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Kwerk's 2012 Challenge Build Thread -- COMPLETED

Discussion in '2012 TDPRI Tele Build Challenge' started by kwerk, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    ((I'll warn ya - here' some under-caffeinated opinion...))

    I'm kind of in the same place as far as not being that satisfied with progress. Last year I was disappointed by not finishing on time, but I was really happy with the outcome: I think mostly because I spent time on the build mostly when I felt inspired so I got a lot of fulfillment out of taking the ideas I had and implementing them. The problem is that inspiration is really something that kind of comes and goes. Sometimes I can just get started working and then the inspiration hits me, sometimes not. We have plenty of time to work with on this challenge, if progress is not happening I would not sweat it. In fact - if you have ideas you really want to do in a way that is going to require more time/inspiration than what you can find in the next 6/7 weeks - I would suggest to just keep going with whatever progress you can make and don't worry about the time limit. In the end, what's going to matter is whether you implemented your ideas in a way where you got out of it what you wanted... We'll love to follow this thread with great interest no matter what you choose my friend. It's about making a great instrument with cool ideas, finishing on time and making demonstrable progress is a bit of a convenience as it's not going to happen (nor should it) every time.
     
  2. junk mutt

    junk mutt Tele-Meister

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    Take a little time off Kwerk, see how you feel in a week or so. Only you'll know whether to carry on or not. I'm sure you'll make the right choice. Good luck man.
     
  3. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

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    What he (mojo) said!
     
  4. PapaLion

    PapaLion Tele-Afflicted

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    Hmmm, might take something like an earthquake to get you hopping? Well of course I'd like to see it come along... color might be a thought, choose a color, any color and vision it on the piece?

    enjoy,
     
  5. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, I guess last weekend was a writeoff - or so I thought, but today has been salvage day. By tomorrow, I should be where I hoped to be by the end of the weekend last week. So be it. At least next weekend is a long one, plus I've taken the Tuesday and Wednesday off, so I'll have six days to really make some proper progress.

    So I guess I'm still in. ;)

    So, in that today was salvage day, I really need to report on last weekend's fiasco.

    This was what I did.


    After sealing the body and filling the worst of the pits in my pallet body with epoxy, I proceeded to the binding rout. I just want a hairline bind, so this is the approach I took.

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    It's a good thing both the body and neck will be painted. Especially so for the neck, considering the absolute botched up mess you're about to see coming up. :eek:


    I'd bought a dovetail saw for fretting. I haven't had very good luck finding an affordable saw, but this one was the right price, and just needed a little modification.

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    After hammering the kerf flat I got this result. Pre hammering on the right, which gave me an easy press fit by hand, with the flattened result on the left. This will be an ideal width for hammering the frets in. The only downside to the saw is that its a push rather than pull cut, but I'll be OK if I'm careful with it.

    [​IMG]


    So, onto the neck, I thicknessed the headstock by running it over the bit in the table. But it didn't come out perfectly flat, as you can see by the score line. This really marked the start of the neck issues. Just as an idea of how poorly last week's neckmaking went, I have christened this neck "Frankenstein". I'm doing this so you can see how not to do a neck!

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    Eventually, I reverted to my preferred method of using the router plane jig to finish the thickness "correctly".

    So I moved on to the truss rout. I had this idea to try and get two necks from the piece of matai that I bought, as it was far pricier than matai I've bought in the past. The idea was going to be to make it a one-piece but using a double action rod. Because the neck is going to be painted, I had the idea of "skunk-striping" thru the fretboard. I was going to try and achieve this by dovetailing an offset piece. It was an utter failure, because I wasn't thinking about what I was doing.

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    As you can see above, one of the rails moved on me, giving me a lovely little curve in the truss rout. Fortunately it was early in the rout, so there would be enough depth to seat the rod correctly.

    I got out my new dovetail bit.

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    I realised once I started routing that I didn't have enough width of wood to make the insert, so I stopped just left of the truss rout, routing straight and parallel to the truss rout.

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    Although I don't have a pic here, the inlay I'd cut had been angled both sides as I'd originally intended. Of course that meant the wrong angle for the inlay to work correctly. I'd actually done the whole thing in such a way that if it all turned to custard I'd be able to rout it clean and install a fretboard insted. At this point I decided that would be the best solution, so that's what I did:

    [​IMG]

    I had one last piece of black maire left that I'd been saving for a future build. It's not particularly pretty, so seeing as this neck is to be painted, I decided to go ahead and use it.

