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

Skyjerk

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Anyhoo, you think this’ll be enough holly?


DA4AB8A3-9964-4DF1-9C66-2E9D6D12B970.jpeg




one veneer comin up. I went about 2mm which is a tad thick but it’ll sand down...

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squish

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a few hours later I roughly hacked it out. Tomorrow some routing, drilling, planing. and gluing

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valvetoneman

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it all just falls under the general heading of “I want what I want”, and unless I find I can’t actually get that, theres no reason to change my materials.

I want traditional materials, and I can get them, so there’s no need for substitutions :)
I'm trying to get away from traditional material mindsets, it's limiting and there are other choices as good, that's what I was trying to get across, I also want to use other figured stuff, I'll post a pic up of my figured English ash, it's beautiful to look at.
I've done all the vintage stuff I want.
 

Skyjerk

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I'm trying to get away from traditional material mindsets, it's limiting and there are other choices as good, that's what I was trying to get across, I also want to use other figured stuff, I'll post a pic up of my figured English ash, it's beautiful to look at.
I've done all the vintage stuff I want.

I hear you man. my own preferences are no doubt driven less by a need for that specific thing and more by a lifetime of having to make do with cheap or budget versions of what I really wanted, many of which were sub-standard or lacking in some way or other.

im not rich by any standard now, but I actually got to a place where if I’m getting something, I can get the thing I want so that’s what I do. I also don’t have an abundance of time, so I don’t generally like to do a lot of experimentation to see what other things might do just as well.

I know these particular materials are good, and I can get them, so thats what I’m using.

These days, having now lost my other son and trying to find my way though that, I’m just doing what I do and not spending a lot analyzing of my choices. It’s enough that I get out of bed and get moving each day. Building guitars again is giving me something to focus on that’s probably more healthy than my own thoughts...

Id love to see your pix though.
 

nuance97

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I hear you man. my own preferences are no doubt driven less by a need for that specific thing and more by a lifetime of having to make do with cheap or budget versions of what I really wanted, many of which were sub-standard or lacking in some way or other.

im not rich by any standard now, but I actually got to a place where if I’m getting something, I can get the thing I want so that’s what I do. I also don’t have an abundance of time, so I don’t generally like to do a lot of experimentation to see what other things might do just as well.

I know these particular materials are good, and I can get them, so thats what I’m using.
I agree with this. Get the best lightweight mahogany you can find, the prettiest flame maple, and brazilian rosewood…sure! And since you have a hardwood supplier who stocks holly 25 minutes away why not? I don’t have anywhere within an hour and a half to buy holly that I’m aware of (I live in a rural part of GA), and there is no way that a 1/32” veneer of holly is sonically any better than poplar…which I can get locally at Lowe’s.
 
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valvetoneman

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I hear you man. my own preferences are no doubt driven less by a need for that specific thing and more by a lifetime of having to make do with cheap or budget versions of what I really wanted, many of which were sub-standard or lacking in some way or other.

im not rich by any standard now, but I actually got to a place where if I’m getting something, I can get the thing I want so that’s what I do. I also don’t have an abundance of time, so I don’t generally like to do a lot of experimentation to see what other things might do just as well.

I know these particular materials are good, and I can get them, so thats what I’m using.

These days, having now lost my other son and trying to find my way though that, I’m just doing what I do and not spending a lot analyzing of my choices. It’s enough that I get out of bed and get moving each day. Building guitars again is giving me something to focus on that’s probably more healthy than my own thoughts...

Id love to see your pix though.
Don't get us started on the grief, it's still fucking difficult to deal with, I'm like you just plodding along as best I can, I also know exactly what you mean regarding woods, I've done my vintage builds, I'll enjoy seeing yours come together

If ever you want to talk again give me a shout, I have a good friend nudging me to keep going and building and that's been a big help, I was thinking of packing it in last year, I'm also doing some other work doing high end Christmas lights and that's been a massive help because I'm out with others not on my own thinking about stuff, I'm out the workshop maybe 2 months, I'll let you carry on, it's going to be a great guitar.
 

