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pan_kara

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Everything posted by pan_kara

  1. All right, I've focused my threads on (mostly) one guitar at a time, but I think I'll join the popular "joint thread" movement. Maybe because since I finished the blue multiscale strat I don't have anything fancy in the works (until I start on "The Druid 2.0"). So here are the three builds that are running right now. The strat had a head start and then I wanted to finish it quickly so I shifted most of my attention to that, but now I'm back to the other three, that are moving more or less in parallel. So let me back-trace the builds a little and show you where I'm at. First is a bass - I need a 5-string bass for my personal recording projects (mainly rock and metal covers of various stuff that I'm doing since ~2000). So I figured I'd build one, making it multiscale to have a nice long scale for the low B. Here's a pic of the body wood: from 2015.. This used to be a book shelf, actually a couple of shelves - was enough for this body and some necks. I'm not sure that this is, I suspect oak. Anyway - this is not quite thick enough for a standalone body, but with a quilted maple cap it's perfect: (I slapped some dark veneer between the layers to get an accent line). The neck is plain old maple, it turns out that it wasn't exactly long (and wide) enough for the headstock after doing the scarf, so the headstock is some horrible patchwork of maple pieces - that will be covered by the maple cap so not a huge deal. new way to thickness the headstock: run the outline with the router to a depth which is the headstock thickness + a few mm: then saw off the back part along the bottom of the route: I think I then cleaned it up on a spindle sander with a fence. The fingerboard is bocote, slots cut by hand over a template printed out from fretfind using a complex purpose-built jig: Then glued to the neck, using LMI epoxy: The template for my usual 12-th fret inlay marker pattern: Then pressing the frets in, cutting the neck pocket, rounding over the body edges.. I don't have pictures of that. Fast-forward to now - measured the bridge locations and drilled the holes for the ABM single bridges that I'm using on this build. Mounted the two external bridges to verify alignment (and make a sound ) There you go, now I need to profile the neck and carve the tummy cut, which will be an interesting exercise since I made some weight relief holes in the body but forgot to photograph them and I don't remember if I took the tummy cut into account when laying them out. In other words I don't know how deep I can go, exactly. Sounds like fun. Yea, this thread should be called "how to be lazy and still get a decent instrument at the end". Or "don't be lazy or you'll end up building a crappy guitar". We'll see.
  2. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    Well I'm having a hard time finding time to push these along recently, and when I do it's fixing mistakes and detail work like sanding, nut slots, tweaking neck profiles etc. So nothing to show. Except the promised "I suck" photo:
  3. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    well I've seen worse, but you can definitely see it . I'll post a "better" picture, you'll see what I mean
  4. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    Thanks Scott, these are some pretty cool ideas. I like the one with the extra wood block, not sure I ever saw something like this. Could look pretty cool! Too lazy for the moment, but it got me thinking for the future ... For the moment I went with a simple patch with another piece of the veneer, not invisible by any stretch but I hope some combination of pickup rings (wooden of course) and a black burst under them will solve this (never saw a burst around pickup cavities). Actually maybe plastic rings will poplar veneer to match the black burst..? Will have to see.
  5. pan_kara

    Bass in Yo Face

    this is gonna be fun
  6. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    so our best friend "template slip" visited me a few days ago and this happened: I ate 2-3 mm into the body, not sure if I'll be able to patch it without the repair being visible. I lookes if I can get another nice poplar veneer sheet to just replace the top but can't seem to find a decent one. Maybe I'll be able to patch something together from scraps. Then there's always the pickup ring option .. we'll see. Before that happened I had a side project using an off-cut of the maple top from the bass that I'm building now:
  7. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    sorry to disappoint nothing special here in terms of electronics .. HH and maybe 3-way or 5-way blade Schaller, vol+tone. The cavity is actually the same template I've been using on most of my builds, maybe the body shape shrank a bit making it appear bigger.. It does have some room overhead though, I can (and have) fit a piezo preamp and bettery in there easily. The bass is another story - in a moment of clarity I routed the control cavity using the template for the ledge for the cover .. so now my stanard cover falls to the bottom of the cavity. Not sure yet if I'll be doing a new cover template pair or I'll try to glue something inside and route the proper shape in that... I have at some point to decide what kind of electronics system I want for the bass, I have nearly zero experience in that topic. Leaning towards something based on a passive J-type pickup arrangement.
  8. pan_kara

