Jump to content

Entry for August 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!
ENTER HERE

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

1Way

Les Paul And Weight Loss Project

Recommended Posts

setch is SOOOO correct...100%

the blade CAN wander an amazing amount if the bandsaw is not set up perfectly.it can even cup the wood(happened to me while cutting a headstock face once...i cried,seriously....)

most likely scenario for your proposal is failure,whether through an unbalanced neck heavy guitar which will hurt your back more than a well balanced heavier one(trust me...i have a bad back as well),or through all the blade wandering and chipping and such.

why are you a "die hard les paul person?"is it the tone?because it will not sound very les paul like after all this.there are alot of guitars which are much lighter and better balanced that work well for guys with back problems such as me.

the ibanez rgt is neck through and is available in mahogany/maple...you could pick up some gibson p/ups on ebay and get a pretty sweet ,mellow tone.

but in the end it is up to you.

i think that what you plan is definately tougher to execute than you think :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Setch, you said

You have obviously *never* resawn with a bandsaw, or you wouldn't be so glib about the process. Cutting a neat 3/8" slice off a rectangular board takes a ton of practice, cutting it off an irregular object like a guitar, with a neck sticking out to get in the way, without chipping out at the edge, or running out and cutting a tapered slice or even emerging halfway though the back is practically impossible. Imagining that you can do it so neatly that you can simply sand the back and reglue it is plain dellusional.

The 3/8" panel I was talking about was had by doing one single cut, not after two cuts. All you have to do to reattach that panel is sand down both sides, apply glue, and reattach. The neck will not be in the way, even the lowest part of the neck joint wouldn't be touched, there's every bit of 3/8" of an inch before you even get to the neck joint.

You said

Building guitars is less complex than you think, bandsawing a slice of the back of a completed instrument is *much* more complicated than you think.

I respectfully disagree.

Is what I want to do tricky and potentially dangerous? Yes, no doubt, but is it harder than building an entire guitar, not remotely. Just considering the project number of steps and work time involved leaves no comparison between the two. Not even if I removed a 3/8" section out of the width of the guitar like you said and like I earlier suggested I might do, that's still easier and quicker and cheaper than building an entire guitar. It's all bandmill and router de-struction, and practically no con-struction. The only construction is affixing the panel back on and then redoing the paint job, and those are simple tasks.

As long as everything goes well, I could do the entire project (except for the paint job) in one night if I already had a solid understanding of where all the cavities are in the guitar. But of course the glue will need to setup overnight, and then I'd have the task of replacing all the hardware too, so it's a solid weekend project, with some jig creation, CAD drawings of the chamber design and locations, guitar scoring, and hardware removal beforehand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VanKirk

Well, more accurately, I still view the modification as viable. I'm not sure I will do it, but it has my approval so far. I AB'd three guitars tonight and I was rather surprised by the results. The line up was all Epiphones, two Pauls and one SG, and the SG really gave the Paul's a run for the money. I may be rethinking this mod and going with an SG instead. B):D

Your precautions list is much appreciated, and for the most part I agree. As to chips and dings, I would cover the guitar so that it would be fully protected. The only exposed part would be the scored section where the bandmill blade would run.

I think as long as you can safely and reliably do the bandmill cut, this mod would be relatively easy to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reeek

For a strat (or PRS?) styled guitar, wow, that is awesome!

westhemann

As far as alternatives go, I like Gibson and I dislike Fender, so a Strat copy would not naturally be appealing to me, although I might be able to acquire a taste for the duel humbucker not bolt on neck types. I like the looks of their "Artist" guitars.

Warmoth has an awesome hollowed out Strat body. As to the mod being tougher than I think, perhaps, but if the back panel removal would work well, it's a power saw for goodness sakes, it should be downhill after that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DannoG

:D

westheman

Yes, I've briefly seen them before on the internet, but I am not familiar with the ESP name brand and the quality of their guitars. The Viper 1000 seems impressive to me. It has active EMG 81's, 24 frets, abalone inlays, and an offset SG body shape. It's priced at about $50 cheaper than the Epiphone SG 1961 reissue. I also like the Ibanez Artist, although I still haven't played that one yet. But that Epi 61 reissue played great, sounded great, looked great, was great, and it comes with a hard-shell case too. The SG option is looking attractive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but I am not familiar with the ESP name brand and the quality of their guitars.

they are pretty decent...especially the deluxe ltd model...i believe the quality to be superior to the epiphone

but by all means play one before you make a decision.it could mean a better guitar for the money

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has so many different points

1)I'd look at copies. The Agile copies from http://www.rondomusic.net/electricguitar.html are highly regarded and sometimes have a hollow Les Paul (their selection changes all the time, so you may have to check back). There was another company that I can't remember right now making a copy with a hollow body, but you could probably Google it.

