Greetings to all you afficionados

JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
266
Age
39
Location
Germany
Hi all,


I have been reading quite a lot in recent years in this forum and decided to finally join. As the guitar building bug bit hard 5 years ago it was kind of naturally, that google searches for Tru Oil back then would lead me to this place and I gathered a lot of good information from the members here.

Currently I am about to finish my builds 6 and 7, which again cost me lot of nerves and sleepless days ( :)), but in the end the goal is to get better with every build, and that worked out so far.

I attached a few teaser shots, because I know, threads without pics are worthless :)

Also I was ind bitten by the amp bug 2 years ago and have been rolling through quite a lot of amps, and seemed to come always back to posts here from a member called "Wally", who really made me want a Prosonic very bad, which - don't ask me how... - finally led me to buy a trainwreck sort of clone (18W), which finally planted the wish for me, to get a Komet60 style amp, or maybe even try to build one (I have NO expereince with electronics, but have been researching the details quite extensively). Good thing is, I also returned to do some recordings, which I stopped years ago due to bad hearing issues, but I think, the love for the music is stronger in the end than the pain to not being able to hear it properly.

Allright, so far, I hope I may contribute something of interest to this forum and its members!


Best regards


Jonas
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jimmywrangles

Tele-Holic
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Posts
531
Age
51
Location
Australia
Absolutely stunning work.
I'm a huge fan of Les Pauls and that one is a beauty.
I wish I could source timber like that.
 

JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
266
Age
39
Location
Germany
Hi all,


Thank you all so much for the warm welcome!

@Happy Enchilada : I have to admit, english is not my mother tongue, so, what exactly does "give a pointer" mean? :)

@Dano-caster : Actually both guitars have inlays, I will add some pics below. They are my first attempt to do inlays, so, they are far from being perfect, but I like them the way they are. Before I had a dragon inlay from luthiersuplly installed on another guitar and that was a royal pain. So I decided to do smaller ones for these guitars. I too photos of snow leopards from the internet and then resized them and cut the MOP accordingly. I also did a Heron inlay on the headstock of one of these, but I was not smart enough to take the size of the washers of the tuners into account, so, the inlay collided a little bit with them. Next time will be better, progress, not perfection.

@jimmywrangles : I see you are coming from Australia, which I think has some of the most exotic and beautiful timbers in the world! Cming from Germany, I am a little limited in figured wood, as stuff like quilted is not available locally sourced (sometimes you can get birch which is somehow resembling the look, but it costs a fortune then, at it is immensly rare). Flamed stuff is pretty rare as well and to be honest, the maple tops I used are very likely coming from Bosnia where a lot of these timbers are harvested non sustainable. But the ash body with the intense figuring is actually from Bavaria's mountain side. I have a dealer who is selling timber as a side business, and he carts the stuff our of the woods with a horse and lets it ardry for years before selling. He has very impressive ash pieces available, as unfortunately, ash is at the moment on its way to distinction due to the emerald borer. I heard the same issue is valid in North America. It's hard to believe, but that is what the timber people are telling me here.

And as for the inlays:
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JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
266
Age
39
Location
Germany
Hi all,

@Happy Enchilada : haha, okay, I looked it up, allright, so, you basically meant me to give more info on the guitars :) Well, sorry, don't know why I didn't get it in the first place :)


The guitar with F-Hole:

That is basically a mix up of a Les Paul /PRS Singlecut / Huber Orca shape (I know, it looks just like a Les Paul, but it's all in the details of the waist, upper and lower bouts and cutaway horn) which I then made bigger by about 1cm on the outline by using a washer and a pencil. I then reworked the cutaway section a little to make it look within proportion. I then also took a PRS headstock template as a guide and made it slightly bigger to match the body size and then of course changed the headstock shape to a non PRS one.

