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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by CraigB, Dec 26, 2018.
Still liking it but appreciate the efforts for originality
Mighty kind of you to say! Thanks, Herb
Hey thanks Rick! I'm still considering it based on everyone's positive feedback.
True story: A few years ago, a guitar I made with a 4+2 headstock was being shown at the Central Coast Guitar Show here in CA, which somehow caught the attention of the folks at the Ernie Ball booth. They approached and said not to make any more like that unless I'd like a letter from their legal department. Apparently they own patent rights for the 4+2 design. I thought it was actually pretty funny since I'm just a guy making dust on his sideyard on the weekends! I doubt Collings owns a patent on a notched headstock, but even if they do, I'm still just a guy making dust on the sideyard on the weekends so that's of no concern. Just wanted something with a reduced angle on the strings at the nut, a familiar shape, but dressed just a little different than a Gibson.
But in any event, what about this? It has a familiar look, addresses the angle of the strings going into the nut...but it's rather plain.
The only comment I'll make on head shape is the if you are going to bind it you might want to make a dummy and see if you actually can. Having done an F5 mandolin a long time ago I'm pretty aware of all the little points and miters and bends.
And as far as trademarked head shapes - Ken Warmoth talks about the Fender license for shapes that he makes - they are not necessarily in the public domain. My heads might be similar to something you would recognize but I make a point in changing it slightly - I do a Gibby style but without the dimple (which also makes it easier to bind). That plus making it a bit wider at the bottom makes for a better string path from the nut to the tuner - something that you should check on yours.
Ah, those are beautiful Freeman! Yeah, that's what I did when I drew these up, basically made the distance between the E tuners wider and the D and G narrower. Great idea practicing binding a dummy headstock, I'm going to give that a try first!
I make a template of my headstocks which can be used to shape them with a router and as a drilling jig. That also means I can do another one just like it if I like the shape - so far I've done at least 5 like the ones above.
I always thought it was weird that they made tuners with different length shafts just so you could do this
And if you want to really see a string path nightmare
I like it, Craig. Keeps it in the family, is simple, and easier to bind if you want to increase the “ elegance quotient”. Although to me, a well-executed simple design has an elegance of its own. It’s almost a certainty that given the nature, use, and size of guitar headstocks, somebody will have made one similar to anything you can think up. The Ernie Ball rectums were way out of line threatening you like that. Letter from their legal department, gimme a break.
Your original offset open book headstock is very similar to an Epiphone design from the '30s but not quite as exaggerated as Epi's was.
Thanks Rick, I decided to go with the second option.
The funny thing about those Ernie Ball dudes is I intentionally went out of my way to make that 4+2 headstock have a different shape than theirs, but whatever. Ridiculous!
One thing that needed to happen is a work-around for my broken drill press. Pressing frets on a cast-iron drill press table was probably not the best idea. I now press my frets with an arbor press, or just hammer 'em in. My Dad gave me one of those Zyliss aluminum vice things awhile back. I use the vice all the time, but this other attachment that came with it finally came in handy for something. Drilled a hole in it and bolted it to the DP table head, then the back lip of the table clamps in place. It works great!
With that out of the way, started working on a template for the headstock. Used a scrap of poplar, traced the outline from my drawing, cut on bandsaw and smoothed out with the ROSS. Then traced with the new template on the neck blank face, flipped it over and traced on backside using the drawing as a guide and rough cut on the bandsaw as close to the line as possible. Then double-stick taped the template on the face and used a bottom bearing bit to trim on the router table
Not bad, but I had a slight tear-out on one of the top corners. Then traced straight lines on the backside and sliced one side
Then the other side
The tearout was unfortunate, but not too deep
Made a dam with some tape and with a little CA and sawdust filled most of the void
It'll be discolored when it's sanded out, but I didn't completely fill it so I'll use some mahogany colored grainfiller and hopefully the patch won't be too noticeable. When the sideyard starts getting dark, it's time to call it a day. Happy 2019 to all!
Looking great Craig! Happy new year!
Slow going, it rained here all day yesterday. Wasn't supposed to start up again till late this afternoon, so set up to route the perimeter of the neck this morning. Decided that rather than try and route the heel I'd shape that on the ROSS first then attach my template and trim the sides
That went pretty well, but then it started to cloud up and sprinkle, so I rushed everything back into the garage. Brought the neck pocket template inside and checked for fit. Not bad. It's a little tight in the template, but picking it up by the neck, the template falls off.
This fretboard came in the mail yesterday. It's Indian laurel. Also have a granadillo board on the way
I have some BWB binding for the top of the body and fretboard. The only other bound neck I've done was a pain because I stupidly installed the binding first, then cut the fret slots, so I had to make some binding goo and fill the voids where I undercut the tangs and scrape level.
So I could use some advice here as to how you all do this. Here's what I had in mind as to how to go about it:
1) Cut the fret slots first.
2) Cut close to lines traced from template with bandsaw.
3) Double-stick tape the fb to the neck and route facedown on the router table with top-bearing binding bit.
4) Before pulling fb off neck, drill some holes for registering pins for later gluing/clamping, then pull apart.
5) Radius fb, polish, use the pullsaw with depth stop so fret slots follow radius, triangle file tops of slots, clean slots of sanding/sawing/filing debris.
