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



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Everything posted by MassimoPL77

  1. My Les Paul

    Thank you @scorpionscar!
  2. My Les Paul

    Hi! I'm an italian amateur guitar builder. I started this hobby three years ago and I recently finished my 8th build. As I posted the pictures of the guitar on the "guitar of the month" contest, I decided to open a thread here to publish all the photos taken during the building process. For this Les Paul build I followed the plans made by John Catto, but I didn't want to build a real replica: I respected all the original sizes and the top carving, but woods and some building choices were customized. To start I prepared all the templates Then I glued two pieces of ash from the same board, and i cut the body leaving some space for refinishing it with a router. Next step was to route the channel for the wiring and, on the other side, the cavities for the pots and the toggle switch Now it's time to see how much this piece of ash weights This is really too much! A finished guitar would be near to 6kgs! So I decided to route a large weight relief chamber. This is the template And this is the result after the shock diet! Near to 1kg less!
  3. My Les Paul

    Thank you @Prostheta, your words make me proud! And I would like to compliment @KempGuitars, @Osorio and @Andyjr1515 on their amazing buildings!
  4. My Les Paul

    Thank you Mr Natural! Thank you Andy! I really appreciated your build: beautiful woods, awesome high gloss finishing and really clean work inside the electronic cavity! Thank you Patrick! Thank you Zoltar, I'm working on some new stuff in these days... I will keep you updated!
  5. I decided to give a second chance to this guitar: this is my eight build so far and was intended to be a sum of all things i've learnt in three years of guitar building. I decided to call her Ladybug, or Coccinella in italian, because of the inlay on the twelfth fret. The guitar has been built following the plan of a '59 Gibson Les Paul, but woods and decorations are all customised. The body is made of european ash with a big weight relief chamber, while the top is indonesian ebony, a wood really similar to Makassar ebony, but more porous and lighter. The guitar has a full curly maple binding on body, fretboard and headstock with a thin ebony purfling between the binding and the body. The body has a real golden mother of pearl purfling made with the traditional teflon strip technique. The fretboard and the headstock are inlayed by hand with a rose themed layout. The full inlay is made of almost 300 tiles and the materials used are white mother of pearl, abalone paua, australian greenlip abalone, green abalone, rosewood, and red dino recon stone. On the headstock the writing Delky (a joke from my surname Del Col) is inlayed in golden mother of pearl. The neck is a five parts laminated one (indonesian ebony/hard rock maple) with a 15° scarf joint with a volute. The finish is high gloss poly. All the hardware is golden: Gotoh TOM bridge and tailpiece; Hipshot open machine heads with tulip button, SD covers on pickups, Freeway 6 positions toogle switch (traditional positions + split coils). Seymour Duncan Jazz + JB pickups. CTS pots and Orange Drops caps. Here is the building thread on ProjectGuitar.com for this guitar. This is my FB page Massimo Del Col where you can see other builds and inlays and this is the official page of my guitars Delky Guitars and Inlays . Let me know your opinions! And finally a video of the guitar running through a EVH 5150 made by the young but talentous guitarist Marco Bruni.
  6. My Les Paul

    Thank you! That part was really a PITA! but I think that they make the leaves more real!
  7. My Les Paul

    Thank you! If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you "The art of inlay" by Larry Robinson. It's a small book, but it covers the technique very well. He made some dvds too, but I haven't seen them.
  8. My Les Paul

    Thanks! As I said before, this guitar was built as a sum of everything I've learnt in three years of guitar building, so I wanted to do a full inlay on the fretboard and on the headstock. I felt in love with inlays admiring Larry Robinsons' masterpieces, so this is a kind of tribute to his style
  9. My Les Paul

    Thank you!
  10. My Les Paul

    Thank you Woden I've always been in love with the Les Paul design, I believe it's the queen of guitars! Pickups are Seymour Duncan Jazz at the neck and JB at the bridge. I like how they sound but one day I would like to try some handwound pickup or PAF replica...
  11. My Les Paul

    Thanks a lot Meatloaf! I'm really happy that you like it!
  12. My Les Paul

    Here are some pics of the assembled guitar: In addition to standard three wires, I had to use other two for the split coils, so, all in all, there are five shielded wires running through the body. I was a little worrying about noise, but luckily the guitar is not noisy at all! The sound of the guitar surprised me: having used really dense woods like ebony and ash for the body, I was waiting for a more trebly, sharp sound, while I think that the guitar sounds equilibrated. I wonder if this depends on the large chamber routed in the body.
  13. My Les Paul

