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Prostheta

Project: Earthstone

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You do not have to route all the way through.  Just stop so you have enough space to get a wrench or allen key on the adjuster.  I built a couple of Rickenbacker style guitars with 5 degree neck angle and very thin necks.

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Just don't ask me about sanding the neck into the truss rod channel from the underside. 😉

 

Cheers Peter.

 

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I thought about this a couple of days before responding. Access to enclosed Allen head type adjusters allows for shallower routs, which this one seems to be. That would also apply to an aluminium U-channel rod. Compression rods generally tend to use brass acorn hex nuts which rely on a wrench that slips over them. Additional rout required. I haven't spent any time in Rhino playing with the design as of yet, however I think half an hour some time during the week should confirm whether I can make this work or not. A brass hex with the corners knocked off to reduce overall circumscribed diameter with a slotted head should change adjustment into one that can be done with an L-shaped flat blade wrench made for the purpose. I like that idea since I can probably hide the tool under the electronics cavity cover....which is another adventure yet to be finished!

So, I guess I shouldn't ask about sanding into the cavity then, eh?

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I need to set aside some serious time and properly look through this thread.  Looks fascinating, but definitely not one you can just dip into after a 5 minute scan! ;)

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On 2/2/2020 at 12:11 PM, Prostheta said:

I thought about this a couple of days before responding. Access to enclosed Allen head type adjusters allows for shallower routs, which this one seems to be. That would also apply to an aluminium U-channel rod. Compression rods generally tend to use brass acorn hex nuts which rely on a wrench that slips over them. Additional rout required. I haven't spent any time in Rhino playing with the design as of yet, however I think half an hour some time during the week should confirm whether I can make this work or not. A brass hex with the corners knocked off to reduce overall circumscribed diameter with a slotted head should change adjustment into one that can be done with an L-shaped flat blade wrench made for the purpose. I like that idea since I can probably hide the tool under the electronics cavity cover....which is another adventure yet to be finished!

So, I guess I shouldn't ask about sanding into the cavity then, eh?

Yeah - I would go with an allen key adjuster and this is exactly why I use it.  The bottom of the adjuster can rest on the bottom of the route. 

You can ask.  I just do not like talking about it.  Rickenback necks are notoriously thin, with thick fret boards.  The truss rod route was too deep and at finish sanding I noticed a small depression where the wood was so thin it was pressing into the channel. DOAH.

 

Cheers Peter.

 

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I should probably add (this is a general post, not directed as an answer at yourself, Peter!) that I absolutely despise cheap welded Chinesium import rods that use Allen adjusters welded to the end of the adjustment rod. They tend to be the most commonly-available, especially over here in Europe where many companies resell them for profit rather than fabricate to a required standard.

The problem with them is twofold; firstly the "quality" of the Allen adjusters is poor and they're made of cheese grade something-metal; if it strips you can't spin it off and replace it like a nut. Secondly, the welds tend to be pretty poor and if they fail, the rod is dead in the water, requiring surgery to recover.

Allied Lutherie sell nice rods which would be the ideal option, however I'd rather keep pushing the idea of fabricating my own compression rod as far as it will go until we know whether it's a viable option or not. I need to find some good engaged time to re-draw this out. At current I'm brain-pooped what with work and home furnishing projects.

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All of my rods are Allied Lutherie. I bought a bunch quite a ways back though, so I’m not sure if they share the same quality as the new Flexstrong rods.

I still have a Stewmac hotrod sitting around but I’ll probably never use it cause its too heavy and the channel needs to be deeper.

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11 hours ago, komodo said:

All of my rods are Allied Lutherie.

Likewise. The quality has always been good, but they stepped it up a notch when they started making them here instead of China. Cost a bit more too.

SR

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Life and things have taken over yet again. I feel like the next steps demand my absolute attention, and I fully know that half-arsing is just the mother of all. I'd rather wholly-arse it up.

So anyway. I started laminating up the matched cavity cover to bring it up to a full 5mm. 2,0mm of cavity cover, 0,5mm of dyed black....something....2,0mm of Sapele constructional veneer and finally 0,5mm of brass sheet for shielding.

 

Cavity cover recessed done on the pantograph, freehand around a drawn circle 3x the desired size.

20200210_184746.jpg

 

I confirmed which pole I wanted "up" with red "permanent" marker. Titebond liquid hide glue works a charm.

20200210_185233.jpg

 

Magnets covered with waxed paper and lightly pressed overnight. I didn't want to use CA (wicks too much), epoxy (terrible to clean up) or PVAc (contaminates, bleeds, etc). Hide glue is a good level of sticky for this sort of job.

20200210_185528.jpg

 

Imagine this a few times. I did each veneer individually with a layer of hide glue. This is when I was clamping the magnets as I used one of these big bastards each side for the veneers.

20200210_185631.jpg

 

At some point I'll re-attach the template to do a quick copy rout. Puzzling as to whether or not routing 0,5mm of brass is a recipe for disaster or not. Certainly, having chips of conductive metal flying around never does well at the best of times. I'll probably do this at work instead of taking on the risk myself at home 😉

20200223_095649.jpg

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A dry fit test of the magnets' strength through the 3,0mm of non-magnetic materials showed enough strength to work with steel inserts around the cavity cover lip, however I'll still use a set of ⌀4mm x 3mm magnets. More than plenty.

