Jump to content

Voting for August 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!
VOTE HERE

Recommended Posts

New build.

 

This is a similar design to the Phoenix 24 Magnum, but with some significant spec changes.

This build will feature the same basic construction methods, and materials, body shape, and top carve as the 24 magnum, but this one will have 22 frets instead of 24, a 25″ scale length instead of 25.5″, a fixed TOM bridge instead of a tremolo, a 3-way toggle instead of the 5-way blade switch, a Brazilian rosewood fretboard instead of ebony, and a quilted maple top instead of flamed, and will also feature a matching quilted headstock overlay. This will be my first build using pickup covers

 

This is the block of maple the top will be cut from. Its freakin spectacular!

blobs.jpg

 

To the right of the wenge are 6 boards of genuine Bolivian mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), 3 of those board will be used in this build

newwood1.jpg

 

Bridge and pickup covers. These will cover Seymour Duncan JB and 59.

 

22mag-stuff.jpg

 

Heres those same covers after being soldered to a JB and a 59

IMG_2267.jpg

 

An array of templates I’ll use for the build. I designed them in CAD, and a business associate in Sydney Australia cut them for me on a CNC machine. I hate making templates myself simply because its time consuming, and I just dont have that much time :)

 22ectemp17.jpg

22ectemp18.jpg

 

Brazilian rosewood fretboard blank with my bird inlays laid out on it.

braz1-birds17.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow, that quilt is amazing.  some nice templates too, and nice neck... with nice inlays... overall this looks like it will be very, um, well... nice! 

also... I'm a little uncomfortable with seeing you feet!  recently did a craigslist post of a black guitar that I almost posted with a mirror of me in my bathrobe!  wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy!  at least it's just your feet!

rock on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you wont see much here thats different from my Phoenix build, although if youre like me you might enjoy it anyway :) The end product will be different in many ways including its appearance :)

 

Also, this build is currently nearly complete. I just shot the finish last weekend and its currently hanging while the nitro cures, so you wont have to wait long in this thread to see lots of progress. I'm a bit behind in posting a thread here on project guitar, but theres lots of good pix. hope you enjoy.

Heres the boards for the body and neck after Ive planed them down to the sizes I need.

boards190862.jpg

 

My jointer is on the fritz, so I had to do a lot of planing the old fashioned way. Used my No. 7 jointer to prep the pieces for my neck laminate

IMG_3306.jpg

 

Once ready, I use UF glue to glue and clamp. UF is my go-to glue for joints that I might never need to take apart. It has many of the qualities of hot hide glue in that when cured its super hard and very brittle, and doesnt dampen vibrations like other glues can do,

 

IMG_2273.jpg

 

Once that bad boy is fully cured I draw the neck-through profile on the side of the blank and cut it on the table saw

maght17.jpg

 

different view...

 

maght18.jpg

 

maght19.jpg

 

This build gets a headstock that matches the body. Heres my top..

 

maght20.jpg

 

theres an obvious discontinuity here. You'll notice the carbon fiber rods are already in place in the next few shots. This is because I left my phone at work and so I didnt take any pix of installing those, but I think I have shots of routing the channels for those and the truss rod in my phoenix build thread if you want to see how I install them.

maght21.jpg

 

maght22.jpg

 

Gluing it on.... Its a bit thicker than your average headstock overlay, but I want a "faux binding" on the headstock as well.

 

maght23.jpg

 

After routing the neck and headstock shapes....

IMG_2300.jpg

maght28.jpg

 

and drilling tuner holes

shtuper17.jpg

 

I love quilt. I always like to toss in gratuitous photos with a little naphtha to show the figure...

shtuper18.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This time my 5 1/2 jack plane for prepping the sides to attach the body wings

shtuper20.jpg

 

and flattening the bottom as well.

shtuper19.jpg

 

Lining it all up in my clamps getting ready to glue

shtuper21.jpg

 

Again UF glue. I want the best transmission of vibrations in all joints and of curse this is a joint that should never come apart :)

shtuper22.jpg

 

and clamped

shtuper23.jpg

 

IMG_3428.jpg

 

That is one FUGLY guitar

22maght-body17.jpg

 

hopefully my bandsaw can help with that fugliness...

22maght-body18.jpg

 

better...