    Now the guitar is almost finished so I took a photo with the hardware. I choose golden hardware, because I think that it matches better with the wood and complements the golden mop purfling. I f I could go back, maybe I would also put EVO gold frets... Now it's time to varnish. I didn't want to dye the wood, so to get an hi gloss finish i decided to use polyurethane and acrylic 2k finish. This combination is really easy to sand and you can get a mirror surface with no need of wet sanding. This is the guitar after clear coat. The mop stands out a lot under lacquer! And this is there result after finishing and buffing. I couldn't be more happy!
  14. My Les Paul

    Thank you! Thank you Prostheta! I'm glad that Nina liked it!
  15. My Les Paul

    Thank you Andy, I'm really flattered for this comment To cut the hole I used a drill press drilling the headstock from the back and going really slowly. It was stressful!
  16. My Les Paul

    I decided to put a rose also on the headstock, to complement the inlay on the fretboard. This drawing is smaller than the others, because the flower has to go between the machine heads. I decided to inlay on the headstock also a drawing: the logo Delky. It's just a joke from school times, a nickname from my surname Del Col. The leaves are made with abalone paua, the petals are made with white mop and australian greenlip abalone. The contrast between the different colours of the shells helped me to give more depth to the rose. The writing is made with golden mop. As you can see on the picture, I always print several copies of the same subject, because each time I cut a piece of paper I ruin adjacent pieces. In the photo you can see the effect of the two shells used for the petals: the lighter stuff is white mop, the darker is australian greenlip abalone. Here is the writing made with golden mop. And this is the final effect when everything has been inlayed. I've also completed the flamed maple binding on the headstock. I have to improve my skills to cut miters
  17. My Les Paul

    Thank you Scott! But, as you can imagine, the real patient in the house is my wife! Thanks Zoltar! My father is a furniture maker. I followed a different path in life (I'm a teacher) but I've inherited the passion for woodworking. Thank you Norris! Thanks Skyjerk. As I started inlaying I felt immediately in love with this technique. For me it's so satisfying to work with mother of pearl and I'm always surprised by its changing colours and the different effects that you can achieve!
  18. My Les Paul

    For this guitar I wanted to do an intricate inlay and I choose one of my favourite subjects: roses. I started making inlays three years ago and it was immediately love with this technique. Most often I do small subjects like logos or writings, so this one is my second full fretboard inlayed. On the twelfth fret I decided to inlay a small ladybug (from which the name of the guitar) to vary a little and to create a colorful subject that stood out on the rest of the inlay. The drawing of the layout is always the most demanding part: I draw by hand, first looking for subjects, then marking them out with a pencil and finally creating the composition. This is a photo of an intermediate phase: frets 1-9 The final result is really similar to those drawing for children to fill with coloured pens When I have the final layout I cut all small pieces gluing them to mop, abalone, recon stones... and I start cutting with a jeweler saw. Here is the ladybug: red recon stone, ebony and white mother of pearl. She has no legs, cause they will be cut on the "leaf" where she will lay and later filled with epoxy mixed to ebony dust. Now the work is really repetitive: cut the piece, glue to mop, cut the mop, file blurry edges and start again. Sometimes pieces are really small! When I finish to cut all the pieces for a subject I glue them together, being careful non to leave gaps between the pieces. In the end this is the final result: approximately 250 tiles. Now is time to route the fretboard and inlay everything: to do it I use a Dremel with an aluminum base. All parts are glued with epoxy mixed to ebony dust which at the same time serves as glue and filler. This required near to 100 hours to complete. Cutting frets on this fretboard was really stressful! I don't have photos for next steps, but I bound the fretboard with the same flamed maple used for the body binding, I installed the frets and finally glued the fretboard on the neck.
  19. My Les Paul

    The neck is the part of the guitar that differs the most from the traditional Les Paul: I made a 5 parts laminated neck with a 15°scarf joint and a volute. To start I glued together the sandwich: ebony /maple/ebony/maple/ebony. The ebony is the same asian wood used for the top. (Sorry for the low quality of the next photos : I don't have pictures of the building process of the neck for this guitar, so I'm using some pictures of an older build made with the same woods) This is the result after planing: To cut the scarf joint I used the table saw with this jig: I clamped the neck blank to the jig which is 15° angled to the blade: After planing it was time to glue the two parts together. Between the two parts of the neck I glued a thin board of maple; once carved, this board will take the look of an arrow. To glue everything together I used five clamps: two clamps to keep in position the two parts of the neck, the others to put pressure on the joint. This is the result after planing: And this is the "arrow": Now let's go back to the photos of the Les Paul! To make the heel I cut a portion of the neck and I glued on it, then I cut the tenon. With my equipment it was easier for me to make an angled tenon, while the neck pocket is flat. I think I nailed the neck and body joint And this is the joint after trimming the neck: Here is a photo of the routed headstock. Later I will glue a 2mm ebony head plate on it. And finally two shots of the guitar:
  20. My Les Paul

