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mistermikev

Something old, something new, something blonde, something blue!

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 so today I broke wood on my next build(s).  Decided I couldn't decide so doing two.  One 25.5" sl 12" radius and one 25" sl no radius.  I'm calling them the "Sweet Spot Blonde" and the "Sweet Spot Blue".

Here are my objectives for this(these) builds:

1) 4 pickup strat - why? A.) more 2/4 position, B.) Tele middle position sounds C.) hi ouput vs lo output pickups but better combining

2) better neck access I'm going to do one w a bolt on with ferrules instead of plate and the other with a long tenon and sculpted set neck

3) heel adjust via spoke wheel on both, the 3x3 with have 14degree headstock angle

4) solidbody/semi-hollow hybrid.  per my design doc below I'm going to have the bridge two pickups in a solid block and the neck two pickups in a hollow chamber.  Hoping to get a high gain bridge sound that doesn't feedback, but the fat 'semi-hollow' sound in the neck.  Neck two pickups will be mounted directly to the neck (for the set neck version)

5) radius top - top will be bent on a 30" radius... edges will still have a roundover and two layers of binding staggered.  One will be rosewood binding, the other white plastic.

6) "sweet spot" wiring: will do my std 3 way plus 6 position rotary wiring but going to re-work it to get more variation in the inside-coil vs outside coils modes.  Plan to try to mix series and parallel there. 

Both will have a 3-way, master volume, rotary, and push-pull mid boost.  no tone (I never use it anyway).

Here are the concept drawings...SweetSpotBlonde.thumb.jpg.f4077a272bfdf640c0079c28e35aef9d.jpg 

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some details:

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my templates:

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today I cut two big chunks of mahog out of my stash, planed them, rough cut them to shape, and weighed them...

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===========update 1/27/19 ==============

well my GUITAR body is on a diet anyway!

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==========UPDATE 01/31/2019==========

got both my bodys fully hogged out, belly cut 'steps' in... both right at 3lbs.

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========== UPDATE: 02/03/2019 ==========

feel like I got a lot done this weekend anyway! cut my rear trem cavity and my battery store...

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haven't bought material for covers yet so may have to alter the depth later but figured I might as well get them in there.

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also started the work for my radius jig this weekend... might have been better ways to do it as this felt like a lot of work but for better or worse here's how I approached;

started off with a 31.5" radius.  I'm using poplar here and if I had to do over I'd have chosen oak or something a bit more rigid.

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after I got one rail cut out i trimmed it up nice and used it as the template for another 3 rails.  Was planning on doubling up the rails to keep them from bending easily at the center.

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at top center here you can see the sled I made to ride the rails.  Then I switched over to working on my neck pocket templates.  since the one neck will have a 'paddle' it adds a little complexity to determining if it is on the body straight.  I overcame this by adding a board at the back to 'raise up' my centerline.  after precision 'jacking' with the clamps and loosening/tightening screws, etc (hehe)... I arrived at a fit that is "tighter than a fish's turd cutter" to quote Larry the cable guy.

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and the centerline is spot on:

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then routered out my pocket for the paddle neck:

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==========update 02/04/2019 ==========

so, got my radius jig somewhat setup.  need to fine tune it a bit... trim off the ends, add some teflon spacers from a cutting board to my router mount so it won't rock, and trim off just a hair from the inside of it so it slides a little bit easier.  I want a little bit of resistance so I decided to forgo the bearings.

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the convex version is sitting on my rails with approx 1.75" of room I could move downward, and the sled is sitting 2.25 high.  this is about perfect as the blade needs to stick out 1/2" from the bottom to achieve a 30" radius.  adjusting this thing is sort of a pain and since the concave version sits a hair low... think I'll probably just mount a couple of 2x4s to raise the body up instead.   have enough clearance to do 22" piece so perfect for a body.  a bit tired so this is as far as we go tonight.

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========== update 02/06/2019 ==========

last night I roughed out my two necks... learned why birdseye is often called 'rock maple' (it's not because it's meant for rock n roll).  long story long I probably ruined a fairly new timber wolf blade with a kink as I tried to back out of a cut and it was bound (saw was off).

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my wood grain dictated to me that the bolt version is going to be a rev headstock... I had to agree.