Skyjerk

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I agree with this. Get the best lightweight mahogany you can find, the prettiest flame maple, and brazilian rosewood…sure! And since you have a hardwood supplier who stocks holly 25 minutes away why not? I don’t have anywhere within an hour and a half to buy holly that I’m aware of (I live in a rural part of GA), and there is no way that a 1/32” veneer of holly is sonically any better than poplar…which I can get locally at Lowe’s.
The part about hearing the difference was a joke.

...or was it?

:)
 

nuance97

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The part about hearing the difference was a joke.

...or was it?

:)
Oh I wasn’t intending to imply it wasn’t a joke. I took it as one…I’m just saying that *if* you didn’t have a local place to get holly (which you do 25 minutes is local in my world) there’s no need in spending $15 plus shipping from Canada to find a piece…even on a “vintage accurate” build. YMMV
 

valvetoneman

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Close enough is good enough, as long as your neck pocket and pickups line up the rest can get moved around, I wouldn't worry too much.
 

Skyjerk

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One thing I plan for this build is to forge some twist Damascus and make knobs, cavity covers, and maybe switch tip from it with some assistance from a fellow MLP brother, Ripthorn. I can forge the Damascus, and I can hammer out and grind the covers but I can’t mill smooth, symmetrical knobs. Ripthorn, as you may know, has milled some of this own metal guitar parts.

here’s an example of twist I forged into a bearded axe for example. I forged this from 1095 and 15n20. The 1095 is the darker steel. I think I’ll go with more of the 1095 so there is more dark than bright for the guitar parts.

And no. I’m not going to go on forged in fire :)

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5DEC3BB5-EB86-4967-8B93-0A9B67CE1DE6.jpeg
 
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valvetoneman

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One thing I plan for this build is to hand forge some twist Damascus and make knobs and cavity covers from it. With some assistance from a fellow MLP brother. Ripthorn. I can forge the Damascus, but I dont have a mill, so making smooth, symmetrical knobs is beyond my ability right now.

here’s an example of twist I forged into a bearded axe for example. I forged this from 1095 and 15n20. The 1095 is the darker steel. I think I’ll go with more of the 1095 so there is more dark than bright for the guitar parts.

And no. I’m not going to go on forged in fire :)

View attachment 542248

View attachment 542249
That looks beautiful Chris
 

Skyjerk

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OK, this is one of those days when doing a build thread is work. Did a good bit of work over the weekend so theres lots of pix.

Once I got the holly on the headstock I was free to start moving again, so starting with the headstock, once the glue was dry (I just used titebond for this) I was able to roughly cut out the headstock and neck from the big square it had been.

bushidoLP04.jpg




Attached the template and routed the shape using my big fat bottom bearing bit

bushidoLP05.jpg


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At this stage I wrap the edge of my templates with a couple layers of masking tape. This just gives me a wee bit of extra size at this stage. Routing to exact dimensions at this point has caused issues for me in the past.

Next, using the tape and CA trick I stick a hunk of wood to the bottom of the headstock so when I drill the tuner holes I dont tear out the back...
bushidoLP08.jpg


and drill em

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Repeat procedure with neck...

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Some may have wondered how I will deal with the fact that the neck blank is too tall on either side of the fretboard after the body join point. Butting the top body wing up against the neck blank here illustrates the issue. The whole body should be the same height but I have more on either side of the fretboard above fret 16.

bushidoLP13.jpg



So I turn the neck blank up on its side on the table saw and roll the blade up till its just below where the fretboard will be.

bushidoLP14.jpg





Then I set the fence so my cut is the exact thickness of the body, and just push it through. I repeat the procedure for the other side

bushidoLP15.jpg



This leaves another cut to make by hand which I use my fret slotting saw for. I intentionally leave the area a little tall and then bring it down flush with the rest of the body with a chisel.

bushidoLP16.jpg


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Then I use a hand plane to make a nice joint between the body wings and the neck...

