'54 Junior Replica Build

Tone_Chaser

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Last fall I decided I wanted to build a Junior, the other guitarist in my band has one and he loves it. I don't have a lot of money to dedicate to my projects so they are always very slow.

This time I have been collecting all of the parts ahead of time so I would be ready to do what I needed to do when I have time to work on it.

This is going to be a pretty close to vintage correct, but I'm not going to go crazy trying to get it really, really close.

The body blank is the only thing I don't have yet, but it is supposed to be here in a couple of days.




I got started today, basically I just started with a rough profile of the neck in case there is any movement after it gets cut out. I will let it set out in the shop for a week or so to see how it goes and then I'll start refining it to get it to the right point.

First I cut the headstock angle:




Then cut the rest out on the band saw. I would just say that when buying tools, get the best you can afford. This band saw (9") was free so I can't really complain too much but you really have to go slow and be careful to keep it going and not freeze the blade movement.




More after the body comes in. :thumb:
 
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lowatter

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Gotta love a good Junior build. :dude: Subscribed.
 

Tone_Chaser

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I had a little time to work on this build the last couple of days. I decided not to make templates since I'll probably never build another Jr. I cut out the body and sanded to the line.

Then got the top ready. I'll finish the neck route when the neck is done. On to the back and edge routes.
 
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BigM

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Cool.

Please give some details on neck angles and depths etc..
Are you using the Bartlet plans?

M
 

Tone_Chaser

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Yes, using the Bartlett plans. They don't really give the neck angle. Basically, from the bottom of the neck pocket down to the back of the guitar should be 12.7mm (it doesn't tell the depth but the math is pretty easy there). I'm going with a 1.25 degree angle in the neck pocket and adjust if I need to. What you would do is lay a straight edge on top of the frets, the bottom of the straight edge should be 12.75mm from the top where the bridge is (the end of the scale length). Hope that makes sense.
 

Spotcheck Billy

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There are fret angle calculators that help take the guesswork out of what you are doing.
 

Tone_Chaser

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I've got a link to one. I didn't worry about it because when doing research here, there was a post that explained in detail the math behind it and how it came to 1.25 so that's what I'm going with.
 

pshupe

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The important number is the height above the guitar at the bridge. The angle is whatever it is to get that number. If you cut your pocket a little deep or shallow, or cut your neck tenon a little thick or thin that angle will change to get the "most" important dimension which is height off the body at the bridge.

The vintage JRs varied in the neck angle for that precise reason.

Looks great so far.

Cheers Peter.
 

moreles

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Nice mahogany slab! Pshupe's advice on setting the neck is good, I think. Better to use the actual piece as your guide, and to focus on the critical result -- height and alignment at the bridge -- rather than trying to match secondary specs. I always dry fit, lightly string, and scrutinize alignment, clearances, and playability, and adjustments to get that stuff right always trump original specs.
 

BrianB

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Subbed!

Good start...looking forward to seeing this progress. :thumb:
 

Tone_Chaser

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The important number is the height above the guitar at the bridge. The angle is whatever it is to get that number. If you cut your pocket a little deep or shallow, or cut your neck tenon a little thick or thin that angle will change to get the "most" important dimension which is height off the body at the bridge.

The vintage JRs varied in the neck angle for that precise reason.

Looks great so far.

Cheers Peter.
That was kind of my thought. I should be very close and I can easily adjust to get the bridge distance right. Thanks for the info.
 

Tone_Chaser

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I didn't have a lot of time to work on it this weekend. I did get the round over done on the front and back and the control cavity. One minor setback. When I did the route for the cover plate I noticed that there was a spot along the edge that didn't quite go to the edge of the template.When i went down that side of the template again, I must have pressed down as well and that part is now lower than the rest of the ledge. I'm going to have to route it all to that point and plug the hole and route the cover plate ledge again. Not a huge issue, but it puts be back a little on the schedule. I was hoping to make this a pretty quick build. I'm not rushing anything, but I thought it would go quickly considering it's pretty straight forward. I'll try to add some pictures in a bit, if not then I will tomorrow.
 

lowatter

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Did you consider gluing a scab piece on the ledge and rerouting? Looking forward to seeing more progress.
 

Tone_Chaser

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I did think of that, but I though it would be easier to make the whole thing fit than to fit in just a section if you know what I mean.
 

Tone_Chaser

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Not a very good shot but it was a getting dark and I didn't realize it was blurry, but it just shows the round over.
 
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Tone_Chaser

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Here is a close up of the problem area. Not a great shot either, but you should be able to see the back side of the route is lower all the way to the end where it comes around where the screw hold would be.
 
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Open_Book

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When I did the route for the cover plate I noticed that there was a spot along the edge that didn't quite go to the edge of the template.When i went down that side of the template again, I must have pressed down as well and that part is now lower than the rest of the ledge. I'm going to have to route it all to that point and plug the hole and route the cover plate ledge again.
Alternatively double up on the covers thickness.

If it annoys you then you'll never accept a cover-up - no pun. I'd just double the plastics thickness and go from there.
 

pshupe

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A couple of options. As OB states double up cover thickness, or just leave it. It looks like it's more than halfway around and if both screw holes are in the top ledge then it shouldn't be an issue.

If ever there was a better place to have this happen it's there!! ;-)

Cheers Peter.

PS - say that you a replicating a specific junior that had that defect and struggled to get that ledge to be just right!:naughty:
 

Tone_Chaser

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I did consider leaving it since it would be hidden but I want to make this as professional as I can. I made the plug tonight and got it glued in. It's only about 1/4" thick and I'll just use a router bit with the bearing on the bottom to make it a ring and then route the ledge for the cover again. The whole thing should take less than an hour. I've got band practice tomorrow so I won't be able to do it until Friday night.

I also completed the front profile on the neck tonight so I'm planning on doing the truss rod and ears at least this weekend and hopefully get started on the fingerboard.
 

moreles

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I like your concern for detail. No worries -- you could readily make a mahogany plug and then re-rout and it would never show, being under the back plate, and could well be invisible even when the plate is off. Thanks for the thread.
 


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