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flamed maple piece isn't looking so bad either.  really big wide flames in this so can't wait to see it planed down.  almost looks like quilt when you catch it at the right angle.  lots of little tan flecks on this piece so figured I try out a neck in it.DSCN1999.thumb.JPG.5a711fdc6b125b0b40d4e39d97b6f1c2.JPG

cut a small piece of birdseye for the bolt version.  neck pickups will mount to this and spring claw will screw into it.  need to remove the cove edge so it sits flush will likely do that next.

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========== update 02/17/19 ==========

"like all the bowling alleys had been destroyed... sos I spent most my time looking for beer".  and that would explain why all I have to show for the last two weeks is the following...

here's how I did my neck pocket for the bolt on w 7" radius at heel: 1 rough cut around neck pocket leaving approx 1/8" gap, cover neck template with masking tape...

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2 clamp everything down and ensure it is on center...DSCN1991.thumb.JPG.84484734fa9f32e2e15594e46ba9a0cc.JPG

3 fill 1/8" gap with epoxy...DSCN1992.thumb.JPG.86c86af343d6815c2033a5da4be80926.JPG

 

4 break the pieces apart - later I will use this as a guide to make a 3/4" template. DSCN1993.thumb.JPG.e62d7c432eed44a175216e5cd1fe1418.JPG

 

same process for my trem rout cover...

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made some truss rod templates:DSCN2009.thumb.JPG.58c2bbe4a8704eb1669c1be603220a83.JPG

finished neck pockets:

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kept checking my birdseye and it was stable over the last two weeks (since I rough cut it) so I planed it down and it's ready for final shape cut.

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made a template for my gretsch inlays... will lay this at an angle on the fretboard to keep the inlay flat on the radius and then dremel out the areas...DSCN2007.thumb.JPG.35a735785424ecaa714873dfa31ca505.JPG

got my set neck stock planed down and sanded...

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installed my truss rod in the bolt version.  used a bull nose 1/4 in combo with a normal 1/4 bit so that the bottom of the channel is mostly radiused except for the parts where the truss requires a flat bottom.  sharpened my chisel and cut some corners... voilla, fits like a glove.DSCN2014.thumb.JPG.6deffacdb0090b77ba5093dbc80ce843.JPGDSCN2015.thumb.JPG.b5ab050af1664b0b91bf372948d869d6.JPG

and that's all I got in me today!  man am I beat!

========== update 2/23/19 ==========

using my jig to cut the truss access holes in the fretboard... shims to prop it up to square...

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and here is my truss access closeup

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had a tiny little blowout on the very edge of the bottom wing on the headstock... only about 1/8" but I couldn't find the piece so I routered out about 3/16 x 3/16 x 1/2 and glued on a small piece... area will be covered by headstock overlay and binding anyway.  the dark spot is a shallow burn mark where I stopped w my router also will be covered.

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and all better!

 

used a couple of finish nails to line up and hold the bolt version fretboard on...

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and glued up the fretboard for the bolt version...

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forstnered (is that a verb?) out my neck pocket for my set version...

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and routered out the pocket... she's sitting 1/4 (top) + 1/8 (typical fender overhang) above so will have to barely touch things with the radius when I get there...

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made a funny video...

neck joint test

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routed my inlays using the jig above... but this time at an angle to minimize sanding.  got my inlays all ready to be cut, will take them out, glue up the neck, trim it, then reinstall them.

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also redid my wiring diagram for the strat style... think I might use a piece of vero board to make wiring in the pickups (and potential replace) easier.

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got my neck paddle routered down...

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routed my wire channels, got my bolt neck pocket done...DSCN2049.thumb.JPG.ac9b56b035987656406cc0b3b2817850.JPG

 

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==========update 03/02/19==========

so here is a bondo caul I made for my veneer process...

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and glamour shot of my caul...

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click here for video regarding bondo caul!

one thing of note: next time put down some wax paper and I won't end up with a scrap piece glued to my headstock!

anywho... sanded down my inlays and cropped my veneer. 

