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Build 2 - Dan's LP JR Double Cut


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I regret having epoxied my Dremel into the pantograph to reduce flex....

The last fret polish I did was finished by hand with the crown polishing done with a cordless drill and a Dremel polishing wheel with Autosol. A little clunky, however it did the job extremely well. Especially the final "sock doubled up, pulled over finger" work to bring the ends into polish also. I always avoid those with anything motorised, because one grab and you're swearing into your tea.

That's a tasty Jr DC! It looks more substantial than an original, and more capable up in the fun rows. The clear rear estate of the front - unsullied by a pickguard - gives it a nice presence.

So, next? 😉

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

So, next? 😉

Rebuilding my 12-string acoustic. The top is like a ski ramp, the neck has come unstuck and it has an action that can be measured in inches! It needs a complete makeover 

After that it will be a 5-string bass 

Btw, I used the Dremel buffing wheel to do the fret ends. It worked a treat with the Meguiar's ultimate compound. I got through 2 buffing wheels for the polishing

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

That's a tasty Jr DC! It looks more substantial than an original, and more capable up in the fun rows. The clear rear estate of the front - unsullied by a pickguard - gives it a nice presence

Thank you. I am rather pleased how it has turned out. It will be a wrench to hand it over to Dan next week 

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8 hours ago, Norris said:

Rebuilding my 12-string acoustic. The top is like a ski ramp

I haven't forgotten either. I'm patiently waiting for you to do a 3-year essay on the process so I know what mistakes to avoid when I'm ready to retire and do mine ;)

 

8 hours ago, Norris said:

but it's 73.4% better now

Approximately, of course.

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

Hopefully that spot won't be empty for the next three years!

Certainly not.

I'm considering refinishing a cheapo Charvel Charvette that I bought in a fire sale many years ago. I could do with something strat-ish and have been itching to do a Pelham blue finish... :D

That's as well as rebuilding my 12-string acoustic, and building myself a bass...

Edited by Norris
Auto correct had me fixing a 1212-string acoustic!
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Dan tried to post a response to this thread, but had a few difficulties registering. This is what he just WhatsApp'ed to me, what he wanted to say:

Hi all, this is Dan, Norris' "customer"! 

Well I woke up this morning with sore fingers from playing "Patience" (as Norris has christened my new guitar!) for countless hours last night, and have just spent another hour or two reading through this thread whilst noodling & strumming. To say I'm amazed at the amount of work, creativity & attention to detail he has put into my new guitar is a massive understatement! Wow, Norris, patience is your middle name & you must have it in spades!! It honestly doesn't seem like 3 years in the making, but really, at 2 hours a week & probably less than 30 weekly sessions per year it's not really taken that long, especially when you consider the amount of work involved. 

Anyway, for those of you who have been following Norris' endless & meticulous tooling, scraping, oiling, sanding & soldering I just wanna say the end result is a fabulous guitar that plays great, sounds fab & looks absolutely gorgeous! Thanks Norris! X 

PS: Gibby ES336 style next, asap! haha!

[\quote]

Well, what can I say? A lovely testament

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I've had a few things to do, but today I'm getting onto re-profiling the neck.

I asked Dan to choose his most comfortable neck out of his "stable", and he picked a fairly modern single cut LP junior. So the first job was to copy the profile at the 1st & 12th frets with my mitre gauge and transfer it to paper 

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Then I put it through my hot laminator to stiffen it and cut it out with a scalpel 

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The neck on the Gibson is slightly narrower, especially on the 1st fret. So I adjusted the template to suit and then did the scary bit to that lovely Tru Oil finish...

IMG-20200528-WA0000.thumb.jpeg.8f3af6bf61bd956e0c178573109432c6.jpeg

...quickly followed by a major bit of shinto rasp butchery!

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That was a heck of a chunky neck before!

Anyway, rinse and repeat at the 12th fret. That didn't need quite so much removing thank goodness.