2)If you are not comfortable with the whole build but want the set neck, you could always buy a neck off of ebay or remove the Epiphone neck and build a new body.

3)That sandwich method of holding the body is going to be harder with the neck attached.

4)If you can do this, please post pictures. I don't want to argue about if it is possible, I just know I could not do that neatly or safely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You just aren't getting this. You seem to imagine that because the bandmill is a machine it'll do all the work for you, and you won't even need to think. This is dead wrong - look up resawing in google and you'll soon realise that it is a complicated and finicky process.

When you saw a large (tall) cut with an unsupported blade you have to constantly monitor the direction of cut, and usually setup a fence which is angled to take into account the blades natural tendancy to wander in one direction or the other. Large straight cuts with bandsaws are very difficult. Also, blades for resaws are typicial course so that they can effectively remove material quickly and clear sawdust from the cut, which prevents friction. Too much friction means your blade heats up, becomes flexible, which leads to more wandering, and a rippled cut. The downside to the large teeth is the tendency to tear out at the bottom edge where the teeth emerge from the object being cut. This isn't a problem when resawing blanks which are still rough dimensioned, but would obviously be a problem when working with a finally dimensioned and finished guitar!

Assuming you can get a 3/8" slice off your guitar without catastrophe, you then have to flatten the surfaces for glueing. I'd expect to remove at the very least 1/16" to get the saw marks out and get the surface truly flat. That's a pretty optimistic measure - 1/8" - 1/4" is probably closer to the truth. How you'll do this is an other area for concern. You can run the back through a planer or thickness sander, though you're taking a chance running something that thin through a planer, but the body is a different matter. No flat surface at the front to rest on, no way you can run it through a thicknesser or planer... looks like several hours of sanding or planing by hand. That's not including the hours of practice you need to get first so that you can actually achieve a properly flat surface using hand tools.

This where the round over on the back bites you in the arse... you've got the surfaces of the back and the body smooth and flat, but taking into account the kerf of the resaw, pluse the material you've removed from the back and the body, you now have to recut the round over. Either that, or err on the side if caution when you cut, and take the bottom of the heel off... neither choice is a winner.

If you insist on modding an existing guitar, route the back off, and buy a 1/4" or 3/8" mahogany bookmatch from a good wood supplier. Chamber the body with the router and glue on the new back, then route it flush and either paint or bind to hide the joint. Take it from somebody who has done this, it works. What you're proposing won't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Setch, :D it's not that I'm as ignorant :D and unwilling to understand, after all, I'm here openly seeking critical advice to learn and get feedback (pro or con) on this exact project. Your recent comments are more specific and helpful. I am grateful.

Test first

If I was to do this mod, I would prepare with a test run on the same sort of wood and jig setup just to see how the saw would react to this kind of cut. That might stop the project right there, or it may not. It would certainly be as wide as the guitar is, it would be curved shaped approximated as the guitar is, and it would have a carved top on it too, to give a truer test of the jig sandwich setup.

Lets not make it harder than it already is

You interjected that the band mill would have an unsupported blade. I call that inventing problems that may not apply. But your concern, however likely or not, was my concern too. Rest assured, I would not attempt this cut without blade bearing guides being set as close to the guitar as reasonably possible for maximum control of the blade.

Some clarification

As to a courser resaw blade, I would rather not go with an aggressive courser blade cut which will not clear quite as much wood and risk heating up quicker and therefore I would pay closer attention to adjust the blade (if any) and feed speed accordingly. I guestimate that the blade should be more of a medium cut. I believe it would offer a somewhat slower and more precise cut. I'm not in a hurry when doing this cut, so a wide tooth blade with it's rougher finish problems need not apply.

I wont run something that thin and prefinished through a planer, I would set it on something that would protect the backside finish and sand off the roughness, it's a simple task.

Don't cut it out, rout it out!

B)

Wow, now here is some interesting stuff. You said that you have routed the back off of a solid body guitar and then chambered it, and then replaced the back with a new quality wood back. That sounds like a great method. It was what I would have done if saving the back panel would not work. Since apparently you have not tried to cut off the back panel off of a solid body guitar, don't you think a little grace should be afforded incase it's not as hard as you imagine? Don't get me wrong, I think you are looking out for my best interested because of the shear amount of time you have spent. And for that, thanks, I appreciate it.

