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Norris

First Build - The "Nozcaster"

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2 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Air is noisy stuff. Ask my wife.

It's when it moves quietly you need to watch out :parp:

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I installed my side dots markers - so not much to update. However, I thought you might like to see the "sled" for making sure the holes were drilled vertically in my already tapered neck. Basically an offcut of wood the width of the difference between the width at the heel and the first fret, taped underneath the fret position, then taped down onto a goodly chunk of squared up hardwood. It certainly made drilling a lot easier.

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Then, it's comedy post time...

The "where the heck are all of my centre punches?!" ground down nail, and the "old bit of wire coat hanger" reamer so that the 2mm side dots would actually go in the 2mm holes!

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To be fair, both worked perfectly and are useful additions to the toolbox :D

Edited by Norris

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I would be embarrassed to show you some of my improvised tools, @Norris . Yours look quite sophisticated in comparison...

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Back to the guitar building club last night

When I prepared the neck blank, it was very tight on dimensions. For that reason I left the back rough & just squared off three sides. Last night was finally time to get the heel levelled off in what one of the instructors described as a "brave move". There are no pictures of it in progress, as I was too busy turning my underpants a whiter shade of khaki! Anyway, I stuck a "sled" to the bottom of the neck with double-sided tape, than ran the neck through the bandsaw against the side fence - twice to de-burr it a bit. Luckily taking it slowly got the result I was after with no major calamity.

After cleaning up a bit with a smoothing plane I now have a level heel

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I'll sand it to final dimensions later, but at least it's taken the bow out of the back of the neck. That then made sanding the fretboard a lot easier and it is now down to 120 grit, the compound radius intact, and nice & level (no photos because it doesn't look much different to previous ones).

I also fixed the neck to another sled and nipped off the nut end of the fretboard with the band saw. I left myself a couple of mm to go because I need to carefully blend it into the bound head curve section and didn't want to risk snagging the binding.

On the whole a very productive & satisfying night, although tbh it doesn't look that different "in the flesh". It's nearly time for fitting the frets - which I'll do before the neck carve :)

Oh - and on that photo above you can see the dot markers that I fitted at the weekend. I had fun with those, as the "Weld-On" glue that I used for the binding didn't like the waxy plastic dots (ABS?) and I had to pull them out & re-glue with CA.

Edited by Norris

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Wow...I wouldn't have trusted my own abilities to use a bandsaw that accurately. Mind you, my cheapo bandsaw can produce a wavy angled cut in the best of hands.

As a matter of interest, why did you choose the bandsaw option?

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Norris'll be doing everything with a bandsaw now. Fret slots, polishing, loaves of bread, ham shanks....

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3 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Wow...I wouldn't have trusted my own abilities to use a bandsaw that accurately. Mind you, my cheapo bandsaw can produce a wavy angled cut in the best of hands.

As a matter of interest, why did you choose the bandsaw option?

Mainly time. My class is 2 hours and I wanted to get the fretboard sanded :D

Having said that, I did do it on the school's big bandsaw. It's got a nice thick (although fairly blunt) blade. I could have used a jack plane, but having already radiused the fret board I would have had to spend yet more time making a jig to hold it steady. Because the sides of the neck were squared off, it made sense (at the time!) to use the bottom surface as a guide with a LOT of down pressure and a VERY slow feed rate.

Cutting a very thin slice would have the natural tendency to push the work piece towards the side fence anyway - so it wasn't quite as risky as it might seem.

Edit to add: I did take the trouble to re-configure the side fence to vertical mode, as only the crown of the radius would be touching it

Edited by Norris

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I tidied up the end of the fretboard and am pretty pleased with the result. This is more to check that the binding lines up - which it does. I'll need to take more height off the section behind the nut to allow a bit more clearance for the strings.

20160424_121913_zpslxafolsx.thumb.jpg.b28a25d745b6e8d42b8ec9d6017e36a6.jpg

So then last night I fitted the frets in - whoopee!

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I wicked in a bit of CA at the ends to ensure the fret overhang (where I nipped the tangs) doesn't lift off the binding and then pressed the ends down with an undersized radius gauge & clamp.