    Black Limba Flying V

    this fingerboard is seriously pretty with the dark pearl against the black
  9. Pretty!! I'm wondering if there's a way can utilize this funny flame-quilt figure in some way... Wood like this would make an awesome one-piece neck IMO. I wonder what's gonna happen when you carve the top.
  10. pan_kara

    KEA 2017 builds

    Super clean indeed, but also I'm loving the in-progress pics. Shows some of the woodwork that happens before these crazy-clean beauties materialize :)
  11. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    OK I think I've finally figured out how I want to arrange the lines and surfaces at the heel: I'm leaving it at this, with possible small tweaks and of course cleanup. So next up was the humbucker rout. A simple thing that I keep having issues with for some reason. No matter how many master and master-master templates I make, with the next guitar I always have problems getting the pickup to fit in. I guess I need to do some work on the templates again, but right now I'm at the point where the bridge pickup goes in ok. And this is as much as I want since the plan is to assemble the guitar and play it a little. Since in this guitar I'm prototyping several things that might end up as a regular feature on my builds I want to check the ergonomics. So I'm assembling a functioning "wiring" - the pickup and the output jack: So here's the guitar in it's assembled state: I put some masking tape here and there to protect the body, plus I put a single coat of tru-oil on the neck so that I don't get it unnecessarily dirty when playing. The neck will be finished in tru-oil down the road anyway. I'm really liking how the neck transitions into the upper horn - that's where the thumb ends up for most playing in the highest positions. I'm beginning to think that this is one of the most important details for upper fret playing ergonomics, keeping the thumb stretched back as little as possible.
  12. pan_kara

    Black Limba Flying V

    hah that's one way to do the bevels. Turned out great! (lol we have the whatsapp smileys now?)
  13. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    Tiny update. I've been working on the neck profile for the poplar-top guitar and also on the heel transition. I'm following the same logic here - start with a trapeze at the nut, then follow the shape to the heel keeping the width of the flat horizontal part constant and keeping the angle of the treble side slope constant, The angle and width of the bass-side slope is changing following this. Early version: Later version: Still not there, but getting closer.
  14. interesting, thanks. indeed the prices and selection are promising. Not sure how much shipping to Europe would be, but it never hurts to have another supplier on the list
  15. pan_kara

    Les Paul build revisited

    I bought a piece of wood once that the seller said was "meranti, some kind of mahogany". It was quite brittle and soft (from what I remember it dented easily). I wouldn't use it on a neck. Worked fine for a body. But who knows what wood that was really..
  16. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    Yea, I think it feels pretty good up the neck. I'm tweaking it more to have the trapeze edges extend over the heel - which sooner or later has to clash with the rounded-over bottom edge of the Strat body, so I'm having to blend everything together. But the upper surface of the trapeze (where I find my thumb often resting) is now also being extended onto the heel - I want to have a flat surface under the thumb for as long as possible. I'll try to do a similar thing on the poplar top guitar now, there the design is sharper so I might keep more of the sharp edges. Knowing what I want to do before starting might also help
  17. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    will see how much of a relief this forearm relief will end up being.. i.e. we'll see about the final ergonomics.. Speaking of which - time to carve the strat neck. I always approach neck carving kind of randomly, I don't make profile cutouts or anything, I just play around with a spokeshave and feel around the neck to see what kind of shape seems "comfortable". I typically make it asymmetrical, thinner at the top, where my thumb typically lives. On my first build (the nylon string) I actually though for some reason that I mostly keep the thumb near the bottom edge so I made that thinner ... But now, I started with this trapezoidal shape, I guess the ease of just running the chamfer up and down seduced me. So without any real plan I started shaping the heel: after some time I figured it would make sense to carry the surfaces from the neck over the heel somehow and I got something like this: Then as I was trying to extend the edges of the trapeze to the heel I played with the neck shape a little bit and I adjusted it slightly. Basically I decided to keep the lower edge more or less the same throughout the neck, but also keep the flat spot constant width. This results in having the upper edge of the flat spot move away from the upper edge of the neck as we go towards the bridge (and the neck gets wider) so the angle of the side of the trapeze has to keep changing. It starts at 45deg at the nut, where the neck is asymmetrical, and becomes progressively flatter as we go up the neck. This actually feels quite good. Here's an image that shows this to some extent: I think I'm gonna keep this shape for now, so I have to tweak the heel again to match this. This is work-in-progress, currently I'm at this:
  18. pan_kara

