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Semi-Hollow Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by hfw01, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    I asked some basic thinline questions, and got some good answers, but also got the recommendation to do a build thread, so here goes. I can't promise that the build will move very quickly, but we will see.

    The basic idea is to make a thinline style guitar, but with my own body shape design. I will probably order a neck, as I am not brave enough to try making one just yet. I do think I will try winding my own pickups for this build. For my first build, I bought pickups, but I am trying my best to keep costs as low as possible on this one. I also think I will try putting a piezo pickup under the bridge.

    A local millworks was going out of business, and gave me some drops. Unfortunately I wasn't the first person to go through the wood, but I still got some nice stuff. I have a piece of poplar that I am going to use for the body, and a piece of walnut for the top. The walnut is not quite big enough, so I think I will run a strip of maple down the center of the top.

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  2. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

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    I like the design!

    Now, your challenge is to work that knothole in the walnut into the build ;). Would you consider resawing the walnut in such a way that the bookmatched knotholes serve in place of the f-holes that normally is on a thinline. I don't think I've seen that before but it would be really cool, IMO.

    Rex
     
  3. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Given the size of the walnut, keeping the knot hole might be a requirement. I don't think I am going to re-saw it though. My original design just has a sound hole in the top half of the guitar, and I like the way it flows with the shape of the body. I also think I am going to try my hand at carving the top some. I have never done that before, my first guitar just had a flat top. This walnut should be thick enough for me to give the top some arch.
     
  4. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    I started to use the band saw to cut the basic shape of the guitar, however it was pretty loud, and I was informed that our neighbors could probably hear it. Since it was past bedtime, I stopped that, and pulled out the forstner bit. I got most of the body hollowed out.

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  5. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    It doesn’t look like the walnut is wide enough to use for a top. With some re-sawing and gluing, it looks like I can use this cedar.

    My wife did suggest that I try and make a neck with the walnut. So here is a question. Is the walnut hard enough to use as a fretboard, and if it is, would it be possible to route a channel for the truss rod into the walnut before gluing together, and then carve the neck, and radius the walnut as a fretboard. (That was quite a run on sentence.)

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  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A fret board has to be dense enough to hold the frets in and resist play wear. Your walnut could probably do that, but will most likely show wear faster than maple, rosewood, or other denser hardwoods.
     
  7. David_Maas

    David_Maas Tele-Meister

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    I have no personal experience with walnut, but I've seen it done on this forum. Also, the procedure on building a neck is how most would approach it with a glued fretboard. Wouldn't you prefer a 1pc though?
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
  9. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    I got the back basically cut to shape. I used a forstner bit to finish hogging out the cavity on the inside, and after re-drawing the top edge of the body, used the band saw to finish cutting the outside shape.

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  10. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    The walnut fingerboard looks good on that challenge build. That looks like it may be the way to go for me. I guess this build is going to be full of things I have never tried before.

    After finishing with the forstner bit, this will be the lightest guitar I own. The back weighs about 2 1/2 pounds.
     
  11. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Yesterday when I got home for lunch, my daughter had me me something to eat so that we would have more time to work on our projects. An electric violin for each of us, and my semi-hollow guitar. We spent lunch on the porch doing some sanding. My older daughter is working on the edge of my guitar with a curved sanding block I made from one of the cuts when I cut out the body.

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  12. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    I’ve started thinking about how to make the neck for my guitar. My thought was to make essentially a 1 piece neck with the walnut I have. It is only 3/4 of an inch thick, so I was going to have to laminate two pieces together. Unfortunately, there is also a knot hole in it at about 20″. This means it is not quite long enough. I have been trying to figure out if I could use wood from the other side of the hole to make the headstock, and do a scarf joint to attach it, but I’m not sure if it will work. My other thought was to use the two 20.5″ boards and then two pieces from the other side if the whole, offset them so I get a big enough piece for the neck, and do what is essentially a one piece style neck.
    Anyone have any thoughts on which of these would make a more successful neck build? And does it matter that I am wavering on the type of bridge, and may go with a tune-o-matic and have to do an angled neck pocket? Also am probably going to do i as a set neck.

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  13. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice project. Beautiful girls. It's cool that they are working with you.
    I'd like to see the violins too.
     
  14. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Violin Project

    Since you asked, here are some pics from the violin project. Essentially, my daughter saw some youtube videos with electric violins, and saw her violin teacher plug in her acoustic violin, and decided she wanted one. I figured if I was making her one, I should make one for myself as well. I'll ignore the fact that I play as well as a ten year old.

    Here are our original drawings.

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    The wonderful gentleman who gave me all of the drops I am using on this project, also made the templates for me from my drawings.

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    The violins will be headless with a maple core. There will be ukelele tuners near the back of the violin. Here are a few shots of the core of the violin. I will use sepele for the decorative outer design.

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  15. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Pickups

    Well, I had my first try at winding pickups yesterday. It started out brilliantly. I double stick taped the pickup to the back of my wife's sewing machine. She inherited it from her grandmother in the 90's, and it hadn't been run in 25 years. It went for about 30 seconds before it slowed to a stop.

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    I moved to the next thing I could think of that I could control spin speed on, my drill. Unfortunately the battery is terrible, and it does not spin for very long before it slows to a stop, and I have to wait for it to start charging again. I got the pickup about halfway wound, sent slightly off the side, and had to unwind a few wraps, and when I started again, caught the loose wire on my foot and broke it. Resistance measured at 3.74. Not quite where I want to be. Let's see if I do any better tonight.

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    On a happier note, I made two fingerboards for my violin project out of some walnut.

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  16. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    That's a bummer, probably some folks around here who could help troubleshoot what the issue is. Always wanted to give winding a shot.
     
  17. motor_city_tele

    motor_city_tele Tele-Afflicted

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    *** I started again, caught the loose wire on my foot and broke it. ***

    Sometimes that happens. Not to worry. just solder it back together. I've had to do this a number of times before refining my process. I use SPN that is solderable. As far as the battery for your drill, sounds like it has given up the ghost. they don't last forever.
     
  18. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    I did not try to solder the wires back together. I'm not sure I could solder 42 gauge back to itself. I did try again last night, and wound a pickup without any major mishaps. I wouldn't say it is wound perfectly evenly. And it took me two tries to solder the leads on, but I seem to have been successful. I get a resistance reading of 5.09 ohms. I was hoping for a bigger number, but am not going to start over on this one. I will see how I do on the next one. Now I just need the wax to show up so I can pot it.

    Here is my fancy workstation. Notice the high tech leveling device under the edge of the drill.

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  19. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Child labour - always a good idea. Character building.
     
  20. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    I've upgraded my winding station. It still needs some work. The guides help keep the wire on the bobbin, as long as the drill stays still. I gave it a try at lunch today, and the drill turned slightly while winding at full speed. It turned into a mess very quickly. I will have to work to fix the drill's position before I have another attempt.

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