57 Futura build

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

  1. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    I'm quickly realizing that even though I have a CNC machine I am constantly doing one off builds. This one is particularly challenging because there is so little information regarding these guitars. Also because it was a prototype it is much harder to build because they took out a lot of difficulty in the Explorer construction.

    It's definitely fun though. It's probably taken me more than 6 hrs just to wrap my head around the body join. Good thing this isn't my full time gig. ;-)

    Cheers Peter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  2. redking

    redking Senior Member

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    If you ever design a CNC model for this one I wonder if it would be easier to put the "ramp" around the mortise? I would think it would make it a tad easier to fit at the end maybe? I'm sure you have weighted both options...
     
  3. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    I just found your thread regarding the moderne. I haven't combed through it all yet but will do. It looks very thorough and you have some images in there I haven't seen before. Cool stuff. Thanks.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  4. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Yeah it could be done both ways. I could adjust the neck angle and have the ramp totally on the neck or the other way around or split the difference. I'm trying to be faithful to the original prototype as well. TBH there is still a lot of hand sanding and fitting around the neck anyway. I usually oversize the tenon and then hand fit.

    Cheers Peter.
     
  5. redking

    redking Senior Member

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    I'll be watching with interest as I will run into the same issues building out my 3 Gretsch Astrojet salvaged bodies I think.
     
  6. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Maybe this should be what's on my workbench but... I dropped my daughter off close to the wood store and found this nice wide piece of S.A. Mahogany with the right weight and it spoke to me. ;-) It said "I want to be a Futura."
    [​IMG]

    20.5" x 24" x 8/4 and about 2.75 lbs/ b.f. Should be a nice piece.

    Cheers Peter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  7. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    back in the shop - roundover - remembering to stop well short of the neck join area.
    [​IMG]

    Layout for pots, jack, and wiring channel.
    [​IMG]

    cut the pot location out and placed inside control cavity. The control cavity on these things is very thin, so placement is important.
    [​IMG]

    marked and drilled from the top
    [​IMG]

    I test fit a pot but I only had 2 so just mocked up the knobs
    [​IMG]

    onto the jack hole and wiring channel. This is a little tricky on these guitars and another area where I think they made changes to incorporate into the Explorer. The Futura pics that I have seen show a wiring channel between the two pups that looks like it's hand routed. The explorer has dropped the route to be lower than the pups on the body and extends closer to the wiring channel. The hole is also drilled using the channel so it exits at the correct height. This design forces you to drill from the jack hole all the way to the neck pup route.

    Here is the layout - and the drill bits I used. It was actually quite easy. The spotfacer is a great tool for jack holes. I have one for truss rod access in the headstock and just ordered two more for things like this. Thanks to Tom B. for letting me borrow his spotfacer. I managed to find a long 3/8" drill bit. I placed a regular 3/16" drill bit as a pilot in the spot facer and drilled into a punched center mark and then followed that with a long "ish" 3/16" bit to get the right angle to the pup route, then finished the jack hole to depth and followed that with the long 3/8" drill bit into the pup route. Neither came out the back, so I'm counting this as a win! ;-)
    [​IMG]

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  8. replaburst59er

    replaburst59er Senior Member

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    Wow!!!! Great looking body!!!!!!!! She is rounded and curvy!!!! :)
     
  9. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    Man, I envy guys with CNC rigs!
     
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  10. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Hey Bill. The CNC is nice, for repeatability. I haven't done much repeating though. If I wasn't a CAD nerd and 3d modeler I wouldn't have one. Frankly I bet I could build faster with jigs and fixtures and a big pin router. The nice thing about CNC is you can do other things while the machine is working.

    I read your whole Moderne thread today. Awesome build. Very interesting thoughts on those "futuristic" Gibsons. I'm quite new to all that stuff but find it fascinating. I find it humorous that Ted McCarty came up with those futuristic designs then a few years later hired Deitrich to design the Firebird. Frankly I think the ones he came up with were more futuristic than the Firebird design. I guess he thought they were a flop and it wasn't until the 70's when they started making them again.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  11. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    Yeah, the Fururistics went over like a lead balloon in '58: the world wasn't ready. By the time Gibson reintroduced the Flying V ten years later the world had changed.

    Besides, in '58 Gibson introduced a bunch of new guitars that weren't flops at all: the ES-335, the doublecut Junior and Special, the whole line of Gibson-made Epiphones (not to mention the cherryburst LP, although it didn't exactly set the world on fire). So dropping a couple of sales failures wasn't a biggie.
     
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  12. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    I love most Gibsons, including the Modernistics and Firebird! From a player's point of view, and least with me being the player ;), I think the V and the Explorer "work" much better than the "professionally" designed Firebird - very interesting I think!
     
  13. WhiteEpiLP

    WhiteEpiLP Senior Member

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    Agreed, explorers are super comfy to play, sitting or standing.
     
  14. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Finished up the side dots.
    [​IMG]

    I used one of the test pieces as a jig to plane off some of the edge of the body. I put some green tape on places I didn't want to hit and used a small block plane and some sand paper to get the angle right.

    [​IMG]

    I just have to fine tune the joint a little more and it's ready for glue up. I decided to not use the ramp on the neck but rather cut shims for the edge of the fretboard. There were already four surfaces to get planar I didn't need another two. TBH it's probably the way they did the originals.
    [​IMG]

    The joint is very snug, probably a little too snug for glue but great for testing fit and getting a look at how the final piece may look. It's looking like a guitar now.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. replaburst59er

    replaburst59er Senior Member

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    Billy Gibbons eat your heart out!!!!!! :)
     
  16. redking

    redking Senior Member

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    Killer... sign me up!
     
  17. archey

    archey Senior Member

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    Very cool! Nice work man!
     
  18. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    I spent quite a bit of time with strips of sandpaper on each mating surface to get the joint nice and snug. I miss the LP neck joins for sure. ;-) Lee Valley had a sale on a multi-grit thin roll sand paper the other day and they worked out really well.
    [​IMG]


    Glued up pretty well. It's nice it fit so well because the clamp is really just there to keep everything in place. Once this is done I'll make sure the neck to body transitions are sanded a bit better and do some cleanup of the fret board. Then it's onto stop tail and bridge.
    [​IMG]

    Cheers Peter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
  19. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb

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    that sucker looks totally badass :)
     
  20. TheZ

    TheZ Senior Member

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    Wow, how have I missed this one? Amazing!
     

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