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  1. 9 likes
  2. 9 likes
    True!... a sharp gouge is just fun. I've been carving the heel, that was a quick job. I will try to make kinda volute in the heel... Still needs some refining, but the big part is done. Sorry for the square neck profile, I need to clear out the surroundings before proceed with the neck carving. Have a nice weekend!
  3. 8 likes
    I had posted this with a bunch of other guitars in an earlier thread, but wanted to split this out on its own. Not a typical 335 as the body and sides are I piece of Black Korina, took a while to hog it all out. The back is carved the same as the top and I put the toggle switch on the top horn. neck is flame maple with a cocobolo fretboard and headstock veneer. Top is a rescued piece of "ambrosia" quilt, had a couple of cracks I had to stabilize, but had awesome natural colour. yesterday was finally nice enough to paint, and I kind of went with the seat of my pants with the colors....
  4. 8 likes
    Here's my polishing kit: micro mesh and an automotive buffer. SR
  5. 7 likes
    Aaaand back to the body Pickups and neck pocket routed: 1/4" radius for the back: Binding channel (forgot to take pics during the actual binding process): Once binding is done, break out the medieval rasp and companion scrapers: Ok, this one is fully caught up now, minus a few photographically uninteresting stages of sanding. The fretboard was sent off to be blind slotted via CNC, I should have it in hand by the middle of this coming week. Thanks for taking a look!
  6. 7 likes
    Custom KM-I carve-top finished - Wenge on Mahogany body, 5-piece Maple/Purpleheart neck, Ebony fretboard, Floyd Rose Original, Schaller M6 tuners, BKP Miracle Man (bridge)/Cold Sweat (neck) and Tru-Oil gloss finish... That Ziricote top will be next... Then some new stuff coming...
  7. 7 likes
    I'd like to make a comment about the line under your nitro on the body. I'm on builds number 2 and 3, not a very experienced luthier, but a VERY experienced furniture maker. What happens is that people use Titebond or Elmer's yellow glue or equivalent for edge gluing 90% of the time, and these glues cure by losing the water. The glue hardens in hours, but the water soaks into both pieces being glued, swelling them slightly at the joint, and wicks away in days or weeks until the moisture content at the glue line matches the rest of the plank. You can plane the wood you have glued up in a matter of hours, but the wood immediately adjacent to the glue line will shrink very slowly afterward and you'll see that slightly sunken line. What to do about it? Plan A is to let it dry for at least a week before you plane the wood. The defeats the whole purpose of using a fast drying glue. Plan B is to use a glue that does not introduce water to the joint. I use System 3 T-88 two part epoxy on anything that needs to come out beautiful, including my first bass, which was done almost entirely with epoxy. Others use West Systems epoxy, which I also might go for except that I could never finish the big containers they sell it in (for a lot of $$$) before it went bad. Don't use the 5 minute stuff--the slow drying epoxies have much higher strength. Another product with a good reputation is Smith's Oak and Teak Epoxy Glue. Epoxy likes a slightly rough surface at the joint and not huge clamping pressure, but these glues are very strong and thus very forgiving. When you figure 8-12 hour drying time, they are FAST compared to a one-hour glue that needs a weeks or more to dry out perfectly at the glue joint. I might use Titebond II for things like headstock veneer gluing where the temporary moisture increase will not cause that visible problem, but never for edge gluing on a visible surface. Why? because I have seen this same issue on table tops and been really disappointed. Another benefit is that you get at least 20-30 minutes of working time, so epoxy is great for a complex glue-up where Titebond would be setting up while you're applying the clamps. One more thing. In West System epoxy or any product where the resin and hardener are sold separately, you can save some money because the shelf life of the resin is many years. (Epoxy resin is BPA, a notorious endocrine disruptor which you can Google of course, so use gloves when you apply it). It is the hardener that ages out in a year or two and that can be replaced without throwing away the whole quart or gallon of resin. So maybe I'll try West Systems next time I run out. Last comment: you can tint epoxy (also Titebond actually) with a few drops of Transtint dye to match darker woods, like ebony, walnut bubinga, etc. Hope this helps! John
  8. 7 likes
    this is close to being finished...redwood is becoming my favorite wood for tops...i
  9. 7 likes
    Hi all, this one is now done (except for a final setup and a cavity cover. SO pleased with it and a huge thank you to all who commented and offered advice. I really appreciate it. I also managed to get it photographed, which is rare for me. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts. Now, off to start a superstrat, with a spalted maple top...
