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Urumiko

First build - Hollow Custom 22.

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HI All,

I've only I've only just discovered this forum having previously hung out at crimson guitars.
Like all newbies i've decided to embark on just about the most complex build possible.
I'm going for a semi-hollow in the shape of a PRS custom 22.

I'm documenting the process on youtube in quite a slow paced fassion for anyone who's interested in that kind of thing. 😃
Really been appreciatng people giving me tips and feedback as i go.

Did anyone else attempt something similar as a 1st build? If so how'd it go?

Anyone else here have youtube channels of this nature? im looking for more to follow ;)

Latest vid is here:

 

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BigD's videos on youtube are great, especially when you get to staining and finishing, the Crimson videos are great too but I would order by oldest first and watch those, the newer stuff is a bit click baity and not as informative. Before I attempted my first build, I watched Ben's 25 hour series and clarity build series - there is enough info in those to get you through the first build. The other series I watched which I think was my favourite of all, was Freddy's Frets - Building Les Pauls series.

My first build was a set neck, carve top Custom 24/Mira design, but solid and I only carved it with rasps as that's all I had, but you should be able to put a nice back carve in the top with the angle grinder. Your video is tempting me to get one, I like carving by hand and done a lot of it lately but I can't remember a day where I haven't cut myself 

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hello and welcome!  I have a youtube channel... can't offer much for tutorials but I'd love to swap subscriptions with you https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCktim1mj88l9JAwQy4KB4eg

just subscribed to yours.

My first build was a thinline 32" scale p bass.  Probably fairly ambitious but thanks to help from many on this forum I came out unscathed.  take a drink from the fire hose and dive in!  Look fwd to seeing your build come to life!

 

btw - wenge body looks really cool.  have never used an angle grinder but I'm told they work well.  my limited carving experience has all been using a router/steps/scraper and that seems to work great for me.  There's no right way - just the way that works for you so, that seems to work for you!  cheers

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Cheers buddy, yes I constantly refer back to the clarity build also as my staple how to video.
I thoroughly enjoy the new stuff also, but an updated clarity style series would be nice.

I'll search for the other series you mention also!

Yes as you know i only had blunt cheapo silverline rasps initially and well, i like the romance of hand carving but it was a lot of effort for very slow progress, I'm sure higher grade rasps would help a lot,

I have to say coming at it as a complete novice who is relatively quick to take to arty endevours, i felt at home with the grinder prety quickly and would recommend highly to get you 99% there with the caveat that sealed goggles and dust mask are essential.

I actually did some more interior weight relief on sunday just gone by router rebating the interior walls, and taking a forstner bit to the horns. 

I've just ordered some basic silverline gouges to try assist in tidying this up.

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13 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

Just subscribed to yours.

Just subbed buddy,

Yes I like the look of the stepped routing aproach, It looks the most controlled aproach to me.

I tend not to get much time to work on mine so the quick results option is favoured.

Yes the wenge seems lovely, cant wait to see it with a nice finish, Smells nice when working on it too.
Its heavy stuff though!

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3 minutes ago, Urumiko said:

Cheers buddy, yes I constantly refer back to the clarity build also as my staple how to video.
I thoroughly enjoy the new stuff also, but an updated clarity style series would be nice.

I'll search for the other series you mention also!

Yes as you know i only had blunt cheapo silverline rasps initially and well, i like the romance of hand carving but it was a lot of effort for very slow progress, I'm sure higher grade rasps would help a lot,

I have to say coming at it as a complete novice who is relatively quick to take to arty endevours, i felt at home with the grinder prety quickly and would recommend highly to get you 99% there with the caveat that sealed goggles and dust mask are essential.

I actually did some more interior weight relief on sunday just gone by router rebating the interior walls, and taking a forstner bit to the horns. 

I've just ordered some basic silverline gouges to try assist in tidying this up.

With gouges, I recommend scouring ebay for used vintage ones. I've found good quality new gouges from the likes of Ashley Iles are serious money, and the new cheap ones are just awful (I bought a set for £15 on ebay and threw them away a few weeks later), but you can get good quality old Marples gouges for very little money

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Yeah... I suspect they will be pretty awfull and at least require a fair bit of sharpening.
and the steel will no doubt be basic and not hardened etc.

To be honest i wanted to take the vintage e-bay approach but having no experience with or will to spend ages researching gouge types i was a bit put off.

At least examining the cheapo ones i'll be able to get a sense of what i would use.

When the weather picks up i do occasionally hit the car boot sales, not since i got in to this but i'll be checking the tools out!

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A 1/2" no5 sweep gouge is all you need to carve a guitar top, then you can hit it with a random orbital sander to finalise the shape, or use thumb planes/scrapers. There are good chinese thumb planes on ebay for about £25 but an orbital is a lot faster. There is also a really good budget random orbital, the Titan one from screwfix for about £50, but I'd recommend getting a soft pad for it.

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1 hour ago, Urumiko said:

Just subbed buddy,

Yes I like the look of the stepped routing aproach, It looks the most controlled aproach to me.

