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Hey Everyone!

      Welcome to my new thread on my first proper guitar build! I've been designing this for a while and I'm currently doing an accurate drawing of what it will look like. I had help from people like @ScottR@curtisa and more to progress in my design and make it better. So thank you to all of them. Here is the link to that thread. Just so you know, I have experience with woodworking and others so I'm not going into this with nothing.

The Design:hyper

So I have been designing off of a telecaster, shape wise, as I have always loved the shape. Other guitars I have designed from include a PRS, Gibson and one of my current guitars, a Lag Arkane. It is  a 25" scale with 24 Frets. 

To start this whole project off, I drew round my Lag Arkane body to get a rough outline. Then I shaped the guitar from that, adding the Telecaster shape. 

The headstock I designed off a PRS and a guitar that an old guitar buddy was given, a Seraph Sabre. Look him up, Jon Beedle.

IMG_20161122_233706.thumb.jpg.43f84ea1a94fff11e907b20fe75147df.jpgIMG_20161123_231933.thumb.jpg.584bdc46e0c5d9378de281ffdb0807d0.jpg Here's the original rough design shape of both guitar and headstock.

 After I got the rough design, I attempted at creating an accurate design however it failed because of improper measurements. So I scrapped it, you can see it in the other thread. 

The Hardware and other stuff

Wood

I've been looking into different kinds of wood for this guitar, however I finalised on Black Korina for the body. I made this decision because 1 I like the wood and 2 I can get my hands on it quite easily! I'll need two halves of it so I can route out the middle of the guitar and then glue the top over it (If that makes sense). For the neck I was thinking just Mahogany as I have a lot of very old mahogany to use. It's about 200 years old! and then an ebony fretboard.

Electronics

I'm thinking humbuckers, don't know what yet (leave suggestion if you wish) but one in the bridge, one in the neck. I was looking into P90s but i'd rather use pickups I'm familiar with at first. I will have the input on the front, like an SG with two Tone and a Volume Knob. I'm hoping to use a Gibson switch as my selector for pickups.

Other Stuff

The bridge is cheap (£16) but I don't wast anything expensive at the moment. I got it from Northwest Guitars. It's a hardtail and it's chunky which is what I wanted. Currently up to this day I only have this.

The Build

Last night, 18/02/17, I embarked on a new adventure. I had the advice of people on the other thread, had the equipment, had the pride so I set off drawing a new design. I started by placing my ruler down on the table and drawing out a beautifully straight 25" line for my High E to nut scale. I then made a mark where the 24th fret will be and drew a line 90 degrees to it  (you'll see in the pictures) and then added 3mm and that is where my pickup shall go.

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At the Bridge end of the scale length, I got my bridge that I bought and measured it up to the line with my High E. (My High E saddle is protruded 85%-ish-of the way out). I then went about sketching around the bridge. Then I took the Saddles off the bridge and drew the 5 holes where the bridge is screwed on and then the 6 holes for the strings-see images.

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From there, I got the measurement from E to E which was 54mm and added 4mm to each side. From there I drew a line from the middle marks on the bridge to the Nut in order to get the fretboard width. As shown in the first few drawings.

Upon starting this at 11;25 on 19/02/17 this is all I have done. I plan on finishing this drawing soon and then buying the wood and starting!! Next I am going to mark the humbuckers and draw the body shape and headstock.

 

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Hey Retuos,

Nice that you started a build thread!

About that bridge, you may want to extend the high-e forward a bit more.  On any of my guitars, the typical spread between low-E and high-e is about 3~4 mm, the low-E the most back, and the high-e the most forward. but if you measure the actual scale nut-to-12th fret then 12th fret-to-saddle, the A-string is probably the closest to being the same.  So your high-e should be more forward, or your low-E will be too far back. The actual travel of that bridge is only about 10 mm, even though there appears to be more screw left, the spring starts to bind and the saddle would go behind your string-through hole.  The high-e saddle should probably be more like 90% or even 95% forward. 

What is the measurement from the nut face to the center of the 12th fret?  The measurement from 12th fret to the actual touching point of the A-string saddle should be about the same.

(I hope this makes sense to you)

 

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Cheers Retuos!

I probably should have noticed this thread before my last response in your previous thread. :P

I'm looking forward to seeing this thing develop.

SR

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16 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Cheers Retuos!

I probably should have noticed this thread before my last response in your previous thread. :P

I'm looking forward to seeing this thing develop.

SR

Thanks Scott,

Just to check, is the positioning of the bridge here correct? The bridge scale line is where the high E will be at about 85% protrusion. 

Thanks,

R

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2 hours ago, charisjapan said:

Hey Retuos,

Nice that you started a build thread!

About that bridge, you may want to extend the high-e forward a bit more.  On any of my guitars, the typical spread between low-E and high-e is about 3~4 mm, the low-E the most back, and the high-e the most forward. but if you measure the actual scale nut-to-12th fret then 12th fret-to-saddle, the A-string is probably the closest to being the same.  So your high-e should be more forward, or your low-E will be too far back. The actual travel of that bridge is only about 10 mm, even though there appears to be more screw left, the spring starts to bind and the saddle would go behind your string-through hole.  The high-e saddle should probably be more like 90% or even 95% forward. 

