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86runner

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Anothing thing that may make your build easier is adjusting the neck a bit. It looks like Potvin copied the Stew Mac templates in that there is a step on the heel. This is not how Gibson built LPs, at least not vintage LPs. The bottom of the heel of the neck is also the bottom of the neck tenon. This is not only vintage correct but much easier to adjust the fit of the neck.
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Here is a cross section showing the neck without the heel. Looks great so far. Keep up the good work.

Cheers Peter.

Thanks! This is very helpful! Now I'm wondering if I should shim it to get back to the correct thickness on the bottom of the tenon, or if I should take off that step. I assume I'll shim and rout my neck pocket accordingly. What should the depth be from fingerboard glue surface to the bottom of the tenon?

As I said, I wasn't terribly concerned with vintage correct and I didn't really want to take the time to make my own templates on the first build, so Potvin was a reasonable choice. I do see how that approach would make neck fitment much easier, though.

This is exactly the kind of advice a first timer needs! I greatly appreciate it! That cross section helps tremendously as it shows many of the angles I had questions about. Now to go stare at it a bit to make sure I'm thinking about it correctly.....
 
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pshupe

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Thanks! This is very helpful! Now I'm wondering if I should shim it to get back to the correct thickness on the bottom of the tenon, or if I should take off that step. I assume I'll shim and rout my neck pocket accordingly. What should the depth be from fingerboard glue surface to the bottom of the tenon?

As I said, I wasn't terribly concerned with vintage correct and I didn't really want to take the time to make my own templates on the first build, so Potvin was a reasonable choice. I do see how that approach would make neck fitment much easier, though.

This is exactly the kind of advice a first timer needs! I greatly appreciate it! That cross section helps tremendously as it shows many of the angles I had questions about. Now to go stare at it a bit to make sure I'm thinking about it correctly.....

The tenon is usually 1 1/2" wide x 1 1/2" deep as is the mortise. It is definitely much easier. I have done a few Gibson's, recently, that had the heel block and they are a PITA in comparison. Good luck.

Cheers Peter.
 

nuance97

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This is exactly the kind of advice a first timer needs! I greatly appreciate it! That cross section helps tremendously as it shows many of the angles I had questions about. Now to go stare at it a bit to make sure I'm thinking about it correctly.....
My advice to a 1st-timer is to go to the filters button up above the sticky threads, sort it by most viewed, start reading the top LP build threads, and don’t stop reading them until you’ve dug back for 5 or 10 pages.

You’re doing a great job, and obviously have plenty of woodworking experience. That’s great, but there are some details to LP builds that 1st timers tend to get wrong…all those mistakes have been made here, and you can read about somebody else making it rather than yourself.

**The 3rd cheek at the heel on your tenon is a small thing, and I’m not being critical or saying you should sweat this particular detail….
 

86runner

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The tenon is usually 1 1/2" wide x 1 1/2" deep as is the mortise. It is definitely much easier. I have done a few Gibson's, recently, that had the heel block and they are a PITA in comparison. Good luck.

Cheers Peter.

Thanks! I guess I just need to fire up the table saw and shave that part off then?

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My advice to a 1st-timer is to go to the filters button up above the sticky threads, sort it by most viewed, start reading the top LP build threads, and don’t stop reading them until you’ve dug back for 5 or 10 pages.

You’re doing a great job, and obviously have plenty of woodworking experience. That’s great, but there are some details to LP builds that 1st timers tend to get wrong…all those mistakes have been made here, and you can read about somebody else making it rather than yourself.

**The 3rd cheek at the heel on your tenon is a small thing, and I’m not being critical or saying you should sweat this particular detail….

Excellent advice! I appreciate it! I did read quite a bit, but clearly not enough! :)

Got the top sanded completely today. Still some work to do as you can see. In the upside down pic below, the curving grain between the knobs makes it look like there's an indentation there, but I think it's pretty well uniform on both sides. We shall see!

I got most of my box jig built, also. I'm going to carve my neck angles and pickup angles then see where I am. I'll blend the top better after that's done. I still love these pieces of maple, even after carving!

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86runner

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Planning to use Titebond to glue my strip in over the truss rod and wondered how I need to minimize glue in the channel? Any tips or tricks? Thanks!
 

fatdaddypreacher

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not much glue is needed reallly. the way i like to do it its put a little on the edges of the strip to be tapped into place, and i never put any in the channel itself. that way, as you tap the filler strip into place, excess glue is pushed up to the top of the neck plane, as opposed to down into the channel if you put glue along the channel walls. i spread a thin coat on the filler strip edges with my finger. if it drips, you have way too much glue.
 

86runner

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not much glue is needed reallly. the way i like to do it its put a little on the edges of the strip to be tapped into place, and i never put any in the channel itself. that way, as you tap the filler strip into place, excess glue is pushed up to the top of the neck plane, as opposed to down into the channel if you put glue along the channel walls. i spread a thin coat on the filler strip edges with my finger. if it drips, you have way too much glue.

Perfect! Thanks so much!
 

cmjohnson

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Be very sure to grease the truss rod from end to end and put plastic sleeving over it to keep the grease inside and not into the wood. This helps to avoid the truss rod rusting and freezing into the wood, making it useless.

Take this advice: Don't sweat the "historically correct" details. The fact is that nobody here is Gibson and there's no need to make the guitar a dead nuts copy of a Gibson. In fact I encourage you to personalize it with your own design choices.

I see it as, "ANYBODY can learn to follow directions and make an exact copy. But where's the fun in doing what everybody else is doing?" Make it your own. Individualize it. I swear that makes it more fun and you appreciate your own work all the more when you've done something more than just making a copy.
 

