My first build(s)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SlingBlader, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. emoney

    emoney Senior Member

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    Looking good, keep up the good work! And +1 on what Nuance said; it's all in the bit/bearing
    set. I tried every way to Sunday to get around it, and finally gave up and followed the road
    most travelled as well.
     
  2. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Thanks! It's amazing how well this bit performs. Like any other router bit, I try to be sure that I'm only using it to take off a small amount of material, but so far I have not had any problems with tear out. :)

    Yeah, no doubt. It has a serious sound when it comes up to speed, that's for sure. :wow:
     
  3. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Agreed all the way around. I could have made it all work with just the bit and bearing set. What really gripes me is that I have an awesome Whiteside rabbeting bit and bearing set but just didn't have the right combination for binding. But seriously, who am I kidding, I'm always looking for an excuse to buy another tool. :D
     
  4. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Installing the binding.

    Up next was the binding installation. I used the StewMac binding, Bind-ALL glue and the SM tape for the job. I started in the cutaway/horn area on #2. I used a heat gun to assist in shaping the binding to this area. I also found that using the body cradles that were used in the routing operation worked great to get the bodies into a handy working position.

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    Once I got past the cutaway area, the job went pretty fast. I was surprised at how fast the glue set up, so I had to work quickly. I got a little panicky when I had a tough time tearing off pieces of tape quickly enough to keep up with the job.

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    This is a shot of #1 and it shows how I masked off the body just below the binding channel. I wanted to avoid getting glue into areas that were hard to clean up.

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    I learned my lesson on the first round...

    Failure to prepare is preparing to fail, as they say. Not sure who "they" are, but I suspect they're correct. :laugh2:

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    Getting things "pre-shaped" using the heat gun and tape.

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    Yep, that works.

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    Aaannnd, done. I have to say that the SM tape works really well. It has a nice amount of stretch and great grab. In fact it has so much grab that I actually got a few small gaps along the bottom edge of the binding on both guitars. (from pulling too tight across the top) I mixed up some binding goop, masked those areas and filled them in. They will not be seen once everything is scraped.

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    I used a card scraper to scrape the binding flush.

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    Here's a shot of the results. Overall, I'm happy with them for my first time installing binding. :)

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    Thanks for looking,
    Gary
     
  5. mangus

    mangus Senior Member

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    They look very nice. Congratulations!
     
  6. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Thanks!
     
  7. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Pickup and neck mortise routing.

    Next up was some more routing. (big surprise there) I was trying to decide what order I should do the routing and I decided to rout the pickup cavities first. Looking back on it now, I believe that I should have routed the neck mortise first to ensure proper alignment of the pickup routs. I'm further ahead of the posted progress here and I think that this decision will turn out OK. Having said that, the next time I'll change the order to be ensure the proper result.

    I started out by aligning the pickup leg routing template to the body and clamping it down to the neck plane.

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    I inserted some shims so that I could apply some clamps.

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    These are the bits that I'll use. I'll hog out some material with a forstner bit, then follow that up with a 1/2" pattern bit. I'll chase that with a 1/4 spiral bit to get into the corners. The shaft of the spiral bit will ride on the template instead of a bearing.

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    Pickup legs complete.

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    The pickup cavities were routed the same way. Hog out with forstner bit, 1/2" pattern bit, 1/4" spiral bit.

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    Pickup cavities complete.

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    Moving on to the neck mortise. This procedure required some creative clamping and template holding. Ultimately, I used some trim nails (ala ExNihilo) along the sides of the mortise to keep the template firmly in place.

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    I don't recall the exact bits that I used, but I do know that due to the depth of the rout I had a bearing slip under the template at the end of the mortise in the pickup cavity on #2. It's not going to harm anything, but it's ugly.

    On the bright side, there will be plenty of room for glue squeeze out. I conspicuously left that detail out of this picture. :cool:

    [​IMG]

    The router slip will be shown very clearly soon, so you can heckle now, or wait and heckle me later. :laugh2: :thumb:

    thanks for looking,
    Gary
     
    Bemis likes this.
  8. Sunburstman

    Sunburstman Senior Member

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    Once again looking excellent!!!!
     
  9. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Control cavity second rout

    Next, I decided that I would tackle the second control cavity rout. I had a pretty good understanding of the overall concept, but I just could not get my head wrapped around the various angles needed to accomplish this task. I scoured many of the build threads here and elsewhere and made a lot of notes. In the end, I feel like I got some of the best information from @nuance97 in his first build thread. The first mention is post 58, then there is further clarification starting at post 220.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/showthread.php?t=147921

    All I can say is thank you. This helped me a lot. The point about the angle of the rout relative to the center line being at 15 degrees was what I needed. Once I drew everything out on my plans, it became more or less self-explanatory.

    So here is how my process worked. I simply made a line perpendicular to the control cavity rout line on my plans and extended it well beyond the center line. I then drew another line perpendicular to my new line and made it intersect at the mid-point of the cutaway.

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    I transferred that line to a body tempate.

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    I attached a piece of MDF to my template being careful to align the edge on the angled line. I trimmed it down and routed it with a pattern bit.

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    Voila.

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    I transferred the control cavity outline and marked the centers of the pot holes for reference.

