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A ‘Telecaster’


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2 hours ago, Prostheta said:

It is common practice now, yes. Back when Leo Fender was perfecting the Tele and Strat designs, the fingerboard was flush with the neck at the heel end. It makes sense for solid Maple necks with truss rods inserted through the back.

Didn't know that! Funny thing is that I've got an Applause short scale Strat with the fretboard flush with the heel end and an original Fender neck of an American Standard from 1994 with a protruding fingerboard. Both have the adjusting nut at the headstock. Thus the "wrong" scaled one is truer to the original than the later original. 🥜🥜🥜

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2 hours ago, Dave Higham said:

It make sense , but in that case, you can't get them out again. Some manufacturers also make a tool for inserting them, which locates in the slot.

https://www.rockler.com/power-drive-threaded-insert-tool-power-drive-threaded-insert-tool

Now that's a new one on me! It makes perfect sense as the whole "chipbreaker" thing never made 100% sense. If there's one thing that bothers me, it's labouring under a misapprehension and being somewhat aware that I am. I've always inserted by locking up either a second insert or a nut onto threaded rod to drive them. I've had threaded inserts crack before when using that slot. Then again, they were likely premium grade Chinesium....

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16 hours ago, Prostheta said:

I've always inserted by locking up either a second insert or a nut onto threaded rod to drive them.

Yes, that’s basically the way I do it, but I block two hex nuts against each other with an insert that I’ve modified by filing two grooves into it, turning it into a rudimentary tap. I put this in the drill press, clamp the neck in place, bring the chuck down and turn it by hand until the insert is fully engaged. Doing it in the drill press means it goes in straight.

Then I unblock the nuts, release the chuck and raise it, and unscrew the threaded rod. I then take the insert/tap out using a screw driver and replace it with one without the filed grooves.

I always do a trial run on a piece of scrap the same as the neck wood.

If it’s a hard wood , like maple, I do some trials with slightly larger drills.

Also, if it starts to become difficult to turn, I back off a bit, turn a bit more, back off again, turn a bit more, etc. (The approved method when tapping threaded holes in metal.)

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Here’s what the neck looks like now. The thing behind it is the support I use for working on it and also use as a clamping caul when gluing the fingerboard on.

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Started by sanding a radius where the neck meets the headstock. I also sanded a smaller one where the neck meets the body and then took off the surplus from the back of the neck on the bandsaw (but I forgot to take photos).

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I draw up the cross section of the neck at first fret and body junction to enable me to cut a series of facets which will be rounded off to produce the finished neck profile.

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Lines for the first two facets are drawn onto the neck and ‘notches’ cut at each end.

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The ‘notches’ are joined up.

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I cut 4 more facets in the same way and then round them over using sanding boards rather than rasps or files. I finish using cloth backed abrasive in the ‘shoeshine’ method. I didn’t take any photos of all that either, so now it looks like this

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The neck is blended into the heel and headstock using rasps, files and sanding boards. To get a nice transition from neck to body, I do it with the neck installed.

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The figure in the headstock veneer makes it look as though there’s a ‘volute’ in this photo, but the back of the headstock is flat.

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Perspective is a funny animal: I had to check the notches one by one if they truly match those on the other edge of your multi-tool!

The rasp plane you used for marking the facets is a much overlooked tool, yet it's both effective and delicate. A fellow builder used a 5" palm version for carving the entire neck connecting the points similarly to yours. I'd like to see a closeup of your plane, looks like a tool I'd like to own and master!

And I definitely love how you blend the neck into the heel! I've been wondering for quite a long time why it seems to be such a rarity even in high end guitars - or maybe I just haven't watched high enough?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

I'd like to see a closeup of your plane, looks like a tool I'd like to own and master!

It's a Microplane.

https://www.microplane.com/microplane-woodworking-tools

Although if you Google Microplane now, all you seem to get are their products meant for cookery. I've noticed that in TV cookery programmes they all use them for zesting lemons, etc.

Edited by Dave Higham
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Thanks but not that one. I mean the one you hold with both hands, the one that makes nice shavings. I guess it's a spokeshave but it looks more delicate than the cast iron ones.

 

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5 hours ago, Dave Higham said:

I finish using cloth backed abrasive in the ‘shoeshine’ method.

That's what I've done as well. As you may have noticed the abrasive band tends to curl no matter how you grab it. To prevent that I made a pair of handles as described here:

 

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2 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

I guess it's a spokeshave but it looks more delicate than the cast iron ones.

It is indeed an old boxwood spokeshave almost identical to this one, except it doesn't have what looks to me like a lignum vita insert screwed in.

https://www.oldtools.co.uk/collections/wooden-spokeshaves/products/old-wooden-spokeshave-boxwood

I have a couple of cast iron ones too, one of which is a Stanley, but neither of them work as well as the wooden one.

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5 hours ago, Prostheta said:

the key is always patience and having a plan

Years ago I worked  for an industrial designer called David Mellor.

https://www.davidmellordesign.com/who-we-are/

I was the draughtsman and the guys in the workshop were highly skilled craftsmen, silversmiths in fact but they could turn their hands to almost anything. I used to work in the workshop too and if I found difficulty doing something and asked them how they did it, they'd say "Eh lad, there's no substitute fer skill". But I think that patience goes quite a long way towards it. I learned a lot in the 20 years I worked there and patience was one of them.

