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sdshirtman

Watch me add an F-hole to an existing LP Special and transform it into an offset.

13 posts in this topic

I haven't posted anything in a while so I thought I'd post this because it's mildly interesting. 

I won't go into detail as to why this was done but this is what my client wanted,  so last month I had to convert a Les Paul special(s) into an offset type guitar with an F-hole. The guitar was to have the P-90 bridge moved to the neck position, the headstock shape changed, the body reshaped, the neck joint reshaped, and a new custom pick guard made along with a few other minor details. All in all it would have been easier and cheaper to build this from scatch but I digress. 

Here is the victim along with a rendering of what is is to become. 

Turning this . . ..

IMG_4481_zpswqkpepr0.jpg

. . .into this.

Screen%20Shot%202016-12-29%20at%202.47.5

(BTW I don't have any cool 3-D rendering software so I make due with Adobe illustrator).

 

I won't post it all at once just to keep you guys in suspense. I also missed documenting some of the template fabrication and the cutting out the new shape, but I think everyone here knows what goes into that. I realize that this will seem like a waste of time and resources so don't ask why it was done. It just was. I took it on because it was interesting and bills need to get paid. 

 Anyways, here we go. 

 

Here is the new shape cut out along with the newly added bevels on the sides. The second route for the neck P-90 has been completed. 

IMG_4270_zpsoorgzje2.jpg

The next step was to plug the bridge pickup cavity. I've never really seen this done without some witness lines showing in the final paint job as the plugs always seem to shrink to some extent no matter what you do. To minimize this I fabricated the plug using one of the cut off pieces from the reshaping of the body and oriented the grain in the same direction as the body. Once it was glued in a cut it off flush with a Japanese pull saw and flooded any gaps with CA glue.

IMG_4312_zps6edl7lmu.jpg

The next step is to reshape this neck heel joint. 

IMG_4337_zpsulhrxnvg.jpg

I'll leave this right here and post that part next. 

 

 

 

 

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There is never any explaining of customers' wishes......ours is not to question why, our is just to take their money when they have these crazy ideas.

On the other hand it is a nice little puzzle to work out and that some some entertainment value all by itself.

SR

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22 hours ago, ScottR said:

There is never any explaining of customers' wishes......ours is not to question why, our is just to take their money when they have these crazy ideas.

On the other hand it is a nice little puzzle to work out and that some some entertainment value all by itself.

SR

Without a doubt. Thx. 

22 hours ago, curtisa said:

Neat. Reminds me a bit of Maton's Mastersound range.

Nice spot. Client gave me the design. 

Here is a shot of the cavity fill after sanding. I put a layer of Z-poxy over in an attempt to hide the edges. 

IMG_4316_zpsfaciw7cq.jpg

 

Back to the neck heel shaping.

As usual I start in with a large gauge to remove the big stuff then move in with a microplane. As a sidenote, the poly finish on this thing dulled out my microplane pretty badly. $20 down the tube.

IMG_4339_zpslxnl572c.jpg

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And the final shape. Much more comfy that the stock heel. 

IMG_4268_zps5e4gwitx.jpg

 

Next project was to make a jig to reshape the headstock. I would have free handed this but I did multiple guitars. Here is the jig I ultimately wound up with. It allows me to reshape on my router table. Its a little awkward to hold the guitar up at an angle but hey it works.

IMG_4232_zpspxwh89pp.jpg

And the after. Shortly after this shot was taken my router gave up the ghost and I bought an variable speed replacement. Its nice to now have a router that doesn't run at a contact 22000 rpm and burn wood. 

IMG_4234_zpshsrjycvd.jpg

 

The next installment will get to the fun part of dropping in the F-hole. Thanks for looking. 

 

 

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Clever headstock jig. The first modification I ever did was to fill in a trem cavity and change HSS configuration to HH with a hardtail on a white pearl painted guitar with no pick guard. I routed out channel right down the middle of the face and filled it with a piece of cocobolo carved to match the original carve. I oiled the cocobolo and it looked like a neckthrough. And it avoided the witness lines because it was not repainted over the filled voids. 

17 minutes ago, sdshirtman said:

The next installment will get to the fun part of dropping in the F-hole. Thanks for looking.