  10. 7 likes
    Welcome to this episode of spot the guitar!
  11. 7 likes
    I've been having too much fun building..kinda forgot about this whole internet thing :-)
  12. 7 likes
    It's a beautiful sunny spring morning here in the English midlands and I couldn't resist a couple of piccies... Another couple of "flow" coats on - unfortunately not quite as clean this time and introduced a small curtain on the backside of the lower horn. It might polish out, but might need knocking back and going over again. I'll ponder it. The front is looking pretty darned spangly though!
  13. 7 likes
    HAD A BABY!!!! It's a boy! Keegan Ash Deagle! 8 lb 10 oz. So far moma bear and cub are doing awesome! still has his days / nights mixed up... but getting there... In other news, I was able to get the frets in and start prepping for the back carve... hoping to get a little time to work on that today... almost ready for finish... then I have to find a place to hid the thing for a few weeks till X's birthday. also found a local place to buy 1 amp slo-blo fuses. my AX-84 high gain Frankenstein amp is blowing the fuse as soon as it's plugged in... the only things connected before the standby switch is flipped is the power cable / fuse / standby switch. you'd expect to find a short in there... but the multi meter reads none... so I basically have to start de-soldering items until I find the culprit... hopefully it's jus the switch and I can order a new one easily.
  14. 7 likes
    And that about catches y'all up to where I am at at the moment. Except for this new build Me and the lady just found out started a little while ago. I think this will be the best one yet!
  15. 6 likes
    Well that went well. Feedback was it sounded clear, deep and punchy. Played well with lovely neck, so can't ask for more. Heres a snap of Marshall I Henry playing it on the pyramid stage! Very humbled to have one of my instruments used here not just in my little studio.
  16. 6 likes
    Today's job was cutting the saddle slot. I used the Dremel with the precision router base and a 3mm bit: Rigged up a guide jig with thin packers that would ensure that it stayed level and flat when clamped down: Then clamped it, checked it all and slotted it: Drilled a hole from the slot to the cables channel build into the neck and put in the piezo element for a trial fit: Shaped the bone nut blank and strung it up. And blow me! The flipping thing actually intonates properly!!!!
  17. 6 likes
    Just realised I've had this sitting around finished for some time now, so without further ado I give you the following: Needless to say, I'll be steering clear of painted finishes for a while now.
  18. 6 likes
    Not updated in a while but I've been busy. Top jointed and glued on. Initial routing done. I didn't use a template for the neck pocket but used the laser and two bits of wood to make a temporary guide, with two layers of tape to make a tight fit. Pickup cavities done and first pass at my body carve is done. A lot more work to do carving but for not much noticeable change. Just cleaning contours and smoothing now. Oh and decided on my f hole shape and mostly finished that. Needs refining but v pleased with the results so far. Also need to chop the section of neck out for the pickup. That's making me nervous! Measured lots and drawn it on and feels like v little wood left. The part under the pup will be 9mm thick. I guess the sides will help there. Eek!
  19. 6 likes
    The controls will be hidden from the front and accessible at the back. I will have a powered piezo/mag pre-amp cum mixer and then, as a minimum, a blend and master volume. I might be able to incorporate a tone too if I can find a suitably small stacked pot. This is where they are supposed to fit: Bearing in mind that I still have to scoop 5mm or so from the back, it doesn't leave a lot of depth. Because I'm working towards the top - probably a thickness of 7mm max, I've gone for Forstner and chisels again. I've done the knobs chamber - now you see them: ...and now you don't: Then started on the main chamber. I reckon I've got another 3mm to go, with a lot of tidying of the carve too! Mind you - at least I got the cable channel in the right place With apologies to Scott for the poor carving so far: Talking of carving, you will have deduced, no doubt, that once the back is scooped and shaped, the control chamber cover will need to be carved too!!
