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so officially starting up my next project... 3 teles. Working on templates for now, and have setup my body blanks... but figured I'd kick the build thread off. so first up... "The Broadchaser". Planning this to be sort of a 'modern classic' - vintage looks with modern electronics (more than likely 6 way rotary). The main milestone here will be doing a relic finish. This one I'm calling the "Gipsum Les Flaws". Sort of tongue in cheek - not sure if I'll stick with the inlay/name as I don't want to anger the gods... but this should be a carved flame top over a quilt maple body... laminated set neck, 27.5" scale length baritone. finally, what I'm calling the "Tuxedo". 30" radius top and bottom. Semi hollow. that's what I'm aiming for anyway. As always all comments, questions, jokes, asides, bedtime stories, laughs at my expense, completely unrelated content - welcome in my thread. ===========update 11/29/19 10am ===================== so almost done with all my templates, but waiting on some 1/8" straight bits for headstocks, fholes and other detail items. here are my three body blanks weighed in at the start... first up the baritone 'les flaws'. I bought this body on craigslist for $40... it's solid quilted maple and was already hogged out. needs a little tlc on the shape and the centerline is about 1/8" off. Thought it'd be ideal for a baritone as the maple is hard and bright and lower notes will benefit in tightness. this one will be the 'tuxedo' blank. and finally the broadchaser blank at 1 15/16 weighing int at a hefty 8lbs 6oz. here is a blank I made up of a wenge center with flamed maple outters. both the les flawes and tuxedo necks will come out of this piece. below that is a heavily flamed piece I'm using for the broadchaser. here are the 'les flaws' and tuxedo blanks cut apart and planed down rough. "If they don't find you handsome they should at least find you handy" -redgreen. Started working wood last night on my "broadchaser". So with that in mind I hope to learn something here and perhaps someone else will find it useful. How much weight will I reduce by doing 'x'. So below is a series of picks detailing my tele body weighed at differing points. My ash isn't as light as I thought (apparently my estimate was off a bit) so I figure I need to get it down in the 4-5 lbs weight range at the most. taking off 1/4" of wood dropped it down from 8lbs 6oz to 7lbs 9.4oz. cutting it to shape took me from 7lbs 9.4oz to 6lbs 12oz cut my pickup and control cavities to 1 1/4" depth... in hopes of removing as much weight as possible... that took me from 6lbs 12oz down to 6lbs 6.3oz I could still remove a little off the back and get down to 1 1/2", and I think I will, but I'm guessing that isn't going to remove enough... so now I have to build a template to make a smugglers route. Since I have to do that anyway, I've decided I'm going to go back to a single coil in the neck and do a 'hidden' coil just under the pickguard and just in front of the bridge so I can keep my wiring interesting. =============update 11/30/19 ============================ hogged out some smugglers route and got down to 6lbs 0.5oz in the cleanup looks like we eliminated another 6oz for a total of just under 12oz removed. cut the join for my les flaws top... glued it up my join turned out really nice - more due to the extra time taken to ensure a flat edge with shims and some hardwood with notches that were sitting underneath. here's the bottom - hand sanded for less than 5 mins to get it clean so must've done it right. did a wire channel in the body for the pickups/toggle but the neck tenon will close this up partially, will have to reroute that section once the neck is on. hardest thiing I've done so far... not that it's spectactular or anything... but getting this right really challenged me and too a long time! alternate headstock shape for the les flaws. really pleased with this top. this is one I got from downhomewoods and have had it for quite a while... just realizing now it's actually quarter sawn. not sure how easy it is to see... but it's got some really cool shimmering fleck. ===========update 12/2/19========== got to work on the tuxedo... finally broke the 5lb barrier with the back trem route: the les flaws weigh in... the current state of affairs: apparently something going on with my initial post... i don't know if this is like this for anyone else... but the last few images won't load. not sure what's going on there but it's making me really sad. can't update that post anymore either. some sort of link to this image below that keeps getting restored... oh well. I'm aware it's a dup! a vid of my progress and a song... could say I'm a song and dance man now... =========update 12/3/19=========== just a few minor things... planed down my broadchaser body another 3/16 and ended up just a hair above 5lbs... started working on the back