Neck-through LP, now it’s a scratch build

Skyjerk

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I was originally going to continue work on an 8-year old, partially built guitar, but instead I'm going to do a full-on scratch build. I’ll just go get some genuine mahogany at Hearne Hardwoods on Saturday and start it from square one.

truth be told, I’d rather start over anyway. My techniques are significantly improved since I started on this journey and I’d rather just do this one right from jump.

updates starting this weekend. Good thing I just replaced my table saw cuz I’ll be ripping down some boards...
 
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Skyjerk

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This will be a 3-piece laminate neck-through, MOP inlays, carbon fiber, stainless fret wire, blah blah blah.

All my usual crap :)

I'm curious to see how it’ll compare with my original completed neck-through LP from 8 years ago
 
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E.X

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Looking forward to it, you do some nice work :)
 

Skyjerk

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For the record, and just to satisfy my own curiosity, I whipped out the original plans (Bartlett) I used to make my templates 8 years ago, and put the body down on top of it, lined it up, and this is what I got...

I should have just left it alone because the inescapable conclusion is that I was doing shrooms when I made the body, or that my memory is just totally shot. I kinda wish that was true, actually.

obviously I recognised that and started again, but I must have blocked out how bad it was.

first off, the body was 0.18” too thin. I knew it was too thin back then, but not how far off the mark I was.

then there’s this...

I mean, it’s not meant to be vintage spec, obviously, but my goal is to have the dimensions pretty damn close. This is so far off it makes me laugh :)


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redking

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I've always thought a neck-thru Les Paul would be the perfect way for Gibson to improve the guitar and bring it into the next century. Looking forward to seeing this unfold!
 

Skyjerk

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I've always thought a neck-thru Les Paul would be the perfect way for Gibson to improve the guitar and bring it into the next century. Looking forward to seeing this unfold!
this will actually be my second neck-thru LP. The first is in my sig. came out great. But I plan to do better this time :)
 

Skyjerk

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So I Don’t have to glue up a top. I put this one together a couple years ago. It’s sweet, and has just been waiting for me to build again.

unlike my magnum and special builds, I won’t be popping the figure in this but just leaving it more subtle with a lot of movement.

here it is dry

878C9B3E-DCF1-4571-B880-8C6A88B9F4FF.jpeg


and here with some naphtha

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AND, it’s as if the universe knew I would reject the old body once I took a closer look at it, I found this MOP headstock logo while rummaging through my stuff. I really didn’t know why I had it, I guess I ordered one too many just in case.
Am I going to complain? Nope.

3231929B-1702-41B2-BEF8-BE977A4F66E9.jpeg



I also ordered a holly headstock overlay from Bartlett

just need some mahogany and I can start making some sawdust
 

Skyjerk

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Wellll....in for a penny in for a pound.

decided to go back to absolute start and make a fresh set of templates from my Bartlett plans.
my original templates are really battered and I even intentionally messed with them while designing one of my own models.

so it’ll be a fresh set of body templates AND I’ll need a full set of top carve templates as well. Like 3/4 of my top carve templates were modified for use on my 22 special design.

maybe once I have this build finished illl just box these and hang on to them. I incorrectly surmised previously that Imwouldnt need them again and look where that got me :)
 
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Skyjerk

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So heres what you cant get anywhere when you go off the reservation and build a neck-through LP...

Obviously the entire construction is different, but I want the dimensions to be spot on. So I can make some templates from the Bartlett plans for the body share, cavities, channels etc. The top carve templates are there to download from the sticky link.

I do want to made some minor adjustments to taste, though. I dont like the standard 4.4 degree neck angle. It puts the strings and bridge height and pickups higher above the body than I like, and I dont really think it needs that 17 degree headstock angle either.

My solution this time was to draw the cross-section up in CAD and make adjustments there so I can see clearly what changes are needed to get where I want to be. Save that as a PDF, and get that printed so I can make a template.

I like a string height at the bridge to be a hair over 0.5", so reducing the neck angle to 3 degrees puts the strings where I like them. 14 degrees is enough angle on the headstock for my taste.

Once I have my neck-laminate finished and squared up I'll trace this out on the side, put it on the band saw and cut it out

centerlp.jpg
 
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LtDave32

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Chris, it looks like you are adding the fret board into the CAD drawing, is that right?

I made a neck through Firebird for a guy here, and I cut several pieces for the laminate center section much the same way (without the fret board shelf) at a neck angle of 3 degrees. It came out perfect.
 