:D

I'll give you this much right off the bat, your routing idea does seem easier for removing the back in terms of type of equipment, setup expertise, and overall simplicity. And I'm happy to not have to enter into an unusual relationship with a tool that I am not familiar with in the case of the bandmill and cutting off a relatively thin and fragile prepainted and finished back panel.

:D

Ok, scratching my head some more. There, after further deliberation, I have to admit that you've done your job well. I think your way may be better. I can do the entire project in the garage with standard duty tools, and for a small upgrade cost, make the back look better than it started out. Sounds like a winner to me!

Question

Did you have to do anything special to keep a clean edge at the outside surface of the guitar? I would imagine that you would want to score it so that the chips would stop at the score.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey hey... looks like we're getting somewhere!

To address your test run first - seems like if you're making a carved top, guitar shaped piece of hardwood to test on, you're only a few steps from building a guitar! :DB):D

To concentrate on the routing:

My third guitar was a chambered mahogany and maple electric. It is extremely light (6lbs 13 oz compared to 8lb 10 oz for my chambered Les Paul) but doesn't have the typical LP sound (it's snappier and more responsive to pick attack).

Whilst routing out the body shape I suffered some tearout near the body horn, which I couldn't patch satisfactorily. I got as far as finishing the body before I decided I was unhappy with the area, and so I ended up routing away the entire treble side horn, right upto the binding. I then shaped and glued a replacement from a mahogany offcut, and fitted it in place and acraped/sanded it flush with the binding.

Then, I routed a 3/8" deep by 1" wide rebate all around the edges of the back, then a 3/8" by 2" wide channel down the centre. This left 2 'islands' of wood to be removed with a smoothing plane, and finally I levelled everything off with a big flat sanding block. I thicknessed some offcuts from an old body blank down to 3/8" and glued these onto the back. I then routed a binding channel 1/4" deep around the back, and bound the back. To conceal a less than perfect joint in the centre of the new back, I inlayed a padauk strip down the back, to match the laminated neck.

This is how it looked afterwards:

13_glossyback.jpg

I didn't take any special meaures to avoid chipping at the edge - chipout with a router usually occurs when you are cutting endgrain in an unfavorable direction, it rarely occours below the end of the cutter - which is the critical area in your situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Setch, getting somewhere we are. Thanks for hanging in there.

I'm confused, you said Whilst routing out the body shape I suffered some tearout near the body horn, Were you making a guitar, or was this a mod to an existing one? What do you mean by routing out the body shape? Do you mean that you were routing off the back of the guiar starting at the extremities and then working your way inward? Then you said I routed a 3/8" deep by 1" wide rebate all around the edges of the back, then a 3/8" by 2" wide channel down the centre. This left 2 'islands' of wood to be removed with a smoothing plane, and finally I levelled everything off with a big flat sanding block. I thicknessed some offcuts from an old body blank down to 3/8" and glued these onto the back. To me, it sounds like you ,,,removed 3/8"
and then youglued back on 3/8"
so,,, you undid what you did. Why, what, where, ya but, why, doh, I just don't get what you were up to. But a very nice looking guitar back!

Help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Setch, I imagine that you ran into problems when your routing and the wood grain changed directions. I would guess that routing at the end grain was worse than routing along with the grain. (Chuckles) Now please don't get upset with me (duck,,, whoosh,,, crash bang,,, fast footsteps), but I am seriously considering the SG option instead of the LP lite mod for my first serious guitar keeper.

They were all Epiphone guitars, but the elitist 61 reissue SG (around $800) was superior in all respects (except looks) in my opinion, it's hard to look better than a cherry burst LP, it even did better than the elitist LP standard plus which costs nearly a thousand dollars. Both the SG and the LP sounded and played great, but with the SG, there is this extra something in the sound, something really gutsy, raw, punchy, sorta wooden sounding, something that grabs me and wont let go. I love it's guitar voicing/tone.

So this LP slimfast project is probably going to be something like my third guitar or so. First would be the SG, then perhaps a dot 335 style guitar, then a light weight LP. But I'm still just as interested in this mod as before, just less urgent.

BTW, have you seen the Stellar "hollow" LP with F holes? It looks like a neat guitar. It's all maple and it's economy priced, I should say it's really really cheap. I wonder how it plays and sounds!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Setch, more pics if you please. Is that an output jack that was covered up I see there? Very nice touch with the through the body string stop. More pics please. Is the front a carved maple top or is it flat mahogany? How many frets? Did I already ask for more pics? More pics please. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Setch, getting somewhere we are. Thanks for hanging in there.
No problem... :D
Were you making a guitar, or was this a mod to an existing one? What do you mean by routing out the body shape?
Both! I built the guitar, then modified it to hide a mistake made during the building process. I was routing the body shape out of a body blank using a template and a pattern follower bit when the tearout happened.
To me, it sounds like you ,,,removed 3/8"

and then youglued back on 3/8"

so,,, you undid what you did. Why, what, where, ya but, why, doh, I just don't get what you were up to. But a very nice looking guitar back!

