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Entry for August 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!


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About hittitewarrior

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    Chester County, PA
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  1. It's been awhile since I last posted... Been spending some time upgrading the shop. Started putting together a neck blank with some highly figured maple I have. Ran it through my planer and got nasty tear out. So I started searching craigslist... I came across a Grizzly 1079R 16" drum sander that I can pick up for $500. I'm on the fence...I'm curious how many things I'd find a drum sander to be useful for. My other option I've been considering is to upgrade my DW735 with a shelix head. I feel stuck in the options! Help!
  2. It is official! SHB Mk II is finished & plays well! Thank you for the encouragement, advice, and help throughout this. Could not have done this without you. The red there in the image is a reflection of my shirt... Lighting in the shop makes pictures an interesting endeavor. And some marking on the case to give it a home. Now... to finish up Mk III before my brother in law's birthday lol
  3. @curtisa Thanks - this really helped. I had nowhere near enough relief in the neck. I still probably could give it some more, but the action is feeling kinda high. The nut slots were right around .09-..011 I think. I might have to touch them up ever so slightly. There are a couple spots higher up the neck that seem to still have a litltle buzz. Perhaps those are true high spots? The worst problem right now is that the high E string has no sustain. It just buzzes a little and dies out. I found if I press ever so slightly on the string above the nut (towards the tuner), this problem goes away... so I am guessing a string tree is probably my only option? The tuners I have are staggered height, so I thought it would end up ok, but it's not looking like it. @Prostheta I definitely want to try a zero nut. I almost tried this go around, but got cheap and decided against buying the $30 variety in favor of making a nut. HA! learning experiences galore :-D. I really wish I could get hands-on training on the set-up portion. Figuring out what is a fret issue (since this is my first fret job) vs. set-up technique is a little frustrating. Has anyone tried Erlewine's fret (and nut) videos? Worth the investment? On the flip side of it all, it was particularly nice playing it and hearing all the tones it can create. If I can work out these last few issues, I think I will be really happy with it. I will need to take some good pics, but here it is
  4. How do you gauge the "right" amount of relief. I started with it flat, and have adjusted the truss rod so that there is a gap under the center of my straight edge (the kind that skips the frets) of about .005-.010" (I'm guestimating here...) The reason I thought it was in the first 3 frets is that I only hear it when playing those first couple, and there was this subtle high spot on the bass side across the first 2 strings which is what I heard when playing.... not trying to be argumentative or say I'm sure, just letting you into my thought process... if there's something faulty there, pls call it out! I definitely get the displacement argument. I'll have to try the fret rocker higher up the neck, however I spent a lot of time higher up the fretboard when levelling. Regarding set-up, I've read order to be check string height @ 1st fret to make sure the nut slot is deep enough. Then check string height @ 12th fret to make sure bridge height is set appropriately. Does that sound abt right? Thanks!
  5. Set-up question... There is a fret buzz on the low E string, across the first 3 frets. I checked with my fret rocker, and there is an ever so subtle high spot on the 2nd fret... I thought I got rid of all the high spots after making sure the neck was flat prior to stringing anything up. Can I (or perhaps it is "should I"), take the strings off, re-adujust the truss rod to get the neck flat again ( I put some relief in the neck to try to abate the buzz), and then bring out the fret levelling beam again? I don't have a neck jig, so I can't really do it "as if" the strings were still on the guitar although now I'm really seeing why that thing sounds like such a great idea. String height at the first fret, low E is .050". I was expecting to be able to go a bit lower (fine tuning the nut depth), but it doesn't look like it at the moment. I'm a bit lost on this final "set-up" piece.
  6. @Prostheta Thank you sir. I had the jack wired backwards. Hum is gone now. Although, somehow, the bridge pickup is not working. I think a wire is preventing the switch from making... Control cavity is really tight. When I open it up, I'll check the grounding points on the pots for fragility as well. Thank you. It's nice to hear a guitar come to life. It intonated pretty well, and the neck pickup sounds nice... I need to do a proper set-up. I've never really done that before... The nut is rough slotted right now, and the saddles are roughly adjusted for height. If anyone has any good tutorials or advice for this next step, I always appreciate the input.
  7. Alright... I need a little wiring help. Below is a pic of my wiring diagram. 50's tone circuit with coil tap on the neck humbucker. It seems to be wired right, but I have a ground issue. When I touch any of the metal parts it hums real loud. Turning the tone knob all the way down cuts the hum, but I am guessing that is just cause its a hpf. I think I have all the casings grounded together and to the ground terminal on the output... Not really sure what is going on. Not sure those pictures actually help, but who knows... Appreciate your suggestions.
