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Skyjerk

GOTY Winner
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Skyjerk last won the day on February 8

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About Skyjerk

  • Rank
    Working stiff
  • Birthday 12/01/1964

Profile Information

  • Location
    Chester County, PA
  • Interests
    Guitar building/playing, skydiving, motorcycles
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  1. Nope. In the skillz area, my sharpening skills are the ones most in need of improvement
  2. I've considered getting a couple to try them out, but I have a hard enough time keeping edges on straight edged tools...
  3. That's kind of understating it a bit ;-) did you use some sort of gouge to rough in those carves?
  4. FWIW, I work out the angle and all the numbers in the design phase before a single tree is harmed :-) neck angle is pretty crucial in a carved top guitar. Wrong angle and the whole thing is firewood because obviously you can't change it once it's done. Not something where you want to just wing it, and then try and work around the issues it might create if it's not right. a traditional Les Paul has a neck angle of roughly 4.3 degrees, but I never cared for that angle, or how high it puts the bridge and pickups. In my own I reduced that angle to 3.4 degrees and it brought bridge, strings, and pickups closer to the top which is more pleasing to my eye and my hands all my subsequent designs were the same. Both of my GOTM winners, the 24 Magnum and the 22 Special, are neck-thru with carved maple tops. I use a free CAD program called emachineshop to design it all, and make sure the angles are going to work out right, then I make templates from the CAD files. Of course when you actually cut things nothing ever works out mathematically perfect, but it's very close and the variances are easily handled at that point. my "process" is identical whether it's a Les Paul, or my own designs. If you're curious, my Phoenix build thread has a fair amount of detail on the build...
  5. 22 Magnum do-over

    Thats consistent with my own experience. In the case of this top, even though I wasnt going to be using the bulk of it until March at least, I still jointed and glued it up after I cut the drop top off of it because if I let it sit as once piece for another 4 months after slicing 3/4" off it, its almost guaranteed to move again given some time to sit, and I'd have to plane even more off to make the top flat for joining. Since its now already jointed and glued, if it develops a slight cup by the time I need it I can clamp that cup right out of it when I glue the top on and wont need to shave off any more thickness. I've got plenty of clamps
  6. 22 Magnum do-over

    The bookmatched top in the pic above that I'll be putting on the 22 Magnum is just about .8" and coincidentally exactly the thickness I need. Had I lost any more to the drop top I'd have had to compensate with a thicker back. I was sweating when I was running it through the drum sander. The original billet was plenty thick for both tops when I started, but it had a little twist in it and by the time I planed it flat I had lost enough that it was going to be close as to whether I'd have enough left for both tops without having to alter my plans, but I just squeaked by under the wire
  7. 22 Magnum do-over

    Have some smelling salts on hand for when you see the prices for billets like that one... I got some of my money back on this one because it was thick enough to get a 1/4" drop top as well as the full thickness top for this build. The drop top I sold on a guitar I'm building for my bosses bosses boss.
  8. So I've posted a couple build threads that were a bit shy on details of my actual process and contained mostly photo's of where its at at difference stages, and were posted in one big lump after the build was actually complete. Nice to look at, but not very helpful to folks trying to possibly learn something. In this thread thread I'll be posting as the build progresses and I'll attempt to describe in greater detail the actual work and how I'm doing various things. Probably nothing new to most of you, but you never know where you might pick up some little tidbit that makes your life a little easier... I've only done one actual bit of this build so far so I'll add pictures of that, but the actual work wont begin until mid-to-late March as I have another build i'm wrapping up over the next few weeks. I figured I'd get a start on this build thread today though, and I'll pick it up in March once I proceed. So, you will recall the build I did as a memorial for my son. That model I call the "24 Magnum" that model began life as a 22 fret version and I re-imagined it to a 24 fret, 25.5" scale axe. Like before it'll have all my favorite features, and some changes in specs a bit different from the 24 fret model: Neck-through-body 3-piece laminate neck carbon fiber reinforcement in the neck 22 Stainless steel frets 25" scale length 12" fretboard radius Tonepros TOM bridge and stop tailpiece Grover locking rotomatic tuners unbleached bone nut Seymour duncan pickups (JB and Jazz) One volume, one tone, 5-position super switch Bookmatched, quilted maple top faux binding Macasser Ebony fretboard White MOP bird inlays "Addict" inlayed TR cover This will be finished in nitro with a tiger eye finish and a slight burst, and matching quilted headstock overlay. So, the design looks pretty boring as a 2D line drawing, but this is it. It will have the same top carve I put on the Phoenix 24 Magnum. I also added a slight bit of roundness to the bottom end of the guitar. The 24 Magnum was flatter... This is an example of the finish I hope to achieve... This is the quilted maple billet I purchased for the build. As you have no doubt guessed, I have an almost pathological love for transparent finishes over figured maple. To date I have not done a single opaque finish. The one bit of work I've done thus far (other than plan the build and make some templates) is to re-saw and join the top, so this is where I am in the build at this point More to come in March
  9. last guitar built

