Let's do a Sharp dressed Strat.....

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Ronkirn, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Ok . . . so lets try something a but different…. One piece Mahogany…..and well dressed…. a wee bit easier this time since there is no joint…

    I have taken a 13 ½ inch wide section of Mahogany. Planed it to the approximate thickness, of 1 7/8 then using the panel sander to take it down to almost 1 ¾

    Use the template to trace out the rough shape and bandsaw, or jig saw a basic blank.

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    I now mount the template firmly… No tape.. I use wood screws…..long ones…

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    then waddle over to the router table…..and rout…..one side of the edge only at this time…

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    The reason I only do half on one edge, is I want to rout the tremolo spring cavity while the template is mounted… I will also drill the neck bolt holes too…. Once that is done I am through with that template….

    Ron Kirn
     
  2. Telepatio

    Telepatio Tele-Meister

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    Love your threads, Ron.
     
  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    So first… drill the bolt holes…. Here’s where some err… use a small square to be certain the table is at 90 Degrees to the drill bit… otherwise. . crooked holes and misaligned screws..

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    after that or before… whatever you feel like…. Do the tremolo spring rout…. I do it in 2 steps initially..

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    once it’s ¾ inch deep, remove the template.. were done with it…

    Now lets finish the spring rout… I place a block in the slot…. And use a top bearing pattern tracing bit…. Rout ½ of the remaining wood from the cavity..

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    then lower the bit to leave 1/8th inch remaining and rout the remainder…

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    more to come….
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    So now, we give the tremolo rout one more buzz to leave the 1/8th inch remaining at the top.

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    the awl.. is what I use to indicate the location of the lower rout, so I can be certain the top template is aligned correctly when I get ready to break through the top. But, Actually I jumped the gun,… not at this time….. I have some shaping to do….

    So here is where we are…

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    This body will have a Book matched Flame Maple Veneer applied, so first, I have to do the arm contour….

    I indicate the approximate center of the body, because the contours of the Leo Fender years went beyond center…

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    I indicate that approximate area I want to have the contour roll into the flat top..

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    Remember…. The contours are NOT compound… they are flat on one axis while rolling on the other. If you think of a large flat sanding surface, and held the body against it and rolled it only in one direction…. That IS the way Fender did it in the real days..

    And on….

    Ron Kirn
     
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Now using a delicate, dainty little tool.. it has a whisper little wirrr…..I remove anything that doesn’t look like a Strat…..

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    Oh…. I mark the approximate place I want to stop…. Taking wood off is easy.. putting it back… not so… and the language associated with making the discovery that you must…. I hope there are no Kids around…

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    So once it’s roughed out… I use my high precision contour shaping too; with 32 grit….

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    Using it as indicated… it only takes a few strokes to get it close…

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    More to follow…

    Ron Kirn
     
  6. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    Here we go again!! I can't wait!!
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Now Take a pencil and scribble all over the area of the contour…. The lead will indicate any low areas that haven been sanded yet…

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    Now, continue sanding.. watching the darkened areas as they disappear..

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    As I get close, I’ll change to a finer grade paper, about 80 grit…. And continue until the darkened areas are removed, and the complete area appears evenly sanded..

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    Now… I use a tool I store 93 million miles away…. It’s the best indicator you can find…. The shadows will show any areas that aren’t evenly sanded and will reveal any lumps in the continuous roll of the contour…

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    moving right along…

    Ron Kirn
     
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Once the top contour it perfect…. It’s time to move on… I select two sheets of Maple Veneer.. and begin matching it. Book Matched lumber, rarely is….so you have to work with it to get the perfect alignment.

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    If you use them as they are cut, they look pretty good, but upon close examination, you can see some irregularities… so let’s fix it…

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    adjust the veneer until you have a good pattern to the grain. And mark where the trim must be..