  20. 6 likes
    well KEA my build is basically the opposite of your super-clean ones but do build more! Last week after fretting I did a quick alignment check by locating the outer bridge saddle holes and checking that the strings run parallel to the fretboard edges and that I can set intonation ok. All appears to be fine so I can continue So now the neck, heel, volute etc. So far I build almost only bolt-on guitars so I don't have the process down for carving the heel. ok, this is kind of in the direction I want it to go, but not exactly. The transition from the neck to the body starts pretty early. I took a look at my Mayones Regius to compare, and there the neck retains its profile pretty much until the cutaway actually starts. It's a slightly different thing since there only the back is rounded over, but still. This is a bit closer: I need some tools for the future, probably at least a good quality rasp. Right now its going rather slow, but I'm getting somewhere. The volute is almost done, the purpleheart/maple accenting came out pretty cool: and the heel: Now I think I'll smooth the body a bit and shoot some primer, with this blotchy mess I cant see anything. Plus the super soft pine all over the place freaks me out, I fart and it dents. Oh well.
  21. 6 likes
    The better I get at sharpening and using chisels, the more I use them in preference to the 'you-can-destroy-everything-in-seconds' router. The slot here will be where the tuner block butts up against the body wing. I'm pleased with this feature - it really does mean the tuner block isn't going to go anywhere and is not reliant on the fixing screws at all for strength . This is basically how the block will fit: The pencil marks shows the positioning of the neck. Not that there will be a rebate at the top and the bottom of the body. You can see the top one here - the top wing is glued and the bottom wing not yet glued: The top rebate is where the full-length fretboard will slot into and the similar rebate at the bottom is where I will carve up to the neck to create the back curve. You can see also here the slot where the strings, attached to an upside down tuner block attached to the rear block, will come through the neck and through the fretboard. Next is to sit and think and plan and think again. I need to make sure ALL of the control run slots, etc, are properly thought through and in place before I glue that bottom wing on!
  22. 6 likes
    Messing around with fretboard blanks and a few off cuts. The flame is quite strong on this maple. Not sure if ill use it for this guitar, but I quite like. Reminds me a bit of the pavement on Copacabana
  23. 6 likes
    the part I guess I am still not sure about is the bottom of the fretboard between where the neck angle starts and the bridge- its almost like (in my mind) the bottom of the fretboard would be flat until that neck angle- and then it would (if it was to be snug to the body and not overhang the body) have to angle forming a triangle from the neck angle to the bridge (I think?)- very interesting. you have my interest peaked big time on this. As far as your body radius- have you sorted out how you will do that? I had to do a 25" radius in a Turner Model One copy I did a few years ago- here is a pic- I laid out mdf board- held a 25" piece of string down at a center point off the board- took a pen and swiped the radius across the boards. made a "ghetto style extremely large" fretboard radius jig and went to town. that was a ton of fun. and clean up was easy with a little sanding and it came out great. (the jig was turned 90 degrees before use )
  24. 6 likes
    So here is the first casting of the "quilted" acrylic. I strafe-coated the topography - gold from bottom, silver boro from top. The two tone effect is not lighting - its actually gold on one side of the "quilt billows" and silver on the other side.
  25. 6 likes
  26. 6 likes
    Like is said in a post, I was working on my shop. I am almost done. I got some green shelving for the great price of free from a friend. When I was starting to organize everything my wife said why dont you put all the big tools in the middle so it gives you more room. Which was surprising. I am still not done but its really looking like a proper shop and really has came a long way. I still have more to do, but I thought I would share and also will start on the templates this weekend.
  27. 6 likes
    Todays idiocy done. Loads of trimming and a bit of scraping to do but it worked ok. I was pretty nervous about bending the ebony binding with the veneers glued to the bottom, but no scorching or delamination. Couple of small voids resulting from the tape I used not having enough tack, but nothing that's not fixable. About halfway through I worked out which order the veneers should have been glued to get a better transition through the neck to the headstock. hohum. Not 100% sold on bound headstocks, but it looks a bit neater than it was. At least I know that if it needs to be done, it can be done.