What is the measurement from the nut face to the center of the 12th fret?  The measurement from 12th fret to the actual touching point of the A-string saddle should be about the same.

(I hope this makes sense to you)

 

Thanks for the reply!

Right now i'm not sure if I want to extend it anymore. I'll have a think about it :).

I'll have to measure that when i work on it next.

The only thing that seems weird to me is that the High-E is normally the scale length. That's what i've been running off at the moment. 

Thanks

R

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7 hours ago, Retuos said:

Thanks for the reply!

Right now i'm not sure if I want to extend it anymore. I'll have a think about it :).

I'll have to measure that when i work on it next.

The only thing that seems weird to me is that the High-E is normally the scale length. That's what i've been running off at the moment. 

Thanks

R

Retuos,

I stand corrected ... the high-e string is closest to actual scale length.  On my Gibsons, with a scale length of 624 mm, my saddles are set as in the diagram (sorry, not-to-scale MSPaint).  The high-e is 624 mm and the low-E is 630 mm.  But my point was that the actual "stroke" of your saddles is about 10 mm optimum.  The Gibson ABR has an actual range of saddle position ("stroke") of only about 7 mm, while a Nashville bridge boasts about 9 mm.  Your adjustment range for a hardtail bridge could be stretched to maybe 12 mm, but would look a little weird if the saddles were too far forward, or too far back.  That is why I said 90~95%.  This would measure to about 1 mm from the saddle block to the edge of the bridge plate, but the actual saddle string point is about 2mm back from there.

Sorry for the confusion, and the mistake in scale.  Hope this helps!

32619008460_b023a804bb_b.jpg

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11 hours ago, Retuos said:

I then made a mark where the 24th fret will be and drew a line 90 degrees to it  (you'll see in the pictures) and then added 3mm and that is where my pickup shall go.

Don't forget to allow for the fretboard extension after the 24th fret (say 8mm or so). If you place the pickup 3mm past the 24th fret slot you'll have no fretboard to install the fret into.

 

7 hours ago, Retuos said:

Right now i'm not sure if I want to extend it anymore. I'll have a think about it :).

I'll have to measure that when i work on it next.

The only thing that seems weird to me is that the High-E is normally the scale length. That's what i've been running off at the moment. 

Have a look at this. RestorationADs old posts are a goldmine of information. The 9th post down the page illustrates how best to position the bridge to allow for correct intonation. The method he uses even points to measuring "...the scale to the most forward point on the bridge saddles" (emphasis mine):

There was another post of his that I can't locate now, but I recall him saying that you will almost never intonate a string on a freshly-installed bridge by moving the saddle towards the nut. The scale length always wants to be increased, hence his preference for positioning the bridge with the saddles all the way forward to allow for maximum adjustment backwards on each string once strung up. This has been my experience also.

Edit: CJ beat me to it. But yes, establish the correct scale length with the saddles as far forward as you can, and then individual intonation adjustments once strung up will be away from this point. If you only wind the saddles 75% the way forward and locate your bridge based off this, it's possible you'll run out of adjustment range on the lower wound strings because they can no longer go back far enough to correct intonation errors.

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These guys are giving you good advice. It has been my experience that you almost always never move a saddle closer to the nut to intonate. so you do want to leave yourself the bulk of the adjustment range moving away from the nut. I do occasionally find that I get a little drill bit deflection when drilling pilot holes for my bridge screws. Then the countersunk heads move it ever so slightly from where I marked it. Not so much too be out of position, but enough that I might need to move the high E saddle a turn or so closer to the nut. to be at the proper scale length. 75% is probably too far away...85% is probably closer to where I start. do check your own bridge and see how much adjustment you have. 

SR

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On 19/02/2017 at 11:10 PM, charisjapan said:

Retuos,

I stand corrected ... the high-e string is closest to actual scale length.  On my Gibsons, with a scale length of 624 mm, my saddles are set as in the diagram (sorry, not-to-scale MSPaint).  The high-e is 624 mm and the low-E is 630 mm.  But my point was that the actual "stroke" of your saddles is about 10 mm optimum.  The Gibson ABR has an actual range of saddle position ("stroke") of only about 7 mm, while a Nashville bridge boasts about 9 mm.  Your adjustment range for a hardtail bridge could be stretched to maybe 12 mm, but would look a little weird if the saddles were too far forward, or too far back.  That is why I said 90~95%.  This would measure to about 1 mm from the saddle block to the edge of the bridge plate, but the actual saddle string point is about 2mm back from there.

Sorry for the confusion, and the mistake in scale.  Hope this helps!

Thanks for the reply!

So are you saying that I should extend my saddle a bit more to get the whole bridge back a little bit? I'm not sure if my saddles get that close to the bridge. They leave quite a gap when fully extended. I'll have to do it and show you a picture, it'll be easier than just typing.