Now I'm joining up the two new profiles with my trusty shinto rasp and a straight rule, which should keep me busy most of the day 

20200528_113336.thumb.jpg.3a590688f1fa419f85d1887aee9e2983.jpg

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I left a bit of wriggle room. I did very nearly create a low spot but luckily stuck the straight edge on in time, while I had enough high spots elsewhere. I'm now sneaking up on it with a 120 grit sanding beam and the occasional blast with a concave cabinet scraper 

IMG-20200528-WA0016.thumb.jpeg.08757b0572a368468141ce4fecec471e.jpeg

You can make out a few spots that are not quite level yet 

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At least Tru-Oil is quite forgiving when it comes to blending in refinishes and repairs! Yep, that was a proper baseball bat alright. How sticky was the original finish on the neck? The shine on that makes me feel like it would have been a bit "tacky" and not fast or slick. I took back the shellac on a neck I refinished a LONG time ago, and even though I didn't burn through the entire shellac I sanded it with an Abralon pad to 180, then up to 360. There was still shellac on the surface (likely not as protective as a fuller coat) however it transforms the neck's feel. Generally the feel of a neck with the first flood coat and removal feels best to be with Tru-Oil. I haven't tried cutting it back to satin, however I'm tempted to do this on one of my basses and then waxing.

Related: Can you believe that I've never gone to the lengths of dialling in any specific profile to any neck? Perhaps this is down to what I DO dial in and my working methods. I've always established the fingerboard-to-neck thicknesses at the heel and volute, generally as part of that side profile job with a bobbin sander or whatever. I then join those two points up as a thickness taper and remove the shoulders with a spokeshave, rasp and scraper. By the time I am at the stage for sanding, the shoulders are still fatter than I prefer, so sanding sub-180 grit is enough to fettle it in. Given that I prefer a slim C-type oval, this seems to explain a lot. Fatter Ds feel uncomfortable, even if meatier profiles do produce more musically-pleasant necks.

It's a wise choice copying the profile from his favourite player. How we approach the idea vs. the customer's expectations are often quite different. I do think that a more slick feeling neck would be an option to table, but again....some people don't feel that and like the grip.

People are strange, etc.

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2 hours ago, Prostheta said:

How sticky was the original finish on the neck?

Not at all. There again it has been a while since it was applied. A few swipes with the shinto rasp and it was gone anyway 

 

2 hours ago, Prostheta said:

It's a wise choice copying the profile from his favourite player. How we approach the idea vs. the customer's expectations are often quite different.

Absolutely in this case. He thought he wanted a very chunky neck, but after playing it extensively for a few days it set off the tendons in his elbow. Apparently this has happened previously on another guitar. Hence why I got him to choose the neck that he finds most comfortable and copied it as best I could (given the slightly different fretboard widths). There can't be anything worse than having a guitar custom made that you then can't play. At least there was enough meat there to change it to a "known" quantity. It would have been a calamity if it was too thin!

Hopefully we'll end up with a combination of his favourite neck and favourite pickups. His Gibson single cut has humbuckers (good, but not P90s)

Edit: oh, and this guitar is half the weight of his Gibson! :D

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I knew I should have clarified "sticky". I was more concerned about the slickness as opposed to whether it had dried or not! 😁

Agreed on all the other points. If it couldn't have been dialled in to where it was wanted....ouch. Both counts. Have you noticed just how light Khaya tends to get when properly acclimated to indoor moisture content? I'm sure that this accounts for the the difference between his Gibson and this one. I have an unused Khaya blank sat doing nothing for a couple of years and that stuff is ridiculously light. I almost feel that there's something wrong with it.

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39 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

I have an unused Khaya blank sat doing nothing for a couple of years and that stuff is ridiculously light. I almost feel that there's something wrong with it.

I felt the same with the body blank. It felt more like balsa! The body is a different species of khaya to the neck blank - which is a lot more like traditional mahogany. The body wood is also a lot softer, which is why every hole I drilled was immediately reinforced with CA wicking

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