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

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

  1. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Anyone with 100 clamps....


    When I do a drop top, I use a piece of 11 ply 3/4" on top and one or two less clamps personally. :D I have not done veneer as of yet, and my drops I make to 1/4-5/16".

    Ron, any reason why you do not approve of this, just curious. Just betting you have built a few more that I. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    After we allow it to dry and cure thoroughly, time to peal the layers off. Oh.. note for those not familiar with the way glue works… there are most often 2 stages, drying time… when the moisture diminishes to a point it appears the parts have adhered to each other, or the initial curing, if using CA, Epoxy, Urethane, or other chemically initiated glue, and the second phase where complete curing occurs, this is where the real strength builds up.

    There are exceptions, but most glues and/or adhesives we use work as above, and for you chemists, that’s the abbreviated version.

    Back to guitar building…. It’s pretty ugly at this point… but take a heat gun, hair dryer, or whatever to soften the well stuck tape and remove it…. The heat allows the adhesive to release without pulling fibers or worse, chunks out of the veneer.

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    Now to the router table to “clean” up the edges.. Note that I have taken little “bites” out of the critical areas to reduce the chance of chipping the veneer..

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    Just be certain the router bit is set to allow for the different heights due to the forearm contour…

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    And we now are ready to resume shaping the body….

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I’ll do a little preliminary sanding here just to be certain all is good, and there are no foibles that need to be addressed…

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    The blankets of rubber can leave their pattern on the surface of the veneer, so I’ll take a wet paper towel and Iron it. This forces the steam into the wood’s fivers causing the compressed veneer to swell…

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    Allow a few minutes for it to dry thoroughly, and sand lightly with a medium grit paper, 180 to 220 works fine…

    You can see how smooth it is at this stage..

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now… where’s that other template….

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    First thing I do is drive an awl through the tremolo cavity on both edges to indicate the location of the bottom rout… this way I can be certain the top rout will be correctly centered. It’s not impossible to be off by a 32nd or so, and while that isn’t a factor, it does drive me nuts…

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    So not I rout the neck pocket… I do this in 2 steps, so I’m not forcing the router to take too much of a bite in one pass.

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    Do a little clean up, so there are no loose chips that can get snagged and rip some of the delicate edges loose.

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    The block is a small piece of MDF ¾” square, and about 2 inches long… I make dozens and keep them handy…

    Ron Kirn
     
  5. Scotland

    Scotland Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here we go again and like last time, I need more....feed me Ron, feed me.
    This is what it's all about.
     
  6. Flat357

    Flat357 Banned

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    Big thanks Ron .
    Doing these threads takes a lot of your time , but I love to read them , and they are much appreciated by everybody .
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I now do the electronics, pickups, jack plate and tremolo routs. The tremolo is only one pass, the wood is only 1/8” thick here… so, Buzzzzz and it’s done…

    The other routs are done in 2 stages… first pass takes 3/8th out… and the second, the remaining 3/8th to give me a depth of 3/4 inch.

    Here you can see everything is the same depth. I have removed the template, and placed a block in the bridge pickup rout. This is so I can use the inside edge of what has already been routed, to take the electronics cavity on down to 1 1/2” deep.

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    While doing the electronics cavity, do the jack hole too.. both will be 1 1/2inch deep, I Do this in 2 stages too..

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    and that’s done…..

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    Ron Kirn
     
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I might point out…. In those shots you can really see how very little of the veneer needs to be closely matched for the book matched look…. Most is covered by the Pickguard….so unless you’re going for a No PG look…. Don’t go crazy matching what is going to be routed away..

    Now is a good time to drill the wiring channels..

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    Just be very careful the wood is very thin here and it’s quite easy to punch through to the back side….

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    And I forgot to photograph it…. The relief inside the jack rout for the phone jack..

    Ron Kirn
     
  9. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    @ron

    am i to soon to ask what difference you aspect to get in tone with mahogany to standard material as ash ore basswood?

    by the way i am learning a lot of this topic and a other i have seen off you.
    great work!
     
  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now on to the body’s round-over. While over the years Strats have been done with many different radii, ½ is the typically accepted norm for the Vintage guitars. Some argue that up to 5/8th was used, but personally I feel, that would have come as a result of sharpening and re-sharpening the ½” r round-over bits. Each time you sharpen one, it gets a tad larger.

