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ADFinlayson

Build #7 -Ollie's Neckthrough flying V

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That inlay design is looking great, the hand coming out of the tree flows really well.

As for the body I'd say you should cut out the shape of the wings just around the neck, where you won't be able to access easily once the wings are glued on, but leave the more accessible further out sections of the wings un-cut to at leave some area to get some clamps solidly. If that makes any sense...

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17 hours ago, browser5031 said:

Brand new member marveling at your build skill!  I am getting ready to build a V myself but with a bolt on neck.  You are amazing with your hand tool skill.  Liked the photos of the Black and Decker Workmate you use, I inherited my Grandfather's, who brought it from the UK to the USA in the 70's.

Thanks dude. The workmate belong to my Dad, he's been nagging for it back for months :D Good luck with your V. Be sure to post about your progress!

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15 hours ago, GCmtb said:

That inlay design is looking great, the hand coming out of the tree flows really well.

As for the body I'd say you should cut out the shape of the wings just around the neck, where you won't be able to access easily once the wings are glued on, but leave the more accessible further out sections of the wings un-cut to at leave some area to get some clamps solidly. If that makes any sense...

Cheers! I asked a friend of mine who is a tattoo artist to come up with a design for me, and although he agreed, he went a bit quiet so I came up with the design myself, Not having done any art since GCSE at school, I'm a bit out of practice. So got various ideas from google images, and traced over my iPad screen with tracing paper, which worked surprisingly well providing I didn't actually touch the screen with anything other than the pencil. 

Great minds think alike, what you described is what I did last night - cut the horn area on the bandsaw and the far end of the V leaving the straight edges around the area that needs to be clamped. On one side anyway, I'm still gluing the laminates for the lower side of the body. Then I think I'll see if I can scrounge a jig saw to cut the rest once the glue up is done because I don't fancy holding the whole guitar up to the bandsaw.

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Well laminates are finally done, it felt like it took forever! I was glueing 1 at a time, waiting for an hour or so for the glue to tack up then remove clamps and glueing the next one on, getting 2 or 3 glued a night over the last week. It was a real pain because I was very limited on how much material I had to work with so had to make sure the laminates weren't slipping out of alignment under pressure, especially awkward with the veneers in between!

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See here what looks like a catastrophic balls-up, actually it wasn't... I have used up the entire 2m plank of walnut on this build and have no more usable offcuts and one of the laminates just wasn't quite long enough, before roughing it out, the last laminate on the wing still had the paint from the end of the board. The call was to buy more and wait, or once glued up, shape the body so the wing tips and 2 or 3mm shorter, I can't see that it would be noticeable so went with the latter, it should be easy to do with the spindle sander.

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All being well, once I've finished doing daddy-day-care tomorrow, I'll bang the two wings through the thicknesser so they're all even and the same thickness as the centre piece (praying that I've got the grain direction consistent), and route the top with the mdf template. 

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So my body laminates are all finished. I took the worst of the high spots off with my No4 before running it through the thicknesser so that it didn't end up making the veneers off square - I doubt it would have anyway. I had 99% success in orientating the grain on my laminates, you can see that dark streak on one of the pieces where I got a bit of tear out. I thought about flipping the wings so the tearout is under the top, but I prefer the figure this way round and the tearout is so shallow that it will likely disappear during sanding.

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I've routed the top to the template too, very risky around the neck pocket but it was ok when I took it slow.

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And with a bit of fettling around the fretboard, it fits like a bought one :D

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While I'm busy procrastinating over this inlay, I need to think about logistics; where is the jack going to go, will I be able to git a drill in with the wings on or should I do it before glue up. Do I ned weigh relief, given how awkward the shape is to weigh, I'm going to wait all of the pieces + the box of hardware to get an idea of final weight.