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    align the veneers so the cut will fall down the lines made. I clamp it between 2 pieces of Corian with very flat smooth edges…. And using the router… make the cut…

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    this gives 2 perfectly flat edges, but before gluing, recheck the grain’s match..

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Now recheck the grain.. and recut if necessary.

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    Remember to consider what will actually be seen, by dealing with the small area a better match can be had..

    Don’t forget to mark the body’s center so you can see it once the veneer is applied..

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    Now… match the veneer’s edges… and tape it… into one sheet….

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    get the gooey stuff out….

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Now cut the shape out of the veneer.. Use scissors, X-Acto knife, whatever…. Glue it all up..

    I use good ‘ol yellow wood worker’s glue and a small paint roller. The secret to quality veneering is good complete glue coverage, I roll it on the body first, because it won’t curl up on ya, then on the veneer.

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    Note the even application..

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    then the veneer..

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    now smack ‘em together…. Aligning the center seam with the center marks on the body..

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    >>>>>> This way…… >>>>>>

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    And….

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    Now… even consistent pressure is necessary.. you can use vacuum presses, plastic bags and a vacuum cleaner… or clamps…. My choice…

    I apply a couple of pads I cut from “Non Slip” work table pads…

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    You will notice the “block” I have made to take up the void left by the curve of the contour. To make it, I took a body, put down a sheet of plastic.. a grocery bag is fine… and filled it in with Auto Body Putty… let it harden and shaped it so the top would be flat with the pads…. The pads are about ½ inch thick so they take up any inaccuracy as the filler block is used with other bodies..

    I now put a top plate on the sandwich, this it Masonite…

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    and begin clamping..

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    Hey… No talkin’… follow me please….

    Rk
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    As you are clamping check and re-check to be certain the center doesn’t drift off center…wet glue is slippery.

    Only a few clamps are necessary….

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    Now… let it sit over night….

    Ron Kirn
     
  13. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    So this is a job that anyone can do, is it?? Apart from anything else, you seem to need about 350 clamps to keep the whole lot together.

    I take my hat off to you for having the skill and desire to even start a project like this - I think I'll stick to walking into a store, lifting a guitar off the rack and handing over a credit card if I like it!! So much easier - maybe less satisfying but I just wouldn't want to get into that process. I'd lose patience round about the 5th or 6th photo!!!

    Good on you for being more skilled than most of us - and certainly me!!
     
  14. Zhurh

    Zhurh Tele-Meister

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    I'll tell ya Ron. these build threads, good stuff; the kind you pay attention to; thanks.
     
  15. jcw

    jcw Tele-Meister

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    Oh goodie, another thread! Can't wait for the rest!
     
  16. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    This is, to coin a term, awesome! ... :D ... Wait, I think my teenage son uses that word, but somehow it seems to apply here amongst us old guys!

    Thanks, Ron. Looking forward to every step of this one, too!
     
  17. SMPTE

    SMPTE Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]

    Daim! That's a cool build!
     
  18. tuuur

    tuuur Friend of Leo's

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    Man, this is going to be one of those threads...
    Amazing stuff again Ron. I'm learning by reading, but applying your little tricks proves to be difficult.

    For example, I couldn't lower the routing bit low enough when I tried to do the body of my latest build. Is it OK to insert the shaft of the router bit not completely to make this possible? I think not, but with my router I can't see another option...
     
  19. Cassidy

    Cassidy Tele-Holic

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    Ron, again a nice job and great thread!! Anytime I forget how much I love my strats all I need to do is read one of your posts and I get strat fever all over again!

    Cassidy :cool:
     
  20. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Actually a bit is not supposed to be inserted all the way... on some bits a line is scribed on the shaft to indicate the depth… usually about ¾’s of the way…. So yep… don’t stick it all the way in…

    The reason is during manufacture, the shaft begins taper out toward the body of the bit ever so slightly, perhaps that’s changed today…(no Idea why) but as Cronkite used to say, “That’s the way it is.”

    Ron Kirn
     
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