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pan_kara

Traq Guitars 2015: a crazy ex-strat

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pan_kara    151

hah since you guys missed it I'm maybe not that bad <_< 

count the fret slots. there's 23. I seem to have a thing for messing up fingerboards recently. At least this one could be saved as it was supposed to be 22 frets so I just had to trim it down, the only pain was the fact that I already did the binding. But its ok now. Glued to the neck and with side dots etc (in that picture the side dots were not yet there, what you see is dirty binding :P)

TRQ_5731_zpssuftnwcv.thumb.JPG.984d0b9544a46c54692feb036c5ab43f.JPG

but coming back to the strat - I had two new fingerboard blank arrive, maple and rosewood. So now I need to pick the replacement board for this build and redo it and finally move on. I thought of maple to balance the mostly-dark neck woods and match the accent lams in the scarf joint, but I think I'll go with the rosewood. It has some of the "follow the fanned frets" quality in the grain and could work well with the body that I'd like to swirl in the end. 

So time to re-cut the frets.

TRQ_5738_zpsl8b3gvv6.thumb.JPG.f0c4498d438d8efd6240ca654e8af947.JPG

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ScottR    1,366
11 hours ago, pan_kara said:

count the fret slots. there's 23.

My last three were actually 23 on purpose.

SR

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pan_kara    151
11 hours ago, ScottR said:

My last three were actually 23 on purpose.

SR

really? I didn't notice.. why, you're a fan of the major 7th? Or you like your blues in C? <_<

That guitar is not for me so I preferred to stick to more common specs and had to fix it. 

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psikoT    250

I think I did the same in some of my guitars, 22 or 23 frets, don't remember well, trying to get the neck pickup closer to an "imaginary" 24th fret... 

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pan_kara    151

so 23 fret guitars are becoming a thing now, I see. maybe I should have joined in then .. ;)

I think I actually prefer the neck pickup under the 26th fret, not 24th. That way when you plat the 14th fret you maximize the weird effect of the second harmonic being almost not picked up by the pickup giving the funny "quack". I like to have the quack when I bend the G string on the 14th fret. I had it that way in an el cheapo guitar NNN years ago. 24 frets and HSS.

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ScottR    1,366
4 hours ago, pan_kara said:

really? I didn't notice.. why, you're a fan of the major 7th? Or you like your blues in C? <_<

That guitar is not for me so I preferred to stick to more common specs and had to fix it. 

I do like blues in C, but it was actually a more practical reason. The last batch of truss rods I bought were 18" because the 14 inchers were on back-order and I didn't want to wait. A 22 fret neck in 25" scale was just a hair to short to accommodate that rod, but 23 frets worked fine. My stubby little fingers get in the way of each other when attempting to play that high on the neck, so a 24th fret had no appeal to me. so 23 it was.

SR

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pan_kara    151

I'll see about my fingers on the strat, with a shorter scale on the high string it is getting a bit dense at the top ..

I made a template for the pickguard modifying the normal strat shape a little. The pickup positions mimic the ones in the Red Special at least for the high strings (I wanted to get similar phase cancellations as Brian May is getting in the out-of-phase pickup combinations) so if I follow that I'll have plenty of room to go up to the 24th fret (I planned on 22 previously).

TRQ_5744.thumb.jpg.e5056ec47d103042b926ac08053f3165.jpg

so here we go again:

TRQ_5745.thumb.jpg.7e49fac5b3c8e72ce0c18fca74b03594.jpg

(in the background - the first 7 string single coil arrived, from a Polish boutique pickup builder Merlin Pickups. I'll be using this one for tests and when the guitar is finished I'll get the remaining two.

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pan_kara    151

Tricke update: I'm ready to glue the fingerboard on now, I just wanted to do a few things first since its much easier to put templates in place when the fingerboard is not there yet.

TRQ_5913.thumb.jpg.9d4c47f66f08a3146c555f2915b41a07.jpg

the headstock is now shaped.

Pre-drilling pickup cavities, I made a template for the 7-string single coil using a normal SC template I had

TRQ_5914.thumb.jpg.863f1578180ccdba2d20eff939df6faa.jpg

And the pickup routes are done:

TRQ_5916.thumb.jpg.483170f2a863d0419576d07fb8642630.jpg

the fingerboard goes on next.

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Andyjr1515    539

Very interesting discussion above.  I will be very interested how this develops :)

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pan_kara    151

well I hope it develops into looking even more like a guitar :D

The fretboard is bonding with the neck now:

TRQ_5927.thumb.jpg.7280b3c37f4d13ad8ec1ca4df4e94174.jpg

 

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pan_kara    151

Turned my attention to the body for a moment and tweaked the cutaways a little on the spindle sander, exposing some of the fantastic table-top construction of the body

TRQ_5960.thumb.jpg.22fcb7ff4842639fce8d21762f6c3b49.jpg

When thickessing the body I left the bit where the fingerboard would go a bit higher, leaving some room for manouver on both sides of the fretboard. So now that the fretboard is glued I can remove that wood. I figured this is the perfect use case for my silly "straight line jig" since I can just position it at the edge of the fingerboard and lower the router bit down until I reach the level of the rest of the body.