 

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21 strips of walnut and 20 maple veneers and my wings are on. I guess my life would be a lot easier if I did the inlays and fretwork first, but I got excited 😀

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Wing glue up went well, no dramas. I had to take a hand plane to the centre peace as it was a bit high on the front but fortunately flush on the back :D This is a problem I would rather have than the middle low! So I used my little block plane to knock the middle down before I rough the wings it on the band saw. Offering an entire guitar up to a bandsaw is a PITA!

Freehanded a channel for pickup wires with a router and gave the top a bit of a sand so I had a good glueing surface and did a dry fit of the top. I drew some taper lines on the top a couple of weeks ago once I'd got it nicely centred and these came in really handy for checking it was centre - the pocket shape on the top is a tight fit but there is still a few mm of will room where the could move with glue and clamps, so once it was all centred 

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I don't think it was strictly necessary as I was fairly happy with the weight, but I did do some "chambering" really only for the reasons that @Andyjr1515 mentions, it always comes out heavier than you expect!

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Put a few locator pins through pickup cavity locations and pot locations and got it glued up.

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I'll need to craft a template of sorts to do the neck pickup cavity - So I'll get the cavities sorted on the front and probably cut the blade switch slot, then on to carving the top. But at some point, I really need to tackle these inlays!

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On 2/2/2019 at 4:32 PM, ADFinlayson said:

Thanks dude, it’s coming along a lot quicker than I thought. Had some spare time today and it wasn’t too cold so I got some more bits done.

I cut my truss rod slot with a chisel in the end, marked it out with a scalpel and just treated it like hogging out an inlay cavity. Got about 4mm down with the chisel then to make sure I had the right depth, I just free handed down the channel with the router before tidying up the edges with the chisel. Only took about 20 mins.

Then I marked out my fret slots, I never cut them until they’re on the board but I like to mark them out with a blade before hand while the board is square.

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And now it’s all glued up. 

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I will be tackling the ears on the headstock next 

That's a killer combo.  That veneer really makes it pop with the separation of textures.

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17 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

what he said ^.  good observation.

Thanks chaps, pain in the arse to glue them up though! I'm looking forward going back to 1 piece bodies and necks for my next few builds! BTW, slight tangent but I've just had the deposit for another commission - Going to be a suhr modern carve style build, maple top, neck and mahogany body, ebony board and headstock. I both can't wait and am a little apprehensive as he want's a floyd rose ghost piezo system in it. Blanks below :D

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Well bollocks, it’s heavier than I anticipated, coming in just shy of 8lb. I’ve still got neck carve, body carve, neck access carve, pickup and control routes to do so I might me alright... touch wood. It definitely doesn’t feel like 8lb though, I guess down to the length of it.

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I’ve shaped the problem area where I didn’t have enough wood and it came out ok. Then I used my new radian round over bit to do a roundover. Came out really well, just annoying that little bit of sap wood down the middle. I’ve got two other little wobbles too, in one spot there is a tiny gap where I clearly had a jointing issue, then one other spot where the veneer slipped a little. Hoping to sort them both out with the appropriately coloured wood filler. 

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Got pick up routes ready to go tomorrow, although I’ve got some work to do with the template for the neck. Then I’ll need to make a template for the control cavity and cover 

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10 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

Well bollocks, it’s heavier than I anticipated, coming in just shy of 8lb. I’ve still got neck carve, body carve, neck access carve, pickup and control routes to do so I might me alright... touch wood. It definitely doesn’t feel like 8lb though, I guess down to the length of it.

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I’ve shaped the problem area where I didn’t have enough wood and it came out ok. Then I used my new radian round over bit to do a roundover. Came out really well, just annoying that little bit of sap wood down the middle. I’ve got two other little wobbles too, in one spot there is a tiny gap where I clearly had a jointing issue, then one other spot where the veneer slipped a little. Hoping to sort them both out with the appropriately coloured wood filler. 

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Got pick up routes ready to go tomorrow, although I’ve got some work to do with the template for the neck. Then I’ll need to make a template for the control cavity and cover 

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Those multi body veneers, as someone above says, do make it look quite special.