The body consists of a single piece of european ash, tightly grained and as heavy as it gets. Therefore I chambered the body in 2 sections quite extensively with a remaining middle block. A carved maple top is then added, beacuse it looks so sexy and I love doing carved tops, that is really the most entertaining part of the build for me, not that it is always necessary, it is just for my enjoyment :)
The neck is made of a single piece of Ovangkol and a fretboard made of reclaimed ebony, scale is 24,75". I have had issues with getting the headstock to thickness on every build so far by using a bandsaw ( and I think next time I'll change to a router or Safe-T-Planer), and this time was even worse, as the lower guiding bearings became loose while sawing the headstock thickness and therefore the cut looked okay from above, but on the ther side it was like a banana. That led to some creative filing, rasping and sanding of the headstock's back and is now acceptable to my eye at least, although far away from being perfect.
I made some Luminlays out of powder and resin for the sidedots, as this is really making playing more comfortable in stage or evening situations :) I also use Dunlop Flushmounts as straplock system, which is quite expensive, given what it is, but it is the best system I ever used and looks just perfect to me. I never forgot a strap either for a gig nor at band practice in 25 years, so, there is no point for me to use a more "standardized" locking system.
The guitar will get a Bigsby B-12 with Callaham hardware. I tried to change the rollers on the Bigsby, font roller is easy peasy, but the one with the string guides is a nightmare. I extracted 4 of the pins, but the other 2 broke of very close to the roller, so, I did not know, how to get them out, as I do not have a very good drill press. So I tried to just "hammer" it out (yes, very stupid idea...) and broke the needle bearing. I bought a replacement bearing, but I cannot change it, as it seems to be a very tight pressfit and I do not know, how to extract it from the rather delicate Bigsby construction....
So, I took the other B-12 I had, here the rollers were getting out very easy, but then the Callaham roller with the string through part won't fit through both of the bearings. One is too tight. I checked, if the needles were in place and greased and they were, still, the roller does not fit. I don't know if maybe the Bigsby had warped, or the old roller had shrunken or the like, but it's a real nightmare so far (and expensive as well....).
I think, I may just sand down the Callaham roller a tiny bit, until it fits, as I do not want to buy a 3rd Bigsby (I got the other 2 quite cheap second hand, but B-12's are hard to come by here and when, they are usually expensive).


The "Les Paul" guitar:

That is also basically a mix up of a Les Paul /PRS Singlecut / Huber Orca shape. Body is also european ash, chambered and a flamed maple top. The neck is roasted maple, but I am not too happy with it, as it is really brittle stuff to work with. I don't know if it was correctly treated (there is a big essay from Ruokongas how to roast maple correctly under a vacuum condition afair) or only just baked. I was really worried it wouldn't be stable enough and used a pretty big neck shape for it (Baseball bat). It didn't move one bit, even with strings on, so, that's actually nice :)
Fingerboard is also reclaimed ebony. Scale is also 24,75" and the bridge is a Schaller Signum, as I never had a wraparound bridge guitar before in my life (I was mainly Les Paul, Gretsch 6134/6139 and Tele player all my life).
I will use 2 Bluesbucker type humbuckers (basically a humbucker, where one coil is not magnetized) with a master volume and master tone pot and 2 pots for blending the 2nd coil in or out. I tried this setup in another guitar, and although you do not get exact full throttle humbucker power in any position, you get anything from a real meaty P90 to vintage P90 to fat Strat Singlecoil sound and everything in between which I find extremely versatile. You could mimic a Knopfler sound if you would turn the pickups so the magnetized coils of the 2 pickups are facing each other.
Luminlays and Flushmounts are also used here.


I think, that's about it. The finish I did with Tru Oil, the F-Hole guitar is still under treatment, I am at the 7th or 8th layer so far. What worked out for me this time is, only do one sand in between the layers (i think after 7 or 8 layers), then build up another 3 or 4. I then sanded the whole guitar with Micro Mesh from 1.800 all the way through to 12.000, dry sanding. Then I added a final coat and then leave it. Looks quite good to me. It could be even better, if you would thin down the final layer of Tru Oil with Isopropanol for example. I once ha d a Tru Oil spray can, which they do not seem to sell anymore. That was perfect for getting very glossy results.


Best regards

Jonas
 

JohnnyThul

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Posts
266
Age
39
Location
Germany
It means you're great at what you do and you could probably show us all how to do it right! :D

Ah, sorry, then I didn't get it right :) Well, from what I have seen here, there are much more skilled members doing incredible stuff with immense creativity, so, there ain't much I could tell anybody, I guess. But any questions I will try to answer to the best of my abilities, but, most "tricks" I have, I learned from here, or other forums. And I have to say, I have access to a few machines, which make stuff like that easier to do (bandsaw, faulty jointer,drum sander and tablesaw) but I have no experience to do certain things with hand tools (like jointing, well, sometimes i just sand the joint as the figured stuff is prone to tear out when using a jointer).

Best regards


Jonas
 




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