1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

OK... so I promised... here ya are. . . .

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Ronkirn, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. ehawley

    ehawley Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Keyport, New Jersey
    Hi Ron...I'm all eyes:eek: on this one. I always wanted to see a strat build. They have one over at www.cnczone.com in thier musical instument design and construction forum HERE
    I love your stuff and can't wait to see how this ends up!
    Cheers
    ED
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Strat Build 5

    Time to mount the Template, I use screws, I don’t trust double stick tape to be secure against the pressure that can be applied.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    adjust the Router bit, in this case in a router table, so that the bearing is making secure contact with the template and makes a clean cut.

    [​IMG]

    Routing around the periphery of the body is pretty straight forward, Just proceed slowly at the apex of the 4 large convex curves tear-out is a real possibility if you get to fast.

    [​IMG]


    RK
     
  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Now, once we have completed one pass all the way around, we direct attention to the Tremolo cutout. I do this in several passes, the first cut removes about ½ of the ¾ inch depth. I use a quickie block on the router to set the bit..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This will remove approx 3/8 inch deep section of the cutout….

    [​IMG]

    I not set the router depth using a second ¾ inch thick block, this will cut the tremolo cutout to the finish depth of ¾.. Oh, this is not critical, and for those detail oriented builders… here’s a tip how to achieve a true vintage appearance, make these routs as sloppy as possible.

    [​IMG]

    rk
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Now I take the final cut….

    [​IMG]

    To rout the deep section the tremolo block will reside in, I have a block I made to fit into the spring cavity.

    [​IMG]

    Now, using the previously routed edged within the body as a guide, I set the router to cut about 1 ¼ deep and buzz away.

    [​IMG]

    You can see where I had set the bit a little too low and the collet burned the body just a touch. Not to worry, I sand the body down in the panel sander just a touch, so such machining marks will be totally removed.

    I now adjust the router depth to cut all but 1/8 inch that will form the lip at the top of the tremolo cutout.

    [​IMG]

    Checking this way, I am absolutely sure there will be no unfortunate surprises when I lower the router into the hole.

    rk
     
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    You will also note I have not completed routing around the body yet, I want to complete all operations relative to the first template before I remove it. Now its over to the drill press to drill the neck mounting holes.

    But first check the drill bit to be certain it is at 90 degrees to the table.

    [​IMG]

    then drill the neck bolt holes.. Now remove the template, we’re done with is for this body.

    [​IMG]

    Now, it’s time to finish routing the outside of the body. Adjust the router bit so that the bearing will ride along the previously routed part of the body, and completely remove the remaining “flange” of lumber.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At this point the outside shape of the body is complete, Tomorrow we’ll attack the top side.

    Ron Kirn
     
  6. milkshape

    milkshape Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    Hey I guess I got that vintage look down with my router skills, looking good.
     
  7. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    13,995
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Vermont
    Have you considered not doing the body contours?

    I think one of the reasons so many Tele players are not as fond of Strats is because of the way they sit against the body. A Strat slants where a Tele stays upright. And the lack of an arm contour causes the hand to address the strings diffeerently. Then again, a big part of showing us this project is "how to cut those contours" so I guess it might defeat the purpose of the build.
     
  8. Flat357

    Flat357 Banned

    Posts:
    3,350
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    Hey Ron .... looking good so far .

    Is there anything you could do with this body that would make it truly unique ? Maybe something that could add to tone ?

    Just thought i'd give your creativity and inventiveness a headache lol :p
     
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    No contours. .. on a Strat. . . Sacrilege .... As for doing anything to add to the tone... that's just not an issue with my stuff… :oops: Well they say it ain't braggin' ifin it's true.

    I'll be doing the Contours Today probably, but I still gotta lot to post... before we get there.

    [webmaster edit] NO COMMERCIAL CONTENT!! [/edit]

    till later.

    rk
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2008
  10. milkshape

    milkshape Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    Very interested in the contours pics before I tackle a full sized strat, the minis came out ok but they are different. got the wood waitin' to be cut and clamped.
     
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Let's see, where was I.... Oh yeah, sittin' in front of a computer...:lol:

    Before we begin the top I want to mark the location of the Tremolo rout, I use two small awls to pierce the remaining 1/8th inch leaving 2 small marks on the top. I also position them just slightly inside the edges so the marks on the top will be completely removed by the routing process.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This allows me to position the top template in correct relationship to the rout made on the bottom, despite how the edge lines up. This will keep the neck, pickguard and Tremolo all centered relative to each other.