I tend not to get much time to work on mine so the quick results option is favoured.

Yes the wenge seems lovely, cant wait to see it with a nice finish, Smells nice when working on it too.
Its heavy stuff though!

whatever works right!

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On 3/27/2019 at 12:05 PM, ADFinlayson said:

A 1/2" no5 sweep gouge is all you need to carve a guitar top,

Cheers matey, Yes even with a bit of a sharpen those silverline gouges seem rubbish.
Though to be fair asking most to cut wenge is a bit of a tall order.>

The main thing i wanted them for was as follows:

In my latest vid you can see I thinned the walls of the body using a rebate bit in several steps.


I really wanted to go arround with a gouge and smooth the steps in to a nice smooth curve, or at least close enough i can finish by hand sanding, but the tools just wont cut it.

I've had limited success by seriously abbusing a dremel with some sanding discs a'la the angle grinder carving, but im open to suggestions.
My dad does have one of these sanders in his garage i was thinking of trying:

belt-sander-air-tool.jpg

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The angle grinder equipped with a flap disc is actually my preferred method, which I picked up from long time member Drak. It really hogs wood off fast, and when you get the hang of it you, can get quite subtle with it. It still is pretty easy to take too much off when you don't intend to. I've done backside concave and convex carves with it.

For necks, spoke shaves, and then Dragon rasps are excellent, as well as Microplanes when you get close to the finished size.

All that said, for my current carve top build I found some sweet old gouges and some thumb planes from China. I'll probably end up doing a hybrid of everything.

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2 hours ago, komodo said:

The angle grinder equipped with a flap disc is actually my preferred method,

I would agree, I'm having a love afair with the angle grinder myself. Unfortunatley i cant get in to the area im talking about carving with it. I've just ordered some flap disks for the dremel. Hopefully they will acheive a similar end 😃

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Been following the video series on and off, lately more than before. Still like your style!

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1 minute ago, Bizman62 said:

Been following the video series on and off, lately more than before. Still like your style!

Awh.. thats very kind thank you.. Yes I feel im starting to find my feet with the video making stuff now.
The dilemma is i find the earlier vids i posted quite woeful but dont really drop them as they are part of the build as a whole.

I'm in 2 minds about dropping the earlier vids about the fretboard in the mindset that i might start from scratch again with the fretboard.

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that tool there looks an awful lot like a tool I used back in cab shop days - made by dyna brade.  very useful and very aggressive... but given the small nature not sure it'd be the right tool for this application. 

Body is looking good btw. 

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If you want to reduce the weight, you could always use your perspex router sled and a couple of blocks and reduce the overall height of the body before you glue the top on. If as you said the body is 2" thick without the cap, you could quite easily reduce that by 20mm, still leaving you 30mm + the cap and it should be a nice weight.

I did the same thing last week on my ovangkol lp build, it was surprisingly easy to skim off the top, even with my extremely crude thicknessing sled.

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On 4/2/2019 at 7:17 PM, ADFinlayson said:

If you want to reduce the weight, you could always use your perspex router sled and a couple of blocks and reduce the overall height of the body before you glue the top on. If as you said the body is 2" thick without the cap, you could quite easily reduce that by 20mm, still leaving you 30mm + the cap and it should be a nice weight.

I did the same thing last week on my ovangkol lp build, it was surprisingly easy to skim off the top, even with my extremely crude thicknessing sled.

Yes.. I've been pondering that for a little while. Only problem is as i've thinned out the walls of the body below the gluing surface i dont think i'd have enough surface area left to lgue to if i did that now ?

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2 minutes ago, Urumiko said:

Yes.. I've been pondering that for a little while. Only problem is as i've thinned out the walls of the body below the gluing surface i dont think i'd have enough surface area left to lgue to if i did that now ?

That's true, that ship might have sailed now, well at least you know for next time. BTW did you get your blanks from exotichardswoodsuk? I noticed the have wenge and black palmwood on their site, in fact that is where I got the wenge for a previous build from. They're also where I got the ovangkol for my current build

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Er..
yes i think so.

The Sycamore cap and the recent lamination peices came from timberlane. as did some banding and pearl i prob wont use in this build.

The wenge, palm and possibly my first fretboard came from the other exotic hardwoods site. I think the palm was in the clearance section as an odity. Its unusual to get as big a peice as i did.

I did buy those peices about a year ago though.

Latest vid is up by the way.

 

 

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Do you prefer commenting here or on the YouTube?

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Nice lamination. BTW- Your wood is pronounced 'wheng-eh'

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Truss rod is scary the first time. Once you’ve done it once or twice you will find it’s a doddle. Your routing method is a bit risky though, much better to take 2mm passes along the length of the channel and work your way down to 9mm in a few passes.

table saw is a good option for the headstock angle, I use a bandsaw but I’d use a table saw if I had one.

I do think you’re overthinking your headstock thickness though, 14-15mm depth will be fine for most tuners and 10°+ headstock angle is enough to provide plenty of string pull over the nut 

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