57 Futura build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by pshupe, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Yes it is. The wood is spectacular I should probably hire you to procure all my wood! ;-)

    Cheers Peter.
     
  2. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Marked out the body and trimmed the blank to size.

    [​IMG]

    This blank is 24" x 19" x 1 3/4" thick so I have some options. It's too wide for my thickness planer but I could put it in my CNC machine and take off 1/4" but I decided to put 60 grit in my thickness sander and do it that way. It went really quick with the 60 Grit. As much as I love my CNC machine every time you put a bit in that thing I expect it to go rogue on me. ;-)

    [​IMG]

    Next up CNCing the body -

    toolpaths -
    [​IMG]

    Each of the lines gets a separate toolpath. I have 2 for the back, which I do first. Then flip it over and do 7 more. The nice thing about doing smaller but larger quantity of toolpaths is that I can check out each one to make sure it is cutting as expected and also it shortens the cutting time per session. Also my CNC machine allows me to cut one toolpath and then start the next one at the depth the last one cut. This way there is no "air" cutting.

    I'll probably work on fretting while I run the toolpaths.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  3. Koolaide

    Koolaide Member

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    Peter what a beautiful build. However the fretboard is kinda busy. You should select another and send that one to me for proper disposal;).

    Thanks for sharing.
    Jim
     
  4. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    So I got the thickness sanding done and setup the body blank in my CNC machine and away we go.

    Top - [​IMG]

    Back - [​IMG]

    I thickness sanded about 1/4" off the back in hopes it would bring out the grain patterns more like the front and it absolutely did. The pictures do not do it justice and this is without naptha or any enhancements.

    So back to the fret board. Got out the fretting supplies. I experimented a little bit with an overbend of the fretwire. I printed out 3 different radii 12", 10" and 8". The 10" still seemed a little flat so I bent slightly more less than 10". It seemed to work out well.
    [​IMG]

    I also used my drill press to press in the frets and was hoping it didn't break like in one of the other threads here. ;-)
    [​IMG]

    I wicked some CA glue in under the fret tangs and clamped with my radius beam. Then I sanded the fret ends down close to the edge of the fret board and hand filed down to the edge. I still have to do a little bit of cleanup to the board but I am happy with the results.
    [​IMG]

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  5. replaburst59er

    replaburst59er Senior Member

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    Smokin!!!!!!

    Better than one could imagine!
     
  6. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Back to the neck - I'm jumping around here a bit.

    I thicknessed the headstock to close to final dimensions then used a template made from plywood. First I drilled some holes straight through and cut close to the edge with my bandsaw. I've seen people cut through the front of the headstock with a bandsaw with the back off the table but I have a very wide blade and didn't want to chance that.
    [​IMG]

    Then over to the sander and get very close to the lines -
    [​IMG]

    Now onto the router table to trim to the template -
    [​IMG]

    Next up drilling for tuner holes - I bought a Stew Mac tuner drilling jig but frankly I think I wasted my money. I would normally just print out the headstock with an X over each tuner hole and use a punch to make a hole. Then use a brad point bit on the drill press. This seemed much slower and clamping wasn't that simple. I may just need some practice.

    [​IMG]

    That's pretty much where I am at now.
    [​IMG]
    I will probably spend some time figuring out the proper neck angle and then cut the shoulders on the neck next.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  7. redking

    redking Senior Member

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    Loving this build!!! Makes me think of Billy Gibbons!
     
  8. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb

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    Peter this is looking awesome :)

    Really nice work!
     
  9. dcomiskey

    dcomiskey Member

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    This is looking incredible. I love how you took down the fretboard using the radius block. I may use that technicque this week. Can't wait to see the final product!
     
  10. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Back off holidays now and caught up on work, so off we go again. This is the most complicated part of the build, at least for me. The neck joint has some issues and could be one of the reasons that they changed the neck join location from the standard LP to where the current neck join is on the Explorer. After a lot of discussion with people smarter and more knowledgeable than I, it was decided to split the difference on the neck angle. Meaning that a portion would have a small ramp and a portion would have a slight modification done to the body ie neck plane.

    Here is the cad drawing to figure out the dimensions. I'll be doing this with my CNC machine as I want it to fit perfectly.
    [​IMG]

    I cut a few test cuts to get the ramp setup and clamping straightened out then I cut a mahogany neck for the white limba body.

    [​IMG]

    Initial neck fit looks good and the angle and height for the bridge is almost perfect.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers Peter
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  11. replaburst59er

    replaburst59er Senior Member

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    Wow! It looks like it will be a goodie! That is a very interesting neck angle shim.
     
  12. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Yeah - there are probably a few ways to do that shim. I think this is the most precise but may be overkill. It may have been easier to make a shim after the fact but would be a bit fussy to get it perfect.

    I probably cut 3 or 4 test pieces at different feed rates to try and minimize tearout. I was thinking if I were to build another from scratch I would cut the tenon while the neck was a rectangular shape so I could put it through the thickness sander to get the exact ramp height and have no tearout. But that would also require a larger block to start with. This neck was nested inside a plank that probably had 10 necks cut from it, so you would probably use about 30 - 40% more wood by cutting out rectangles for that process. It wouldn't make sense if I was making 20 or 30 of these but I doubt that will happen. ;-)

    Cheers Peter.
     
  13. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Wow, this is just brilliant, Peter. Well done. :applause:
     
  14. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Thanks Slingblader. I'd like to have this one wrapped up soon. I just glued up the finger board. Then I'll turn my attention to the body so I can finish up before gluing on the neck.
    [​IMG]

    Next up is roundover then drill for jack and wiring into control cavity.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  15. redking

    redking Senior Member

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    This is my favorite build going on right now! I don't quite understand the neck shim situation, but I'm sure I will understand once you set the neck :)
     
  16. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Thanks Redking. The basics about the shim are these. The neck is like an LP neck, so it has a notched tenon. But it is a flat top like an LP JR. The JRs have the full width of the neck acting as a tenon, so the fret board rests on the top of the neck which is angled above the body. Think of that piece that is above the body on a JR as the shim I have to add because the tenon on the Futura is cut like an LP. Here is a pic of the shim that is required. If it were a junior the dashed line would support the whole fret board. Because it is a notched tenon I need that little piece to fill in under the fret board on each side of the notched tenon.

    [​IMG]

    I could have cut a ramp in the body like the neck plane in an LP but because the body join is at the 16th fret it would have been a hell of a wide neck plane and that's not they way they were done. The Explorers either. The body join did change to the 19th fret for the Explorers so there are some that do not have little shims and some do.

    I think that is why they changed the join location. These were probably made along side the LPs so they probably used the same necks.

    Cheers Peter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  17. redking

    redking Senior Member

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    Gotcha. So this is what underneath your fretboard that u just glued on? How will you ensure a smooth and flat gluing surface when you transition down your "ramp"? Or maybe its paper thin at that point so it doesn't need to be exactly perfect by then?
     
  18. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    I will be sanding off the edge of the body, small pup plane, which I have marked on the body. I will match it perfectly before I glue up. It is just a sliver where it meets the body. It probably doesn't make sense to keep the shim attached to the tenon. It may be easier to remove it and then slide the shim in at time of glue up. I want to add a slight fall over on the last few frets as well.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  19. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    That's the way the Chinery Collection Futura was done, and the way I did my Moderne.
     
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  20. redking

    redking Senior Member

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    Can't wait to see this progress... now if only you can do it in 6 hours and on video like Ben Crowe, then we are set :)

     

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