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Starting to get back into building so I thought I'd throw a couple pictures up of what I have going on.

I just started a new V, based on the Amott Ninja V by ESP. Couple tweaks here and there to my liking.


Cherry body

Birdseye Maple and Bloodwood Neck

Bloodwood Fretboard

22 fret

2 hum TOM and strings through

Wimbeldon White Body with oiled neck and fretboard

Mock Up




Birdseye ($20 at Home Depot, I don't usually buy lumber there but this piece jumped out at me)


Template almost done.


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I used a bloodwood fretboard on my last guitar, has a nice feel and its something different so using it here again.

I am not big on inlay, usually go for more over the top wood but as this is more of a tribute guitar versus my usual one offs, I thought I'd throw something small in.

Arch Enemy logo


All routed


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Another one currently sitting in the spray booth. Had some spray gun issues so I am avoiding having to sand the top back to level before I spray more clear.

Flamed Maple top

Mahogany Back

7 piece Flame Maple and Black walnut neck



Color testing, Gibson Fireburst was what I am going for, pretty close


Cavity Cover



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I haven't listened to much of Carcass outside of Heartwork. Great record.

Finished the template tonight. Seeing as no work tomorrow should be able to get the cherry planned and glued up and the neck glued up as well.


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Got the body all planned down and glued up today. Didn't get around to glueing the neck laminates so that will be tomorrow along with routing the pickups, neck pocket, and control cavity. Always interesting to see what comes out of rough sawn wood when its planned down. This piece was actually pretty smooth considering it was cut with a traditional saw mill (giant saw blade). There ended up being nothing exciting in the wood which I was expecting anyways.





Fretboard slotted and inlaid


Glue shot


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Interesting that you are basing the design off the ESP version. In many ways I like the Dean. The heel and fret access looks a million miles better on the ESP. The bevelling is pretty attractive on the Dean though, although maybe a little too heavy.

I guess this is the kind of benchmark for the build....are you mounting a pickguard or rear mounting (even though the ESP looks like both)?


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I like the ESP version as its not quite as over the top with the lower horns (little more classy than screaming Death metal right from the start) and I also don't care for the Dean Headstock design. I am going without a pickguard, my control layout, and I am also pushing the body farther away from the neck to gain upper fret access, which is one of my biggest gripes with these production guitars, Jackson King V being the worst.

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Yes, the Dean headstock could do with tieing in a little better but hey. I think the ESP headstock would look a little more "pushing" if it were reversed. The Laiho ESPs help with the upper fret access however depending on how deeply the neck goes into the body (not far enough for this I guess) you could sculpt the back into a cutaway. The body meeting at the 19th looks like the furthest you can push it. I've got a V in the works where I am trying to negotiate around this exact problem but I don't have the burden of a neck pickup to deal with. I figured that a deeper tenon hidden under a 5mm top would do the trick.

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The Lahio cutaway looks like an after though more so than anything. Yea it probably functions very well but the form its pretty bad. The ultimate cut away/planning is in the Gibson 59 Flying V, maximum cutaway while still mainting a neck pickup. Its all in having enough shoulder width to install the neck pickup right against the fretboard. I plan all my guitars out in Autocad before hand to make sure I have the necessary clearances.

Here's one of my Purple Heart 59, the fretboard meets the body at the end of the board after the 22nd fret. This particular one is a neck through, but my 3 Korina's are set neck with a tenon that extends approximately an inch past the neck pickup for plenty of glue surface.


Started routing pickup cavities, neck cavity, and electronics cavity. Work got in the way though so unfinished at the moment and still need to create a neck pocket template.



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This V that I am building right now, the body weighs in around 4 pounds. I still have to finish the neck pocket and electronics cavity as well as input jack so it should be under 4 by the time its ready for a neck. I'll weigh it on my digital kitchen scale when its all routed.

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Got a little more done. 7 day work weeks don't leave much time for guitar building so I am sneaking in a hour here and there. Still need to adjust my neck pocket, not quite as wide as I would like it.



Going with a 7 piece neck on this. I am doing some testing with the center piece. I had an off cut of Birdseye a hair under 1/8" thick. Trying to dye it straight black but enough so that when I carve the neck it will still be black all the way through. Anyone have any idea if that will work? I have one test piece that I dyed both sides with straight dye undiluted. I will cut it in half to see if the dye went all the way through or not.


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  • 1 month later...

Making a little progress when I can find time here and there between work and racing. Body is pretty much set, just doing a little grain/dent filling with epoxy. Fret board is glued on along with the block for the heel. Headstock inlay is started still have to do the filling around it once the fret board clamps are off. Also picked up some Wimbledon White paint, 1964-1967 Ford color, nice vintage/off white but not too creme color and not stark white like snow white. Also had some tear out on the headstock when I was routing that so once I get it thinned down to around 15mm I'll have to see how much tear out is left.




Edited by MzI
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Couple dents and dings here and there plus some tear out from the planner. Also easier than sanding out all the 40 grit sanding marks from the thickness sander. I've also found, on my solid color finishes, any joints that I glue up always show no matter how much base coat and clear I put over the top. Putting down a coat of epoxy helps hide it, and it doesn't shrink like bondo does.

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I have 60 grit on my smaller drum sander and 80 grit on my big drum sander. That's fine for perfect joins.

The op is right. If spraying, the paint will "shrink" into anything that it can. So I'd agree, even if doing a clear coat only I'd still use a grain fill/sealer and get the thing coated before spraying the clears or colors.

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