Help!
I routed off the back, then glued on a new one to hide where I had scarfed in a new treble side horn. There was no 'practical' reason for removing the back, it was purely a cosmetic decision to hide my repair. Correction - I removed 3/8 and replaced it with a 1/4" cap. This was so I could hide the join with 1/4" binding.

I could have routed the back off, chambered and glued on a new back, but it was already chambered before I glued on the maple top, so there was no need.

http://fullservesite.com/setch/07_sandwich.jpg

I am seriously considering the SG option instead of the LP lite mod for my first serious guitar keeper.


Go for it - SG's rock. My first guitar was an Epi SG. My first build was a padauk SG junior with 24 frets. SG's are great guitars, with awesome upper fret access. The only problem is a tendency towards neck heaviness, but that depends on the individual instrument.

Setch, more pics if you please. Is that an output jack that was covered up I see there? Very nice touch with the through the body string stop. More pics please. Is the front a carved maple top or is it flat mahogany? How many frets? Did I already ask for more pics? More pics please.

The jackhole was covered with a jackplate. The front is 1/2" thick maple, carved down to 1/8th at the edges, and bound with 2 ply cream/tortoise binding.

http://fullservesite.com/setch/14_finalfront.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Setch, wow, that is one stunningly good looking guitar. Did your SG look anything like this? m4560378-1056.jpg Wow, that is most excellent, you make some awesome looking guitars. I googled Padauk SG Junior and yours was the first hit.

Nice LP too. m4560431-7593.jpg

How did you get 24 frets on an SG, they normally come with 22? I'd like a 24 fret SG with such a quality woodgrain finish, only with two regular sized pickups and two volume knobs and a different stop piece, maybe a through the body stop or an adjustable hard tale with separate bridge. Very nice work. Are there kits to make a 24 fret SG?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Setch,

Ok, please give me the low down. What tooling and shop stuff would I need to build my own guitar if I started out with a prebuilt 24 fret nech-through from Carvin? They have one I'm interested in for about 210 bucks or so. I like rosewood FB and stainless steel frets. I could prepare it for a pair of humbuckers, but only buy the bridge PU when I can afford it. I roughly figure

225 on the neck and strings,

100 on the bridge pickup, (JB or Seth Lover)

100 on the hardware,

100 on the wood, (mahogany)

75 on the paint job

+

=$600

(later)

100 on a neck pickup

+

=$ 700 total plus labor and tooling

What do you think, is that price range anywhere accurate? I was just guessing on most of it. Wow, that is almost exactly on par with the Epiphone Elitist 61 reissue SG. By adding a 100 dollar neck pickup, I would only save about 75$ over buying the Epi, only I'd have 24 instead of 22 frets, and a hand built guitar. And then I'd loose that 75$ when I bought a case to go with it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my first guitar i made with the carvin neck you talk about.i guess i spent about what you are guestimating there...and it was not that difficult

the neck being pre built is a big plus in the ease department

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For tooling the basic things you should have are a bandsaw(or handsaw I suppose), lots of sand paper, a few chiesels, router with flush trim bit and 1/4 bit, drill press(or drill), and it never hurts to have a power sander (my fav is a dual action pneumatic sander which is how I contoured mine). That should get you a guitar. There are other tools I used like a dremel, but really you can away with far less tools then I mentioned I suppose. The price of mahogany isn't that much if you watch. I scored a 18"x2 1/4"x 23" piece of mahogany that was kiln dried and high grade from an ebayer (I didn't get it through an auction I just found his business and asked if I could order the piece). For I believe 53 bucks shipped he planed it down to 2" for me and thru in an extra piece of mahogany about 7"x 2"x23. If you shop around and know what your looking for you can score some nice deals. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i built my first with a dremel,a jigsaw,and sandpaper...and a few clamps

you do need to run your wood through a jointer though.and a planer if it is not already thicknessed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that SG cost me at most £ 170 ($315). The neck was homemade, and cost around £25 quid including a pre-radiused fretboard and fretwire. The body was 2 piece unjoined padauk and cost £25. The rest went on hardware, including a used Gibson bridge for £5 from my local luthiers, and no-name sealed tuners.

