The longest build thread ever (probably)

emoney

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Sure you are, Travis......sure you are
 

TravisW

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$32 later, I have mahogany and maple for the 5-piece neck. Time to bust out the tablesaw! :p
It'll still probably be a couple weeks before I can get the body wood....should order a replacement fingerboard one of these days too, emoney. Decided on a different tactic for binding, which should be interesting (hopefully).

Thanks Bruiser!
 

TravisW

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Wood is cut up and sitting in a pile in my basement. Figured I'd give it time to fold, spindle, and mutilate itself before I take it to final thickness.

It's been YEARS since I cut mahogany (my last few projects have all been maple...haven't meddled with mahogany since the repair days). I'd forgotten just how EASY it is to cut...it almost cuts itself.
 

TravisW

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There is now a mahogany/maple sandwich. The mahogany is remarkably light. Hopefully, when I get the 8/4 for the body, it's as light as this stuff. I'll probably post some pictures tomorrow after I take it to the jointer and get everything nice and square.
 

EagleOnyx

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mahogany cuts nice until you try to crosscut a chunk of 8/4 that's 10" wide and not square on either side on a radial arm saw...
 

TravisW

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Trimmed my neck somewhat out of the blank, scarf joint is drying. Pics tomorrow.
 

TravisW

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Okay--I didn't go into too much detail in the beginning of this thread. This build is a neck-through, with a scarfed headstock. I decided to go for a 5-piece neck for a few reasons. I want it to be strong and stiff, and it was actually cheaper.

I don't have any photos of it clamped up, frankly because there's very little that's interesting about a block of glued-up wood. I had regular 3/4" by 7" mahogany, which I cut into strips a smidgen over 1 1/2" wide, and 1/2" by 6" maple, which I also cut into strips. The maple I re-thicknessed down to 3/8" on my ancient Delta jointer. After it was glued-up and dried, I squared it up on the aforementioned jointer, then took it to my table saw, which REALLY HATED cutting through this stuff at the full blade thickness. But it did it.


5-pieceNeck by TravisWoyen, on Flickr

Now, if you know your Les Paul specs, you're thinking "Aha!!! 1 1/2" isn't nearly a thick enough body block for a Les Paul neck-through." And you'd be right, except that rather than gluing wings to the neck, I'll be setting the neck into a channel that will run all the way through the body.
 

TravisW

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Once I had the neck thickness roughly roughed out, I cut the scarf joint with the dullest saw in the world. I actually went after it with my triangle fretting file just to get a little sharpness on it. At this point, I really wished I had a bandsaw.


Dull Crappy Saw by TravisWoyen, on Flickr
 

TravisW

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From there, I clamped the scarf up to even out the joint. I did that with the tiny trim plane and some sandpaper. Took forever. I really need to grab a decent plane. You can see it sitting next to my Crapco saw. There was a lot of fitting and sanding going on with this. From there, I did a couple clamping test-runs and glued it up. No pictures of it clamped up, but today I cleaned the face up (and thicknessed it) on the jointer.


HeadstockwithEars by TravisWoyen, on Flickr
 

TravisW

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I'm thinning the headstock down quite a bit, because rather than getting a very thin veneer overlay, I decided to do 1/4" maple after thicknessing the rest of it to about 3/8". That'll weigh down the headstock a tiny bit, but I figure it'll support the scarf joint nicely.


MapleOverlay by TravisWoyen, on Flickr

So, that's how it sits right now. I'll get the overlay glued on tonight some time (probably), but am saving shaping until the guitar is a lot closer to done. Due to the design, this neck is going to be moved around a lot, and I'd just as soon accidentally ding up wood that I'll be cutting off anyway.
 

TravisW

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I put on the headstock overlay (1/4" maple) and leveled the edge down (end of the fingerboard and nut are going to be on that part). I got a wild hair, threw a partially-completed body template on the "body spot", and traced the headstock shape on the paddle end.


SortaMockup by TravisWoyen, on Flickr
 

emoney

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Looks to me like you're doing fine without a bandsaw, although, I'd vote for a sharp handsaw
for the next cut.
 

TravisW

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Looks to me like you're doing fine without a bandsaw, although, I'd vote for a sharp handsaw
for the next cut.
I agree. We held a vote around here, and it passed.

Unfortunately, my checking account balance holds veto power.
 

Barnaby

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I agree. We held a vote around here, and it passed.

Unfortunately, my checking account balance holds veto power.
I hear ya. If mine didn't, I'd have Japan's largest collection of Lie-Nielsen and Veritas hand tools in my apartment right now.

Saw sharpening is one of those skills i want to learn, so let us know if you have any tips...

...and the build is looking GREAT!
 

TravisW

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Thanks Barnaby! I don't have any handy saw-sharpening tips, aside from "desperation is the father of invention." This site Welcome to Vintage Saw's Saw Filing Treatise has a pretty decent tutorial, which I read after I was done horsing around.

So, right now I'm at a bit of a standstill until my wood guy gets some 8/4 mahogany in, or I get another fingerboard ordered. It's probably time to get after making new inlays and binding for the fingerboard, or finish up on some jigs. At the very least, I'll have to build a box jig for cutting the channel through the body.
 

TravisW

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I haven't gotten much done in the past week, but I did route out a truss rod channel and two channels for carbon fiber rods. No pictures yet, but I did learn that Stew Mac carbon rods aren't 3/16" x 1/4", they're .20" by 1/4". That's an important difference. Wound up spending a lot of time with sandpaper. I also found out that my 3/16" bit in the router won't get to 1/2" deep in my evidently crappy router jig, so I wound up routing a 3/8" channel the length of the neck, then hogging out the curve with a drill and a piece of old 3/16" rod that I filed some teeth into. Not ideal. The router jig slipped from its clamp while routing a truss rod channel, so that also wasn't ideal either, and I got to experiment with filler strip design. Thankfully, mahogany is easy to shape.

The curve came out okay, though. Now I just need to buy some rod, some more rod, and get a brass nut. New job starts next week, so I'd imagine that some 8/4 mahogany is in my future.
 


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