    That's gorgeous. I totally love the rosette :-)
  10. Stratocaster build

    Thanks Yeah, in the new and different department this build doesnt really stack up next to my last build, but I honestly love Strats and after a build with a much higher degree of difficulty I really enjoyed the simplicity of this build. Next build will be back to the harder stuff
  11. Stratocaster build

    Yup! Its definitely the nicest piece of swamp ash I've ever had. When I finish this guy I'm gonna keep the burst fairly close to the edge because I want a lot of that grain to show...
  12. Stratocaster build

    So at this point, with the body and neck built, thats 99% of the work. The rest is hooking stuff up and seeing how she plays, which I've done and heres some pix of where its at today. I'm super happy with the outcome. This will get finished in a traditional tobacco burst once it warms up enough to shoot, but of course I wasnt gonna wait that long to play it! I'm super happy with the playability, even though I havent done the fretwork yet. The tones are exactly what I wanted. the neck pup is classic Strat tone, and the middle and bridg pickups absolutely scream Being a hard tail with a really stiff neck, the sustain is fantastic. The guitar just "thrums" end to end when you strum a chord I will update this thread again when I shoot the finish, and again once I've sanded, buffed, and wrapped it up Also note the neck plate. I had a few of these made up with the same phoenix that I used on the fretboard of my phoenix build. I'm making this part of my logo. the headstock will feature the same "Addict" logo in Fender=style font that I used on my previous Strat build. This pic here is from my last build to show the headstock logo... and this is where this current build stands right now...
  13. Stratocaster build

    Theres some sizable holes coming up
  14. Stratocaster build

    OK, again I missed a chunk here. Sorry for the holes in the build. My next move was to rough trim the fretboard to approximately the right width, leaving a touch of overhandm, and then glue and clamp the fretboard in my vacuum press. Then I trim off the overhang on my router table to make a nice flush edge. I thickness the headstock down to 9/16" on my band saw, and then sand in the transition from headstock to fretboard using my spindle sander. I set up a fence on the spindle sander thats a hair over 9/16" from the spindle and slowly feed the neck into the space and it sands the transition perfectly. Install dots. This is pretty straightforward. Drill out 7mm holes, and glue in 7mm MOP dots I bought from custominlay. Sand them flush once the glu is hard. I actually file in the access to the TR adjustment before I glue the board on... again, a big missing piece. Neck carving. I generally use a tool called a Holey Galahad on an angle grinder to rough in the shape, and then refine it using dragon hand cut rasps, and finish it with increasing grits of sand paper. Then install the frets. So that jumps us to here:
  15. Stratocaster build

    back to the neck, I'm definitely missing some chunks of time in this section. Here is my neck blank after routing the blank out, installing the carbon fiber rods and truss rod. I use my router table and fence to cut the channels while the blank is still square. Easy peasey. obviously I'm, using a spoke nut TR with access at the heel... Fretboard is a nice piece of indian rosewood. I plane the blanks dow to just over 1/4" use my radius jig to put a radius on the board... Fret slotting jig on my table saw... I made a couple at this time... a quick sand takes all the router marks off... voila!
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