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Everything posted by DIYguitarguy

  1. Great work! I really like the looks of the Tele.
  2. Number Two It has been quite a while since my first guitar was completed, but here is my 2nd build. I call this one “Number Two”. I know that this not a very creative sounding name, but it fits. After all, there’s really nothing creative about copying an existing design which this certainly is. I liked the retro looks of the F*nder T*ronado, so I used it as my model. Photo of model Having spared no expense on my first build, I decided to “go cheap” on Number Two. This decision meant that I had to wait until I found all the parts (at the right price) before I could start and would also add time to complete the build process. My first parts find was a new 21 fret T*le style neck found on eBay. Neck “before” photo The neck had an “S101” logo on the headstock and the clear satin finished maple didn’t appeal to me. So I began by removing the finish and logo by sanding them out. The wood grain in the headstock wasn’t very attractive, so I opted to paint the headstock black and inlay my name there with MOP. Black headstock Inlay rout Completed inlay I allowed my daughter to choose the color she liked for the guitar finish by visiting the local Guitar Center. She chose trans red as used on the shiny Gibson SG’s. So, I thought a vintage kind of amber finish on the neck would complement the red and the black. Amber on neck My next find were some mahogany turning squares in the “bargain bin” of a local wood store. This meant that the body would have to consist of 5 pieces glued together, but for $5, I didn’t really care about that. Body blank in the clamps After glue-up, planning and initial sanding, I fixed a pattern onto the blank with some spray adhesive and cut the body shape “close to the line” on the band saw. Saw marks and final shape were dressed on the oscillating spindle sander. Pattern applied to blank Holes were drilled for the controls and cavities were then routed on the back for the pots and a 3-way switch using homemade templates and a bearing guided bit in a plunge router. Cavity templates After insuring the centerline placement was correct, the neck pocket and pickup cavities were routed. Holes were bored for the neck plate, TOM bridge and tailpiece. I then attached the neck and strung it up for a test fit. Test fit I did not want to deal with a neck angle on this guitar, so I decided to recess the mounting posts into the body for the T.O.M. style bridge. I like to give credit where credit is due, so thanks again to doerringer for sharing his tips on how he recesses his bridges by first determining correct bridge placement and by drilling the larger diameter recess hole first and then the smaller diameter post holes. Recesses for bridge posts The wiring channels between the pickups and control cavity were carefully bored with a long shank ¼” drill bit. A hole was also required for the ground wire from the control cavity into the lower tailpiece mounting post hole. Drilling these holes with a hand drill requires careful and sure placement of the bit before you start to insure the bit will exit at the correct spot. A 7/8” forstener bit was used to mount the Electrosocket jack plate. Next came the sanding process. The body was sanded thoroughly with 100 through 220 grit sandpaper. This is probably the least fun of the build process for me, but it is one of the most important steps in the finishing process. A poor job of sanding will definitely show itself in the finish, especially transparent finishes. After sanding, grainfiller was applied, sanded back, re-applied and sanded back again. Once the grainfiller had properly dried, sealer coats and a thin coat of lacquer were sprayed on. Grain-filled, sealed and initial clear coats Once again, I want to give credit where credit is due, so I thank forum members johnsilver and punrockerluke for their input on how to achieve the Gibson SG (Heritage) red color that I was striving to get on this build. The information they provided was awesome and greatly appreciated! Red dye applied The red dye I used was very transparent, so many coats were applied. Once the color began to look as “deep” as I thought it should, I started the clear coat process which took several more days to complete. While waiting for the finish to cure, I built my 3rd “guitar” that was inspired by jehle and some others on the forum. It is a 3 string cigar box guitar fabricated with stuff I found laying around. It is kind of crude and primitive, but I think that is the point of a CBG. It did give me experience with neck building and it was fun to do. Cigar box guitar (#3) 30 days later, the process of finish sand and buffing began. Once I was satisfied with that, everything was assembled, wired and strung up. I also made the pickguard by fabricating a template and routing the B/WB pickguard material to shape. Here are some shots of the finished project. Close-up shot of finished front near bridge Another shot A look at the back From another angle A look at the full front Full front view Guitar Specs: 25 ½” scale Overall width: 13 ½” Overall length: 40 ½” Weight; 9lbs., 12ozs. 21 fret, maple and rosewood el-cheapo ebay neck Mahogany body. 1 3/4” thick PAF style humbucker pickups from guitarfetish TOM bridge & tailpiece, el-cheapo ebay stuff LP/SG style wiring harness and pots, more el-cheapo ebay stuff SG style 3-way switch from Stewart-Macdonald Electrosocket aluminum jack plate from Stew-Mac M.E.K. red dye, walnut grain filler and pickguard material from Luthiers Mercantile Nitrocellulose lacquer and thinner from Sherwin-Williams (industrial supply) Final thoughts: This guitar set-up nicely with good action and intonation. It plays easily and has a sound of it’s own; kind of Fender-ish and kind of Gibson-ish. The saddles in the cheapo bridge came pre-notched. I will swap those out someday as an improvement. The tuners will also need to be replaced ASAP. The lesson learned here is that you usually get what you pay for. The guitar weighs in at just under 10 pounds. That could be a problem for some, but I’m a big boy and I think I can handle it. The weight could have been reduced by including a belly cut and a forearm rest, but I have not yet attempted those cuts and thought I should try that another time. The overall body shape and weight could have been reduced by removing ¼” or so from its perimeter. Experience gained from this build includes: recessing a TOM bridge and tailpiece, fabricating a pickguard, cutting MOP and making an inlay, and using grain filler for the first time. It was a fun project and I accomplished what I set out to do. That was to continue learning and to end up with a half-way decent looking instrument that I built myself. I hope that others may learn something from this, as I have learned from the many others who post on this forum.
