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Everything posted by Prostheta

  1. Did you get close to sawing through your blue tape roll?
  2. Alrighty then. Let's look at how I've marked out the neck for sorting the scarf and laminations. Excuse the mess, do come in: The entire Maple blank measures just over 870mm in length and about 107mm in width at 26mm thick. I marked it out for maximum yield, or at least minimum chance of screwing up. In CAD I measured out the lengths of each piece rather than marking out a 13deg angle. Measuring that way is much more accurate over short distances and acute angles. The two pieces were marked out from opposite ends with 25mm having been added in to the headstock length (this rapidly loses length with any scarf glueup error) and 10mm on the neck length. Once these lines are established, they're taken over the edges, joined together and then a midpoint between the two draw up. That way, I can laminate the neck part with a good degree of excess (plus that 10mm) and the same with the headstock. Scarfing a neck with tight tolerance is prone to issues, and for the sake of a few Euros of additional length on the blank you can easily build in a bit of insurance. I'm unsure how I'm going to cut that 13deg, however I'm thinking it will be a combination of a table saw plus a 13deg-edged scrap of MDF or plywood. It doesn't need to be accurate as the whole thing will be cleaned up further down the line. I'll probably take the neck part from one side of that 107mm piece (or however it ends up after lamination) as the grain is almost perfectly vertical on one side, maybe a few degree off on the other. The waste can easily be used to fill out the headstock tips, however I want to try and keep as much width on the neck as possible so the CNC has plenty of excess to grab. Offsetting the vacuum consoles along the width reduces any sort of twisting (this shouldn't happen anyway) and increases flat referencing.
  3. Yeah, they're an aesthetic of their own , that's for sure. Italy had a weird run of guitars in the (I think 60s-70s) which was a similar path of discovery and art like German guitars. Is that the sort of aesthetic that's caught you?
  4. It also looks good in cream-white....muuuurrgghhhhhh
  5. I need to remember how I did the binding. This isn't important since the CNC doesn't need to know most of this info. I also fixed the poor outline shape, which I've noticed a lot of people get wrong including sellers of templates and drawings....yikes.... click to embiggen
  6. Thanks man. I actually reached out to the auctioneers to see if they might be able to contact the new owner or the seller. I'd dearly love to have that guitar back.
  7. Taking this into the wood presents a few considerations beyond dialing in a taper accurately. The blank should ideally have a lower reference edge for the CNC that is absolutely parallel to the centreline. This part is the trick. The easiest way of managing this would be to modify the front referencing face of the blank where the pneumatic pillar stops land. Changing the entire reference edge is far from ideal. The modification can be done by either adding material to the reference edge where the rightmost pillar references as a "permanent shim" or removing material from where the leftmost pillar references.
  8. That brings us here. Looks good even though the volute isn't symmetrical. ' <edit: and the laminations aren't going all the way through to the headstock scarf>
  9. Lamination strategy. This can be done any number of ways from the most simple - parallel laminations - to the most complex multiple laminations. I've elected to taper my central laminate and have the outer laminates follow that. The blank I'm using is relatively-plain quartersawn Maple with minimal runout and good apparent growth ring radii. This should be plenty stable as it stands, but once that Bubinga is added it'll be a far better neck. It's the sort of wood that adds clarity when used in balance with overly-warm or bright-sounding woods. I've found that I prefer Bubinga laminated with Maple and Wenge with "slower" woods like Sapele or genuine Mahogany. Even though it isn't a world of difference, I've always had more pleasing results with woods used in combination than on their own. To calculate the taper, I look at my top-down neck drawing and create extension lines to an intersection point. At the heel end, I draw out a box of a specific height corresponding to how wide the central laminate needs to be at that point. Let's start at what, 16mm? Then, two lines are drawn from the back of the heel where the box crosses out to the far intersection point. Then two boxes perpendicular to these lines are extended out the same width as the laminates (4,5mm each). Ain't tea bag. Let's try 12mm separation for size. 16mm seems like it will present better over a thinner flatter neck than the narrower spacing which would likely work on a rounder and more traditional profile. This is something I haven't discussed or even put much consideration into at this stage. I think I'll go for the wider 16mm spacing and see what happens when I preview it over the profiling drawn up in the 3D model.
