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Everything posted by beltjones

  1. First Build, so many lessons learned

    I used the new bandsaw blade to resaw a piece of wenge from scrap - it's about 3/32" thick - which I will use on the headstock. Is that too thin? After sanding it might be 1/16" or so (~1.5mm). I also made a template for the control cavity. I need to figure out how to route / drill the switch cavity, which by my measurement should be about 1 11/16" (~43mm). I don't think I can make a perfectly circular MDF template - at least a method for doing that doesn't come to mind. I may just have to buy a hole saw with the correct diameter.
  2. Hey everyone. I've been lurking here and going to school on all of your builds, and I figured I'd actually post what I'm doing so someone else can learn from my mistakes, and maybe y'all can help me out before I make too many more. I've done some Warmoth builds with great results, but I always thought the woodworking part of the builds was beyond me; that is, until I saw some youtube videos that made me think I could handle it. I started with a blank piece of paper on my dining room table and some pencils and measuring devices. A few hours later I had some lines drawn and I was eager to get cutting. This picture was taken after one of my many many body redesigns, where I just erased everything and started over. It turns out that I'm lucky enough to live about a 10 minute's drive from two awesome hard wood lumber yards, and I found some great looking black limba, wenge, padauk, bubinga, and other woods. In fact, I kind of sort of accidentally bought enough for two builds. Oops. Here's the black limba before I started planing it down. This will be a neck-through with a 5 piece laminated neck with padauk, maple, and wenge. Right before I cut the body wings out of the limba I did something really dumb. The 8/4 limba has a really dark side, and the other side is lighter with a lot of swirls. I wanted the black on one side of the guitar and the light side on the other, but right before I went to the saw I decided I could be more economical with the wood if I oriented the pattern a different way, not realizing that it would mean I was screwing up my plan. As you can see, the bottom wing is dark and the top wing is light. (the purpleheart fretboard was an early attempt that now lives somewhere in the garbage) One thing I hadn't expected was how much work is done that looks like zero progress from a third party perspective. Flattening, thicknessing, planing, squaring, sharpening, repeat. It puts the "work" in wood working. Well today I worked up the courage to make some cuts that I can't take back, and this thing is starting to look more like a guitar. Below all of the rulers there is a piece of wood I'm going to try to turn into a fretboard. If anyone can guess the species I'll be impressed. Below my little note paper is the fretboard-to-be for this guitar. One thing I didn't understand well enough is how different woods laminated together would react to planing and sanding. My plane will dig into the padauk and just glide along the top of the wenge, creating a crest on the top of the neck blank. It takes a ton of work to get it to level out and square with the side. I'm obsessed with the grain pattern of the wenge, but man it's hard to get it to behave. Anyway, I'll update as much as possible. Thanks for checking out my first build!
  3. First Build, so many lessons learned

    Yeah, I think I'll test the bleach ( I ordered a two part bleach) on a piece of scrap first. I'm thinking about how to grain fill the wenge. If the wood is softer after bleaching I think I might grain fill and sand back with some kind of resin. Of course, I'm way ahead of myself. I'm pretty sure I'll ruin the whole thing with a router way before I get to the finishing stage.
  4. First Build, so many lessons learned

    Ok, made a little progress. I located the fretboard and put pins in. I spent a lot of time getting the fretboard cut and planed to the correct dimension, so with the fretboard in place and secured by the pins I routed the neck with a pattern bit. I got the new blade installed on my bandsaw, and it's a huge, huge improvement. I didn't really know how bad the old blade got by comparison until I did some test cuts with the new blade. It cuts way cleaner and faster, and turns better, too. If I had waited to get this new bandsaw blade before cutting off the neck to accommodate the top I would have a lot less work still to do to get the neck ready to join. Oh well. Next I'm going to resaw the body wings to accommodate the top, and start getting ready to attach the wings. Question - has anyone ever used wood bleach? I'm thinking about bleaching the wenge top after I carve and sand it.
  5. First Build, so many lessons learned

    I definitely didn't mean to imply that I was winging it. I spent about three days measuring and re-measuring and trying to be sure that I was correct with the amount of wood I'm taking off. I'm pretty comfortable that an angle of 0 will work with my chosen bridge. Of course, I've made mistakes before... I'll keep you guys updated, but in the mean time I had to order a new bandsaw blade because I think the one that came with my saw wasn't intended to saw through 3" thick exotic hardwoods over and over again.
  6. First Build, so many lessons learned

    I made some more cuts, and have been basically doing everything I can to avoid cutting the neck angle / relief for the top. That seems like another one of those "can't go back from here" moments, so instead of committing I'm doing things like making sure I have the right drill bit for my fretboard markers.
  7. First Build, so many lessons learned

    That's the one. How thick was your fingerboard?
  8. First Build, so many lessons learned

    So the Gotoh has an adjustment range of .3" to .5". I still haven't decided on whether to build an angle into the neck / body. I don't think it's necessary for this bridge and this build, but if I were using a different bridge it certainly would be.
  9. First Build, so many lessons learned

    Thanks for the awesome and informative responses! Much appreciated. I have drawn it out and done the math a few times, and the simplest solution seemed to be a Fenderish neck angle of zero, which gave me the numbers I used above. However, you gave me a lot to think about, specifically, do I want to build in something more in the range of 3 degrees? I'll measure the adjustment range of the gotoh. I'm also probably going to abandon imperial standards of measure. So annoying.
  10. First Build, so many lessons learned

    Ok, now what I'm struggling with is the neck break angle / cutaway from the neck-through for the top. The bridge I'm using is a Gotoh hardtail bridge, which gives me a string height of .402". My fretboard / frets / action calculation comes out to .285 for the fretboard, .05 for frets, and an action of about .125 at the 24th fret. for a total of .460". So i need to add a top. I have some 3/4" wenge I can use, so if i cut .7" away from the neck blank and add a .750" top (which I will carve) that should work, right?
  11. First Build, so many lessons learned

    Good to know that I didn't screw anything up with the super glue. I should have taken a picture and then posted it here to get advice, but I was so mad at myself that I wanted the fastest fix possible so I could pretend like I hadn't done anything so stupid. The wood is actually curupay, which I found out later was used by Gibson in their smartwood exotics series circa 2005. I picked it up out of the shorts section at Houston Hardwoods, which is where I get pretty much everything except for a piece or two that I bought at Clark's Hardwoods in The Heights.
  12. First Build, so many lessons learned

    I don't have a planer - just a #5 hand plane and I built a simple router sled because I'm not that great with the plane yet. I cut out the sides of the neck on the band saw today. For really no reason at all I tried to smooth out the sides of the neck. Earlier I made an MDF template that I can use to route the sides of the neck and the fretboard to the correct, straight dimensions, so like I said, there was no reason to try to remove the band saw marks, other than it's starting to look like a guitar and it was fun to do. Well, I wasn't paying attention to the orientation of the grain of the Padauk, and instead of taking a small shaving, my chisel opened up a big old tear into the wood, across my pencil line. I opened it up a little further and dripped super glue into the crack. Hopefully that was the right thing to do.