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Entry for October 2018's Guitar Of The Month is open!


Tailcutter 7 string RG

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Hey all,

I've got some work done meanwhile, so here's an update if anyone's interested.

For the blue one I had to do the new neck. I didn't check my template and didn't see the fault until i was all done with it. Beginners mistake.

The problem is that I made the neck wider at nut, and didn't do any headstock rotation, so I didn't end with a straight pull but the outer strings angled to the inside. Not that it would affect playability, but I couldn't look at it like that. I've got enough wood, and got a board of Wenge along the way, so the new neck was the way to go.

Flamed maple with sapele middle, and wenge fingerboard. Neck is roughly shaped at the moment, still have do do inlays and side dots, fingerboard radius and so on...

Here's few pics:





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I also went back to work on one older project of mine, 7 string 26,5''...

Was experimenting with different finishes on this one, but I decided to try a graphic again (tried this one a while ago but it didn't work).

Still shooting clear coats (matte), so there's some orange peel on it.

Here are a few bad pics, I'll do more decent ones when I'll have more time:






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And also, one more revival...

I started this one 4.5 years ago, cut the ash body and did some contours and then stopped.

I had my padouk JP at that time, so I didn't have much motivation to go further with the project, and let it cool for a while.

I wanted to try a wenge/maple multi lam neck, and I liked how it looks with ash body, so I decided it was the right time to continue with this project.

This one is obviously inspired by EBMM JP models, but still I changed a few things to my liking. It couldn't be a straight on clone, so why not.

The neck is again a bit wider at nut (46mm), different cavities and covers on the back, no neck plate... stuff like that.

The body is pretty light in comparison with other ash bodies I've built so far, so I'm quite happy with it so far.

Here it is, the neck is just roughly shaped, no radius on fingerboard yet.






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It's been awhile but you've obviously kept busy doing that time. I see you r new neck also added a volute. That ash body is a very clean look, particularly with the neck you are using. I've decided that using your body wood and fretboard wood to make the neck is a very good look. I realize you have maple / ash here but the look is still there.

Looking forward to seeing these progress.


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Hey Scott, thank you for your comment.

I like to add a volute whenever my wood blank alows me to.

Regarding JP wood combo, I really like high contrasting woods, but I'm unsure where will the build take me.

At the moment, I'd like to have just a clearcoat on the body, but I'm pretty sure I'll paint the headstock front.

If I had any wenge veneer, I wouldn't think twice about it, but I don't have any. I've got some flame maple, quilted maple, and american walnut, but none of them seems fit here. Well, walnut maybe a bit, but more like not.

So, I'm thinking, if I'm gonna paint the headstock, I might as well match the body color.

I'm still gonna think about it... I'd like a black dyed body with a thin clearcoat, so the grain is left visible, but I think the combo would loose a lot of its cool that way. I'm gonna google for a white colored open-grain ash, that might work better.

Also, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do about maple in the neck, I'd like to leave wenge unfinished, so I'll probably go with oil on the neck, except headstock front, if I paint it.


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I've got tons of ash, but my thicknesser can't go below 3mm, and that's a lot here. I don't have thickness sander, just a planer.

I could glue a piece to another board, so I could go thinner, but it would probably break while ungluing it... I might try, got nothing to lose.

Maybe it could work with smaller pieces of double sided tape, here and there? Somehow I think the planer would just rip it all off when it gets below 3mm?




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I don't have a thickness sander either. I just slice a piece off on the bandsaw and go after it with sandpaper and elbow grease.:D

Double sided tape will probably work though.


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Maybe it could work with smaller pieces of double sided tape, here and there? Somehow I think the planer would just rip it all off when it gets below 3mm?




yes this is a good idea - stick it down pretty good and leave 20 or 30 mm hanging out at the ends - when you want to lift it run some shellite from a syringe under the DS tape and the adhesive will just melt away. The shellite evaporates quick leaving no trace

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That you care about the details says a lot about the builder you are.

@old_picker - I presume that you mean shellite as being naptha rather than the explosive! Either way, they'll work.

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It's only a small piece. Nothing wrong with simply taping it down to a flat board and making a simple temporary router thicknessing jig. That way you have more guarantees than as not about thickness. Hand planing requires a razor-sharp plane plus a few other caveats. Like having things to sharpen your iron to a razor's edge, double-sided tape with little-to-no-thickness, etc.

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Howdy all,


Here's an update on the telecaster, all other projects are currently on hold.

I'm not gonna write an essay, since all of you pretty much know what is going on from the pictures alone.

If anyone needs additional info about anything, feel free to ask.

Here's the template, obviously it's gonna be a lefty.



Here's the body already cut to shape, except the heels gotta go... we're going with better neck access on this one, but still nothing too extreme. I used two pieces of Ash, glue joint in the center.



Here is the neck, laminates glued. I used Wenge and flamed Maple



We're gonna use Wenge for fingerboard also. I bought THIS micro table saw and modded it a bit to use it specially for fretslots.

I had to take off the saw blade and straighten the teeth a bit with a hammer because it used to cut 0,6mm slots and they were a too wide. Now they are just great. I also added a bit of floor laminate board to get a thicker and larger table, so that way I got shallower fretslots and a larger work area. Works like a charm, but still I'm gonna alter it more, I'm going to add one more slider to the left of the saw blade to have greater control.



I routed the trussrod channel, and I'm gonna make access behind the last fret. I might add a Wenge cover also, so it would be hidden beneath the fingerboard. Or I'll just leave it open, we'll see how it looks first when it's done.


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I trimmed off the end of the neck blank, so here's clean trussrod channel.