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rough cut my headstock overlay...DSCN2059.thumb.JPG.f17fedc654e907a81f643b14cdea9b8a.JPG

 

glued it down...DSCN2060.thumb.JPG.e61cf56ed1f05a55c578cb342985a5ab.JPG

 

 

and trimmed it for binding...DSCN2066.thumb.JPG.d862e74e9d55861623fb89aaa7bebae9.JPG

here is a pile of parts.  took me 3 buys to get a black jack with no blemishes!  gotoh for the win!DSCN2065.thumb.JPG.9fecfdbf81c96dd5662e94fb85299aa9.JPG

had hoped to start doing my radius this weekend but remember I still had to glue on some pieces to keep the base from rocking so... that will dry by tomorrow so hopefully!

got my set neck "rough bound" last night.

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started working the rosewood pickup covers...DSCN2069.thumb.JPG.3b389ec432a5ffc1a68345fd17c88f5e.JPGDSCN2068.thumb.JPG.f60bc48ab6a213df8b80ce074dccff42.JPG

and..... the moment I've all been waiting for: radius... a lot more physical work than I had anticipated as going from cavity to wood you really have to be careful it doesn't grab... but other than that it went pretty smooth.

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========== update 03/04/2019 ==========

got my set neck cleaned up a bit, filled in some gaps with ca glue... will hold off on final-final sanding until after I do the final plane on the back. 

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got the set neck body radius'd today and took some more angle shots to hopefully show it more... this one came out requiring less sanding because on my final pass I literally took "half a pencil line" off.

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========== update 03/09/19 ==========

got my tops all glued up, rough cut them, test fit them on my bodies and turns out I won't need any steam at all.  I could bend them easily by hand and they would adhere.  dry fit them and put a few finish nails in to hold them in place.  I marked out my control cavity and thinned the area for the 5 way to 1/8".  Was thinking of thinning them down in the chambered areas to 1/8" but decided not to as I had to reinforce my dano near the pickups (1/8" top) as it was a little too flexible right there.

at this point the two bodies have to be treated very differently.  with the bolt version I can do some true oil in the chambers, glue on the top, then I'll cut the neck pocket.  with the set neck I need to dry fit the top, cut the neck pocket, cut a few inches of binding slot on either side of the neck, then glue in the neck, then glue on the top - hopefully I can sneak my top over the neck w/o too much trouble!

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bought this little guy for $40 off offerup in prep for building a binding jig...

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here's a "sisters" shot...

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used my planing jig to thin down the necks to "almost" finished dimensions.  I'm doing a "asymetrical oval C" on the birdseye and for the set neck I'm going to do very thin (.77 at the 1st) C style.DSCN2117.thumb.JPG.bdaba3a9524b028176c1e96220e01267.JPG

========== 03/10/19 ==========

 

so got one neck profile done... but I was out of breath a few times... but then I'm old and in rough shape so... fairly thin profile ended up at .77 at the first and .90 at the 12th... the asym is quite nice as you can get a nice thicker feel on the low side but slide your thumb towards the high e and it feels very fast/thin.

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a shot of my cavity prep (no jokes please): put some true oil in there then did some shielding paint after.DSCN2118.thumb.JPG.bdb1c36c114e5d99f50866785a9f078c.JPG

so then clamp city...

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hot off the press... er um... clamps?DSCN2122.thumb.JPG.f166e3617c66d2871d510a960fbb7d5b.JPG

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had to take several breaks as it was killing my back to use this sander but finally done with that part anyway!

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nice solid join between the mahog and maple

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========== update 3/14/19 ==========

so keeping an eye on weight... looks like 3lb 8oz body, 1lb 5oz neck, 2oz per pickup so 8oz, 1lb 3oz bridge, 8oz tuners so 7lb?  still will be removing some pickup wood and a deep belly cut - I'm guessing that will take about 12oz off so estimating just over 6lbs here.

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got a little hairy this week when I dry fit my top and cut the neck pocket for my set neck version.  the neck needs to be glued before I attach the top... but wouldn't be able to cut the top with the neck installed so it's a catch 22. 

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now to deal with the rounded corners... I'm not that great with chisels... but give me a laminate file and I'm right at home (see below)

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spent a lot of this week building/testing my binding jig... required quite a bit of tweaking.  Added and then removed springs, changed the length for tension several times... to get it just right.  these drawer slides have built in mechanism/springs for making a 'soft close' which is nice.  the carriage doesn't just drop... it eases back into position. 

