Wolfgang Build - Carvetop assistance

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by GoKart Mozart, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. GoKart Mozart

    GoKart Mozart Tele-Meister

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    Thought I'd share some pics of a "build" that began last summer. I purchased this Peavey Wolfgang partially finished body blank from an individual on Facebook who was helping clean out the old Peavey Plant #2 in Meridian. I believe Hartley sold or gave the old building and all of the leftover materials to a church; they ended up with about half a dozen of these partially finished bodies and I requested one with a tune-o-matic bridge (I'm not to keen on Floyds these days).

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    I thought it would be a fun project to take on especially since most of the difficult work was already done, such as the neck pocket routing, top carve, bridge route, etc. This one is interesting in that instead of basswood the body is a big one-piece chunk of mahogany. Must've been some kind of test case. It also sports a really nice piece of maple on the top.

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    Rear view of the mahogany back.

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    Today I figured it was time to at least start on it, so I took it over to my Dad's place. He's dabbled in just about every form of carpentry/woodworking that I can think of in my 36 years, and needless to say his shop is much more equipped than mine.

    First step was freeing the body from the blank, which was an easy job with the bandsaw. After that, we cleaned up the bottom edge of the body using a router with a flush trim bit.

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    The body was pretty thick to begin with, more in the Les Paul territory than Wolfgang. After testing some scrap pieces with a 1/4" roundover bit, I decided to go with a more aggressive 1/2" roundover on the back. I was really pleased how this turned out; definitely different than what you usually see.

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    So here's my first conundrum. I want to add a slight roundover to the top just to smooth out the sharp edge on the maple. However, where the carved top starts to bulge would cause the router base plate to be uneven as it travels toward the neck pocket. My initial thought was to get an 1/8" roundover bit for my Dremel (yes, the D-word) and make a really narrow baseplate out of plexiglass to keep from hitting the top carve as the tool passes along the edges. I'm not so sure that would work though. Anybody have any other suggestions?

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    Anyway, off to a decent start!

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  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Probably the easiest thing would be to make an auxiliary base for your router and suspend it over the body like an overarm router. That would keep it at a consistant height. Alternatively, I've used a jig attached to the router before, but I like a drawer slide devise these days.
    see post 5 in this thread:


    https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240483

    or you can buy one :)

    https://www.canadianluthiersupply.com/products/binding-jig



    bindingjig.jpg



    https://www.google.com/search?q=arc...g5DgAhVGmuAKHZ83BX4Q_AUIDygC&biw=1279&bih=555
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    If the drop from the center of the top to the edge of the guitar (recurve) is the same all the way around you could put two little blocks of wood that thickness one either side of the bit on a route table. The guitar would sit on the center of the top and the edge would be supported as you do the round over.

    When I started building arched topped instruments I just broke down and bought the floating router jig designed for the purpose

    IMG_3336.JPG
     
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  4. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I use a scratch stock made out of a piece of band saw blade or hack saw blade. I use a file to create the profile (chain saw file for a radius) and the burr on the scratch stock. The chamfer, or radius is then scraped into the edge with the scratch stock holder riding on the side of the guitar.

    This is a super easy tool to make and you can profile the entire guitar in about 1/10th the amount of the time it takes to set up a router. Google scratch stock to see examples.

    Edit to add that scratch stocks historically have been used to create beads, for example around the edge of drawer front. The detail can easily be changed to a simple chamfer or round over however.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  5. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    sand paper curved around the edge with your fingers also works to break the edge. 150 or 220 is pretty gentle and doesn't remove too much too fast.
     
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  6. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    I’d leave that perfect corner and put a faux or real binding on it
     
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  7. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I also would just hand sand or rasp slightly the edge making a nice break. I like leaving the Maple as a faux type binding.
     
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  8. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Holic

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    I would just break the edge with a light sanding and that’s about it.
     
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  9. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Great looking guitar body. I'd also just gently hand sand that top round over. I've done it several times - comes out fine.
     
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  10. GoKart Mozart

    GoKart Mozart Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I ended up doing it by hand as many of you suggested. I used some 120 grit at about a 45 degree angle along the edge and that worked perfectly to remove the sharp ridge.
     
