Graviton: Say Hello to My Heavy Friend

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Ripthorn, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, it's been a little while. The last year plus has seen us sell our old house, build a new one, get moved in, and, just as the shop was shaping up, I had a nasty weightlifting accident that mangled two fingers pretty badly. Now that they are mostly healed, I need another build!


    I confess, I'm not a shredder and metal is not really my scene. To that end, super strats haven't really ever interested me. However, over the last couple years, I've been looking at designs from several builders like Skervesen, Blackwater, Ormsby, Legator, etc. I've decided it's time for me to give one a go. I'm calling this one Graviton since it's meant for heavy music. I'm actually building two, one out of more standard stuff to test things out and one out of nicer stuff. Since guitar building is always experimental for me, I want that safety net. Specs:


    - 25.5" scale length

    - Two humbuckers

    - Volume and toggle, no tone

    - Body: Alder (test), walnut with curly redwood drop top (keeper)

    - Neck: 9 piece maple/walnut/curly maple/walnut/bubinga laminate with no scarf

    - Fretboard: Pau Ferro (test), black and white ebony (keeper)


    Here is the design drawing:

    [​IMG]


    So first things first, we need some templates:

    [​IMG]


    Then, I resawed a bunch of wood for the neck. I got to put my new drum sander to use, and in it worked like a champ! Before I knew it, I had this:

    [​IMG]


    That then went through the sander to remove the slight amounts of tearout from my planer. This sander is amazing! The surfaces are already in good enough shape for gluing on a fretboard, but that will have to wait a little bit. I've got some time this week to hopefully knock out some good stuff, but I also have some shop projects that need to be done to make this easier.
     
  2. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    Plenty of progress has been made. I stopped by the lumber store and picked up some stuff. Then it was home to get things milled and glued up. Here's one of my benches:
    [​IMG]

    I slotted one fingerboard before realizing I had a new radius router bit I wanted to use and should probably slot after radiusing in that case. Here are the boards to be used:

    [​IMG]

    I bandsawed out the neck blanks as well. Next up is truss rod slots, surfacing body blanks, and cutting and routing to shape.
     
  3. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    More progress. I got the body blanks taken to thickness. 1 3/8" for both walnut and alder. Walnut will be getting a curly redwood cap, but I don't know about the alder. The mismatch in color between the two pieces makes me lean towards a colored finish of some kind, but the blank right now, with no cavities, weighs in at 3 lbs on the nose. I'm worried about it being too light. The upper horn extends to about the 12th fret, so I don't think neck dive will be an issue, but overall I don't know if the weight and thickness will be a deal breaker. I guess I'll keep going, as it's about $15 worth of alder is all.


    Anyway, blanks flattened, bandsawn, and routed to outer profile:

    [​IMG]


    I inspected my redwood drop top and found the glue line unsatisfactory, so I split it and rejoined and reglued. I'll check it after work today.


    I also worked on the neck blanks, getting the headstocks flattened and then bringing all flat surfaces (heel, headstock, and main shaft) down to parallel and thickness using my Saf-T-Planer. I also marked center in preparation for truss rod routing. Quite pleased with how it's looking thus far:

    [​IMG]


    Up next: routing truss rod slots, radiusing fretboards, slot second fretboard, put the drop top on the walnut, and rough in the bevels on the alder body.
     
  4. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Sweet design, sweet thread so far! Your white ebony fretboard is particularly sick. Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    Things are starting to look more guitar like. I routed the truss rod slots, radiused the fretboards, slotted the second board, and glued on the first fretboard. I realized too late that I should have done the 12th fret inlay routing first, but the back of the neck blank is still flat, so it's more or less "no harm, no foul". I also roughed out the redwood drop top. Still need to chamber the walnut a little bit. Hoping to shave just a couple ounces off. Then I will glue on the drop top.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    On the docket for today is getting the first neck cleaned up, route the neck pocket, and rough in the bevels. Also, bind the second fretboard (I ripped off some strips from the blank to bind it with) after deepening the slots. Then I need to get my CNC machine back up and running so that I can route the 12th fret inlay cavities.
     
  6. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I love your design. Great job!!
     
  7. BluesBlooded

    BluesBlooded Friend of Leo's

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    I agree, great looking design.
     
  8. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    A little more work got done. I chambered the walnut body for just a little bit of weight reduction.


    [​IMG]


    Then I glued on the drop top. About 40 lbs of clamps for about 4 lbs of body...


    [​IMG]


    While that was drying, I worked on the other one. It's starting to look fairly guitar like.


    [​IMG]


    Then I bound the black and white ebony fretboard. Now I'm at a little bit of a standstill until I get my CNC machine back up and going. I need to do the 12th fret inlay on each fretboard, then I will glue the ebony board to its neck, route the neck pocket in the second body, and keep on truckin'. Some cavties and bevels, a bunch of sanding, and the bodies will be ready for finish. The necks will get shaped after the 12th fret inlays are done.
     
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  9. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Looking good dude - I’m loving this! What buckers you gonna use?

    I take it you’re just going with straight volume and 3 way switch?
     
  10. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm thinking of using these in white with black pole pieces (kind of a black and white theme for one of them): http://axetec.co.uk/guitar_parts_uk_112.htm

    I'll probably use them in both guitars. I've had great luck with irongear pickups in the past. I've got three sets and am like them a lot.
     
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  11. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Whatever happened with the SuperNova build ?
     
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  12. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    Turns out white is a pain. I've stripped the finish about 3 times now. It is now waiting for clear. Still ongoing.
     
  13. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    Alright, I've got a question for everyone. I'm debating doing my normal 12th fret inlay on this guitar. However, a lot of shredder guitars like this don't have any inlay, particularly with B&W ebony. The ebony has enough movement to it that an inlay might get lost. Another factor is I just changed out my CNC controller and the new one doesn't have backlash compensation, which is really a must for my typical inlay. I could do a different one, like 2 dots, but again, it might wreck the vibe. Thoughts?
     
  14. tnt423

    tnt423 Tele-Meister

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    I wouldn't put any inlay in there, it's very nice as it is.
     
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  15. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree. I might put one dot on the pau ferro board, but still undecided there. The B&W ebony, however, is staying unadulterated.

    No pictures, but got the B&W board glued on and the tuner holes drilled in the other neck.
     
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  16. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    I've only got one picture for now, and it's from a couple of days ago. Since this was taken, the neck heel was shortened and thinned, the neck pocket was routed deeper, the holes for the bridge were drilled, and holes for ferrules were drilled. I also did the same to the alder guitar.


    [​IMG]


    Next up is routing humbucker and control cavities, roughing out bevels on the redwood guitar, and then neck shaping. Still debating where to volute or not volute...
     
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  17. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I am loving that fretboard!!
     
  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yes! It is generating its own event horizon!
     
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  19. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    I see what you did there :)
     
  20. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Tele-Afflicted

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    Bevels and roundover really help make this thing look more refined and closer to being finished:


    [​IMG]


    Still up: make templates for humbuckers and control cavity, then route the cavities. Then the bodies are ready for sanding. Necks still need shaping. A lot of shaping...
     
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