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This ain't gonna be yer "normal" SS.


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ScottR your need build sounds like it will be a real stunner! I can wait to see your progress. It might give me new ideas with my build and help me through the way. I see you have your garage open is it warm where you live? I cannot wait to be able to open my garage working on my build. Looks like we are going to get more snow and ice today. I am following this thread to get all new updates.

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There is no redeeming value to this pic. I just like it. SR

I've got to admit.... ....that I did not see.... ....this grain pattern..... ....coming from the zebrawood in the neck. SR

And I cut the headstock plate out of some madrone burl offcuts. And laid it out a bit to get an idea of the look.   I knew this was not going to go quickly....... SR

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Hey Chris.

This build will be fairly unique anyway, the stunner part remains to be seen. I promise it will generate some ideas.....but I can't promise they'll good ones! <_<

If you asked me yesterday if it was warm where I live, I'd have said yes, it got up to 85 degrees F. Today, not so much. It'll barely get out of the 30's here in Houston. All things considered we can't complain here. It has been much more comfortable compared to most of the country....and probably Europe. It's late summer down in Oz though; that's the place to be just now. I'm glad you are following. We're gonna have some fun.

SR

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Yeah the neck will have some heft.....and my headstock is not exactly svelte either as RAD likes to point out. So balancing will be important. This will have a rather long bass side horn, so I should be able to use that to help the balance like some basses do. All three timbers in the neck ring like a bell, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they work out.

SR

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Scott I didn't catch the body wood. I would use a heavy piece of Sapele. One of the best 7 strings I have has a Zebrano neck and the Sapele body was a perfect compliment. As opposed to the Zebrano body and maple neck guitar I did years ago that sounded way to "quacky"

As for weight Zebra varies greatly tree to tree so it is easy enough to find a lighter piece. I have had pieces that weighed the same as a same sized maple piece.

Looking at the averages...

Avg weight for Maple 44 lbs/ft3

Avg weight for Zebrano 50 lbs/ft3

Avg weight for Jatoba 57 lbs/ft3

As you can see SR has used heavier woods for necks before and it is not as far from maple as say Jatoba aka Brazilian Pallet wood ;)

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Brett the body is going to be Zebrano and Madrone.

Currently, my favorite guitar has a neck made of Jatoba aka Brazilian Pallet Wood (and it literally came from a pallet made from jatoba and stamped Brazil) with a light Spanish cedar body and maple top. Sounds great, feels great, plays great. Got a killer set of pups in it.

SR

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If you go with a 1.75" thick body or so I am thinking it is going to be a heavy monster when you are done.

If it was me I would weigh the Zebrano blank before I put the top on it and see if it gonna need some chambers or at least a few 1" forstner holes. I am not talking about chambers that would affect the sound but weight reduction holes.

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Yes, that occurred to me as well. It will be relatively small bodied and will likely get some weight reduction chambers too. And it get get quite a bit taken from the outside as well.

This will not be a slab. :D

SR

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Cool.

Personally I am not a fan of chambers for tone purposes on solid body guitars. I keep them clear of the strings and the pickups because I feel they add a hollow sound to the instrument. But I mostly build guitars with the intention of shredding and high output amplification (read \m/etal)

Now if your intention is a Thinline Tele or something similar then have at it.

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How thin can one reasonably go for the body of the guitar? I am busy planning my first build and i have some beautiful african olive which is about 35mm thick and I was wondering if it would be feasable to make the body solely out of that? Aim was to make a bolt on neck and use a hipshot hardtail bridge.

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How thin can one reasonably go for the body of the guitar? I am busy planning my first build and i have some beautiful african olive which is about 35mm thick and I was wondering if it would be feasable to make the body solely out of that? Aim was to make a bolt on neck and use a hipshot hardtail bridge.

It would never work... The internet tone trolls would form a torch mob and come for you... then tone voodoo gods would rise up from the pits and curse your precious new creation with thin tone. Seriously who the hell would ever build a guitar under 1.75" thick out of anything other than "swamp ash" and some exotic wood neck?

If you are brave go look at some of my threads.

31mm is the thinnest I have ever built successfully. (with only a 2 degree neck tilt)

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I was hoping you would weigh in on this one Brett. I was going to reference your builds anyway.