  28. 6 likes
    Sushkov Guitars #0001 The Saracen This is the very first guitar I built in my new shop in Prague last autumn though not my first build in general. Specs: Mahogany body & neck American walnut top, pickup covers and headstock veneer Rosewood fingerboard Set-neck guitar construction with archtop Custom low output pickups with AlNiCo IV and AlNiCo V bar magnets. HipShot Grip-Lock tuners Dual-action truss-rod SINTOMS extra hard NiSilBer frets 2.5 mm Tonepros Tune-O-Matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece Rare soviet paper-oil capacitors 2 Volume + 2 Tone pots with wooden knobs matching top wood 3-way pickup selector switch.
  29. 5 likes
    Yeah, filing another patent. dammit. Another $15 grand. Still recovering from the last patent I filed. Don't ask how this is made. Going with a black TransTrem on this one, once I perfect the lamination and cut it into a guitar face. Info on these builds can be found on my other threads. The guitar bodies in the pics are for scale (but they look cool too). The unidirectional fibers EXACTLY replicate the light refractive properties of quilted figure found in quilted maple and quilted mahogany (when they are molded in my patent pending process). Quilted gold coming next.
  30. 5 likes
    Ok, so it IS possible to get a good result with Magic Marble. For some reason most of my previous tries (and many of the ones I saw online) ended up with washed-out colors, there was not enough paint towards the end of the dip. But apparently if you keep the surface of the water reasonably big and go slow you can get nearly full coverage. Proof: more to follow. Also video. Now to not mess this up ...
  31. 5 likes
    Heel carving... with a gouge, a rasp and sand paper.
  32. 5 likes
    One of the things that always bugged me when I bought this guitar is that the bridge humbucker doesn't have any facility for coil tapping. As a backup to my other Pac721, I missed that I couldn't get the Stratty bridge split/middle single combination that its bigger brother could do. However, as I've got the guitar in pieces I have the option of correcting this deficiency without spending money on a new pickup by rewiring the pickup as a four-conductor . The original bridge humbucker is a basic two conductor jobbie. As it was always destined to be installed in a budget guitar, it's nothing special to write home about, and probably fairly similar to any super-cheap pickup available from resellers: Unwrapping the outer tape layer exposes the two coils. As a bonus the termination points for each of the windings are made out to little solder tabs, which will make it easier to solder the new 4 conductor cable to than loose winding ends: Useful tip: USB leads from old mice are a cheap (or free!) way of getting 4-conductor shielded wire for this kind of work. The cable is usually pretty flexible and skinny enough to fit through the various holes and channels. This 1.5m cable came from a crappy old mouse with a busted scrollwheel being thrown out from the office. There's enough cable here for four or five pickups: Dismantle the pickup and wiring. The solder tabs actually allow the wiring to be performed without having to remove the coils, but in order to desolder/reattach the ground braid on the baseplate I have to remove one coil to get access: Strip off a few inches off the end of the USB lead and feed it through: And start re-attaching the wires to the windings. I could go to the trouble of following a known colour code, but as this is a cheap no-name pickup going into a cheap guitar, who cares how it gets coded. In the end I have red = coil 1 start, green = coil 1 end, black = coil 2 start, white = coil 2 end: Wrap it back up with the tape (still sticky enough to be re-used) and voilĂ  - a four-conductor humbucker for practically zero cost: A quick check to make sure the coils still have continuity after the resoldering, and we're good to go:
  33. 5 likes
    I made a lot of progress this weekend. I did like Pariahrob suggested and I made the bevel so it exposes the alder and I have to say that it was a GREAT suggestion. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, but it took a LOT of elbow grease to carve that wenge . I finished slotting the fingerboard and routed-it to shape. I also started working on the padauk neck (as you can tell by all the dust in the background). I'll be moving to my new house this week so I probably won't make any progress on both of my builds until I've set-up my new workshop.
  34. 5 likes
    Here it is in direct sunlight. The blue on the outside bursted perfectly and followed the figure just right.
  35. 5 likes
    Flame body sprayed today with Blue to Magenta Borosilicate and Orange / Red2Gold inside the scallops to match the hot rod flame cap. Now to store in front of the heater for a couple weeks.
  36. 5 likes
    I havnt done much guitar works for months. After a lot of personal life stuff that really got me down, i finally got a little motivation to finish up a few projects i have here.