86runner

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Back at it. I got my neck and pickup planes routed. They ended up at 4.2 degrees and 1.2 degrees, respectively. Also got my tenon and pickup legs routed. I also spent some time cleaning up my top carve so it blends better. I'm happy with it. I might give it a bit more recurve, but I'm not going for perfect, just perfectly acceptable!

Neck tenon fits VERY snugly and appears to be centered. It'll take a bit more tweaking to make it perfect, but so far so good, I think. I had to shave off 1/16" from the end of my tenon and the ears to push the neck a bit further into the body to account for different scales. My fretboard is from StewMac and is 24.562" scale, while my templates are 24.625" scale.

I decided my first truss rod filler strip was too loose so I worked up another one. It's gluing as we speak. Headstock ears were cut today. I'll glue those up later. I'm formulating the plan for my fretboard inlay routing jig. I got my template and inlays from Bartlett and I already have the Dremel router base and downcut bit for it. That's my next step!

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86runner

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I got my neck carved over the past couple of days. Waiting on the correct downcut bit for my Bartlett trapezoid template as well as my binding ledge router jig, so I thought I'd go ahead and get this part done. It's not the first time I've carved a neck, but I had forgotten how much I enjoy it. I started out with a rough roundover, then used a Stew Mac 59 LP neck template to get the 1st fret and 11th fret shapes and depths correct, then blended between the two. I used the rasp in the pics to do it all. I'm happy with how it turned out. I know, the volute is heresy, but i kinda dig it!

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fatdaddypreacher

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i love carving the necks also. to my notion, that's where it starts to get it's personality. i use an air grinder with a carbide bit, but enjoy the process. i'm also a fan of volutes. nicely done.
 

cmjohnson

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I've learned to be really careful about neck carving, because it always feels different when the neck doesn't have strings on it and ready to play. I've been surprised at how different the neck feels after the guitar is completed, as compared to how it felt when I thought I was done carving it.

For that reason I recommend stringing it up before finishing, fine tune the neck shape, and then take it apart and do the finishing. This way you get the neck shape you REALLY want.
 

86runner

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i love carving the necks also. to my notion, that's where it starts to get it's personality. i use an air grinder with a carbide bit, but enjoy the process. i'm also a fan of volutes. nicely done.

Thanks! Yeah, I'm going to look into different methods and perhaps do the next one differently. The rasp method is time consuming, but it's almost therapeutic to me. I also like it because I feel like I have complete control.

I've learned to be really careful about neck carving, because it always feels different when the neck doesn't have strings on it and ready to play. I've been surprised at how different the neck feels after the guitar is completed, as compared to how it felt when I thought I was done carving it.

For that reason I recommend stringing it up before finishing, fine tune the neck shape, and then take it apart and do the finishing. This way you get the neck shape you REALLY want.

I appreciate the recommendation! I'm not terribly concerned about the neck carve, to be honest. I prefer thick necks, and I know this one will at least be that. Outside of that, I'm pretty comfortable with a variety of neck shapes. The only one I really can't do is a Wizard. With that said, I admittedly don't know what I don't know since this is my first. I may look back at this post and really wish someone had told me what you told me before I carved this one! I just rough cut my second body (with a pretty big oopsie which will necessitate either a solid color or a tobacco burst) so I'll definitely be looking to streamline each consecutive build. Thanks again for your advice!
 

cmjohnson

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Just make sure the neck is comfortable. A neck that doesn't feel right makes it sure that THAT guitar will be the one you play the least out of all the ones you own.

The neck shape is CRITICAL. The body can be almost anything but if the neck isn't right, the guitar isn't right.
 

Sunburstman

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Back at it. I got my neck and pickup planes routed. They ended up at 4.2 degrees and 1.2 degrees, respectively. Also got my tenon and pickup legs routed. I also spent some time cleaning up my top carve so it blends better. I'm happy with it. I might give it a bit more recurve, but I'm not going for perfect, just perfectly acceptable!

Neck tenon fits VERY snugly and appears to be centered. It'll take a bit more tweaking to make it perfect, but so far so good, I think. I had to shave off 1/16" from the end of my tenon and the ears to push the neck a bit further into the body to account for different scales. My fretboard is from StewMac and is 24.562" scale, while my templates are 24.625" scale.

I decided my first truss rod filler strip was too loose so I worked up another one. It's gluing as we speak. Headstock ears were cut today. I'll glue those up later. I'm formulating the plan for my fretboard inlay routing jig. I got my template and inlays from Bartlett and I already have the Dremel router base and downcut bit for it. That's my next step!

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Looking Awesome!!!!!
 

86runner

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Well, first costly mistake. My inlay template wasn't indexed correctly to my fretboard and the inlay routs ended up way off. They were centered perfectly, but were shifted toward the nut. I ordered another fretboard and will use the first one to make sure I reposition it correctly. It had to happen sooner or later.

I also got my True Channel jig and will work on that over the next couple of days. Hopefully I can get the channel routed without issue.
 

cmjohnson

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That's exactly why I order my fingerboards pre-slotted, pre-radiused, and pre-inlaid, from custominlay.com

Because I pay to get a board that's right. If it's not right, they redo it. I don't have to eat any scrap fingerboards.

Also, I don't like doing inlay work myself, and I'm not good at and don't want to invest the time and materials it takes to become good at it. It's a matter of money and patience.
 

mistermikev

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just wanted to say - lovely top, lovely looking build.

i love tops with a little bit of fleck in them like that... idk why... it just really appeals to me. looking fwd to seeing some color on it!
 

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