Weightwise, it may, of course, be lighter than it shows because the accuracy of such a weight-capable scale with such a comparitively light load is not going to be great.  Try preloading the scale with a heavy weight, then add the guitar so its measuring further round the scale...

Congrats on the new commission.  The Ghost Floyd Rose is a nice unit and no more difficult to fit than any other Floyd.  The only thing that lets down the Ghost systems, unless they've finally twigged why they have to replace so many and replaced it with a proper one , is that their 'collector block' is scandalously poor.  And it's critical...middle of big gig and one or more of your strings stop working!  I've lost the connection on every one I've fitted (done around 6).  Nowadays I just snip all the connectors off and solder together the 6 hot wires and the returns.  You shouldn't have to do that with top priced gear...

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Thanks, you are very wise - I weighed myself and the guitar on the bathroom scales and subtracted my weight and it came to dead on 7lb which is more like it! I can’t see that a bit hogged out for pickups as removed 1lb so I think you’re right regarding the fish scales. 

Also many thanks for the advice re the fishy floyd, I will do some research and make my recommendations 

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2 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

 

Also many thanks for the advice re the fishy floyd, I will do some research and make my recommendations 

As I say, the Floyd itself and the piezo saddles are great quality. 

It's just the multipin block the individual two pin connectors push into.  This:

http://www.graphtech.com/products/product-detail/pe-5017-00-ghost-acousti-phonic-summing-board

An average laptop has dozens of such blocks and the connectors never lose connection and the push fit is positive and locked.  Unless they have changed their design or supplier, Graphtec's 'summing board' is not at all positive, does not lock and the pins often lose connection to the piezo connectors while visually all looks good.  Each time I got them to send me a replacement, I explained the problem. But I don't think they've ever fixed this simple issue - and yet they supply them in their £400+ ghost kits!

I even fitted a Schaller Hannes piezo bridge for someone - quite the most expensive bridge I've ever fitted and it had one of these blocks that looked pretty graphtec to me.  When it failed just before I delivered the guitar to the customer I knew it was a graphtec one.  

So, definitely use the graphtec floyd - it is very good - but get a decent connector block from Farnells or RS Components, etc.  They are only a couple of £'s if that.   As the phrase goes, 'All for a ha'peth of tar, the ship was lost...'

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As everyone has said before me that body is looking great!

Also, if you are looking for an easy way too weigh guitars I'd suggest grabbing a cheap digital fish scale, you can get them for about $10 on amazon and they give you nice precise weights. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 7:22 PM, GCmtb said:

As everyone has said before me that body is looking great!

Also, if you are looking for an easy way too weigh guitars I'd suggest grabbing a cheap digital fish scale, you can get them for about $10 on amazon and they give you nice precise weights. 

Thanks dude, yeah I bought a fish scale but as Andy said, it's not accurate at low weight. in Hindsight, I don't why I bought it, I should have just stood on the scales holding the guitar. Now that I'd routed the control cavity and pickup cavities, we're down to 6lb so it's all good, slightly less once I've carved the neck and neck access heel.

So I was routing my pickup cavities, I used a 1/2" bearing bit to do the hardwork after hogging out most of it with a forstner bit, then I moved on to my fancy new 1/4" bearing bit from Radian tools, did the first one successfully and the sodding thing broke on the second one! That was a £40 bit 😢 fortunately Radian have said they'd refund me. But that leaves me with one pickup cavity nicely shaped to the template and one that has 1/2" radii all round it. So that's something I'm going to have to sort out.

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I spend what feels like age yesterday making a control cover and template set of the cavity

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Once my templates were made, I drilled my pot holes all the way through to tell me where to locate the template

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Then prior to routing, I drilled my jack access, I did this first this time and drilled all the way through to where the cavity would be so that there is no tear-out inside the cavity (never done this before) and it worked great!

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Cavity is all routed and it looks like a fairly need and tidy job :) I thought I might do magnets again, so i've got 6 spots to place them to ensure a good contact. But I'll need to reduce the height of the cover a bit first 

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Next items on the agenda in no particular order, will be to carve the top, cut a blade switch slot (although I'll practice on the super strat first as I've only done it once before) and carve the neck, and I still need to do these inlays.

