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Discussion in '2012 TDPRI Tele Build Challenge' started by Muzikp, Mar 13, 2012.
Booya!! I'm in as a virgi...err, first time challenge build participant.
Congrats and Good luck! I'm really excited to follow all the threads in this category
Great to have you! Good luck and enjoy the ride!
Good to see ya' in, and I can't wait . A part of me even hopes you win, just to validate the design
Wait...did you say win? That's funny right there, I hadn't even considered that as a possibility. Since you are a tech support guy I'm sure you are familiar with the term ID-10-T error? I'm assuming I'll have sufficient ID-10-T errors to keep me out of the running .
Bull, if you actually saw the finish on mine from last year, you'd wonder why I wasn't DQed. My favorite (showing my age here) is PEBKAC (problem exists between keyboard and chair )
Except mine will be PEBRAGUI Problem exists between router and guy using it.
I've never started a guitar build by piling all the stuff in one spot. Now that I see it like this it makes you realize how much easier it would be to just order a guitar online and wait for it to show up at your door.
But that would be no fun, so here's my pile and my coffee to help me get started this morning
Not sure which piece will be the fretboard yet, we'll see.
And here's the two pieces that will become the top.
Off to a good start. I like the inclusion of the obligatory 3lb/$200 box 'O Stew-Mac stuff.
Is that palm? If it is, have you worked with it before? I was listening to a couple of well-known luthiers talk about how splintery it was.
Looks like Wenge. aka African Splinter Wood.
Correction, PAINFUL, African Splinter Wood
looking foward to this
Hey you must have done this before, you were only off by 14 ounces and 13 dollars
That is palm, but I'm afraid to touch it without gloves. In fact, if you know where to get those cool steel mesh gloves that divers wear to feed sharks please let me know. Splintery (if that's a word) does not describe it enough. Actually I'm wondering if it will even work for a fretboard, I'm not sure it's strong enough to hold frets in and I don't know if I'll be able to get the sides to be, well...not splintery.
The coffee worked wonders, I really didn’t anticipate getting this much done on day 1. But I didn’t run into any issues or snags and it all went really smooth (which sorta makes me wonder what I messed up).
Anyway first up this morning was to get this piece of wood to a workable size. Nothing like using a skil saw to build a precision instrument.
(Note how clean the floor of the shop was this morning, by the end you can't even see the floor).
And then it was on to the bandsaw. This was a difficult cut, I didn’t have much room for error here and it was a long cut. You’ll see later how difficult this becomes to work with these long pieces on the band saw.
The cut went well, left me with these two funny looking pieces
I don’t have a joiner but I do have a really flat piece of granite and some adhesive 100 grit sandpaper. I find the sandpaper takes your fingers off a lot slower than a joiner when you stick them in there. Anyway I don’t mind doing it this way if it saves the length of my fingers.
These are ready to glue up, I held the joint up to the light and can’t see any light through it. They fit nice.
Spread a nice even coat of glue on each piece
And start clamping
While the body was in clamps I took the opportunity to fix a little bad spot on my template. I guess I hit this spot too hard on the ROSS.
With time to kill while the body is in clamps, it was time to start thicknessing the top. Here’s why…
The binding I want to use it not as thick as the top I want to use.
So I need to plane it down, but I don’t have a fancy planer or a fancy thickness sander, so it’s the Zen method for me
My not so fancy arms were barely up to the challenge, but I was making progress
A little more and check, a little more and check and hope it’s thin enough, a little more…and so the story goes
This part reminded me of traveling in the car with the kids “Are we there yet”? I checked about 30 times hoping I had taken enough off, only to be disappointed that it looked like I had made no progress at all. In the end I got to here
By now the body had been in the clamps for about 3.5 hours. According to the titebond bottle it says you only have to clamp for 30 minutes but don’t apply pressure for 24 hours. So I figure I’m safe at 3.5 hours.
Time to trace the template and rough out the shape on the bandsaw.
It was difficult because of the size of this thing with the neck attached. Everytime I’d get a nice curvy cut going, the other end of the neck or body would hit something and I’d have to back up and cut new angles etc.
Here the neck is up against the saw, had to flip it around, turn it over, twist it and generally do an Irish jig dance to get it all cut out
Some random rough cutting shots
You can see on the top I was describing the roman numeral concept to a friend and trying to figure out how an unskilled laborer such as myself might accomplish such a thing. Ever since Kwerk did that on his I’ve wanted it. Still not sure how to do it though.
Eventually after twisting turning flipping and finagling I was able to get this thing roughed out.
Then it was on to the ROSS. I wanted to sand real close to the line since tear out would be a disaster on this. In fact I did the whole head stock on the ROSS instead of routing it.
Eventually I was left with this which was exciting to see it start to take on a familiar shape
This blank is WAY too thick, over 2”. Time to use one of my least favorite tools in the shop. The router sled. It makes a mess, gets sawdust in my eyes, works the router pretty hard and never produces the nice smooth perfect result that I hope for. Why is it every time you move the body blank a few inches, set it up exactly like it was before, and don’t touch the router bit height it never matches the height it was at before?
After getting the thickness down I went back to my “joiner” to sand it perfectly flat.
So now it’s totally flat on both sides, time to attach template and shape the outside.
Here the template is attached, you can see how close to the edge I sanded to avoid any tear out.
Make a few shallow passes with the router.
A few more passes
And then it’s time to clean up the sides. I must push really hard or something because my router bearing always leaves grooves along the sides that require a ton of sanding. Especially along the end grain, which is the hardest part to sand.
So it’s getting near the end of day 1 and I can’t believe I’m already to the part where I chamber this thing. If you've ever read anything I've posted before you will know I hate (need a stronger word than hate) heavy guitars. I have some really nice guitars that are heavy, they are in the closet and not likely to see daylight anytime soon. Anyway enough ranting about overweight guitars, this is going really quickly.
Now I really start to make a mess out of the shop
Getting the first half routed
And then the second half
The inside cleaned up nicely, I think I’ll make one more pass to get the little golf ball dimples out of it. Even though no one will ever see it, you and I will know it’s there.
And here is where I call it good for the day. My arm is totally worn out from doing the drill press, the hand planer and the “so called” joiner. But I think this was good progress for the first day.
Oh and in case you are curious about the weight. This is the lightest piece of Alder I’ve ever held. Body and rough neck weight...
I take it you got a process down?
Maybe a little bit . But it's nothing automated or fancy, I've just spent some time getting the shop laid out so that stuff is sorta where it needs to be when I need it to be there - if that makes sense. That big island table with the ROSS, drill press and router built into it is awesome when it comes to production.
Really nice work! You're just racing along! I'm looking forward to your neck progress... hopefully I'll learn some tricks.