Skyjerk

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Chris, it looks like you are adding the fret board into the CAD drawing, is that right?

I made a neck through Firebird for a guy here, and I cut several pieces for the laminate center section much the same way (without the fret board shelf) at a neck angle of 3 degrees. It came out perfect.
To get my string height and neck angle, my CAD drawing initially includes the fretboad, frets, and the strings too, set at the expected "average" heights at 1st and 12th frets

Since its CAD I can then select just the neck, fretboard, strings, etc, set a pivot point at the top end of the fretboard, and rotate the neck around that point until the strings end up where I want them over at the bridge position.

Then I remove everything but the mahogany back/neck piece because thats the part I need to create the template.

Firs time around I was just guessing a lot and hoping for the best. It worked out OK but could have been better.
Making this template ahead of time in CAD is letting me dial it in much better. This is how I do my Magnum and Special models...
 

Skyjerk

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also, everything here is a hair oversized to allow for planing, carving, sanding, and of course screwups :)
 

Skyjerk

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I'm anticipating screwups, or at least the need to make lots of sdjustments because unlike ALL previous builds where I had a nice grizzly 8" jointer to do a lot of the grunt work flattening the long boards, this time I'm doing it all with hand planes, and while I'm confident I can get the job done I'm leaving myself room to maneuver :)
 

pshupe

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My firebird worked out really well at about 3 degrees as well. I think I had drawn 2.7 but ended up a bit too low for my lyre vibrolo tailpiece.
Capture.JPG


Cheers Peter.
 

Skyjerk

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My firebird worked out really well at about 3 degrees as well. I think I had drawn 2.7 but ended up a bit too low for my lyre vibrolo tailpiece.
View attachment 539115

Cheers Peter.
I think Gibson probably put it a little higher to allow for possible differences from one to the next in manufacturing.
Possibly not all neck pockets were routed identically, or perhaps tenons not seated perfectly in the mortise, etc. creating more a range of angles. 4.4 as a starting point allowed a range of variations to still be workable.

Just me guessing here. Or perhaps they just liked it with the strings 3/4" high at the bridge.

Anyhoo, this kind of construction leaves out all those variables and you can put it exactly where you want it. I like mine a bit closer to the deck.

I didnt specifically target 3 degrees. Thats just where it ended up when i set the string height to about .55" at the bridge...
 

Johan79

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So I Don’t have to glue up a top. I put this one together a couple years ago. It’s sweet, and has just been waiting for me to build again.

unlike my magnum and special builds, I won’t be popping the figure in this but just leaving it more subtle with a lot of movement.

here it is dry

View attachment 538715

and here with some naphtha

View attachment 538716
View attachment 538717



AND, it’s as if the universe knew I would reject the old body once I took a closer look at it, I found this MOP headstock logo while rummaging through my stuff. I really didn’t know why I had it, I guess I ordered one too many just in case.
Am I going to complain? Nope.

View attachment 538718


I also ordered a holly headstock overlay from Bartlett

just need some mahogany and I can start making some sawdust
That top is beautifu, nice color grain and curls.
 

Skyjerk

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That top is beautifu, nice color grain and curls.
Thanks. Unlike my own magnum and special designs I’m not going to pop the grain for this one.
my technique with those is to Frye the top black and then sand it off again, which really accentuates the figure but also kind of limits the movement you can see with shifting perspective. With this build I’ll just let it speak for itself :)
 

Johan79

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Thanks. Unlike my own magnum and special designs I’m not going to pop the grain for this one.
my technique with those is to Frye the top black and then sand it off again, which really accentuates the figure but also kind of limits the movement you can see with shifting perspective. With this build I’ll just let it speak for itself :)
and this is plenty enough. No need for accentuating the curls, they’re perfectly nice natural.
 

Skyjerk

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I think I almost have to forge my own damascus cavity covers for this build, don’t I?

here is the neck mounting plate I forged for my Strat last year. This is a 4-bar Turkish twist Damascus.

1/8“ carbon steel covers will add a few oz, so they aren’t for folks that sweat every extra oz, but I generally don’t
care if it’s a heavy guitar

this would probably look good if the back was black, but if it was transparent maybe not so much...could also go heavy on the 1095 which is the dark color steel in the pic.

another,option if i did a trans finish would be to leave the covers “brut de forge” ie: forge finish, not ground or polished




FA9BE246-7F61-413C-A12D-DE7D1FB8B391.jpeg
 


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