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6 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

That's what I've done as well. As you may have noticed the abrasive band tends to curl no matter how you grab it. To prevent that I made a pair of handles as described here:

 

Fantastic collection of boutique tools :) it should inspire readers to get busy making things like these that can make a huge difference to your lutherie

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On 10/5/2021 at 1:37 AM, Dave Higham said:

Yes, that’s basically the way I do it, but I block two hex nuts against each other with an insert that I’ve modified by filing two grooves into it, turning it into a rudimentary tap. I put this in the drill press, clamp the neck in place, bring the chuck down and turn it by hand until the insert is fully engaged. Doing it in the drill press means it goes in straight.

 

Then I unblock the nuts, release the chuck and raise it, and unscrew the threaded rod. I then take the insert/tap out using a screw driver and replace it with one without the filed grooves.

 

I always do a trial run on a piece of scrap the same as the neck wood.

 

If it’s a hard wood , like maple, I do some trials with slightly larger drills.

 

Also, if it starts to become difficult to turn, I back off a bit, turn a bit more, back off again, turn a bit more, etc. (The approved method when tapping threaded holes in metal.)

 

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wow, that is a fantastic idea (using drill press to ensure you don't crossthread or crapthread inserts.  you are full of good ideas.  putting that in the trick bag for if/ever I do inserts.  thank you for sharing.

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As I’d decided to use this nice maple top, I wanted to cover as little of it up as possible, so no pick guard, no control plate and if possible, no metal parts showing on the front, not even screws.

 

Leo designed the original Teles with a bridge cover, so I decided to make one. I don’t think mine will become an ashtray as it will be  made of wood, although it will be removable.

I first cut a piece of  rosewood with a 2mm x 2mm rebate, cut it into sections and mitred the ends.

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Glued the frame together with CA. If the mitred faces are flat and smooth it makes quite a strong joint. I did a trial run and it took quite a bit of force to break the joint.

The piece of pine is clamped down so it can’t move and it’s also holding down a piece of backing paper from double sided adhesive tape. I apply a drop of thin CA to one of the pieces of EIR, push the sharp end of both against the pine, and bring them together. In a few seconds they are glued.

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With the frame glued up (I forgot to take a photo) I thinned an off-cut from the top to a little over 2mm and cut a piece slightly larger than the aperture in the frame.

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I carefully sanded the edges on a sanding beam (This is half of a builder’s straight edge (square aluminium tube about 2 metres long) with 80 grit abrasive stuck to it. I find I use it for all sorts of things) .

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... until it just fit into the rebate. I then ran some thin CA round the inside to glue it in place.

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Made a cut-out in the front for the strings...

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... and another for the bridge plate, as the front of the bridge will be flush with the cover.

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The cover is held in place by small neodymium magnets. It’s a Gotoh hardtail bridge and the six in a row hold onto the intonation screw heads and the other two onto the two front bridge fixing screws. Although the cover looked OK on the drawing, it looked rather bulky and not very refined in reality, so it got modified later, as you’ll see. It was made so it doesn’t actually touch the body, so can be put on and taken off without marking the top.

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I also made some matching pickup rings from EIR. As I wanted to avoid metal hardware on the front, I first made a template to use mainly for drilling small holes for magnets in the rings and matching holes in the body, also for magnets.

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As I’d made the template I also used it to trim the outside shape of the rings.

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And then drilled blind holes for the magnets.

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Which got them to this stage.

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I cut the apertures the old-fashioned way. Drill 4 holes and join them up with a piercing saw.

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Finished the apertures with a sanding stick. I find I have much more control over sanding sticks than files or rasps and I can make them whatever length and width (and grit) suits the job.

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I asked the chap at EMG if it would be OK to use magnets to hold the PU surrounds and he wasn’t keen. He thought they might be too close to the PU magnets. So the blind holes got turned into countersunk holes.

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So there goes my idea of no metal showing . . .

 

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6 hours ago, Dave Higham said:

So there goes my idea of no metal showing . . .

Do like the boatmakers: Sink the screws deeper and inlay dovels to hide them. Or, if the depth is an issue, use fret dots on top of the screws. If that's good for big names like Gibson on their acoustic guitar bridges it must be a valid construction!

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

Do like the boatmakers: Sink the screws deeper and inlay dovels to hide them. Or, if the depth is an issue, use fret dots on top of the screws. If that's good for big names like Gibson on their acoustic guitar bridges it must be a valid construction!

I suppose I could, but that would make it difficult, or perhaps impossible, to get the pickups out.

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Not impossible at all. I've seen Jerry Rosa do that many times for old bridges. Some heat may break the glue join so you get the inlays out in one piece. If not, dot inlays don't cost a fortune so replacing them with new ones should not ruin your budget. I don't know about you but the last time I took off a pickup ring on my guitar was forty years ago! Even that was totally unnecessary, I was just curious to see what's underneath in my brand new Ibanez FG-100. But I do know that some people like to change their fully functional pickups in hope of a new, interesting sound. Just my 2c...

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