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Then I carefully line everything up in my pipe clamps with a couple sheet of wax paper underneath to catch any drips,
mix up a batch of UF glue, smear up the wings, and its clamp city.



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The upright clamps shown here arent cranked down hard, they are just snug enough prevent things from sliding up or side to side.

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I left the wings slightly thicker than the neck/body area, and once out of the clamps I planed the whole thing flat.
the good news is the fact that it was 90 F. in my shop all day the clamp time for the UF glue was only 5 hours. I left it in for 8 anyway just for good measure...

bushidoLP26.jpg



Once I had it properly flat, I attached a template to the bottom and routed the body shape with a couple passes...

bushidoLP27.jpg


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Then for my final trick of the weekend I routed the wire channel

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Starting to resemble a guitar...

So the next step is to glue and clamp on the top, but I have a jig I'm going to make first. Every single build I've done with a maple top ( which is most of them) I struggle with getting a clamp in the center of the body where the bridge will go.

In my estimation, this is is the spot where its the most crucial to have a perfectly tight joint, and just putting clamps around the edge (IMHO) will actually push squeeze out toward the center of the body right where you dont want it,
so I use a couple cauls that put pressure in that center spot first BUT its always a giant pain getting my clamps on the caul as it acts like a see-saw.

So, long story short, I could just buy some expensive, super-deep clamps, but I can get the job done way cheaper.
I know what I need to correct that, but I keep telling myself "I'll make it next time"

so next time is finally here :)
 
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dcomiskey

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One thing I plan for this build is to forge some twist Damascus and make knobs, cavity covers, and maybe switch tip from it with some assistance from a fellow MLP brother, Ripthorn. I can forge the Damascus, and I can hammer out and grind the covers but I can’t mill smooth, symmetrical knobs. Ripthorn, as you may know, has milled some of this own metal guitar parts.

here’s an example of twist I forged into a bearded axe for example. I forged this from 1095 and 15n20. The 1095 is the darker steel. I think I’ll go with more of the 1095 so there is more dark than bright for the guitar parts.

And no. I’m not going to go on forged in fire :)

View attachment 542248

View attachment 542249
Listen, pal, you better make that a tremolo arm on this....axe.

I'll let myself out. :D
 

dcomiskey

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These days, having now lost my other son and trying to find my way though that, I’m just doing what I do and not spending a lot analyzing of my choices. It’s enough that I get out of bed and get moving each day. Building guitars again is giving me something to focus on that’s probably more healthy than my own thoughts...
Oh, no no no. I didn't know you were going through this again, Chris. :-(... *fellow dad hug*
 

Skyjerk

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Voila!

Giant. Clamp.


that sucker will put all the pressure on about a 4” x 3” area dead in the center where the bridge goes when clamping the top up.

once that’s in place I’ll work my way outward to the edge with other clamps.

In my tiny brain this will squeeze the joint nice and tight where the bridge is which is arguably more important from a sonic perspective, and push any squeeze out toward the edges, and working my way out from the middle assures a nice tight joint across the whole top, not just at the edge.

could be total horse shit, but it makes sense to me.

I’ve been doing this for quite some time, but I just had cauls which were a fiddly PITA to get clamps
onto while gluing up.

this monster clamp solves the fiddly issue. Just shove the guitar in and crank down the nuts.
I’ll position them so they don’t have far to tighten, and stick a vice grip on each one so I can just torque right down

just bought a 36” piece of 5/8” all-thread and cut it in two, and a couple nuts and washers at Home Depot, and used a hunk of maple left over from making my anvil base

total cost about 12 bucks

C6A73B2A-3961-4A99-BC09-FEA06BFC0884.jpeg
 
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Skyjerk

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Voila!

Giant. Clamp.


that sucker will put all the pressure on about a 4” x 3” area dead in the center where the bridge goes when clamping the top up.

once that’s in place I’ll work my way outward to the edge with other clamps.

