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Posts posted by Keegan

  1. If you routed the front of the pocket to match the profile of the Strat neck heel, bad news...you just moved your neck forward about 3/16. It's gonna be tough if not impossible to intonate.

    It's intonated just fine. I did measure to make sure I wouldn't be pushing the intonation too far back. The original neck pocket would have put the high e saddle right on the edge of falling off the screw. It's intonated with a strobe tuner in those pictures, within a couple cents, so you can see everything is sitting comfortably around 1/2-2/3s of the screw length.

    Overall you did a nice job with this build. Personally I liked the color of the natural walnut better and would have skipped the stain. I do like the aged look to the hardware though. I like that you used walnut as well, I think it is one of the most underated tone woods around. Now we just have to keep it a secret among the community here so Fender or Gibson don't jump on the bandwagon.

    It could be just the pictures, but the third and fourth picture look like this has either a lot of minor orange peal, or else when you sprayed the nitro it raised the grain and made the finish fuzzy.

    Everyone does natural finishes, they're boring. I like stained wood.

    It's probably just the pictures, it doesn't look orange peeled in person. It did however collect a lot of dust when I finished it, so I had to rub it with some steel wool to remove the dust. It could also just be the grain. I didn't grainfill(personal preference).

    I think the reason they don't use walnut is the weight. It would make guitars more expensive to make if they had to chamber all of them to reduce the weight. This one is 10lb, heavy but just about where I like it. It is a great wood, though. I see it as a local alternative to the looks and feel of mahogany. It also has a lot more strength and doesn't muddy the sound like mahogany does.

  2. Well, technically my second, but I never finished the first because it was a resounding failure. The neck pocket was messed up beyond reasonable repair because of a boneheaded mistake, so I shelved it and got a new body for cheap off eBay. 1 piece American Walnut, only $150 :D


    The pickups needed to be rerouted deeper and I needed to route the neck pocket to accept the strat neck. I accidentally made the pocket a little loose(the stew-mac template is a bit large), but that ended up being a good thing because the guy who made the body didn't have the neck pocket and string holes square. The sustain isn't Les Paul, but it's still solid despite the pocket being about 1mm loose on the treble side. No harm done :D

    Here is the result:




    Also my first nut cut. I shaped it with a big single-flute file and a dremel tool w/ drum sanding bit, and slotted it with a hack saw to start the slots and spiral tip cleaners to get them to the right depth/shape. Came out better than the ones the hack at my local guitar shop makes.



    Walnut Body stained and finished thinly(6 coats) with satin nitro, w/ tummy cut

    Maple/Rosewood 1998 MIM strat neck

    Mystery 80s Dimarzio 10k Neck pickup

    GFS Lil Puncher 10k bridge pickup

    Schaller/fender locking tuners

    Gotoh Tele Bridge

    1M volume, 500k/500k treble/bass cut, 4-way switch(1. Bridge, 2. Neck+Bridge parallel out of phase, 3. Neck, 4. Neck split)

    Aged hardware(I felt like it, don't judge)

    Honestly, the best guitar I've ever played(including American standard Gibsons and Fenders, nothing custom shop or vintage though). Probably because I was able to cut the nut the way I like it and choose the pickups.

    I know the black humbucker mounting ring doesn't match very well. The pickguard I ordered still hasn't shown up after 2 months so I used what I had lying around. I'll probably make an aluminum one soon.

    Here's a sound sample, you can hear a little bit of fret buzz because this neck still has the original fret job and needs a reradiusing because it has a slight hump in it:


  3. After learning my woodworking skills are not quite up to par(granted I've only ever built a birdhouse), I've decided to step back a bit and start with something simpler, a parts build. The goal is a walnut esquire that's quiet, versatile, and includes a preamp for buffering/boosting/crushing tube amps.

    Walnut Studio Esquire

    Neck: Maple/rosewood Warmoth tele neck, 9.5" radius, 1-11/16" nut, cream dot inlays, 6150 frets. bone nut, satin nitro finish

    Body: 1-piece American walnut body from eBay

    Tuners: Gotoh vintage-style, nickel

    Bridge: Gotoh tele bridge

    Pickups: Humbucking tele bridge(Any suggestions? Thinking hot rails, want something humbucking that'll sound decent split and fit in the standard tele bridge)

    Controls: Series/split/parallel switch(or series/parallel/parallel high pass for less noise), volume/tone stack(500k, 0.022uF cap), preamp on/off, gain

    Pickguard: Single ply black matte vinyl

    Finish: Satin nitro lacquer over light dye burst(if results on test scraps are good, if not, no dye)


    Body is on its way in the post from Canada. Hopefully the quality is good. There are a few mistakes I can see from the pictures, but they appear to only be cosmetic(initial router plunge slightly too deep, probably from a cheap router, wiring routing at a strange angle, 1st string top hole slightly off). The seller does have a return policy if things aren't good.


