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  1. 10 points
    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.
  2. 9 points
    So late last year I started in on a new model based around a Super Strat that I ultimately named the Helix. I wanted to incorporate some things I like in a guitar such as a super thin neck profile, a deeper cutaway, magnetic truss covers and a thinner body and a few other minor things. When I started building the first Helix I broke out the video equipment and documented the entire process. To anyone who's done it you know shooting a build by yourself is a time consuming task. Stopping at each step of the build process to set up a camera slows down the build process considerably. On some tasks it would take me longer to set up the camera than it would to actually complete the task at hand. Over the eight weeks or so it took to complete the build I shot something in the neighborhood of 40 hrs worth of footage. The build was completed late last year but the footage has been sitting untouched on my hard drive for months. With 40 plus hours of footage it was a time consuming task just to roll through and view all the footage I shot just once to see what I had, let alone organize it all and edit it all down to a point to where its viewable. Anyways, after many hours of shooting, months of procrastination and many tedious nights in front of a computer I finally have the first installment complete. Now that I'm at the editing stage I plan on releasing a new installment each week until the series is complete. So with that being said I give you the first 6 min installment of my Helix build series. Part one. ~JW
  3. 9 points
  4. 9 points
    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!
  5. 8 points
    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....
  6. 8 points
    Here's my polishing kit: micro mesh and an automotive buffer. SR
  7. 7 points
    Clamps off. I'll take that. It's looking a bit like a guitar now.
  8. 7 points
    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!!!!
  9. 7 points
    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!
  10. 7 points
    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...
  11. 7 points
    Heel carving... with a gouge, a rasp and sand paper.
  12. 7 points
    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
  13. 7 points
    this is close to being finished...redwood is becoming my favorite wood for tops...i
  14. 7 points
    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...
  15. 7 points
    Welcome to this episode of spot the guitar!
  16. 7 points
    I've been having too much fun building..kinda forgot about this whole internet thing :-)
  17. 7 points
    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!
  18. 7 points
    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.
  19. 7 points
    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!
  20. 6 points
    And the 'as near as makes no difference finished' shots. Forgive the self-indulgence:
  21. 6 points
    Looking at the weather forecast looks like I can start spraying clear tomorrow. Meanwhile: I got some Z-poxy recently from LMI to try as a pore filler, since the swirl is going onto the neck on the back and everything will be finished with full gloss clearcoat I figured I need to pore-fill the neck and headstock. Testing Z-poxy - rubbed in one coat, sanded back with P400 the following day, then another coat and sandback. Here's coat nr 2 right after application: Also, pickguard. A weird strat needs a weird pickguard: I'll probably use this as a testpiece before I make the proper one out of plexi - there are a few small cosmetic problems with this one.. but I want to have the guitar ready to play it in a show we're doing on July 15th so I'll most likely use this one then. Afterwards I'll see. Here's the hardware in place - I got 7-string singles wound for me by Zbigniew Wróblewski of Merlin Pickups (merlinpickups.com, a boutique Polish pickup company, Polish bands like Riverside and Vader use these for example). The plan is to connect them in series with an in/out-of-phase option, following Brian May's Red Special wiring, here instead of using 6 switches I can get the same set of combinations with 3x on-on-on DPDT switches. I also looked at the Red Special layout and tried to roughly position the pickups in similar spots along the strings to have similar phase cancelation+enhancement effects, for the treble strings I'm pretty close, then I diverge a bit (I didn't want to slant too much). Finally - a mockup:
  22. 6 points
    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.
  23. 6 points
    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.
  24. 6 points
    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!
  25. 6 points
    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!!
  26. 6 points
    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.
  27. 6 points
    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!
  28. 6 points
    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
  29. 6 points
    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 )
  30. 6 points
    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.
  31. 6 points
  32. 6 points
    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.
  33. 6 points
    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.
  34. 5 points
    Happy Sunday. Heres my next installment.