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Cut a couple of blade slots tonight. I’ve only done this once before and it was about six months ago, so I did my prototype strat build first. I haven’t got a template or a router bit capable of doing this so the cleanest method I could find to do this is to draw around the slot of a cheap scratch plate, then drill 4 2mm pilot holes, then score with a scalpel and ruler between the two inner holes and carefully hog out the slot between just like how one would hand cut an inlay cavity. Once about 3-4mm down, I’ll come back with the router and deepen the control cavity in that area so the slot will fit and it will nicely reveal the slot. Its scary how little wood there has to be here to accommodate a blade switch!

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I need 4mm outer holes to accommodate the screws but I did 2mm pilots so that the countersink bit doesn’t wobble about too much, then I come back with a 4mm hss bit and increase the hole size.

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only took about 15 mins per slot and nowhere near as nerve racking I remembered!

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That’s pretty much the same way I do blade slots. A template and small router but would be nice, but I always feel more comfortable with hand tools for precision work. 

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15 hours ago, ADFinlayson said:

Cut a couple of blade slots tonight. I’ve only done this once before and it was about six months ago, so I did my prototype strat build first. I haven’t got a template or a router bit capable of doing this so the cleanest method I could find to do this is to draw around the slot of a cheap scratch plate, then drill 4 2mm pilot holes, then score with a scalpel and ruler between the two inner holes and carefully hog out the slot between just like how one would hand cut an inlay cavity. Once about 3-4mm down, I’ll come back with the router and deepen the control cavity in that area so the slot will fit and it will nicely reveal the slot. Its scary how little wood there has to be here to accommodate a blade switch!

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I need 4mm outer holes to accommodate the screws but I did 2mm pilots so that the countersink bit doesn’t wobble about too much, then I come back with a 4mm hss bit and increase the hole size.

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only took about 15 mins per slot and nowhere near as nerve racking I remembered!

nice job cutting that.  man, I respect the heck out of the hand skills around here.  I built a jig for that that is literally three pieces of 1x2 in a c shape... because if I tried it manual it would end up looking like a lightening bolt!

a flying v with a lever switch... YOU CAN'T DO THA... love it!  please tell me you are doing something other than a 3-way?  so many ideas for this! 4 way, 5 way super, 6 way!

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Thanks chaps, nothing super exciting for the switching; 5-way blade with PRS style wiring.

1. Bridge hum
2. Bridge hum + neck single
3. Both hum
4. both outer single coils
5. Neck hum

I'm not sure how to actually achieve this, I was going to take a picture of the switch on Ollie's custom 24 :D and do an exact copy of that, we're using PRS pups so wire colours should be the same

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5 minutes ago, ADFinlayson said:

Thanks chaps, nothing super exciting for the switching; 5-way blade with PRS style wiring.

1. Bridge hum
2. Bridge hum + neck single
3. Both hum
4. both outer single coils
5. Neck hum

I'm not sure how to actually achieve this, I was going to take a picture of the switch on Ollie's custom 24 :D and do an exact copy of that, we're using PRS pups so wire colours should be the same

I'm no prs expert, but is that common?  I thought the typical was bridge-series, inside coils para, inside coils series, both series para, neck series.

if you want help - say the word  (I have to be invited in like a vampire ;) ) but there is probably something on the net already... like this one: https://guitarelectronics.com/2-humbuckers-5-way-lever-switch-1-volume-1-tone-06/

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I've been on that site actually and had a look when I was wiring up the wenge build because I wanted to do the above just with SD pickups where the wiring is different, I ended up binning off the idea altogether as I couldn't find a schematic for it. But I see that PRS have republished their schematics online - the had conveniently taken them down when I was wiring that one.

Found this though: https://www.prsguitars.com/documents/customs_2017.pdf

I think PRS have been wiring their CU22s and 24s like this for a few years now.

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