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Calum's Project


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Sorry for the quadruple post, but lat night I emailed Tim from Bareknuckle Pickups with a few questions about my new pickups. Got more than enough money to buy the pickups now, so I should be ordering them very soon :D

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Why thank you!

Finally resumed work on the guitar on monday, and I started by planing up the 12 string fretboard and putting my new plane to the test :D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/116.jpg

When I say "new", I mean it's like 50 years old, but it's new to me anyway. Just put the fretboard on my Workmate and planed away. Because the sides were very narrow though, planing it with the plane in my hand made me feel I had a lack of control. So, to plane the sides I set the plane up like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/115.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/117.jpg

Fretboard all planed up. (Albeit a crappy shot because it's a crappy auto camera that focused on the foreground :D)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/118.jpg

Another Shot.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/121.jpg

Fretboard all marked out ready for cutting (the arrow reminds me which edge to work off)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/122.jpg

Setup used for cutting the slots.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/123.jpg

To check the depth of the slots, I use a Stanley knife blade. Last time I used a piece of card with a pen line on it, but the card kept fraying and peeling and was annoying me, so I thought this time I'll use a Stanley knife blade and scratch a line on it. Didn't need to put a line on it as the bevel on the blade was the right depth.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/124.jpg

All cut :D That bit of sapwood will be cut off when the fretboard is tapered BTW.

Today I bgot out my plane again, but this time I planed up the new neck block. This was really just practice at planing. Planed up the new neck block by hand, which would have taken like a minute or two on the planer, but I want to get even better with a hand plane (since I love them so much). I started with this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/110.jpg

About two and a half hours later I have this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/126.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/127.jpg

Still 4x2", but it produced a lot of shavings:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/128.jpg

For planing this up I used my Stanley Bailey #4 plane, which is really a smoothing plane and should only really have been used at the end. However, I don't have a jack plane or jointer plane or anything, though I am on the look out at the car boot sales I go to occaisionally for an old jack or jointer plane also B) they're a lot better for squaring up and straightening long pieces of wood timber, and then I'd use the #4 to smooth it out.

Now that I've done this I am going to now mark out the neck for cutting into two 1" blanks (excluding the blade thickness, as it's 2" at the moment). This means that I will have a neck blank for my next project too B). I will also mark out the scarf joint after a lot of measuring of the fretboard and the neck length etc. (including some measuring of my Hohner 12 string). I want the two fretboards to be parallel and the nuts to line up to, so it is important I do the scarf joint in the right place.

Calum

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  • 4 months later...

It's been a long time, but I finally got some time to work on this thing now that the holidays have come. I've been really busy the past few months, so haven't been able to do anything on the guitar for one reason or another. Finally got to cut up the neck blank today.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/131.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/132.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/134.jpg

There's the scarf joint for the 12 string neck all cut. I cut it by hand with a tenon saw, and it was tidied up with that smoothing plane you see in the pictures and a sander. Still needs a bit of finishing off, but I'll sort that out later. Next thing I did was thickness the headstock and it's now ready to be glued. I was going to do this this evening, but I need to go get my glue back (it's at a friend's house, and I'll borrow one or two of his G cramps too to be safe)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/135.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/136.jpg

Calum

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^ Good thing is that plane only cost me £5 on a car boot sale. Got home and stripped it down and cleaned it up and it works better than any new plane would IMO, the old ones are just better. I love using it too; the plane is my favourite tool.

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I was wondering when there'd be some progress on this one

Looking really great so far!

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Thanks guys!

So far today I've made a template for the electronics for when the top goes on. I made a template before, but it was wrong so it went with the scrap wood. Done another today, and it's just how I want it. Now when the top is eventually added, I will know exactly where to drill for the pots and switches (there are a lot too!)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/140.jpg

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> That row of five contains an on/off switch for each of the single coils, and the other two switches are a series/parallel switch and a in/out phase switch. This allows me to get a LOT more combinations than the usual 5 position switch (which is great).

