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



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Posts posted by mistermikev

  1. 2 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

    Ahhhhh....creating a template by moulding epoxy! Very good. Sugru or other "smart meltable plastics" or even two-part car polyester filler like Bondo might be less messy. I'm awful because I get epoxy everywhere. My apologies. I've been really time poor lately because I am training a student at work plus I've found a sister I never knew about. Life is super crazy.

    no worries... I didn't exactly explain it and am admittedly a newby here so... was a natural conclusion.  I thought about bondo... but (i think) it is hard to keep it liquid enough to really drip into the seam unless you don't use much hardner - then it will take a long time to harden... that said I may try it next time as it's cheap and I have lots.  Plus that epoxy really sticks to the tape so...

    students, sisters... sounds like good things your way -cudos.

  2. 47 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

    Tight radii are smaller, hence either closer to the heart (argh, earworm) or in the case of it being on the bark edge, a small part of the trunk. These matter because tangential movement (expansion and contraction around the direction of the growth rings) is a percentage, so the longer ring paths shrink/expand a large distance compared to smaller, tighter rings which do so much less. The upshot of that is cupping and warping from the differences in movement.

    It depends on how wet it was when they go ahold of it. I can't see any purple colouration in the Walnut, so it might be safe to assume that it was kiln dried. Air-dried Black Walnut retains the weird purple hues around the wood, whereas kiln-dried goes a more uniform range of browns. This is still not a guarantee of course, but a good clue.

    Anything that has been kiln-dried properly will be brought down to a moisture value below 15%, however even if it was dried to 5-8%, storing it outdoors or an otherwise uncontrolled climate would bring that wood back up to the teens within a couple of weeks.

    I store any wood that I am going to use for indoor furniture or instruments indoors for at least a month laid flat with good air circulation around the piece. Longer is always better of course. Truly dry wood (that 5-8%) has a distinctive feel of being airy, light and not cool to the touch. Of course, the wood may be wetter inside than outside so this only goes so far, as does checking out how cohesive the dust is. I usually pull the extraction from the saw at work when I'm crosscutting a so-so board and see what the dust says. Oily woods aren't as easy to read this way for obvious reasons. Walnut is just fine.

    With your fingerboard end being shaped, there's no reason that you can't simply use an overhang on the fingerboard and keep the neck underneath relatively "Fenderish" with a square end and rounded corners. You could even keep the heel end square and chop out the rounded corners that a routed pocket leaves with a chisel. Epoxy isn't that good as an adhesive in reality. It just covers a variety of sins easily, but performs poorly in the long term. Many epoxies (as far as I have seen) designed as adhesives retain a degree of plasticity and might creep over time, or at least kill resonant coupling between the neck and the body.

    Am I right in thinking that you are bolting this one in and also using epoxy? If so, that's super redundant and we can get you in the zone where a better performing joint can be achieved, definitely. I'm really voting "no" on the use of epoxy here. Not my call of course, just saying that it isn't ideal.

    as always - a wealth of info.  i will have to move it indoors - good to know - also it hits 115 here pretty reg in a few months so would have to anyway. 

    afa fingerboard: couple things... I was thinking that if my neck build is a disaster I'd want to buy a warmoth neck and that has the rounded heel... so just being conservative there. 

    afa epoxy - I'm not sure if you smell what I'm stepping in there... what I was doing is rough cut out the neck, sand it right, put tape around the edge, put it back in the piece it was cut from, epoxy in the gap... then this is just used to create a template.  The final neck will have no epoxy whatsoever.  Now I have a template that is tight.

  3. 38 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

    It's somewhat difficult to discern from the photo, however it looks like the growth ring's radii are a little tight from it being an average sized tree rather than massive monster.

    How dry is the wood? Straight in from "the source" or has it been sat indoors in your shop for a month or more? These two points may help you not fall foul of the board cupping on the bark side. The tighter the rings (smaller radius trunk) and the larger the difference between the inner and outer radii plus moisture content are critical. Black Walnut isn't the most stable of woods as it stands, so you need to stack the odds in your favour.

    Does the wood feel cool the touch at room temperature? If you cut it, does the sawdust form clumps if you press it between your fingers? These are two bluffer's signs that the wood isn't yet as dry as it should be.


    Ah, you posted on exactly that subject as I was asking....hahaha

    Anything that impedes the flow of moisture. Paint or wax usually. Paint can be a crapshoot depending on how permeable it is, however it's cheap. Wax meant for the job is more costly, but great for preserving  yield on more expensive woods.


