Not another Palletcaster!? A junkie's story...

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TRexF16, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Me: "Hi, I'm Rex, and I'm a pallet wood addict."

    Group: "Hi Rex"

    Me: "It's been 23 days since I scrounged a pallet."

    "I'd been clean a long time. Build number one was a Palletcaster, 100%. Then for build #2 I only used the cutoff rafter ends from my shop porch, and store-bought wood for the neck. Builds 3 and 4 were a big semi truck chock for the bodies, but again 'real' lumber store neck wood. I relapsed a little on number 5, back to hemlock fir pallet runners for the body, but a home-roasted maple one-piece neck. I really felt like I might have broken through though, as the most recent build, for a friend, was 100% store bought wood, and kind of high end, ebony, mahogany, quilted maple, and curly maple.

    "But then there it was, on the pallet wood pile at work. Yes, I still drive by there but hadn't scrounged anything in months. But three of the slats in this one just called out to me. They were...almost perfectly quartersawn coniferous of some sort, just begging to be a guitar top:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    "Even though I'd been straight a long time I broke down and threw it in the truck, I just couldn't help myself. I got it home and sliced off those quartersawn boards, and planed then down a little. Oh how pretty they were...
    [​IMG]
    "Before I could stop I had joined and glued up a top."
    [​IMG]
    planed it down and even tried a little garnet shellac on the trim spots:
    [​IMG]
    "The grain just fit so well together"
    [​IMG]

    "I'd fallen off the wagon...hard. And now I found myself jonesing for some body wood. I began to look through my shop, frantically, and then my eyes fell on the leftover hemlock fir pallet runners from build number 5..."

    To Be Continued,
    Rex
     
  2. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    That top matched up wonderfully.

    As usual, I envy your skills with a hand plane. But now I also envy your pallet wood. The ones I get here are always pine. Always.
     
  3. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Rex, you've got a great eye to see the beauty under the roughness and grime, stains, and Gawd-iknows-what on a pallet. That's beautiful stuff you salvaged!
     
  4. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    In about 1970 living in my first ever house, the next door neighbour (in the big brick double story home) used to sell mowers, motorbikes and he also had a Judo School. He had the BMW agency in our town and one day I helped him uncrate a BMW bike straight from Germany.

    The timber was all very fine grained European spruce, almost pure white, beautiful stuff and the crate was all screwed together so nothing was broken or split dismantling it. He used to sell it to a local cabinet maker for not cheap.

    Yours look great Rex Good spotting!

    DC
     
  5. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Thanks fellas. Many years ago I found a pallet in the parking lot of the nearest strip mall. I don't have any idea where it came from but the slats were several different kinds of exotic tropical hardwood. I am going to see if I can find those slats which I saved. I think one of them may become the fretboard for this build. I hope I have a runner in my stash that I can make the rest of the neck from.

    Rex
     
  6. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Working up a pallet body

    "I still had a pretty good buzz going from making that top and grabbed a couple of the fir pallet runners and started looking to see if I could thread the needle between the knots and nail holes to get some body wood.
    [​IMG]
    I figured it would take both of these to come up with enough clear stock. But then I realized - these runners are almost 3.5" thick, and this body is going to have a top, so I only need 1.5" max for body thickness, not 1.75 like the last body I made from them. With some creative navigation around the flaws:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ...I got enough out of just one of the runners to piece together a 1.5" body.
    [​IMG]
    "Laid 'er out and glued 'er up, bookmatching it from the inside out:
    [​IMG]
    Planed it down and it looks pretty good. I kind of like the little peek-a-boos near the back end:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Even after the hand planing, it's still 1/64" over the "normal" thickness for a body with a top
    [​IMG]
    and the top is still right at 1/2" thick as is, so I think I may take another 1/8" off the body and then take the top down to 3/8".

    But here's a question: Since this body is born out of a tragic addiction, with no plan for its final configuration, I should justify it by learning and applying some new skills, like binding for instance (also a good idea because this wood is very soft, and it would help protect the edges). 3/8" top might be a bit too thick to work out with the binding, maybe I ought to go a hair less.

    Seriously, it's only my addiction that even led to starting this body. I have no plans for this build whatsoever. I have two other builds in the near completion phase, but they're up to the wet sanding point and I HATE wet sanding (even more than I LOVE salvaging cast-off wood), and I should finish them before I move on. I plan to complete this body, including some narrow chambering slots, to reduce weight while supporting the top. I don't even have a pickup configuration in mind. I guess I'll see how it turns out.

    BTW, another new skill I plan to try on this is using Z-Poxy as the initial part of the finish. I hope that will strengthen this soft stuff a bit. I'm open to any and all suggestions and advice.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a quartered pine body I cut out before I found my addiction is acoustic guitars. Today I would have cut tops from the wood. I'll be doing some binding to give it some protect.
     