There was one moment of over-enthusiasm where I managed to strike the fretboard with the hammer enough to leave an impression. However pulling that fret, wetting the dented area, letting it dry & sanding it with the 320 grit sorted that out. It was in the middle of the board, so I just carried on fretting from the heel until it was dried, so that I still had a reasonable area of un-fretted neck left in which to use a sanding block

Next Monday is a public holiday, so no guitar building class. So the neck is going to wait for a bit now until I tidy up the frets. The instructor has a neat tool that he made - a file set into a block of wood at 45°. I'll wait until I can use that to file the fret ends rather than faff about trying to do it by hand - I have plenty of other stuff to get on with that's a better use of my time.

In the meantime some new spirit based dyes have arrived from Rothko & Frost, so I'll be preparing some samples for that. I'll also fetch the body back into the light and see about routing the neck pocket and starting on the carving.

Edited by Norris

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Well it's looking more and more like a finished product! There's a number of "non-standard" things you've done here which you've overcome nicely. Careful with that CA around Maple. It dirties up like anything, especially when you file any metal around it. CA darkens and discolours it.

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37 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Well it's looking more and more like a finished product!

If you like a "railway sleeper" neck profile :D But yes, I'm pleased with the progress and how it's starting to look

38 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Careful with that CA around Maple. It dirties up like anything, especially when you file any metal around it. CA darkens and discolours it.

Thanks for the warning - I'll be careful (although there's not huge amounts on the board, but some)

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30 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

It can be a bit problematic to remove. What's the final finish going to be on the neck?

Clear nitro-cellulose lacquer

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Yeah, you're smoking right along now. I'm looking forward to seeing the neck set into the body. It is going to be looking fine!

SR

 

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15 hours ago, Norris said:

20160426_074057_zpsatqx46bd.jpg

Have you left enough clearance behind the nut for the strings to travel to the tuning posts? That's a pretty long plateau behind the nut.

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7 hours ago, curtisa said:

Have you left enough clearance behind the nut for the strings to travel to the tuning posts? That's a pretty long plateau behind the nut.

I was going to say the same, maybe is worth to check it before doing any finish.

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8 hours ago, curtisa said:

Have you left enough clearance behind the nut for the strings to travel to the tuning posts? That's a pretty long plateau behind the nut.

 

40 minutes ago, psikoT said:

I was going to say the same, maybe is worth to check it before doing any finish.

I will be taking that plateau down quite a bit, probably at an angle to leave some support behind the nut. It's because I've done a slightly sharper curve than standard, rising from the headstock face to the fretboard. That was the first carve to check the binding alignment - there will be more coming :).

It is one to add to the "don't do it again" list though :D. The tight radius didn't exactly help with the headstock veneer either! I couldn't have corrected it because by the time I realised that I would have the long "shelf", I'd already cut the truss rod channel and would have then had some major work to redress that!

 

18 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Straight over the frets also?

I wasn't intending to. I'm told that waxing the frets before lacquering will help clean them off again afterwards. I'm following my instructor's instructions :D

 

16 hours ago, ScottR said:

Yeah, you're smoking right along now. I'm looking forward to seeing the neck set into the body. It is going to be looking fine!

SR

 

Thanks. I want to get it finished now. It's been going since September last year! I've even started buying bits for my next build...

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I don't even think you'll need to wax them to be honest. I'd rather keep contaminants (which is what wax is to nitro) as far away from the instrument as possible before paint. Have him demonstrate it for you. That way you either have a guarantee on it being done properly, or at least somebody to blame. :thumb:

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15 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

I don't even think you'll need to wax them to be honest. I'd rather keep contaminants (which is what wax is to nitro) as far away from the instrument as possible before paint. Have him demonstrate it for you. That way you either have a guarantee on it being done properly, or at least somebody to blame. :thumb:

I fully agree with @Prosthetahere, Norris.

one of the reasons I shy away from nitro is the number of things it is not compatible with...life's too short when you get to my age :D. It's a great finish though so I would personally just steer clear of anything that would give it an excuse to misbehave...and a fingerprint of wax somewhere is all the excuse it would need...

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Which part are you agreeing with here? That having somebody to blame is a quick dirty safety net? <_<

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2 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Which part are you agreeing with here? That having somebody to blame is a quick dirty safety net? <_<

Absolutely.... :lol:

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I took a profile shot which shows it in context a lot better. The previous shot was focussed on the veneer/binding/fretboard transition which makes the shelf look huge. I still need to take the shelf down a fair bit (about 2/3 off the front & 1/3 off the rear behind the nut), and also to remove a couple of mm of material from the rear of the headstock as it's still a bit thick for the tuners to sit nicely (top bush to go on still).

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It's do-able :)

Edited by Norris
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