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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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    Two Pickups

    I wound a second pickup last night. It went much more quickly with my High Class Frankenwinder.

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    And my first rate soldering station.

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    I now have two pickups. They still need to be potted and charged, and the impedance of both of them is right at 5 ohms. Lower than I had hoped. I will see how they sound when I finally get the guitar finished, and if I really don't care for them, I will try to make another pair.

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  2. David_Maas

    David_Maas Tele-Meister

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    High resistance is overrated. Those lower output pickups will gather more harmonics and will be more touch sensitive (dynamic). Gain can be had in a box, either a clean boost to keep your sound intact or with drive, whatever you want ;)
     
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  3. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    I hope you are right. Unfortunately the guitar is not ready for them yet. Hopefully I get the wood for the top resawed and glued this weekend, and then I can get back to making some real progress.

    That, and get the neck started. I think I have figured out how to make it work with the piece of walnut I have.
     
  4. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Progress

    I got a good bit of work done. My daughter and i cut ripped the top, and got it glued up. It will take a good bit of work to get it smooth enough for gluing up, and I have a small gap in the center, but it should be under the bridge, so it shouldn't be a problem.

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    I was also able to get my pickups potted today, so they are ready to go when the guitar is.

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  5. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Starting a neck.

    I started measuring for the guitar neck. I had hoped to get it cut and glued tonight, but ran out of time before the kids got home. You can also see an early drawing when I thought I was using some 3/4 inch thick walnut, but that got turned into one of the violins I am working on. This neck will have a scarf joint for the head stock, and need to figure out what I am going to use for a fret board. It looks like I will have to order something.

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    I did get the violin bodies I am working on roughed out.

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  6. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    A word to the wise on potting pickups. If you do not have something dedicated for melting the wax in, you will either spend a bunch of time cleaning the wax out of whatever you used, or you will now have something dedicated to wax. It took me a couple of nights to get all of the wax out of the bowl I used. I just poured boiling water in it a couple of times, and let that melt the wax out, so it wasn't hard, but it was more trouble than I had anticipated. Next time I am stopping at goodwill and looking for something I don't have to get 100% clean.
     
  7. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    scarf joint

    I've read 100's of build threads over the past few years, and seen dozens of scarf joints being glued up in pictures. Nothing prepared me for how much trouble I was going to have. Let's hope it's good enough...

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  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My method of gluing a scarf is to hold the neck section down to a workbench with clamps and put a stop block against the end of the peghead end to keep it from moving. Then it's just a matter of clamping the two surfaces together.

    This is the same idea...using some pic off of google.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=sca...LzO0tCWxwIVipkeCh2rUw-H#imgrc=ULZae25XQxEmiM:

    See guitarnut's post number 15 here too

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/314450-scarf-joint-keeps-slipping-when-glued.html
     
  9. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine Friend of Leo's

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    After doing one with the glue sliding the wood around everywhere, I started drilling a hole thru both pieces on each side (in the cutoff areas) while they are dry fitted and clamped and stick a nail, drill bit, or toothpick in each hole during glue up to keep them from moving around.
     
  10. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    Me too, and combine it with Marty's method above.....belt and braces.
     
  11. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    I sort of tried clamping to to the workbench. I have one of those little workmate work benches, and I thought I had it figured out using that, with a stop in front of the head stock, but it wasn't lining up quite right. I will have to work harder on that method next time. I did a short dry run last night, but once I added the glue, it went down hill. That being said, I do have a solid joint this morning.

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  12. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Update

    I've received almost all of the various parts for the guitar now. The pre-amp and bridge showed up today. All I am missing now is the jack plate. It's coming from somewhere in China. I should see it sometime soon.

    I also routed the truss rod slot in the neck over the weekend. I just need to get the neck to final width, glue some wings on the headstock, make a nut, glue on the fretboard, install the frets, and shape the back of the neck, and it will be done. hmm... Maybe the neck isn't quite there yet.

    One of the decisions I still need to make is how to attach the piezo to the bridge. I think I am going to cut a slot in the bottom of the top part of the bridge, and fit it in there. If it doesn't pick up enough of the vibrations, I will ad,d a shim underneath it to add some pressure. I will need to cut the piezo off of the jack it came with, so that I can wire it to the pre-amp's blend knob. I will wire the output from the three way switch for the standard pickups to the other side of the blend knob.

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  13. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    I'm dropping in from the bastard Tele/Classical build. Thanks for posting the link.

    Cool project. The daughters helping out are cute!

    The pre-amp module you have is the same one I've got in my "Torres-caster"; your just has external tone controls, where as mine are onboard as trim pots. I think you'll be happy with it.

    On bridge, I'm sure what you propose would work fine, though I do think as you suggest you probably will need some sort of shim to increase pressure. IE, optimally you want some string pressure pre-squeezing the piezo for best tone. Unless the bridge saddle is cranked all the way down you might not get that, and having the piezo just "floating" in the top bridge part probably won't give you the best signal or tone.

    As a friendly suggestion, an alternate way to do this would be to cut a flat piece of wood or metal into the same shape as the bottom of the bridge saddle, drill two holes on either side to locate the action screw posts, rout/mill a slot in it, put a hole on one side of the slot to run the pickup wire through, and then seat the pickup into the slot.

    In other words, you create a shim that rides right under the saddle on the normal bridge pegs with the pickup mounted into the shim, rather than in the saddle. This will give you a "sandwich" of saddle, then pickup, then shim (held captive by bridge pins) all under normal string pressure.