  35. 5 points
    Dear super-cool-bass-back's finish... I CHALLENGE TO YOU BATTLE. My weapon of choice? Nature's idea of a super cool finish: ridiculously figured ash! Specs Flamed maple neck with african blackwood rosewood fretboard in 25.5" scale with 'split block outline' inlays in aluminum Evo fretwire 1 11/16" nut First ever Model1 with a bolt-on neck. First ever prototype of my 'Massive Access' bolt-on joint Thinline style hollowed flamed southern ash body complete with east Indian rosewood top with F-hole Gotoh modern tele bridge, hipshot open-back locking tuners, all in gold. Standard telecaster wiring (but with 500k pots and a 470k cap on the bridge pup to make the pots act more like 250ks when in position 1 and 2) with McNelly A5 signature plus in the bridge and "Wild Range" humbucker in the neck. She's already off to her new home... but that home is close so I hope to still be able to get some demo vids done with it. Best, Chris
  36. 5 points
    Just need to finish his eyes and lay on some oil. SR
  37. 5 points
    So I have been carving the top these days... not finished yet, there are still some bumps here and there, but the hard part is mostly done. The carving has nothing special, it's just curvy... I like the dark natural "binding" the shape makes. The neck is still "stabilizing" after carving the back, so in the meanwhile I will take care of all bumps and try to make the pickup rings.
  38. 5 points
    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 ...
  39. 5 points
    Yes - it's a little bit special. We were in a remote part of Skye. It took 10.5 hours to drive from the midlands. Worth it, though: This is just to prove that I may be an old git, but I can still clamber up the side of a mountain...albeit like a very old goat...
  40. 5 points
    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 voilà - 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:
  41. 5 points
    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.
  42. 5 points
    so @KempGuitars tru-oil masterpiece got me all worked up to move ahead with my hackjob here and see if I couldn't get a half decent result. . We had a sunny day (was supposed to rain- we missed it)- anyway- I plowed ahead and wet sanded with 0000 steel wool, wiped it down, and hung to dry. these pics are after 3 hrs of drying. I think I got the back pretty well filled, I am going to have to do the front over once I completely get the glue I missed around the neck and bridge (and tailpiece)- I want to have the back done so I don't have to worry about drying etc and can work on the front when I can sit down and really concentrate.. I am going to have to pull out my optivisors and sanding stick/mini chisels and heck maybe even the big ass card scraper I have and really be careful not to mess up the edges of the fingerboard, bridge and tailpiece. should have make sure I got all that squeeze out. shoulda coulda woulda. I thought I did. Eyes are not what they used to be I guess. Lesson (I already knew) learned again.
  43. 5 points
    Here is one other project i didnt really plan on. My local wood store got in some 8/4 zebrawood, and i had always wanted to do a zebrawood carved top.
  44. 5 points
    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.
  45. 5 points
    Ok - I didn't want to be the forum noob that went straight off topic on his first post, but having been asked... Here's the '69 Fiat. And here's the '69 beetle. Start, Finish, and a pic of the proud owner. Basically, the older son is into cars, so at 16, we built him a car. The younger is son is into guitars, so we're building him a guitar. Lucky for me, I'm into both And one parting shot... We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
  46. 5 points
    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....
  47. 5 points
    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.:
  48. 5 points
    It's blue In dim light it looks almost black. In the light it's vibrant. It's the sort of colour that is not easy to capture on camera, quite similar to Rickenbacker Azureglo in places, but with the natural variation of dyed wood. It looks lighter in the photo than in real life. I've got it sitting on a sheet of white paper to try to give my phone camera a clue to the white balance, and has the unfinished maple cover in place too. I must admit (now) that I was tempted for a few minutes to keep the back natural. However there are so many guitars with a natural ash back - and mine definitely isn't "so many guitars" . Even my wife is coming round after several days of "you've ruined it" comments. I will be knocking it back slightly with some 0000 grade wire wool. That's more to even out the slight streaks and to lighten up the end grain slightly where the dye took more easily. The silk of the unfinished dye looks great, but I will be applying a clear lacquer and going "shiny" with it. Anyway, I'm very pleased with that. It's pretty close to my original vision. When I get to the top I'll try to burst it slightly, but still keep the colour saturated.
  49. 5 points
    Unfortunately I've not had much time to work on this over the last few days but have started installing things. After making sure the neck fits as intended!
  50. 5 points
    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
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