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Trini Lopez Semi Tribute

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11 minutes ago, Dave Higham said:

Hope you don't mind me dragging this subject up again.

On the contrary! Although I could find the origin of the name which also led to an old drawing showing a pole between the workpiece and the ceiling, it's always nice to hear a verifying comment. The current version obviously is just an attempt to make the thing portable so you can use the best lit workplace for other purposes while the glue dries.

The pressure being stabile was new to me. Very useful information! That means that it's more about the amount of rods instead of how much they've been bent. Hmmm... I guess that there may be a point right before cracking where the bent rods have more power and that if you could keep the rods dead straight you could adjust the pressure by lowering the top. Of course the latter would be easier just by using sturdier poles instead of flexible rods. And of course those sturdy poles should be trimmed to exact length to match the object to be glued. Flexibility is the key here!

Thanks for delaying my dementia by offering this meal of food for thought!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bit more progress on this.

Before adding the tops, I have a few jobs to do.  One is cutting and binding the diamond f holes.

I used a scrollsaw to rough cut them and made a little sharp-angled sanding block to get them straight:


Then cut some maple binding strip to line them:


Life is too short to feed stuff through the f holes, especially as this is going to have Jaguar-type sliding switches and so I will have a small access hatch at the back to be able to feed stuff in and hold in place while screws, etc, are being tightened:


I thought I'd do something similar to the grain-matched hatch on the recent bass-build:


I started by cutting the hatch out using a Dremel, precision base and 1mm bit:


Then added a rebate at the back that will also hold the magnets:


Finally, lined the hole with some maple veneer (I did the iron-on trick as I do when I veneer guitar and bass bodies, ie: coat both parts with PVA wood glue; let dry; position and iron on inch at a time; hold until cool and glue grabs):



Finally, trimmed with a single-edged razor:


There will also be a 1.5mm pinstripe between the wings and the neck so hopefully it will all visually tie up together :)





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Thanks, folks :)

And it's a bit further on.

I invested in a cheaper (affordable) competitor to the LMI binding cutting rig.  The rubber band is one of my mods ;)  :


I will cut the binding slot in the top when the ebony has been glued and carved.

I've also cut the neck blank after much deliberation of measurements, angles, etc.  I added a maple pinstripe to this too:


And have done, of course, a gratuitous mock-up.  Bear in mind that the top is still oversize (the chalk marks are the actual size):


It's going to be pretty!  :)



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20 minutes ago, ScottR said:

I'll say!

It might be strange seeing you make a different style headstock....


It's going to have the Steinberger take on the old Banjo tuners too :)

What could possibly go wrong?  :D

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2 hours ago, Charlie H 72 said:

Love it so far. This has been exciting to follow. I find that the mahogany neck doesn’t sit well with the light colors in the ebony - any plans for stain on either part? 

Thanks!  :)

The neck will darken once the finish is on and the lighter parts of the ebony bring out a little more orange.  This is all raw sanded - no dampening or finish.  I think it will be fine but there's plenty of time to experiment if it clashes at all.

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I still have stuff to sort before both tops can be fitted but, even if a switch needed fitting on the bass side, there is nothing I can't do with that one glued on...so that's what I've done.  And out comes the radius dish again to clamp against


After a few experiments with ebony offcut, I decided that the block plane was probably the safest and most effective way of carving the ebony:


But yes - it's a slow process.  Lots of 'walk away and come back to it'; lots of 'resharpen the blade comprehensively b******d by the b*****ing ebony' 

This, I reckon is about 1/3 of the way there.  By the way, I've dampened it to give a better idea of how the colours will coordinate on the finished guitar ref @Charlie H 72 's post.  Looks especially nice in real life :)


I won't fit the bottom binding until the tops - particularly the edges - are done, otherwise there is a tendency to sand down at each stage until you realise you've run out of walnut!  

And the fretboard blank is due later today!  Happy days!  :D

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5 minutes ago, Charlie H 72 said:

Wow that looks great! I never should have doubted.. 

Never an issue.  One of the valuable things of these forums is that it gives you honest and objective feedback on stuff that sometimes the future owner is also thinking but doesn't like to say :D


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1 hour ago, ScottR said:

That subtle carve makes all the difference Andy.


Yes - it does, doesn't it.  And it is such a small amount of curvature, you wouldn't think it would. 


With the standard disclaimer that there is still time to wreck it, I have a good feeling at how this might turn out :)


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Love everything about this! I just want to grab it and see how it feels with the lap test, and hear what it sounds like.

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7 hours ago, komodo said:

Love everything about this! I just want to grab it and see how it feels with the lap test, and hear what it sounds like.

Thanks, @komodo. Turning out to be one of my favourite builds yet.  One that I will be a little sad to be passing across :)

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16 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Turning out to be one of my favourite builds yet.

Now that you put that in words, this build has turned out to be one my favourites to view. Nothing wrong with a well built Tele or LP, on the contrary. However this one has features that make my fingers tickle!

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Grandparent duties done and it's back to the other little beauty :)

I got a lovely piece of ebony from Luthierwood.com.  We are going for a 'standard' 12" radius at 24 3/4" scale.

First out was the excellent radius router jig from G&W:


It makes quick and accurate work of getting the basic radius, ready for a final 20 mins or so sanding with a block to remove the router-bit step lines.  Good time to top up my stash of ebony dust too :)   :


Next, the equally excellent G&W mitre-block to cut the fret slots:


All done - actually 24 done although it will probably be cut off after the 22nd to make sure the neck pickup is in the right place.

I will leave the fretboard double-sided-taped on the template to keep it flat until I've done the swift inlays at the 12th.

All being well, the treble-side top (just placed on top here) will be able to be glued, trimmed and carved later this week:


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coming together nicely.  when I saw the bown dust above... I thought "jeez I better save some of that" - hehe.  old habits and all hehe, then I noticed the cup lol.  Might want to store that away from the coffee!  🤢

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