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    As you go around, remember the arm contour, you must be careful not to go so far the tracking bearing looses contact with the body….

    On the back, where the horns meet the neck pocket heel, stop short of the heel, the remaining wood gets hand shaped... This is before…

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    This is the highly technical tool used to shape it so it flows into the heel.

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    And this is what she looks like when completed…

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Mahogany tends toward a more mellow, jazzy sound... but the final sound is entirely dependent upon everything else and how it all comes together.

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    For the lower horn, I use a larger diameter sanding stick…. < Technical term…

    [​IMG]

    and completed…

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    Now, I move on to the fun part…. I mark the body to give me some idea where the round over should roll into the flat top pf the body…

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    and using a sanding block, I work down to the line…. Now this may look daunting… but it’s not….it goes quite fast and produces perfect results.


    once the initial cut is made, I make a second…. This illustrates the 3 primary cuts made with a sanding block..

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now just continue working, this time with a little finer paper, so you have better control…If you use the routed round over as a guide, it’s easy to see where the area you’re working on needs more attention.

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    now step into the sunlight, and allow it to reveal any subtle irregularities.

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    Ron Kirn
     
  14. furrfurrfurr

    furrfurrfurr Friend of Leo's

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    Great stuff, Ron. Can't wait to watch this one continue.
     
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now, to the back… the tummy contour…… again the same delicate little tool and the finesse necessary to remove what doesn’t look Stratesque…

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    I mark the approximate extremities of the contour and remove wood until I get close….

    There are 2 ways to finish the contour, one is with a spindle sander. I have made a jig to hold the body at the correct angle. This is the quick easy way…

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    Of for a more “tactile” approach, make a curved sanding block..

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    And sand…. Using the pencil marks to indicate the areas that still need attention, continue until it is all evenly done. Follow up with a finer grit paper and that little facet is complete…

    Ron Kirn
     
  16. CodeBlue

    CodeBlue Tele-Holic

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    Thread of the week, and of a lifetime for whoever gets this strat!
     
  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now, you can see I have already marked the reference lined for the round over, so using the rounded sanding block, repeat the same process as used on the arm contour. First take it down to the first mark, at about 45 degrees to the surface.

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    Then follow up with a second cut at about 22 ½ degrees… on both sides of the 45 degree bevel.

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    and finish up by sanding with a finer grade paper to produce the round over.

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Give it a good sanding then step into the sunlight to check the progress.

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    The sunlight trick may seem rather simplistic, but once you try it, you will see exactly how revealing it can be, far more than a lamp.

    If any irregularities are found, simply go at ‘em with a finer grade paper. The finer grade removes lumber at a much slower rate, allowing better control of what’s happening.

    Now a finish sand of the whole body is in order…

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    check it closely in the sunlight… you may find where a piece of wood may have been on the work table and left a calling card..

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    Ron Kirn
     
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    It happens…. So out with the trusty Iron… and a wet paper towel….

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    a quick touch with 320 grit…. And it’s gone. . .

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    it’s time for the finish sanding…. Before I do so, I “iron” the whole body… this causes any funky grain to raise, and much of the sand paper scores to raise, making sanding easier.

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    Now start sanding… I usually go at it with 220, then finish with 320….

    But watch closely, you want to be sure to remove any “machine” marks such as the panel sander’s footprints..

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    Me, again..
     
  20. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Once you’re sure it’s all sanded, check in the sunlight again, and again…particularly if you’re doing a transparent finish… if not… you could have squirted sealer a long tine ago..

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    It’s time for Latex world….

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    I can’t stop to show the steps because this is an alcohol based dye, and dries at light speed, so there isn’t time to clean hands, find camera, focus, shoot, and resume…. By that time the stuff’s dry and streaks would happen.

    But I stain the wood… while you can tint the lacquer… (I do that too) by staining the wood first, the grain really pops out… so yellow on top, red on the mahogany on back…

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    The red doesn’t streak like the yellow does…

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    This is Sherwin Williams Universal Dye… an Acid dye..we think…don’t get it on ya…. It only comes off via abrasion..

    Ron Kirn
     
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