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Guitaraxz

Build a guitar in less than 35 days

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Hey Luthiers, hows the saw dust today?

A friend of mine came to Puebla for a couple of days, he lives in Uruguay, and he wants me to make him a guitar. But he,s going back to Uruguay in 35 days so I have to hurry! I know that for many of you Luthiers this would be a peice o cake, but not for me, I have always taken about 90 days to make a guitar. So it,s time to learn.

I figured a Jr type guitar would be the simplest/fastest one to make considering that my buddy does not like Fenders (so no Teles or Strats)! I know that a Bolt-On would also be faster, but if all goes well I think that a Set-In looks better in a Jr guitar. 

So here is the wood:

Korina body blank

Palo Escrito top

Rosewood fingerboard

Cedar neck

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Cleaning up the body blank before rough cutting

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Rough cut and thicknessing

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Preparing the top for a glue up

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Glue up

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Cutting the Fret Slots

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27 minutes ago, Guitaraxz said:

I have always taken about 90 days to make a guitar.

Me too! Good luck!

It's going to end up looking nice with those wood choices.

SR

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7 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Me too! Good luck!

It's going to end up looking nice with those wood choices.

SR

Thank you Scott, I figure that if I wish to stop making a living of just fixing guitars then I should accept this challenge and learn to make them quick.

 

This is the model which my buddy wants, I just made some changes in the line, made the lines rounder. Its also going to be a flat top and natural finish.

image_219.jpeg

Edited by Guitaraxz

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I figure I could improve my times if I worked on them every day instead of just weekends....

Good call on the body shape adjustments/improvements. Yours is more pleasing to my eye.

SR

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35 days? I think that is more than easy as a task! From a logistics standpoint, the real time in any build comes from letting the wood do what it will. Adding water from glue causes wood to move, and that needs to be allowed to leave which is mandatory time. Carving a neck made from kiln-dried wood should be allowed to move in case of any internal tensions from marginal drying faults (more common that you'd believe) or simply natural inclusions from trees growing at an angle, facing against the sun, etc.

I'd say that the bare minimum reasonable time for a guitar would arguably be two weeks. 35 days is just luxury, man. ;)

Always good seeing your new builds, @Guitaraxz.

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In fact, my tendency to leave builds for protracted amounts of time (Nina's SG, the 5-string Rickenbacker, etc.) works in my favour. Too many problems occur when rushing a build from stage to stage, and that often shows in the final product's short-term life.

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26 minutes ago, SIMpleONe89 said:

Do you work everyday or only during the weekends? I guess the challenge comes when you have multiple projects going on and can only work during certain days.

On this one I'm working before breakfast. In Benedettos book on making an Archtop he mentions that he wakes up every day at 5 AM, goes down to his basement and works untill 9AM when his wife calls him for breakfast. I wanted to do that but I'm not getting up untill 7 AM, jeje  so that's just two hours, more or less, per day. And my wife dont make no breakfast. 

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Sorry I hadn't posted!

Some work on the neck……

Glued in the ears

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Used a jig saw to start cutting out the headstock

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Finished it off with a Dragon file

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Routed the body for the neck

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Went for a 2.8 degree angle, I should make myself a Myka jig!

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The fit is tight enough to hold the body's weight

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I didn't take pics of installing the frets, but here is what I used to hammer em in, file off the edges and level 'em

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Edited by Guitaraxz
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My buddy told me he now has a plane ticket (to Uruguay) for August the 31st, so that cuts down my time limit. I have to finish by the 20th (which means in 10 days) in order to have enough time for the finish.

But still I decided to instal some binding.

No pic of cutting the chanel, but this is what was used

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So here just pre-bending the binding....

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My assistant said "BLUE BINDING??!! ARE YOU KIDDIN ME?"

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Yup, blue. Allready glued in. I use CA glue, what do you guys use?

image_253.jpeg

 

 

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That is a top notch assistant,

I try to avoid binding at all costs, but recently had a project that had to have it. I used the Stew Mac binding glue and it did a fine job. It did have a pretty short working window though, 2 or 3 minutes only.

SR

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I use CA too... 

I also tried acetone, but only worked with straight lines, like in a fretboard. As soon I bent it in the body, the binding got broken. I guess it also depends on the binding material, I was using a cheap chinese one. Never tried acetone + ABS, it may work.

17 minutes ago, ScottR said:

It did have a pretty short working window though, 2 or 3 minutes only.

That's great, compared with the 10 seconds the CA gives... 2-3 minutes are perfect to do the job with no stress. :)

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It usually takes me a week or two to build and an eternity to get the finish right. I like the Stewmac #3 glue. For some reason I had trouble with the binding glue but I can't remember why. Post-traumatic stress maybe?? Coming along nicely! I love the digital level idea for the neck angle.

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I've had nothing but trouble with those glues. I'm planning on binding my Rickenbacker project using just acetone.

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On 23/8/2016 at 6:34 AM, Prostheta said:

I've had nothing but trouble with those glues. I'm planning on binding my Rickenbacker project using just acetone.

hehe, yeah glue can be messy!

How are you going to use acetone? 

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Sorry for not posting every step in time, I was just to much in a rush!

I finished the guitar and handed her in to my buddy, here are some pics:

Used a Dragon file to shape 19mm at the first fret and 20mm at the heel

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Then filed a straight line between the two

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Rounded the neck to a C shape (more like a D)

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Made a mock-up

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made holes for the tuners

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glued the neck

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drilled n installed side dots

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routed space for the jack

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finish; transparent poly for the top

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Sorry that I forgot to take pics of routing the pickup spaces, I was too much in a hurry, but you get the idea.

Here are the finished pics, took them this morning and handed in the guitar at the afternoon, sheesh i'd never made one so fast! I know some of you guys could've done it in half the time, but it was difficult for me.

Specs:

Seymour Duncan Custom Shop buckers

Bigsby B50 tailpeice.

Poly finish, transparent top & Blue back.

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Thancks for watching!

 

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6 hours ago, Guitaraxz said:

hehe, yeah glue can be messy!

How are you going to use acetone? 

 

Binding that can be melted with acetone can be bonded with acetone. I simply brush the surface of the binding and also the binding channel with acetone. The binding surface softens and swells creating its own glue which bonds to the wood. It's essentially the same as how Weld-On glue works, but without the added mess of squeezeout. I found that it took a while to get the right balance of acetone, but it's a cleaner job than glues and 100% seamless.

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That guitar just oozes mojo!

I like the jack access and especially like the tuner hole jig. I presume you buddy is very happy with this?

Sr

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