22maght-body19.jpg

 

I attach the template to the bottom of the body using the CA and masking tape method

22maght-body20.jpg

 

just give it a few minites to set. it really sucks when a template comes loose while routing,,,

Why write the name on it? The 22 Magnum and 24 Magnum templates look very similar.

22maght-body21.jpg

 

over to the router table...

22maght-body24.jpg

 

fancy pants spiral router bit...

22maght-body25.jpg

 

22maght-body26.jpg

 

and done

22maght-body27.jpg

 

22maght-body28.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Skyjerk 5a quilt and Brazilian rw . good Lord. nice wood man. as usual. looks like it will be, as usual-a beaut.

@mistermikev- regarding feet in photos- there is a many years long running inside joke that photos with feet are awarded bonus points around here. 

bathrobes on the other hand...........:blush

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Good to see you back Chris.

I can't wait to see what you do with the top, but the fretboard may be the star of the show!

SR

 

30 minutes ago, Mr Natural said:

@Skyjerk 5a quilt and Brazilian rw . good Lord. nice wood man. as usual. looks like it will be, as usual-a beaut.

@mistermikev- regarding feet in photos- there is a many years long running inside joke that photos with feet are awarded bonus points around here. 

bathrobes on the other hand...........:blush

 

I was very much on the fence about the finish because I wanted a tiger eye, but its a challenging finish to get right, I'd never done one before, and that piece of maple was seriously expensive. I was petrified I'd wreck it, I almost backed out and fell back to another finish I knew for sure I could pull off, but lots of folks encouraged me to go for it, so I threw caution to the winds and was rewarded with exactly what I was shooting for. I think you guys will agree.

 

More to come shortly :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, speaking of that top....

 

Getting ready to flatten and square it up...

Mike-body17.jpg

 

Cut off both edges...

Mike-body18.jpg

 

flatten and smooth on the drum sander

 

Mike-body19.jpg

 

peeled off a slice for a drop top on a different build and then resawed

Mike-body20.jpg

 

planing the edges before joining the top

Mike-body21.jpg

 

glued

 

22-mag-top28.jpg

 

IMG_3265.jpg

 

Draw out the shape and rough cut on the band saw

22maght-body22.jpg

 

22maght-body23.jpg

 

22maght-body29.jpg

 

I put masking tape around the body because the UF glue is REALLY REALLY hard to clean off after it cures :)

22maght-body30.jpg

 

I like to challenge myself to see how many clamps I get get on when doing a top.

 

I think I have about 21 clamps on here.

22maght-body31.jpg

 

If anywhere on the top needs a tight joint for functionality purposes, its where the bridge goes. Since I dont have any clamps deep enough to reach in that far, so I have a wood caul that, which a clamp on each end, applies the clamping pressure directly onto the bridge location.

22maght-body32.jpg

 

Once the glue is cured (overnight) I use the spindle sander and a course grit to remove most of the excess of the top so the router doesnt have to get killed

22maght-body33.jpg

 

then a different spiral bit to trim the top down flush with the body edge.

22maght-body34.jpg

 

Giving us this

22maght-body35.jpg

 

Happiness is a nice tight joint between body and top. Especially when the plan is faux binding

22maght-body38.jpg

 

22maght-body39.jpg

 

just a mockup

22maght-body40.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didnt get pix of the rough carve on top. again you could see this in my phoenix build. I use a set of templates to route steps in the top that approximate the shape of the carve.

then into this jig which I use to route the pickup plane.

 

22maght-bodybox1.jpg

 

On this build the neck angle is slightly higher than the phoenix build because I'm using a TOM bridge for this as opposed to the recessed Floyd Rose on the Phoenix, so I needed more angle.

 

In this case its 4 degrees exactly, and the pickup plane is 2 degrees exactly.

22maght-bodybox2.jpg

 

Then some time with a random orbital sanded, and some hand sanding ...

gnoll27.jpg

 

carve3.jpg

 

Add the pickup routes and take a couple glamour shots :)

toppage17.jpg

toppage18.jpg

 

Oops. another gap in the process, but you guys all know how to radius, slot, and taper a fretboard...

Incidentally, this Brazilian rosewood fretboard was reclaimed from a house where it had been used for a wall paneling. I bought the one piece and it had a tongue along one edge, and groove along the other. After I cut those off I had about 1/8" to spare at the wide end to make the fretboard.

