Cherry and ziricote Strat build

SlingBlader

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Sometime this spring I decided that I would make a Strat for my buddy, Mike. We discussed what he wanted vs. what woods I had readily available. We both agreed that we would try to use what I had on hand to keep costs down. When I built my cherry strat this winter/spring, I built 2 necks. The second one is not carved, but it is fretted and should be perfect for this build.

He really liked the look of the 5 string bass that I had made, which had a mahogany body with a ziricote top. I didn't have any more mahogany, so we decided to go with a cherry body and a ziricote drop top. Of course I'm seriously allergic to ziricote, so I've only been working on this as I feel up to it. Wearing heavy PPE is not great in the summertime.

Anyway, I'll make a couple of posts to show some of the progress; it may be entertaining to some of you.
:thumbsup:


Here's the cherry body blank rough-cut. Still need to rout the final body outline. I do have additional advertising space for rent on my other tools if anyone is interested. :D


I decided to take on the challenge of wrapping the ziricote drop top around the forearm contour. Here I'm roughing in the shape with an early Stanley #3.


All dressed up and ready to go with the ziricote.


Rough cutting a billet of ziricote from a very large piece of ziricote.


I resawed a couple of pieces to a heavy 3/16", jointed the center seam and glued them up.


Once the top was dry, I ran it through the drum sander. I'm making relief cuts to help bend the top around the forearm contour. I used a trim router and 1/8" spiral bit.


I really wish I had gone with a more shallow contour. That ziricote is incredibly rigid, even with the relief cuts. (also very brittle)


I aligned the rough cut top and fasted a couple of screws to hold the top securely. These areas will be routed away later. I'm wetting the wood on the outside to assist with the contour.


Apparently I wrote this on June 30. :)


I glued up both surfaces with UF glue, clamped it with the screws and shoved the whole shebang into the vacuum bag.


More soon.
 

dcomiskey

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You made the same mistake as someone else here a couple of weeks ago (and what I did on one of my first builds). The arm cotour needs to slope generally - it looks like you have a good 30 degree angle going. And relief cuts aren’t going to help much, if at all, as you’re not relieving any of the pressure along the edges. If the contour is gradual enough, you don’t need any relief. Hopefully the water and vacuum bag do the trick for you. That is a beautiful top and can’t. Wait to see this build done!
 

failsafe306

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Definitely watching this one.

Balls of steel for working with wood you are highly allergic to!
 

SlingBlader

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You made the same mistake as someone else here a couple of weeks ago (and what I did on one of my first builds). The arm cotour needs to slope generally - it looks like you have a good 30 degree angle going. And relief cuts aren’t going to help much, if at all, as you’re not relieving any of the pressure along the edges. If the contour is gradual enough, you don’t need any relief. Hopefully the water and vacuum bag do the trick for you. That is a beautiful top and can’t. Wait to see this build done!
Ha! Yeah, for sure! I think I even asked them about it in that thread. Next time, that slope will be less severe for sure! :D
 

SlingBlader

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That wood is beautiful, I’ve never seen it before
Beautifull top :thumb: watching.
Thanks Guys! :)

Definitely watching this one.

Balls of steel for working with wood you are highly allergic to!
Balls of stell, or just dumber than a rock? I'm not sure which. :D

I really love ziricote, but man does it tear me up. As long as I'm all covered up and use that powered mask, it's no problem. But, it's also very inconvenient. I have a decent amount left, but when it's gone, I'm probably gonna be done with it for good, unfortunately.
 

SlingBlader

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With the body out of the bag (that doesn't sound good...), I flush trimmed the ziricote with the Robosander and a flush trim bit at the router table. The contour came out great in my opinion.

There was a crack that occurred with along a grain line that extends from the contour inboard about 4-5 inches. You can see the line of glue that was forced through the crack by the vacuum. Fortunately, the crack is very tight and pretty much filled itself with glue. I'll fix any remaining defect later by sanding it in with CA. I'm not sure if the crack was already there and it was simply exposed by this procedure or not. Some of these rosewoods are very prone to cracks, so it didn't surprise me.

I am very happy with the tightness of that joint for sure! A couple of small voids that need a touchup, but considering how extreme I made that contour, it's pretty good. :thumb:


My wife snuck in and took a shot of me while working at the inverted router. Here I'm setting the cut depth for the deepest part of the rout. This machine has a 3 point turret with independent depth stops. Admit it, you're digging my outfit. :D


And here it is with the cavities all routed.


I used a 7/16" roundover in several small steps. The forearm area will be blended by hand.


Here I'm blending in the forearm contour.


Roughing in the belly carve.


Belly carve complete.


Mostly completed body along with the neck that will go with it. Neck has not been carved at this point.


The body has been sanded up to around 150 here.


I decided to glue on a little ziricote accent piece to the back of the headstock. Should look nice when it is blended into the transition.


More later. :)
 

Tac_R

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Hi Gary,

Yet more 'oh-my-goodness'...?! All of your builds have left me utterly speechless in their execution (throughout, and especially the finished articles) and this looks like it'll more of the same - thank you for sharing!

Cheers,

David
 

SlingBlader

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Hi Gary,

Yet more 'oh-my-goodness'...?! All of your builds have left me utterly speechless in their execution (throughout, and especially the finished articles) and this looks like it'll more of the same - thank you for sharing!

Cheers,

David
Thanks, David, that's very nice of you. :)
 

dcomiskey

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Oh, man! First, that contour angle isn’t as extreme as I first feared. The body looks OUTSTANDING! And the laminate on the back of the hs looks super classy. What kind of pickguard are you looking to use? I’d love to see some sort of natural wood used there. Can’t wait to see it finished!!
 

SlingBlader

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I made some good progress on my buddy's Strat over the past week. Here are some shots of the progress.

Marking the bone nut blank.


Trem bushings were located, drilled and installed with a very special hammer. :rofl:


Claw and springs were installed, spring tension is keeping the bridge resting against the ruler.


Sperzel locking tuners were installed.


Neck was attached.


Wiring the pickguard. This is getting the SD Everything Axe pickup set.


And here it is assembled. I like to get the majority of the setup done at this stage so that only minor tweaks will be needed after finishing.


A portrait of the siblings. :)


One last parting shot.


Tomorrow, I'll break it down and start prepping for finish. We're experiencing some cooler and less humid weather right now, so I hope it holds for a few days. The plan is satin nitro on the neck and gloss nitro on the body.

More soon.
 

SlingBlader

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Oh, man! First, that contour angle isn’t as extreme as I first feared. The body looks OUTSTANDING! And the laminate on the back of the hs looks super classy. What kind of pickguard are you looking to use? I’d love to see some sort of natural wood used there. Can’t wait to see it finished!!
Thanks! It came out pretty good, I think. Yeah, the pickguard was a point of contention, but in the end, I had to go with with my buddy wanted. I think it looks OK, but it wouldn't have been my first choice.

Looks great! And I love 2 Toms brewery, you must be in Ft Wayne, too?
Actually, I'm further North and West near the Elkhart area. I'm willing to travel a ways for good beer! :cheers2:
 

SlingBlader

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I've been slowly making some progress on the cherry and ziricote Strat for my buddy. I broke the whole thing down and went over it with a fine tooth comb. I refined some curves and carved areas and got it prepped for finishing.

I started off with a couple of quick coats of sealer on both the neck and the body.















Once these coats dried overnight, I sanded them back and started pore filling. Ziricote is insanely hard to pore fill and takes many applications. I worked on pore filling most of the week. I'll put up another post with additional finishing shots. :)
 


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