    Thanks Norris! I'm a member of this community since 2014, but up to now I was only lurking for infos and admiring the work of others. Only now I've found courage to contribute.
  21. My Les Paul

    Next steps were binding and purflings. To cut the channels with the arm router was an easy task The most difficult part was to cut the channel on the cutaway, because in that position the channel doesn't lay on a plane, but it goes up after the horn and then goes down near to the neck pocket. To achieve it I used this jig with my Makita hand router The channel wasn't perfect, because the radius was too narrow for the jig to work correctly, but after some refining with a chisel it was acceptable. My aim was to do a flamed maple binding and a four parts purfling: ebony/golden mop/ebony/maple. Instead of using Zipflex for the central purfling, I decided to do it the old way, using teflon strips and then filling the resulting channel with mother of pearl strips. This is what I wanted to achieve: First of all I prepared the binding: I cut the maple 1.5mm thick and 6mm large, then I glued a subtle strip of ebony under, so I could have a black purling line between the maple binding and the ash body Now it was time to glue the purflings, using the teflon strip instead of mother of pearl. Teflon doesn't stick with glue, so later it could be easily removed. Then I glued the binding and when the glue was dry I removed the teflon strip. In the next photo It's possible to see the void channel left by the teflon strips and the golden mother of pearl strips that I used to fill it. As I pressed the strips inside the channel, they break in smaller pieces, so they could adapt to all the curves of the guitar: I only had to cut to perfect size the portion on the horn, because there the radius was too narrow to achieve a good result with this technique. Once inserted in the channel, I glued in position the strips with thin ca glue. Now I only had to sand everything flush. The process was long and tricky but I was really happy with the result!
  22. My Les Paul

    Before starting to carve the top I routed the back contour with a 5mm concave bit. Now I'm ready to start with the top. Firstly, using seven templates I route the lines on the top. I work with an arm router, so I have to doubletape the templates on the back of the guitar. Then I had to route the neck plane and the pickups plane. To do it I made a simple jig: an MDF board with two screws, which gives a great control of the angle. Using this it was easy to set up the right angle. 4.2° for the neck plane: 1.4° for the pickup plane In this last photo you can see the three different angles on the top Now it was time to start carving the top. My tools were a sander, some small scrapers and a lot of sandpaper. This ebony is really tough, so I needed some hours of hard work to reach this result: After another session of carving and sanding i was really near to the final result. I also made the covers with the same wood of the body. I was lucky enough to find some pieces of wood which match the grain of the body. The top is not perfectly book matched, but the most different part near the neck pocket will be covered by the fretboard and the neck pickup. I don't like to see screws on wood covers, so I opted for some small but powerful neodymium magnets to keep all the covers in their positions.
  23. My Les Paul

    I wanted a dark wood for the top, because I like the contrast between the top and the body, so I found this asian ebony, really similar to Makassar, which was very figured and enough thick to be a Les Paul top (16mm). Firstly I glued the two parts together: Then I glued together top and body using my vacuum pump. To be sure that the wood doesn't move I tightened two screws on the pickup positions. I've bought this pump to glue veneers, but I had really good results also with thicker woods and now I wouldn't go back for clamps! Here is the result after routing the sides: the glue line is almost invisible.
  24. Hi, I'm an amateur guitar builder from Italy and I want to introduce you “Ladybug”, my 8th build. I've started building guitars and inlaying 3 years ago and this guitar is supposed to be a sum of all things I've learnt so far. For this guitar I wanted to do something challenging, so my choice felt on a Les Paul style guitar. For all the sizes I followed the plans made by John Catto, but woods and some building choices are customized. Woods are european ash for the body and asian ebony for the top. European ash is really heavy, so I routed a big weight relief chamber to keep the overall weight under 4.5kgs. The neck is a 5 parts laminated asian ebony/maple with 15° scarf joint and a volute. The fretboard is Gabon ebony. Scale 24,75", fretboard radius 12". Pickups are a hot rod set by seymour Duncan: Jazz at neck position and Jb at bridge position. Pots are CTS and caps are Sprague Orange Drops. The toogle switch is a Freeway with 6 positions (3 traditional Les Paul positions and 3 split coils). Hipshot open machine heads and Gotoh bridge and tailpiece. The inlays on fretboard and headstock are made with white mop, abalone paua and green abalone (approximately 300 tiles). The ladybug is made with recon stones and ebony. The binding is flamed maple and the purfling is a five parts maple/ebony/golden mop/ebony/maple. All covers are held in place by neodimium magnets. This is the link to the building thread And this is the link to the Facebook page where I publish my works: Delky Guitars Here is a video of the guitar running through a EVH 5150.