sandpaper is incredible, but I wish it wasn't so damn expensive.
- I love the look and feel of the double tortoiseshell binding. The 1/8" round over makes it the most comfortable bound guitar I've played. The routing blowout that pushed me to do that was a blessing in disguise.
- I almost forgot how much I love vintage / split shaft tuning pegs; they just function so well
- Gotoh makes excellent products all around, and for a reasonable price too (all the hardware, except electrosocket and strap buttons, are Gotoh)
- I've invested quite heavily into nut making tools, and it's definitely paid off (practice also helps)
- the slightly asymetrical carve on the neck is lovely to behold (for me at least)
- this is my 8th scratch build, and definitely my best executed. On assembly day everything fell into place and not much tweaking was needed. It legitimately plays and feels professional.
- overall, quite pleased and proud of this one

Lastly, thanks to all who have followed this thread. Everyone's comments, suggestions, and kind words were all very wholesome and appreciated.

My next project will encounter some things I haven't done before - I'll be using maple burl, herringbone purfling, either brass or aluminum inlays, and a new fretboard radiusing jig. I'll be sure to start a thread for that product, hopefully in a couple weeks time
 




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