Gluing headstock ears... Some of you might have noticed I have a bit different approach.

First I do a full neck taper on my planer, it is easiest for me to have a nice straight neck taper. Then I add ears to the headstock.

I know it is prettier to have less pieces on the headstock, but I don't mind doing it this way, and I had no complaints so far.

Lots of luthiers add smaller ears anyway, so it's just a question of ear size. 



Here's a photo of fingerboard gluing



Fingerboard trimmed to neck, and headstock thicknessed to 15mm. I'm thinking about thin flamed maple veneer, because I think the headstock might look too busy with stripes and tuners at the end... I believe the less is more.


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A quick mockup of hardware placement



I routed neck pocket and trimmed off the heel, and routed P90 cavities. I had a misfortune with router bit, so I had to make slightly larger cavities then I have planed. Not much, but still enough to call for a time-out until tommorow perhaps.



Backshot of neck heel. Done with a bit of an angle like on some of Musicmans...



One more



And one of the neck in the pocket just to show that I did the side dots. I also drilled for inlays (aluminium dots). The holes look a bit messy thanks to dull bit. Doesn't matter, it will look nice when I sand it all together after gluing the dots in.



So far I'm pretty happy and enthusiastic about the way it goes. I bought some new tools along the way ,a pillar drill and a strong workshop vacuum cleaner  - I fell in love with it and my small working space is finally clean and it's a joy to spend time there now. There was so much wood dust there, that I coudn't spend more than 30 minutes there without sneezing and geeting sick for 2-3 days. I also got Stewmac's nut files as a present from Goran (the guy that I'm building this Tele for), can't wait to use them :) And also, already mentioned micro table saw for fret slotting, and stationary belt+disc sander found here. This last one will hopefully help me mostly with neck profiling. I do not plan to build many more guitars, but since I don't have much time to spend on building, I like to do as much as I can on each occasion. I think the tools are always a good investment. I still have a few projects on my wishlist before I call it off, so I'll be here for a while.


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Hey Pro,

Goran is a pretty common name here, so I guess it's a happy coincidence :)

I like it that there are  other builders from these parts of the world on this forum. I know a few of a lot, it would be cool if more of them would come. There are great talents around, many of them don't care much about internet  and forums :(

About a rod, it came from Warmoth. Just a regular rod, nothing special about it. Goran was looking for a lefty Wilkinson trem, so he threw a bunch of other items to the cart, including this rod.

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There doesn't seem to be that many places offering good spoke wheel rods or the nuts on their own. If I had good access to a metal lathe I could run them off like a conveyor belt....

Is it me, or is that rod a box-channel type? I've always liked those, however the only manufacturer who made a double-acting type (Gotoh) seem to have discontinued them. 

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I did some work on the tele, but switched my mobile phone in the meantime, so I don't have some of the photos anymore....

I'll still try to document the whole progress as much as I can, not just to put the finished photos.

I got sick a bit around Christmas, and also spent a lot more time at the work, so I didn't spend much time at the workshop except the last 10 days or so.

I started with routing for Wilkinson trem. I took the plastic from the bottom of the router, so I can go deeper about 5mm or so.

I drilled the post holes first, and then the trem block hole.



Here's a quick test fit, but more important is to show that I also glued aluminium dots as inlays, and routed the end of the fingerboard to allow the adjustment of the spokewheel truss rod nut.



Then I moved on to the back. I drilled a small cavity at the horn to place two switches, I routed the tremolo cavity, and started drilling holes for pots with forstner bit, but had to stop because my bit was old and dull and it just burned wood.  I moved pot placement a little to be more symmetrical than on LP template I took the placement from.

The wood got really dirty from graphite pen and unprotected router base, but nevermind, it will get cleaned later on.



Then I drilled all the electronics holes from the front, and sanded everything a bit so it looks nicer on the photo :)


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I bought a new 35mm forstner bit and finished drilling for pots, and then routed the rest of the hole.



Also drilled a hole for jack



And cleaned the back to take a decent photo



Everything was really going well to the point where I had to drill the long hole for cables between the cavities for switches and for pots.

The drill bit went through to the cavity, but also got a bit through the top. I got so mad ad that moment I wanted to lounch the body outside straight through the wall.. I just left everything and went straight to bed to think about it.

I didn't make any photos of the hole, but here's one with my best try hiding it using wood dust and titebond.



It didn't look that bad anymore, and it would probably be unnoticed from a small distance, especially if we would go with tinted lacquer or something, but still I just couldn't live with it like this. Then Goran had an idea and asked if I would have some veneer to put on top.

So, some figured maple veneer to the rescue. Not some high grade figuring, but still interesting piece of veneer.

A bit of flames, bit of birds eyes here and there, not bad really...


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First I had to do the armrest contour. I did it in less than 5 minutes using router to create steps, which I then taken off using rasp and sandpaper. Fastest one so far.



Then I glued on the veneer. One half first, then the second, using method with masking tape on the centerline. Mentioned and explained countless times on the internet, and it works really well. I'm sorry I don't take action photos at all, but my hands are always busy, so I just document finished steps and updates. Not much to learn from, but I hope it's at least a little bit interesting as a build gallery.

I didn't use sacks with sand like others, neither did I use a vacuum bag (which I bought for some other stuff but was too small for this task. I just clamped a board on the flat part of the top, and used a lot of masking tape to hold the armrest part down. Worked quite well because it's just a 0,6mm veneer, so I don't have any gaps. Also the centerline glued really well.



When everything dried for few hours, I trimmed some of the excess using an exacto knife. Looks a bit messy, but at this moment I was happy I drilled through the top few days earlier.


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