Scratch Tele Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by MM73, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for the tutorial Marty!

    I re-read it, and realized that you initially mention faceting from the nut to the 16th fret. I got crossed up as my profile dimensions reference the 1st and 12th fret.

    I'll definitely dig out a scraper. I quit working my practice necks after I roughed in the shape, so haven't finished a neck yet.

    Definitely a lot easier process than I feared it would be!
     
  2. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    ...another shout out for the scraper.

    This is great advice, as I thought I was going to go from rasp to 60 grit.

    Regarding the ROSS. I love the bench and power tools that I have, but am definitely looking forward to mothballing them for a while and getting to finish and assembly.

    Thanks Richard!
     
  3. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    You're welcome. I'm still a bit of a noob at this so guys like Marty should be thanked a lot more than me. I've learned a lot from him and others on this great site.

    BTW, I sometimes use my orbital sander with 60 grit to remove a lot of meat at the start. Lot less chance of going too far..
     
  4. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Scraping; as God Intended.

    Guitarbuilder and RickyRicardo mentioned use of scraper as a means of shaping my guitar neck. This reminded me of a post from Meteorman a couple months back (see link, post 41). He describes in great detail how to use a utility blade as a scraper. The advice and method carried the day for me. :D

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/543358-noobcaster-build-along-3.html

    The advice came just in time. I was pretty much planning on roughing in the facets with the seriously aggressive dragon rasp, knocking off the edges with the same rasp, then going to 60 grit.
    Scraping probably saved my neck. By the time I got to scraping, I had already gotten a bit overboard with the rasp - taking too much off here and there, or grinding a part of the neck while I was focused on a different contour. Geez - I got lucky, and most of the mistakes were removed thru the shaping process.

    I used a rounded point utility blade from the orange big box store (Stanley, PN 11-987). I had the regular pointy tip blade, but the rounded blades got me further into the contours. I don't have a nice water stone like Meteorman, so just used an oiled sharpening stone. I couldn't work the blade as sharp as Meteorman - as I never got the curled shavings. But it cut, and it flattened out the facets perfectly.

    Blah Blah Blah, here it is....

    Roughed in contour with rasp, transition smoothed with utility blade.

    Scraping 1 02Oct2015.jpg

    2nd facets marked. You can see where I overdid it with the rasp. Luckily in an area to be scraped. This is the last facet I roughed in with the rasp. After this, it was all utility blade before moving to sandpaper.

    2nd Facet 03Oct2015.jpg

    Scraping in action. It took me some time to level the facets, but I got there. The blade had a not-so-perfect edge, but it gave me just enough cutting power with control.

    Scraping 03Oct2015.jpg

    This image shows the neck after shaping two sets of facets.

    2 Facets 03Oct2015.jpg

    After this, I started to sand with 60 grit. I quickly stopped, and worked a 3rd and 4th set of facets with the utility blade. I didn't measure and mark the 3rd and 4th facets, rather just started eyeballing it - knocking off the edges.
    I used one utility blade for all of this work.
     
  5. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Gotta say, Having a Good Day!

    Having finished the faceting work, nothing could have bothered me.

    The world could have crumbled around me, and I'd be sitting there with a mile wide grin. I only needed sandpaper to finish up this neck work. :D

    I sanded in shoe shine style with 60 / 80 / 100 grit. This pic was where I started with 60 grit, but went back to the scraper for a 3rd and 4th set of facets.

    Sand 60 to 220 grit 03Oct2015.jpg

    I did the same shoe shine sanding with 150 and 220 grit, but finished by sanding with the grain.

    Headstock Close Up 03Oct2015.jpg

    Heel Close Up 03Oct2015.jpg

    Soft V Complete 04Oct2015.jpg

    I should have cut a profile template to check at the 1st and 12th fret. I just wanted a fat neck, and the soft V looked right to me. More importantly, it feels like what I was after.
    I should add, the fat neck also gave me the best odds for success with the filler strip - minimized the amount of glued filler strip that was going to be removed.

    Its not perfect.

    There are still a couple nicks from my overzealous rasp work, one very small low spot that can be seen in the right light, and the truss rod filler strip trails 1/16" off center at the heel.

    For a first neck, though, I couldn't be happier! :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  6. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Loose Ends

    Had to go back to the body and rework around the neck pocket.

    Cut a channel between the neck pocket and neck pickup pocket, to have access to the truss rod nut later.

    Truss Rod Nut Access 04Oct2015.jpg

    The new channel gave me access to drill another hole in the pick up cavity, so my wires don't get pinched by the pickup (first hole was too high). The pic is blurry. I'll take a file and clean up the drilled holes to oval the passage out - make it look intentional / not like I drilled two holes cuz I didn't know what I was doing.