TRQ_5962.thumb.jpg.9e0d30e36d3ee2b15313361eac359855.jpg

well ok in principle, it actually worked perfectly (on one side)

TRQ_5964.thumb.jpg.6193c8f1b6c95255360193a761a76060.jpg

just as intended.

Well this was supposed to be fool-proof but apparently it isn't. At least it isn't me-proof. I know you have to center the router base for the guide bushing to work ok, and I did it - I believe. So it either slipped out of alignment or I did it wrong in the beginning.  Either way, I was about 0,5mm off and the bit ate into the jig (which I'll have to repair) and my fingerboard is 0,5mm narrower at the bridge end now (which I'll have to live with). Oh well. Lesson learned. I'll have to verify centering each time now just to be sure.

Still, I could use this to do the route connecting the pickup cavities:

TRQ_5965.thumb.jpg.613a01213ba04e1a34fe49ea2907090b.jpg

So now I go back to the neck. To get the thickness in the right ballpark I ran the router on the neck back (which is flat at the moment), basically digging a "swimming pool" in the middle, to the depth I want it at. Of course this doesn't give me a taper but at least it sets me up close to the desired thickness. On the next guitar I will upgrade myself to a jig that @KnightroExpressis using for this, I just need to find some straight scrap pieces.  I think that's the perfect way to start a neck carve.

Before shaping the neck I installed a set of fret markers and I'm working to make the fingerboard flat at the moment. 

 

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Norris    212
47 minutes ago, pan_kara said:

Well this was supposed to be fool-proof but apparently it isn't. At least it isn't me-proof. I know you have to center the router base for the guide bushing to work ok, and I did it - I believe. So it either slipped out of alignment or I did it wrong in the beginning.  Either way, I was about 0,5mm off and the bit ate into the jig (which I'll have to repair) and my fingerboard is 0,5mm narrower at the bridge end now (which I'll have to live with). Oh well. Lesson learned. I'll have to verify centering each time now just to be sure.

Fretboard binding? :)

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pan_kara    151
39 minutes ago, Norris said:

Fretboard binding? :)

hah, you're right, I didn't think of that. For some reason I'm attached to the idea that binding goes on the fretboard before it's glued to the neck.. 

This might actually be a nice solution, also for another small problem that I have (I could use a bit more fingerboard at the bridge edge, otherwise the 24th fret will pretty much only be for the highest string). So I could bind the bottom and end, actually.

I was going to just live with it, but I need to still measure exactly where I ended up at, I'm leaning towards going with your solution already. thanks, man!

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Norris    212
20 hours ago, pan_kara said:

hah, you're right, I didn't think of that. For some reason I'm attached to the idea that binding goes on the fretboard before it's glued to the neck.. 

This might actually be a nice solution, also for another small problem that I have (I could use a bit more fingerboard at the bridge edge, otherwise the 24th fret will pretty much only be for the highest string). So I could bind the bottom and end, actually.

I was going to just live with it, but I need to still measure exactly where I ended up at, I'm leaning towards going with your solution already. thanks, man!

Ooh - did I make a sensible suggestion?! I must make a note in my diary - my suggestions are usually naive rubbish :D

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pan_kara    151

Doesn't look like rubbish to me ;)

:

TRQ_6229.thumb.jpg.f307c723a3250b43bb9f0c4bbf06aadb.jpg

thanks @Norris for the idea! The binding is on (treble side and bridge end only) and the board is radiused to 12". On the other side also the side markers went in

TRQ_6231.thumb.jpg.bb9bb4cb4df80e03a7c03140d326314d.jpg

the one at the 19th fret sits above the rest a little, I should have come up with some trick to keep them in line when drilling over the body .. apparently just using a center punch was not enough.

As you can see I didn't do much, in my defense this is one of 4 guitars (3 guitars and a bass) that I'm doing in parallel so I've been sanding flat and radiusing 4 necks actually. This one has a first coat of oil drying on it now, slots are chamfered and deepened as needed so soon it's fretting time. I wanted to fret the board after finishing since I though I'd want some of the (swirl) finish on the fingerboard, below the frets, but I changed my mind. It'll go on the neck, but not on the fingerboard. It's swirly enough as it is anyway.

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ScottR    1,366
1 hour ago, pan_kara said:

Doesn't look like rubbish to me ;)

Me either. Your fretboard looks very classy...especially sitting on that super reliced body. I quite like the binding on only one side and one end. It goes particularly well with your fret-markers going down one edge and then moving over to go down the other edge. One could almost believe you planned it that way.

SR

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ScottR    1,366

...and it looks great! The wood grain plays quite nicely with the neck timber and scarf accents.

SR

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