    SHB-2 - Tele build

    That pickguard design is lovely. And good choice with giving it another try. Came out fantastic! Now the only thing it's missing is a quintuplet
  19. pan_kara

    JimF's First Build!

    I did glue a padouk/wenge neck with titebond without any problems. Should look cool with a maple veneer! You're gonna have a lot of fun when aligning the scarf joint
  20. pan_kara

    Finished Pics! Swift Lite 2

    Beautiful. Clearly a joy to look at and I imagine a joy to hold and play also! So what is this secret 50's wiring that you guys are discussing?
  21. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    Thanks guys for the comments @Andy - the method itself is one thing, but you can'y deny authorship of the tutorial The V guitar is prototyping several things that I'd like to have standard in my builds. The neck joint, the V etc @Scott and Curtisa - the main reason for having the back flat is that the design is supposed to accommodate a Floyd - so the thickness in the center should be close to the standard 45mm. So no super-thin stuff here. Doing it the opposite way around is a bit painful with my skill & tool set, having one surface to plane at the back is somehow easier to manage. Plus remember that the idea is supposed to take drop tops too - gluing them on before joining the halves together. Meanwhile, some progress. I finished the tremolo stuff on both guitars. In the process I finally figured out (read: googled) how to drill the spring claw holes at a reasonably shallow angle in the cavity. Answer - the dremel extension tool: So having routed all the cavities for the tremolo I could do a quick sanity check and see that they fit ok: So now I'm shifting my attention to the necks: After a few necks build by just having at it with a spokeshave and seeing what comes out I decided to finally exercise some control over the neck thickness - so this is my neck thicknessing jig. Chuck the neck up in the vice at a slight angle, such that running the router on the two MDF pieces produces the taper that I want. The idea is to then carve the sides leaving the center of the neck unotuched. On the strat I figured I'd try something different and after doing the neck thickness I pulled out the 45deg chamfer bit and made this: So I'm using a trapezoidal profile as a starting point. Not sure yet where I'll take it, I never played a trapezoidal neck so I'm playing around with the neck in hand and trying to see what will be most comfortable.
  22. pan_kara