R

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On 19/02/2017 at 11:18 PM, curtisa said:

Don't forget to allow for the fretboard extension after the 24th fret (say 8mm or so). If you place the pickup 3mm past the 24th fret slot you'll have no fretboard to install the fret into.

I was thinking actually on cutting it off on the 24th fret and having, in essence, 23 and a half. So that was why I was having it 3 mm away. If this works or not i'm not sure! You'll have to tell me.

On 19/02/2017 at 11:18 PM, curtisa said:

Have a look at this. RestorationADs old posts are a goldmine of information. The 9th post down the page illustrates how best to position the bridge to allow for correct intonation. The method he uses even points to measuring "...the scale to the most forward point on the bridge saddles" (emphasis mine):

Thanks! I'll have a gander and check it out! 

 

On 19/02/2017 at 11:18 PM, curtisa said:

Edit: CJ beat me to it. But yes, establish the correct scale length with the saddles as far forward as you can, and then individual intonation adjustments once strung up will be away from this point. If you only wind the saddles 75% the way forward and locate your bridge based off this, it's possible you'll run out of adjustment range on the lower wound strings because they can no longer go back far enough to correct intonation errors

I understand now, I'll extend it out more, this'll mean my bridge will be further back and I'll have more room for pickups right? 

R

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On 20/02/2017 at 2:05 PM, ScottR said:

These guys are giving you good advice. It has been my experience that you almost always never move a saddle closer to the nut to intonate. so you do want to leave yourself the bulk of the adjustment range moving away from the nut. I do occasionally find that I get a little drill bit deflection when drilling pilot holes for my bridge screws. Then the countersunk heads move it ever so slightly from where I marked it. Not so much too be out of position, but enough that I might need to move the high E saddle a turn or so closer to the nut. to be at the proper scale length. 75% is probably too far away...85% is probably closer to where I start. do check your own bridge and see how much adjustment you have. 

SR

I'll check it, I guess I'm a bit too cautious! Thanks for the advice! I do believe everything is correct, however I am going to redo my saddles and perhaps get it more accurate.

Thanks

R

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Bridge Adjustments

So, taking on the advice of these kind guys I have unscrewed my bridges saddles further, the high E now 3-4mm further away from where it was so I can move the bridge back those few millimetres. This means redrawing the bridge! Woohoo! I now believe my bridge is in the correct position on the scale length. Once again, thank you everyone who have helped ( @ScottR, @curtisa and @charisjapan).

What Next??

My plan next is to draw on the Body, Headstock and the frets on the fretboard. Just to clarify just incase there is confusion, I am going to be having 23 frets where I shave half on the 24th off. Thats why I have a ~3mm gap between the 24th fret and the pickup. Sorry if there is confusion. Then I will draw on the pickup position and then sketch the wiring out on tracing paper. I am going to have 1 volume knob and 2 tone knobs. I also want the jack on the front of the body. After that, I'm going to put the string contact points on the nut and sketch strings.

Following this, I will probably draw a side view plan.

Because I have a hardtail - and I'm lazy :thumb: - I will have no neck angle, however my neck will be a bolt on so I can shim it if I need to so that I can adjust the action.

R

 

 

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Update On the Design

So, I have completely repositioned the bridge. It's a little further back then before because of the saddles, which have been loosened further. (Left Drawing shows it clearly)

 

DSC_1053.thumb.JPG.084fa830beff0e9834fe70ef18d490c3.JPGDSC_1051.thumb.JPG.be3401dcb21eb70a64c0cd56ce461cda.JPG

As you can see, I have also added the strings in, roughy. I calculated the string spacings and where they need to be on the nut which annoyingly took longer than it should have. All I had to do was (43-6)/5 which is the Nut Width take Fretboard to String gap divided by the total number of strings take 1, so 5. This gave me my spacings from the strings centres which I marked down. I then drew the strings saddle area on the scale like - obviously not where they'll be but it gives a rough area - and then drew the lines on. I have left the centre line in there which makes looking at it a bit confusing but it helps me work with it better.

Further more I have sketched in the hum buckers routing. This is what I was looking for in the first place when I started this. This bridge pickup is not too close but not too far from the bridge to give warmth into it and not just treble. The neck pickup is hugging the neck like it should.

Next I plan to draw the body on, the headstock which I am still designing - now thinking of a straight 6 design instead of 3x3 - and then add in the volume pot, tone pots and input jack. Everything is coming together!

Thanks for reading!

R

Edited by Retuos

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Hey Retuos,

Just food for thought, as I was scratching my head about "nut design" for my Chinaberry Two build ... the MSPaint drawing below shows the difference between using string centers to decide nut slots and using string-to-string gap.  Of course, with the much bigger strings, this is more important on a bass guitar, but as you can see from the centerline, each method still produces different results. 

How much difference depends on the individual, but take a peek.

32954601321_cbbb34d2a6_b.jpg

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