    Meanwhile, as the wood is drying we can get to work on sorting you out when it comes to this whole epoxy thing....if you're resorting to that because you can't get a tight neck joint, well, we can fix that. :thumb: Nobody needs to resort to epoxy as an alternative to improving their woodwork chops!

    thank you very much for chiming in.  Lotta good info there.  I'm not sure I undersand your first line other than that you have discerned that it wasn't a huge tree... my process was: "gee it looks pretty - lets make a guitar of it!"

    afa dry: I know it was sitting at the place I bought it for at least 3-4weeks.  By how fast the pile moved I'm gonna guess they got it 2-5weeks before that.  It feels dry when I touch it... not 'cold' altho it isn't really resonant when you knock on it.  Not sure if that's just because it is so dense or because it is full of water.  For now - the two pieces are pretty much straight as an arrow

    .  You've just answered my prayers with your info regarding sawdust and now I know exactly what I'll do next  - cut a corner and see what the dust looks like!  I bought this early in my process because I have read that you wanna let it sit in your "shop" (for me a garage!) for 6-12 weeks prior to doing anything.  If this is anything like letting my saltwater fish tank cycle... well lets just say I'll do my best to work on other things for at least another 3-4 weeks!

    afa neck joint... well I know you can do it with straight edges screwed in next to the piece... but the sanding of the heel radius to make it match is an achilles heel (pardon the pun) for me.  I am aware that collets would have worked, however the epoxy method is just something I wanted to try... and I like to think it worked pretty good for first time (pics above).  It was surprisingly easy.  Surely my process could improve and frankly it was impeded by a combo of not enough epoxy, should have used 2 layers of tape for a 'less tight' joint, and a cheap bit that wasn't as wide as the bearing.  That said - my joint looks ok yes? no?  I thought it was pretty tight, especially on the cavity cover.  I don't even think I'd need screws to hold that - just friction!  then again... once I have some finish on a piece it would be too tight.  Lots of room for improvement in my skills for sure. 

    Thanks again for the response - if I ever sound like I'm not appreciative I don't mean to.  I just think out loud a lot and frequently think as I speak!


  4. so... I know this is going to be sorta 'meh' for you old pros but I can hardly contain myself right now.  I found a local source for black walnut... and not just black walnut but 14" wide black walnut. 

    I don't think I got all that great of a deal on it... but then again I don't think I did 'bad'.  Got a neck of 8/4, also black walnut, for $23 tho... so that may make up for it a bit.  At the end of the day I'll be paying approx $50 per guitar blank for 1 piece walnut... so how'd I do?

    anywho, kind of considering of NOT doing thinline now as the grain on this is really cool... I dunno.  be a shame to cover it up.

    I've been dreaming on this build and working on my templates (pics below).  Used my idea of filling in with epoxy to generate some fairly tight neck pockets... see below.  again, for you guys probably 'meh' but for me... as tight as I'll ever get it. In fact too tight... should have used two pieces of tape to give myself a hair more gap.



    got some cool figuring on an area too...DSCF2629.thumb.JPG.fcfc700f0c492f4a87eade992d12f302.JPGDSCF2631.thumb.JPG.7f8f15f3d69b221cd8e789f4ddccda8c.JPGDSCF2632.thumb.JPG.56722cb09d6a2ed06dc529109116934c.JPG

  5. scottR - hehe, I changed my facebook avatar because I was getting zero responses trying to buy a router on offer up.  Figured the zombie face may have been putting folks off!  Not sure this was an improvement as I'm told I look fairly unhappy.  I've already changed it to one where I'm smiling... I'm guessing that one hasn't trickled out yet. 

    Anywho, thank you for your advice -echoes what I was suspecting.  I did some experimentation with differing things - some minwax pecan poly,   the dye, etc.  None was satisfactory. 

    Also, the acetone/dye/tru oil I poured out over sawdust in my garbage can gave me a pounding headache.  I'm so stupid.  I leaned that lesson once long ago.  working at a cab shop my boss, as a joke, asked me to grab a wrench that was sitting in some solution at the bottom of a barrel.  That was a mean joke because it was acetone and it nearly knocked me out.  20some years later - confirmed - I'm still stupid.

    probably for the best as since I've had some time to sit with it... I think I'm over the shock of them being so different and onto being 'ok' with it as is.  With the pickup covers and knobs bringing the lighter color into the body I think it looks ok... just not what I initially envisioned.



    Did some more work on my knobs... inlayed some abalone to match the fretboard.  My first 'inlay'.  Not perfect but it'll do.

    Have some ideas on a switch tip... need to get a plug cutter so... to be continued.