6) Glue on mitered binding pieces.
Then it should be ready for fretting. Please let me know if I've missed something. I know I've seen someone's thread of how they do it, but it was a multi-multi-page thread, and I can't seem to find it!
Well, that wasn't too hard to find this was posted this past Dec.! It isn't the thread I was thinking of, but it's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks, Freeman, very useful info!
A few things came in the mail yesterday. I think that's almost everything.
Built my own mitering sled some years ago, it works well for a straight bolt neck with the fb already glued on, trimmed, and clamped to the center line of the sled board. No registering pin template, just lots of careful measuring and marking...and re-measuring...and lining up to cut on the line. Very hard on the eyes! Splurged a little on the miter box and 24.75" scale template for doing this type of build, hopefully a bit easier to get it right and will save time for sure.
Granadillo board looks pretty nice, as does the ebony headplate.
Tentative layout of the controls will be two volumes, one per pickup, on a three-way switch. Tone pots on my guitars rarely ever get touched. Any opinions there? feel free, I welcome that. Could always route for the extra control and just not drill for it initially.
Looking great! For binding the neck and headstock I think I'll follow Fletch's method when it's my turn to venture into Gibby land. Look at around 22:00 on this one. He binds the fretboard in the video following this one:
Thanks, Rick! That's an excellent series. Just thinking, I'm going to have to be super careful to make sure the binding is pretty much perfectly flush with the sides of the neck when I glue on the fb since I'm using 3-ply. If anything, I would only want to have to do minimal scraping so I don't thin the outer ply.
I've been hoping to get started on an LP Special DC but I have too many friends who want guitars so it always gets pushed back. Maybe this year. I've done the majority of my planning from this series. I think the way he narrows each side of the fretboard would take care of that but as you said doing it as close to perfect as you can. If you narrow the fretboard by even a hair more then needed you should be fine I would think. Safer to sand the neck than scraping the binding.
You should! I hope things open up a bit for you so you can, and love to see it as it unfolds when you do. Yeah, I'm going to watch that whole series. What I've had time to watch so far is excellent. Thanks for posting that!
Great point! That makes me feel a little less nervous about it, but still gonna be as careful as possible! I only have just enough binding to cover the project
Craig and Richard, I can talk you thru how I do a double (or single) cut with a bound fretboard but I don't want to completely hijack the thread. The basic steps are
- lay out your neck parameters. Scale length, string spacing at the nut and saddle. Determine how much string offset you like (a lot depends on technique). Decide where you want the neck to body joint. Draw this out very accurately - you can measure the width at the body joint (or calculate it with some high school geometry). Or you can measure a real guitar or a set of plans.
Based on your calculations you can lay out the width of your fretboard at the nut and body joint. Subtract the width of your binding. Build and bind the fretboard - it is infinitely easier to do it off the neck.
Build or carve your body. If you are carving make the width at the end a hair wider than your calculations (and bond fretboard). Sneak down to that exact width slowly. If you are building up the body (hollow or semi hollow) make your mold exactly the calculated width. With laminated sides on a semi hollow you have no wiggle room.
Now make the neck but leave it a little wide. Fit whatever kind of joint you are going to use. The pencil lines here are the calculated width, I will bring the neck to meet both the edge of the fretboard and the body curve inside the cuts.
(notice in that picture that the neck is still standing slightly proud of the top. A the same time I'm fitting it to the curves of the body I'm also setting the angle and depth in the pocket. My rule is that its always easier to take a little off, hard to put it back on).
Its not super difficult but you do have to be very careful. You can scrape a little bit of the binding to make it flow into the curve of the neck but its best to keep the same thickness on the top.
Super nice day here, perfect for a little work on the sideyard. First up, too early to make noise, so broke out the brake and bent a piece of scrap steel, drilled a mounting hole, and now I've got this mike stand adjustable-height light source. The lights have magnets on the back to hold them in place
Been thinking about making a little trimmer jig thingy for mitering binding. This did the trick pretty nicely. Practiced on some scraps of that weird colored crème binding from SM. Slide the workpiece out proud of the 45 degree angle, tighten the screws, and trim on the router table.
by the time I got that done, the neighborhood was awake and I could start making some noise. Trimmed the fretboard on the bandsaw, doublestick taped to the neck and trimmed flush, then switched to the binding trimmer bit and trimmed just short of the neck wood
The truss rod came in handy for prying the fb off
Then trimmed off the little ledge and went back to the mitering jig and cut the binding to size
Next, gonna radius the fretboard and radius the fret slots so I can glue on the binding.
Nice work Craig, like the 45 degree miter jig. Well done!
Thanks Andre! Forgot to mention, the cream bindings you see at the end are like guide rails to keep the workpiece horizontal. Sanded the face of them down just a little so when the screws are tightened, it grips the piece to be cut. The bearing of the router bit is adjusted to ride across the lower rail. The upper guide rails are for taller binding.
I got the bindings from LMII. Just a little bit disappointed at the length they sent. One piece does not reach all the way around the body. I have a leftover piece from the fingerboard I could try to splice to make it long enough, which would work fine if it was a single ply, but the b/w/b face would probably get distorted. Any suggestions?