  8. Good point - no reason to remove so CA will do the trick. I think the pickup hole seemed to be wide enough that the mounting holes to match the mounting holes on the pickup would be dangerously close to an edge. Not sure why cause I matched the hole size to a standard telecaster pickguard, and just double checked and it matches fine. My plan right now is to just direct mount. Definitely ignores some of the benefits of using a pickguard, but I think it will look best and run the least risk of issue. Glad you mentioned countersinking... I wouldn't have thought of that
  9. Yes, definitely. I really like the ability to see through the template when matching up centerlines, but I'm not sure the risk/reward is worth it to me ... I very well may be transferring these to plywood for the next go round. Some pictures of the current status. About 10 coats of tru-oil. Debating just how far to take it... Looking pretty good as-is. Headstock badges... Not sure how I will affix these :-\... my original intent was screws, but there is not a lot of room for screw heads... Might just have to go super small... smaller than pickguard screws anyway... I did notice my pickguard will have an issue mounting the neck pickup... This was the last thing I noticed for the night, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it. Pick up mounting ring is the first thought, but that may look kinda silly on a pickguard... Gonna have to noodle on this one.
  10. Update 2: Well... on the 4th attempt, it is finally fixed. Not one of my best wood working moments for sure. Had to laser cut a new neck pocket template. Ended up using walnut which is a questionable choice. Plugged the screw holes in the neck and re-drilled pilot holes. Everything appears to align well at this point. Cut a nut, and it tunes up well although it appears that one of the nut slots may be a little too deep... not sure yet. A slight fret buzz, but I think I will wait til final assembly before coming back to trying to fix it (might be a truss rod adjustment that fixes it)... I should take a bunch of pics. The main build from this thread is coming along well. I am approximately 10 coats of tru-oil in to finishing. I intentionally have stopped coating the neck at around 3 coats. I like the feeling of "raw" but well sanded wood... just enough finish to keep hand oils at bay.
  11. Thanks for the encouragement and advice - going to give the suggestions a shot tonight. Hopefully with good results! Update: Successfully glued in pieces for a new neck pocket... Only to have the router skip, grab the template, and screw up half of the new piece... Routed it back out, and glued another one in. I think I can flip the template over and use the good half to finish up... Will try that tonight.
  12. Not to distract from the previous question (Thank you @ScottR for the input) as I'd still love to get other's input as well... However... I've been building two of these tele's... One for me, and one for my brother in law. On the "brother" to the guitar I've been mainly posting about, I ran into a serious problem. I attached the hardware tonight, and the neck, with the intention of slotting the nut. I put the strings on, and pulled some tension to get them straight, and realized that the strings don't travel straight down the neck. There's enough of an angle that the high E string goes from ~160 thou at the nut from the edge of the fretboard, to practically falling off at the last fret. At first I thought I'd placed the bridge wrong, and then after taking everything back off, placing a laser on the centerline of the body, placing my neck pocket template on, and looking closer realized that the template must have slipped duing the routing of the neck pocket... See the following pictures. So at the lower bout, it needs to take off 1/16", and at the higher bout, there will be a gap.... In addition, with the holes drilled into the neck already, I have problems on both the neck and the body... Help me out? Thoughts on how to repair? I think I need to fill the screw holes in the neck so I can drill new ones, but not sure how to fill them. And for the neck pocket, I am not sure what to do with the gap side next to the upper bout... perhaps glue some veneer in there first, and then come back and rout the pocket again? Not sure whether this is salvageable...
  13. I understand the grain filling, but what is the importance of build up? Level of gloss? Durability? Avoiding effects of shrinkage? Thanks.
  14. Awesome. Two additional questions: 1) Do you guys sand at all between the thin coats? 2) Can I get a ballpark of how many coats some of you use? I hate asking this question, cause I know it varies by opinion/goals/etc. I'm 4 coats in, and it is looking quite nice... I don't want to stop due to impatience, but at the same time, I'm not sure how many more I should go (I'm assuming the extra coats are building durability into the finish). Perhaps that's the better question to ask: Bonus question: What should I be looking for/thinking about that is impacted by how many coats I put on? Thanks all!
  15. I've done a crappy job of posting for awhile, but I am now applying finishing. I attached all hardware, filed a nut, strung up and got intonation and playability for the first time. Man was that exciting. I think I have some fine tuning of the nut left, but generally it seems to play fantastic. Disassembled all, Sanded up through 1000 grit, and then the first 4 micro-mesh levels (I know there is some overlap there). Tonight, I have put my first coat of Tru-Oil on the body. Debating how many coats to add... Any recommendations? I did a brief search, and it also appears that recommendation is to let it cure for 3-4 weeks prior to polishing (I'm assuming in my case, this would be going higher in the micro-mesh). Do you guys typically let it cure up this long? Thanks!
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