    Clean Up Neck Pocket 04Oct2015.jpg

    I also used a sanding block and my superhero utility blade scraper to clean up the divot in the body at the top of the neck pocket. This was where I tipped my router a bit while cutting the body profile.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  7. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    I carved a guitar neck and body!

    Am I just a little bit happy today...OH, HELL YES!

    I may go back to clean up some things on the neck and body, but it will officially be called finishing prep work.

    My plan is to lacquer the neck first, then align for mounting holes. I'll then stain and grain fill the body. I'll drill the other hardware mounting holes before lacquering the body.

    Woohooo!!! :D

    Neck Ready for Lacquer 04Oct2015.jpg

    Ready for Stain and Clear 04Oct2015.jpg
     
  8. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Great job! I know that feeling when you accomplish something that seems so daunting.

    I do suggest you do get scrapers though for the next one (I'm sure there will be many). The curved ones really help you shape the contour where a flat utility blade does exactly that. It flattens your curves. The utility blade is great in the transitions though. I also do the shoe shine method with duct taped sandpaper and that smooths the contour quickly.
     
  9. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Richard. I would not have made it this far without the advice from you and everyone else that have posted!

    What is the duct taped sandpaper?
    I do spend some time searching on TDPRI and Google, but have not come across this.
     
  10. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Glued Frets

    In looking over my neck, I found I could just get the edge of a sheet of paper under the ends of several of my frets.

    Well, OK, frets 14 - 20. These are the frets I installed first, and also the ones that need to cover the greatest arc-length.

    Arc-length...I can't escape my nerdiness.

    I may never touch most of these frets, and leveling will probably resolve any concerns for buzz, but I couldn't sleep knowing that perhaps I could do a bit better.

    That dang bottle of CA glue has been sitting on my bench for weeks now, and seems to have gotten the last laugh.

    ...clamped a 3/4" oak dowel rod over the problem frets.

    Fret Clamp Up 10Oct2015.jpg

    I got lucky in that my problem frets are over the heel, so easy to clamp up. I read somewhere that somebody uses a brass rod to clamp up their frets...I don't remember who - Guitarbuilder perhaps?
    The big box store didn't have brass rods (only steel), so I settled for a 36" oak dowel rod. I think its important to use a material that is softer than the frets, but strong enough not to fall apart when clamped up. And cheap.

    I'm not going to say that an oak dowel rod is my standard for leveling...but it was reassuring to see the rod lay right down over the rest of the frets without any noticeable gaps.

    Level Frets 10Oct2015.jpg

    I didn't pull the frets to glue. Rather, just squirted a bit of CA glue into the open fret slot under the fret tang and let it wick in.
    My thought is that with the frets clamped up, the glue would fill in any area around the barbs, and lock them into position.

    Frets with CA Glue 10Oct2015.jpg

    I then let the neck sit overnight.

    The fix seemed to work for most of the frets. Number 18 and 19 didn't seem to change, though.
    I think, perhaps, I will use a thinner CA glue next time I try this. I didn't cut my fret slots extra deep, and I think the slots were partially filled with sanding dust. So, the glue didn't really wick in as much as I had hoped. Just enough for most of the frets, but didn't quite get it done for 18 & 19.

    Trouble with 18 & 19 11Oct2015.jpg

    Good enough. I sanded the residual glue off with a sanding block.

    I hope the pics are good enough...its about as good as I can get with my phone.

    I'm going to run with what I have, and hope after leveling, crowning, etc, that I don't have any problems.

    I then repeated the clamp up on the opposite side. I only needed to glue a couple on the opposite side as this was the side I started hammering on when the frets were installed.

    Next time, I will also cut the dowel rod in half, and clamp and glue both sides at the same time.

    OK, on to the finish work on the Finely Finished forum.

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/finely-finished/588732-finally-finishing-scratch-tele-build.html
     
  11. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Neck Touch Up

    Probably going overboard a bit, but I've included everything on this build thread...so why stop now?

    Just wanted to include some pics of some touch up work on the neck. My fret slots were cut ~ 0.01" deeper than the tang. Since I only needed to superglue several of the higher frets, the rest have small gaps underneath the tang.

    Fret Slot Fill 12Oct2015.jpg

    I wanted to fill these in to give the neck a nice, finished look. There were also a couple nicks in the neck from the shaping operation.
    The pic below shows the worst offender, and just under the headstock...right where anyone standing 1" away in perfect daylight would clearly see it.

    Headstock Nick 12Oct2015.jpg

    I kept some sanding dust from the neck and mixed it with the Titebond Original until it was a paste. I spread it over any nicks that needed to be filled.

    Wood Glue + Sawdust 12Oct2015.jpg

    Waited 24 hours, then sanded it down using 150 / 180 / 220 grit. Tried to use fine sandpaper and little pressure to keep from pulling the fill out of the nicks and slots. Kinda like practicing for grain fill.
    Had to be careful not to create even bigger problems when taking sandpaper back to the neck. Next time, I think I'll skip the 150 grit, and start with 180.