In my tiny brain this will squeeze the joint nice and tight where the bridge is which is arguably more important from a sonic perspective, and push any squeeze out toward the edges, and working my way out from the middle assures a nice tight joint across the whole top, not just at the edge.

could be total horse shit, but it makes sense to me.

I’ve been doing this for quite some time, but I just had cauls which were a fiddly PITA to get clamps
onto while gluing up.

this monster clamp solves the fiddly issue. Just shove the guitar in and crank down the nuts.
I’ll position them so they don’t have far to tighten, and stick a vice grip on each one so I can just torque right down

just bought a 36” piece of 5/8” all-thread and a couple nuts and washers at Home Depot, and used a hunk of maple left over from making my anvil base

total cost about 12 bucks

View attachment 542464

I think I'll make this even easier. Tonite I'll weld a couple pieces of 1/4" round steel rod to opposite sides of each of these nuts at an upward angle (I didnt say deez nutz) and make em into big ol wing nuts.

Much better and easier to use than putting vice grips or wrenches on them...
 

Skyjerk

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Got my top fit up around the neck perfectly with no gap at all, and the best fit to the back ever. Both pieces as flat as can be. When test fit there was zero visible gap anywhere. It just lay as flat as you could want.

4BB14BCF-E72A-4957-9201-EDFA52F6DD8B.jpeg


16C151B2-EDCA-4D40-B081-4C5563E35D5F.jpeg



I sharpened a scraper per Freddys detailed instructions (in LP build video 3) and gave the maple and mahogany a nice clean shave, blew them off with compressor air to get all dust particles off, wiped with acetone and a clean cloth.

mixed up my UF glue and applied a nice even coat with a point brush....

631569BC-BFE9-41CD-9ED6-95255E583A81.jpeg



finally, put the top in place and secured with a screw in the pickup rout. I didn’t need to do much with positioning as the snug fit around the neck held it pretty tight.

I flipped it upside down, slid into the giant clamp, turned the nuts a few cranks and that was it. It was locked in place, steady as a rock. Torqued Down the nuts good and tight, and then proceeded to apply the other clamps from the inside out
in a leisurey way. Not only does the giant clamp do the job I made it for, namely flaming the center, it’s also heavy and holds the whole thing up off the table leaving plenty of room underneath, so no dicking around getting the clamps on it.

The reason I turned it upside down was twofold. I can’t remember where I heard this, I’m sure it was from someone on this forum, it you turn it upside down, any glue squeeze out that falls into the the wire channel will stay on the “roof” rather than running all over.

it also keeps it from running down the sides

Easily the the fastest, most relaxed, and best glue-up to date, and I know it’s going to be a great joint across the entire top.

Yes. I did put a couple other clamps on there too...

4C02672A-9A0B-4D3B-9891-83BC7C4E5C8D.jpeg


Giant clamp doing its center clamping thing...

lp-top21.jpg
 
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Skyjerk

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Well its a shame that the seam between the top and back is gonna be covered by binding cuz I like it :)

Heres way more pix of it than anyone really cares to look at ;)

post-clamp01.jpg


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Tonite I'll route out the control and switch cavities, and then tomorrow or Friday I'll do the top carve.

After that I have to jump over to finishing the bass neck, and then 3 fret boards all difference scale lengths :)
 
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pavel

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Looking good! Are you going to do traditional top binding? If so, will you do to end the binding in the cutaway area? I suppose you could do exactly the same as a glue in neck and just end the binding channel where the body normally would?
 

Skyjerk

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Looking good! Are you going to do traditional top binding? If so, will you do to end the binding in the cutaway area? I suppose you could do exactly the same as a glue in neck and just end the binding channel where the body normally would?
As far as the binding goes, it'll look exactly the same as a traditionally constructed LP. the binding channel will wrap through the cutaway right onto the neck, and end at the usual place lining up under the 16th fret area
 
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