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


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About medic82

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  • Birthday 09/05/1982

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  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
  • Interests
    Music, Woodworking, Camping, Hunting, Medicine (the field, not the pills), and exploring new challenges and experiences in general
  1. As I mentioned earlier, I love my pointies, and I'm in the process of drawing up comprehensive CAD plans for my upcoming build (also my first build) of a neck-thru, either a Jackson KV-2 clone, or a custom design using the KV-2 as a starting point . One complication I've heard with building neck-thru V's is clamping the wings to the neck blank. This makes perfect sense. My idea for combating this problem is to use dowels or biscuits to carefully align the wings to the neck blank, and then use pocket screws located in areas that will be cut off or routed out (i.e., pup routes, FR top and bottom routes, and by possibly leaving a little extra material past where the heel will be shaped). These could still be aided with a few jigged up clamps. I am also curious whether gluing up the scarf with a sort of "finger joint" would help strengthen the joint. My neck blank is a 5-ply, with a 1.125" hard maple center flanked by 0.125" walnut, and 0.75" hard maple as the outermost boards. I would appreciate any feedback from some more experienced builders.
  2. Sorry in advance if I'm regurgitating info already posted. There are some good articles on seasoning wood, both air-drying and kiln-drying, that can be found at FineWoodworking.com. As I remember (and as stated earlier) the rule of thumb is one year per inch thickness. IIRC it was also stressed to coat each end of the board with a moisture sealer (parafin wax was listed as a fairly inexpensive option). This reduces the rate of drying from the end-grain, decreasing the likelihood of checking. It was also recommended to stack the boards horizontally leaving about an inch or so of space between boards side-by-side, and stickering the wood with 3/4" - 1" (~19mm - 25mm for the real world) stickers about every 18" - 36" (~500cm - 1m). These steps will (presumably) provide the best environment possible for moisture-loss evenly across all surfaces of the board, reducing twisting, warping, cupping, etc. There are even some simple DIY kiln ideas involving box fans and a small heat source (e.g., 75W - 100W incandescent lightbulb). As for whether or not it's worth it, I would guess that depends on how much space you have, how much woodworking you do, and how patient you are. There is definitely a high likelihood of getting some gorgeous figure that can be resawn and bookmatched, and if you are essentially getting this wood milled QS for free, that is an amazing deal! I don't know what lumber prices are in your neighborhood, but flatsawn grade A walnut at WoodworkersSource.com runs ~$9/bf - $11/bf depending on the month and the thickness.
  3. Love my "pointies," and trying to design a somewhat bastardization between a Jackson KV2 and B.C. Rich Kerry King Signature V. I am also drawn toward slim neck profiles, such as the Ibanez Wizard neck (17mm @ 1st fret - 20mm @ 12th fret) and the Jackson "speed neck." Conversely, I am NOT a fan of guitar necks reminiscent of a roller coaster at Six Flags... The neck will be constructed of a maple-walnut-maple lamination (roughly 6/4 - 1/4 - 6/4), and the grain orientation of the laminates after glue-up will look like \\\\II//// In addition to these precautions, I thought it would be wise to add additional strength to the neck with the use of supporting or stiffening rods. It seems that there are two prominent types of these supports: 1) KTS Titanium Neck Support Rods These have been frequently used by Ibanez over the last couple of years, especially to strengthen and support their VERY thin "Wizard" necks. As a side note, according to claims made by both Ibanez and KTS, the properties of titanium will markedly improve the resonance and tone of the instrument (although I have not seen any empirical studies supporting this claim. IMHO, subtle changes noticed in the tonality and resonance would qualify more as SUBJECTIVE observations, rather than OBJECTIVE). 2) Carbon Fiber Stiffening Rods I first saw these available from StewMac, but I have since seen them offered by a number of other luthiery suppliers, such as LMII (IIRC). Carbon fiber is well known for its significant strength and stiffness, while remaining very light-weight. While I cannot remember for sure at the moment, I believe the use of carbon fiber neck stiffening rods have also been attributed with changes to the tonal qualities of an instrument. As I would like to construct a thin, wide neck similar to an Ibanez Wizard neck, stiffness and strength are important characteristics. Also, the scarf joint of the headstock should meet the neck roughly at the 3rd fret. I have heard from several people that scarf joints AND slim-profile guitar necks are substantially more prone to breakage and/or serious damage. My thoughts are that using the titanium rods would greatly reduce the likelihood that the neck would break at the scarf joint (although, the carbon fiber may accomplish the task equally well). As for pricing, I have seen the KTS Titanium rods on eBay for $20/ea. While I do not remember an exact amount for the carbon fiber stiffening rods offered by StewMac, I think the are similar in price. In closing, I am very interested in hearing from anyone with insight into either, or both, method for supporting and stiffening thin guitar necks. Are there any differences noticed in the effectiveness at restricting or reducing any neck flexing, twisting, or breakage.
  4. Thank you, demonx! I live in Arizona in the US so postage might cost a little more than normal, but I definitely may take you up on that offer. As for the specificity to would need, do you mean a clear description of scale, fretboard length, radii, width of fret slots, width of fretboard at nut/bridge-end, etc; or would you need a CAD file to help with the CNC? I am inexperienced with CAD, but a friend recently gave me his copy of AutoCAD 2012 when he upgraded to the most recent version. Thanks to the generous tutorials from Prostheta (and a copy of The AutoCAD 2012 Bible) I hope to rectify my aforementioned inexperience.
