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avengers63

Warlock resurrection

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Several years ago, prolly before the board was updated and we lost much of the old content, I started to make a Warlock following my "superthin" theory.

For a sense of completeness, for those who don't remember, and for those who are new since then, the idea is to make the guitar as thin as humanly possible. The theory is: since the wood vibrates as the strings are plucked, thinner wood will vibrate more freely, thereby positively effecting the tone transferred by said vibrations. Having made one before, I can testify that this is EXACTLY what happens. The prototype was exceedingly lively. 

The potential drawbacks are that a trem is all but out of the question, and it basically HAS to be neck-through. While you could do a set neck, I don't feel there would be enough wood left to make a secure enough joint for the stress it would be under. You could easily put a top-mount vibrato (Bigsby) on it.

So anyway, it started off as an ash neck through with poplar wings. I put some mahogany pieces on the headstock in an attempt to inject a little bottom end to accentuate the growly mids of the ash. What I DIDN'T do is remember that my plan was to use turquoise-colored water-based lacquer for a semi-transparent finish. When I shot myself in the foot via the mahogany, I thought maybe I'd paint it white, then use the truquoise over it. 

Then 3.5 years ago I was divorced, moved, took forever to re-establish the shop, and this thing fell pretty far to the wayside. I figured it'd be sitting in the corner serving as a spider home till I died. 

For the past 16 months, I've been trying to get the woman I've been seeing to build a guitar with me. She has an acoustic, but wants to play electric, because you can't play \m/ metal on an acoustic. Seriously - she wants to play hard & heavy! giggidy   I had her sit down with every shape I have, then go to Guitar Center and "try on" those few I don't have. She likes the shape and feel of the Warlock best.

I failed to mention that she's a pinup model. 40s-50s retro glam pinup. Playing a f'ing Warlock. One of these things is not like the other....

So you know where this is going by now. The superthin Warlock has been dusted off and will finally be coming to life.01.thumb.jpg.74c7bc86c125d92d62101c2057a24505.jpg05.thumb.jpg.3d1f145e4439cc31523c478141b5a621.jpg06.thumb.jpg.843d63a1cc572e496ff381ffbbdd736a.jpg

I'm just trying to block sand off anything uneven at this point. Previously, it's been grain-filled. I'm hoping it's still doing it's job. I got a couple cans of sandable automotive primer. That ought to cover everything left nicely. She likes green, so I'll be going to a place just outside my neighborhood that specializes in automotive paints. They'll custom make spray cans. I'm looking for an emerald green candy.

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For reference on just how thin it is (1 1/4"), this is one of the pups I'm considering putting it in, sitting next to the body and sitting in the cavity.

It'll be all chrome hardware, walnut fretboard, and pearl plastic block inlays.

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Great!  I like seeing saves of old projects. 

Also interested in reading your experiments with thin bodies (you've probably seen some of my own slim builds).

Great stuff - watching with interest :)

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I was speaking with one of our senior members off-line, who's opinions I value and respect, about spray equipment. I currently have the "all-in-one" unit from Rockler, but I want to upgrade to the "real thing". He assured me that the air pumps and guns from Harbor Freight are fine, as they are what he uses. So here's a late Christmas present to myself, with the aid of their ridiculous coupons...

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I've also been making some headway with sanding sealer and the automotive primer. This is the extremely boring, time consuming, and detail-essential part of the build. I really wanna hit the "skip" button and get on to more fun bits.

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Also, I got the walnut fretboard planed and slotted. It's a cutoff from the neck of the mirrored Iceman of several years ago.

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Before I go to work tonight, I'm hoping to be able to put some more primer on it.

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So I got some more primer on it. It dried as a crackle finish. It's a pretty impressive crackle, too! Great lines. 

I'm gonna have to sand it all back to bare wood and start from scratch. Not terribly surprising considering where I picked up from.

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This is extremely cool!  I like seeing people do stuff on theory like this.  Very neat.

Was there anything in particular that made you decide 1-1/4" was a thin as you wanted to go?

I'd like to make a two piece body (top and bottom) and route out a tight fitting X shaped pocket 1/4" (1/8" deep both sides) and fit a a correlating shaped welded piece of stainless inside.  I'll bet you could go even thinner, (3/4"?) and still be comfortable with the rigidity.  What do you think?

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I went with 1 1/4" because that's about the thinnest you can go and still have enough for a full pickup & control cavity route and standard components. Even then, you can't comfortably recess the c/c cover. With flat enough pickups, you might be able to go down to 1", but your c/c space would be precious, and you might have to start looking for specialty knobs & mini-switches.

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That tends to be the way I think. I like a lot of beef under the neck join, pickups and bridge and everything outside of that is fair game for carving away....leaving enough room for controls.

