Last year of high school? May as well build another ;)

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by limoooooooo, May 9, 2013.

  1. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    208
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Yes, it's time! After my success last year, I thought I may as well build another guitar this year! If you don't remember me my last build thread is over here

    Because this is the very last time I'll have access to my school workshop, it may also be a long time till I have the resources (ie tools and money) to build again. I wasn't planning on making a build thread this early on, but I figure I'm gonna need some advice so I may as well have it consolidated to one thread rather than making a million new threads for every question I have :lol:

    So here's what I hope to end up with:

    [​IMG]

    It was mostly designed by me, with a some very helpful input from a few of you, and a local luthier.

    I'm using a New Zealand grown Tasmanian blackwood body, Fijian mahogany neck (real swietenia macrophylla ;) ), and a pohutukawa fretboard (a NZ native). My goal was to choose timbers that are all ethically justifiable. The blackwood was from a farm and the mahogany was grown on plantations. Pohutukawa is generally protected, but there are small supplies of timber available from trees that become hazardous, are uprooted by storms, etc.

    [​IMG]

    I bought the wood from a local luthier. I got a part time job so I thought I may as well get something a bit special. Plus I don't trust the wood at school to be stable enough for a neck. My job has also payed for SM's fret press cauls, and a Japanese fret saw (fretting was a major PITA last year) It's a nice feeling when my entire income is disposable. It won't be like that next year doing a bachelor of design :lol:

    Well that's enough of the pleasantries, time to start building :D

    My first task was to thin down the back of the neck blank. I'm gonna do a bolt on, but my neck blank was originally intended to be used for a set neck. It already has the headstock angle cut, so I couldn't just run it through the planer. So I made a basic sled type routing jig.

    First I attached the rails to an MDF base

    [​IMG]

    I attached a stop. The other end wouldn't need one, because the headstock extension piece would do the job.

    [​IMG]

    I did a test to make sure the jig worked well. I attached it by screwing it from underneath (Making sure to triple check the screw length and leave enough leeway so I don't route through a screw :eek: )

    [​IMG]

    It went perfectly so I did the real thing!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I found on my first pass there was a bit of chipping one one edge due to the angle of the end grain. I adjusted my approach on the second pass, and there was no chipping!

    I'm not worried about the wee bit leftover. My only real concern was the thickness at the heel, the rest that was removed is just a bonus!

    Next I'm gonna route the truss rod slot (and modify my jig for that). Hopefully my teacher still has the router bit for that...


    P.S.

    My friend taking this class is making a TV cabinet. His dad lived in Papa New Guinea for a while and brought back a heap of wood (tigerwood, ebony rosewood, all the good stuff) so he's gonna get into some of that stash. Totally not jealous :eek:. Hoping I might be able to 'borrow' something for a headstock veneer :cool: although I have seem some surprisingly nice scraps in the schools racks...
     
  2. nosmo

    nosmo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,560
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Location:
    Lake Jackson, TX
    Nice design - keep us posted.
     
  3. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Kelowna B.C, Canada
    Yep! The other day in woodshop I was waiting for a machine and I went and looked in the scrap bin.. Took a couple piece and made a nice neck lam for a neck with an angled headstock. Amazing what 3 minutes can get you.
     
  4. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,053
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Your wood selection looks great and so does the design. I'm looking forward to seeing this build.
     
  5. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    208
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Thanks! Don't worry, I will be :D

    Sounds cool! What kinda guitar will it be?

    Cheers!

    Quick update: I've been working my truss rod routing jig today. I won't post pics till it gets a bit more interesting has happened ;)
     
  6. geardog

    geardog TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    64
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    I also like the design. Cool build.
     
  7. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,118
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Looking forward to it! Nice score on the pohutukawa, too.
     
  8. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    9,219
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Sweet! Good to see another Kiwi build from ya' :)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  9. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,911
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Location:
    Loganville, Ga.
    I enjoyed last year's build, and am looking forward to this one. Lot of universities have wood shops, even wood courses, so maybe you can stay saw-dusty in your spare time. Might not be able to use some of those primo woods, but you can do good work on modest boards.
     
  10. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Kelowna B.C, Canada
    Sheesh I honestly don't know. I have three neck blanks on the go right now, plus this one. I'm just getting as much wood for necks while it's easily accessible. I'm working on a thinline right now.
     
  11. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    208
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Thanks!

    Thanks, I'm pretty stoked on it! Can't wait to see the Island Bay Classic finished ;)

    Cheers Dave :p

    Thanks, yeah hopefully I'll be able to get some access. The place I'm going to also does all the trades courses, so they should have a decent workshop! If I recall correctly it might even be right next to the Art & Design department where I'll be...

    Don't blame you! Nothing wrong with free wood :lol:
     
  12. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    208
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Truss rod time! I made a jig to route the slot. I'm using a Martin style rod from StewMac. It requires a straight channel. Easy!