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    I don't have pics of the hole drilling for the truss access, but it went together OK. Or so I thought. :eek:

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    Now I guess I was mindful of the fact the neck will be painted, because I'd thrown caution and craftsmanship to the wind. A good example was that I'd been in too much of a hurry with the router planing after the dovetail fiasco and had torn out the top edge of one side of the neck:

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    And I hadn't got a very good join on the other side:

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    (if you need to go and throw up at this point, wait, there's more ;))

    So, knowing paint was in this neck's future, I filled both misdemeanours and carried on.

    But what's this?

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    Urgh. Despite the laissez faire approach, This build needs to be accurate, for reasons that I promise will become clear in the next week or so.

    So, time to grab one of the last offcuts of the matai and get to planing.

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    I then glued the resulting veneers to the underside of the heel and the headstock.

    That night, i got onto the binding.

    I'd previously done some testing with epoxy putty, as I'd seen motor_city_tele use on his beautiful build last year. One thing I realised quickly is not to make up too much of it, as it goes off incredibly quickly. I used the black humbrol paint, but the consistency of the resulting putty had made it very hard work to make it round the body. I did get there in the end, but the results weren't great.

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    As you can see above, I went to much smaller quantities at a time to save wasting it. It's not cheap here. The large worm on the left dried as I was mixing it!

    I did one side of the body at this stage.

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    The next day dawned, and I decided to see if I could find a better pigment. Unbelievably, my small local hardware store actually had specific epoxy pigments, which was remarkable for nothing other than that they never have anything I'm looking for!

    So I had much better success with the correct stuff, as you'd imagine.

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    So here was the neck after it's veneered heel and headstock.

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    I then routed it for further "binding"

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    I was feeling pretty discouraged at that stage, because I'd wanted to be much further into the build than I had got to by Sunday night. But the worst came Sunday night itself when I realised the whole neck was too narrow by about 3mm (about 1/16"). Normally I wouldn't worry too much, but this needs to be as accurate as it can possibly be, and I realised that I'd need to either do major surgery or a complete rebuild. I was in something of a state of despair at this stage, which explains my last few posts.

    I contacted Paul midweek to get a ruling on whether I could proceed to start again on the neck. Personally I wasn't comfortable with the idea, as it had been specifically mentioned in the pre challenge rule discussions - no restarts. He was kind enough to allow me to restart the neck on the basis that I hadn't documented the neck build at that stage - to be honest it was too embarrassing at the time, after a frustrated weekend.

    But I got to thinking in the last few days that I could do something about this and still have enough wood left for another neck in the future. So that brought me to today. I gotta go out for an hour or so at this stage, but I'll be back to report today's actual progress. Today was definitely a better day! :)
     
  6. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

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    So I'd gone ahead and done the "binding" on the remainder of the body and neck.

    Looks ok:

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    Here was the discrepancy with the neck width:

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    I really need this to be right. I found an offcut from the neck. This was actually the original dovetail insert piece. Decided to handsaw it as it was narrow enough not to be an all day affair. True to form, I got near the end and had a catastrophic collapse (I still can't quite work out how). :rolleyes:

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    So, plan B involved taking a sliver off the precious last piece of matai. I used the jigsaw this time and had better results. I router planed both down to slim fillets, and glued them either side of the neck.

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    I should point out that in allowing me to restart the neck, Paul did stipulate that should I restart it, it had to be from the same plank as displayed in the initial photo. Though I elected to push on with a repair to the existing neck, I have used pieces from the same plank as originally displayed. It's just getting ever closer to the limit of what's going to be available for a future neck. :rolleyes:

    After a while in the Workmate I transferred it to a clamp sandwich, so I could carry on work on the body.

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    I laid up the TDowns template. My old router template is based on the RevD, which had the incorrect angle on the bridge p/u, so I decided it would be best if I used the RevE paper template on the body itself as a guide to positioning my existing router template. I also decided to include the drill rout this time, despite having the appropriate aircraft bit to enable the drillthru from the neck pocket to the control cavity, my preferred option.

    It went well, but either this wood is really poor quality (which it pretty much is) or my router bits are coming to the end of their useful sharpness (which they pretty much are).

    Either way, I'm not too bothered at this stage.

