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Kental

First Build -Double Cutaway LP style- Through Neck

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Hey guys,

Kental here. I am starting my first full guitar build and want to get as much feed back as I can on it. My goal is a loosely inspired double cutaway Les Paul style. The woods I'm going to be using are Maple for the core of the body and Bloodwood for the front and backs. I am going to have a through neck construction again using maple as the core and bloodwood on the outer sides.

I can hear yall now "Bloodwood NOT on your first build, its extremely dense and heavy wood and will dull your tools very quickly!" LOL I already know this as I've built several pieces of furniture and used it in some of them. Its a very difficult wood to work as it can have tear outs real easily. I will compensate for this by taking material off little by little.

I plan on doing an oil rubbed finish on it to really let to grain show. Since Bloodwood has a beautiful tight grain pattern and gorgeous red coloring I was going to use gold hardware for a classy look. Starting with the tonepro tune-o-matic bridge set and planet waves auto-trim locking tuners. One of my problems in the planing is I'm not wanting to use active pickup. I'm wanting to get a more natural sound from the Bloodwood with passives, but not really sure which would be a good fit for the Bloodwood. Bloodwood has a good sustain and a bright tap tone I want to retain as much of that brightness as I can but still want  good blues/rock pickups. Any ideas on that one and yes I'm wanting the Humbucker Pickups. Just not sure if I should stick with EMG's since I have them in other guitars or go Seymour Duncan or if y'all have a better alternative.

My next concern would be the finger board. I have picked up two one is Bolivian Rosewood ( on right in the image) and the other is Bloodwood (left) to match the body. What are y'alls thoughts?

 

12140753_10204902013658578_7508796578918

Here are the pieces I have cut out to rough lengths so far. I'm needing to cut one more board for the other side of the neck and the wings for the head stock. The pieces currently sitting at the head stock area are just scraps and the grain is going cross and not up and down with the neck so they are out.

12112194_10204897277900187_8099379223383

 

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Cool! I'm looking forward to seeing this come together. 

My first reaction was "maple is HEAVY!" but I'm sure you already know that. For years I played a solid maple bodied 6 string bass as my main axe. Despite what everyone says about maple being too bright, the thing sounded amazing (could be the bartollini pups) but I eventually got sick of having a sore back at the end of the night. But again, I'm sure you already know that. 

My second reaction is "go with the rosewood" for the fingerboard. I like the contrast and think it will actually make the bloodwood stand out more. 

Have you done a finish like that before? 

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No i'm going to be practicing on scrap wood to get it down for the finish.

If you think maple is heavy you aint seen nothing yet lol. The same size board of bloodwood is nearly twice the weight. I'm compensating for this by making the body slightly thinner and hollowing out the maple cores of the body for a semi hollow body. My next step is get my templates down perfect before I size the timber down to final shape.

As for the finger board, I agree I love contrasting woods. Thats why I went with maple and bloodwood. I first plan was maple and black walnut as I had several pieces of Black walnut laying around the house, but the pieces were 1/2" to short so I chose bloodwood as its beautiful wood.

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I'm going to enjoy watching this one. Keeping the bloodwood sanding dust out of your maple will try your patience from time to time, but it should end up beautiful.

If you like that old-school rock and blues sound, as I do, then you might check out Klein pick-ups. They've been my favorites for several years now. They are priced like the high-end pups they are, but they nail that vintage tone.

http://www.kleinpickups.com/

SR

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ScottR yea the blood wood has some very fine dust. That's why I will be using scrapers for the finishing to help prevent the dust getting in the maple's grain. I will check those pups out, they sound like they might be a good fit for me on this build. 

I'm hoping to have time this weekend to work on my templates. Working 6 days a week will make this build slow going so hope you don't mind waiting on updates on it lol. I'm excited about the finished look as I think the maple and blood wood will give it an elegant look. 

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Ok ScottR I'm sold on those pups. The sound clips they have make them sound sweet with a good classic sound. Sad thing is $400 for a set oh well guess it's time to kiss up to the wife and try to get them for Christmas lol. If not shortly after. 

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They re-create the '59 PAF (amongst others) to the exact original specs and materials. I put a set of the Wicked PAFs in my last build and totally love them. I've got a set of single coils on my kitchen table for my current build that I'm dying to hear.

Several of my favorite players use these, so I thought I'd give them a try a few years back and learned why.