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rebuilt my plexi piece because I couldn't cut the last 1/8" right up at the neck pocket - literally was that close.  So rebuilt and now it has plenty of room.

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it works pretty intuitively. nice and straight.

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It is perfect everywhere except right at the highest points...you can kind of see here.  My donut was simply a plumbing piece that is a cover for faucet pipe.  had a 7/8" hole already, and has a nice slope.  It is a hair too large (approx 1.5") around and this is preventing complete flattness on most of the guitar.  The two closeups below show that it drifts almost a 1/16th at those spots.

For this guitar: it will kind of be cool.  There is going to be some manual shaping of the 1/2 round as it won't dig in as much on the sides... but will dig in fully at the back.  This should follow that pretty good so I'm going to use it as is... but will likely build a new donut at the point where I use it again.

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========== update 03/16/19 ==========

don't think I'm bob villa or anything but just thought it might be nice to show a time lapse of my set neck carving... here it is with the facets drawin:

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halfway through the first facet (3mins)

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facet 1 done:

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then hold at 67.5 degrees and facet 3 done:

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sm thing on the other side... about 10-15mins per side total.  this side shows them after being blended together:

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move my clamps and do the vallute

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the blend the vallute/heel on the spindle:

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then to my best tool: hands + sandpaper!DSCN2182.thumb.JPG.474d8ee1af22d1f9316d56cc9cca53a0.JPG

thanks to vallute, heel truss, ebony overlay and fretboard, and 1.75 width at the nut... this thing is very rigid.  can't bend it at all yet it's .786 thick at the 1st.  no flex in the headstock at all.DSCN2183.thumb.JPG.32b953a543fd7ecd06c483fe2b181fc5.JPG

 

the wood I used here is something I have a lot of.  wanted to use it for this neck to see if it would be "pretty enough" for a body.  It has all these 'brown specs" and it didn't occur to me till now what they are - or at least what I think they are: ambrosia?  there are no holes anywhere and I thought ambrosia typically would have that.  they are just tiny versions of what looks like ambrosia here and there.  Would love some enlightenment on this topic. DSCN2187.thumb.JPG.aa6928d5093d7064f46ad7df9b5c1a45.JPGDSCN2185.thumb.JPG.bbf217bbd552fe9846aa50ff2d3e3d89.JPGDSCN2186.thumb.JPG.1f3d287e0fc3ee7c14227b117500b54c.JPG

 

========== update 03/17/19 ==========

for the bolt neck... i wanted to get my neck attached before I cut the pickup and trem cavities from the top... so even though I hadn't cut my neck relief on the back... I drilled my ferrule holes to depth and bolted her up.

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drew my neck lines on the body and checked it against the top centerline - looking good.  then used a level and shims to get my top sitting flat on the radius and clamped it down ensuring my template was matching up with my centerline.  used a combo square to ensure the but end was sitting correct above my binding rabbet. 

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routered out my pickups and trem cavity...

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took the whole thing off and set it at an angle to do the jack plate...DSCN2193.thumb.JPG.b0a884129465df599596ec01178d4019.JPGDSCN2192.thumb.JPG.d37c304f7ff2b00336478601168abcd8.JPG

all set!DSCN2191.thumb.JPG.c13651f3d88b3bd903b1b4d1bdb91a4b.JPGDSCN2194.thumb.JPG.7c46e06e72da5ac88a285ec01257b052.JPG

glued up my set neck version... MORE CLAMPS!!!DSCN2195.thumb.JPG.173cde77b27caa4c8d79cdddfc2f9f30.JPG

and removed all the clamps (28hrs later... 24 to dry and 4 to remove all the clamps!)...

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followed basically the sm proceedure for the set neck but had to elevate my template 3/8" to sit on top of the fretboard...DSCN2197.thumb.JPG.cb1393051e2e3026b3b9b7e261f5889b.JPG

and all done w that!

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========== 03/18/19 ==========

just been kind of driven lately.  having a lot of fun.  so got my final binding channel in on both.  decided I'm just going to do one layer.  jig worked pretty flawless altho there is a tiny bit of flex in the plexi that made me look hard... still came out perfect:

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did the sm for my bolt version... for some reason my first pass on the bolt left a little ledge... probably router was sitting a hair dif in the base... totally ok as my binding is just below it.

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did my neck heel carve as well tonight.  started with a router...

