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Lets build something that looks like an ES-335

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Freeman Keller, Dec 19, 2020.

  1. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    While we are (pretending) to wait while the lacquer dries I thought I would make a pick guard. Most of my guitars don't get them but I think a 335 style needs one, but I'm going to make it out of ebony rather than plastic so it will match the fretboard, rings and head plate.

    The guy I'm building for is named "Jac" and the genre he plays is jazz, therefore

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    First picture is the ebony with the MOP letters sitting on top. I've gone around them with a pencil so I can see where to route the cavities. Second picture the shell is all inlayed and the p/g has been bound. Skipped a few steps when taking pictures....
     
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  2. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    beautiful to see this guitar being born and develop en how you share your tools and tricks.

    but i wonder, just a thought, why, i think, so much of these kind of guitars are with one color.
    i could see it with 2 color back side + top
     
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  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks Hopdy, you do see 335 style guitars with sunbursts but many of them are one color. Part of it might be the fact that the woods that Gibson used weren't all that great, mine has a lot more character than most. The reason this one is the color that it is is very simple, I'm building it for a very good friend and he asked for it to be red.
     
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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Can you believe that its been three weeks since I put the last coat of finish on? Wow, time really flies.... I can't resist setting the bridge on just to see how the gold looks against the red

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    I'm reasonably happy with the final coats and I'll start the final sanding at 1000 and go up to 2000

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    And then buffed with Mequiars #2 and #3

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    Time to remove all the masking tape and clean up the splatter from buffing
     
  5. envirodat

    envirodat Tele-Meister

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    Wow Freeman all I can say is I am in total awe of what you can do. Thank you so much for sharing the pictures. I wish I had 1/100th of your skill. Simply amazing and a beautiful guitar! I look forward to seeing it done.
     
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  6. photondev

    photondev Tele-Afflicted

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    This guitar is awesome Freeman
     
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  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks Envirodat and Photondev. If you remember I put masking tape on the insides of the f-holes and holes for all the components. I can carefully break it loose and push it inside the guitar, then fish it out thru the holes. If you also remember, I tied pieces of dental floss to each component, I can carefully pull each one into its hole,

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    I've got a really cool little tool (its the very top one in the picture but you can't see it very well) that StewMac calls "jack the gripper" - it has a knurled piece on the end that cams inside an output jack and holds it while I tighten the nut. On the pots I can put a screwdriver in the slot and hold while putting the nut on, the switch I just reach a finger inside.

    Hook up the pickups - these are Seymor Duncan Benedetto jazz pups - and plug it in.

    IMG_3395.JPG

    It works!
     
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  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Light at the end of the tunnel. Jac wants a Bigsby


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    Do the frets

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    Make a nut

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    Pickguard and knobs and other stuff

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  9. envirodat

    envirodat Tele-Meister

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    This is fascinating to watch and see. For the nut did you use bone or plastic and why did you pick that media?
     
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use cow bone for every nut and saddle I make. It simply works. If I'm working on a vintage instrument or one with a vintage vibe I'll use unbleached bone, for something a little more modern looking (like this guitar) I use bleached. One nice thing about using only cow bone is that I need a relatively small inventory of blanks to fit almost any guitar that I ever work on.

    If someone wants something special like one of the synthetics I will make that for them if they supply the blank. I won't touch any ivory regardless of how long its been dead.
     
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  11. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Can I just say WOW?
    This thread is crazy amazing (in a good way). OP, that's a great job!
     
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  12. photondev

    photondev Tele-Afflicted

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    Do you know of any other reasonable sources for the backs and tops?
     
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  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ken McKay at Up North Strings was doing some but it is hard to get ahold of him now. I do have an email and phone number if you are interested. Ironically the guy I bought mine from offered to sell me his forms but then I would have to make a whole bunch of these critters. I do have a set of very nice double cut sides but no top or back.
     
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  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    End of thread. That isn't how Gibson builds 335s of course but it might help to answer the question of why they are so expensive (and so special). I'll just finish this off with a few glamour shots

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    And hanging out with the old one

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  15. envirodat

    envirodat Tele-Meister

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    First thank you for sharing this journey. For me knowing nothing about guitar building I found it mesmerizing.
    Second, I am waiting for a sequel.
    Third, what no video of the person playing the beautiful instrument? I want to hear it sing!
     
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  16. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Why not mammoth tusk? It's not endangered or illegal but is regulated to proof required

    Dave
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Dave, I made that choice a long time ago, bone works just fine thank you.
     
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  18. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just my way of keeping the beasties alive ;). All respects, it is a choice. The Indian blood in me made mine :D

    Dave
     
  19. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Looks beautiful. I thinks it's now time you CAN call yourself a luthier. Very impressive.
     
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  20. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fantastic stuff! Looks great. How much does it weigh?

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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