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Posts posted by jowilmei

  1. On 9/9/2021 at 3:35 AM, Bizman62 said:

    Slot cutting gear can cost enormous sums unless you go the razor-saw-and-ruler route so if you're only going to build a few guitars in your lifetime they would be a waste of money.

    Sometimes it's also easier to inlay the fret markers before radiusing, sometimes after.

    I made the mistake of carving the neck before frets and side dots. Definitely will not be repeating that mistake. 

    When it come to fret slots, the special tools were what turned me away. Since then, however, I have seen people cut slots with a harbor freight flush cut saw and a squared up block of wood. I guess that gives me some confidence.

  2. 11 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

    That's an impressive first build!

    How much did you build from scratch?

    The round bottom looks comfortable!

    Thank you! The only thing I didn't do was slot and radius the fretboard. I think my next fretboard will be my own. I wanted the carve to be super comfortable so I went pretty hard with a saw rasp. 

    • Like 1
  3. Having stole this neck off a free plywood s-style from craigslist. I had previously bought a piece of basswood that went unused, so this will be a great use for it. Not really sure what the story is with the drill through on the neck, but I think some extra fret markers will cover it up and give it a unique look.

  4. 4 minutes ago, JayT said:

    Where does one find that??

    I scoured Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and Craigslist looking for guys who basically made a hobby of milling trees. I was fortunate enough to find a person close by who was liquidating his collection of slabs for very cheap because of an upcoming move. He didn't have exotic stuff, mostly ash, maple and oak, but I as able to get a 23"x60x3" ash slab for ~$40. I was very fortunate to get three neck blanks and a body out of it so far.

    • Like 1
  5. 6 hours ago, curtisa said:

    The more common solutions are to either loosen the trem springs to allow the bridge to tilt forward slightly, or to raise the studs so that the baseplate of the bridge remains parallel to the body top but with some clearance underneath.

    I know this is probably the smart solution, but I just don't like the look of it. 

  6. 6 hours ago, curtisa said:

    Have a look at this article I wrote a number of years ago. It's regarding a recessed Floyd Rose routing template system, but the principles are similar to your requirements for a fully floating non-locking bridge.

    I would point out that it's fairly advanced work to create these kinds of templates from scratch; not particularly out of reach for a first time builder, but certainly requiring a good chunk of patience, care and attention. As @Bizman62 suggests, practice on scrap should be considered mandatory.

    Most people probably wouldn't go to the extra work of recessing a two-stud bridge to allow for up-pull. The more common solutions are to either loosen the trem springs to allow the bridge to tilt forward slightly, or to raise the studs so that the baseplate of the bridge remains parallel to the body top but with some clearance underneath.

    Thank you for the link. That is incredible detail you put into the article. I don't really understand why anything needs to be precisely routed and drilled except for the actual mounting studs, though. Can't all of the cavities be made to fit well without precision templates? I was honestly thinking of using chisels, rasps, and patience to get the work done. 

  7. I am currently attempting my first complete guitar build. It is a EBMM axis style, which I love because of its relatively small size and unique shape. I am currently torn between making it a hardtail or vibrato bridge.

    I am thinking that I could create my own routing templates to allow a "flush" mounted bridge that can pull up and down like a Floyd, but with a standard two post nonlocking saddles. Sort of like the VegaTrem but without the $269 price tag. Do you think its worth my time as an amateur?

    I don't actually use trems that much, but it would kill me to not have the option. I will definitely be installing a tremel-no if I go the vibrato route.

  8. 17 minutes ago, Drak said:

    Absolutely practice on scrap, I do, to this very day. And I have made hundreds of mistakes I've had to go back and fix, and I hate it as much now as I ever did in the early years. So from those experiences, there is good news for a fallback strategy doing it this way. If you do the method of clearcoating the body, then level-sanding, then applying a shader coat (even if its just an edgeburst) You can always sand back to your clearcoat start point for recovery, you don't have to sand everything back to raw wood. As long as you know how to gently sand back a finish, and shader coats are generally very thin and very light anyway. So its really not that hard to sand it all off and go right back to your clearcoat recovery point. W/o all the work of having to go back to dead-stop zero raw wood again. The basecoat clearcoats are a 'hold space', or a 'page marker', if you follow.

