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Round 2: Etna And Flying V


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After finishing up the nylon string solidbody I started a new round of builds some time ago. This is a thread for two of them. A 6-sting 27' baritone I'm building for myself and a RR flying V I'm building for a friend of mine. Here's the initial specs and wood choices:

The baritone will be called "Etna" and will be almost entirely a wenge-padouk combination. The fingerboard will most likely be bloodwood.

Here's the body blank - padouk:

1015715_10200754633820687_1530879872_o.j

and the neck laminate pieces - wenge and padouk:

1015131_10200766271831630_1370225000_o.j

The Flying V will be a slighty tweaked version of the RR asymmetrical V shape with a 3x3 headstock. After checking the body dimensions I figured that the best (for me) way to find a body blank piece that's long enough is to make this guitar a neck-thru, thus limiting the lenght of the wings.

So this will be my first try at a neck-thru - we'll see how this will go. The neck section is ovangkol with a wenge strip and the body wings will be walnut. Here's the wood:

980796_10200611514562795_1984158316_o.jp

The fingerboard for this one is undecided at this point. Both of these guitars will most likely get transparent finish - some combination of oil and nitro (or RPC).

Before I move on I have a bunch of templates to be made...

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Progress on the flying V: I made a thin HDF template for the neck section and a thicker MDF template for the body:

1025408_10200754098887314_1152275525_o.j

Due to the abundance of straight lines in a flying V and due to not owning or having access to a bandsaw I will be using this tool a lot :D

1052493_10200858365493914_169415395_o.jp

Here I'm taking down the thickness in the neck section. The cut-off is basically neck-blank size so I will recycle it in some future build.

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Guys, this is not ibanez. At least not the usual 6-in-line one. Is that the one you're referring to?

This is a slightly asymmetric 3x3 that I drew myself, not intending to copy anything (but of course its anything but original)

Anyway if you don't like this one you're probably hate the one I designed for the baritone.. soon. For now, here's the laminate gluing. I did it in 2 steps, here's the inner three pieces:

1040035_10200809002419868_873672152_o.jp

Glued and smoothed out with a handplane:

1040696_10200809002139861_686939446_o.jp

@Scott - thanks, the saw has also become my scarf joint tool of choice - see below. At least this is some good workout - unlike pointlessly throwing pieces of iron, like some people seem to enjoy (aka gym) :D

For this guitar the neck was too short too allow me to make the head from the same piece so I just cut the scarf angle and I'll try to use a body off-cut for the head itself.

1064017_10200912030275500_1861485047_o.j

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well I don't take this as a "hater" thing, I like to hear people's opinions. For this guitar the headstock is fixed since this is what the customer wanted and I like it myself too. There might be some ibanez influence in the tip of this design of mine - it is the same as on ibanez headstocks that's true.

anyway. the scarf joint.

1. cut.

1065134_10200889863841353_2101662541_o.j

2. align.

1048781_10200889863881354_2028845162_o.j

3. Clean up. (hand plane and scraper)

1039763_10200889863921355_1954212066_o.j

Now just a dry fit before gluing:

856703_10200908865116373_269146030_o.jpg

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And here comes Fail #1: originally I planned to use one of the body off-cuts for the headstock. But for some reason, despite having it planned, the piece ended up too small. I considered using a padouk fingerboard blank instead but decided to try saving it for an actual fingerboard and to attempt using the body piece anyway - by cutting it flat along its length and re-gluing to get the correct shape.

Here's the puzzle:

1094498_10201098945148255_1326697214_o.j

and here's the solution:

1119914_10201098945788271_972119732_o.jp

The advantage of such layout is that I have the grain running alont the thin shape of the headstock.. Now I just need to actually glue it and then I'll need to keep the work very precise, there's little margin for error.

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Etna neck work c.d.

The headstock piece just barely fits the headstock shape so I had to be careful when gluing up the scarf joint. I had too little room on the sides to prevent the pieces from slipping around with holes and drill bits and due to the lack of flat surfaces I couldng use the "put neck on the side, clamp to the table then clamp the scarf joint" method. I did use a variation of the latter, clamping the neck side to the granite block I was using as support, and holding the headstock piece in a vise - and after securing both I clamped the actual joint. Here's the messy jig in action:

1272232_10201219076871473_15075112_o.jpg

After gluing and some cleanup I flattened the fingerboard side and now its waiting for the truss rod channel:

1268074_10201219076831472_665220911_o.jp

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  • 3 weeks later...

Long overdue update. The hardware for the V has arrived. Schaller low profile floyd in "vintage copper" finish and matching knobs and tuners. I love the way these look, should match up nicely with the dirty-looking ovangkol (the guitar will most likely get natural finish)

1073090_10200950824485331_1794650292_o.j

1071639_10200950824445330_50943608_o.jpg

I glued up the scarf joint and added black oak veneer to the face of the headstock:

1074938_10200970003404792_1433408820_o.j

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  • 1 month later...

