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Specs:

Bubinga Les Paul type body

AAAAA quilted maple top.

Blue trans finish.

NO binding

bolt-on neck (i hate neck-throughs and such)

bluesy PUPS

heres the killer:

some highly figured wood for neck, haven't decided yet.

and instead of a wooden fretboard, a stainless steel fretboard, with no frets!!

Yes, it will be a fretless which doesn't sound too woody, and every note sounds like it's fretted. BUH-YAH!! :D

I'll probably start building this next year, either in January 04 or the summer of 04. B)

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In no way am i experienced... I'm on my first project right now... but this Steel-Paul as it wll be refered to as from now on, will be pretty easy. It'll be a wormoth body, and i need to find someone who sells necks minus the fret board, and then i will but some stainless steel, cut it to size, polish it, and the rest is basic.

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Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars

Well, dot use quilted for the neck. Flame is fine, but quilt is a no no. And, HOLLOW that bubinga. The guit will still weigh a TON, maybe more.

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if you're going for stainless steel, avoid austenitic ones (tension + acid, such as sweat, tend to be harsh on them if they aren't heat treated).

sounds like a cool project though. I'd love to see it when it's finished.

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HOLLOW that bubinga. The guit will still weigh a TON, maybe more.

Yeh, but maybe it's better weighing a ton than having a really light body with a really heavy neck? It would be all unbalanced, if you let go of it and let it hang by the strap the headstock would be pointing towards the ground. I dunno though, try it and see.

Also, something to watch out for, I was thinking of building an aluminium neck for my bass, but I heard there's lots of problems with tuning stability so I gave it a miss this time round. I still lose a bit of stability with the aluminium body, but it's not nearly as bad. The problem with it is, when the aluminium heats up it expands, and when it cools it contracts, enough to be a problem. I don't know about stainless, you'd have to do some research to find out if it's going to worry you or not, but just something to keep in mind especially on a neck.

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Firstly - How are you going to glue the fingerboard on?

Secondly - Every note will not sound fretted. Even with a steel FB you will still be damping the string with the soft fleshy tip of your finger, not pressing it against the nice firm metal of a fret.

Thirdly - As mentioned above, be ready to go out of tune, and regularly have your fingerboard fall off because of the dramatically different expansion rates of wood and metal.

:D

I'd stick to tried and tested designs before trying to re-invent the wheel.

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I dont want to offend you, but I think your idea with the stainless steel fingerboard is not good for a number of reasons:

1. The notes will not sound frettet as Setch wrote

2. Why build a fretless guitar with the goal to make it sound like if it had frets?

3. The fingerboard will be very heavy

4. The neck will surely make trouble over time....metal and wood are simply too different materials

5. You will have a very hard time radiusing the fingerboard

6. I think it will be nearly impossible to set the action on this guitar in a way which eliminates buzzing

7. I dont think stainless steel will sound good at all. There are many people complaining about the sound of stainless steel frets and you are going to build a whole fingerboard from it?

8. Fretless Basses and guitars are built for their smooth, warm and singing sound. You will certainly eliminate this qualities with a metal fingerboard.

Please dont waste a nice 5A quilted maple top for such a project. If you really are convinced that this is a good idea, then try it with cheap parts first.

Greets,

MK!

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I have been thinking of all these things. Stainless Steel was the first one to come to mind, possibly some other metal, i haven't done reasearch yet.

1) I don't see any reason wy the intonation would suck, it would be exactly the same as a regular fretless, perfect.

2) Although it won't sound fully fretted, it wont sound as dampened or as woody as a regualr fretless.

3) I want a fretless for bluesy-style playing, some thing i can slide around real fast on.

4) I haven't figured out how to attach the fingerboard to the neck yet. I was originally thinking glue, but it is now apparent I will need to possible bolt from the back, or have a 1st fret which will act as a zero fret where 2 bolts will be between it and the nut. And where the 22nd fret would go, recessed bolts, which are level with the fret board. I would never go to the 22nd fret anyways...

I could have the metal i use heat-shrunk or whatever so that it stays a common size. Also, the temp of my room does not change much, and that would be it's permanent position.

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I have to agree with GuitarMaestro. The wood will change (shrink and swell) at a different rate than the stainless or any othe metal. This will cause some of the problems that Guitarmaestro mentioned. Even if your room stays the same temperature it is hard to keep the humidity level the same. If you must try I wish you good luck.

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Very interesting. You thinking about a solid block of 1/4" thick stainless (heavy and expensive)? Or stainless 14ga. to form a cap over existing fretboard wood? I'm not going to tell you whats right or wrong, its not my thing. You do what you can do and if any mistakes happen or it simply doesn't work, then I consider it a learning experience.

I've done my fair share of metal fabrication and I can be sure about one thing, you have a real challenge ahead. Especially forming your fretboard radius and attachment to neck. If you plan on a cap I guess you could tack bolts on the back side and then run them thru your fretboard wood and attach with nuts. But ANY welding will cause some discoloration and warpage on your outside surface. Stainless can be very unforgiving.

There will also be string wear and tear on the stainless afterwards. I made a solid 14 ga. stainless pickguard for my last guitar. It worked out very well. I glued a piece of particle board to the back face to cut my pickup holes with a jigsaw equipped w/ a hacksaw toothed blade. That prevented the piece from overheating and bending. Then just pulled the particle board off afterwards. The pickups mount directly to the pickguard which is well grounded with the bridge grounding wire.

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i duuno. I was thinking of a slab the size of a regualar fretboard, but i am now thinking of half the fret board wood, the other half metal. Thats why i chose bubinga, to balance the guitar. And since it is meant to be a blues guitar, and it's quite normal for a blues player to sit while playing (see BB King) the weight thang aint bad, y' know?

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Guest Litchfield Custom Gutars

Yeah my bass is mahogany and bubinga. It is chambered, and the 5/8" bubinga tob is stil heavy. hollow bodies are what the blueser typically play....BB, JLH, Albert Collins plays a thinline tele.

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well, kramer made aluminum neck guitars and basses back in the day. so I don't think it's impossible. but maybe instead of wood you could use carbon for the neck?

using a highly figured top for this one isn't a bad idea at all. if the neck doesn't work, all he needs to do is get a new neck. it was a bolt-on, wasn't it?

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yes, it's a warmoth bolt on. Carbon fiber sounds good. Or ebony?

Carbon fiber or phenolic? Steiberger, et al necks have phenolic FB's. I used to have one of the Kramer Aluminum necked guitars back in the 80's. It too had a phenolic FB. I had no clue... I scalloped it B)... did one section... point of no return. Man, that was ugly! :D

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