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    ATOTTC. ;)

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    I then routed for additional binding. ;)

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    So, back to Frankenstein, the glue had been able to dry nicely in the heat of the shop.

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    I worked out how much I'd need to take of the sides. What turned out to be quite intriguing to me at least, was that halving the desired neck width and measuring half that distance from the centreline actually showed that the neck was narrow on only one side. I wish I'd had a look at that before the glue up.

    At least I'm on form, I guess. :rolleyes:

    So, I ironed off one of the fillets.

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    That leaves me with one side needing attention.

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    On to the table:

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    And routed to shape. The gap you see here is the binding rout with the fillet glued to the outside.

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    After trimming down to the binding rout height, all is good. The epoxy binding will be substantially thicker on the left side, but the neck will be painted, so I only need to expose as much of the binding as I want to.

    [​IMG]

    So at the end of the workshop day, I have something far more resembling a guitar than I did at the start. It probably qualifies as ugliest build at this stage, but I hope to remedy that somewhat in the next few days. Tonight I'll be back at it with the epoxy, and finish the binding off.

    [​IMG]

    A face only a mother could love. ;)
     
  7. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    :lol:Don'tcha just love it when you save a stuff up?
     
  8. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    Hey kwerk , glad to see you are back at it :) ! Good fix on the neck .
     
  9. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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  10. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

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    Glad to see you back at it.
     
  11. emoney

    emoney Tele-Afflicted

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    This update makes me "happy". Glad to see you trudged through and are back to where
    you should be. Great save on the neck, and I must say, you're a stronger man than I
    because I probably would've waved the "White Flag", whereas you soldiered on and got
    through it. Very nice.
     
  12. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks guys. Good to be back at it, however ugly it looks for the moment. ;)

    If it wasn't for the blessing of paint, I'd have given up long ago!
     
  13. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

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    I think I might have an advantage over some of you guys. I don't know how thick some parts should be, so I just make them however they turn out. If some of my dimensions are off of spec, I don't even know so I just keep going. I mean, I want it to look good, and I want it to work well, but if it's wider, or longer, or thicker, or thinner......

    I imagine this will bite me one day, but so far I'm just having fun plodding along happily ignorant.
     
  14. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Good save on the neck, kwerk.
     
  15. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    How you fixed that was one of the more interesting things I've seen in a while - great job!
     
  16. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey kwerk, I somehow missed this-- really glad you're still in this thing!
     
  17. ugly_guitar_guy

    ugly_guitar_guy Tele-Meister

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    +1

    Can you add a sliver to the fretboard edge that's short?
     
  18. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

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    You'll soon see why this is reasonably important ;)

    So, first up, I gotta apologise for not being more active this time round, both in the building and in the keeping up with other threads. I've got a lot going on in my head at the moment, and, in a similar vein to Jack Wells, I'm struggling to find the enthusiasm this year.

    But for the time being, I'm still here.

    In my inimitable slow way, I've made a little progress.


    Finished puttying up the neck.

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    Cut myself a neckhole

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    and routed for binding

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    Cut some fretslots

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    Set up the Scatter jig

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    Got set up to carve

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    (btw, I win messiest shop. At the end of the build, I'll take a pano. I promise you'll be appropriately disgusted. :D)

    Rasp my starting points

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    Knock the edges off with the drawknife. I'm comfortable using it right until sanding stage, but in this case I used a rasp. Still, before that, I used the opportunity to practice my skills. If you look closely, you can do a pretty precise job with it.

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    Rasping to finish the general shaping

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    First sanding

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    And, ready for final sanding

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    Looking a little less like some kind of Mary Shelley creation, thank goodness. :rolleyes:


    Body has had final sand, and stringthru holes drilled.

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    Even attempt no.2 came out poorly for the ferrule holes:

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    But I filled the offender and had another go:

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    ... I'll take it.


    Neck almost looks useable as it is

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    You'd never know how much of a @#$%^ that was to look at it now. :mad:


    But still, that's all academic:

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    [​IMG]


    :eek:
     
  19. jpbturbo

    jpbturbo Tele-Afflicted

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    You've got me on pins and needles over here.
    I can barely wait to see what it is you are doing.
    I'm so glad you are still in it.
     
  20. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    Kwerk , the neck looks great , gotta say I am very curious as to where you are going with this , specially after seeing the neck in primer .
     
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