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spottydog

First full build from scratch

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Hi everyone,

Guitar is now finished and just needs setting up. when playing chords on top three frets sounds very buzzy. the strings are not catching the frets so I think the neck angle may not be quite right. Any ideas. Many thanks.

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IMG_20180112_135407.jpg

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Next project is set to be a 58 Korina  Explorer but there are a few things such as finish and set up I want to work on  in order to improve and make a better guitar.

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That's good to hear. I've refrained from comment simply to see how this pans out....usually first builds help give a better idea of the game, so you can take that forward into the second build. There's nothing like getting hands on purely to figure out the way forward....

So which specific areas are you looking at working on?

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Hi, I hope to work on the overall finish of the guitar. As I am not keen on spraying, I have been using an oil finish but find it hard to get a gloss finish with it. I hope to get better at setting up the guitar and to this end intend to get proper tools for the job ie. fret flattening beam, crowning tool etc. I also hope to get more accurate when using a router as I think at the moment I am a bit scared, for want of a better word, when using it and I think because of this it is leading to inaccurate cuts ie. wandering off  my line. So a few things to work on during my next build which I am looking forward to starting.

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You should never ever use a router freehand. Some people do it, but your fear in that regard is warranted. Used properly with understanding, they're safe and reliable. Let's try and put you into that second category! I think a lot of people go into routing all gung ho, then wonder why they have accidents, write workpieces off or end up with unsatisfactory results. Don't let that fear stop you, just use it and turn it into a healthy respect for the machine. :thumb:

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13 hours ago, Prostheta said:

You should never ever use a router freehand. Some people do it, but your fear in that regard is warranted. Used properly with understanding, they're safe and reliable. Let's try and put you into that second category! I think a lot of people go into routing all gung ho, then wonder why they have accidents, write workpieces off or end up with unsatisfactory results. Don't let that fear stop you, just use it and turn it into a healthy respect for the machine. :thumb:

A healthy respect for the tool, a steady & confident hand, plenty of planning before use, and templates/guides are the way to go! :)

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The downside with 6mm MDF is that it doesn't give you much room to adjust the cutter for height, especially for shallow cuts such as cavity cover recesses, etc. In my opinion, it's better to make templates from slightly thinner stock and copying that to thicker material. All of my acrylic templates are "master" templates used for marking out workpieces. The actual templates are copies that I make from (mostly) 15mm plywood. Is cost a big factor?

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yes cost was a factor hence the 6mm MDF and the construction from re purposed/recycled wood which may not be ideal sometimes but I need to keep the cost as low as possible. which I realise is not always a good thing.

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Guitars do get costly very quickly. There's no two ways about it. If money is thin on the ground, double your timescale, build it slowly and plan everything out several times. When you put time on your side, money is less problematic (if you don't let it burn a hole in your pocket!) and it also makes the process that much more deliberate.

 

8 hours ago, Norris said:

... although 6mm mdf is ideal if you're using a guide bush :)

Good call, that man! Making templates specifically for guide bushes can be challenging for most though, that's for sure.

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Definitely not. It's impossible to get a smooth enough edge that a router bearing can ride on without lots of work stabilising it with CA, etc. It's not worth the poor end result, and a real false economy.

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Thank you for the advice. I will use plywood as you said. Even though I have built guitars from scratch I can see I still have a lot to learn about guitar construction but I want to improve and get better at it.

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The way I have always looked at it is, your jigs and templates have to be as good or better than the instrument itself. Every fault or weak point in those will transfer through to your workpiece. The ragged edge of chipboard or the easily-dented nature of MDF will leave a less than satisfactory routed finish when copied to the "real" wood. That said, thin 4-6mm MDF and hardboard are easy to shape by hand. @verhoevenc did a great tutorial on YouTube with a writeup here:

http://www.projectguitar.com/tutorials/instrument-building/the-comprehensive-guide-to-body-template-making-r23/

....where essentially you are starting with a hand-shaped material which is soft but can be copied to better stock such as plywood. This is exactly what I do with my acrylic templates; they're too delicate and easily melted by a rowdy bearing, so I transfer them immediately to 15mm plywood.

Another benefit is that you can screw and glue all manner of temporary shapes and edges to the first template (such as a length of guaranteed straight wood for the edges on a Flying V) and piece together the basic shaping. I've got a feature on making pickup templates for a Tele to film which involves this technique.

Like I said; lengthen your timescale on the project and save a little more to get better materials or tools. A few pounds here and there on plywood or the correct router bit magnifies itself tenfold in the end product.

Keep us posted and tag us in. Let's see what happens next!

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Thanks again for the advice. you are right when you say saving a few pounds here and there makes a poor job I have found this with my last built and intend to make a much better job this time by taking my time and getting better tools. I will keep you posted but do not know how to tag you in i'm sorry to say.

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Just type "@" and then immediately follow that with a member's name. You should get an autocomplete selection box.

Like was mentioned earlier in the thread....a first build is always a good way to get your orientation set, and figure out where to plant your feet in subsequent builds. You got it through the finishing post which is more than a lot of people manage, which says a lot!

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I had that issue myself, once upon a time and then one day it just magically started working.

SR

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It'll be a browser issue or something else on your end. Probably because you're using IE?

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Following the project guitar link from Prostheta I have started to make my templates from 9mm MDF which was the thickest I was able to source at my local DIY stores. I will let you know how I get on. At present I have rough cut the shapes and will now start to file and sand them to their final shape. I have been held up by snow and rain as I can only work on large pieces outside as I only have a small workshop/shed to work in.

 

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 Hi, have now got patterns rough cut awaiting final sanding to shape. Before I do that I am turning my drill into a simple pillar sander then I will sand edges by hand with 120 sandpaper and a block to ensure they are as square as I can get them.

 

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