    Also, another lesson I've learned the hard way...Once you touch that wood with a cloth dipped in dye, there is rarely an easy recovery point. Sanding a guitar back to raw, clean wood after you've dyed it is never fun or easy, if you get it clean again at all. That is why I still practice on scrap first, I've learned the hard way once I touch that pretty raw wood with dye, there's no 100% recovery, or usually not an easy one.

    I certainly do a lot of straight-to-raw-wood dye finishes, I actually prefer them for the right job.

    I'm just sure before I touch it with dye that its what I want, no guessing at it, its too much time spent in recovery.

    I hate doing that, and I'm super-picky, I never settle for 'just OK'. If it doesn't blow my mind, it gets the axe or it gets fixed.

    And I really detest time wasted fixing mistakes.

    The goal is to spend more time moving and advancing forward and enjoying the build than time spent in recovery going backwards to fix mistakes. So you take care of that as much as you possibly can on the Front End, by testing on scrap and having fallback points, its all strategy and strategic thinking.

    I like the idea of a base clear coat to fall back on. What do you recommend as a clear coat? I was thinking of BLO or tru-oil that I have laying around. 

  9. 1 hour ago, Drak said:

    So this is what I've got, since you allowed my mind to wander and choose whatever it wanted. These are two different treatments done to a Black Limba body. Depending on the piece, Black Limba can stand on its own, or sometimes it can use a little help to set it off. I see your piece as that, attractive, but could use some help, tho I would not cover it up with a solid black. Its attractive enough to keep it cleared and show it off.

    One is a natural clearcoat with a black edgeburst, the other a beautiful green shader coat. Both are applied after the body has been clearcoated and sanded level, then the toners are shot over top of that, then more clear. Neither of these are done straight onto the wood, they are done over a cleared and sanded finish, then more clear to lock it in. If that body were mine, that is what I would do with it. You can clearly see the Black Limba wood in both examples, yet you can also see the added effects really helped set the piece off.

    Its a nice way to keep the natural look of the wood, yet color it to taste.

    You can dye straight onto the wood to augment both of these effects before you add them, but its really, really light.

    Say, you were going to do a black edgeburst but wanted to dye the body to match it. I would use a Silver Gray dye mixed WAAY down, like 10%, 15% max. Like a super-diluted washcoat, nothing more. If you go too far, you ruin the effect, these are all very light and delicate treatments, nothing heavy-handed. In this way you are keeping the natural look of the wood itself. If you use a heavy-handed dye right onto the wood, you'll take away the natural look. Unless that's exactly what you're looking for in the first place, just straight-up dying the wood although with that piece, it would not be my first choice.

    If you are prepared to do a faux binding job (I wouldn't, but I'm not you), then you are already prepared to do shader coats, as both require the body to be clearcoated first. The procedures share a lot of the same steps in the process is all I'm saying, so if you're prepared to do one, you can choose to do the other too as both require similar equipment and techniques.

    That's what I got.

    Natural Black Limba with black edgeburst:



    Natural Black Limba with Green edgeburst/shader coat:


    Thank you for so much good information. Those finishes look outrageous! I think with my low experience level, I will have to test out some of your ideas on a scrap piece I have with the same grain.

  10. 1 hour ago, mattharris75 said:

    You could also just grainfill black for a cool look as well that combines black and natural, like the back of this bass I built:


    I like that look, but im afraid the dark grain will overcome the subtle color variations in throughout the wood. 

  11. 1 minute ago, Bizman62 said:

    I feel you, I've struggled with similar issues with my current build. So I ended up with a burst which left most of the patterns visible

    Wow, that looks incredible! I guess I'll take some scraps I have and experiment with the natural-burst technique.

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