    Doing it this way has a few potential advantages. First, you'll be able to adjust the action height normally any time you like without having to change the shim. Next, the original wood bridge would remain entirely stock. . .you could just slip out the piezo "insert" any time you wanted. Lastly, doing it this way facilitates swapping out the pickup in case you want to mess around with different pickups of different shapes/sizes. IE you could just cut a new shim with a different shaped/sized slot for a different pickup, instead of having to get a new saddle or recutting the saddle.

    Alternatively. . .if you're BOLD, you could slice the top wood saddle in two horizontally parallel to the guitar top, cut your slot and hole in the bottom half, then put the pickup in this way. Its the same idea as above, just without adding any extra material. If you did it carefully you'd end up with the pickup sandwiched INSIDE the wood saddle, and it would look almost exactly like an untouched saddle.

    If you're not wedding to the jazz bridge, you could buy a tune-o-matic with built in piezo pickup. That will give you the ability to intonate precisely and simplify the build/design, but its a different look and more cost, obviously.

    Lastly, since you've got a hollow body to play with, you might consider options for an acoustic type pickup other than an under bridge piezo. That will work, obviously, but under-bridge piezos tend to pick up finger/string noise and they're pretty trebly. You might consider a contact type pickup inside the hollow body or under the bridge, or even both bridge and internal piezos (which you could select with a toggle or even another blend pot).
     
  14. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Bridge Piezo

    Thanks for the thoughts on the bridge/piezo work. I'm a little married to the jazz bridge idea. Partly for the looks, but a lot for the cost. The pre-made tune-o-matics with piezo's built in are way out of my price range for this build. (The bridge I bought was only $10.00)

    I love the idea of building a shim/piezo holder that sits on the bridge pegs. My only concern would be making it too thick at the pegs, and raising the overall bridge height more than I would like. This can be worked around a little bit by sanding down the bridge feet, but preferably not. If I can figure out how to make it out of some thin metal, that would probably be best.

    Your idea of cutting the bridge in half sounds neat, and it wouldn't be abig financial loss, but I feel I would almost be guaranteeing that I would be ordering a new bridge.

    As far as adding a second piezo, I think I will hold off until I see how the current plan sounds. It's a neat idea to add a switch for the two different piezos. Hopefully, the tone controls on the pre-amp can help if the piezo seems a little to high on the treble side.
     
  15. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Torres-caster -- I decided to take you up on your advice. I went to Goodwill today at lunch, and bought the cheapest pot top I could find. I cut it to size, and hopefully can get it to it's final shape either today or tomorrow. I think this will work really well for the design of this bridge.

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  16. Torres-caster

    Torres-caster TDPRI Member

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    I totally "get" why you might want a jazz bridge for vibe and cost.

    FWIW, you can get a generic Chinese tune-o-matic for as little as $5 on Ebay shipped, including mounting posts. If clever, you could probably modify one to accept your piezo pickup, either just by sandwiching it in under the individual saddles, or *maybe* cutting/filing some slots first to accomplish the same. (Without holding one in my hand, its hard to be more specific about what you'd need to do). Acoustic style piezo with a standard 2mm plug (and no output jack) can be had for as little as $2. So if you're willing to tinker a bit, you could probably knock together your own generic piezo tune-o-matic for as little as $7 instead of $70.

    On your pot lid, assuming its stiff it should be OK, though I'm not sure its thick enough to cut a pickup slot into it. If not, you could still cut the slot into the bridge saddle.

    As an alternative suggestion, I haven't actually done it yet, but I was thinking of cutting my upgraded pickup base part out of a brass door hinge.

    Advantages there, are that brass door hinge should be pretty cheap (only a few bucks), stiff, cool LOOKING, soft enough to file/tap pretty easily, plus of course brass is considered a "tone" metal (ie they make trumpets and cymbals out of it). In your case, it ought to be thick enough to cut at least a partial pickup slot in there.

    Personally, I'm a little skeptical that brass bridge components really make all that much of a TONAL difference vs steel or such, but some people do swear by them, and I doubt it can hurt.

    If you had to sand off a few mm from the base of your wood bridge saddle to compensate for the plate thickness, I don't think that would be difficult nor would it ruin the saddle. I think that would probably be preferable to sanding the bridge feet, but you could do either (or both) if necessary.
     
  17. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    Piezo Holder

    I think Torres-caster is probably correct that is version sounds like it would look a little nicer (a lot nicer,) but this is what I've got, so it's where I will start. The edges need a little clean up, but it sits level under the bridge, and a little pressure squeezes the metal around the bridge pins flat. I think this will do the job.

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  18. mindwave

    mindwave Tele-Meister

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    use long black zip ties to attach it to the piece of wood, do 4 in a cross over attern and its perfect and since a bag of 50 is $4 at home depot its not permenant
     
  19. hfw01

    hfw01 Tele-Meister

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    That sounds like it is worth a try for next time. Part of the issue for me it that to get the pickup spinning perpendicular to the table, I have to put the back of the drill on an little angled riser to lift the back end up a little. Zip ties just might do the trick.

    Thanks,
    Hal
     
  20. Super Locrian

    Super Locrian Tele-Meister

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    Well, you have manage to do something that neither Seymour Duncan, Jason Lollar or Larry Dimarzio managed: you have inspired me to have a go at making my own pickups! :) I love those homemade jigs. A few questions - how do you charge the magnets, and where do you get the raw materials (wire, bobbins, magnets)?
     
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