Making the neck 24 frets was easy. Because of the scoops on the cutaways, SG's have a gap between the end of the freboard and the neck pickup, which is big enough to fit two frets into. I've never understood why 24 frets aren't standard on SG's. Look at the classic SG with small scratchplate and pickup rings and you'll see they have a special little plastic plate to fill the gap between fretboard and pickup.

If you like the look of the padauk (I think it's beautiful) use it, but chaber the living sh*t out of it! That SG weighs 8lbs 10 oz, the same as the Les Paul I'm finishing off, despite being thinner than a standard SG and having some material bored out before jointing the 2 halves of the body. Padauk is heavy! Also, mine ended up very neck heavy, since I slimmed the body to try and make it less cripplingly heavy, but kept the neck chunky since it was my first attempt.

Ironically, this could be a great chance to use the bandmill!! you could cut 3/8" off the front of your blank (buy a two piece if you're using a neck through) and run the pieces through a thicknesser. Then you could trim the thick sections to glue on either side of the neck through, and use the thin boards to cap the face. The cuts would be straightforward because you'd have plenty of thickness to play with, and a 2 piece blank would mean only a 6" tall cut, rather than 12". Then you could hollow out the wings to make it less heavy. Alternatively, use mahogany, which is lighter.

I think you're definately on the way to a great project - by all accounts the carvin necks are very nice, and they remove a lot of uncertainty from your first try. If you've already got a router and jigsaw, and can beg, steal or borrow access to a jointer and thickness planer/sander for a few hours you shouldn't have to spend too much on tooling, and there are always ways round if you think and don't mind doing stupid things.... I thicknessed the blank for the padauk SG using an 24" pruning saw to remove 1/2" inch from the blank, then trued up with a router and lots of sanding - I wouldn't recommend this way, but it worked!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and there are always ways round if you think and don't mind doing stupid things.... I thicknessed the blank for the padauk SG using an 24" pruning saw to remove 1/2" inch from the blank, then trued up with a router and lots of sanding - I wouldn't recommend this way, but it worked!!

I'm currently getting ready to knock 1.5mm from my quiled maple cap as there are some chips taken out. Not a problem unles you've got to do it with sandpaper :D

Anyway, as far as this chopping the back off the guitar, I'm very glad that you're now going down the route that you are. I honestly think that if you were to chop a slice down the back, you're asking for trouble.

What I did to hollow out my old strat copy was to draw round it on a piece of mdf, then draw a line about 10mm inside of this one, all the way round. Then inside this line, draw another about 4mm away (I doubt if these are the best dimensions but you get what you pay for B) ) You will also need some wood to use for a cap (lets say a 5mm sheet of mahogany)

Now then, cut out the wood to the inside line and now you have a template to hollow out the body, remember you have to leave solid bits (like a core) though. Once this is done then you can cut the template out to the oher line (10mm from the edge) and you have a template to do a lip to mount your cap to. You will need to raise the template though so that the shank of the flush cutting bit sits against the template. You can now route to the 5mm depth of your cap (which in this case would be on the back of the guitar to save the need for recarving on the top).

You can now take of your template and put it on the bit of wood you intend to use for the cap, draw round the inside of your template and cut out the shape. This should now fit very nicely on top of the lip that you've routed.

And now for the final step: glue it in and filler and paint makes things what they ain’t :D .

And now an admission, I hollowed out my guitar when I was drunk (which I certainly wouldn’t recommend to anyone, it’s a very stupid idea) and I didn’t use this method as such, I did most of it free hand which I wouldn’t recommend either. I would have used this method if I was sober though.

Kaj

And remember to keep the walls of the electrics box and bits like that (not that I forgot and had to knock up a box or anything <----- Insert little whistling “would I do that” avatar here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I am really starting to think seriously about building my next guitar. But I don't think I would if I had to do all the precise work for the neck.

Several questions

Q1

What is a jointer? In his last post, Setch said

If you like the look of the padauk (I think it's beautiful) use it, but chaber the living sh*t out of it! That SG weighs 8lbs 10 oz, the same as the Les Paul I'm finishing off, despite being thinner than a standard SG and having some material bored out before jointing the 2 halves of the body.

Q2

How close will I be able to come to recreating the tone I heard from that Epiphone Elitist 61 reissue SG? I could tell a difference between the Elitist LP Plus and the Elitist 61 SG. I wouldn't like spending this much money on a guitar and being disappointed when I was done.

Q3

How do I find out how to make the guitar shape? So far I want an SG. Any guides or suggestions for doing this?

Hmmm, when I think about that SG, I feel like I found "the" guitar for me. So maybe I should buy first and then build another guitar later... I can really tell, I loved the feel, the way it played, and the sound, and the looks, and the weight. Most of all, the feel and the sound, it is it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...