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Thanks Luis. I did consider trying to completely hide the magnets using only Sapele veneers. I knew it would be too weak along the grain, and somewhat unstable. A brass or copper sheet was the minimum, so I thought "to hell with it" and went for contrasting laminates. Why not.

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OT is still a topic. Generally if you have to do cleanup then acetone is your best bet, but you have to be conscious of how it will affect the materials (especially oily woods) and whether it will actually dilute the epoxy and allow it to get deeper into the workpiece. Not always ideal. I've had this Sapele move colour around just with alcohol, so I don't want to agitate it with anything stronger!

The plan here for adhering the brass sheet is to sand it with 150-180 grit paper, prime it with PVB (polyvinyl butyral) adhesion promoter, lightly sand again and then just use a layer of hide glue. I'm quite sure that it would be better with a nightmare glue like PU or even phenolic, however the amounts are so small (same for epoxy I guess) and the end use so light duty that it will be more than enough. I wouldn't recommend going the PVB route for everybody unless they have ready access to it, which I do. A lower grit sanding and adhesion with epoxy is fine.

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I was watching a Youtube vid the other day of Steve Vai unveiling his new iteration on the venerable Ibanez Jem, the Pia, and he was getting all excited about this new technology he'd had Ibanez implement for securing the rear trem cavity cover - these new fangled, wacky things called "magnets". I can't help having a bit of a chuckle at his slight over-enthusiasm with what people here at Project Guitar have known about for years.. Maybe we're more pioneers than we realise...

Keep us up to date with your progress @Prostheta. Enjoying your processes here in the wings with a beer in my hands.

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Either you're a slow coach with the beers, or the fridge is deeply stocked! 😃

Artists like Vai live in a parallel reality where the things we pore over make zero impact, and truly seem like news. I wonder if he's heard pickups made by companies other than Dimarzio....

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Brass scuff sanded to 180 grit, sprayed with PVB then scuffed again to 240 when dry. 

20200229_212750.jpg

 

Lovely goo. I spread this with a finger and rubbed excess off that way. You can't leave it dry with a finger. Buttery.

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Overkill. I let it tack for ten minutes, then applied light-medium pressure to even out the glue. Cranking guarantees slipping.

20200229_213449.jpg

 

Done. Now how do I trim this without losing fingers, eyes, etc?

20200229_213333.jpg

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7 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Done. Now how do I trim this without losing fingers, eyes, etc?

I'd probably use an exacto knife and sandpaper.

What are you going to use?

SR

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Likely a router and a steel ball or two. I spent a lot of time getting the grain to match and the outline to be precise with respect to the cavity so allowing myself to hand shape it would be less than ideal. I'd like to maintain that crisp edge.

Gloves. I'm going to use gloves.

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I do NOT have the audacity to think I know anything... but I had to do something similar a while back, and for better or worse, what I did was make a 3/4" mdf copy of my ctrl cover, glued that to a another piece of mdf, then used the leftover from cutting out that copy to put 'around' the cover for router balance.  then double sided taped the cover to the copy, and taped some scrap with sm thickness to the outer edge for support. 

admittedly... probably 50 more steps than it needed to be but it worked.  interested to see what will likely be a better way to do it.

 

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I've got that already, albeit in 25mm MDF. My concern is more about how grabby brass can be, and the prospect of sending highly conductive metal shaving around the place, especially into the commutator of an upended router....

It's 0,5mm thick brass sheet so it shouldn't be too horrendous. I should stop procrastinating and just get it screwed up before I change my mind 😄

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9 hours ago, Prostheta said:

 then applied light-medium pressure to even out the glue. Cranking guarantees slipping.

And not often mentioned.  The number of times the clamps have shifted my components.  And it's always that last little tweak...

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50 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

I've got that already, albeit in 25mm MDF. My concern is more about how grabby brass can be, and the prospect of sending highly conductive metal shaving around the place, especially into the commutator of an upended router....

It's 0,5mm thick brass sheet so it shouldn't be too horrendous. I should stop procrastinating and just get it screwed up before I change my mind 😄

ah, that had no occurred to me.  I did accidentally cut some brass recently so have experienced first hand how grabby it can be!

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

And not often mentioned.  The number of times the clamps have shifted my components.  And it's always that last little tweak...

It's a feel thing I think. Light clamping till the glue tacks up, then correct pressure. Some glues are more liable to this through the curing, so additional location or retention helps. An old trick is to sprinkle a little salt over the glue surface so it bites into each surface. I never have chance to try that.

PVAc and hide glue have good tacking periods as long as the correct amount of glue is applied. Too much and it's a big mess. Leave the glue too long and you get poor adhesion and/or visible glue lines. Rubbing both surfaces together into position works nicely before leaving it to tack. It really does become a feel thing.

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It's pretty thin brass stock, so you'd probably be OK. Minimising the amount to route away as much as possible beforehand would be a good idea. I've routered (routed? rooted? routerereded?) aluminium in the past and it's actually not too difficult to work with. The shavings are a nightmare though.

Can you attach some kind of big hand-hold block to the back of your control cavity cover with double sided tape? That way at least your hands would be away from the firing line while you're doing the cut. Maybe also set up some kind of temporary fence/shield on your side of the router table so that if it does zing away it doesn't zing into you first. 

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