  4. Okay, this is now a recovery operation. My plan is to get a body and make a guitar with that, sacrificing a squier for parts until I can afford good ones, just so I can get it all finished. My only expenses then will be the body($100), finishing supplies($100 at most), and a pickguard(maybe $20?).



    Final guitar:


    Not sure why the color changed between the two, the second should be the same as the first, that's the color I'm going for...

  5. For cleans, some kind of Fender guitar through a blackface amp, eg Explosions in the Sky

    For dirt, an SG or similar through a Tweed, like this

    That's about it, to get all the sounds I want it takes about 3-4 pedals, 2 amps, and 1 or 2 guitars(an SG/Tele HH with coil taps or a single coil in the neck could probably do it).

    Actually I managed to get everything I was looking for(except looping) with a Fender Vintage Modified Deluxe and an american standard strat. It basically has 3-4 pedals built in though(drive, chorus/vibrato, reverb, and delay). Currently a bit outside my budget though.

  6. Why are you grounding to screws on the switch?

    And the volume shouldn't be connected to one of the middle lugs on the switch, it's definitely hooked to one of the switch positions there, you need to have it on the common terminal, whichever one that may be for this switch. Look up wiring for a 3-way with two single coils, that's essentially what you're doing here, except one of your pickups is the contact mic circuit.

    Edit: Actually it should be exactly the same as the SD wiring diagram you started with...

  7. Yeah well I'm unfortunate enough not to have any talent or experience, haha

    Actually it probably would have gone better if I had hand tools instead of limited power tools =/ A rasp especially.

    But yeah, what would you guys recommend? I'm thinking maybe I got myself in too deep trying to start from scratch on a body with no prior experience and should start with what would basically amount to a kit. A body just needing finishing and drilling and a complete neck. Then work my way up to building from scratch. Maybe take on some easier woodworking first and build up a collection of tools..

  8. Stopped work on this build awhile back. The pickup was routed crooked and after making some measurements I found that the template was wrong and so the pickup was also where the bridge would need to be. Also, the heel got jacked up during sanding due to a lack of tools/work space(trying to sand a guitar with a random orbit sander on a rickety table is a very bad idea). The shape is also a little wonky, something happened in transferring the paper template to wood. :/

    Now that summer is back I'll have free time to work on it again, so my options from here are:

    1) Scrap the body and start from an unfinished walnut tele prefab I found for $100

    2) Attempt to fix, but this will require an opaque finish, since the pickup hole will have to be filled and the heel will have to be chopped off and a new one glued on. I'll probably get all kinds of issues with trying to get lacquer to adhere on top of an oil finish, too. Probably more pain and more money.

    3) Something else

    Keep in mind, the only tools I have are a small(as in you can't reach the center of the guitar) drill press, a cheap 8" band saw that doesn't cut anywhere near straight, a jigsaw, a router, and whatever I can get done with tools at Woodcraft for $35 an hour. Realistically I probably shouldn't have tried to tackle this in the first place with those tools, especially without a proper work space(half of the one bench in the garage that isn't covered in junk), but I thought a body would be relatively easy.

  9. If the bridge is going to be higher than normal, you need to either angle the neck, shim the neck, or recess the bridge.

    If you cut the neck pocket while the guitar is still uncarved and the bridge is sitting where it normally would, you shouldn't need to do anything as long as you make sure the bridge sits level.

    You probably want to just stay away from the neck pocket with your carve and carve closer to the edge like chops said.

    Absolutely don't cut the neck pocket deeper unless you make up for that somehow.

  10. You might as well use the pearly gates since you have it and see how it sounds. I think the main problem you'll run into is that it might be too bassy for the neck. The output could be on the low side too.

    I would recommend a Jazz or Distortion in the neck if you decide you want to buy a neck pickup later on. They're probably better matched than the Pearly Gates, though you could try one if you really want. I know Seymour Duncan will take exchanges if you aren't happy with the neck pickup you get.

  11. A mini-toggle will do it fine, just a single pole one with 3 lugs. Wire the centre lug and one outer lug between hot and ground, to shunt the output to ground. This way its dead quiet, better than just disconnecting the output leaving it floating, which causes noise.

    As a variant, these mini-toggles can also come with three positions, being on, centre off, on, with one of the on positions springing back to the centre. I reckon that could make it easier for those staccato effects, and use the other on for kill switch between songs. You would use all three lugs, wiring the two outer lugs together


    You can't keep a rhythm with a normal toggle switch. A momentary switch is better. Normally open, wire it to the two lugs of the jack.

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