Quick and dirty Danelectro

strömsborg

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
227
Reaction score
126
I finished spraying the Rick 620 and hung it to dry. Golf season was still a couple months away I had nothing to do. So I checked the parts drawer and my wood stash, decided on a '57-style Danelectro and then ordered whatever I needed I didn't already have. $220 all in all.
The originals were made from masonite with a poplar frame and a bolt on neck, I guess the neck was poplar too. Mine will have birch plywood top and back glued to an ash frame and a maple neck. Bolt on neck if I can find proper screws. If not I think I will do a set neck with a full width tenon like a LP Junior. I built a Junior a few years ago and I really love that neck so I will use the same templates on this Danelectro but with a shallower headstock angle to avoid the scarf joint.
I have black nitro left over from that same Junior build, so guess what, the Dan will be black. I will also try and find some fitting white vinyl fabric to put around the body rim.

The raw materials for the body, birch plywood and ash. The heavy kind of ash used for axe handles. And base ball bats if you're American.

delar.jpg


The frame laid out.

utlagt.jpg



The center block and a couple smaller pieces glued in.

limmat.jpg
 

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Silver Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
44,985
Reaction score
148,965

strömsborg

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
227
Reaction score
126
Put a few more hours into it. Glued the different pieces in in a series of steps taking care to have them parallell.
4.jpg


Hacked one corner off, because...
5.jpg


..maybe it needs an f-hole?
6.jpg


Yes it does. But correct me if I'm wrong.
7.jpg


Sprayed the insides black, I only have that half empty can of black nitro and I guess it would take more paint trying to cover the insides through the f-hole.
8.jpg


And glued up. Every clamp I own is in the picture and I still got a gap in the cutaway. But with fish glue it was just a matter of heating the spot up with a clothes iron and clamp again.
9.jpg


This is after routing the perimeter. It's not the prettiest of guitar shapes but ugly girls are generally more charming. The corner in the cutaway will be squared off later.
Notice the dents and the overall structure in the plywood. Fot birch it's surprisingly soft and will need a lot of sanding before finishing, which wouldn't have been the case if I had stayed original with masonite. Anyone know of a product to prime and maybe harden the wood a little before spraying the nitro?
10.jpg


And on to the neck, two-piece maple. Below is the glued and squared up blank and a freshly made router template. Like the ash used for the body frame this wood is the by-product of firewood cutting at my inlaws. Ex-inlaws actually. So that source has dried up.
I've decided to do a regular Les Paul tenon and mortice neck joint minus the neck angle and as I'm writing this I realise that the next step is not routing the back side of the neck, but cutting the tenon while the piece is still square.
11.jpg
 

strömsborg

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
227
Reaction score
126
Making my first non full width tenon set neck. I wondered what he was thinking when my neighbor decided to take up about 25% of our communal workshop with a table saw, but now when I know how to use I can certainly live with the crammed workshop and having to pack away each tool after use to make room for the next one.

13.jpeg


14.jpeg


I mean how hard is it to make the mortice template when you are guaranteed straight cuts?

15.jpeg



16.jpeg


The tenon sits almost too tight, I'll have to take it down a bit to not starv the joint of glue.
There's still some gaps between the heel and the body, mostly because the flat body mating surface is a little small and maybe not entirely square to the neck. I'm gonna leave it until I shave down the neck closer to final size.

17.jpeg


This has got to be the quickest and easiest template I ever made. The lipstick pickups happened to be 16 mm wide, exactly the diameter of one of my router bits, so it was just a matter of making a fence and two stops giving the router 70 mm of play.

18.jpg


Fits like a glove!

19.jpeg
 
Last edited:

strömsborg

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
227
Reaction score
126
The mandatory major mess up is a fact.
To make it easy for me I’m using existing jigs and templates as far as possible and so the Dan will get a Gibson neck with a Rickenbacker headstock angle. That gave me a sense of false security and mindlessly I put the neck in the Rick jig and ran it through the table saw.

0C9ED454-79AA-4DD6-8DD3-84F243770411.jpeg


I didn’t measure twice, I didn’t measure even once, and the sawblade didn’t emerge where it was supposed to, where the nut will sit, but halfway into the first fret. The cut wasnt square either. Sigh.

So I grabbed a piece of maple and slapped it on the front of the headstock. At least this will make the neck lamination stronger.

F627F7D9-4493-47B3-987F-F43B499C7DFF.jpeg


And cut again. And actually managed to cut in the right place, and make it square.

DBBCE62D-CD18-4EC1-BBE1-144FF993FEAA.jpeg
44BFC1DA-9D1F-4043-948C-47B6E8554B55.jpeg


It's not totally unrelated to the holly overlay on a Les Paul. It wont extend over the headstock ears though and I'll have to cut the headstock a little narrower to get a a clean surface to glue the ears to.
The next time I do this I will cut the front of the headstock first and then measure from the nut position where the tenon will be, and cut that second, since it's much easier to get in the right place.

Then I ran into more problems. This is what the pickups looks like. Note that the feet extends outside the tube.

7FD4DF24-74A0-4CDE-A202-3A2CD0B29908.jpeg


Since the footprint is larger than the tube you cant just drop them straight down into the slots. So I went into the pickup routes with a Dremel trying to remove parts of the center block to be able to ”thread” the pickups into position.

BEAFEA9C-2A66-42C7-9EEE-4ABBCB120989.jpeg


Of course I managed to put dents in the edges and when I tried mounting the pickups I could get them into position but there was no way in the world to get the height adjusting springs in there. It would also be nigh impossible to know where to drill for the mounting screws from the back of the guitar.
For a few dark moments I contemplated routing away the entire guitar top to be able to remove a chunk of the centerblock (and also get rid of the dents) but then it dawned on me that I’ve got the wrong pickups. These are the ones that are supposed to be mounted strat-style, hanging from the pickguard, and not with screws from the back like in a proper Danelectro. So I removed the brackets and tried to bend them and drill new holes to make them fit within the pickup footprint. I destroyed the first one and had to grab a new piece of sheet metal and start over but at least now I know where I'm heading. I'll fix the dents with a little epoxy and drilling for the mounting screws from the top will be a breeze.
 
Last edited:


Latest Threads



Top