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Phaddie

First time anything

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18 minutes ago, Phaddie said:

Do the precision kits come with electronics?

Nope!  Just the CNCed body and a well-built pre-finished neck.  Not a cheap option by any measure, but less expensive than buying quality wood and all the tools necessary to create a pre-finished guitar.  

If you want to nurture this hobby, take Choice #1 and see it through.  Even a twisted neck (to a certain degree) can be overcome, and a finished guitar would be a source of pride.  And you will know if you want to start investing in "the Rabbit Hole."

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14 hours ago, Phaddie said:

It is against my nature to not jump head first.  But you make great points! @charisjapan I checked out your build post and man you do great work!!  

Maybe I should buy a router...

Hi and welcome :)

Sorry to join this thread a little late - I've been desperately trying to finish a current scratch build which I've now just finished!

I think you are treading a path that many of us have trodden before.

My take, for what it is worth:

  • Your original path was a sound one.  That is, to buy a cheap kit, with all or most bits included to learn on and:
    •  improve on if it is worth doing so
    • but have the luxury to put it to one side move onto something more expensive / risky if the bug takes hold (which it will)

Nothing wrong with re-bodying an existing guitar, but you are then already into territory of needing to know stuff that building a kit would have helped you learn (as, I think, you already are finding).  

Just to address some of your thoughts and concerns from earlier posts:

  • Most modern kits from reputable suppliers are basically sound.  The hardware, electrics and pickups will be bottom drawer and the frets will usually need levelling but usually the machining will be accurate and, in my experience, the timber will be good
  • Veneered kits are also usually absolutely OK.  Yes, veneer is thin.  0.6mm to be precise - and yes, that includes all of it that is used for veneered guitar tops whether Epiphone or Ibanez or Squier or other reputable manufacturers.  You are very unlikely to sand through in normal assembly and finishing
  • Yes, alder stains very well.  Some finished bodies have a fine oil coating that wants to be sanded off to get the stain to fully absorb, but we are talking normal finishing preparation here (150 grit working down to 400 grit territory, not timber-removal grades!)

So if I was starting again, I would hang on to the bits I'd already bought, buy a complete but cheap kit, and do that one first.  Then I would either upgrade it - learning the foibles and challenges of even minor modding - or hang that on the wall and go back to the components I'd already bought and make a jolly fine guitar from those :)

 

My own $120 kit, albeit heavily modded, remains my main gigging guitar and has been for the past 4 years in preference to a Gibson Les Paul, a Fender Strat, a NAMM Show Demonstrator Indie Single Cut,  a Levin ES335 and a Les Paul Double Cut Junior:

  • $120 for everything in the kit
  • All the body and neck components and even the Jazzmaster trem are still originals from the kit - most other bits I've upgraded
  • Alder
  • Stained with fountain pen ink
  • Veneered with 0.6mm veneer

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Hope this helps :)

Andy

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2 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

 

  • Most modern kits from reputable suppliers are basically sound.  The hardware, electrics and pickups will be bottom drawer and the frets will usually need levelling but usually the machining will be accurate and, in my experience, the timber will be good
  • Veneered kits are also usually absolutely OK.  Yes, veneer is thin.  0.6mm to be precise - and yes, that includes all of it that is used for veneered guitar tops whether Epiphone or Ibanez or Squier or other reputable manufacturers.  You are very unlikely to sand through in normal assembly and finishing
  • Yes, alder stains very well.  Some finished bodies have a fine oil coating that wants to be sanded off to get the stain to fully absorb, but we are talking normal finishing preparation here (150 grit working down to 400 grit territory, not timber-removal grades!)

So if I was starting again, I would hang on to the bits I'd already bought, buy a complete but cheap kit, and do that one first.  Then I would either upgrade it - learning the foibles and challenges of even minor modding - or hang that on the wall and go back to the components I'd already bought and make a jolly fine guitar from those :)

 

Thanx  @Andyjr1515.  I think if I bought more stuff my wife would kill me at this point.  But I think you advice is sound.  My plan as it stands is to treat the new ash body and full squire tele I have as a kit guitar.  Then once I am done that plan my next build.  

 

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1 hour ago, Phaddie said:

Thanx  @Andyjr1515.  I think if I bought more stuff my wife would kill me at this point.  But I think you advice is sound.  My plan as it stands is to treat the new ash body and full squire tele I have as a kit guitar.  Then once I am done that plan my next build.  

 

Yes, been there, done that ;)

Sounds a good plan.  That neck pocket fit is not too serious at all - I have seen pre-CNC Fender standards and deluxes straight out of the factory with much bigger gaps than that!  That said, I would use veneer to fill the gaps, personally, rather than card and definitely use some decent hardish wood sheet (you can get hold of decently small pieces of mahogany or basswood in various thicknesses from most model shops) for the piece to glue in the bottom of the neck pocket to raise it.

Watching with interest - I'm sure we'll soon be seeing another 'completely hooked' builder join our like-minded company :)

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1 hour ago, Phaddie said:

Thanx  @Andyjr1515.  I think if I bought more stuff my wife would kill me at this point.  But I think you advice is sound.  My plan as it stands is to treat the new ash body and full squire tele I have as a kit guitar.  Then once I am done that plan my next build.  

Phad,

As you said, you have enough to build a guitar.  In fact, enough to build a guitar AND an extra body!  Stripping, prepping and finishing the Squier will be a great experience as well ... I heartily recommend you do that.

As you mentioned earlier, a router is a great tool for a scratch-build ... think about one that will fit into a table, and also about making a router sled box.  All kinds of fun awaits! :thumb:

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Update.

