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Pariahrob

Pariahrob's build log

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Hi all,

new here and still reasonably new to guitar building. I've built a handful which I'll post pictures of soon. This is a bug that's well and truly bitten and so glad I found this site. So many skilled and friendly people, so looking forward to being part of the community. 

 

Im currently working on a doublecut design. Fairly straight forward. Tulipwood body with black walnut top. Maple bolt on with walnut veneer on headstock. 

Im going for a wilkinson trem and two humbuckers, 3 way switch and master volume. 

My first build was a replica of Nuno Bettencourt 24 fret maple board N3. That had some cool features and I love it but I wanted to do something that was more my own. 

I'll try to document with photos as I go but here's a snap of the tummy cut. Done with the Shinto. My favourite tool for quickly roughing out shapes. 

Shinto

Looking forward to a productive week or so. 

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Thanks ScottR. So much to take in here. 

Today I got a bit further. Removed all the clamps and fails to find my walnut veneer looking good. 

Binding

Managed to route my binding Chanel without any problems. I used the special dremel end piece from stew Mac for that. Tricky to maintain the angle but managed it. I think it should really have a wider base. 

Binding

Now I've got the binding on. Used thicker super glue for this as had good experience in the past. Taped with binding tape and used a heat gun to help round the horns.

Binding

I didn't enjoy trimming the walnut round the cavities so much  felt like it could've chipped and torn lots but a bit of patience paid off.

Now to decide how long to leave it before I take the tape off.

what recommendations do you guys have for a satin finish that will help the grain look good but without a thick coat of gloss?

 

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Oil will give you a nice satin look, but offers pretty much no protection beyond sealing. Satin polyurethane will do so as well and offer protection, but you need a very smooth final coat to avoid witness lines from leveling cutting through coats.

SR

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Cheers Scott. 

I do like the idea of an oil finish. One of my favourite guitars is the N4 but this build has a veneer on top. Looks like I'll need to put a thicker finish on. I'll try a satin poly. 

Thanks!

Also, I've spent some time scraping the binding. Lots left to do but starting to look more refined now. 

Binding scraping

 

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Here's a quick look at the whole body so far. Lots of scraping left to do, along with cleaning up around the cavities but it's coming along. 

Bound

I guess my main question at this stage is to ask for your thoughts. On the design and my work so far. Is there anything I'm obviously doing wrong or could do better/different?

 

cheers

Rob

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8 hours ago, Pariahrob said:

Is there anything I'm obviously doing wrong or could do better/different?

I can't see that you're doing anything obviously wrong. Hopefully you're enjoying the journey more than anything.

How are you cutting your pickup, trem and control cavities? Are you using templates or routing freehand?

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I'm definitely enjoying things. I've learned so much from my first few builds. 

Move done both as it happens. I'm a designer and animator by day which I guess means I like details and forms. I drew templates for pickup cavities, body and neck shape then transferred them to Perspex which I used as a router guide. 

The rear cavity for the controls I routed by hand after drilling the holes for the pot and switch. 

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Well, here's a surprise! While I was thinking about fret markers I was looking in my box of bits and decided on some lovely abalone but got carried away, so chiselled out a channel down the center of the body and added a strip. I was going to keep this pretty understated but now it's looking a bit fancier!

I couldn't get away from the idea of the oil finish either, so now there is an initial coat of oil on there, which looks lovely. I'll just have to be careful not to knock it.

Lesson for the day: plan inlays etc first. If I had fitted the abalone first it would have saved a bunch of time and effort by just lining the top up to it. This is a fun lesson though, so no complaints!

 

Ff1.jpeg

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That black Walnut is classy as anything, and will only get moreso once you get any sort of clear on there. I haven't worked with BW for a while now, however I spotted some in a local woodworker's store....I might have to snaffle it....

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welcome to the group- looking good so far. You know you can still do a wipe on poly if you wanted more protection. I have done that over danish oil previously. Just let that oil dry out for a good week in a warm house- if you do wipe on poly- coat the hell out of that body- let it sit there for 15 mins or so- then wipe off. you want to build up a barely there thin amount each time-almost like tru oil-  and you can avoid the witness lines. Regular poly I have never had good luck with. I have used Minwax wipe on poly previously after reading Rob Allen uses it on his basses- the first time I used it was not so good- I left too much on- the next time I wiped it off (almost like you are removing it all)- but enough stays behind and you can build it up like that. 

