What's on your workbench today?

JohnnyThul

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Finally soldered. Now I need to cut the nut properly and do a final setup.
Funny, how bad the colour is to photograph.
Here it is alongside a friend's Tremonti:
IMG_20220519_232604.jpg


And after the first test ride:

IMG_20220522_171051.jpg


First time I used a mahogany body and neck from an old staircase. I don't know,if it's because of that, or whatever, but the guitar has ridiculous overtones over the whole fretboard, wow!
The tuners look good,but, I have to admit, I'm so accustomed to locking tuners, that conventional tuners are just really a whole step back in speed and comfort. Maybe I'll check the Steinbergers, if I can find them.
 

hopdybob

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Finally soldered. Now I need to cut the nut properly and do a final setup.
Funny, how bad the colour is to photograph.
Here it is alongside a friend's Tremonti: View attachment 986038

And after the first test ride:

View attachment 986039

First time I used a mahogany body and neck from an old staircase. I don't know,if it's because of that, or whatever, but the guitar has ridiculous overtones over the whole fretboard, wow!
The tuners look good,but, I have to admit, I'm so accustomed to locking tuners, that conventional tuners are just really a whole step back in speed and comfort. Maybe I'll check the Steinbergers, if I can find them.
yours is absolute a winner in looks.
but i'll be honest, the pickups take to much attention in my view.
but great build, congrats
 

JohnnyThul

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yours is absolute a winner in looks.
but i'll be honest, the pickups take to much attention in my view.
but great build, congrats
Thanks a lot! :)
Well, as for the pickups, it is the first time I used a more vibrant colour for a guitar (usually I am more into sunburst or tiger eye), so, why not use vibrant pickups? I would have added white/cream knobs as well, but I didn't found any available, that I liked.
Besides, matching white pickups, rings, knobs and switch tips is not easy. For some reason you only get humbucking rings in a darker cream or shiny white, but not the bone colour I would have needed. That you can only get from the aged parts guys, who sell original spec M-69's for huge sums.
I asked one of our suppliers, if they could do it, and they said sure, but MOQ is 1000 pieces..... anybody in? :)
 

hopdybob

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Thanks a lot! :)
Well, as for the pickups, it is the first time I used a more vibrant colour for a guitar (usually I am more into sunburst or tiger eye), so, why not use vibrant pickups? I would have added white/cream knobs as well, but I didn't found any available, that I liked.
Besides, matching white pickups, rings, knobs and switch tips is not easy. For some reason you only get humbucking rings in a darker cream or shiny white, but not the bone colour I would have needed. That you can only get from the aged parts guys, who sell original spec M-69's for huge sums.
I asked one of our suppliers, if they could do it, and they said sure, but MOQ is 1000 pieces..... anybody in? :)
now i don't know what type pickups you have, and you could consider others like these if they are still available.
 

JohnnyThul

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now i don't know what type pickups you have, and you could consider others like these if they are still available.
Well, those are Korean Roswell pickups , which I use in all my guitars. I know the guys from WSC pretty well and am a fanboy of their stuff for years.
These ones are quite hot AlNiCo V pickups (HAF) with an emphasis on higher frequency range, I like them. Before that I used mainly their AlNiCo II humbuckers (LVS), which are lower in output and smoother overall. And then there is the crazy good LLS pickup, which is an unbelievable good neck pickup ( like DiMarzio Bluesbucker, but sounds more open). I guess, next guitar may have an LLS in the neck and an HAF in the bridge.
I also used treble bleed the first time here and I have to say, it's the best thing that ever happened to my volume control. I remember in the past I had guitars with trble bleed circuits, but they did not work for me. This time it just works perfect and finally I can use my volume pot.
I could have had the pickups in cream colour, but I wanted the aged white look (bone white, like original PAF's), as it looks much better (and expensive) in my eyes. The cream look of 70's DiMarzios is something I just could never bond with.
 

dougstrum

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blu ridge mtn cabin
I have had this old DeArmond for a long time. It was meant as an acoustic sound hole pickup with a clunky mounting system.
IMG_20220523_130735949_HDR.jpg
I cut off the bulky clamp mounts. Then made a mounting bracket with humbucker width mounting holes, and attached it to the pickup with double stick foam tape. I then widened a humbucker sized opening in an old pickguard. Had to splice a length of wire to the pickup in order to reach the pots. Also had to reverse wires on bridge pickup to get the middle position in phase.