A small collection of updates:

the flying V got a truss rod slot

1097228_10201243703927134_1091794315_o.j

I used the same metal rails (originally build for cutting truss rod channels with a dremel :blush ) and some mdf to build a variation of the usual router planing jig. I got a relatively big bit with rounded edges used the setup to thickness the headstock:

1275753_10201353333587807_1678553508_o.j

the client's fingerboard wood choice was pao ferro, here is the board after slotting. I had since cut the taper and just need to thickness it and its ready to be glued on.

980960_10201524819914858_532575215_o.jpg

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And here's the progress on Etna:

I routed the body outline from the back, not all the way yet - I'm keeping a bit less than 1cm of wood for later work with the front. I threw in a roundover at the back side so now I'm at this:

904660_10201508615389755_1641303535_o.jp

the Schaller Hannes bridge has arrived so I sent it to say hi to the body front:

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The only bloodwood fingerboard blank big enough for the 686mm scale that I could find (at a reasonable price) was a 5-string bass blank at lmi - so I ordered it from the US. I cut it to size and cut the fret slots. I used my 648mm template shifted by one fret and cut the nut slot using calipers and then a wooden block as a guide.

1292979_10201508615429756_815227767_o.jp

my preferred method for cutting fingerboard taper is still the shooting board:

615309_10201508616509783_288667081_o.jpg

Since I had a few cm of wood beyond the last fret on both the heel and the fingerboard, I used this area for alignment - before gluing I clamped the board in place and drilled two 6mm holes past the heel and then used two 6mm drill bits to keep the board from slipping after applying titebond. This worked very well, I had zero lateral movement (and zero transverse movement at the heel), the only place where the fingeboard could slip was sideways at the nut, but it was easy to just keep it in place when tightening down the clamps as I now needed to worry about just this one degree of freedom (instead of three).

1273101_10201536911737146_1673803523_o.j

here is the neck out of the clamps and after some trimming of the sides and heel with a jigsaw

1398480_10201536911457139_183128738_o.jp

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Tape it off and leave it in the sun for a few days after sanding.

That might do it, but you'd have to use a good UV blocking finish for it to last any length of time. I don't know of anything that would be permanent, other than keeping it forever in the dark.

SR

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When this padouk blank arrived it was deep burgundy red all over. Now the untouched parts have turned almost to brown, and fresh cuts are more orange - as the pic shows. I like all of these colors except the brown that apparently is inevitable and sooner or later will be all over the place.

This will be more of a problem with the guitar top, where I want the orange to contrast dark veneer that I will be applying there.. I'm already testing workarounds, but I'll be researching some sort of UV blocking finish to maybe keep the color for as long as possible..

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Long overdue update. The hardware for the V has arrived. Schaller low profile floyd in "vintage copper" finish and matching knobs and tuners. I love the way these look, should match up nicely with the dirty-looking ovangkol (the guitar will most likely get natural finish)

1073090_10200950824485331_1794650292_o.j

1071639_10200950824445330_50943608_o.jpg

I glued up the scarf joint and added black oak veneer to the face of the headstock:

1074938_10200970003404792_1433408820_o.j

I truly love this combination of colors. Very classy and unique. The hardware has just the right amount of browns, oranges and reds to complement and draw from the wood's tone. Excellent choice

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I truly love this combination of colors. Very classy and unique. The hardware has just the right amount of browns, oranges and reds to complement and draw from the wood's tone. Excellent choice

Thanks man, I'm very happy that you like it!

When I was looking for hardware for this guitar I bumped into the Schaller vintage copper line and I managed to talk the customer into using these. I knew as soon as they arrived that this was THE right choice for this guitar. To me they look stunning together.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some progress on the flying V - fingerboard attachment. I used a similar idea as in the other neck - I had some fingerboard material past 24th fret and over the neck pickup cavity. So I used that for 2 6mm alignment holes:

1397666_10201620866195955_882530432_o.jp

Then during the clamp-up I just had to watch that the nut side doesn't slip off center

1402116_10201620866115953_1073216378_o.j

Following glue-up I routed the sides of the neck using the fingerboard as a guide, I'm now making headstock templates for both guitars. I'm also trying to come up with a template set for the schaller lo-pro tremolo. I'll do a test run on some spare timber when that's ready.

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Looking good!

I also write messages to myself on my workpieces, however mine tend to be more insulting otherwise they go right over my head and I ignore them. Not sure what that says about me.

How's CERN looking these days? Everybody seems to care more about Mars right now rather than the fundamental laws that govern well, everything. Any danger of the experiments lending more credence to the theory about the gravity of another universe causing the big cold spot in the CMB?

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Hey Pro, thanks! I guess my notes to myself will change when I make some really stupid mistake in a build .. for now they're relatively neutral.

CERN? There's been some noise with this years Nobel prize in physics that went to Higgs and Englert for the particle that they predicted in the sixties and we finally found last year.. but otherwise we're in shutdown mode, preparing the experiments to restart with 2x higher energy in 1.5 years. I don't think we'll be able to say much about gravity, unless we're really lucky and we see extra dimensions, black holes or any of that crazy stuff.

The CMB guys last I heard had the same problem as us - the more they measure the better the results fit the most standard theory.

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