  37. 5 likes
    There is then many days planing scraping and sanding to go, but to illustrate broadly what I'm trying to achieve, started the rough sanding to eventually get the body too at a 20" radius and flush with the fretboard: Long way to go before getting to the 20" radius, but this gives maybe a hint of the final shape of the top: ...and once the top is sorted, I will cut the controls chamber at the back and then scoop out the back to head towards the contact lens shape
  38. 5 likes
    Everything went (mostly) as planned and I successfully surprised the guys with their new piccolo basses last week between sets at a gig. They seem pretty happy. Here's a shot of the the instruments before they were handed off: A ground came loose in the blue guitar, so Sean didn't get to play it plugged in until Friday night when I brought it to a jam session. Here's a video of him playing it literally for the first time (don't judge him for his singing or me for my camera work!): I am so stoked to be give these guitars to my bandmates. We all know that there's magic that happens when you turn a pile of wood and metal into a musical instrument and hear it make sound for the first time - the saying "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" definitely applies here. There is even more magic when you take that newly minted instrument, place it in the hands of a skilled musician, and hear them make it come to life. Full pictures and write-up to come...
  39. 5 likes
    And here we are.... managed to finish her up JUST in time for the gremlin's birthday in about 2 weeks. Still needs the intonation set and the pickup heights tweeked but other than that she's as ready as she's ever going to be.... I'm not 100% happy with the water based poly / finish but not much I can do about it at this point in time. either way, should be one hell of a happy gremlin.... cuz shit yeah... it's Spider-Man....
  40. 5 likes
    On to fretwork! I've gotten them installed and flush with the fretboard. Installing frets was not as difficult as I had imagined it would be, There are at least two that will need special attention since I got a bit hammer-happy right at the end of the frets and managed to hammer them in to the fretboard a fraction of a millimeter. I still need to bevel them, so that's more jig making but even as it is (Neck un-carved, frets un-bevelled ect.) it's more comfortable feeling than some of the guitars I've played in music shops lol. And after about an hour or so of flushing them... (Could probably have gone faster but at this stage I really don't want to mess things up too bad and make more work for myself down the line... I broke out the CNC for one last job on this which was the truss rod cover. As you can see though, my earlier mistake of truss rod placement has come back to haunt me... I know it will be hidden under the nut but I'll always know it is there... Still maybe a little thick and may need some thicknessing... Won't know until I get it to the point of testing before finishing. But for now a truss rod cover is a truss rod cover... Still needs more sanding ect. but it works. I decided against inlaying this as I really don't think I could've freed the inlay without breaking it as the lettering is so small. (I actually had to make the text bigger to fit my 0.6MM bit, or 0.023622" to you imperial guys!) And finally some rough hardware pics of the body... The pickup rings are from an older guitar I'm re-finishing, The ones for this guitar will be shiny and new! The rest of the hardware will be what's on the guitar, and the blank space is for a 3 way pickup selector switch. I may be keeping that pickup in it (Bridge only, neck is a DiMarzio D-Activator bridge) But I'm not sure. It's a custom wound (By me) few thousand over-wound humbucker but still has a vintage-esque sound to it... Like it's not a metal humbucker at all but still has a decent amount of output. Not sure if it's beaten-up look will work yet but I can always wind another for this guitar if I feel I need to. Just roughly plonked on top... Closer up of the pickup... Pole-pieces are still low from the "ageing" process. And that's all for now. Mike.
  41. 5 likes
    There was one fret which left a bit of a skid mark on the treble side, but any evidence has since been obliterated with the board being re-radiused. Back on to the neck, the heel has been reshaped to eliminate the beefy transition and the overall profile tidied up to remove any unevenness. There were a couple of lumps at various points that I've managed to level out, and narrowing down the sides has improved the overall slenderness of the neck without sacrificing thickness: The difference in heel transition is best illustrated here, with these obligatory before and after shots: And the black epoxy has also been scraped level and the logo finalised, ready to be re-sealed under clear.:
  42. 5 likes
    Part three: The neck! This was a real pain in the... You know what! It was all done with a Stanley No.7 and a bandsaw. (Apart from the headstock angle... That was my No.4.) Neck side: Truss rod slot cut... In hindsight I probably should have moved the nut slot back so it wasn't directly in line with the nut... Next time I'll try to remember that... It looks like that planing was done badly... I thought so too, but it's straight as... Well my straight edge... It just has a really funky grain and figuring to it that makes it look wobbly. Neck rough cut... So close to test fitting... (And yes the body is like me... A little overweight, but I'm working on it ) I got so carried away with the rest I forgot to take pictures, But one more... Where the neck and body met on the first day, sorry about the quality but... It really is starting to look like a guitar now!!! Low lighting makes everything look kinda yellow but hey... It was a long neck making day and the sun had disappeared by the time I got this taken. There's a LOT more to do, more shaping, more routing and every woodworkers favourite past time... Sanding. But this is it so far, Thank you for taking the time to look at this project! Mike.
