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Thats better.

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Then I went ahead and routed the pickup cavities. They didnt come out perfect, but good enough for for now. The next one will be better.

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After that it was time to install the fretboard.

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Im a huge proponent of using a clamping cowl for this. As you all know, this is my first fretboard installation and it came out perfectly with no gaps whatsoever. And I only had to use 6 clamps. I double stick taped a strip of 10 lbs. blue foam to the surface of the cowl for added protection. Dont know if this gave any added value, but it theoretically kept the ebony fingerboard from sliding around under the pressure of the clamps.

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Then I built a little jig to radius the fretboard with my homemade, laser cut sanding block, and went to town.

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lots of dust.

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60 min. later.

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Sorry for the crappy phone pic...

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StewMac 16" fret press insert in a chunk of scrap maple. Best $5 I evers pent.

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Made fretting this a breeze.

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4 feet of LMII extra jumbo pre bent gold fretwire was BARELY enough. I used GuitarNut's fretwire saving method to stretch it out as far as I possibly could.

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Not bad for a first go, eh?

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Then I spent an hour and a half carving the neck and another 3 hours shaping the heel and HS transition last night with nothing but my 12" half-round rasp, a spokeshave and some 100 grit sandpaper. My phone battery died so I didnt get any pics of the carving unfortunately, but this is the result.

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My hands are still killing me, but Im satisfied with the result.

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The next one will be even better!

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So this is how she stands (or lays). Nothing left to do but some finish sanding and paint before final assembly and setup! Unfortunately I have to build this thing digitally from the ground up including pots, switches and screws by thursday night for my final in addition to all of my other projects for school... UGH!

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Sorry these pics are all blown out. Ill get some better ones when i finish her up. Until then youll have to imagine the pristine beauty of my workmanship... :D

Edited by MuffinPunch

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Then I spent an hour and a half carving the neck and another 3 hours shaping the heel and HS transition last night with nothing but my 12" half-round rasp, a spokeshave and some 100 grit sandpaper...

...My hands are still killing me, but Im satisfied with the result...

These two statements are crucial points in whether this design would be an economically reproducible product. Finding some way to speed up the coarse neck and heel shaping to under 30 mins with say, 10 mins hand finishing would go a long way towards making this a truly viable product design ;-)

Great work. Good to see something develop from concept through to a realised product.

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damn !! - it's starting to LOOK like a GUITAR!!!!!

It certainly does, and like something I would want to play, keep going MP, you are going to be working like the clappers to get it finished in time but everything is lining up so batteries to power, turbines to speed :D

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These two statements are crucial points in whether this design would be an economically reproducible product. Finding some way to speed up the coarse neck and heel shaping to under 30 mins with say, 10 mins hand finishing would go a long way towards making this a truly viable product design ;-)

Great work. Good to see something develop from concept through to a realised product.

I completely agree with you there. I may have been exaggerating a bit with the 3 hours comment. It was probably more like 1 hour 45 min, but it felt like forever and my palms feel all bruised up from the rasp handle. On my practice neck I carved a few weeks back I used a round sureform which worked amazingly. Unfortunately I did not have access to one last night and I just wanted to go for it anyway. I am convinced using a sureform would easily cut the time down by half if not more. I think with a bit more practice I could speed up the process substantially, but as this is my first time and I have no real wood working experience, its really a learning curve. I beginning to understand how certain tools react to different materials and why its necessary to use the right tools for performing a specific task. Im glad I didnt go out and drop hundreds of dollars on tools that I might need to build a guitar. Doing it this way has opened my eyes to which tools are essential and which ones are purely for convenience.

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My procedure for creating neck profiles (I've never used templates and have gone for "feel") is to create the volute (if using one) and heel side profiles (2 mins on a 2" spindle sander) before dialling in the neck profile at the volute and at the heel. I've used rasps more for the initial neck/heel profiles recently though. The rest is "joining the dots" between profiles using a spokeshave or the rasp again. Still - hurts your hands after a while!

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I used templates. I took measurements off the Ibanez website for the Wizard 7 neck and went from there. So I had a goal for the 1st and 12th frets. I realized only afterwords that it would have been more efficient to have rough shaped the heel and HS transition ( no volute) prior to carving the neck between the 1st and 12th frets. Once again, a sureform would really have made short work of it. Unfortunately the spindle sander at school is only any use if your using drums larger than 6" in diameter. The sanding sleeves on anything smaller than that literally slip off due to abuse and neglect.

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That's a shame. I love spindle sanders! I've never actually used a surform on a neck profile because they're either too long and ride up the heel/headstock or I just don't get that feel of control from them if you see what I mean. Spokeshaves (plus draw knives and scrapers!) get right up to them no problems. If I recall, I think WezV uses (or has used, or at least owns) a dragon rasp which is probably the best aspects of surforms and rasps? I just love taking off long curls of wood with spokeshaves though ;-) Easily satisfied, me.