    2 screws in the end of the neck, and 2 rails to cramp it even tighter in place, plus provide support for the router.

    [​IMG]


    A wedge at the headstock to keep that end down. I'll probably screw through fences into the wedge when it comes time to route it, just to be sure!

    [​IMG]


    The teacher cut a board the same width as the router base. Then I attached one side wall as close to the correct position as I could get it. Then I placed the board in, and attached the second wall.

    [​IMG]


    Then I removed the board, placed the router in and reattached the screws at each of the wall one at a time, to get the fit as tight as possible. It feels nice and tight running the router through so hopefully it cuts a good slot!

    [​IMG]


    I didn't get time to cut it, but that's next on my list ;) I have the day off tomorrow, but I'm gonna go in for a couple of hours. Hopefully I can do a slot in a test piece, then I'll route the real thing and epoxy the rod in! By the end of the week I should have the fretboard on :p
     
  13. JA158

    JA158 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    68
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I'm excited to see how this build progresses, I'm in the process of buying a piece of Pohutukawa for the fb on my build too (matai neck, NZO/D-fir body). Your design is pretty sweet too.

    Is your bachelor of design at CPIT? Make sure you take the CNC course at some stage (DCAM 500 or 600) they have some pretty sweet machines there.
     
  14. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    208
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Mmm updates!

    Routed a test to make sure the router bit was at the right depth

    [​IMG]


    Another test, this time in the jig.

    [​IMG]


    The fit was good so I moved on to the real deal

    [​IMG]


    I had a small problem though. The wedge was pushed in too far, and it didn't click that that would mean the neck would bow slightly. Oh well. I loosened the wedge so it was only just supporting the neck. And what do you know, more problems :lol: It turns out there is an ever so slight back bow in the neck. The neck was straight when I got it, so I think thinning down the back released some tensions.

    This meant maybe 10cm or so of rod near the headstock end was slightly raised. I decided to just route the slot another 0.2mm or so deeper. The instructions said it should be ever so slightly below the surface anyway.

    [​IMG]


    I'm reasonably happy with the fit. There's maybe a 0.25mm gap, but it holds in place well. When it gets glued that should definitely do it :p

    [​IMG]


    I didn't get time to glue the rod (turns out the meeting I had was 15 minutes that I thought :rolleyes: ).

    I'm hoping that the slight back bow won't be a problem. It's extremely insignificant, Once the remainder of material around the headstock end is removed hopefully that'll even it out... And once the truss rod is glued that'll stabilise it further, and let me adjust it of course :cool:

    Quick question: My fretboard is already tapered. I was thinking I would use that as the template to route the sides of the neck after it's glued on. Does anyone have a problem with that? It's around 5-6mm thick. I know a thicker template is generally better, but I'm thinking this way will be more straight forward.
     
  15. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    208
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Glued the truss rod in today! The epoxy based glue is horrible. Smells like cat piss :eek:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Since I had so much time I decided I may as well start on the body!

    Finding the best position

    [​IMG]


    Gluing on the working plan

    [​IMG]


    Test cuts on the bandsaw, to see how the wood cut

    [​IMG]


    Interestingly, only the concave sections of cut had any burn. The convex bits had a great finish. My teacher and I worked out this was due the direction the back of the blade twists when cutting curves. And of course the concave bits are the hardest to sand :lol:

    [​IMG]

    I also found my Tele templates sitting in a cupboard. It's feeling kinda tempting to try knock another guitar out :D

    On another note, my friend also brought in a couple of metres of his Dad's stripy macassar ebony. Just a small sample of what he has available. I may have had a wee moment when I saw it :oops:
     
  16. elams1894

    elams1894 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    261
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Looking pretty sweet so far! Some good skills going to work there, I particularly like your design. Look forward to seeing this pan out, great job.
     
  17. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,118
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I can't see too much of a problem there. Probably not best practice, but it should work ok. The biggest danger will be when you run out of fretboard. Take it slow and easy.
     
  18. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    208
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Thanks! Strangely most of my friends are on the fence about the design, but everyone here seems to love it. We must have more refined tastes :rolleyes:

    Loving your Strat build btw! I see you just uploaded an other video ;)

    Sweet! I'll talk to my teachers and I'm sure we'll figure something out. I might leave the ends to be sanded. The school just got a new vertical belt sander that apparently slays :D
     
  19. twick

    twick Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    474
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee Fl.
    I love the look of a guitar with no lower horn, I just finished this body the other day!

    image-2408797372.jpg

    Yours looks really cool!
     
  20. elams1894

    elams1894 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    261
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Different shapes are interesting, the lower (anti) horn on yours is particularly cool. Yeah Iv been away on leave at long last and was able to get some work done on the strat. Time is so precious as you get older ay.. you are well on track with yours I must say.. well done.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.