  43. 5 likes
    Exploder MS8 progress! Body rough cut and cleaned up in the drum sander: Routing the body outline. First step uses a spiral upcut bit with guide bushing, second is a very short template bit, final is a downshear flush trim. Some dude is in my shop, cutting out neck pockets. It worked out ok. Roughing the pickup and control cavities: Routing complete, now on a boatload of sanding. Next time: on to the neck. Thanks for looking!
  44. 5 likes
    Hey PG friends! Sorry I've been so absent lately, school and work have been keeping me crazy busy. That coupled with a few tool-failure-induced guitar problems have conspired to make me feel less social than usual. I've got one build newly done and two more in the home stretch, so here's looking toward a better tomorrow! First up, my freshly finished Pioneer MS6. This is going to be auctioned off at an event for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's West Palm Beach chapter (@CFFPalmBeach on FB). I'm going to get some more pics and a demo video before giving it away. Specs: 25-26" scale Alder body Maple neck/fretboard Jescar 47095 stainless fretwire Hipshot staggered open-gear locking tuners Custom milled aluminum bridge (thanks @2.5itim!) w/Graphtech saddles DiMarzio Red Velvet neck, True Velvet T bridge pickups This guitar has an evil twin.... I'll start behaving properly and post more pics this week. Until next time, thanks for taking a look!
  45. 5 likes
    final update: it's in the GoTM contest for January!
  46. 5 likes
    So I carved the top to a cylidrical section. Radius is about the same as the scale length, 27". Readjusted the neck pocket depth and angle four times before satisfied. Now just to decide knob and jack placement. I like the volume knob right under the center of the bridge pickup, but for most people it stands in the way of strumming. On the last photo there is a pencil line of a planned back contour, but I guess it might be comfortable even without it.
  47. 5 likes
    Thanks Chris (x2!) The first build out of my new shop is done! Better pics and a demo video soon. Specs Body: Chambered swamp ash w/walnut top Neck: 7pc maple/rosewood laminate Fretboard: Indian rosewood, Jescar 58118SS fretwire Hardware: Hipshot hardtail and staggered open gear tuners Pickups: DiMarzio Air Norton/Air Zone
  48. 5 likes
    This will likely get a few more coats during the week and then it will hang and cure whilst I travel around the country a bit over the holidays. And finally a few shots with some low angle natural light from the setting sun. Whew, that was fun! SR
  49. 5 likes
    Wow it has almost been a month since I buffed it out. I was working on the bass and was also waiting for a hard case but thanks to Auspost that hard case is lost and I don't know where it is. I was holding out for the hard case before assembling but enough was enough so I bought a gig bag locally instead. I think I have too many hard cases anyway haha. Of course I'll be getting a refund. So I hereby present to you, my second build. I will take better pictures with my DSLR on a better day of course. I just spent the last 2 days trying to wire it together, only to find out the problem was with the pot, not my wiring! Specs: Hardware: Gotoh SG318 tuning machines Kluson modern string retainer Wilkinson 5+1 contemporary tremolo Electronics: Seymour Duncan JB (trembucker) in the bridge Seymour Duncan Jazz in the neck 5 way super switch wiring: 1. bridge, 2. bridge (north) + neck (south), 3. bridge + neck, 4. neck (north) + bridge (south), 5. neck 500K audio Push pull volume pot, with a blower switch to bypass all electronics and send the bridge pickup straight to the output jack, plus treble bleed mod. 500K audio tone pot with Fender's grease bucket tone circuit. Sorry for the blur pics. Will take better ones soon.
  50. 5 likes
    YOU GUYS. IT'S IN MY APARTMENT. And now for the good(?) part: I made a little video!