  6. so... looking for vote: add some brown to tru oil and hit the neck with another few coats or leave as is?DSCF2606.thumb.JPG.ea9d31f04d11d3faa8688b611274fa49.JPG

    got quite a bit done this weekend... put my studs in, mounted the trem spring hook thingy, had to router out my control cavity a bit to fit my knobs where I wanted them, rebuilt a little plexi piece to hold my dummy coils, more finishing on the neck, and bought some 1/2 flamed maple to build the knobs.  started finishing the body at which point I was really surprised at how different it was th an the neck.  The wood for the neck didn't soak up much... this body just keeps drying as I pour loads of true oil on it.  love the color had I known I would have sprung for a roasted neck.  you live and learn.  So at this point... feeling like I'd like to darken up the neck a bit.  I can add some dye to the tru oil... and I think that should work... any suggestions would be welcome.

    said pickup bracket and earlier attempt below...



  7. thank you all for your help.  I was looking at it this morn with a clear head... got out my 64ths ruler and making comparisons and thinking - I was way off with thinking it was a strong 32nd bigger... more like a light 64th, if that.  So I got out some 220 and with relatively little effort I got it to go in.  still a little tight so will sand in prep for a little expansion from true oil, but nice fit.

    on to the next step!

  8. thank you gentlemen.  I'm going to guess that's a vote for "router it".  was thinking last night... I could test fit on a template and always add some tape to bring it tighter if I need to.

    good article and very similar to a few threads I've watched on you tube (I'm sure that is where the youtube folks got the idea).  just thinking out loud here but unfortunately I don't think it would quite work like that for me since the joint is so close it's hard to get the neck to sit on the body  without half dropping in (if that makes any sense). 

    in my case, both neck and body have a rounded heel.  square isn't going to be right (although it is covered by the overhang) so I'd have to make the middle board a radius.  right now the rounded edges match pretty good but the corner is more square on the new neck.  I suppose I don't need to route that part and could just use the middle board as a stop assuming I could get the neck set on there.  certainly would be a lot less work and avoid the risk of getting epoxy on my neck so thanks for that!  (Still going to use this idea for a control cavity template so - "the south will rise again"!)

  9. Hello friends... got my neck today and have some questions:

    heel is just a hair too large to fit in this pocket and ends are more square.  a heavy 1/32 too wide.  Now, I could A) sand the neck till she fits or B ) create a template based on the neck and rerout the pocket.

    I have some ideas on how to make a good pocket template using the neck, some tape, a 1/4 piece of board with a rough pocket cut out, and some epoxy.  fill in the blank, let dry and clean up the edges. there is the risk that i get epoxy on my neck if I'm not careful and it's a biotch to get off.  could use bondo.

    The flush cut bits i have (red devil and stew mac): the cutting edge overhangs the bearing by a hair... so I'm concerned I take away too much and end up with a sloppy pocket.  I think I stand a little better chance with a sanding block.  IF IT WERE YOU - WHAT WOULD YOU DO? 

    i will sleep on it tonight...

    new neck:


    starting to look like a gtr below.  shout out to evilbay gent I got the flamed maple pckup covers from!


  10. well... this guitar will have all bumble bee caps, carbon comp resistors, vintage fender pickguard screws... and pickup wire that was blessed by the pope so it would fit the theme - hehe.  Seems like it would fill any void with decent material tho.  Will it make me sound like srv (on bass perhaps, I dunno, was he any good on bass?)?  Probably not... but it seems like with anything really good you'll pay 75% more for .0001% more performance.  that said, and given this is my first build and will likely be riddled with mistakes (and possibly 22 rounds depending on how it goes)... I'll probably go with the cheaper recommendation in the end (barring possible lottery win b4 then).

    Once I get some confidence, and build my next - I think I'd like to try the wood sheath ones.

  11. I had considered it... however figured it probably wouldn't be necc since warmoth doesn't do it on their 30 and 32 necks.  Also, this project is already probably more than I am capable of and graphite rods tend to be done at an angle... not sure I am up for the added challenge.  Perhaps just consider making the neck a bit beefier?  I don't know... I suppose another thing to consider is the weight added by those big beefy hot rods.  Perhaps the low profile one would be better.

  12. 7 hours ago, Prostheta said:


    One of my favourite bucket list basses - the Warwick Infinity - has a MM and J. :thumb:

    Our apparent politeness might be just the fact that social media groups has made the default of online interaction more hostile and less conversational. Everybody wants to be more right than the last guy kind of thing. Even though things like Facebook have hurt online forums, they have failed to provide a better way, worsened interaction and eroded the quality of free information exchange.

    I second Andrew's comments about truss rods in that they should cover the most flexible length of the neck. I'd maybe disagree with the use of the word "support" in that it implies that truss rods provide reinforcement, whereas I view them as a device to add in control.