  10. It looks very good now. Perfect! Very pleased you managed to fix it.
  11. As a rule, I always introduce the cutter in a motion like how a plane lands rather than perpendicular. I don't like hand routing because of how it works; you > tool > workpiece rather than my preferred option of a router table you > workpiece > tool. The dynamics of this make a big difference in control. I choose specific cutting directions to remove material from one area of a perimeter based on the grain direction and avoiding stressing unsupported short grain (areas where the grain enters and exits the workpiece over a short distance) as this leads to chunks getting blown out. I'd have to draw out a routing plan on paper, and if it helps I can do that. That's a big cutter for that small router. I have that same one. The offset base is a big help. For that amount of remaining material around the perimeter, I wouldn't take more than 3-4mm of depth at any one time. Your first cuts were clearly the biggest because of the length of the cutter. Just remember not to let the bearing ride over the blown out parts otherwise it'll make the problem worse further in!
  12. Now that is absolutely fascinating to me. (also, is that Okoumé marine plywood?) I don't think people are designing and making jigs enough to solve problems these days. I remember that the best builders I've ever had the privilege of interacting with spent more time designing and perfecting even the most miscellaneous of jigs, often where the end product wouldn't necessarily telegraph their use. Seeing a device, solution or jig performing its task flawlessly is akin to watching a built-up clock work. Nice use of sacrificial service material as well. It makes that overflowing scrap bin feel more like a goldmine
  13. Shapes like an Explorer can be tricky since there are so many places with unsupported grain that the router can easily chunk off instead of slicing through. Climb cutting can be a pain when it bites near these as the whole structure of the wood is opened out and disrupted.
  14. Generally I would advise against taking deep cuts with long bits as the cutting edges create a lot of tool pressure every time they enter the material. The longest cutter I use is 25mm, and I rarely take that much at once. Shallow cuts mean you can alternate cutting direction between conventional and climb. Tearout in endgrain is a pain. The "layers" of the wood are separated with chunks likely pulled out. Kind of like taking a chainsaw to the pages of a book at the side, it'll go in a mm or two. If you're aiming for a clearcoat finish, bummer. That'll be a difficult repair to make invisible. The final finish should guide how to work that area. In general the way I visualise cutting direction is with a "clock of wood". The grain going horizontally. At 12 and 6 you go conventional. At 3 and 6 (endgrain) you go climb. The points in between those are "either" depending on how that area naturally traverses from adjacent cuts. Cutting climb cut is clenching at best, so this is exactly why I always use shallow cuts. It doesn't use the entire length of the cutter so is wasting good sharp carbide, so I try and buy short. My fave is a Klein 19,1mm diameter cutter with 11,1mm length on a 12mm shank. It powers through without issues, and multiple passes with a well-made bit avoid most of the stepping errors from a bearing following on a previous cut. Yeah, that looks very much like Sapele. The blue-ness in the ribbon is very familiar.
  15. Looking at the construction of the original, the neck was made from 3x pieces of 25mm Maple. I've always admired Japanese manufacture, and their way of building in both economy and robust construction principles just floors me every time. This neck could easily have been one piece of QS or FS Maple, however it's a mixture of both with growth ring symmetry being the principle at play. One piece of QS in the centre for geometric stability (not stiffness, that's an oft-overused myth) with random sawn either side. That's maximum yield from stock with dialled-in stability. Love it. What always got me about that Mirage was the lack of introduced neck angle and the flat-mounting Floyd. This resulted in a very deep heel and slightly higher than usual fingerboard to body separation. It was the transition between the Horizon model (1988 onwards) and the lawsuit Mirage (Jackson-style headstock till 87). To date it's been a unique example, and I would say that the odd geometry features would place it as a concept or prototype. By comparison, the Invaders model is a much more quantifiable thing. The '87 "The Mirage" examples are pretty accessible if you've got four g's kicking around. They carry (to me, anyway) a lot more mojo than the Soloists or other typical superstrats of the time. A minor detail in common between my old ESP and several others that I have photos of in my archive....the headstock has a very well-eased edge from the face to the binding. Not quite rounded, but not sharp like modern off-the-shelf ESPs. The neck is also nicely rounded from the fingerboard to the binding. Again, not sharp at all. As you'd expect, the factory fretwork was second to none. These are all small yet important details that make the difference between a soulless machine-stamped axe and an instrument that is crafted and finished to perfection by human hand and eye. Wood and wire is pretty similar in most guitars, but it takes craft to make those feel like a million dollars.
