Jupiter’s Official Unofficial 2012 Challenge Build Thread (Electramaster Content)

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Jupiter, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    Great stuff jup! Really makes me love tortoise.. did I mention that I bought a tortoise blank for a tele? As ofr the finish, who cares! That's not a relic, that's real life!
     
  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Thanks everybody! I hope the rest isn't too anticlimactic....

    Did the headstock over the last few days. I was originally going to go straight from the CA to the white, but I thought I went all the way to bare wood on a couple of spots, so I decided to hit it with a bit of "wood primer" I had lying around.

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    Basically just one wet coat.

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    You can see a floatie at the end of the headstock, which I retrieved with tweezers before the paint flashed.

    The dark blotch is where I went through the CA.

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    I let it dry under a desk lamp for one day, then sanded it flat and gave it another overnight. Kinda fast, but like I said, it was only one coat.

    Masked it up:

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    I put little wads of newspaper in the tuner holes just to prevent the paint from running and splooging on the other side of the headstock. I wasn't really worrying about it, because I knew I wasn't going to put a lot of paint on there.

    3 Moderate coats, about 30 minutes apart. I finished up an old can; actually wanted about 10 seconds more out of it, just one more pass by the tuner holes, but oh well.

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    There are some floaties but it's reasonably flat. I'm planning to wait about a week and then buff it very delicately with fine Micromesh pads. No wetsanding; it's just too thin, and I'm not aiming for a mirror shine. Then I'll wait a couple days more before I try hanging hardware on it. I've already put it together with the body just to see and it looks pretty cool, but you guys gotta wait for that until I get the tuners on it and stuff. :twisted:

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    Now there's nothing really to do for the next 10 days or so. Guess I better get cracking on my Reverend clone....
     
  3. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can't wait :D
     
  4. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I was expecting to be knee deep in my challenge build around now; don't know if I can hold off on that idea until the dates come around again.... :neutral:
     
  5. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Oh man, I dreamed last night that the paint was just falling off of this thing. I was going somewhere with it, and I was being SO careful that I actually took the neck off and I was cradling it like a baby, and being super-careful not to bump into anything with it. Interestingly, I was walking with Prince and he was making a big thing about being so careful with HIS guitar, but he wasn't being as careful as me.

    Anyway, when I got to where I was going, I checked and the headstock looked like I had jammed it into a blender, and the paint bruised like a plum and flaked off when I pressed on it with my thumb.

    What a nightmare! :lol:
     
  6. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    You might ought to leave that rice wine alone ;). Just sayin' :lol:
     
  7. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's just so much comedic gold here that I'm going into overload...too...many...jokes....
     
  8. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Well, I had all night to come up with it. :cool:
     
  9. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Hey, does anybody know where I put those string trees I took off an old Ibby neck about a year ago? 'Cuz that's the only thing between me and finishing this puppy up today. My staggered tuners don't stagger enough to stop the high "e" buzz....
     
  10. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Oop, got 'em. Full steam ahead!
     
  11. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Next time get Sperzels or Gotoh lockers..................string trees suck :lol:
     
  12. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I did. Well, they're sperzel knock-offs from GFS. :lol: I did a little work on the nut slot and the zzzingg went away, but even with the staggered posts there's hardly any breakover behind the nut for the last two strings (three, really...). Well, you'll see pretty soon; I'm just doing action, intonation, etc. now.

    Anyway, I'm holding off on the string trees for now, but I got a feeling they'll end up on there.
     
  13. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hmmm, doesn't sound like you have much "drop" from the nut to the top of the headstock. The neck blank must have been quite thin. I can get by with 3/4" thick nominal but usually like 13/16" or better. You can always take the extra off the back of the neck, but you can't add the extra drop between the fretboard plane down to the headstock plane ;)
     
  14. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    So after about 6 days of this headstock just sitting there under a desk lamp, I couldn't wait anymore.

    First I sanded it a little bit flatter with a block, but I was afraid to go too far with it, because a sand-through would have been unacceptable. Didn't look too impressive close up.

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    A buff-up with micromesh pads, and backing up a few inches, made it look considerably better. ;)

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    A little compound got most of the scratches out, but I didn't try for a perfectly scratch-free surface. Didn't seem to be much point in it on the headstock, since it's gonna get little scratches every time I change strings. :lol:

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    So at this point, things seemed to get a little complicated. To set the neck, you need strings in the E and e slots, so you need a nut and tuners, but the finish the nut, you need the neck mounted and tuners. So I ended up flitting around back and forth doing both tasks little by little. First, the tuners.

    GFS tuners. I'm not really impressed with them, but they are okay. Anyway, the trick with these is getting them lined up and square to the edge of the headstock. And since one of the tuner holes is 0.5mm out of line, :rolleyes: the old ruler trick is only partially effective.

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    Poked my starter holes.

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    The machines didn't want to sit flush on the headstock, so I opened the backs of the holes a little.

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    It didn't work quite as well as I'd hoped, because the tuners were getting loose in the holes without seating flush, so I had to inspect things more closely.

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    Aha! You can see that there's a kind of bevel at the base of the shaft. Why do that?? :mad: there are also 3 little nubbins that I figure are there to help prevent the tuner from turning in the hole once it's screwed down.

    So I just needed to bevel the edge of the holes a little with a diamond file and the tuners seated fine.

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    My secret weapon for not breaking screws in a headstock:

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    Pepperminty!

    That looks all right. :)

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    They lines up pretty good after all. I can stop worrying about that one tuner hole now. :lol:

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    On to the nut! I've been waiting about a year to use this half-pencil I made.

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    Got a super-cheap little vise at the DIY shop.

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    A scrap of t-shirt in there to pad the jaws, and taped down out of the way.

