Mojotron's 2020 Brotherhood Build - The Multiplicity of Union

Mojotron

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I like it! Very cool!

Thanks!

thing that i think of is if the knobs are in the way to much for the switch?

Yes it is. We will see - it is a tight fit - I'll give it a shot though.

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Done - its a crazy world :)

I like the look of that Fender style one.

Ya, thanks, it's really become my favorite.
 

Mojotron

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And, the top carving begins, taking the 'poor man's CNC route...':

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Ending up at:
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Here, you can see the 3 planes as well as the 2 side carves:

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Then, I use a rasp to take the side shape around the back of the body:

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And, the rough shape turned out really well on this one:

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Mojotron

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I have to remember this for next time - using my hole drilling jig I just need to be 2 3/16" from the end of the neck to get the right spot for the truss access hole:
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Then Drill the 3/8" hole through the headstock transition to 1" from the leading edge of the truss rod channel:
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Then, drill the 3/16" hole for the truss rod to pass through from the leading edge of the truss rod channel:
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Perfect...
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Mojotron

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OK, now where were we.... Oh yes...

I have not really found a process that works better than this - and I have tried do dots, slots and side markers a dozen different ways - I do have an improved process for a future build though, for now:

Step one - put temp slots in on the fretboard to position the holes for the dots

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Step 2 - on top of the flat fretboard (un-radiused) layout the positions of all the dots and fill anything that you might want filled - like large cracks in the middle of the fretboard...

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Step 3 - drill the holes using a fence of some kind

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Step 4 - Glue in the dots

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Step 5 - Route the radius onto the fretboard - this is one of my favorite parts on something like this where I filled a lot of cracks with epoxy and rosewood dust - they look pretty cool when done

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Mojotron

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Step 6 - I sand it in my straight sanding jig with a sanding block - this only takes about 20 strokes to get the machining marks off.

Note here, I have to take the fret slotting template off - that is the process improvement I'm working on - making a new (better) straight sanding jig.

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Mojotron

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Well, it might be a year later, but (after a lot of house construction...) I'm back on this build...

Pressing the frets:
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To check to make sure that I pressed the frets all the way to the fretboard I used to use the corner of a sheet of printer paper - but on this build I wanted to save some trees and started using a .003 feeler guage - it works just as well. I found that .002 was just a little too thin.
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Mojotron

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I did not show all of the drilling and alignment I needed to do on this, but basically I inserted thinner/shorter screws into the holes I made in the neck heel such that about 1/8th stuck out and then I pressed the neck into the body pocket, then drilled the holes in the body from there... One of these days I will add all of those holes to my templates once I finish evolving that part of the design.

Here I put it all together with the neck body and neck screws. The initial alignment is great - very few tweaks will be needed.

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Mojotron

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On fret pressing, one thing I found that really helped with my fret ends staying snug too the edges (after rounding to about 9" radius on the frets for a 12" radius neck) is that I made sure that there is a fret tang barb close to each edge when I pressed them in. You can see from this picture how the barb is right at the edge:

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This gives the edge a bit more grip into the slot and keeps the edges locked down.
 

Mojotron

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Next came drilling out all of the through body holes, mounting screw holes and the string ferrules. The tough part is getting them straight, and there are a lot of ways to do that that can take more jigs and time than I wanted to do today. So, I drilled out the front holes using he bridge as a guide.
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Then, I did the same on the back. I positioned the bridge by drilling one hole all the way through from the front, then using the center line marked on the back and the one hole that is drilled through, I got the bridge lined up and stuck down with 2 sided tape. This works because without the strings on the back, it does not matter if the holes are completely lined up with the front - only that they are straight and equal distance apart.

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Removing the taped down bridge from the back, I then use a hand drill to then drill backwards (in reverse) down into the holes with the bigger bit I need to match the string ferrules. This accomplishes 2 things:
1) It gets a 1/4" (the width I need for the string ferrules) in the center of the much smaller 9/64" pilot hole that I drilled using he bridge plate as a guide. Because the bit is rotating backwards it's positioning the larger hole in the center of the smaller hole as it burnishes the wood into the shape of the larger bit
2) It minimized the tare out at the final hole width (1/4")

Going down about 1/8" into the Alder body to get a nice round hole.

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Then I finish drilling out the hole with the drill press:

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Nice and straight enough so that the string ferrules will all be in a neat line:

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Mojotron

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Last thing I did this morning was to continue my backward drilling ways and burnished the bottom of the neck screw holes down about 1/32" as well as the holes on the inside of the neck pocket. I do this to make sure that the neck will sit completely flat on the bottom of the neck pocket.

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For bolt-on necks the mechanical fit into the pocket is important for sustain and getting the most sympathetic vibration into the guitar body to vibrate the pickups as they sense the notes from the strings vibrating.
 

Newbcaster

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My late buddy Harvey was in my Writer's Group. We called another member of our group Mister Clean. His name was on a need to know basis. I didn't need to know. Mister Clean wrote a 9000 page document under military contract he called "The Encyclopedia of Game Theory".

Harvey had his hands in the first several atomic bombs.

Mister Clean and Harvey would get into discussions of theoretical math far above my pay grade. Harvey would get more and more excited. Eventually, Harvey exclaimed,

"That's exactly where we ended up. I said, ' Let's call Einstein!! ' "

:D :D :D
I dont suppose you could help me find the 9000 pages on game theory? I'm an economist by eucation and investment advisor by trade. But game theory is my thing and what i spent most of my undergrad in the econ dept on.
 

Mojotron

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Next is to drill out the tuner alignment holes - this is one of the most useful tools I’ve bought!


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Makes a tricky job super easy.
 

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Mojotron

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After about 5-6 light coats of Tru-Oil.
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Tru Oil is not a bad option for a neck finish at all: Not quite as easy as putting on 9 wash-coats of lacquer, but their are hardly any fumes and application is just as easy as applying just enough to wet the surface (but no more - not enough to leave a streak) and repeating that now for 2 sessions where I applied a coat about 2-3 hours after the last one with one-two days between sessions.

Next I'll wet-sand this using mineral spirits and 1000 grit paper, then apply a last coat or two using a thinned down mix of Tru Oil and mineral spirits.

One of the big two questions that I really wanted to answer by using Tru Oil for the first time is:
1) Can I get as good of a finish as lacquer (Nitrocellulose). And the answer to that is no. But, I think it will be just as durable, it is likely that I will get a better finish than is possible with Shellac. However, the glossy depth of lacquer is not really achievable with Tru Oil: Its a perfect choice if fumes or humidity is a concern and it's a great looking finish. The colors it brings out in the wood grain is much better than any other option I have used.
2) Tru Oil is much better than the MinWax Antique Oil Finish that I used before: Much thicker and Tru-oil grain fills amazingly well.
 
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Mojotron

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Is there a particular brand tru oil you use?
I believe there is only one Tru-Oil - Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. There are a lot of alternatives in the world of varnishes - they all work. But, Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil really is the best varnish approach I have used on guitars so far. I’m a big fan of nitrocellulose lacquer, but wanted to give Tru-Oil a try as it’s a great option for finishing a guitar with very minimal environmental considerations. To spray lacquer one has to consider how to deal with a lot of toxic fumes, that is a bit of a big deal for most of us.
 




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