    Traq Guitars 2018

    Thanks Scott, I do like how the combination turned out. So the third build, here again I'm trying to make my life harder by attempting to solve the following problem: I like to work with veneer/thin drop tops but on the other hand I hate how flat top guitars without an .. what was the name for that?? .. the little cut at the edge of the body for the forearm. Forearm contour? Dunno. No, I wasn't drinking. Maybe not enough coffee today. Anyway. I don't like the idea of having to bend drop-tops, nor the idea of having to run binding in strange ways over the angled part, nor the idea of simply cutting through the top. At least I want to try something different. The first iteration was already present on the "Etna" build, there I had the idea late in the build, but here I want to try to incorporate it early on, with the possibility of this being a standard feature of my future builds. The idea is an angled/"V" top - so flat, but the two halves being at an angle to each other. But the way I want to do this is to cut the angle in the edges of the body blank halves so that I form the angle when glueing. This way I could for example glue the top to the two pieces and then join them together. But here there will be no top, just a poplar burl veneer, a one piece in fact, so this will go on later. Here's a mock-up illustrating the idea. The body wood is european basswood. It's not super-obvious how to glue this, but if I make sure that the whole thing doesn't slip sideways and fold it can be done: Then I roughly cut the outline using a cheap Bosch jigsaw (still the only thing I have for this task) and finally, veneer: as you might notice form the contents of this photo, I've become addicted to the method of ironing-on veneers by @Andyjr1515. I'm using is on both guitars in this thread, used it to veneer the mdf sides and fronts of a set of 80cm tall speaker cabinets that I built (to see if I can build a speaker cabinet) - this method is fantastic for large-surface tasks! The neck is a standard maple-mahogany 5pc sandwich, but since I'll be trying the same deep-set trick as on the strat, I needed the 3cm thick neck so I had to cut off a piece and glue it back on at the heel side, forming the actual.. tenon I guess. This is a later photo of the neck, but I don't have an earlier tenon shot. This features my router slip-up under the 17th fret marker will mostly be hidden in the neck pocket, I filled it vith maple veneer and epoxy later on, but it's not super-pretty. So due to this tenon business I didn't have enough wood for the headstock so after cutting the scarf I used an off-cuf of the body that I split horizontally and "bookmatched", giving me enough width and correct thickness for the headstock. Headstock veneer matches the body: and the shape is using my 3x3 shape (and template) from "The Driud" flying V from a few years ago. So the body and the neck will get 3-ply binding - peal/black/white. White on the outside. I did the inverse once (white on the inside) but I think this will work better. I spent quite some time pre-bending the laminated pieces and tuning the ends to get it as close to seamless as possible on the headstock: Also on the fingerboard (not-pitch-black ebony) The idea was for the binding on the fingerboard and on the headstock to align and blend into each other, I think I got pretty close: better visible on the fret press shot, here I already shaped the transition a little: Cutting the neck pocket was fun since there is no longer a flat surface to lay everything on, so I had to precisely position my mdf guides to be in the plane of the back of the guitar before routing. There is a second order effect coming from the fact that the sides of the pocket are not parallel to each other, so laying on the sloping top they actually produce a tiny upwards angle in the neck pocket, but it's so small that I could ignore it. In fact the final depth of the pocket was done withouth the jig (I couldn't go deep enough with is so I used using thinner pieces of mdf, laid down wider and perpendicular to each other, so that the router sat lower - and this surface was parallel to the bottom this time. The router bit was guided by the walls of the neck pocket cut in the step before. It all appears to have worked perfectly: At which point I could pre-drill the tremolo hole and insert the tremolo block to check alignment, which I always like to do as early as possible: This resulted in some deepening of the neck pocket (looks like my fingerboard is a bit thicker than my design was assuming). So now all is good and I can move forward with the tremolo routes. One thing not shown - the control cavity. I remembered to do it before flattening the back of the body, so that the cavity bottom is perpendicular to the top surface. Right, another thing not shown - flattening the back. After the shape was cut I took off as much wood as possible using saws, chisels and whatever I could find, and then set the body under my router planing jig, making sure that both sides are at the same angle, and planed the bottom flat. One thing learned - I'm contemplating adding the veneer at a much later stage in the build. By now it was impossible for me to not put a bunch of small dents in the top, which I will now have to fix.. I could probably hold off until all the routing is done and do the veneer right before cutting the binding channel and then finish sanding. Something to consider in the future. Maybe for some people who build faster and have more discipline this is not an issue, but here the veneering was done in November 2016 ...
  23. pan_kara

    KEA 2017 builds

    nice catch, Scott. Fully agree, fantastic detail between the black&white neck and the limba body
  24. pan_kara

    Four new rockers are coming to life

    Interesting, I don't remember having such problems when cutting the fret slots in ebony, I did two boards last time with an old (non-japanese) fret saw. And I always cut slots before the taper and before radiusing, but I agree about the tear-out problem. I've been trying different methods for cutting the fingerboard taper, first I was using shooting boards and going very slowly, but now I converged to a spiral router bit and staight-line jig. I have a 3 or 4 flute down-cut spiral and that when used carefully practically eliminates tear-out. That said my radiusing technique definitely needs improvement, on the other hand I still haven't figured out a reason to use a fret-bender. I just cut the frets from the spool and press them into place, letting the press and the fingerboard bend them to the correct radius.
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