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

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    Exciting times :D trimmed down the rest of the headstock shape

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    A bit of burn, but it sanded out easy! I also cut that bit off from where the table saw cut is.

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    Then I started sanding!

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    And now it's the fun part! Neck shaping! Definitely my favourite part of the build, there's something so satisfying about carving a neck with your bare hands :cool:

    I clamped the neck lightly on my upside-down radius block. I pushed my stomach into the headstock to keep it from twisting around.

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    I took down the transition from the step of the block down on the beltsander. Once that was done I did the real shaping with files.

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    Last time I tried modelling the neck shape from my other guitars, but this time I'm confident enough to do it completely by feel (and with a profile gauge ;) ). Building guitars has given me a much better understanding of what I like in a neck, so I'm thinking having a soft vee around the first frets and then transition it into a more modern C around the 12th. I
    m not to sure about the thickness, I'm never really too fussed about that as long as it's comfy :p
     
  2. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looking good, Liam!
     
  3. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Ooh it's been a wee while!

    More work on the volute. I can't quite do a traditional volute so I'm gonna look at that after I've shaped the neck.

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    Finished rough shaping around the first fret so moved on to the heel

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    Then some spokeshave action! Man I love this tool :D

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    Sanded shoe polish-style with some 120 to see where to divots were

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    Decided to rasp/surform/file/sand the rest! I'd say I'm halfway through that now. Then I'll fine tune the shape, and finish all the transitions, volute, etc :cool:

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  4. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Finished carving today :D Where I started off

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    Pics of the final thing!

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    Just gotta be sanded to remove the last of the file marks! Then I need to glue a veneer to the headstock and drill tuner holes and I'm ready for final sanding/grain filling/finishing :p I read in one of Kwerk's thread he sands necks to 2000 then uses 2 ultralight coats of Tru-Oil. Considering how amazing the fretboard felt at 2000, I think this sounds like a great idea!
     
  5. andrewsadlon

    andrewsadlon Tele-Meister

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    Enjoyed reading through this thread. Sounds like we're about the same age and I'm envious of your builds, skills, and determination, not to mention your schools machinery and generosity of letting you use it! I'll be keepin an eye on this thread. Looking good man, keep it up and good luck!
     
  6. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    Neck looks great! Is there a reason you cut the volute so short? Did it interfere with tuners?
     
  7. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Thanks man, that means a lot :D

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    Cause of the way the headstock was cut, their wasn't as much material up the headstock as you would normally leave for a volute.

    Or as Gibson would say, a revolution in volute technology and engineering ;)
     
  8. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    The last 2 weeks were mostly full of small jobs, so I've been holding off posting till there was some more meaningful progress. In reality I held off posting a bit too late so this is gonna be a long one :lol:

    Now, where did I leave off last...

    After finishing neck carving I drilled the tuner holes. My tuner needed imperial sizes, which converted to something around 8.7mm. The closest bit we had in metric was 8.5mm. Then I rolled up some sand paper and enlarged all the holes the extra 0.2mm or so.

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    Test holes

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    I also made a truss rod cover. I cut a bit of blackwood scrap (same as the body). I might try use some neo magnets to attach it... if I can be bothered ;)

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    Had the thin down the headstock. It started off like this:

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    Took it down to this, simply sanding the back on the beltsander.

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    Made a fret bevelling file. The slot was cut on the table saw. I found some veneer scrap in the bins I used to wedge the file in

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    The bad focussing make it hard to tell but they're bevelled :cool:

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    Levelling and crowning next!

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    The levelling block

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    After crowning! Honestly not sure my levelling block was sufficient. Last year I found an ultra straight bit of aluminium but I wasn't as lucky this time around. I'll just have to wait and see how it plays :neutral:

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    Shaping the fret ends! I used the fret end shaping file from StewMac. Brilliant tool, such a simple and effective design :D . I actually masked the board off for this but didn't picture it.

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    Now where I'm up to today :p Sanded up to 220, then grain filled. I used neutral water based filler mixed with black acrylic paint. I did the same to fill some nail holes on my Tele build.

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    Before

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    After application and scraping back excess

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    Finally found a good use for this thing :lol:

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    I also started sanding back with 240. I only got a couple of minutes into sanding. I wet a patch of the wood a bit to see how it will look under a finish. Just what I was after :p . It's also feeling so much smoother, even with only moving up by 20 grit. Definitely gonna grain fill all my open pore necks now, knowing how awesome the difference is! I can't imagine what 2000 grit and a couple of coats of Tru Oil will do :D

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    Next week is the last week of term so I think I should easily have the neck done, or at least as done as it needs to be till I start putting things together!
     
  9. elams1894

    elams1894 Tele-Meister

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    Nice! Shaping up real pretty. I like to freestyle the neck too. Get the 1st and 12th frets to desired depths and then freestyle time. I grab the neck and constantly feel the shape in my hands and make little adjustments until everything feels just right. Neck shaping is definitely the Daddy Mac of the build. Cool!
     
  10. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Totally agree! I reckon it's where the guitar really gets it's identity (excluding the sound). And there's just something really special about creating that identity with your own two hands :p
     
  11. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Sanding sanding sanding! Sanded back the filler and went up to 1200. I was planning on going to 2000 but turns out I didn't have any left. I think 1200 is pretty freaking smooth enough though ;)

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    Only had 10 minutes of class left... Still enough time to get a coat of Tru Oil on though! Rubbed in by hand, wearing nitrile gloves. Boy it did wonders! The lighting isn't great, but it did darken the wood way more than I expected. The pohutukawa fretboard edges came out especially nice. I might even have to finish the fretboard now :lol: I'll get some close up shots tomorrow!

