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My version if Ibanez 8 string Iceman, reverse head

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Thanks, I hope it all goes well!

Here's a few more steps - glued up


headstock template printed and glued


and out of the clamps


I planed  off some of the overhang on the sides, and milled off most of the top and the back material. Some more to remove in the next session, and then to route the truss rod channel.

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So, my friend is a metal player, and he asked can I make a rabbit look more...scary 🤣. Rabbit skull being the main idea, I went trough the net, found a bunch of bunny themed stuff, but most is a bit Hello Kitty... We saw something, and I tried to make a little sketch by hand and to work out some versions, so here goes... He does have a favourite, but that yet may change.


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Sabre tooth rabbit... That's hilarious! The fourth on the left looks like there's pants in a sitting position and fingers on both sides. The third from the right looks more "real" in that concept. The one on the right is the scariest though in my eyes.

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It's finally taking shape.


Here's the truss rod I had made locally, the nut is a bit smaller, so some small amount of wood is left untouched when routing the channel.


marked, then routed


and fitted


Since the untappered side is no longer needed, proceeded with planing it down, I definitely got better at it


Starting on the headstock - cut and sanded the template, 55m locking nut, clamped to the stock to mark the lines on the other side, to pick the stock for the ears


Cut, planed and taped in place, and glued



Thicknessed the stock for the headstock plate, used the wedge offcut  left of the top.


and finally, something remotely guitarlike, the paper templates for the sides.




Edited by gpcustomguitars
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A small update, working out the exact thickness of the headstock plate to accommodate the 15,5mm wide top lock on a ledge, route into the headstock plate...if that sentence makes any sense :)

Also, printed the template for the tuner pilot holes. I'll use them as screw holes to position the headstock plate for the gluing.

Removed some of the stock off the headstock area, less wood to flatten.


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Did some work during the last few days...


My bandsaw is in the old shop, no point driving there to do just 3-4 cuts, so a ghetto solution was to drill more holes than the aforementioned drive would last, and connect them with a jig saw. I'll be making routing templates so that'll be OK.


Starting the fretboard - a piece of flooring I got as a sample some years back



Planing the taper from both sides, quality inspector present:




and now a fun part - resawing by hand........




30-40mins non stop...I had to resaw the whole length as I was ordered a J-type bass for a friends super talented kid, so I might use the other half for that.

Thicknessed the headstock plate to final thickness, and made the headstock dead flat prior to gluing.


Just had to see what it looks like:


Marked the exact positions for the wings and started on the transitions:



and the heel is roughed in, started forming the volute also. The headstock base thickness will be taken down later.



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A small session yesterday - first, added a small plug with 2 drops of CA like I do on all my builds to the TR nut area, and glued the plate on the headstock using 8 screws in the tuner pilot holes and bunch of clamps. I use the backing of the double sided tape to mask the TR nut, also add a small lump of masking tape to the actual hex nut hole on the TR to be sure no glue whatsoever gets to the moving parts.



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A few more details sorted out - cut out the TR access hole, still need to refine it a bit more later, and sanded the final shape of the ears, 90deg to the fretboard surface, like they do at Gibson.


...and then repositioned the template to route the shape of the sides. I'll sand the tip on the sander, to avoid mistakes due to small footprint fot the router to balance on.



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We had a relatively warm winter's day yesterday, so I had some shop time. First, routed out the shape of the headstock. I thought I'll sand out the shape of the tip, but finished it all with a router with no problems. I left the small edge to be removed with the modeler's saw, and thicknesses the headstock to 15.5mm.


The pattern bit has been with me for some time now, so I had to sand out some burn marks... I've chiseled the volute slope, and sanded the transition with some #80.


and this is where I'm at now. I'll start scoring the fret slots now, and have to make a run to my laser guy, to prepare a whole bunch of bones, rabbit sculls and other stock materials to start inlaying after that. White acrylic all of it. I thought to actually make them from bone, but that would be really impractical.




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After the trip to the laser guy, we have some pieces to inlay:



and a first real guitarlike mockup - no pics of the templates, but I did prepare and glue them to the wings, ready to rout. I scored the fret slots, still need to saw them, probably should start on the radius as the pieces are thin, 2mm, I could glue them in at least partially radiused fretboard.



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Loving the bone fret markers.

The laser cutting could be cleaner-I don’t know how it works out with inlays, and maybe you’ve had success with a similar cut quality before, but if you have a chance to cut the pieces again, try using a lower power and slower cut speed. This will eliminate the melted edge-might take a few tests to get just right. 

Also note that the kerf of the laser cutter is wedge-shaped, so I’m guessing if you cut your pieces upside down and flip them when you inlay, you could get a really tight fit. 

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If you're worried about the 2 mm thickness being enough on a radiused fingerboard, this little formula might help.

W is the width of your inlay piece, R is the fretboard Radius. Use millimeters instead of inches to match the thickness of the inlay.

If Y is less than the 2 mm thickness of your inlay, the very edges will be sunk into the fretboard by 2 - Y.


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Thanks a lot both of you!

Charlie, we had some trouble with the material, I brought a sheet that was melting at any power/speed, warping even, so we scrapped that and used some of their offcuts from a previous project. I can live with this, as I will turn them upside down as you said, clean them up with needle files, and the troublesome side gets sanded in leveling. I think it will be OK with some care.

Bizman, the radius will be 17''. I'll set up the simulation in Corel to see do I have to pre-radius the fretboad a bit to get it to work. No worries, I don't expect much trouble aside from actually excavating the inlays :)

I'm also starting a parallel build of a scaled down Jazz bass today or tomorrow, should be fun!


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