  11. GoKart Mozart

    GoKart Mozart Tele-Meister

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    Also, while I was taking down the top edge I did a little sanding on the top then rubbed a little water on it. It’ll look good eventually.

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  12. GoKart Mozart

    GoKart Mozart Tele-Meister

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    edit
     
  13. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    It's Purdy!

    A generous application of Rem oil and Hoppe's #9 and you will make sure it goes off with a bang! :lol:

    You must multi task in your work space. I use my reloading bench to work on guitars and amps too.
     
  14. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    I'm interested to know what depth the recesses for the bridge and tailpiece are.
     
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  15. GoKart Mozart

    GoKart Mozart Tele-Meister

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    Haha! Yep, the bench in the basement serves MANY functions! Guns, guitars, amps, kids toy repair, etc.

    I measured them just now with my digital caliper and they're both about 5/16", 0.315".
     
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  16. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    Cheers man.
     
  17. zhyla

    zhyla Tele-Meister

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    Hey, so here's what I did to round over the top on an archtop build (a mandocello, but same problem) -- see 2nd picture in this post:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/71653-my-mandocello-build?p=933216&viewfull=1#post933216

    Basically just made a thick base for my router out of plywood and then ground part of it off to roughly match the top curve. You just have to be a little more careful than usual since it isn't as stable, being only supported by a little bit of the base (and the router bit's bearing). Worked fine though.
     
  18. GoKart Mozart

    GoKart Mozart Tele-Meister

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    Progress on the project has been slow going, mostly due to laziness on my part. Last week I decided to pick back up and went ahead and ordered the neck from Musikraft, so I'm hoping it'll be here in about a month. This weekend I got back to work on some miscellaneous things on the back of the body.

    First up was to carve out a belly contour. Since this was my first attempt at doing one, I ordered a the much beloved Shinto rasp and did it by hand. This is a really neat tool...I dig it a lot!

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    Notice the accumulation of shavings:
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    I was trying to blend the edge roundover into the belly carve; turned out pretty good!

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    Next I borrowed my dad's rabbet bits to do the main cavity ledge; this was done with a 3/8" rabbet bit. I'm going to have to clean this up slightly because you'll notice that there was a bit of a "ledge" sticking out in the cavity that I didn't see at first; the bearing on the bit followed that shape perfectly and transferred it to the rabbet cut. haha. I couldn't do the toggle switch rabbet because it needs to be much smaller than 3/8" else it'll run out into the body edge, so I ordered some larger bit bearings to reduce the size of the rabbet cut. I'm planning on making cavity covers out of some type of hardwood eventually (rosewood/ebony/maple/walnut).

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    And finally, the neck heel. I probably spent most of my time the past few nights on this area. Due to the extra thickness of the body, it's not going to be a 100% accurate as the production Wolfgang body but I did go ahead and do the 1/4" ledge cutaway on the edge of the heel. I actually did that cut using with my Dremel using the cutting guide as a base to rest against the body and a #196 bit. I clamped a piece of wood to the body as a makeshift fence for the cutting guide to run against, which worked out much better than I thought it would. Then I did a similar roundover on the edge of the heel and blended it all together using 80 grit sandpaper and a few files. It's kind of hard to see but I also tried to add a slight roundover on the ledge that lines up with the roundovers coming from the horns on the body.

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    That's it for now. Before I can attach the neck and string it up, I'll need to track down some neck ferrules & screws as well as tuners. I'm also going to have to make a 1/8" shim for the neck pocket due to the extra depth.
     
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  19. GoKart Mozart

    GoKart Mozart Tele-Meister

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    The router bearing set came in; ended up using the 7/8" one for the rabbet cut on the toggle cavity and it was the perfect size.

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    I had been wanting to recess the knobs on top in the PRS fashion. Did a lot of reading on this over the past few months and stumbled on across one of @gangreen's builds where he presented his method of using a clove bit. I'm pretty happy with the results.

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  20. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    That’s looking cool.
     
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