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then went for a scraper.  first time really using one and I can see why so many fall in love.  between that and an orbital sander 15mins and done.

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========== update 03/19/19 ==========

so... did my belly curve tonight... it's a big'un at 1 1/8" deep... but i have a big belly so it's just my size!

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put in my steps...DSCN2223.thumb.JPG.831e0f62c6c286f8d564e65e56e2fcc2.JPG

worked it with a card scraper...DSCN2224.thumb.JPG.c90374b98f4e8012eb6281c428d34ced.JPG

and sanded it up with the osc.  DSCN2225.thumb.JPG.1751b9dbef30b343eaf3c904296bc4c5.JPG

it feels like a pair of orthepedic shoes.  sits more angled than a typical strat and I love it... with the guitar on one hip this giant body feels super thin and sleek.  DSCN2226.thumb.JPG.c3265a566c353e21ca1c9bbfe4430883.JPG

earlier this morning with the two sisters together...

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got my final set of pickups on the way... and there is some alnico 2 in there (yes 2!). 

set neck will be higher output A5 9.5k/A5 8.6k  in bridge pos and A5 5.6k/A2 5.6k in the neck two...

bolt will get A5 8.6k/A5 7.4k in the bridge and A5 5.6 / A2 5.6 in the neck

should probably just put the set neck next to my marshal and the bolt next to my fender but I'm splitting hairs!

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12 hours ago, mistermikev said:

so today I broke wood

Ouch. Sounds splintery.:)

 

This is going to be fun.

SR

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Just now, ScottR said:

Ouch. Sounds splintery.:)

 

This is going to be fun.

SR

sounds like I'm going to build this entire guitar using only a hammer... and I would If I could!

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21 hours ago, thaumgarrett said:

Really cool ideas here. Are those flamed/quilted tops I see in the mockups?

snap, how rood of me - I missed your post.  yes those are my actual tops.  the one is a quilt, and the other is flamed maple.  (thank you downhomewoods!)

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No rest for the wicked eh? It's really hard to stop building, even when you don't have any more space for guitars.

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2 hours ago, komodo said:

No rest for the wicked eh? It's really hard to stop building, even when you don't have any more space for guitars.

i hear ya!  I have sold a few partscasters on craigslist to make room but I am fastly running out of space and so many things I want to build yet!  now I understand why people are always talking about building for friends/relatives!  Note to self: need to make some more musician friends for when I run out of guitars I am willing to sell!  Really enjoying this chase!

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Well it looks like you have a fast start already! I'm jumping right back in as well, but this one is going to go slow and easy.

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admittedly I have been pushing the envelope time wise the last two weeks... my two bodies are now hogged out and I'm ready to start working on my radius jig this weekend - but more due to excitement than any sort of internal schedule.  Have to remember to slow down and enjoy the ride!

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Totally. Mine involves a trem. unit from scratch, more inlay, and chambered semi hollow so I’m going VERY slow.

 

BYW - congrats on your blie guitar. Another stunner.

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7 minutes ago, komodo said:

Totally. Mine involves a trem. unit from scratch, more inlay, and chambered semi hollow so I’m going VERY slow.

 

BYW - congrats on your blie guitar. Another stunner.

I can't imagine building a trem unit from scratch... that is going to be interesting.  Will def be watching. 

"blie" guitar?  botm?  blue?   I am not certain what you mean but thank you!

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hahaha sorry, trying to punch it in on my phone with bad eyes as well.

Blue guitar!

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updated my initial post w some new pics.  I like to keep all the pics together as it seems more fun to be able to just scroll through.  got my trem spring cavities cut, my battery stores, started work on my radius jig, and setup 1 of 2 neck pockets.

on another random note... have been thinking about something...

silicon baking forms and nail forms.  these of course are forms that you can 'fill' with 'stuff' and then use for adding to cookies or to your nails.  I was thinking I might buy some and try filling them with colored epoxy.  to me... cutting an inlay hole with precision such that I could fill them with epoxy and not have it look jagged seems unlikely.  Was thinking I might be able to make some cool inlays using these forms, then cut approx around them on the guitar and use them as inlay - filling any gaps with the typical sawdust/super glue.

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Skipping back to the OP for picture updates doesn't make for a flowing reading experience ;)

(No offense intended)

Nicely made jig though!