It sounds good 👍 I'll use it at a gig this weekend, give it a real test. Then I'll make a pickguard with a proper cutout.
IMG_20220523_190036492_HDR.jpg
 

nnieman

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Your pickguard reminded me of a story. I made one 1.5 mm stainless steel pickguard and the control plate for one customer. The polishing process killed me.
You are wise, using something softer
)
Thanks!
Yours looks great!
This was a total experiment - I wasn’t sure how well it would turn out.
I was wanting something different than the usual black/ white/ tortoise.

Back painting the clear acrylic gives a lot of depth to the pickguard.

I think a metallic black or dark grey would look really cool…. A different twist to the typical blackguard look

Nathan
 

Jim_in_PA

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My building permit for the new shop is "on my bench"...err....desk. :) Now that that particular hurry up and wait task is accomplished I can move on to the next hurry up and wait task which is waiting for the 12-20 weeks for the builder to schedule the two days that it will take for said building to go up.
 

Billycaster21

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Glueing up my first neck. Hopefully everything is aligned just right. Carving still seems impossibly difficult but everything so far has been easier than I expected-albeit with small but mostly fixable errors…
 

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Billycaster21

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Currently on my workbench is an oak neck with flame maple fingerboard and walnut fret markers. As many have said, shaping a neck is quite relaxing. View attachment 985237
View attachment 985240 View attachment 985241 View attachment 985242 View attachment 985243
View attachment 985244
That neck looks fantastic! Could you describe your carving method? I’m getting ready to carve my first neck. I’m planning on using guitarbuilders method in his “Lets make a neck” thread and am curious about how others do this.
 

guitarbuilder

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That neck looks fantastic! Could you describe your carving method? I’m getting ready to carve my first neck. I’m planning on using guitarbuilders method in his “Lets make a neck” thread and am curious about how others do this.


You have to remove material from a rectangle of wood and leave a curved shaft. There are only so many ways to approach this. You can use a cnc or Sheltema router jig, you can use hand or power tools like a spokeshave, an adze, angle grinder, rasp, file, drawknife, belt sander, or any other tool that removes wood.

It boils down to doing some planning on what you want....or not. The 3 methods I see people doing are 1. using a couple curved templates in the shape you want to end up with at the ends of the shaft and remove material between those curves, or 2, laying out the facets as I've described to a set of curves you desire. and 3. some people just have at it with the tools and see what they end up with a neck.

Having tried most of the hand tools over the years, I can tell you that the wide rasp or similar tool will be more controllable and you'll end up with a neck that has less hills and valleys to contend with. You have to find what method works for you. I started out with a spokeshave and it worked, but the Farrier's rasp worked better for me.

The faceting method gives you lines on the wood to work to like in a coloring book. If you stay in the lines to the best of your ability, assuming you put the lines on the wood correctly, you'll end up with a neck closer to what you designed in the cross section drawings. After 40 years of neck carving under my belt, and I still use this same same method, as I haven't seen anything better other than the CNC, or maybe a dead head sander, come down the pike. Just attacking wood with tools could result in a neck you like....or not... Using templates to check the wood and to remove the wood to them works too.

Everybody does what they like and ends up with a neck. Some necks come out better than others and you learn from your mistakes or lack thereof. The more necks you make, the easier it gets and the fears eventually subside. One thing to really pay attention to is the transitional area where curves meet flat wood. The closer you get to factory looks, the more professional it will feel and look.


 
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Billycaster21

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You have to remove material from a rectangle of wood and leave a curved shaft. There are only so many ways to approach this. You can use a cnc or Sheltema router jig, you can use hand or power tools like a spokeshave, an adze, angle grinder, rasp, file, drawknife, belt sander, or any other tool that removes wood.

