LP Build

86runner

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Hey yall! Well, this is ill advised! I'm pretty new here, lurking mostly in the classifieds, but I've decided to dive into a LP build.

I'm not new to guitar painting, assembly, woodworking or tools, but I AM new to scratch guitar builds. I already had a bunch of tools, but of course none of them were LP build specific, so I've had to pick up some things. I did inherit my wife's grandfather's Shopsmith Mark V, so that has already been extremely useful. I've read quite a bit in preparation for making sawdust and will have plenty more questions before this thing gets plugged in, I'm sure.

Main templates came from Potvin. I did pick up my trapezoid routing template and inlays from Bartlett, along with a holly overlay. 1 piece Honduran mahogany slab came from Stew Mac, honduran mahogany neck blank from Exotic Wood Zone, madagascar rosewood pre slotted fingerboard (I'm a cheater, I know, but I thought I might save a little time here) from Stew Mac and my top from ebay. I love more subtle, wavy flame and mineral streaking, etc, so this one really fit the bill. Also of note, I'm not die hard on building an exact replica, so I'll deviate as necessary to make a playable instrument!

Anyway, it looks like I may have to swiss cheese this one as it sits at 6lb, 2oz as it is, unfortunately. I need to take about 3/32" off the back before I drill and route for my control/switch cavities, but that won't make much of a difference.

Currently devising the plan for my curved truss rod rout. Stay tuned for more! Oh, and the dots on the slab are WD-40 rain drops off my drill press chuck. Should add to the toanz!
 

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Joe Desperado

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You might be surprised at how well a straight TR slot (Instead of a curved) works.(IE like Gibson 50s) There is an 1/8" decline of the slot from the Headstock to the heel that fairly closely follows the back of the neck. Check out Tom Bartlett's build post to see how he does this on the table saw. But it can be done on a router table too. No fancy curved jigs needed.

Joe
 

ARandall

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^ +1 No need for a curved slot at all.

Currently devising the plan for my curved truss rod rout.
Also of note, I'm not die hard on building an exact replica, so I'll deviate as necessary to make a playable instrument!

Adding in that if you want more 'playability', then a 2 way rod is the ultimate for adjustment. I've made a few generic Les Pauls that sport a 2-way 'under the hood'.



Nice bits of wood. Fingers crossed you don't lose all that streaking as you carve.
 

nuance97

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Looking good so far! And yes to the above posts…a straight tapered truss rod works perfectly in a LP
 

86runner

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Thanks everyone for the kind words and advice! And @Joe Desperado, fancy seeing you here! I may need to get you on the phone and pick your brain during this build!

I'd love to not have to rout a curved slot. Would make it much easier! I honestly thought about using one of Stew Mac's low profile hotrod truss rods instead, but settled on the standard 1 way rod for the legendary (imperceptible, perhaps?) tone it supposedly imparts. Still open to pivoting to the hot rod if the recommendations lead me there.

I do know it's a certainty that the top will change as it's carved. Fingers crossed it retains most of the streaking and (for lack of a better term) squiggles. The backside actually has more of that stuff than the front, but the flame peters out on one half of the back, which is why I chose the side I did. Maybe that'll help keep all that stuff visible as I carve it down.

Planning on trying to get a little work done tomorrow. With 7, 5, and 2 year old boys running around, time is hard to come by! I bought a Safe T Planer to take some material off the back of the body as the only planer I have is the Shopsmith one, which is only 12" wide.

Some neck shots below. As you can see, I have a volute traced out. Not sure if I'll keep it or not. I know it's heresy, but as I said, I'm not going for a perfect replica. I don't want to deviate TOO much from vintage'ish spec, though, if possible.
 

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Joe Desperado

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Ha Alan, didn’t look at who posted. Hope you’re well my friend.

Yah, cut the slot straight but tapered from 1/2” at the nut to 5/8” at the heel. I did just that on my recent Korina builds and can easily put 1/8” or more back bow in the neck. If you have a table saw, its pretty straight forward. Router will work, but you need a good feather board to keep the blank tight against the fence.