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2 hours ago, Norris said:

Skipping back to the OP for picture updates doesn't make for a flowing reading experience ;)

(No offense intended)

Nicely made jig though!

fair enough.  perhaps I'll double post them from here out.  thank you on the jig!  can't wait to try it but have some necks and pockets to finish first.

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I don't mind having it all in the first post, saves having to go through all the comments to find the posts. The radius jig looks interesting! are you planning to make the body in to bowl shape before topping it? What about the area that the trem sits on? 

Edited by ADFinlayson
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1 hour ago, ADFinlayson said:

I don't mind having it all in the first post, saves having to go through all the comments to find the posts. The radius jig looks interesting! are you planning to make the body in to bowl shape before topping it? What about the area that the trem sits on? 

thank you sir, that's kind of how I felt when reading others' posts.  nice to just be able to get a complete story... but I spose' it's also nice to see the posts in context too so... will do both going fwd.

so the plan is to just do the top on these (not the back).  it technically won't be a bowl as the radius is only east/west and not north/south (that would involve some bravery I'm just not ready for!). 

I will get the neck pockets done, necks dry mounted and tested, and then radius the body, then dry clamp the top on and see if I need to do any steam/bending.  according to some sources I read (re airplanes?) 1/4" maple material should bend over a 12" radius with no need for steam... so 30" should be fine but who knows about figured wood. 

the bend is so slight that the trem should hardly notice it.  only drops by 5/8" from center to edge at the widest point.  the change is .1" per 1" of top so over a 3.5" trem the change would be approx 3/16" on either side and I plan to float the trem about 1/16". 

The trick is going to be drilling the trem studs w/o slipping.  my plan was to drill small pilot holes in my template, mount that using some cut offs from the radius to keep it flat... then transfer the pilot holes to the body, also rout the pickup holes and top trem hole at that point.  Hoping my drill press/brad point will follow the pilot holes for the studs assuming I go slow.

Lot of uncharted waters here so a bit scary but you can't learn unless you try.

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looking good-and digging the jig

48 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I will get the neck pockets done, necks dry mounted and tested, and then radius the body, then dry clamp the top on and see if I need to do any steam/bending.  according to some sources I read (re airplanes?) 1/4" maple material should bend over a 12" radius with no need for steam... so 30" should be fine but who knows about figured wood. 

you may already be aware of this but you could (as an alternative to water/steam } put very shallow kerfs on the underside of the maple) either way dont trust any figured wood to play nice. i have seen steam, wet paper towels with weights and kerfing done with 1/4 maple- all seem to work well. I would not trust dry bending it- but that is just me. It would be heartbreaking to lose a piece of nice maple that way. I personally might shed a tear. that being said- I have seen 1/4 maple bend with no issues- and the roarrocket bag would be ideal for this- 

https://www.roarockit.com/skateboard-building/thin-air-press/tap-kits/thin-air-press-kit-26x28/#.XFmNiVxKjcs

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To do a bowl, surely once you've done the side to side radius, all you need to do is flip the body perpendicular and go at it again? I was thinking only do the bowl at the back of the body, not the front. 

I guess in terms of bending, you just need to clamp it down then gradually tighten the clamps, I would be inclined to spray it with water and use a heat gun anyway, get it pre bent and help with clamps for a few days so the top at least retains some of the bend before glueing so there is less stress on the glue joint.

Looking forward to seeing it. 

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1 hour ago, Mr Natural said:

looking good-and digging the jig

you may already be aware of this but you could (as an alternative to water/steam } put very shallow kerfs on the underside of the maple) either way dont trust any figured wood to play nice. i have seen steam, wet paper towels with weights and kerfing done with 1/4 maple- all seem to work well. I would not trust dry bending it- but that is just me. It would be heartbreaking to lose a piece of nice maple that way. I personally might shed a tear. that being said- I have seen 1/4 maple bend with no issues- and the roarrocket bag would be ideal for this- 

https://www.roarockit.com/skateboard-building/thin-air-press/tap-kits/thin-air-press-kit-26x28/#.XFmNiVxKjcs

thank you mr natural.  You are the best - thank you for chiming in.  afa kerfs... I've seen this done for the forearm cut.  While (I'm not sure why) I don't like the idea of cutting lines, I  do plan to do SOME releif in the sense that I was going to dry fit my top and try to mark out the areas of the control cavity and hollow cavity.  Then hit it with a router and take it to 1/8" in those areas.  I have to do this for the controls as I believe a 5 way will require a narrow top there.  (can anyone confirm the max depth there?  for the 5 way lever to be able to work properly?)  perhaps supserstition (disclaimer) but I think the thinner top might help me to capture more of the semi hollow sound on the neck pickups.

