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I have little to no idea of what I'm doing...


JayT
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12 hours ago, JayT said:

.should I drill the small holes for pick-guard, pickup face plate, etc before I paint or after? And strap button holes?

As previously mentioned there are arguments for both. I prefer to do all the drilling and milling before to avoid any added possibility of chipping, scratching or new and unusual ways to damage the finish. Murphy looms large when you have to use tools on your already beautifully polished work of art.

SR

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I'm more concerned that the paint & clear coat will just cover the smaller holes and I'd have to re-drill them anyway. Or maybe stick tool picks in there? That seems labour intensive with all the holes and all the coats.

I saw on some old threads there are ways of protecting the finish from chipping while drilling holes.

  • tape over hole location, drill through tape very slowly
  • hand turn bit backwards to get through finish (using drill press )
  • both of the above

Now I'm also concerned about the scratch plate holes not lining up if drilled before painting.

And trying to find the perfect/balanced spot for strap button. The tail button should be easy, just in center...but how would one test balance without a top horn or pre-existing button there? I was just going to eye-ball it to where it looked right. Is that a bad non-plan? :)

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7 minutes ago, JayT said:

The tail button should be easy, just in center.

Not at all! The tail button is where you can best affect the balance. For a neck heavy instrument putting the button a few inches higher will force the neck up. Putting the neck button closer to the waist will add weight to the neck. Note that you can also put the buttons to the back instead of the edge!

In the case of the Bruce bass, I could hold it with the upper horn tip on my fingertip! For testing, hang the guitar from the waist since that would be the optimal balancing point. Take a length of cord for a makeshift strap and use ductape to attach it into various places, trying to figure out where there's an equal drag to keep it balanced. Hopefully that made sense but if not, I'll do some more drawing!

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18 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

Take a length of cord for a makeshift strap and use ductape to attach it into various places, trying to figure out where there's an equal drag to keep it balanced. Hopefully that made sense

That's smart...or I'm dumb for not thinking of such an obvious solution. Thanks! I guess I should do this once most hardware is installed, at least the tuning pegs

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1 hour ago, JayT said:

I'm more concerned that the paint & clear coat will just cover the smaller holes and I'd have to re-drill them anyway.

I've never had that issue - which is not to say it couldn't happen. Usually there is at least a dimple (which is why we have to pore fill or you get dimples from every pore). I just push the screw into the dimple and the threads take the excess down into the pilot hole with the screw.

This is just sharing what I do, though, I'm not trying to talk you out of playing it safe, which is always smart.

SR

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1 hour ago, JayT said:

I guess I should do this once most hardware is installed, at least the tuning pegs

The pickups and bridge also have quite a lot of weight, although since they're inside the strapped area the counterweight effect may not be too noticeable.

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I decided to screw in (almost) everything before painting and glad I did, it seems like the end of this project is fast approaching...surprisingly both necks are dead-on straight which I was worried about...probably thanks to the laser my mother-in-law got me 10 years ago for hanging pictures level - first time I ever used it was for this project :) I did have to clean off all the leaked battery corrosion but fired up no problem after that. Now I want to play these guitars!

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Once I put the pick guard template on it pretty much looks like my mockups...that's pretty satisfying I confess

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Edited by JayT
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I really like the design! It's unique and traditional at the same time and despite the shape being new it looks like all the elements are in right places - a concave curve for your knee,  mass behind the bridge to counterweight the neck, lots of optional places for balanced strap buttons etc.

I'm eagerly waiting for you to tell how the ergonomics suit your body! The only thing I'm slightly worried about is the upper corner: Does it dig into your armpit when playing in a sitting position...

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10 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

...the design! It's unique and traditional at the same time...

Thanks for saying so! This is exactly what I was shooting for -- and in my mind I think I succeeded at least somewhat. I played this game with myself where I thought about a design which I could photoshop into 60's/70's iconic rock band pictures and have it look era appropriate but unfamiliar ... dumb I know, but this sort of time-wasting is what I consider as fun.

10 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

I'm eagerly waiting for you to tell how the ergonomics suit your body! The only thing I'm slightly worried about is the upper corner: Does it dig into your armpit when playing in a sitting position...

Me too. In holding it as-is I don't think it'll dig into my armpit -- but I play (if you can call it that) sitting in the casual position rather than the classical so that helps. More likely that upper back corner is going to be an elbow-banging hazard.

I'm considering adding an arm contour (like a Strat) but that might make the corner sharper...

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I’ve started the pick guards, just need to drill screw and controls holes...not sure how I’m going to do the switch slot...maybe dremel

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after sitting with these together I’m sure they need an arm contour...coming soon!

also I super glued my ring finger and middle finger together solid in a freak (careless) cap accident. That was not fun,

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6 hours ago, JayT said:

not sure how I’m going to do the switch slot...maybe dremel

That's a valid option if you have any sort of a router base to it. Then you could just attach a straight piece of something on the scratch plate and use it as a fence to guide the mini-router.