  16. The neck blanks winging their way to me from Germany measure 870 x 100 x 31 which is more than adequate for two necks. The plan is to thickness these down to the 25mm required for the neck (based on the heel depth) and reduce the part scarfed to the headstock to enough that it supports a volute. At the very least I'll do a volute on one of these necks, the Mirage having had one originally. The choice of to-volute or not-to-volute affects the mounting of the locking nut slightly, mostly in planning to get a neat crisp pair of recessed mounting holes at the back if I go that route. 100mm isn't wide enough to produce a headstock scarf without glueing on at least one wing. For the Invaders build, the neck blank will be laminated with 2x 5,5mm Bubinga laminates. Losses from the table saw and rejointing will lose maybe 9mm so we're more or less still at 100mm either way. The central Maple laminate will be lightly tapered in proportion to the neck's overall taper which I'll work out at a later stage. This will again lose a little from the width at the headstock end. The Bubinga I have isn't long enough to support lamination through the entire blank, so these will stop at the headstock with that being plain Maple. In other news (apologies if this is slightly OT) I was heartbroken when I found photos of my old ESP from the auction site. Firstly, it was sold WAY undervalue and I would have picked her back up for several times that had I known. Secondly, she's been beaten and damaged. I just hope she's found a better home than a few hundred pounds might indicate.
  17. The texture on the body is nice. It reminds me a bit of a Blackmachine.
  18. Hopefully this illustrates the geometry of the forearm and rear comfort contours. They're all based on sections of a cylinder, which makes executing them much simpler as CNC operations.
  19. I've been playing with the heel somewhat. After seeing several photos of high-end modern bolt-on ESPs with this sort of heel arrangement, I figured it would be a nice aspect to add in. The heel is cut back with a flat angle that terminates within the upper cutaway with a radius. Since I prefer ferrules over neck plates, these can place themselves anywhere within the angle or even across the transition. In addition to this slope, a more typical corner cutaway has been added. The geometry of this appeals to my eye as generally I'm not a bit fan of easing within cutaways themselves. I could modify the heel shape however this is the basis for a future repro of my original Mirage, so I'm aiming not to get too far off that path.
  20. I'm surprised that @ScottR hasn't checked in yet. He'd love this.
  21. So here's the proof of the tests. The top one is the lower percentage of glow pigment, the lower was something like 50%. Note the pinholes in the surface that ended up capturing some of the dust from filing/sanding back. It seems like 30% is the mark to hit. (edit for clarification, or at least bringing the test results together) The epoxy to pigment ratio is a band that seems to top out around 30%, and the band itself is dependent on how deeply the epoxy is being cast. The more epoxy and less pigment, the higher the likelihood that the pigment will crash out and the deeper it can sink. The lower strata of the epoxy will end up with a far higher ratio of pigment than the original mix and would resemble the lower sample if you cut that far back into the epoxy. Higher ratios reduce the amount of pigment crashing, but introduce new problems; pinhole bubbles not migrating through and out of the casting adequately due to higher viscosity or shear tension, and surface pigment causing a poor finish when cut back. The poor surface finish of exposed cut pigment grains is likely less of an issue if the final piece is being clearcoated. This would effectively "resubmerge" the surface grains and makes the finished item look as though there is the bare minimum of epoxy over the glow pigment. If anything, this would produce the strongest and most visible glow, plus the easiest to charge. The pinholes are far more problematic in that sanding dust or other fine debris can be impossible to remove. I haven't got compressed air to try and blast the stuff out same as most, so it has to be taken that this is maybe not achievable. If it were, and a clearcoat could fill those up, that would be the high standard of glow power and maybe through-consistency. Eliminating bubbles seems to be the absolute decider here for clearcoated items. For exposed castings, the right ratio of pigment to epoxy with normal heat bubble elimination. In principle this would mean that I could try the original binding and detail ideas that require deeper castings using more viscous epoxy and higher fractions of glow pigment, however there would be a very significant increase in trapped bubbles that would require pressure to crush. Vacuum elimination would disrupt any homogeneity within the epoxy/pigment mix, increasing crashing, pushing epoxy out of the cast with bubbles or at the very least reducing consistency within the casting. It would also require a not-insignificant amount of epoxy, pigment and equipment to achieve, if it could be achieved at all.
  22. Very cool! As it happens, I just finished up the logo for my own supertstrat today. 8-bit snow
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