> There are two tone pots on there (one for each neck), both with a toggle next to them. The toggle selects between two capacitor values for the tone pot, to give me more tonal options again. This addition of these two toggles cost me like 50p for the two toggles, I already had the caps (they came in packs of three) and the wire of course (got a 100m roll). As it only cost 50p or something, I thought I would add it. The switches at the bottom are two lots of two.

> There are two outputs on this thing, with an on/off switch for each neck on each output jack. This allows me to send them through seperate effects/amps or whatever, send them through the same, and get some stereo effects going or whatever. Opens up loads of options, which is what I want. For example, I could send the 12 through one output, and the 6 through the other, or both through one output, or both through both, or just one through both, or both through one and one through the other etc. etc. All in all there will be several hundred switching options on this thing (there's still another pot and a three way toggle not on that picture too).

Thing is, I like lots of switches and stuff on my guitar, but I like my amp rather basic. My amp head has 6 knobs, and no drive channel (just normal and brilliant). I wanted a guitar that was versatile. With spending so much on things like the pickups, I didn't want them to be stuck with one tone (even though I love strats and the pickups are just what I am looking for). The 12 string can sound acoustic (piezo) or electric (neck pickup), or a mix of the two. The 6 string will obviously be a Strat sound, but it should hopefully be able to emulate a Tele or Les Paul too. I can select the bridge and neck in parallel (a la Tele), and I can select the humbucking positions of the single coils in series (a la Les Paul). This switching arrangement is pretty experimental. Granted, not all the positions will be strikingly different, and some positions I think are even dead positions, but it still opens up a lot more options for me.

Also means anyone else who picks it up is a little lost :D

Edited by Calum_Barrow
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  • 1 month later...

Good news people; I finally got the scarf joint glued up yesterday. Was a bit of a pain to stop it from moving when I tightened the clamps, but once I get them tightened and the joint back in place it was fine. I'll take it out of the clamps on monday afternoon, and I'll have pics then. Then I can start marking out for the truss rod channel and the neck taper, headstock etc. Two or three days after taking it out of the clamps I'll begin work on it (want to leave it to dry fully first).

Today I rough cut the top to fit the body (oversized still of course), and fit the middle part of the top (not glued yet). There is a small gap between the pieces towards the bottom of the body though, but I can fix this later, proably by filling it with epoxy or maybe inserting some more walnut down the middle or whatever. I'm not sure yet. Tomorrow I will be doing some more routing on the body as I have decided to chamber some more to save weight. I am leaving the maple "cores" solid apart from the necessary routs to aid with sustain. The parts I am going to rout are on the lower walnut blank above the control cavities, and in the middle walnut blank below the cavity for the 12 string volume pot. Might get rid of some above it - not sure yet.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/141.jpg

That's it so far, didn't get chance to do a full mockup picture to keep you all occupied so I'll probably do one tomorrow, but don't quote me on that. Glad I've got the ball rolling again now!

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What does it matter how old you are mate, woodwork runs in my family so i have some sort of confidence in embarking on mad things like guitar building, this is way to good a guitar to just be a school project, when finished i think this should be guitar of the month for the sheer fact you have so much. Not only have you got great craftwork and attention to detail, but the pickup mods aswel. amazing mate. How far are you along now. Keen to seen the finished product.

JP

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Thanks guys. Help has come from a few sources, and the only bit I didn't do myself was cut the body and headstock out roughly on the bandsaw, as my tech teacher had to do it. This was because of insurance (my favourite thing after health and bloody safety....). Mainly though my dad would help me for some things (University lecturer on Mechanical Engineering), but a lot of help and guidance would come from a friend of mine. He's been a joiner and pretty much everything else for almost 50 years now. Being a fellow guitar player, he has strangely never made one himself, and he doesn't really know why. He has extensive knowledge in woodwork, mechanics (built his own car, and wanted to be a mechanic when he was younger), construction, plumbing, roofing, pretty much everything, but he's good at them all. I also use his workshop from time to time, for things like his circular saws, thicknessing planer and whatnot.