I can only imagine what that room looked like :)

Its about 75 years old and about as stable a piece of wood as Ive ever seen, and the tap tone literally rings like a bell. Smelled like candy when I sanded it :)

Fb786.jpg

 

Of course at this point I had no choice but to drop the pickups into the body and do a mockup

Dabomb47.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mr Natural said:

@Skyjerk 5a quilt and Brazilian rw . good Lord. nice wood man. as usual. looks like it will be, as usual-a beaut.

@mistermikev- regarding feet in photos- there is a many years long running inside joke that photos with feet are awarded bonus points around here. 

bathrobes on the other hand...........:blush

 

good to know... perhaps you take points away for the bathrobe 😝

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant job of book matching.sir.

And you know you have a clean build going when permission is given to shoot it on the dining room table.:D

SR

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, inlays.

 

these are the same birds I used for my first or second build thread here on projectguitar. I love them, but ended up selling that guitar so I needed to do another one.

htfbinl.jpg

 

Carve out the outlines with a scalpel

htfbinl2.jpg

 

htfbinl3.jpg

 

Used a trick I learned right here on project guitar to make the lines easier to spot. Chalk

htfbinl4.jpg

 

routed the pockets out...

htfbinl7.jpg

htfbinl5.jpg

 

htfb18.jpg

 

installed MOP side dots

htfb20.jpg

 

Starting to look like a guitar

htfb21.jpg

htfb23.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Installing frets. I always use stainless. This is my handy dandy fret organizer. I paid lots of money for it. Really.

frettinght17.jpg

 

With stainless I radius to the exact same radius of the board.

frettinght18.jpg

 

Which happens to be 12"

frettinght19.jpg

 

Have to re-cut the slots in a couple places where the inlays cross the slots.

frettinght21.jpg

 

I also bevel the very top of the slot, particularly where the inlays are. I dont want the barbs on the fret tang to crack the inlays

frettinght23.jpg

 

I use this tool from LMII to undercut the fret wire. Binding or no binding, I just dont like seeing the edge of the frets on the side of the fretboard.

frettinght24.jpg

 

frettinght25.jpg

 

frettinght26.jpg

 

frettinght27.jpg

 

Clamp to the table on my drill press and use the fret file to file the frets in flush with the board edge

frettinght30.jpg

frettinght31.jpg

 

When preparing to install the fretboard, I stick a staple at each end of the neck, and nip them off leaving a couple short metal points sticking out. I align the freboard where it belongs and press it down onto those points, which dig into the underside of the fretboard. When I apply the glue and clamp it on, these keep it exactly where it needs to be.

frettinght32.jpg

 

This is the only part I use titebond for. Its theoretically possible to have to remove the fretboard, and if I use UF for this there isnt any getting it off.

frettinght33.jpg

 

All glued on.

frettinght34.jpg

 

frettinght35.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, ScottR said:

That Brazilian rosewood has got a ziricote looking area in it up in the highest frets. Does that happen often?

SR

 

This board is about half sapwood (the blonde color) and half heartwood.

the dark area at the upper frets has darker lines inside it. I think this is what you are referring to?

This is not uncommon in BR, I believe its called spider-webbing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Skyjerk said:

 

This board is about half sapwood (the blonde color) and half heartwood.

the dark area at the upper frets has darker lines inside it. I think this is what you are referring to?

This is not uncommon in BR, I believe its called spider-webbing

That was indeed.

I believe I've heard the term spider-webbing as a wood grain feature. I've not run across it on BR before, but then one doesn't get all that many opportunities to examine Brazilian Rosewood these days.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a lot of pix in mid-carve. just before and after really...

Before

maght-carve1.jpg

 

 

Sort of in the middle

maght-carve2.jpg

 

after...

maght-carve3.jpg

maght-carve4.jpg

maght-carve5.jpg

maght-carve6.jpg

maght-carve7.jpg

htod17.jpg

 

htod18.jpg

 

OK, drilling the input jack hole I use my drill press.

ht-homest17.jpg

This is for an electrosocket jack

ht-homest18.jpg

 

 

Time to make the nut. This is an unbleached bone nut blank.

ht-homest19.jpg

 

I rough shape this on my disk sander. Takes only a few minutes and smells really bad :)

Here you also see the TR cover I made but did not mention before now

ht-homest20.jpg

 