SR

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Thanks ScottR, I can't decide on which pickup set I want. The wicked, 58, or the 59. So now I'm going to have to buy more wood to build 2 more guitars so I can have all three sets lol

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Well didn't get to do as much as I planned today. When I got home the wife wanted me to go shopping with her ?. So to make up for that I laid out my templates for cutting tomorrow and glued them down. Hehe yes I did it on the wife's kitchen table. 

So tomorrow after church I will cut them out and sand them flush. Yes that is Melvyn Hiscock's book make your own electric guitar. And the second body template is the 59 Les Paul. Yes already planning the next one thanks to ScottR showing me some of the most awesome pickups and me not being able to choose from all of them lol. 

 

And I'm  sorry the picture doesn't show the outlines of the templates very well. That's what happens when I use my iPhone verses buying a real camera. 

image.jpg

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When I got home the wife wanted me to go shopping with her ?.

You've got to be married a lonnnnng time before it's safe to try to get out of that.<_<

SR

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15 yrs this past july and I will never get out of it cause she is unable to drive. So I grin and bare it :)

 

Edited by Kental

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Your strength is amazing and awe inspiring. and your wife is a lucky woman.

This is what the Wicked PAFs sound like:

 

Of Course you'll need to be able to play like this to get that exact sound......

SR

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Yea I will probably never be able to play like that lol. But they do sound amazing.

And I'm the lucky one as she puts up with all my crazy hair brain ideas and lets me do them all. Granted she nearly caused me to slice my finger off today. I was splitting a piece of the bloodwood on the bandsaw to book match and she came up behind me, as i was 1/3 of the way from the end, to tell me that dinner was ready and scared the crap out of me. My hand slipped and landed less then half an inch from the running saw blade. Worse part was i was making a 1/2" bookmatch but cause of that scare I gouged the piece good. So looks like its going to be a 1/4" think now once i plane it down and get that hell of a gouge out of it. :/

Dont think she will be coming up behind me again while i'm working with a power tool lol

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My wife has scared the crap out of me a few times too......but never caused me to screw up any bookmatches. I've got nobody but myself to blame for those. The worst scare I ever had was a neighbor lady walking up behind me when I was routing out pickup cavities. I work in my garage in the open doorway and I had my back to the world. This old lady from Venezuela has seen me doing this over the years and wanted know if I could fix her broken stand up mirror frame..... No blood was spilled and I was able to work the gouge in the pocket into the design, but my heart didn't slow down for hours, and I twitched for a while.:blink: It's a shame you lost half the thickness, I hope you weren't planning on carving it.

SR

 

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No just a bevel around the edge. And a body carve for the back was all the carving I'm planning. My problem was I was working on the back porch as I dont have a garage, and my back was to the door of the house.

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Hopefully I got this in before any major dust has been made....!

The neck template - I wouldn't trust a paper profile purely because this is the part of the instrument that needs 100% spot on geometry. Paper just won't cut it (not joke intended). Whilst it might provide a quick outline template, you need to ensure that you're dialling in the right angles and dimensions manually rather than following a printout. Everything else can be subject to tolerances.

Just a quick heads up. Looking forward to seeing some progress. Bloodwood is goddamn heavy. That said, I'm managing to keep my latest 5-string Birch and Maple bass under 5,9lbs....

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I wasnt following the neck template as a final layout. Its there to simply get the rough shape laid out on my blank. Most of the shaping will be done by hand. But i do appreciate the forewarning. I know alot of people would not have known that so its always good to give advise and warnings like that when ever possible for those that come here just to read but not join and comment. 

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I was splitting a piece of the bloodwood on the bandsaw to book match and she came up behind me, as i was 1/3 of the way from the end, to tell me that dinner was ready and scared the crap out of me. My hand slipped and landed less then half an inch from the running saw blade.

Glad that didn't end badly. You would think it would be common knowledge NOT to sneak up behind someone when they're running a tool that can take fingers off right? 

Reading through the previous posts on the pickups and I thought I'd also suggest two more alternative PAF types. Wolfetone and Sheptone make some incredible PAF pickups and they are priced a little better at  $320 a set for the Sheptones and $$260 for a set of Wolfetones. Wolfe MAY be able to cut you a deal if you ask nicely and buy multiple sets. 

 

Cant wait to see this one progress. 

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As your first build, I would always recommend not blowing huge amounts on the pickups, etc. right now. If the build doesn't progress as well as your wife will allow it to, you want to keep a bit of cash spare for the second and twelfth builds. ;-)

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Even if i fail with this build the pickups can alway go into one of my other guitars i have so the money wont be wasted :) . And I am always looking for great pickups and hardware to improve them ;) 

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