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    Worked quite well. I used the the finer cut side of the same rasp that I used on the neck. I WAS gonna do the rough shaping on my belt sander, but it DIED about 2 minutes in. :cry: I'm gonna have to replace that; can make a guitar without it. Maybe I'll try taking it apart first, but I don't know anything about power tool repair, so even if I get it apart, I probably won't be able to reassemble it.... Anyway, it didn't take long to get the nut to rough shape.

    I had a difficult time locating the slots, though. I used this thing I got off the Internet somewhere, but the gap on the sides seemed too. I kept sliding the nut up and down on this, and looking at my other guitars and measuring stuff, and I marked the slots once and didn't like it, and just generally fussed with this step for about half an hour. :lol:

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    Finally settled the spacing, and scratched in the slots with my finest slot file.

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    You can still see the ink from the first attempt. ;)

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    So with those slots in, I could clamp the neck on, string up the E and e, center the neck in the pocket, tighten the clamp, flip it over, and punch the guide holes to drill the neck.

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    AAND, screwed it up. :lol: Since the punch I used is smaller than the diameter of the holes in the body, I failed to get the punch marks centered, so when I laid the neck plate over the marks, they were obviously off-center. So I took a more theoretical route:

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    I had the strat neck .pdf still glued to the back of my neck template, and it included the traditional Fender neck screw locations marked on it. Since the holes in the body were drilled on this pattern (taken from my Musikraft neck), it stood to reason that the location and spacing would be, if not exactly right, more than close enough. So I drilled the holes in the template, clamped the template to the neck, and dropped the bit through and twisted it a few times. Since I had used the same bit to drill the holes, it went through perfectly straight and centered.

    And I got nice clear starter holes! You can see the sloppy ones off-center.

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    Checked the depth for the holes and set the depth stop on the drill press. I was excited to use my drill press as an actual drill press. :cool:

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    Drill press problem: the fretboard is not flat. Solution: taped some high-density foam rubber on the edges. A little smooshy, but work fine.

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    So with the neck bolted on and the nut roughed out, I could then move to the slots.

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    I used gap gauges set just a teensy bit higher than the pencil mark. This trick works good; the instant the file starts to touch the metal gauges, you can hear and feel it.

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    This would've been a perfect action shot, 'cept that camera focused on the Starbuck's mug. :mad: Oh well, I focus on that mug a lot, too.

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    Polished up the nut. I really like how smooth and rounded it is. Unfortunately, the MM pads took more off than I had anticipated, especially on the trailing edge. FORTUNATELY, the slots were a bit too high anyway, so later when I was at the set-up stage, the guitar was fretting sharp down by the nut, and I ended up deepening the slots.

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    You can see here that there's hardly any break angle behind the nut on the e and b strings....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So I had the zzzingsss on the e string. Some slot work made it better, but I still ended up having to install the string tree.
     
  15. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    continued....

    I did the set-up according to Fender's specs for relief, action and PU height. I had a bad moment last night when trying to adjust neck relief. The nut was really hard to turn, and it didn't seem to be straightening the neck. After several attempts, it FINALLY occurred to me that I was turning the flibbity-gibbetty trussrod nut the wrong way.
    :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
    :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    I remembered, of course, that the trussrod is in there upside down, so it's righty-loosey-lefty-tighty, and I knew I wanted to tighten it to remove some of the relief--and I guess I just forgot which way was left.

    But I finally figured it out. :D I set the relief at about .010". The action is still a bit high, because when I thinned the shim (I wanted the bridge down hard against the body) I thinned it too much, and the bridge won't go down far enough. haha. Next time I change strings, I'll shim the shim or replace it.

    I spent quite a long time with the intonation, because at the same time as setting the intonation, I was also tweaking the nut slots. A LOT of tuning and detuning strings last night....

    Last thing was setting the PU height. I also set these according to Fender specs, because they are JM-style PUs. I'll probably goof around with this a bit over time, but it's nice to have a reasonable starting point. JUST FYI, it's 8/64" for the bass side and 6/64" for treble.

    I spent some time playing it last night, and it's pretty nice. The tuning seems a bit unstable; I'm not getting "tinks" when I tune, but I'll lube the slots just in case. I also have extra length on the tuner posts because of all the tuning-de-tuning I had to do, and when the next set of strings goes on, there'll be no slack there. Also, I have this tremolo on it, and that makes tuning a little more squishy.

    One cool thing: it's quiet as the grave now. :D The shielding appears to have helped quite a bit.

    I really like the way the neck feels. The fretwork is only okay; I think I'll do it over again when I get a decent crowning file, and cut my granite hunk down a little bit.

    The access hole for the trussrod is marginal. Pretty difficult to get an allen wrench in there, and I've already taken some of the paint off around the hole. I'm considering an access plate. I have some of that tortoise PG material. Might look cool, if I can bend it.

    Anyway, here's the "finished product":

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    Thanks again to everybody who pitched in with advice and encouragement, and thanks to everybody who just hung in there with me over the last year. It was fun!

    Now, back to the sparkle build....
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  16. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

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    It is a stunning beauty and I love the rockets!
     
  17. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's a little late now, and with the lockers may make no difference, but one thing you can do is wind a little extra string on the posts to bring the line down toward the bottom of the tuner posts. I know with locking tuners you don't need the extra string, but in this case it could have a use. FWIW, that looks like most Fender necks I've ever seen (especially Squiers) and they all end up needing at least the Be string tree ;)
     
  18. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Awesome, Joop! Those little rocket ships just make me smile. :D
     
  19. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bravo old son, I love it :). You did a damn fine job ;)
     
  20. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fantastic, Jupiter, great work my friend!
     
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