I use the stewmac marking guide to mark where the slots need to go,

ht-homest21.jpg

 

These

ht-homest22.jpg

 

get em started

ht-homest23.jpg

 

At this point I really need the bridge on in order to cut the nut slots to the correct dept. Cant do that without strings, cant put on strings without bridge and tailpiece.

ht-homest25.jpg

 

 

all finished up with tuners installed,

ht-homest23-2.jpg

 

I sand the nut up to about 1200 grit and it gives it a nice luster

nutter2.jpg

 

At this point the "build" part is pretty much done. I cut the control cavity and holes for stuff and put on all the hardware because well, I wanted to see how it plays :)

 

Also made a rosewood cavity cover with magnets. You'll say "Why does the grain on that cover run 45 degrees off the grain for the body. Well it started out this way because it was the only piece of rosewood I had that was the right size, but was not big enough if I aligned the grains. I decided to go ahead with it, and re-make it at some future time when I had an appropriate piece of wood. Later on I decided I actually like it this way and probably will never make another cover.

IMG_2388.jpg

IMG_2389.jpg

slosage2.jpg

 

slosage1.jpg

 

nutter4.jpg

nutter5.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, now we are up to last week.

 

these are my colors :)

IMG_2387.jpg

 

scraps from the top I used to test my finish plan

pieces18.jpg

 

I wanted a dark grain fill on the mahogany so the pores would be darker.

This is timbermate mixed with dark brown dye

fill18.jpg

 

sanded off

fill19.jpg

 

Now on to the top.

 

First step is to seal the faux binding area so no colors bleed or splash onto it. I seal it with thin CA brushed on, and then mask it with this sweet green masking tape.

then the whole top is dyed black. In the past I've used transtint black mixed with denatured alcohol, but this time I did a test comparison using my old method on one piece, and LMII black water based aniline dye on the other

 

Aniline on the left, transtint on the right. Aniline wins hands down. It sands down a lot faster (less penetration?) and cleaner as well. the transtint side always looks a bit dirtier. Learned somethign new here and from now on its the aniline

comp1.jpg

 

That having been decided, I stain the whole top black with the aniline

IMG_4256.jpg

 

then sand the whole thing back. the trick with the tiger eye is to not sand it back too far. you want more black for this, with the clear areas being smaller. they will be bight highlights in the finished top. This was a big PITA and took a long time because I couldnt risk using an orbital sander. If you sand too far in any one spot its done. then you are re-staining and re-sanding.

IMG_4256-1.jpg

 

then, after re-sealing the faux binding with CA, and re-masking, the whole top gets a wipe with yellow aniline. Its important to not re-wipe any area once its wet again, because that will pull the black back out and wreck it.

Its a wipte with yellow, then fold the cloth to a clean spot, and wipe a new area, and so on till its done. Never re-wipe over an area once its wiped. the black bleeding around into the yellow would ruin it.

yellow1.jpg

 

This process is also repeated for the headstock. which although its much less area, is a bigger PITA because the faux binding area is so much narrower.

Once the yellow is totally dry I then seal the entire guitar, top, back, neck, and all using simtec easy sanding sealer. This is a sprayed on coating and really messy to work with, but its a catalized sealer and cures overnight. Rock hard, and will never shrink, sands very easily, and is totally transparent. You can use any product you want as a top coat.

This sealer is key to this top. If I went on to shoot the toner directly on the stained top, the dark figure areas would drink it up and it wouldnt pull the dark toward the brown you want for tiger eye.

anyway, the next step is to spray lacquer mixed with medium brown toner. I used transtint for this. You spray the top very evenly and very lightly until the toner pulls the yellow over to a more gold hue and pulls the black over to brown.

I also shot a burst using the same toner, but mixed in a touch of transtint tobacco brown

I didnt take pix while I was in the middle of doing all this, but here she is right after.

tig1.jpg

gnnnnn18.jpg

 

A couple shots of the binding areas, that turned out great. Looks very different in different lighting. the previous two shots were with bright light shining directly on the top, the next one is in much lower lighting with no overhead light at all,,,

htfin18.jpg

Ignore he orange peel if you please :)

bind18.jpg

 

Oh, and headstock.,. This headstock pic is really bad and overexposed on the binding

htfin20.jpg

 

tig2.jpg

So this is where I am now. Its going to hang and harden (this is nitro) for a month and then I'll bring it across the finish line hopefully by the weekend of Oct 27

I'll obviously post pix of the completed guitar ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Killer finish. I learned something there. I would have sanded the black back too far.... and not have gotten the tiger eye effect.