    Headstock Nick Filled and Sanded 12Oct2015.jpg

    The patches dried a bit yellow.
    The fill under the headstock and under the tangs aren't very noticeable...certainly better than it was.
    An area at the heel that was nicked when I was planing the filler strip stands out like a sore thumb...looks worse now! Thankfully, this will be hidden by the body after assembly.

    I also plan to tint the neck. Hopefully, this will help disguise the repair a bit more.
     
  12. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Send in the Clowns

    Back from the paint shop, formerly the machine shop, and now the assembly shop :lol:

    Ok - can't leave well enough alone.

    Thought with my new found skills with a utility blade scraper, I could level out some runs in the tru-oil between my frets.

    Scraping Tru Oil 09Dec2015.jpg

    Nope, I scraped that sucker to the bone.
    Heck, I was looking at wood shavings, and still didn't realize what I'd done till I started wet sanding to try and get that polished look.

    Oh, this site has so much knowledge, and I mishandle it horribly.
    Knowledge = Power
    With great power comes great responsibility.

    I sometimes fear that someone of authority is going to shut down the entire build forum because of my bumbling.
    I'm going to feel badly if I ruin this for everyone. :cry:

    Till then, I'll keep walking the line.

    I sanded the wood between the frets to 1000 grit. What a pain that was.
    I then reapplied the tru-oil...sparingly this time. 7 coats.

    I then ordered a micromesh starter kit from Amazon. It comes with small micromesh pads and a foam block that run from 1500 to 12000.

    Love, Love, Love the micromesh...glad I ordered this before I start fine sanding the body!

    I'm waiting another day before micromeshing between the frets, but I did the headstock, and am very happy with the results!

    Headstock Finish 18Dec2015.jpg Neck Finish 18Dec2015.jpg

    I couldn't bury the decal with tru-oil. Nonetheless, the micromesh really shined up the tru-oil around it though.
    I have a new process, with nitro, I'll try on the next neck (courtesy of Meteorman).

    I'm also back in the basement shop. Was nice working in the garage on summer mornings, but the cold has set in.

    Now, I'm working late in the basement...with old preschool projects keeping me company.

    Basement Work.jpg

    I'm prepping for fret leveling while the nitro on the body cures.

    So glad to be back on the Home Depot page!
    I felt like I accomplished something after carving out the body and neck.
    I felt like I survived something after doing the finish work :eek:
     
  13. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    Yeah, micro mesh is great. I defy anyone to try it and ever go back to anything other than it.
     
  14. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Looks great! I was reviewing the thread and realized I didn't answer your question about duct taped sandpaper from a couple of months ago. I don't remember where I saw it but if you put duct tape on the back of the paper it doesn't rip. After using a scraper I use 100 to 120 grit paper on the contour doing the shoeshine polishing routine and it gets rid of the file marks quickly. It helps getting rid of the hiils and valleys too and evens things out. Try it on your next neck. I'm sure there'll be lots more..:lol:
     
  15. 26and385

    26and385 TDPRI Member

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    Looking great!
     
  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Regarding your post #190. Yes, I do use steel rods...not brass.... to clamp down the frets prior to gluing the ends. My wooden clamping caul with the hollow center will do it too.
     
  17. Pancho Johnny

    Pancho Johnny TDPRI Member

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    FOR A TELECASTER: What is the distance supposed to be between the NUT and BRIDGE?? The neck has 22 frets.

    My son is building a Tele... ( he is 14) We cannot find info and we know it is totally critical to get this right.

    Is there any plan that shows this or a rule of thumb we can follow?

    He is in school today otherwise he would have have bolted the whole thing down already.
    Thank You!!. Pancho
    :cool:
     
  18. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The distance from the tele nut to bridge saddle break over point is 25.5". You can also measure from the nut edge of the fretboard to the center of the 12th fret. That is half the scale length, in this case 12.75".
     
  19. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    I had been using sandpaper over a rather large wooden block. Aside from the micromesh sanding surface, its also backed by what appears to be a thin foam-ish pad. The starter kit also came with a foam block.
    It just feels like I'm in so much more control of the process than before.
    I really wish I had these pads when I was leveling the nitro on the body.
    Better late than never, though. Definitely not going back!

    Ah ha! This will definitely help!
    I have one flatsawn and one quartersawn blank waiting to be worked on. The next one won't be too fancy - just want to do a better job on the basics.
    I am thinking something like a cabronita, though, rear routed control cavity with TV Jones dual humbuckers.

    Thanks Bill.
     
  20. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Have you ever had problems with the steel rod denting the frets when clamped up?

    ...I suppose you only need to clamp hard enough to seat trouble frets.
    ...not hard enough to disfigure the frets!
     
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