24 Fret - Through-neck - Floyd-Rose - Wolfgang-esque Build

bcguitars74

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This is something I've been wanting to try for a while and was very much inspired by @Skyjerk who was most kind and shared his template drawing with me to get me started last October. The Magnum 24 fret / FR build threads were also an invaluable resource as I was getting my head around the design - thanks again Chris!

This took longer than I wanted, mainly down to me skimping on the wood, the body turning out thinner than expected and then running into diffs with the pickup routs and tremolo cavity but hey, I learned a lot :)

I was originally going to go down the 70s Japanese route of the on piece neck running the whole length of the top and then adding wings but I decided to make life difficult for myself and put a maple cap on.

Specs:

Fretboard: Wenge
Neck: Cherry / Maple / Cherry laminate
Wings: couldn't actually say. They're from a board I bought from a wood-turner guy ages ago; they smell when sawn or drilled as though they've been treated with something in the past. Thankfully they oiled up nicely!
Cap: Ambrosia Maple


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bcguitars74

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Fretboard

Very chippy stuff this Wenge :/

I bought a radius jig from G&W in Portugal last year:

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It works quite well and removes most of what needs removing:

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Hand-finishing with a radius block is necessary though:

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Slotting:

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Finished. Very open-pore!

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bcguitars74

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Neck is now laminated, planed and drum-sanded top and bottom.

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I marked on the fretboard length and other bits to help me visualise what I need to do. Where the fretboard ends is basically where I need to start routing the angle into the body:

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On the side, marking the nut placement and the headstock angle:

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This marks the 24th fret and the end of the freboard.

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I'm marking down 6mm from the end of the fretboard - the cap at this point will be 6mm thick - and then removing wood to produce the 2 degrees. I band-sawed the bulk of it off:

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And then route the 2 degrees in my angle box jig thing:

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Flip it over and remove material from the bottom up to where the 20th fret is which will roughly be my neck heel position. I don't know if this picture just makes things look confusing, hopefully the next bits will clarify!

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Quick routing of the headstock angle:

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And now we can see it taking shape. The fretboard rests on the original drum-sanded plane of the board, the body has been routed at an angle to give the neck 2 degrees.


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bcguitars74

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Following Chris's builds, I'm inlaying a dual action truss and carbon fibre to each side. Routing the channels:

IMG_20191105_162347.jpg


Nicely fitting:

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The spoke wheel truss adjuster is going to be placed after the 24th fret within the fretboard so need to make space for the wheel:

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And in it goes:

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Route the neck profile:

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I routed back to the 20th fret as this is where the wings should be joining:

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Skyjerk

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Fretboard

Very chippy stuff this Wenge :/

I bought a radius jig from G&W in Portugal last year:

View attachment 436289

It works quite well and removes most of what needs removing:

View attachment 436290

Hand-finishing with a radius block is necessary though:

View attachment 436292

Slotting:

View attachment 436291


Finished. Very open-pore!

View attachment 436288

Glad I was able to help.

I would never have known how to build a guitar if it weren’t for the generous folks on this forum, and thus wouldn’t have designed the magnum, and thus wouldn’t have been able to share my plans.

This is a great place :)


I like your mods to the body and headstock shapes that make it your own.
 

bcguitars74

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Glad I was able to help.

I would never have known how to build a guitar if it weren’t for the generous folks on this forum, and thus wouldn’t have designed the magnum, and thus wouldn’t have been able to share my plans.

This is a great place :)

I like your mods to the body and headstock shapes that make it your own.
Cheers Chris :) I think the only headstock mod was to angle it, otherwise it's a bit too Peavey for me to take any credit BUT I have the feeling that this is the first of a few so things will change :dude: - I've already ordered more blanks for the next through-neck and they're sitting in the shop waiting for me to laminate them ..
 

bcguitars74

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Templates

I took a printout of a Wolfgang and made a template from it, then modified it and made another. This came from ALS a year or so ago, I got a couple of different plans but I believe they are not the most accurate in terms of scale and positioning. I've had to mess around with a couple of bits and pieces after blindly trusting the template .. e.g. tuner holes ..

I should probably mention - 2 things that I wanted to incorporate into the build:

* the overall weight should be kept down - the musicman I made last time aggravates an old shoulder injury after an hour of playing

* there should be no impediment to reaching the upper frets - playing around the 20th fret should feel as easy
as playing around the 12th in terms of where your thumb is on the back of the neck ie not sitting behind a great big heel

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bcguitars74

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Now for some wings: I mentioned before that I had a board sitting about but not sure what it was, well this is it:

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Bandsawn:

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And glued:

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bcguitars74

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Instead of planing the whole top flat ( I don't have enough confidence in my planing skills not to gouge dips) I put it back in the router box with the neck taper template over the fretboard end to protect it and give me something to follow with the bearing bit:

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Made myself another body template from the original, this one to be used for cutting the cap around the end of the fretboard. Much messing about and a set of needle files later yielded a fairly decent fit:

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So then I roughly cut out the cap:


Then I went on to route the cap with the new template, again some rasps, files and needle files later:

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Back into the routing box again to route the cap at the 2 degree angle of the neck and then glued on:

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Damn thing moved and by the time I realised the titebond wasn't for letting go .. I had to fill with 2 small bits of maple; so much for the day or so I spent making the cap fit exactly!!! Ah well, another lesson :) This time I think it was the product of too many clamps and too much pressure causing it to slide.