I'm presuming the main reason for going skinny is weight reduction? Or is there some voodoo involved?

SR

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The weight reduction is just an extremely positive side effect. The theory behind it started as voodoo, but ended up being 100% legitimate.

As we all know: 1) the strings vibrate the wood, 2) the vibrating wood alters the way the strings vibrate. 3) Woods vibrate differently, altering the string vibration differently, producing what we call the tone of the wood. 4) Thinner wood vibrates more freely.

When combining these 4 truths, I theorized that as thinner body wood vibrated more, these longer & stronger vibrations would transfer more or different tone to the strings. 

Several years ago, I made the prototype Superthin style. The theory turned out to be 100% true. I encourage you to give it a shot sometime to hear it for yourself. Plus the extreme lightweight guitar feels like just nothing around your neck or in your lap.

 

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John is right. I just measured 5 of my favorites and they are all around 1.25" thick with the thickest being my SG at 1.35". The big problem is I use a lot of push/pull pots and they need at least 1.25" to recess the control cover.

My favorite guitar (right now) is 1.1.42" at the thickest part with a good carve on the rest. Very comfortable. 

I have 2 early Parker Flys that are very thin and light. Great guitars. Very Proprietary. When I set out to design the S9 series I wanted a thin lightweight workhorse that could still use standard parts. 

I can build a pretty shallow HB if I wanted to go thinner and use burns mini pots. The import 3 way I like to use can be mounted in 1" with a recess cover. But I doubt you will see any substantial gains under 1.25" and you lose the ability to use off the shelf parts. 

Also the neck pocket becomes an issue if you get too thin. I use set necks (hate working on neck through) and you need a certain amount of surface area to glue to. 

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On 1/3/2019 at 8:41 AM, avengers63 said:

I went with 1 1/4" because that's about the thinnest you can go and still have enough for a full pickup & control cavity route and standard components. Even then, you can't comfortably recess the c/c cover. With flat enough pickups, you might be able to go down to 1", but your c/c space would be precious, and you might have to start looking for specialty knobs & mini-switches.

 

18 hours ago, Hesco 2-3 said:

Yea maybe my idea would work if it did have about 1" there in the center and it taper down to 3/4-1/2" outward...

I'm fascinated with this thread because of my own journey down the slim route :)

Rather than hijacking @avengers63 's build thread, I'll try to remember to kick off a thread in the design section that we can all chip into.

Just adding my twopennyworth on this specific, 25mm is pretty much the limit for any 'conventional' equipment or approach - the jack is actually the main limiter - at or below 25mm you can move to barrel jacks but 20mm is your limit even with these. 

At 25mm there are some pickups (eg stacked noiseless) where you would need to be moving to machine screw fixing or similar because of their depth in the body.  If the body tapers towards the edges, this is exacerbated as the pickup fixing screws are generally at the far ends.

I'll try and kick off the thread because I think there is so much potential with slim guitars and basses and there are clearly talented folks round here that share that view :)

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The parts came in last week. The plastic pearl blocks will look awesome in the walnut fretboard.

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Starying the tedious layout process.

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Reminding myself to put the side dots in before glueing the fretboard on. I've done that before...

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Nope.

ruler, 0.5 drafting pencil, very bright light, reading glasses, and an x-acto knife

For me, the real trick isn't getting the lines perfect. That's just being methodical and precise. The trick is scribing the lines with the x-acto deep enough to have a well-defined edge.

In the past, I HAVE made templates for the inlays that deserved it. But for these simple boxes, a little patience and a touch of German anal-retentiveness is all that's needed.

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31 minutes ago, avengers63 said:

I absolutely HATE sanding the radius into the fretboard.

I don't mind that so much as going back and re-cutting the slots to make sure they're deep enough on the edges.

SR

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I don't mind re-cutting the slots. My Japanese saws are  the same kerf,so it's a 1-minute job.

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Radiused and sanded up to 220. Next up are the side dots, maybe buffing it up to 1000 grit, and oiling it.

I know there's some voodoo about oiling before glueing, but I don't buy it. The pores aren't sealed, so they should glue just fine when some oil gets on the bottom. 

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14 hours ago, ScottR said:

I don't mind that so much as going back and re-cutting the slots to make sure they're deep enough on the edges.

SR

That's a 5 minute job compared to hand cutting them in the first place. I detest cutting fret slots, but I don't have a table saw so have no choice. But I've got it down to a process now. I mark them out on the blank with a blade, stick the fretboard on, trim it flush, route the binding channel then cut slots. That way there is only about 50% of the wood to saw through compared to slotting a blank :D I also find that using a hand plane to start the radius saves a lot of sanding.

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Maybe it's just me. It doesn't take long but I always find a way to pull the saw out of one slot enough to put a booger in the board.

SR

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