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@StratsRdivine I know right! Not sure what. I could opt for the simple abalone fret dots option or maybe something on the headstock. 

@Mr Natural Thanks so much for that. Very helpful indeed. I'll be getting some wipe on poly then!

 

On another note I'm planning my next build and have a few questions. It's going to be a carved top prs-like semi hollow with an f hole. I'm thinking of doing curly maple binding but wonder what the tightest radius it's suitable for, as I'd like to bind the f hole too. 

I've not done a semi hollow before and wonder how the innards should be carved. Are simple routed cavities enough or should it be more cello like with the guitar top carved into a curve underneath? My guess is that a route is fine for this but more than happy to be told otherwise. 

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Welcome and really good build on the go, @Pariahrob :)

Ref curly maple for tight curve binding, I certainly wouldn't.  I tried it on this re-body job of a pal's Peavey EVH and got nowhere at all with it.

For the curly maple, I tried everything, including the 'desperate measures' methods:

  • Started with normal pre-bend over hot pipe after soaking in water
  • Tried again, adding fabric softener to the soak
  • Tried a Spanish classical guitar luthier's method - soaking the binding in household ammonia (please do NOT do this unless you know how to handle ammonia!!!), wrapping tightly in tin foil, heating with heatgun, bending over a former

 In the end, I used much more stable and bendable rosewood with a boxwood stripe, again pre-soaked and pre-bent over a hot pipe, which I turned upside down to get the light binding line!

IMG_6190.thumb.JPG.4c2337faeb83785eef009f966b4500bf.JPG

 

By the way ref your earlier question, although this is solid wood rather than a veneer, this (also NA Black Walnut) has been finished in Tru-oil using the slurry and buff method.  Personally I would have no qualms at using the same method on veneer.  The above guitar is gigged pretty much every week and has been for the past couple of years and shows no signs of wear whatsoever.  In the event of there being any damage, it is also one of the easiest finishes to patch up.

 

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@Andyjr1515 Thanks for sharing your experiences. Useful to hear. I'm still keen to try but think I might investigate different methods. I wonder if I could use my f hole template (my own custom shape) to actual cut the binding out in the final shape. It wouldn't have much strength but doesn't really need it. 

I suppose I could just use the fake binding technique instead but I was going to try to run a thin layer of ebony as well for nice contrast. 

 

That evh looks so good! Black walnut is one of my favourite woods. You've done a fantastic job and sounds pretty hard wearing. 

Thanks again!

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4 hours ago, Pariahrob said:

@Andyjr1515 Thanks for sharing your experiences. Useful to hear. I'm still keen to try but think I might investigate different methods. I wonder if I could use my f hole template (my own custom shape) to actual cut the binding out in the final shape. It wouldn't have much strength but doesn't really need it. 

Absolutely!  I'd love to use the stuff so if you are able to find a successful method I would be delighted to see it and would, of course, shamelessly steal the idea  :D

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On 2/21/2017 at 9:44 AM, Pariahrob said:

Managed to route my binding Chanel without any problems. I used the special dremel end piece from stew Mac for that. Tricky to maintain the angle but managed it. I think it should really have a wider base. 

 

 

 

I agree with your previous comment about the base of the stew mac dremel guide. I made my own base to use with my router table- dont laugh- its "ghetto" as hell as they say- but it works. screws into the base plate of my router table- the dremel stays stationary, move the body around and viola.. 

007.jpg

010.jpg

006.jpg

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@Mr Natural That is a genius setup you made there. Wish I had thought of it. I might have to 'borrow' that idea for myself.

@Andyjr1515 If I can get it to work I will definitely be sharing.

 

Ok, off to trim my fretboard to size and get some slots prepped!

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A small amount of progress. Fret slots cut, board radiused and abalone inlay added to 12th fret. I debated doing something fancy but  settled on a simple dot. Mostly so the width of abalone stays the same along the length of the guitar. 

 

IMG_2594.JPG

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1 hour ago, Pariahrob said:

A small amount of progress. Fret slots cut, board radiused and abalone inlay added to 12th fret. I debated doing something fancy but  settled on a simple dot. Mostly so the width of abalone stays the same along the length of the guitar. 

 

IMG_2594.JPG

That's nice - understated. Some rectangular blocks the width of your centre line would have been cool too - kind of a "tear along the dotted line" effect :D

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