I'm looking forward to this part.:)

SR

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While searching through the pictures I took to document this project I'm sadly finding that a large group of them are missing so I'll have to make due with what I do have. :(

 The first step in the F-hole was to route in a cavity from the back. The same basic procedure as routing in an electronics cavity. I tried to reuse one of my cavity templates from past builds but none fit correctly so I had to make one specifically to fit this body shape.

IMG_4313_zpsdqvjqt6o.jpg

 

So now that I have a cavity routed in the back I had to hide it. The most pragmatic solution was to simply route roughly .5" off half of the back of the guitar where the cavity is and fill it with a suitable piece of .5" thick mahogany. Doing this was pretty straight forward. I took a piece of plywood roughly 12' x30" and used double sided tape and attached the back of the guitar with the part I wanted milled off hanging over. You can see the line where I'll be milling to on the previous picture. 

I set up my router table with a .5" pattern bit and I used my saw fence for my guide. I started taking off  .25" shallow passes and would just move my fence over roughly .25" each pass until I hot the board. 

Heres the setup I used. 

IMG_4319_zpsdzwrcceh.jpg

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Next was to cut the F-hole. I prefer to use a router vs a coping saw.  I think its faster and more accurate IMHO.

IMG_4315_zpswwen1ugq.jpg

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Which leaves us with your basic F-hole courtesy of Paul Gilbert. 

IMG_4324_zpswalghvkr.jpg

 

 

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Neat f-hole.  I'm going to need to read the thread again ref what you are going on the router table...then again, I don't have a table so I suppose it's a bit academic.  Then again, I live in hope! :)

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That's a helluva conversion, man. Nice work so far :-)

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On 1/8/2017 at 11:43 AM, Skyjerk said:

That's a helluva conversion, man. Nice work so far :-)

Thanks Chris. It was a fun and interesting project for sure. 

 

Here's a few shots of the back after milling. Almost done here. 

IMG_4323_zpsfwrjiqlu.jpg

IMG_4322_zpsxb40olvb.jpg

 

I wanted to seal the inside of the cavity so I masked off the back and shot a little bit of sanding sealer. The making material is decal transfer paper. Its cheap, cuts super easily with an X-acto knife, and doesn't bleed through. You can buy it at any sign supply for about $40 a roll. One roll will last a LONG time. 

IMG_4325_zpsfkh6boaj.jpg

And here is the mahogany piece I'll be gluing to the back. Of course it gets some sealer too.

IMG_4326_zpsjulc2x3k.jpg

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Which leaves us with this all ready to glue up. The sealer is kind of a mess. I shot it vertically and was in a hurry. NBD. No one will be able to see that deeply into the cavity. 

IMG_4330_zpsaz1vdhq2.jpg

And th clamp monster. 

IMG_4332_zps4bpsekte.jpg

IMG_4333_zpskjqrzyce.jpg

Thats it for today. Thanks for looking.

 

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Nicely done, John.

How's the paw?

SR

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Thanks for asking Scott. Its healed up for the most part. I have some little lumpy scarring that I think will always be there and its still sensitive, but its back in action. If only there was a system like a Sawstop, but for a router. 

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Continuing. 

As I'm going through these pictures I'm realizing that the timeline looks out of whack due to the fact that I did more than one of these. Sorry about that. 

Out of the clamps and the edges of the backing mahogany routed flush with the body. Previous pictures show that the bevels were completed but they weren't on this particular one. 

IMG_4334_zpsfsztues3.jpg

 

Bevels completed and a coat of clear sealer shot. The stud holes were plugged as this is getting a different bridge that what came stock. Thats where it stands now.  Its currently in the booth. I'm sad to report that the customer changed his mind on the cream and opted for a metallic silver with a metallic blue burst. Yuck. 

IMG_4346_zpsxlqjgbgy.jpg

 

IMG_4426_zpsh4njqf6l.jpg

 

 

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That doesn't look half bad sealed like that. I can picture the other routes and holes filled with contrasting woods as well turning it into a sort of parquet guitar art piece.

In the right market it could bring more than the functional guitar would. :)

SR

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