Another option is to drill holes at both ends of the slot and carefully carve the plastic between the holes. A steel ruler or two attached tightly to the scratch plate will help guiding your knife.

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Cutting straight square edges in plastic is easier of you're removing the excess first. Soft plastics tend to deform at the edges with knife cuts where one side hasn't been relieved, leaving a raised edge. At the very least, expect this. Not too difficult to clean after the fact, but easier to get a clean edge if not caused in the first place. 

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I ended up drilling a bunch of in line holes and filing the switch slot....other practiced methods all had terrible results. A bit rough but best I could do.

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the switch in bridge position is way close to volume knob...but the switch top is gigantic. Might swap it later.

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made some truss access covers, maybe need some shaping as they’re pretty big

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put one all together minus wiring and strings, feels ok! I’m wavering on the arm contour...afraid it’ll ruin the body...undecided

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On 2/18/2020 at 7:26 PM, JayT said:

Drilled holes for neck,...questions, with the recessed screws I came within 3 millimeters of the back of the finger board. Is that too deep? Maybe I need shorter screws? So glad I didn’t contour the back heel!

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I’m pretty much ready to sand and finish the body...should I drill the small holes for pick-guard, pickup face plate, etc before I paint or after? And strap button holes?

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If you didn't bust thru (and even if you did and can fix it to where it won't happen again when you remove/restore the neck): "IT'S GOOD"! 

I can't speak for others but I figure I am almost always pushing the envelope on neck ferrules because I like to use a 1/2" pocket and would like as much thread as possible on the other side.  You do have to predrill good tho because if you don't you could bust off your fretboard.

I like to get all my holes drilled prior to finish because I like to put some true oil into the holes to seal them a bit and I also figure it will keep me from potentially scratching the finish at the home stretch.  I don't see anything wrong with doing it the other way around tho.

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Treat an arm contour line as though it has as much bearing on the shape as the outline. For example, the curve aligning or complementing the lower curve visually. Especially if the contour has a sharp break angle. It can be made to work if you agree with the additional shape it adds. A lighter gradual contour can have less effect in this way, but then adds a taper to the side profile. Either can work, but I feel that this needs some sort of forearm relief if only for the comfort.

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First of all, it looks great!  Those shots of it on the strap and 3/4 view on the stand are just full of very pleasing curves and proportions.

Stating the obvious, if the upper bout is not interfering with your playing arm, then you don't need arm relief adding.  Think about acoustic guitars where provision of arm relief is very rare.

But if it is, a soft convex curve behind  the bridge would certainly do the job and complement the vibe of the total guitar. 

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9 hours ago, JayT said:

I ended up drilling a bunch of in line holes and filing the switch slot

That's another valid method, the biggest issue with that is to keep the holes within the width of the slot. Well done!

AFA an arm contour, yes, it may change the aesthetics. A fellow who ended up being a trained luthier told that the "real" way to do it on a Strat is to make the edge continuous without sharp corners, i.e. the thinnest spot at the belly carve should continue down the length of the arm contour as an S shape without getting thicker until at the bottom where it blends in to the actual thickness.

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15 hours ago, mistermikev said:

I like to get all my holes drilled prior to finish because I like to put some true oil into the holes to seal them a bit and I also figure it will keep me from potentially scratching the finish at the home stretch.

Good tips! I'll be doing this.

7 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

But if it is, a soft convex curve behind  the bridge would certainly do the job and complement the vibe of the total guitar. 

It is, but just the slightest bit...so a soft contour it'll be...at least on one of the two

7 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

the thinnest spot at the belly carve should continue down the length of the arm contour as an S shape without getting thicker until at the bottom where it blends in to the actual thickness.

This is pretty much the same as the P-bass I have, and will be the example I work from. Again, on at least one. I have two after all and the whole point of the 2 was to learn and experiment.

Now that I'm at this stage it fun to think about colors/finish. I've pretty much decided on one white and one black as that was the plan (and I love it when a plan comes together) but photoshop make it easy to explore other possibilities...

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Edited by JayT
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Oh crap, I'm out of likes!

Anyhow, your photoshop skills are very nice, it's pretty easy to find working colour schemes. They all look nice so your subconscious must have been doing extra hours before letting this bunch out!

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I like the TV blonde and the "cheap cheesy 70s burst" next to the tangerine one. It just suits that vibe I think. Thing is, there are very few tutorials on how to reliably do a crappy 70s cheapburst, only reasonable ones. Bummer eh? 😀 Might have to do it after having donned the beer goggles?

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