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Entry for March 2018's Guitar Of The Month is under way!



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About hittitewarrior

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  1. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Quick question - for bolt on guitars... when you drill the holes through the body for the neck screws.... do you make these true through holes for the screw, or do you use pilot holes for both body and neck so the threads bite in both?
  2. SHB-2 - Tele build

    I definitely appreciate all the explanations... it's definitely clearer than when I started thanks to you guys! @ScottR is the pumice from the sandpaper? or are you adding some sort of pumice to the oil prior to adding to the surface? How many coats of Tru-Oil would you use? and I am assuming application method is just wipe on. I have a scrap piece of koa that I think is large enough for a pickguard. I think I'll try to give this a shot, and see what it looks like.
  3. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Hmm - a good question. I put up with a decent amount of personal abuse in terms of scratching, denting... kids, cat... Oh wait... Lol. As far as the guitar... if I sand it up to 1000 grit or higher, I wouldn't want an errant pick, or an unintentional brush against something to scratch... I'm not particularly hard on a guitar, but my only real reference point is the hard finishes that come on standard Ibanez guitars. I think I will go with Tru-Oil + topcoat of Shellac per your suggestion. I like the napthat/mineral spirits look, and the cost/complexity of that finish seems appropriate for this build too. Would you still use clear grain filler if using this finishing method?
  4. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Awesome. Thanks guys. I'm not so concerned about the durability of the back, but if I wanted to add some scratch resistance, what would you recommend on the koa top? That might be in conflict with the idea of oil finish, but I figured I'd ask. Edit: It looks like I could use a oil based wipe on Poly over Tru-Oil? I would think with the colors of koa, a slight yellowing of poly would not be so noticeable.
  5. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Earlier in the thread, we were discussing the merits of oil as an option for the koa. The back of the guitar is poplar, and intend to use dye on it. Can I use oil on the poplar with dye? Do I need to use the shellac to seal it at any point, or can I just stain first, and then Tru-Oil the poplar at the same time I Tru-Oil the koa?
  6. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Time for a quick update. Been spending some decent time working on this, with relatively few snafus (at least that I've noticed!!!). Got the neck carved, tuner holes drilled. Took a first pass at sanding to try to get most of the rough marks out, and routed the neck pocket, pickup holes, and binding channel. I need to make a couple of templates on the laser cutter for the last two routes, and for the control cover, and some pickguard ideas I have. Neck screws are on order and in the mail, so I'm thinking I will be mounting the neck shortly. Getting excited. I guess I'm going to have to start thinking about the nut and finishing the fret job.... Thinking ahead... do you guys typically string up and play it before starting a finish? I think I would highly value checking I don't have string action, or other issues early...
  7. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Good tips! I'd love to see pics of your examples. I'll try a couple more coats/sandback of the Minwax Jacobean (which really is a more dark brown) and see how it builds. Also, is poplar open grained enough that I should use wood filler? I know Koa is, so I will be getting some at some point during this build.., and I learned last time that walnut is as well...
  8. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Thank you all for the insight! I spent the evening trying to get fretboard #2 flat... not sure what was going on but I was really struggling. One end got oversanded, and then once I got the rest of the board down to approximately the same thickness, the edges were consistently a hair lower than the center (It's an 18" sanding beam, and I tried all sorts of techniques... both hands in the middle, one hand on either end, lots of pressure, little pressure etc.)... I finally stopped with both ends just a little low, and then tweaked the truss rod to make it flat, which seemed to work. One corner is still a litttttle off, but I'm going to see what I get. All these router radius jigs are making me jealous! ... let alone CNC. I'm sure it doesn't remove all issues like this, but it's gootttta be easier. LOL. Oh well, it's part of the fun I guess. Here's where they are. (It's always fun to rub a little mineral spirits on, and take a gander at the end of the night). The one on the left will be for my friend. The one on the right is still intended for me. I've got some interesting ideas for the pickguard work still, and I decided I need to bind the body, so that one will be more of a learning experience. As I've mentioned before I'm cheap, and as everyone can tell... I'm learning.., so the main portion of the body is poplar. I've been trying to decide what to do when I finish the poplar. I was not a huge fan of how the finish came out on the first build I did... lots to learn to make it better. But in general, I wasn't a huge fan of the poplar. The polyurethane wipeon finish I did yellowed with age, and made the green/yellow tint of poplar too... something... not sure what to call it. It's still the first guitar I did, so I won't call it ugly, but it's approaching that adjective. Anyways, I think I may stain it black, and then sand it back. I ran a quick trial using Minwax Jacobean stain. I think I like it better. The green gets hidden a little more, and it kinda looks like a poor man's black limba. I think if I actually do it, I will use a true "ebony" stain. Curious people's thoughts, or if anyone has done this before on poplar.
  9. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Can someone point me to the favorite(s) fretboard mounting (curious how people "pin" the fretboard) and fretting examples/tutorials? I did some searching and found this thread and some comments by RAD part way down the page. Now I'm wondering if I rushed into fretting... since it is already fretted, do you wait til after shaping for fret leveling? I'm building a second guitar in parallel as a gift for my brother in law whom I grew up with, and just glued the fretboard on to his, so I may change my approach based on RADs comments in the above thread, and input from whomever chimes in. Thanks
  10. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Good to know - thank you.
  11. SHB-2 - Tele build

    I am afraid to answer in case you tell me too much BUT I tried to limit it to the space betwen the "teeth" on the tang. So approx .125" on each side. Maybe a little more if I got heavy handed, but probably not more than .130
  12. SHB-2 - Tele build

    I tried the 3D printed part... can't say if it works or not cause the printer crashed in the middle of the job... made the biggest mess I've ever seen on a 3D printer and ended up needing to have parts replaced on the printer.... So @curtisa I followed suit and made the more traditional diy fret bender. Cut frets, and used the drill press to press the frets in. I think I cut trimmed a little too much of the tang off, so I wicked CA into the ends and left it clamped up overnight. Hopefully it will be fine.
  13. SHB-2 - Tele build

    So I don't have a fret bender yet... I bought stuff to make the DIY design I've seen floating around here. And then I got to thinking... I have access to a 3D printer... and I'd rather not have to dial in the radius and create waste as a result. Could I just 3D print a fret bender designed for a 10" radius... So here is the design. I haven't printed it yet, and I obviously had to leave the channels a little oversized to allow for different kinds of fret wire (crown height/tang height), but I'm going to give this a shot. Obviously, I could still end up with scrap, and no ability to adjust anything, but if it works, it is quite simple... Anyone else tried this kind of approach? Edit: I added a straightener JIC...
  14. SHB-2 - Tele build

    Whoops - sorry I misread those. I thought that was in reference to finish on the bodies. Thanks for clarifying!
  15. SHB-2 - Tele build

    It occurred to me that I hadn't checked the levelness of the fretboard since gluing it down... It appears quite level with the exception of the highest 3 frets at the low E side. Here it did get sanded a little lower (.020"), but I don't think it is enough to warrant sanding the whole board down more. I'd be afraid of playing "whack a mole" What's the typical highest grit used on the fretboard before fretting?