Thanks for that. Where did you get the simtec easy sanding sealer? That looks like a fine product. To what degree did you sand it prior to spraying your nitro?

I wonder how your black transtint in water would have compared to the LMII analine? I'm pretty sure transtint is analine as well.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ScottR said:

Killer finish. I learned something there. I would have sanded the black back too far.... and not have gotten the tiger eye effect.

Thanks for that. Where did you get the simtec easy sanding sealer? That looks like a fine product. To what degree did you sand it prior to spraying your nitro?

I wonder how your black transtint in water would have compared to the LMII analine? I'm pretty sure transtint is analine as well.

SR

 

Simtec comes from http://www.simteccoatings.com/Productlist.ivnu

you can only get it direct from them, but it's easy to order. I call and give them my order, shipping info, etc, and they email me a PayPal invoice. It's a great product, but it stinks 🙂

I sand it to perfection. Everything 100% flat and smooth, and flat and carved surfaces, edges, corners. Like it's the top coat, but it's a lot easier to sand.

then everything im shoot on top of it goes on perfectly

its a godsend for mahogany and even more for swamp ash. Once you sand it flat, it will never shrink into a pore, not even a teeny bit in 100 years. Your finish stays flat like glass forever. Well, until you bang and scratch it all to hell through normal abuse 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You did an awesome job. You answered a lot of mysteries I had about creating a guitar from scratch. Thanks for that.  I'm more of a kit builder, so I appreciate such master skills.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Skyjerk said:

 

Simtec comes from http://www.simteccoatings.com/Productlist.ivnu

you can only get it direct from them, but it's easy to order. I call and give them my order, shipping info, etc, and they email me a PayPal invoice. It's a great product, but it stinks 🙂

I sand it to perfection. Everything 100% flat and smooth, and flat and carved surfaces, edges, corners. Like it's the top coat, but it's a lot easier to sand.

then everything im shoot on top of it goes on perfectly

its a godsend for mahogany and even more for swamp ash. Once you sand it flat, it will never shrink into a pore, not even a teeny bit in 100 years. Your finish stays flat like glass forever. Well, until you bang and scratch it all to hell through normal abuse 🙂

Thanks Chris. To clarify, is it this one:  http://www1.inetba.com/simteccoatings/filecabinet/28x50app.htm

28x50 Clear Sanding Sealer/Filler ?

Is it nearly impossible to clean out of your spray gun?

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ScottR said:

Thanks Chris. To clarify, is it this one:  http://www1.inetba.com/simteccoatings/filecabinet/28x50app.htm

28x50 Clear Sanding Sealer/Filler ?

Is it nearly impossible to clean out of your spray gun?

SR

 

That is the stuff.

 

One caveat. Its very sticky and overspray that might float around will land on stuff and stick, including yourself.

Nitro is easy because by the time the teeny particles land on things its already dried, and brushes right off like dust.

Not this stuff. Its catalyzed, so it hardens in its own time depending on how much catalyst you add.

So, the rule of thumb when I spray it is to cover anything in my shop with sheets or drop cloths. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Thanks Chris. To clarify, is it this one:  http://www1.inetba.com/simteccoatings/filecabinet/28x50app.htm

28x50 Clear Sanding Sealer/Filler ?

Is it nearly impossible to clean out of your spray gun?

SR

Oh, and I dont use my good gun to shoot this product. I use a cheap harbour freight gun with a big aperture. 1.8 or 2.0 mm. I clean up with acetone immediately after shooting it. Do NOT let it harden in the gun or you'll end up with junk.

Its fairly viscous. If you use it you'll also notice a slight pinkish color to it. This does NOT affect the color of the surface you're spraying. Ive shot it over bare wood and different color stained wood and other than the darkening you would expect when spraying anything on wood, no discernible change in the tint or color of the underlying surface. Its just like if youd sprayed lacquer on it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Skyjerk said:

Oh, and I dont use my good gun to shoot this product. I use a cheap harbour freight gun with a big aperture. 1.8 or 2.0 mm

That's the way I pictured it going too. There must be some sort of clean up option though. The instructions said shoot 3 coats.

 

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...