  8. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Binding is pretty easy Rex, however a good hardwood top and back looks nice just rounded over. Maybe a wide wooden binding of contrasting colour and round that adding another skill to the arsenal ......steam bending.

    DC
     
  9. Diamond Dave

    Diamond Dave Tele-Meister

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    Beautiful wood, and a well-told story!
     
  10. niilolainen

    niilolainen Tele-Meister

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    Wow. I love this thread! Can't wait to see what happens next! :)
     
  11. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Rex,
    My name is Rob and I'm a pickup addict. What are you doing for pickups? :)

    Concerning the binding, find some discarded aluminum skin off of an F-16 and form a nice thin polished binding. Seems thematic.
    Rob
     
  12. CraigB

    CraigB Tele-Afflicted

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    Sadly, there are no Pallets Anonymous meetings in the Tucson area :lol:

    But, it seems you are rising above your addiction...binding, Z-Poxy, it's all one day at a time.

    I do like the idea of plastic binding, but with your skills, I agree with Dave, a darker wood binding, or laminated plastic binding, either of those would up the ante.

    As far as Z-Poxy, I've used it, and I can say the only problem you may encounter is its amber color. Not saying you would, but I did...when you level-sand it back, if you have any leftover sanding scratches or dents, those will become much more visible. However, I doubt that'll be a problem for you, and those little natural flaws in the top should look cool because it will accentuate those.
     
  13. CraigB

    CraigB Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks like you've pickup -- I mean, picked up a sponsor
     
  14. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    No pickup plans at all at this stage. What do you recommend Sir?
    I'm all ears,
    Rex
     
  15. Elk

    Elk Tele-Meister

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    *wrings hands nervously over all the pallets he's discarded.
    That bookmatch looks sweet! Nice grain.
     
  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Awesome post! I also find it difficult to resist the siren of the pallet pile.

    Try one of these build options:
    -An Esquire with an Eldred mod 3-way circuit and no control plate (rear access control cavity), no pickguard.
    -A P-90 and split humbucker wired to a 5-way Strat switch, standard volume, and stacked Treble+Bass tone knob.
    -Two P-90s with a 4-way switch and reversed control plate.


    Good show here and hope to keep tabs on the progress!
     
  17. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Update, Z-Poxy and a neck candidate

    Photobucket is really acting up this morning. Apologies in advance for images not correctly oriented. I've rotated and saved with no apparent effect as long as I care to waste my weekend on...

    I got some Z-poxy Finishing Resin yesterday:
    [​IMG]
    And decided to get an application on the back side of the body, the face essentially finished now, to protect it through the rest of the work - it is crazy soft as is. It does darken the wood a bit, but I think it is pleasant - I'll likely amber it up even a bit more in the final finishing phase:
    [​IMG]
    This morning I hit it lightly with 320 grit and then applied a second coat:
    [​IMG]
    I was able to get a little bit of a build on this coat so I will leave that as is, no further sanding, until the guitar is reay to finish.

    Given the suggestion of rear control routing, I made a cover plate to match the pine grain on the back side. This will get routed in to flush if I stay with the rear-rout plan.
    [​IMG]
    I'm not sure if this will be strong enough but it's ready if required. I could also do a much stronger control plate using the matching wood of the neck.
    That's right, I have a candidate neck I might use. After applying the second coat of Z-poxy this morning I started rummaging through my wood pile for potential neck blanks. I found this piece of hickory:
    [​IMG]
    This was a top slat from a big pallet used for something really heavy, maybe a jet engine from work - not sure, it's been a long time since I scrounged it, pushing ten years. Truth is, most pallet wood is pallet wood because that's all its suited for, at least at the commercial level, and this one certainly looks the part:
    [​IMG]
    But if a dedicated pallet wood junkie can thread the needle between the knots and nail holes again? Like so...
    [​IMG]
    it might just work out.
    [​IMG]
    wiped on some naphtha to see the finished colors better:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It finished up just right to allow enough sanding to hit 1.0" thick right on:
    [​IMG]
    and it is quartersawn so it ought to be stable (lord knows it's seasoned enough):
    [​IMG]
    That's all I got done before 0830 this morning. Got some real chores to do but may get to play some more later.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
  18. Captain Nutslot

    Captain Nutslot Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    :)

    I very much likey
     
  19. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

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    I'll be watchin this one TRex.

    Wow a hickory neck. Thats some hard stuff.
    I made a king size bed outta hickory -- swear I went through 3 table saw blades.
     
  20. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Don't I know it. The base on my workbench is hickory. So much silica is sucked up in those pores you can see it sparkling! Hard on tools for sure. This piece seems not so bad though, but I will have to figure out the grain filling schedule as it relates to fretting. Never had to worry about that before, but I think this should be filled on the fretboard face.

    Rex
     
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