    I'm not a fan of Hot Rods - as Andrew likely knows :lol: - for two reasons. Required depth as per most people's disagreements with them, but also that I have largely gone off using two-way rods in favour of more traditional (but more finicky) single-acting compression rods. Two-way rods are a separate part of the neck whilst compression rods are an integral part of it. I favour the idea that compression rods provide a balance of forces whilst two-way rods are an external force acting on the the neck (even though they're internal, you get what I mean). Overall, I've found that necks with compression rods seem to be more lively and better sounding. More of a tendency as opposed to being a hard and fast rule. The downsides being that they're extremely prone to needing constant adjustment as the neck moves in tandem with its environment, plus the hassle of making curved channels and manufacturing the rods themselves. On the other hand, you can customise their lengths to suit the application they will be working within, something that off-the-shelf rods don't often do.

    To completely contradict myself, I do like Gotoh-style U-channel rods. That might be because I have a thing for high standard classic Japanese-made guitars and basses, many of which came/come with this style of rod. All of the Matsumoku instruments I have played over the years have these as has the best Yamaha gear. My number one guitar - an Ibanez - has a single-acting compression rod though.

    I've totally wandered off topic as usual, however I think you might get some ideas out of my blather!

    infinity - oh wow that is pretty.

    I hear ya ala "oh no another internet thread spirals into fighting over whos right".  I would guestimate that it has more to do with the "throwing the turd over the fence" quality of internet convo.  Freq, without even trying, I read my words again and think dang - I am a jackwagon.  My typical sarcastic (playful) tone often comes off way worse when you don't have inflection to decrypt.  Then again I've def come across folks who were just lookin' for a fight.  All I can do is try to be less sarcastic and perhaps inject more warmth in my writing since I have zero control over others.  I have to say - so far this site - probably due to the mature and intelligent nature of the general population - has been nothing but kind to me.

    afa truss rods... some good info there.  are the 'thinner' two way rods any better?  as I mentioned in prior post - I like a deadly combo of thin neck plus very low action - I have lots of gtrs that are classic style (I think anyway) the best of which is a classic fender style handmade neck that needs adjustment 2x a year.  That all has culminated in my desire to at least try a 2 way truss.

    also length... the fretboard area is 23"... stew offers an 18 and a 24... I'm guessing that's common?  1) is 18 going to be trouble?  2) I'm guessing if I use 18 I really want it adjustable from the headstock then huh?

    I love your wanderings... and TO EVERYONE HERE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR INFO.   I do really appreciate.  afa ibanez... I bought an sr805 that is from the late 80's and it'd def a fav. 


    • Like 1

  13. 11 hours ago, curtisa said:

    I can't see that it'd be treated any different to selecting a truss rod for a guitar neck. In other words, the rods' effectiveness in providing additional support lessens the closer you get to the neck joint, where the thickness of the neck in combination with the timber in the heel mean that there is practically no pliability to be had at that point in the neck.

    In the same way a guitar rod is typically shorter than the overall length of the neck, I'd select a rod that runs from the nut to junction of the neck and heel +/- 1 inch or so. Although if it ends up being longer it's not going to hurt anything (other than your wallet).

    I've not had experience with the Stewmac Hot Rods, but I am aware that they generate their fair share of polarising opinions - some people are happy with them as-is, some people aren't so keen on the extra deep truss rod channel required to install them, some people have had issues with the quality of the rods.

    ok now I need a recommendation because you have convinced me that perhaps I'm going in the wrong direction.  I was interested in them only because I really like extreme low action - to the point where considerable string vibration buzz is ok w me.  As a result... I have to micro adjust 2-3 times a year despite quality quarter sawn necks and such.  I understood that the dual beefy rods would be the best at keeping me stable... but now I want to know what you (and others if they are inclined) would suggest. 

  14. funny, I was thinking that given the feedback in here... perhaps folks were being polite and trying to hint that two j pickups and one mm looked funny. 

    alnico2 in neck and alnico 5 in bridge?  I guess I'll watch cl/offer up/ebay and who knows: could go in a totally different direction between now and finish time.  Also, I would love to support some lesser known builder and saw a guy who makes an mm that looks like a seth lover and has a p within.  $90.

    I learned to play bass on a yamaha motion b.  Pawned it for $75 when I was down on my luck in L.A..  That did have two passive humbuckers in it but I don't recall them being anything special... but that 32" 24 fret neck was home for me.  been chasing it ever since.  I'd buy a motion b but then what do you do with those pickups?  and they(motion b ) weren't exactly lookers either.  So hopefully this will quench that thirst... or even come close, but more importantly fill a need I have to be able to say I built one from scratch.

  15. roger that.  I will have to snoop around on the mfg of both and see if I can find weight... or shoot em an email but I'm not at that point yet anyway. 

    Was out in my garage working on my 1/4" templale.  using my drill press and sanding drum.  bought some 'more expensive' harbor freight drums as they are able to use any sandpaper.  3 of 4 are balanced well, but the rubber shell is cheap.  Probably should have spent less money and went with the rockwell stuff.  or just buy a spindle sander.

    any, thanks for the comment on the mockup.