    So now I attach, clamp in this case, the top template checking the periphery to be certain it’s in the correct place. Then double checking other “land marks”, like the two marks made above, and the neck pocket relative to the edge of the body.

    rk
     
    LPTyler likes this.
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    After positioning the template, Check the neck pocket to be certain the edges line up… not like this. . .

    [​IMG]


    but like this . . . .

    [​IMG]

    also check the top tremolo rout position relative to the two marks we made with the awls..

    [​IMG]

    and check that the neck pocket depth is correct at 3 inches…

    [​IMG]

    While the templates typically will match the edges of the routed body, some woods will shrink, expand, or creep around, particularly if you wait an extended period of time between operations. By checking the points mentioned above you can be sure the body’s specs will fall within the “wiggle room” built into the Strat’s dimensions.

    As long as the neck pocket is cut correctly relative to the tremolo, everything will work fine, even if something bazaar happens and the neck is a few degrees skewed off the centerline of the body, it will still work out and look correct.

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Just as a habit, I will mark the depth of the neck pocket at this point…

    [​IMG]

    Now, routing the Tremolo top rout is simply a matter of setting the router bit’s depth beyond 1/8 and insuring the bearings contact the template.

    [​IMG]

    once that’s done, you can proceed to the electronics/pickup routs. The finished depth should be between 5/8th (vintage) and 3/4 ‘s (more contemporary and allows for more pickup choice). I’m doing ¾ inch.

    I set the router to cut 3/8ths or ½ the ¾’s. First I plow away the center sections..

    [​IMG]

    Then com back and finish cut the edges. I will now set the router to full depth to cut the ¾ inch.

    [​IMG]

    The blocks are simply a time saving device, I know the template is ¾ thick, and I want to cut ¾ beyond. So 1 ½ inch is the mark.

    rk
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  14. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    We now have the pickup’s routs to the correct depth; I’ll do the electronics in a later step… now to the Neck pocket.

    I do this it two cuts too… I set the router to cut approximately ½ (not at all critical) of the depth in the first pass….

    [​IMG]

    Then set the depth to the correct depth, 5/8th in this case… and remove the remaining lumber..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then be sure ya haven’t screwed up. .

    [​IMG]

    Now it’s time for the rest of the electronics rout and the Jack hole… the finished depth is 1 ½ inches deep, we are now at ¾, so again I’ll take half out, then the remainder.

    I do it this way because a top bearing pattern tracing bit of ½ inch diameter has a shaft ¼ inch diameter, and while a shaft of tool steel may seem solid enough, the forces imputed by the router are tremendous. If you try to take the whole 3/4 inch out in one pass, the probability of the shaft breaking and making a mess of your work goes up exponentially.

    rk
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Now, remove the template. Using the existing walls of the electronics rout we will plunge on down. In this shot you can see the small block I made to fit into the Bridge pickup rout to provide a “wall” for the bearing support as I rout in that area..

    [​IMG]

    Once it is routed half way, I use the edge of the body to set the router bit, no chance of making the fatal mistake of reading 1 ¾ as 1 ½ that way…. Rout the remainder, Oh use the same method on the Jack cavity too.

    [​IMG]

    Remove the block from the Pickup rout and we’re done….

    At this point I will drill a few necessary holes, the ground wire between the cavities…

    [​IMG]

    through to the spring cavity.

    [​IMG]

    More to come. . .

    rk
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
    JSKC and P Thought like this.
  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    12,376
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Now we gotta get the wires from the Jack rout to the electronics….

    [​IMG]

    the brass sleeve is to protect the edge of the rout.

    On contemporary bodies, a hole is cut inside the Jack rout to allow a bit more relief for the jack’s spring contact. Without this getting everything in correctly can be a challenge.

    [​IMG]

    Now, if while drilling from the Jack rout to the electronics rout, you dented, pressed, mashed, squshed, etc, etc, the lumber, here’s an old trick. Put a few drops of water on it, press a paper towel on it, take a hot iron, and that forces steam into the first few fractions of an inch of the surface, causing the wood fibers to expand, forcing the ding back up and out. Then sand and it’s gone…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At this point it’s complete except for the contours and final sanding….. I’ll get to that This weekend..

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
    JSKC and mrz80 like this.
  17. andy__woods

    andy__woods Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,230
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    looks great Ron, thanks for putting this thread together!
     
  18. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,842
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Garden City, KS
    Thanks, Ron. I love this stuff.
     
  19. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    25,100
    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Location:
    Near Milwaukee
    Ron,

    I really appreciate you sharing this. Thank you! It's really amazing for me to watch the whole process.

    John
     
  20. pchilson

    pchilson Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    3,660
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    Arkansas
    You make this look so easy. How many of these you done in your sleep? :)
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.