It boils down to doing some planning on what you want....or not. The 3 methods I see people doing are 1. using a couple curved templates in the shape you want to end up with at the ends of the shaft and remove material between those curves, or 2, laying out the facets as I've described to a set of curves you desire. and 3. some people just have at it with the tools and end see what you end up with a neck.

Having tried most of the hand tools over the years, I can tell you that the wide rasp or similar tool will be more controllable and you'll end up with a neck that has less hills and valleys to contend with. You have to find what method works for you. I started out with a spokeshave and it worked, but the Farrier's rasp worked better for me.

The faceting method gives you lines on the wood to work to like in a coloring book. If you stay in the lines to the best of your ability, assuming you put the lines on the wood correctly, you'll end up with a neck closer to what you designed in the cross section drawings. Just attacking wood with tools could result in a neck you like....or not... Using templates to remove the wood works too.

Everybody does what they like and ends up with a neck. Some necks come out better than others and you learn from your mistakes or lack thereof. The more necks you make, the easier it gets and the fears eventually subside. One thing to really pay attention to is the transitional area where curves meet flat wood. The closer you get to factory looks, the more professional it will feel and look.


Thank you for your very thorough response! I think I’m going to use the facet method that you have described in your thread. Also, thanks for pointing me in the direction of the other neck building thread. I look forward to taking the plunge over the next week or so.
 

Medeltids

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That neck looks fantastic! Could you describe your carving method? I’m getting ready to carve my first neck. I’m planning on using guitarbuilders method in his “Lets make a neck” thread and am curious about how others do this.
Thanks @Billycaster21

Guitarbuilder answered much better than I could. I start with establishing neck depth at the 1st and 12th fret based upon whatever profile I have settled upon. This particular neck I used the “fender modern v” profile although it doesn’t seem very “v” to me.
I set my table saw to cut no deeper (on the back side) than the thickest part of the neck...in this case .89” at the 12th. Then it’s just a matter of a few dozen cuts moving from fret 12 - 1...essentially removing excess material from the back of the neck. I ALWAYS allow a margin of error.
Then I proceed with the “facet” method outlined in many threads here. Nothing but elbow grease, files, and sandpaper from that point on although I did some (careful) work on my spindle sander at the transitions (head and heel). I say careful because it’s so easy to remove too much material at which point a “design change order” has been submitted by the universe. :0)

Take your time, enjoy the process. Your hands and eyes will be the final judge. The first neck I carved, I was sure I made way too thin. It’s one of the best(easiest) playing necks I have. Remember, you can always take more wood off...near impossible to add sawdust back.
 

Billycaster21

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Thanks @Billycaster21

Guitarbuilder answered much better than I could. I start with establishing neck depth at the 1st and 12th fret based upon whatever profile I have settled upon. This particular neck I used the “fender modern v” profile although it doesn’t seem very “v” to me.
I set my table saw to cut no deeper (on the back side) than the thickest part of the neck...in this case .89” at the 12th. Then it’s just a matter of a few dozen cuts moving from fret 12 - 1...essentially removing excess material from the back of the neck. I ALWAYS allow a margin of error.
Then I proceed with the “facet” method outlined in many threads here. Nothing but elbow grease, files, and sandpaper from that point on although I did some (careful) work on my spindle sander at the transitions (head and heel). I say careful because it’s so easy to remove too much material at which point a “design change order” has been submitted by the universe. :0)

Take your time, enjoy the process. Your hands and eyes will be the final judge. The first neck I carved, I was sure I made way too thin. It’s one of the best(easiest) playing necks I have. Remember, you can always take more wood off...near impossible to add sawdust back.
Thanks for your response. This is very helpful and encouraging to hear. I need to remember to back off when my impatience wants to get the better of me. Tonight I install my vise and put some lines on the wood…
 

Jim_in_PA

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I'm mid-process of re-doing out laundry room as new appliances are arriving next week. It was poorly done by the previous owners so it made sense to take care of things while I could have the room empty for the week. Redoing all the plumbing, electrical and venting is completed so just some final paint work and then the new floor gets things ready for Tuesday's delivery.
 




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