access and cover routes for the les flaws =============update 12/08/19================ put my steps in 4lbs 10.5oz did my neck joint on the tele... nice n tight: put the 1/8" roundover on and got the pickguard aligned and it follows the horn nice... rough cut my my steps for the tele carve My neck angle jig slipped again and I screwed up my blank for the tuxedo... so I ended up building a new sub-jig for the neck angle. Bolts on either side of the pivot bolt allow me to dial in the angle with precision and they lock themselves in position. worked like a charm! put the angle on the les flaws w/o issue: so when life gives you lemons... switch to quarter-sawn mahogany! on the tuxedo blank, I could have saved it by cutting my nut slot 1/16 deeper as the angle only ran about 1/8-1/4" into the fretboard area but I figured rather than do that I'll save it for my next gibson scale neck. I was only using that blank because I had enough material leftover from the neck for the baritone... and it hadn't occurred to me that I have some 3x7 mahog that would allow for a quarter sawn neck given the tux's narrow profile. So I milled that down today... ============ update 12/9/19 =============== got a lot done today and can barely type at this point... got my neck machined for the tuxedo... here's how I cut the neck pocket for the tuxedo... nice tight fit started working on a radius for the internal route... but quit pretty quick. I need a long bit with a bearing and a very short cutting edge. was scary because you can't see anything and with the bit I had -as I cam to the center the bearing would be out of range. so save that for next time. you can see here I just did a little corner... went back in and carved it deeper with my bowl bit since I'm not doing the radius route. then started my outter radius and about 19 passes later... so setup up on the backside... and another 19 passes later... this thing is COMFY! ==============update 12/15/19 ================ put some tru oil on the innards of the tux... did the neck holes for the tux did the neck holes for the broadchaser... then did a lil video of joining the top for my tuxedo here is the result: put in my f-hole in just 974 easy steps! and switched back to carving my les flaws: wow, much more work than I thought! should have done more steps (next time). ======================update 12/28/19====================== awaiting some parts and kind of left to all the minor details of my builds for the time being, so thought I'd spend some time on my plans for electronics: first up: the tuxedo. going to be using a seymour vintage stack for the bridge, and a 4 way tele switch. I have a 4 way in a tele and didn't realize until recently that the two middle positions where NOT the two combined positions... so I changed this on my version as I prefer Bridge, BN Parallel, BN Series, Neck. Also set it up so that the bridge will be in stacked humbucker mode in pos 1, but split for the two combined positions 2 and 3. Figured it might be nice to go back to single coil for the bridge position so I've got a push pull that will accomplish that, and also swap between 50's and 60's style tone control with the lead for the tone swapping between the pickup side and the jack side. next up is the broadchaser: I'm putting a hot rail in the 'hidden' middle position so that I can use either rail for hum cancellation. That rail is a bit mismatched with the bridge which should allow the bridge pickup to dominate for a little less hum cancelling but a little more bridge flavor. Using a 4 pole 3 throw switch here for stock tele operation plus two additional modes: parallel humbuckers and series humbuckers. finally, the les flaws: I don't generally tend to care for the split singles by themselves from a humbucker, and the humbuckers I'll be using are sentient/nazgul which (I'm told) don't sound great split anyway... so I figured I'd do a simplified version of my signature "all combos" wiring... and just focus on the 4 humbucking combos: bridge-vs-neck-parallel, inside-vs-outside-parallel, inside-vs-outside-series, and bridge-vs-neck-series. Going to etch a pcb to keep the wiring of the 4p4t clean. Using a unique alph 4p4t switch that is fairly small... might have some issues getting it fitted in the carved top but... will cross that bridge. Also planning an active mid boost mounted on a push pull for this one... I have a jackson preamp etch lying in wait, and an sho... but I loved the 'switchblade' in my sweet spot build so much I might etch another of those... haven't decided. ================update 12/29/19================== shot of my setup to add the taper to the back of my necks. I started out with a common neck profile drawing for a late 50s tele. I have marked the neck with the depth from the top down at the first fret and the 12th fret... then I set the depth of the router to go right up to the mark at the 1st fret... and raise the other side of my