  3. Lostheart, I would not attempt to run an already shaped body through a thicknessing planer, unles your comfortable with the possibilty of ruining the body. Unless the operator of the planer has invested a lot of effort in their machine setup, or the creation of specialty jigs to overcome the problem, it is extremely risky. To better understand what causes snipe, have a look at this image: http://www.woodezine.com/08_2004/08_2004_i...s/snipeCADD.JPG If the body you are trying to run through the planer already has the neck pocket route, I'm quite sure it would be destroyed aa worse case scenario, or as a least case scenario the depth of the neck pocket rout would be affected. I've never yet seen a planer that does not do this to some degree. If you want to try it to see for yourself, I would make a "sacrificial" body to run through as a test to see what happens. If you are making your own body blanks, you could have possibly started with thinner stock. Or, run your stock through the planer before gluing up the body. Good luck with it.
  4. Thanks to all for your replies. I appreciate the link to the modified Ric page. The guitar featured there sure looks to be 2" thick, can't deny that. If I were a betting man, I would have never bet that the re-issue model featured on Rickenbacker's website could be that thick because it only weighs in at 5 lbs. But then again, I've not yet worked with alder so I'm not sure how dense (or heavy) it is. I have an old Japanese guitar, circa 1964, that weighs in at about 5 lbs. It is also a short scale model with a mahogany neck and body. The body thickness is about 1 1/4" thick. So, depending upon how the weight of the alser compares to that, it is possible that it could weigh about 5 lbs. with a 2" thick body. I'm not sure, but it's something to further explore.
  5. Does any one know how thick the body is on this short scale Ric? I have plans to build a facsimile of the one John Lennon played during the early days of the Beatles. I was able to find all the other specs on Rickenbacker's website, except for this dimension. I appreciate your help!
  6. Nice job! It looks great and sounds even better! I recently built a 3 string CBG and enjoyed the process greatly. It was very satisfying to complete a project using only "found" items. I'll be watching to see the completion of your other mandolin.
  7. It's all good. we're all here to learn, right? I know I have.
  8. Define "better". They're all different. I've used alcohol based, mek based, and proprietary based dyes... you have to try them out, see what works well on scrap or similar wood to the wood that needs dyeing. The last lester had a back and sides and neck from an metallic/alcohol leather dye. Matches the Gibson "walnut" perfectly. It is what works, so I use it. For purposes of this discussion as it relates to my original question, you may replace "better" with "how do the 2 types (analine powder & MEK) compare". Prior to purchasing the MEK based dye and doing the experiment as posted previously, I had no experience using analine or MEK based dyes. I have used the TransTint dyes, as well as many types of oil base stains, shellacs, polys, varnishes, paints, etc and I have a good idea of what to expect from each. I'm not trying to create an argument for which finish is "better" than another because all finish types have uses when one will be favored over another. Finish preferences are also very subjective and open to personal interpretations. When I asked people for their opinions of which was "better", I was specifically asking for a comparison between analine and MEK in efforts to decide which to try for my current project. Please comment on your terms "lester" amd Gibson walnut (my project is mahogany), as I'm not sure what that means. So, I don't know how to respond.