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bcguitars74

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I went ahead and carved the neck next. I did it by using rasps to carve facets and then blending them in using the shoe-shine method with 80 -> 120 -> 240 grit paper, I didn't bother taking photos of that.

Truss rod and carbon fibre rods in:

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Little bit of masking tape over the truss channel:

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I usually use locating pins at the 3rd and 12th fret but the pins I had didn't fit snugly enough so used some guide blocks for the fretboard instead:

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And clamped:

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Which got us to here:

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And here. At this point I was regretting using the wood I chose for the wings and wishing I'd used walnut instead ..

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Cap fit still looks ok though despite the fix:

IMG_20191212_094907.jpg
 

bcguitars74

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Here are a few shots of the neck as it neared completion:

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Spot the schoolboy error below, router issue when routing the body ..

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emoney

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Just make it a tad bit slimmer and no one will ever know! Good work so far!
 

bcguitars74

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Bridge and Pickup Rout

I extended the neck taper lines for bridge location then drilled the studs on my drill press 25.03" from the nut, 2.9" apart as per @Skyjerk 's measurements.

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Onto the bridge recessing. I was hoping for only a slight recess but after measuring the rough height of the strings at the bridge I ended up with around 1/4" recess to make sure the action was going to be ok.

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Routing with my recess template:

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Having finished the recess rout, I went on to rout the trem cavity which I totally forgot to take any pictures of. When I went to do the pickups next is when I realised that my body was potentially going to be too thin to accommodate the nick pickup ..

I ended up with 2mm of wood left between the bottom of the neck pickup cavity and the trem cavity - far too close for comfort but I seem to have gotten away with it. The saving grace was that the pickup legs are outside the area of the pickup cavity so I could rout down until the pickup is literally resting on the bottom of the cavity.


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Initial pickup rout:

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Volume, tone and pickup selector placement:

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Electrics Cavity

I drilled the vol/tone pot and pickup selector holes and then drew around them in straight lines. I transferred the measurements to a piece of wood and cut it out - this is to be the cavity cover, or at least the template for it:

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Using said cover template, I placed bits of wood around it and screwed them to a piece of MDF. I then removed the cover template and used the attached pieces of wood to rout the hole in the MDF which becomes my cavity template:

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Cavity pattern now transferred to some birch ply:

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I then added a few little pieces and used it to rout another piece of ply which becomes my cavity cover template - the little bits in the corners are where the cavity cover will rest:

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bcguitars74

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Inlays

These were inspired by another build on the forum by @mistermikev if I'm not mistaken. I drilled holes, inlaid aluminium tube and filled them with rosewood dust and superglue then levelled off with a radius sanding block. The first ones I actually did with epoxy but it was too rubbery and took days to set properly to allow sanding so never again ..


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Same for the 24th fret but 4mm holes instead of 6mm:

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bcguitars74

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Bridge Studs

In go the studs - I just used a screw in the drill press to push them in evenly:

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Headstock

Not quite visible in this pic but there was a little chipping around a couple of the tuner holes.

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I took the cutoff from the body. resawed it and drum-sanded it to make a bookmatched veneer:

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Then on it goes:

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Trimmed and sanded:

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And tuner holes redrilled:

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bcguitars74

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Finish

As it's too cold here to spray at the moment AND I'm not the world's greatest sprayer AND due to the fact that I didn't have the patience to wait for curing, I went for an oil finish with this one. I first sanded to 240 grit then wet-sanded with Danish Oil using 240 -> 400 -> 600 -> 1000 -> 1200 -> 2000.
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I though the unknown wings wood on the back came up very nicely with oil, even if it does smell horrible when drilled ..

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Posting these pics here is making me realise just how messy my workshop is :shock:

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mistermikev

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Inlays

These were inspired by another build on the forum by @mistermikev if I'm not mistaken. I drilled holes, inlaid aluminium tube and filled them with rosewood dust and superglue then levelled off with a radius sanding block. The first ones I actually did with epoxy but it was too rubbery and took days to set properly to allow sanding so never again ..


View attachment 437030

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Same for the 24th fret but 4mm holes instead of 6mm:

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well, thanks for the mention but as shaggy say's "it wasn't me"! looks great tho!
 


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