planing rails until the blade of the router lines up with that mark. and here's the product of putting in that plane... and he is my tuxedo neck with the grade planed in. shaped my neck for the les flaws... my first experience with wenge and sharp corners right on end grain. installed my truss rod for the tuxedo... and installed my truss rod for the broadchaser: decided I would use some offcuts from my tuxedo top to join together for a headstock overlay: cut the 4 degree slope in my les flaws... had to go snag some 6" bolts to get the correct rise/run... then feathered that into the rest of the body: did a test fit for my 4 way switch on the tuxedo and found I needed to remove a little more material... also have carved in my belly cut and neck transition (will show that later)... final weigh in before adding the top: so was thinking tonight... about a jig I might make to cut the 94 degree cut into the back and sides of the neck where it meets the body and it occurred to me...why not just make it easy on myself and cut a 90 degree transition from the 4 degree plane? This would be 86 degrees relative to the body. Then I can simply make all my cuts on the neck at 90 degrees. Skip the need to build a jig, skip that pesky sanding to match the angle... and since this isn't a traditional les paul build... no reason to not hit the easy button. Here's my 86 degree line: ==============update 12/04/2020============== started work on the broadcaster finish. wanted to document my steps here as who knows... might turn out good. grain fill: finish sanded to 320, made up some grain fill using some rit camel die... sort of a chocolate milk color. generally with ash, and with this grain filler, it's going to take a few passes of grain fill as the filler recedes. In this case... I don't want to totally fill the grain, so I'm going to do one pass. sanded back the grain filler and prepared for first coats of laquer. two light coats of mohawk whitewash laquer. since the grain is not fully filled... the whitewash sort of 'dissapears' into the heavier grain. works to my benefit here as it's keeping the grain more visible which I like, however it's still so open that I decided to do another grain fill but this time clear. my plan is to let the grain fill sit overnight and sand it back. have a couple spots that got a little too much white so will feather those out as well. did did my binding channel on my les flaws. Piece of binding seen here sitting just a hair proud in the neck join area. and worked on my broadchaser neck... used a chamfer bit to get my first facets done... then completed those facets with my rasp: completed a secondary facet... hard to see here but I have drawn lines down the center of the neck to show me where the facet ends... from there I approximate a 67.5 degree chamfer. this neck will have a vintage spec soft v... have owned a hard v but it was a bit much... thought this might be a nice pairing with the 9.5" radius fretboard. Here's a shot of her all sanded up... =================update 1/10/20========================= slapped some frets on the neck... amber dye here is looking pretty orange but a lot of that is my camera... sneak preview of my butterscotch body in the corner... ==============update 01/11/20================= did some relicing to the hardware... control plate was the first thing I did and started out with fine steel wool to remove protective coating but it didn't do enough damage so switched to coarse... that was clearly too much! Not crazy about how it turned out so will redo that... and didn't realize the knobs are a hair small for my pot shafts so will have to order some replacements. All in all it went ok. wired up my broadcaster controls. again no tone control here. have a middle hot rail hidden under the pickguard that will be used for hum cancelling. mode 1 will be std tele operation. 2 will be the tele pickups operating as parallel humbuckers with each one paired with a single rail. mode 3 will be the same but in series. the vero board there is just a common place for all my pickups to be wired to. In case I've got something wrong I just swap the positions and don't (in theory) have to screw with my heatshrinked wires. ==================update 01/12/2020===================== some shots of the body... looking pretty tan in this light... inner binding - and one picture says it all in terms of frustration! side note - did you know binding is easily set on fire via heat gun? binding the headstock overlay was seemingly easier comparably! ============update 1/19/20=============== note to self... next time separate the builds into a post each... pretty hard to follow 3 disparate builds! finished and bount my les flawes headstock. got a couple little spots at the points that will require some attention but pretty solid. got the top on for the tuxedo... the f hole is fully bound, top trimmed, binding channel cut just after this. working on adding