wet paper towels is interesting... would you just apply that to the top?  I had it in my head that I would just use a spray bottle of water and a heat gun - gradually increase clamp pressure over a few days/sessions.  Any/all advice there is welcome.

roarrocket - that is something I NEED to get at some point.  I imagine it would be the perfect thing for getting laminate on or bending to a full bowl.  thanks for sharing!

I hear ya on the broken top - I'm going to try it first on the flamed maple cause that quilt is so amazing - can't risk losing that.

44 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

To do a bowl, surely once you've done the side to side radius, all you need to do is flip the body perpendicular and go at it again? I was thinking only do the bowl at the back of the body, not the front. 

I guess in terms of bending, you just need to clamp it down then gradually tighten the clamps, I would be inclined to spray it with water and use a heat gun anyway, get it pre bent and help with clamps for a few days so the top at least retains some of the bend before glueing so there is less stress on the glue joint.

Looking forward to seeing it. 

thanks adfinlayson.  there are a number of issues with the full bowl that I see.  1) the trem rout area would fall away too much unless I moved the radius back... moving it back might not look right.  2) the complexity of bending 1/4 maple in two directions - not something I want to attempt on my first try.  3) it would really only be a 2 direction cut and would require a lot of hand tooling after that which would make attaching a top a bit difficult.  Would probably work great for a carve top tho. 

For this one I plan to just cut some 2x4s on my bandsaw to allow even clamping pressure across the body.  funny, in my reply to mr nat I almost repeated you verbatim re heat gun and spray water!  I swear I didn't read your post until now!  We think alike!  was totally planning to dry bend it over a few days and once I have her right... glue it and cross my fingers.  planning to use a couple set nails to hold it center.

at the same time re water... perhaps I shouldn't admit this: but I have it in my head that the tension of the wood bent w/o using water/heat might actually be an interesting prospect.  I can't help but wonder if it would resonate better.  I don't want to open a bag of worms and perhaps it's superstition but I can't help but think it might.  I want to see how easy it bends once I have some releif in the cavities, then decide.

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40 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

wet paper towels is interesting... would you just apply that to the top?  I had it in my head that I would just use a spray bottle of water and a heat gun - gradually increase clamp pressure over a few days/sessions.  Any/all advice there is welcome.

i have never done it- and cant remember where online I saw it- but essentially it was done for a forearm bevel- with no glue on the top- the top was clamped to the body-except the area around the forearm bevel- either a washcloth or several dripping wet sheets of paper towel were laid onto the bevel area of the maple top- and some serious weight-like a 10 lb disc was added-left overnight. the maple top bent over night- still left some gap- but bent enough to where clamping the next day only pulled it tight-vs the full bend if you follow. a method of pre-bending if you will. 

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10 minutes ago, Mr Natural said:

i have never done it- and cant remember where online I saw it- but essentially it was done for a forearm bevel- with no glue on the top- the top was clamped to the body-except the area around the forearm bevel- either a washcloth or several dripping wet sheets of paper towel were laid onto the bevel area of the maple top- and some serious weight-like a 10 lb disc was added-left overnight. the maple top bent over night- still left some gap- but bent enough to where clamping the next day only pulled it tight-vs the full bend if you follow. a method of pre-bending if you will. 

wow, that is interesting and pretty innovative.  you are a great resource for unorthadox trickery! 

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last night I roughed out my two necks... was thinking I wanted to get them cut and leave them sit for at least a few days before I plane them in case they are going to move at all.

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birdseye grain seemed to look best to me in a rev headstock config so... changing that last minue.

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can't wait to see what this flamed maple looks like planed down!DSCN1999.thumb.JPG.5a711fdc6b125b0b40d4e39d97b6f1c2.JPG

cut a filler piece for neck pickup/trem claw mounting...

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