Ping me if you want to chat.
 

Marty M.

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Thanks everyone for the kind words and advice! And @Joe Desperado, fancy seeing you here! I may need to get you on the phone and pick your brain during this build!

I'd love to not have to rout a curved slot. Would make it much easier! I honestly thought about using one of Stew Mac's low profile hotrod truss rods instead, but settled on the standard 1 way rod for the legendary (imperceptible, perhaps?) tone it supposedly imparts. Still open to pivoting to the hot rod if the recommendations lead me there.

I do know it's a certainty that the top will change as it's carved. Fingers crossed it retains most of the streaking and (for lack of a better term) squiggles. The backside actually has more of that stuff than the front, but the flame peters out on one half of the back, which is why I chose the side I did. Maybe that'll help keep all that stuff visible as I carve it down.

Planning on trying to get a little work done tomorrow. With 7, 5, and 2 year old boys running around, time is hard to come by! I bought a Safe T Planer to take some material off the back of the body as the only planer I have is the Shopsmith one, which is only 12" wide.

Some neck shots below. As you can see, I have a volute traced out. Not sure if I'll keep it or not. I know it's heresy, but as I said, I'm not going for a perfect replica. I don't want to deviate TOO much from vintage'ish spec, though, if possible.


On a couple of my builds where I wanted a curved slot, I cut a straight slot on the router table and glued in a thin curved ramp at each end of the slot that I carefully sanded on a sanding drum. Then I made the curved filler strip to match. Just a thought.

One thing I have noted on a straight slot is that you need to get the peghead end deeper than you might think in order to get the washer and hex nut below the surface of the peghead.

By the way the difference between the stewmac low profile rod and a regular hotrod is only 1/32" I believe.
 

86runner

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Today's progress. I got the blank planed down to 1 3/4" and got the control cavity and switch cavity routed. Obviously, I went all the way through the slab for ease of routing (and to drop as much weight as possible). Great experience with the Safe T Planer, by the way. Worked like a charm. Anyway, it's 5lbs, 6oz now, so I'll probably drill a few holes to drop some more ozs.

Top will get glued up probably tomorrow. Still trying to decide on truss rod. Greatly appreciate all the advice and recommendations. Keep them coming!
 

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Airplane

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I only built three necks and always did the straight tapered channel. I can’t get my head around how it works but it does!
 

86runner

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Got everything cleaned up and routed my control cavity and switch cavity cover recesses. Also drilled my locating holes for the switch and pots. Router rocked on me just slightly and left a little tattoo that will be under the control cavity cover. Not too bothered by it. I'm sure it won't be the only oopsie before this thing's done. It'll just be a little reminder of the process! If I had used my brain, I would've flipped it over top side down while the top glued up to minimize the glue drips. Live and learn. Still planning to clean up the pools and drips as much as possible.

I'm planning to rout my top carve steps using my Shopsmith as an overhead router. Had to order the 1/4" router chuck as all I have is the 1/2". No big deal. Hopefully this will prove easier than trying to do it with a handheld and keep it from rocking. I know that first step leaves a lot to rout between the template and the edge of the body, so hopefully this will enable me to have more control and make it easier.

Anyway, on to the pics!

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Joe Desperado

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Alan,
you may also consider using the SafeTPlaner for the top carve. Draw your lines and plane down to them. Move slowly as you get close to the line. I enjoy carving by hand, but I did remove much of the material on this guitar with the SafeT planer. Hard to see the carve in the sun, but it has a nice recurve.
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86runner

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Truss rod channel is routed. I built a janky jig and used my table saw. I'm sure there was probably an easier way, but this is how my sleep deprived brain processed it. Ran it through twice to get the 3/16" slot. Got it 1/2" deep at the nut and 5/8" at the heel. Suprisingly, my jig worked well enough to get it done, and it's dead center. It's actually a pretty tight fit in the slot, so much so that I have to use a little force to push it in. That's good I assume?

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