But to shorten that answer, it is all my own apart from the rough cutting of the body and headstock which my tech teacher did on the bandsaw.

Also, erikbojerik, it's just a good job I don't have a band then :D (I would love to be in one, but no one likes good music like me :D)

Today I went into Manchester, however before I went I got time to do some more chambering on the body, and the weight went down a whole 10th of a lb from 6.9lb to 6.8lb. I'll do some more tomorrow too probably. I'm keeping all the chambering to the walnut so that things like the sustain and tone aren't affected too much as the maple is left as solid as possible (other than the pickup, bridge and neck routs). I'll put some pics up tomorrow.

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Right-O, got some pics for you all.

This is the scarf joint after being taken out of the clamps and just ran over once or twice with the plane to tidy it up a little.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/142.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/144.jpg

Here is the chamber I routed out yesterday, and tomorrow I will do another one or maybe two (didn't have time today).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/147.jpg

Here's what I've got so far!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/146.jpg

Calum

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The furthest to the right top wood looks perfectly level with the majority of the body. But the center and further to the left top woods do not look level at all. How are you going about getting these leveled once they are glued on?

Great work so far, seems like I've been following this project for the longest time!

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^ None of them are level even though they may look it (some are nearer than others though I had to admit). I left them high on purpose so that I would flatten them down to match afterwards. And to flatten them all out I shall use a Stanley number 4 1/2 smoothing plane (the iron is 2 1/4" wide rather than the 2" of a number 4 plane). The plane is my favourite tool, and thankfully I can use and tune it well, so that is what I shall be using.

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Hi guys

I was doing some work for school this morning, but I'm now going to go and rout out the truss rod channel and then the skunk stripe channel, and probably insert the skunk stripe. I may also cut the walnut laminate for the headstock, as I've decided to use a bookmatched walnut laminate on the headstock instead of the padauk one I have (it's too small, but I could still make a new one by laminating some of the masses of padauk I have left). It's only because while padauk is very colourful, it has a pretty boring grain, and the walnut looks much better.

Anyway, here are some pics of it all marked out before I go and cut into it:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/148.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/151.jpg

Calum

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  • 3 months later...

Ain't posted in here for ages, and I've got some updates (though admittedly, not many)

Routing the truss rod channel:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/152.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/155.jpg

Headstock veneer (May or may not be used)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/156.jpg

fretboard clamped:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/160.jpg

After cutting out headstock:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/161.jpg

Fitting skunk stripe:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/165.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/168.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/176.jpg

Radiusing the fretboard:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/178.jpg

Routing out the neck pocket:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/180.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/181.jpg

Getting there!:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/184.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/186.jpg

I've also done some more work on the case, and I've done some shaping and such on the neck since these picks were taken. I'll do some more work tomorrow and take some pics. I've got GCSEs at the moment, but I should find some time in between revision to work on it. I've only got two exams this week anyway (English Lit 1 and Tech).

That's it for now,

Calum

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Ain't posted in here for ages, and I've got some updates (though admittedly, not many)

Routing the truss rod channel:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/152.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/155.jpg

Headstock veneer (May or may not be used)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/156.jpg

fretboard clamped:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/160.jpg

After cutting out headstock:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/161.jpg

Fitting skunk stripe:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/165.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/168.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/176.jpg

Radiusing the fretboard:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/178.jpg

Routing out the neck pocket:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/180.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/181.jpg

Getting there!:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/184.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/Calum/186.jpg

I've also done some more work on the case, and I've done some shaping and such on the neck since these picks were taken. I'll do some more work tomorrow and take some pics. I've got GCSEs at the moment, but I should find some time in between revision to work on it. I've only got two exams this week anyway (English Lit 1 and Tech).

That's it for now,

Calum

the 12 string headstock and the tele headstock just don't seem to work together to my eye...

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