Singlecut build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by p_baker, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. p_baker

    p_baker Junior Member

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    I thought, maybe some of you would be interested in this.
    I took part in a two week guitar building workshop a luthier is offering. It´s 14 days straight, 10am to 7pm (at least) electric guitar building and theory. Including templates and pickup winding.
    Before, I considered this as holiday activity. Afterwards, I was desperately in need of an additional week off.

    I started by choosing spanish cedar for the body with a book matched maple top. Neck will be mahogany with rosewood fretboard.
    More to come.
    IMG_0265.jpg
     
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  2. dcomiskey

    dcomiskey Member

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    Wow! Wish I could find a class like that near me! Really interested to see this build.
     
  3. jkes01

    jkes01 Senior Member

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    Nice, subscribed.
     
  4. KnightroExpress

    KnightroExpress Senior Member

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    Cool! I hope you had a good time :)
     
  5. p_baker

    p_baker Junior Member

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    So, the next step was to glue the top onto the body. Of course I routed the wiring channel first, but I don´t have a photo of that.
    The pins are for location of the two pieces after the glue has been applied.
    Also, You can see the body shape i traced on the maple top. The Les Paul has been the basis of this whole project. But I wanted it a) to be my own design and b) to have better upper fret access.
    IMG_0266.jpg

    The press we used is basically a metal frame and two car jacks.

    IMG_0269.jpg

    In the meantime, I traced the headstock angle onto the mahogany neck blank
    IMG_0272.jpg

    The body cut out
    IMG_0273.jpg
    And holes drilled for controls
    IMG_0275.jpg
     
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  6. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    I like the body shape. You have most likely simplified the tenon arrangement as you can just cut the whole neck blank to the fretboard dimension.
     
  7. p_baker

    p_baker Junior Member

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    Indeed, the tenon will be full width. On the one hand, the body shape requires this, but on the other hand, I just don´t get the reason for a fairly complicated Gibson style tenon.
    If the cutaway should run smoothly into the tenon area, I see the reason for this narrower tenon style. But other than that? Is there a reason/advantage for this compared to a full width tenon?
     
  8. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Its all about the cutaway. If you had a full size tenon then you'd see the wood joint in the cutaway as the fretboard is flush with the edge....the way you see the neck and the body interface in a bolt-on like a strat. Its a much more complicated way to have the tenon 'keyed' like in a LP, but its way more neat as a finished product, and the joint is way stronger as the body wood totally encloses the neck all the way around.
     
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  9. p_baker

    p_baker Junior Member

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    Next step was to rout the control cavity. The template is located under this arrangement.
    IMG_0277.jpg
    This really shows how soft spanish cedar is. Note the marks the clamps left in the horn area. Fortunately, I could remove them with a damp cloth and an iron.
    IMG_0279.jpg
    Routing the truss rod channel. The curve is simply adjusted to with the small pins under the plastic rails. The picture shows a buddy´s maple neck.
    IMG_0280.jpg

    And this is were am at now. We also made our own truss rods.
    IMG_0282.jpg
     
  10. p_baker

    p_baker Junior Member

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    Thank you ARandall. So unless the joint is still strong enough, it is purely a cosmetic thing.
    I never thought about the joint being to weak since I have seen it that way several times. Including respected luthiers such as Huber and Springer.
    The tenon will have about 2 inches of support on that side.
    IMG_0359.jpg
     
  11. cmjohnson

    cmjohnson Senior Member

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    That's about how I do a tenon, but I do it exactly according to the PRS model, which has the tenon tapering exactly matching the edges of the fingerboard.

    I use a milling machine and a specialized fixture to do this, and I use the same fixture to profile
    the edges of the neck and fingerboard as well.

    I emphatically disagree with the idea that having the sides of the tenon surrounded by walls and a glue joint makes it stronger. Unless the body wood is much stronger than the neck wood, how can that possibly happen? NOTHING wrong with exposing the side of the neck in the cutaway. But it does demand that your neck tenon and body mortise lower join surfaces need to be perfect and gapless.
     
  12. p_baker

    p_baker Junior Member

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    So this i how the guy offering the class approached the topic of carving a top. I´ve never seen this, but with all sorts of additional hand tools, it worked out pretty well.

    IMG_0289.jpg

    Starting to take shape...
    IMG_0297.jpg


    Still a lot to do, but this photo highlights the approach. for the lower bout, the blade has been set lower.
    IMG_0299.jpg

    This will make a pretty fretboard

    IMG_0302.jpg

    And finally for today´s post: carving the fretboard radius. The luthier did this free hand on the band sander. The tampered shape of the board results automatically in a smaller radius by the nut and a wider radius by the higher frets.
    IMG_0313.jpg

    Thanks for watching. Feedback is very welcome.
    Cheers.
     
  13. p_baker

    p_baker Junior Member

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    I definitely had a very good time. But it was also quiet exhausting. As i said, 14 days without a day off, morning till evening and new stuff to learn, to do and to concentrate on has been really hard.
     

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