I actually had time do some work. I used a business card to shim the neck and it made a HUGE difference. I can almost pick up the body with the neck with the card shims in there.  I also went about trying to find the centre line of the body.  This proved almost impossible until I remembered I really need to centre things around the neck.  Which I think I did.  

Next I am going to make the shim to go in the neck pocket to bring the neck to the proper height.  Then drill and mount the neck.

Having fun already!

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18 hours ago, Phaddie said:

 I also went about trying to find the centre line of the body.  This proved almost impossible until I remembered I really need to centre things around the neck.  Which I think I did.  

 

 

If there are tuners still on the neck (or pop a couple on) the best way to line up the neck is to pop on a top E and bottom E, tight enough simply for them to be straight, and aim for an equal distance from each to the edge of the fretboard at the end.

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I decided I NEED a router (I assume you all know what I mean) I have about 300 CAD to spend.  I have been looking at the Triton 2HP 

https://www.amazon.ca/Triton-Tools-MOF001-Precision-Plunge/dp/B00779NCPM/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1490042307&sr=1-2&keywords=triton+plunge+router

Dewalt 618

https://www.amazon.ca/DEWALT-DW618PK-Plunge-Fixed-Base-Variable-Speed/dp/B00006JKXE/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1490042525&sr=1-1&keywords=dewalt+618

Porter Cable 693

https://www.amazon.ca/PORTER-CABLE-693LRPK-Fixed-Router-Plunge/dp/B00006411C/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1490042556&sr=1-3&keywords=porter+cable+router

Or Port Cable 892

https://www.amazon.ca/PORTER-CABLE-892-2-1-4-Horsepower-Router/dp/B0000DCBK0/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1490042556&sr=1-2&keywords=porter+cable+router

 

I assume these will do what is needed for body, pickup cavities, neck pockets,  and maybe also planing.

Are these too powerful for delicate work? Can they route bodies from templates no problem?

Thanx in advance guys!

Phad.

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I own a 2HP Triton and use it constantly. It'll do anything you need, no problem. Just keep an eye on the screw that holds the depth locking lever in place, it'll pop out when you least expect it (don't ask....)

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I've got the porter cable and honestly cant recommend it.  it's worked well for me and fits my router lift table but the height adjustment on the base can be a bit difficult and the spindle lock for changing bits sucks more ass than an industrial ass sucking machine.

the pin on mine is broken and now I have to use 2 wrenches to change bits (which works fine) but is a pain in the ass.

 

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Update.

Was about to get a few hours in the shop today.  Some of the cut outs were not deep enough in the body I had, so I had to make the bridge and switch cutouts deeper.  Since I have never used a drill press or a router before I was excited and nervous.

It all went pretty well, I nicked the body on the drill bit one time sliding it onto the press but I think it is shallow enough that it will be gone with sanding.  I also drilled the hole for the plug and ground wire to bridge.

Everything fits now! Next time I mount the neck. I was hoping to not use a pick guard but that hole behind the bridge pickup is gross.  I was thinking I make a ledge all the way around and put a piece of nice wood, or make a logo or something. That way I can use my friends cnc machine.

Thanx for all the tips guys.

Phad

 

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not having stuff get's your creativity going!

looking good man, having fun is what it's all about. When it's finished, it's on to the next one  ! ;-)

 

 

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54 minutes ago, 10pizza said:

not having stuff get's your creativity going!

looking good man, having fun is what it's all about. When it's finished, it's on to the next one  ! ;-)

 

 

Already planning the next one ;)

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Hey guys,

  I am having a hard time finding very thin wood veneer (~1mm) to shim my neck pocket.  I have tried hardware stores and a couple of lumberyards.  I am in Toronto Canada.  Any suggestions where I might find this?

 

Thanx in advance

 

 

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For shimming a neck pocket you could try making your own. I made the veneer for my headstock by resawing an offcut of the body top wood, fixing it to a sheet of MDF (the masking tape & CA trick would be good here) and then sanding it down to required thickness. A bit of effort but very achievable if you don't need a large sheet

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Neck Pocket Blues ...  in Am. ;)

Of course, the best answer is to make an exact-sized block of similar wood to fit the present pocket, glue it in, then re-rout with your new router! :lol:

But considering that particular piece of wood with a Squier neck and parts ... a business card will do the trick just fine.  Even better with the maple cards!  You could glue and clamp it into the sides and bottom of the pocket to make it a tad more toneful, but the difference between that and wood shims (even if they are primo tonewood!) is negligible.  I would not use cheap cardboard or foam rubber, however (ya gotta draw the line somewhere!).

About routers, I have a Hitachi  MV-12E that is incredible ... but not sure if it's sold in Canada.  Beware!  Once you get a nice router, you WILL want a table, and high-quality (aka expensive) bits, and height adjustment, and featherboards, and stops, and dust collection, and ... well, you get the idea.  AND, you get to make sleds and boxes and radius jigs and ...  But Wait!  There's more!  You will want another router (or two) so you don't have to unscrew the first router and attach it elsewhere.  IF you are careful, all the above can be added without attracting too much unwanted attention.  :D

Finish Build One (quickly), play some music that your wife and kids like, and Build Two is in the bag!!

 

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All great options thanx!  Hopefully the card/shims will arrive today and I can get the neck and bridge positions nailed down.  A quick question.  How do I keep the holes I make for bridge and pickguard visible after grain fill and dye?

 

Phad.

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34 minutes ago, Phaddie said:

 How do I keep the holes I make for bridge and pickguard visible after grain fill and dye?

Use reverse psychology on them and try to  make them invisible. It's virtually impossible to unsee a hole once it's there,no matter how good of a job you do disguising it. so with holes you want to see, not an issue. You may be overthinking this one a little... :)

SR

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