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    Then I cut down my control cavity paper template to the secondary rout outline. I aligned the pot holes that I made earlier and traced around the template. I cut that out on a scroll saw and smoothed the edges on the spindle sander.

    Once that was done, I made two wedges to attach to the template to hold it at the correct angle. I believe it was supposed to be 8.4 degrees, but mine ended up at 8.3

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    I grabbed the #2 body and placed some tape where I wanted to make reference marks. I used the marks from my body template that I made earlier.

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    I also transferred the perpendicular line to the secondary rout template. This helped me to keep everything aligned.

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    I wanted to make a reference line in the bottom of the control cavity. This would serve to help set my router bit depth as well as to gauge my progress. I laid a small square along the perpendicular line and eyeballed the correct location in the cavity. I used a high tech jig to hold a pencil and mark the line.

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    Next, I needed to determine exactly where to place the template relative to the cavity. I used a small square butted up against the template to locate how far in the "damage" area would go in that top left lobe. I thought that looked about right.

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    Here's a view from directly overhead.

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    I clamped everything in place.

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    I used the pencil jig again, but this time with an unsharpened pencil. I used this as a gauge to set a starting point for the routing depth.

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    After all that, the routs came out pretty good. I used toothpicks through the holes to gauge the thickness of the top.

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    My routs look a bit different than most because I left more body material in the control cavity rout than was necessary. The hilarious thing is that my "damage" areas are nice and clean. I guess I should have just jabbed a forstner bit in there for the pot clearance and been done with it. :laugh2:

    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to post a few extra bits that were hard for me to grasp or were hard to find, so I hope this helps someone.

    Thanks for looking.

    Gary
     
  10. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Thank you. :)
     
  11. guitarjoem

    guitarjoem Double Platinum Supporter MLP Vendor

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    This is an epic thread.
     
  12. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Great job - Slingblader. This is becoming a phenominal build thread.


    IF you look on the drawing here, it shows both of those angles.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe we should dimension them on the plan instead of the 3d detail?

    Cheers Peter.
     
  13. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Hi Peter. OK, so I have to admit that when I saw your reply this morning I was skeptical. I recall seeing the tilt angle (to make the rout match the top profile) but I didn't see a reference to an angle in relation to the center line. I just looked, and sure enough, the angles are there. :shock:

    I will say, that in my opinion it could be called out more clearly. On my copy of the plan the angles are listed with an arrow pointing to the bottom of the cavity. But please don't take this as a criticism. These plans have waaay more detail than is obvious at first glance... and I'm one of those guys that sometimes needs to be hit over the head before I notice something. (so, maybe a 22 pt font is the answer? lol ) On the bright side, through my scrounging and searching I feel that I now have a very good grasp of these angles for the secondary rout. :hmm:
     
  14. nuance97

    nuance97 Premium Member

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    Well done! We've come to expect that at this point though :thumb:
     
  15. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Haha! Thanks, man. Once again, your build thread helped me out. :D
     
  16. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Shaping the neck blanks

    With most of the work completed on the bodies, it was time to move back to the necks. The necks had been sitting for several months after being roughed out. The necks had stayed very true, so I was very happy about that.

    The blanks were oversized in every dimension, so I quickly ran them through the table saw to bring them closer to final width, although still plenty wide. Once that was complete, I made sure that the blanks were perfectly jointed so that they would index properly on my neck jig. This is vital so that the routing leaves the fingerboard plane true.

    I set up the Big Daddy bit in the router table.

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    I loaded a blank into the jig. I had to add some spaces under my clamps to get everything to work properly. I made this jig so that it has an adjustable fence. This allows for blanks of varying thickness.

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    This is how much I took off from the fretboard plane. The headstock plane was aligned nearly flush as I didn't have as much thickness to play with.

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    This shot shows the adjustable fence on the jig.

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    Here it is after the first pass.

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    I verified that the routing was nice and square. :thumb:

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    I raised the bit and made the second pass.

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    Here's the back of the headstock before cleanup.

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    I placed the blank on the other side of the jig, spun the clamps around and made my first pass.

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    And made the second pass.

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    Two neck blanks at nearly final dimension in thickness. They are just barely over thickness to allow for sanding. The tenon itself is around 3/32" over thickness so that there will be plenty of room for adjustment when fitting the necks.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Satellitedog

    Satellitedog Senior Member

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    Whoo, this is excellent, thanks again for sharing in detail!
     
  18. Archer

    Archer Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Kudos to you. You there.






    :cool:
     
  19. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Thanks, guys. :)
     
  20. SlingBlader

    SlingBlader Premium Member

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    Laying out the neck

    The next thing that I wanted to do was to get reference marks and layout lines completed on my necks. First, I drew center lines all the way around the necks. Then I transferred the locations of key locations to the fretboard surface. This included marks for the nut, first, eleventh and sixteenth frets.

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    I used a bevel gauge to copy the exact neck angle from each body.

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    Then I transferred that angle to each neck at the 16th fret location.

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    I measured and laid out the neck tenon.

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    Here are the ears that I will glue on later. I used offcuts from the original neck blank.

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    Here is a shot of the headstock template that I got from @pshupe laying on the blank. I'll use this later to lay out the tuners and to rout the headstock to shape.

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    Thanks for looking. :)
     

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