National Newport "Res-O-Glas" Build from scratch

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by buffalohunt, May 4, 2016.

  1. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Hi folks, I've mentioned in other threads that I am on my way to become a high school shop teacher with intentions of implementing my love for guitar building into the wood shop.

    My latest school project required my to come up with a design that would use different thermo forming processes for plastic.

    I was welcome to use any type of plastic, (Acrylic, PVC, Polycarbonate, PE, ABS, HDPE, etc.). After our instructor demoed all the thermo processes, I was immediately drawn to the giant vacuum thermo-former.
    Instantly, the thought of those old catalog order plastic guitars from the 60's came into my head. I've always been a big fan of Jack White, and have been interested in the look of his red Airline guitar.

    The body will be build out of white sheet ABS (Not fibreglas like the originals). It will have a solid wood core and a bolt on neck.

    In the coming days I will update with pictures of my process. For now.... my inspiration....

    [​IMG]

    If you haven't seen vacuum forming before... here is a short Youtube video...
     
  2. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    2,633
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Location:
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    I'll be watching. Good luck!!
     
  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    25,141
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Well, here comes something we don't see every day! :)
     
  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,115
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    Do you think the plastic will be rigid enough after you form it, or is it going to be a cover for the wood like the Dual Tones?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  5. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Here's a couple pictures of my mould to begin with. Cut out of MDF, and routed edge contour with a giant cove bit. I only made one mould and routed both sides to form my front and back pieces. The mould itself is 2" thick, but each side of my body will only be 7/8" each (1 3/4" total thickness).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you're unfamiliar with this style of guitar, it's two plastic halves screwed together, with a solid wood centre block for strength. They were cheap guitars and known for their poor playability. But they did look awesome, and sound pretty cool. And thanks Jack White and other modern players - their popularity has risen and the value of them has gone through the roof. A guitar that originally cost less than $100 in the Montgomery Ward catalog now regularly goes for $2000. This is what it looks like opened up.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver
    The plastic I'm using will be 1/8" thick ABS. ABS is pretty good for impact resistance and strength. I could probably go thicker, but we don't got a lot of material available, and the vacuum forming process works a lot better with thinner material.

    I will be beefing it up with a solid wood centre block for most of my strength (just like the Dual Tones and other models), and probably a few other wood reinforcements to keep it from caving in.
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,115
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    The dual tones are a solid wood body covered with a thermoformed polymer. If it were me, I'd do a sample over a skeletal framework and find out before you end up with a floppy skin. Your sheet will have to get thinner in order to go over the mold.
     
    HockeyPop98 likes this.
  8. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Oh right. I'm aiming for hollow sides, but will make adjustments if I see any issues with strength. The originals had very thin and narrow wood cores. I will likely go bigger and beefier.
     
  9. HockeyPop98

    HockeyPop98 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    510
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    I like Marty's idea of a skeletal frame. The material will be thinnest at the sharp bends. If you only plan on one of these being built, at least you can use the perimeter of the mold. I would like to try building one of those someday, but I'm too chicken to risk failure! I may buy the kit in the future just to have made one..

    This will be an interesting thread. Good luck
     
  10. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    3,600
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Phx, AZ
    Watching this one!

    Side note: I've built guitars with a cove bit like that and they can be a little scary. What RPM did you settle on?
     
  11. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Definitely scary. I was only cutting into MDF, so it was a little less stressful than hardwood, but it turned out to be fairly easy.

    I made sure to ease into the cut. I did a few passes around entire guitar before finally riding up against the bearing. I suppose you could start with a larger bearing, and do it in multiple passes, reducing the bearing size each time.

    To be honest, I can't tell you an RPM. Since it was MDF, I kinda just gave it a go without too much risk. Whatever the router table was previously set at is what I used.
     
  12. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Here's the monster that I'm using. You can see my mould sitting there atop the vacuum box and my white plastic sheet on the middle rack before heating.

    I'll post pictures of my first trial later on.

    [​IMG]
     
    mkster and HockeyPop98 like this.
  13. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    3,600
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Phx, AZ
    Wow, that's a beast!

    My experience with the big bit was with a PC 690 router and it's a fixed speed....fixed way too fast for such a large bit. Now I have an 892 which allows for reducing the speed down to 10K but haven't had a chance to use it again.
     
  14. buffalohunt

    buffalohunt Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    115
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Here are the results of my first test.... it turned out pretty good, so I may end up keeping it and using it. I will still have to form the backside.

    Rough cut:
    [​IMG]

    Trimmed a little more off...
    You can also see the rubber binding that I might use for the trim to cover the seam. It's just regular rubber trim that you might find on a cheap desk.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    25,141
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    kewl!
     
  16. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,470
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Sou Cal
    Very interesting,
     
  17. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    824
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    This is so dang cool
     
  18. HockeyPop98

    HockeyPop98 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    510
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    How sturdy is it at the 90 degree bend on the edge? That's the area I would worry about buckling or damaging if I bumped it with any force. This whole process is so foreign to me I'm afraid to go there.
     
  19. mkster

    mkster Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,234
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal Quebec
    I really like it , i cant wait to see more , keep the good work !

    Best regards

    Mark
     
  20. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,273
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Now this is awesome!!!
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.