  9. Thanks to input from PG members punkrockerluke, johnsilver and other info collected from this forum, here is the finishing schedule I’m using. Hopefully this will get close to the Gibson (Heritage) red as used on some SG’s: Sand wood to 220 grit Apply coat of vinyl sealer Fill mahogany with walnut grain filler, oil based Remove excess filler (per instructions) Set aside to thoroughly dry for 1 week Lightly sand with 320 no load paper Apply 2nd coat of grain filler, repeat above process, then lightly sand with 320 Spay 2 spit coats (low volume, highly thinned mist) lacquer about an hour apart After 3 hour dry time, sand very lightly with 320 grit Dry another hour, then spray coat of cherry toned lacquer Dry for an hour, apply second coat of cherry toner Repeat process until desired color is achieved Spray one coat of clear lacquer to protect toner Dry overnight Apply 8 -10 more coats of lacquer, allow to dry 3 hours between coats Allow to dry for at least a month, wet sand and buff This may be right, wrong, or whatever. I’m confident that it will be close enough to satisfy my expectations. Your mileage may vary based on your equipment, your finishing environment, your experience and your skill level.
  10. My first exeriment is complete and here is the result: This sample shows a mixture of 1/2 oz of dye to 1 pint of solvent on the left side. The right side of the image was not sprayed. The color I hope to end up with is Gibson SG Red. I think this is close, but I will add more red dye and spray another sample before I do it for real.
  11. Thanks for the input. I've decided to give the LMI dye MEK concentrate a shot. It costs 1/3 of what the TransTint sells for, so I figured it is worth a try. After reading more about it, it is supposedly more color-fast than the aniline powder types. Who knows about that? I suppose time will tell. I'll let you know how it looks in a couple of weeks.
  12. To be more specific, is an anilaline powder dye mixed with alcohol or lacquer better than an MEK based dye concentrate mixed with laquer under nitro topcoats? And why? I visited LMI where they sell both types and it would be nice to hear your experiences and opinions before I make a choice. I have used the Trans-Tint brand in the past with excellent results, but the dyes LMI has to offer are less expensive. Maybe I should stay away from the LMI stuff and stick with what I know works. What do you think?
  13. Thanks to all for your input. I suppose the jury may be out on this for me until I try something and see what happens. I'll be out of nitro soon and the KTM-9 product looks promising so I may give it a shot. Ill post my opinion afterwards.
  14. I'm installing a large bushing style tuneomatic bridge and tailpiece on my current build. Does it matter if the ground connects to the tailpiece, or does it need to run to the bridge posts?
  15. I've been spraying my builds with nitrocellulose lacquer, but am considering a switch to something less toxic. Sherwin-Williams has a water based product called Kem Aqua. Has anyone here used this product? Please let me know how your experience with this, or any other water base lacquer has been for you. Thanks....
  16. Same thing is happening here. Norton detcted a trojan and put it into quaranteen. It locked my computer. Only came back to see if problem may be resolved and it hasn't been yet. If the administrator could send me an email to let me know when the problem has been corrected, that would be a good thing. As for now I think I'll stay away until things are safer.
  17. Thanks to all for pointing me in the right direction. The nut was the culprit, in particular the angle for the string grooves were incorrect. They needed to be adjusted by filing the grooves toward the tuners. This adjustment allows the strings to travel more freely (back and forth) as the tremolo is used.
  18. They are sharp. I have a new set of strings and am waiting to hear everyone's sugestions before I change them in case there is anything else I need to check. I will try the graphite. Thanks for the input!
  19. I recently purchased a "slightly used" Samick Malibu MB2 Greg Bennett design series guitar. It is configured like a fat Strat with a tremolo. It seems to be setup well; the strings don't buzz, the intonation is good, it plays well and stays in tune UNTIL you use the tremolo bar. Then it goes badly out of tune. It is not critical that I have or ever use the trem bar, but something doesn't seem right the way it is. Since I have never played, owned, (nor built) a guitar with a tremolo until now, I'm not sure where to start in attempting to correct this problem. Can any of you trem experts suggest a solution?
  20. johnsilver, Thanx for the heads up. I will definately be doing test pieces. I didn't think about how the sealer application could affect the color shade. Good tip!
  21. Thanx! I would like to have it and really appreciate your offer to share.
  22. Hey all you Gibson Gurus, I've searched the forum for details on how to acheive Heritage Red on mahogany, but nothing specific was returned. I've also read the information on Guitar ReRanch's site and I'm not interested in purchasing their aerosols because I have spray equipment. I also know that Stew-Mac offers a book on the subject of finishing that would tell me what I need, but I prefer to ask you experts with experience. I'm specifically looking for what type of grain filler and dye you think works best along with product sources. Any application tips you want to share would also be helpful!
  23. Custom Inlay Inc. does good work. Contact Brian England or Jason Clark @ http://www.custominlay.com with your request. Larry
  24. Thanks. I'll probably stick with a bridge that resembles the Fender original.
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