the body binding now. On the radius for the top, I left a flat spot for the tele style trem king... was concerned I'd have little gaps as it transitioned from flat to radius (I broke them lightly) - but it turned out good. have 1 little spot where I didn't get glue squeeze out because I was a little too conservative with glue but pretty minor. took my pickguard and heat bent it over the body no problem. routed out the neck pocket (little overhang on the pickguard) and the p90 slot for it. ============01/25/20=============== got the binding on the tuxedo... got some inlay done... but funny thing happened. turns out this 25.5" scale length fretboard has fret slots from a 24.75". the must have put the slots in the wrong one... (or perhaps I ordered a 24.75sl board. oh well. could order a new one and some new inlay... but this is an opportunity to try a 24.75sl on a tele... so think I'll go back to my orig blank and make that work. (mmmm, lemonaid). gold mop on granadillo and white mop on ebony... also, finally got my broadcaster to check... check please! remember, it's not the size of your check that matters... ===========update 1/28/20=================== +++++++++++++++++++++update 2/15/20 ================= So... back b4 finishing the broadchaser I had realized I bought a 24.75sl fretboard instead of a 25.5 (for the tuxedo). well I got this far on it before I realized... did a gold mop logo for the les flawes and white mop for the tuxedo... test mounting my neck for the les flawes Just a hair of a gap at the outter edge of the corners on the back edges here - the side joints are solid right up to the last 3/16 and I think I'm going to be removing most of that with rounding up that area... so pretty satisfied with the join. made a fun video about the neck join... mock up w the fretboard did you spot it yet? (below) ================== 02/27/20 ======================= getting close... =============================== did my wireup for the tuxedo... etched some random pcbs for everything from a guitar mounted brian may treb boost to a haz lab bass pre to amz mini boost and ovation piezo preamp and even some labeled pickup panels... did my truss channel for the les flawes... did my fretboard truss access and glued her on using hot glue gun and blocks to get it center. worked pretty good. also got my frets on...shaped the neck for the les flawes using the facets method loosely as I always do... just using 3 measurements to do 3 facets... and I come out with the profile matching w/o even trying... ============================================update 3/29/20==========================
So I've finally started on my first ever guitar build. "Nozcaster" = a bit of Nocaster + derivative of my nickname "Norris" I have joined a guitar building "club" that meets for 2 hours on a Monday night, and for my weekly subscription I get access to a lot of people who have built before and a lot of machine tools that I don't have at home (and trade prices for most of the parts!). Due to a large amount of household DIY on the go, plus a wife that is keen for me to get on with that, progress on the guitar will be a little slow & steady for the time being. For my first project I have chosen something relatively simple - my own take on a thinline telecaster. However I'm then going to complicate things a bit by doing some carving on the top, binding all round, and using fountain ink as dye (check out the lovely colours made by Diamine - I have gone for "Florida Blue"). I've spoken to a few people that have used ink as dye, and they have got some very good results and say it is colour-fast and won't fade. Specifications are pretty much standard telecaster, but I'll be making a two piece neck with dual action truss rod that adjusts at the nut. Unfortunately the chap that was going to lend me some plans forgot to bring them on week one, so I ended up drawing round a US telecaster that my mate (guitarist in my band) has lent me for the duration. I managed to get one template roughed out of 6mm MDF, that I then tidied up at home and used to route another 2 templates. Week One - Some templates And then this week I got wood English light ash for the back of the body (apparently the same species as swamp ash) - before I squared it up Flamed maple top piece - squared up ready to join (and showing quite nice figuring even when dry) The gluing will have to wait until next Monday.The neck pieces were just ordered as plain maple, although the main neck shows a smattering of birds eye whorls.
I'd like to have a Rosewood Thinline Tele with Bigsby. For cost consideration it could be from parts such as Warmoth. The neck need not be rosewood (ebony?). In fact if there's a wood with good vertical grain a stained guitar would be fine. (And yes, I realize the pickguard is covering the F hole but I far prefer this pickguard style (perhaps the screw hole can move a half inch to the center and the old hole filled). Cost?