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  12. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Neck finished :p Only 1 coat of Tru Oil. It came out so nice I decided it didn't need any more. Just a careful rubbing back with some steel wool and it feels fantastic!

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    Back to the body! Here's where it was last time:

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    The sides need to sanded to the line. The convex bits will be easy, however the edge beltsander needs it's dust collection repaired and the disc sander loves to burn hardwood :lol: So that leaves the concave bits to be spindle sanded. Trouble is I need some sanding spindles...

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    Gonna drill through the centre to mount a bolt, then chuck it back on the lathe to get it to the right size! Then repeat with the larger blank and hope I don't make to make a second set :p
     
  13. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Had holidays the last 2 weeks, but now it's time to get back into it!

    Larger diameter spindle

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    Bolts mounted through the middle. The ends were countersunk.

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    Mounted back on the lathe, using a drill chuck borrowed from the metalwork lathe. There's a wee square of MDF covering the end of the bolt, held on by friction :)

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    To mount the sand paper I'm gonna cut a slot or wedge in the side of each spindle, to which the sandpaper can be stapled in place. But that's a job for tomorrow!

    During the holidays all the tools got a well needed bit of TLC (new blades/belts/etc). So I decided to try sand the convex bits of the body again. I had forgotten what it felt like to disk sand hardwood without a hint of burning :eek: (The black marks are spalting ;) )

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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  14. elams1894

    elams1894 Tele-Meister

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    Extra Chur on the spindles! You have a great lateral thinking brain coming up with your own solutions to the problems you face. I'm very impressed.. The neck looks great! Came up a treat with the Tru oil. Good stuff!
     
  15. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Thanks :p I can't take all the credit though! One of my teachers is an ex cabinet maker/master wood turner so he's super helpful at showing me the best way to approach things, especially the more unconventional and abstract things, like the bit of MDF to cover the bolt. When I leave school I'm gonna have to take all this knowledge and ingenuity with me, considering my home tools consist of a hammer, a screwdriver, and some pliers :lol:
     
  16. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    What a beautiful neck. Respect.
     
  17. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    The teacher cut a slot in the spindles. He used the table saw :eek: I thought it was pretty dodgy, but hey, it worked. He had some blocks to help guide it and keep his hands away.

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    Sandpaper wrapped around, with a bit of wood cramped then screwed into place. The paper tore a bit, so we taped it in place. The spindle is pretty long enough it won't get in the way.

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    Ended up cutting a hole in the base board instead, then started sanding! A minute seconds later, the spindle pops out :lol: . Re-tighten it, another 30 seconds later the entire chuck pops out! Turns out old worn out drill presses don't like doing this kinda stuff... I also think that because the rod has a thread, the drill press can't grip it that well and actually crushes the threads a bit.

    So anyway, the teacher gave the chuck a good bash back in, we start again, and another 2 minutes later it pops back out :rolleyes: . We try raising the table as high as possible, since the top of the spindle spun much truer than the bottom. That did the trick, and then we switched to the smaller spindle and finished it up. The drill press coped much better with the smaller spindle and there were zero issues. Didn't go right to the line in a few spots, but the curves are smooth which is what matters.

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    Despite being pretty jumpy, everything came out smoothly :p . Only a few bits to touch up by hand: the neck pocket corners and the sharp edges of the horns.

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    What I learnt from this:

    - You're probably much better off buying a spindle sanding kit. Or even a an actual spindle sander.
    - Old drill presses are super temperamental
    - Blackwood dust makes me sneeze

    Next up is some hand sanding, then routing the round over and neck pocket! I'm also need to do the belly and forearm cut after that. That literally just crossed my mind now, hopefully I don't forget again :lol:
     
  18. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

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    Oh yes, that reminds me.. I still have to drill for the ground wire on my challenge build..
     
  19. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Thanks man :p

    It's always the little things, huh? :rolleyes:
     
  20. limoooooooo

    limoooooooo Tele-Meister

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    Round over time! Ideally I'd do this in the table router but there was a problem with the collet so I had to go with a hand router. Not ideal but I felt comfortable doing it.

    Checking the bit's set correctly

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    Started on the body, and the bit was burning :(

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    Found a new bit. Still burning even when I was moving at a snails pace...

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    Then the teacher had a go and it was fine :lol: turns out I was routing too slow.

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    Done! I had to be careful around the horns. I took my time with them, not worrying about burn. I planned my approach for each cut to make sure the router was going to be as stable as possible.

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    I'm liking this detail :D Gonna have to be careful hand sanding so I don't lose it!

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    The one problem was that the two bits used had different radii. I'm just gonna have to transition them together and hope no-one else notices :lol: . It's only gonna be that small-ish section from the second photo. If only I had made that first cut around the forearm cutaway, but I didn't think of that till I changed to the other bit. Oh well. You live and learn!

    So tomorrow I'll sand out the burn and transition in the funky bit! Then next week it's neck pocket time. I better go order the parts for the body in the mean time, that pay from working in the holidays will sure help!
     
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