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nah, i have been using any mixture of rasps, microplanes, spokeshaves.... and now prostheta's old spindle sander to do the contours at each end

Often i just carve by feel, checking thickness here and there. but when copying a shape i do it by measuring certain points at 1st, 8th & 12th fret and connecting the points with flat facets that finally get rounded out... never used a template for neck shape but the facet way does need a few cross section diagrams doing first to work it out

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I bought a Shinto rasp for initial carving... man it is great. My procedure is a mix of Pro and Wez. Form a rough Volute and Heal on spindle sander. Then Shinto a trapezoid. I use Dragon Rasps to finish up after the Shinto. Maybe 45 minutes to do a neck. Course you can't trust me as I am always trying different things... but I managed 3 tele necks in a little over 2 hours.

Hand struck Rasps are the greatest thing in the world. However they are expensive... the Dragon Rasps from Stew Mac are very affordable compared to other hand struck rasps. Machine struck chatter to much...

The Shinto was worth every penny and I am ordering the big Shinto this week.

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Maybe that's what I was thinking of Wez.

My point on the neck profile thing was a reduction in MP's production turnaround, or plain repeatability....perhaps you have access to a CMM in your school toybox to digitise your finished neck profile for CNC duplication....?

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Got the heel transition dialed in the other day. I also spent some time sculpting the joint so that the transition feels more subtle. I feel I have a pretty good start of finish sanding, so since the body is going to be opaque, I decided to go with a black poly primer coat. This way, even if I dont get it completed by thurs (presentation day) it looks close to the way its supposed to. Heres a teaser, I wont update this thread until I can plug her in and make some noise with her...

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No, it shouldn't be too snug. Ill be sanding it down quite a bit anyway before final gloss, but it was quite a loose fit to begin with. Maybe too loose. Since I am making a mould out of this at some point in the future, the surface need to be class A for casting. The core itself still needs a bit of sanding and Im leaving the back and sides "natural" with just clear over it so I can always tweak it a bit before final fitting.

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Im a bit bummed that I didnt get this finished before school closed up... I did get the first few coats of primer on the body and core top and sanded them down relatively smooth. I had to assemble the thing and string it up for final presentation anyway and all things considered it went very well. I have learned a great deal with this build overall though. The main point being that: Unless you have absolutely no responsibilities outside of building guitars and can travel to and from your shop within a few minutes of your home, building 4 guitars simultaneously with a goal of completing at least 2 of them in 14 weeks is not very realistic. I was lucky to get this one as far as I did, given the fact that I abandoned (temporarily) the other three builds I was working on altogether about 10 weeks in.

Anyhow, Im glad I didnt try and rush the finish, it could have turned out disastrous. I would like to spend the next three weeks finishing her all up tho if at all possible. I will have to find a place locally that will let me use their spray booth for a couple of hours a day. I have a few more coats of primer and then some final sanding before clear, and that will conclude my first COMPLETE build. Im thinking that the core itself should have been a bit wider for a seven string model but was probably adequate for a 6. Dont know If ill actually pursue this design any further as it seems like so much more work than doing a set neck or neckthru even. There are also issues that need working out before the concept is actually viable, not the least of which being the fact that its impossible to wire the pickups separately from the body as the pots, switch and output are all confined to the body. It definitely requires some electronics expertise which I do not have.

But she is playable and sounds great. Feels really good too. The heel contour is as comfortable if not more so than any neckthru or set neck ive ever played, and the mounting screws for the core are completely out of the way. There are some felt strap button gaskets sandwiched between the core and body at each bolt which act as risers since the cavity is slightly deeper than the core is thick. This adds an interesting acoustic quality to the tone which I kind of like. Its a lot more noticeable when the guitar is not plugged in. I really like this guitar and my sister in law wants one now too. It will probably become my regular player as soon as I figure out what to do with the extra string :D.

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Edited by MuffinPunch

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... The main point being that: Unless you have absolutely no responsibilities outside of building guitars and can travel to and from your shop within a few minutes of your home, building 4 guitars simultaneously with a goal of completing at least 2 of them in 14 weeks is not very realistic. I was lucky to get this one as far as I did, given the fact that I abandoned (temporarily) the other three builds I was working on altogether about 10 weeks in.

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I like the finish like that honestly. Flat black, no gloss, and the gold hardware look good. To bad when you put clear it will get glossy. But that's just my personal opinion of course.

And I feel ya. I tryed building 4 guitars once. I started them all last september and haven't finished one of them yet because I have been to busy.

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Great build. The only way I could see the electronics working is by using the EMG solderless set up, but that would seriously limit your pickup choices. Given the right amount of time and effort, you could really come up with an ingenious solution for the wiring I'm sure.

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I like the finish like that honestly. Flat black, no gloss, and the gold hardware look good. To bad when you put clear it will get glossy.

I like it flat black as well, but what you cant see from the crappy phone camera pics is that the surface is pretty fugly. Anyway, I still plan to do the Giger graphic on the top. It will probably be matte over the clear.

Great build. The only way I could see the electronics working is by using the EMG solderless set up, but that would seriously limit your pickup choices. Given the right amount of time and effort, you could really come up with an ingenious solution for the wiring I'm sure.

I agree, I dont fancy using the solderless wiring as Ive heard bad things about it. I had intended on developing a "quick-connect" like feature that is embedded into the corner of the core that connects itself when you plug the core into the body. Ill work it out eventually.

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... I had intended on developing a "quick-connect" like feature that is embedded into the corner of the core that connects itself when you plug the core into the body. Ill work it out eventually.

sounds interesting. You will have to post the idea when you work it out.

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