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Well I think this one is done as well. I’ve installed brass inserts in the pup cavities for these bolts, oiled and waxed the neck, etc. I put on some Hipshot tuners cause the Sperzels were breaki

Closing in.

A little farther. 

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I’m thrilled with it. It’s a kickass satin finish that the hardwax oil did not produce. I’ve already managed a ding in it though. :(

 

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Trial run with the rough nut to make sure electrics are working as intended. Still need to finish nut, slight heel refinement, screws for pups (originals are too long), then disassemble and oil finish neck.

Hella strings!

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1 hour ago, MiloszM said:

Yesss..

What strings you have there?

They are Stringjoy 10,13, 16, 26w, 34, 46, 64, 85

Boy, I just did sound test #1 and I’m not sure I could be any happier. Just tuning up the strings unplugged, you could hear how resonant it is. The coco / swamp ash combo is magic. Also, the pickups are just great with three voices and so much tonal range. String spacing is perfect. Action is super low and clean all the way to the F# 24th fret (cool sound that). Needs intonation, and the G string is a bitch as usual.

I’ll never be able to play it like it should be played, but I don’t care. lol

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Back switch adjusts the phase shift of the polarized vortex beams that allow you to see Cthulhu without going insane. The knob lets you dial that in with precision like a focus knob. Front switch chooses which pickup you want.

front = pickups, knob = volume, back = three voices built into the pups. Modern, vintage, and single coil which uses the south coil on each pup (closest to neck coil).

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On 8/6/2020 at 7:47 PM, komodo said:

Back switch adjusts the phase shift of the polarized vortex beams that allow you to see Cthulhu without going insane. The knob lets you dial that in with precision like a focus knob. Front switch chooses which pickup you want.

I see what you did there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah, not giving you a hard time about it or anything. Seams across the grain always look like that. Given the size of the volute and neck angle, placing it in the neck instead would put it somewhere around the 3rd-4th fret? That's a little too far for comfort.

No, I absolutely love this build. The pickguard is perfect and everything is tied together really well. A complete package.

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RE: the scarf seam - I worked at getting it somewhat straight. It's a consequence of the compound angle cut with the router jig and then gluing the head atop that. I'm pretty sure I did that because of the length of the board, but I'd have to go back and look.

I'm pretty sure I'll keep these tuners on so I need to get the screws installed, which is not something I'm looking forward to. Tiny screws into cocobolo! You can also see the saddles hitting their limit as I was intonating. I might have to reset the bridge a bit farther back. There's room to elongate the string through holes, so it's not a huge issue, just annoying after planning so much.

Final weight is right at 8 lbs.

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1 hour ago, komodo said:

I'm pretty sure I'll keep these tuners on so I need to get the screws installed, which is not something I'm looking forward to. Tiny screws into cocobolo!

Tuner locating screws don't provide much other than preventing the tuner twisting in place. Drill good pilot holes and if you've got some spare screws with the same thread, use them to chase the thread sacrificially. Just be ultra careful when re-using the same screw to chase several holes as it becomes more likely that the constant torque will shear the head off. That becomes a world of pain really quickly. A bit of soap or stearine/candle wax goes a long way.

I cheat by drilling my pilot hole (calipers measuring the diameter within the threads) to depth, then relieving the first half of that to the width of the threads or screw shank below the head. That way the screws only have to work as much as they need to. 

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4 hours ago, mistermikev said:

wow, you have good taste.  I think that inlay just looks fantastic against the monotone body/hardware.  and satin - love it.  awesome work as always.

Thanks buddy!

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  • 3 weeks later...

After playing the last two builds for awhile now, the neck profiles are revealing themselves. I'm not sure I've ever built a neck that wasn't tweaked later, sometimes a hair, sometimes quite a bit. 

For this one, I was very careful as I didn't want to mistake the extra width and mass as extra chunkiness. Spoke shaves and even finger planes are too much at this point, so a super sharp scraper is the trick. The profile was kind of a shallow, flat D, but after playing I realized it needed to be more of a C. Probably not unlike an Ibanez JEM, but translating that to the 8 string and making sure that you don't creep into the fret board edges and make knife edges takes some careful removal.

While playing, the "corners" of the D profile made the neck feel thicker than it was depending on where the thumb was placed, as well as blocking your ability to wrap smoothly around the neck and play up and down vertically with any speed. By shaving it to more of a C, it's a WAY more natural motion as your hand rocks up and down. In the end, a pile of shavings and a way better feel.

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Agreed 100% on the scraper. I usually end up taking a slight bit more off the treble side, making profiles asymmetric. I like a bit of chunk to my necks, but taking that little off the treble side makes it speedier transitioning otherwise I lock in position more....if that makes sense.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to @curtisa for the Sunn O))) reference earlier on. I didn’t know them, but I do now! I was going to build a clone of their Life Pedal, but ended up having a clone made by Kpedals so I didn’t have to source all the parts, and cause he does paint pours.

It sounds like hell.

 

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