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A No-Frills Solid-Body Guitar : The Bumble-B

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Drilling a hole for the toggle switch :



Everything is looking good here. The only thin I don't get is the front cavity for the switch. Any special plan for that? I mean, the "normal" way would be to make the cavity on the back and have only a small hole on the front but you have obviously some nice, different ideas going here.

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Thanks for the comments !

There will a pickguard for the switch and neck humbucker, which is why there's a big hole in the top :)

I made a setup to cut the cavity cover with the router. It's a perfect fit. Couldn't have hoped for better :



I wanted to make a similarly-styled jack plate. I drilled 2 offset holes for the jack :


I slipped a little while drilling and made a small, round jack plate by hand. The fit wasn't great and I had to sand quite a bit around the recess to make it look half-decent. It's a far cry from the crisp, clean look I wanted : :


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There will a pickguard for the switch and neck humbucker, which is why there's a big hole in the top :)

OK, a little bit like the old Telecaster Thinline?


But "only" for the switch and neck bucker? Could be really cool.

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Nothing exciting to show... I'm just tinkering...

My pickup cavities were so clean that I decided to do away with the humbucker rings and direct-mount the pickups. I made some woodblock-and-foam "springs" :


and enlarged the pickup screwholes with the drill press so that the wood screws could go through :


After I tested the pickups for fit, I was really happy wih the way the neck pickup was held and place, and with the adjustment tolerance given by the foam. But the neck angle made for a very high bridge pickup. So I have to go back to pickup rings, which is a bummer because I already drilled the holes larger so they won't take the threaded screws anymore. It's no biggie, but I'll have to figure something out by glueing or soldering bolts to the base of the pickup...

Anyway, I've been sanding :


and scraping :


...and scraping :


... and making dings :


... and fixing them with boiling water and a soldering iron :


I now have a body ready for finish-sanding (I'll start with 180-grit) :



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Thanks for the comments!

I mainly used the chisel for the volute and heel. You can get great control of what you are removing by using your thumb to make a slicing motion with the chisel. I think the picture is pretty clear :


I use my right hand to hold the chisel. The left hand holds the headstock while my thumb pushes the chisel sideways to make a slice. This way I can make a very precise cut with little pressure from either the right hand or left thumb. As long as the chisel is sharp, it is VERY easy. And little pressure means very little risk of messing up.

I used to use a Dremel with a sanding bit to do this kind of stuff, but the chisel is so much easier to control.

As far as scraping, I used the scraper extensively because I liked the challenge of smoothing the body contour this way. It's certainly not the most efficient method, but learned a lot about this tool and got a lot of practice this way. And I must have saved a few sheets of sandpaper. I'm really enjoying this "more shavings, less sanding" method.

Although I don't think I'll scrape an entire body contour again in the near future...

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  • 5 months later...

Slowly getting back to business. Two coats of sealer :


Grain-filling on the sipo back. The cherry is close-grained

Light sanding with 320-grit.

A few tint tests :

I wasn't sure wether I wanted to make it blue or yellow... It will be yellow.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

... Looking forward to some more updates :peace

I aim to please... BTW, thanks for all the kind comments.

I sprayed my last coats.

After I level-sanded the sealer, I covered the sipo back with masking tape and sprayed a coat of tinted orange automotive lacquer on the wild cherry top and immediately removed the masking tape.

I sprayed two coats of clear to "catch up" to the ridge created by the tinted coat before level-sanding with 320-grit paper.

Here are the pics after spraying 3 clear top coats :



The flashy orange looks that way because of the... flash. It's actually a bit milder.

When dry, the dreaded buffing and polishing begins :

I started by doing the bulk of the work with 600-grade wet or dry paper used with mineral spirits. I removed most, but not all shiny spots. Since I only have 3 top coats, I don't want to sand through them, so I'm keeping the sanding to a minimum. If I find when polishing that some spots need more sanding, I will do it then.

But first, light sanding with 800, 1000, 1200-grade sandpaper with mineral spirits..

After polishing the back, it looks fine (well, in my eye at least) :


I started polishing the top before getting called for babysitting duty :


It looks like the sanding wasn't as thorough as on the back so I will probably need to sand some more before moving on with polishing.


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