  5. ...follow up regarding the nut: Noticed the R5 has a 10" radius at the nut. While I originally wanted a 10" - 16" (or even 10" - 18.5") fretboard radius, I settled on a 12" - 16" compound radius, because that's what I could find available (Allen Guitars, I think). Does anyone know of any suppliers or manufacturers that sell slotted and radiused ebony FBs for a reasonable price? I'm a firm believe that building a guitar involves lumber. Using mass produced CNC routed necks and bodies is more "assembling" than building. That said, shaping a compound radius and slotting a fretboard required a fair degree of precision. This being my virgin build, I'm very open to outsourcing those little details.
  6. +1 Thanks to you as well, Prostheta! I've seen your posts several times on here and it's nice to get all the advise I can from the veterans on here. As for "Wizard II," I may have misremembered Ibanez's designation; I saw a dimension chart for different Ibanez necks a while back... As for the neck: I have taken into account the narrowness of the neck, and (I'm still in the design/spit-balling/research/agonize-about-every-detail phase) had already intended to use a laminated neck-thru design. I have a nice long piece of 6/4 (roughly 37mm or so off the top of my head, if you live somewhere in the world that enjoys common-sense based units of measurement) hard maple, as well as a 4/4 hard maple board that I could cut a clear section out of, in case I needed a little more width. My idea was either this arrangement: \\\\//// or this \\\\|||//// ...if that makes sense. On the other hand, I have noticed that Ibanez uses a 5-ply maple and walnut neck and I know that,to a degree, laminating woods of varying strength, density, and stiffness can further reduce twisting. I do have straight, clear piece of walnut I could throw in the mix. It isn't as long, so I'd probably have to do a little creative laminating to manage a continuous strip of walnut through the neck/body length and the scarf joint/headstock. That said I also intended to help stabilize the neck with a low profile dual-action truss rod (AllParts is 0.25"/6.35mm wide x 0.375"/9.5mm deep) and either carbon fiber stiffening rods or the KTS Titanium rods (same that Ibanez use) on each side of the truss rod. In your opinion, will this be sufficient to combat the rubber wonder?
  7. Thanks for the input! I will definitely consider the R5 now. While I don't have stubby sausage fingers, (alas) neither do I have Paul Gilbert's alien fingers... I plan on designing the neck based somewhat on Ibanez's Wizard II neck, so thin. The first time I played an Ibanez was about a decade ago, and I was amazed at how comfortable and easy it was to play. With the thin neck profile and wider string spacing, it felt great. Prior to that, I'd always been snobbish toward Ibanez. At the time, I owned a Gibson Les Paul (I suppo I was compensating my lack of skill with high end, expensive gear.)
  8. So, I'm planning my first build - researching tutorials and posts, both here and on other forum, watching tons of YouTube videos (many taken with a grain of salt), taking measurements from guitars I already own, drawing up 2D CAD plans, and (attempting) at creating 3D models on SketchUp. I am currently planning to use a FR trem with an R3 nut, as well as putting a 12"-16" compound radius the fretboard. Looking at Floyd Rose's Nut Chart, that in addition to their 1.6875" locking ut, they also have a 1.75" nut (which I guess Phil Demmel of Machine Head uses). In your opinion, how much of a difference would this really make? After utilizing some highly technical math (1 12/16" - 1 11/16" = 1/16") and performing complex scientific experiments (I used even more sophisticated mathmattery to determine the difference of the string-to-string spacing, adjusted my digital calipers to said measurement, and held the calipers up to the light...because a couldn't really see the space without doing so), I have come to the opinion that the differences between the two nuts are essentially negligible, but I know that tiny changes can greatly impact the FEEL of things.
  9. It's been a few months since I took the measurements killemall, so I definitely could have miss-remembered. Thanks for the feedback! I've been thinking about extending the wings just a little, and so was hoping to reduce the thickness to keep the guitar balanced. Curtisa, I was definitely wanting to install the trem to free float. Thanks for the heads up!
  10. Quick question: Planning a V build. I currently have a Jackson King V. The standard body thickness for the KV is 1 7/8". I am planning either a KV and/or RRV style build with neck-thru construction and 24 frets. I would like build with a thinner body; somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 5/8" to 1 3/4". Are there any complications I should expect if I go this route? Planning on equipping with EMGs with volume and tone controls for each pup (via stacked consentric pots) and EMGs onboard 20dB variable gain boost. The reason for the stacked concentric pots is to limit my number of pots to 3, rather that trying to fit 5 pots on it. I'm also planning on putting either a recessed Shaller Lockmeister Trem or ABM Katana Trem on it. If I I used the 37mm (?) sustain block, will it fit without any issues? Any other issues? Any input is appreciated! This (or these) will be my first builds.
  11. Woodworkers Source sells very fine cut/crosscut Japanese pull saws with a 0.6mm (0.02358") kerf, and replacable blades for about $25 ($10 for the replacement blades). HF is handy for cheap tools that can't really be ****ed up, but for something requiring precision down to a thousandth of an inch...well IMHO that I'd rather spend an extra $15 than risk the potential of making a LOT more work for myself down the line.
  12. Welcome to the Project Guitar Forum, medic82 :-)

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