Lookit! All of RAD's warnings aside, you are only limited by your mounting options. Neck join, pick-ups, switches, pots and bridge. RAD's Radical Departure build pushes the limits on most of those. What would you say the thickness on that beast is/was, Brett?

Actually the tone police may have this build in their sights before it's done as well. I'm going to put growly midtone heavy pups into a body that stands a chance of being pretty bright, what sith the hardness of the timbers I'm using.

SR

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Lookit! All of RAD's warnings aside, you are only limited by your mounting options. Neck join, pick-ups, switches, pots and bridge. RAD's Radical Departure build pushes the limits on most of those. What would you say the thickness on that beast is/was, Brett?

SR

I don't want to highjack your thread SR so if we want to talk about this make a thread and we can do it. <-- Lookit!

That build was limited to the depth of a pickup + 1/4" Aluminum plate. Just about an 26mm from the strings to the back of the plate.

I would say that if you are going to do a thin build change the plate on your pickups to a flat plate.

El Mariachi is only about 33mm

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My threads are pretty much unhighjackable. I post progress pretty much at the end of every weekend's worth of work and then look forward to kicking around just about any subject inbetween weekends. The more ground that gets covered the more ideas we get to explore.

Have you noticed any tonal differences between your various thickness of builds--that you felt could be a product of the thickness as opposed to timber choices, construction choices or other influences?

Have you found zebrano to be mostly bright or more mid to bright?

Sr

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My threads are pretty much unhighjackable. I post progress pretty much at the end of every weekend's worth of work and then look forward to kicking around just about any subject inbetween weekends. The more ground that gets covered the more ideas we get to explore.

Have you noticed any tonal differences between your various thickness of builds--that you felt could be a product of the thickness as opposed to timber choices, construction choices or other influences?

Have you found zebrano to be mostly bright or more mid to bright?

Sr

You know that the tone trolls will come if we start talking specifics so I will leave those ideas in my composition notebook.

Everything affects tone including chaos theory of wood.

In my opinion and generally speaking the thickness of the bodies does not seem to affect the tone as much as neck woods. I think that the thickness has a great deal of effect on the feel while playing. The thinner body seems to have a liveliness that the heavier planks lack. You can feel the string vibrations more where the guitar contacts the body. This is very important for the player because it gives them a more connected feel with the instrument.

As for Zebrano. It is a very unpredictable wood that can usually have a dark midrange. I have had it come out quacky and bright but looking back at that guitar it had a maple/ebony neck through so it had a reason to.

All other guitars had a wonderful dark set of tones with full mids, full low end, and slightly muted trebles. Always musical

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Cool. Dark midrange is where I was setting my broad targets (setting very precise targets for tone is a foolish game), but when you said it pairs well with sapele I started worrying it was brighter than I thought and needed the warmish sapele to balance it.

I think our tone trolls have left the building. I've been tempted to make some kind of outrageous pronouncement and treat it like a proven fact just to see if there is any life out there. It has been a long time since strongly held opposing opinions have been proffered in support one version of truth verses another (flame war) in here. There is high entertainment value in some of those.

Been a long time since I've seen a Monty Python quote too.

SR

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Got the gluing surfaces trued up and then needed to trace the outline on the boards to make sure I glue them together in a manner that fits the offset shape. This was my first time using sides of different sizes.

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Lots of squeeze out....I had a sizable line of glue to clean off the driveway too. :blush

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Getting the fretboard side of the neck flat and true.

 

I bought these timbers rough cut which means I have to make it dimensional myself. I trued up the gluing surfaces on these neck pieces but the outside edges ae not true and are not even exactly the same thickness. They are all getting trimmed off anyway. But I do need a clean side to go against the router table fence so my truss rod slot stays in the center of the middle lam. This side is in the process of beoing trued up for that.

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SR

 

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Once the side was square and true to the top of the neck, I could cut my headstock angle.

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I love using my plane for a sanding block in these situations.

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I flattened the fretboard stock the same way and got on to cutting frets.

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I use the Stew Mac miter box. The upgrade to this pull saw is so worth the money.

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SR

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