Winter LP build

BPW666

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Sorry about this but here's another 59ish Les Paul build. I'm using the Bartlett plans and templates and intend to be about 90% vintage correct without being excessively anal about it.

First step i rough cut the neck blank leaving it plenty oversized, i also cut a half depth 4mm slot for the truss rod.
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I'll leave it sitting for a few weeks in case it moves before doing anything more to it. I had real problems with my last build, we had a heat wave just after i cut it and installed carbon fibre and the thing went banana on me. This time I'm copying the steps from Freddy's video series as closely as i can for the neck.

I've already jointed the top and trimmed it to size with a template. Next i glued it to the back with UF glue.
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Then i used my carbide spiral trimmer to cut the back using the top as the template.
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The top is massively over thick at this point, if I'd been clever I'd have resawn the top sections before i glued them up and got a drop top out of it. Anyway i used my router sled and big surfacing bit to remove 10mm.
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I've also done the initial cut of the control cavities, cover plates and put the round over on the back.
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Next up I'll be making myself a set of Scot's carve templates.

Ben
 

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SlingBlader

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Cool man, glad to see you started a thread. Looking forward to the progress. :)
 

BPW666

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Thanks mate.

I got a little over excited thks afternoon, i was so keen to use my new template i forgot a couple of steps that i should have carried out first. Pilot holes for the pots and the Jack socket hole should have been done first, not the end of the world but a lot easier if done first.
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BPW666

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Ok despite being plugged into a chemo pump I've made good progress this weekend.
First up i very slowly drilled out the Jack socket hole with a new forstner bit. Nice and smooth with virtually no chip out inside.
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I started off cutting the neck plane. Set my box jig to 4.4 degrees.
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Then set the depth stop so the cutter just kisses the bottom of the last step.
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I decided to cut the pickups at this point. This way i can screw the templates down to way will be the waste in the neck mortis and there is more support for the template than if i cut the pickup plane first.
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Legs first, i used a bit of masking tape and super glue between the pickups to stop the template rotating.
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After that i cut the pickup plane. Box jig to 1.5 degrees with the cut starting just after the end of the fretboard.
This didn't work quite as i expected, the pickup plane obliterated my top terrace for the carve. I worked out the reason was that one of my steps was nearer 2/16ths rather than just 1. So i hadn't removed to much wood but it meant i had to free hand the carve more than i should but i quite enjoy shaping wood my hand and I'm pleased with the end result.
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Next, the bit i was most worried about with this build, cutting the bottom of the control cavity to match the top.
I knocked up a quick jig and it all went without any drama.
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Cut in two passes, nicely exposing the maple at the halfway mark.
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Tail piece studs and Ground wire drilled out.
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Finally i installed the studs.

Next up cutting the binding channel. I'm not a big fan of the true channel type jigs, they always look cumbersome to me and really need two people to operate, so I'm planing some sort of over head arm jig thingy. Not sure what shape it will take exactly but I'll wander around the hardware store tomorrow and see what inspires me.

Ben
 

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61LPSG

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Looking good mate. Nice looking wood.
Glad you're feeling better.
 

BPW666

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I came back to the neck after a couple of weeks, it had moved slightly and developed a slight bask bow so i planned it flat. Then reroughted the truss rod slot at full size. I inserted screws in the waste either side of nut so i could adjust the depth of cut. This worked ok but the screws tended to drop into slots on the router table, it came out fine but next time I'll stick with wooden shims.
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Spot facer to cut the access cavity.
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I planned one side of my fretboard blank then thickessed it using mg spindle sander.

Chop, chop, fuck!! Fist major mistake oon this build. I slotted the fret board, spent ages lining everything up but forgot that the indexing pin is offset from the blade by 10mm. I spent 30 min cutting the slots only to realise my first fret was earth to short.
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Bugger, that brazillian rosewood board is the most expensive but of wood I've ever bought and I'd really rather is not trashed it.
So options.
1. Ditch the board and make a new one.
2. There is just enough wood to plane the board down and recut the frets but the board would be very thin.
3. (This is what i ended up doing ) i measured the kerf on my fret saw and ordered some maple veneer of the same thickness and used it to fill the slots. Planed and scraped that side flat then flipped the board and cut fret slots on the other side. I wanted a glue that sets up very hard so went with UF for this.

More pics tomorrow once is out of clamps, I've got the holy headstock veneer gluing up at the moment.

Ben
 

ARandall

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My build with Braz I slotted to depth, then realised I'd set up my 1st fret on the wrong end of the tapered blank. So I had to do the same as you.....flip it over.

But given the board is bound, you could just have easily made some glue/sawdust mix and filled the slots that way and not had to buy anything.......you wouldn't see the fix in any case.
 

BPW666

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My build with Braz I slotted to depth, then realised I'd set up my 1st fret on the wrong end of the tapered blank. So I had to do the same as you.....flip it over.

But given the board is bound, you could just have easily made some glue/sawdust mix and filled the slots that way and not had to buy anything.......you wouldn't see the fix in any case.
LOL glad I not the only one.....

Right cracking on. I'm trying to replicate the masterful Mr Gabrsek's neck process as closely as i can given my limited tools, space and skill. The neck tension box, table saw bit is beyond me though. I just screwed a bit of mdf to each side of the neck cut most of the waste out on the band saw and then trimmed the using my big tennon bit on the router table.
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Neck fitment, these kind of fiddly fittment processes are my least favourite bits of this game. Still it beats trying to make an acoustic dovetail joint fit.
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It's almost there in this one.


Glued in the fret boad with HHG, again thank you Freddy the little blocks trick is so much of an improvement over brad nails etc when you're working with such a limited time frame.
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That was yesterday, this morning i trimmed the fretboard taper using a long wooded straight edge and a pattern bit on the table.
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I stuck on the supports that the bearing will ride on to cut the binding along side the tennon at this point so i can trim them flush at the same time as i taper the board.

Before tapering the board with the router i cut close with the band saw, causing a minor disaster, as i broke of the strip from the edge of the neck it took one of the headstock wings (or what would have been if this wasn't a one piece neck) holly veneer and all.
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It's a nice clean split with no torn fibres so should glue up cleanly but still f☆☆k!
Titebond to the rescue.
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Right that's it for now. I've got chemo from tomorrow over the weekend so I'll pick up next week.
Ben
 

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ARandall

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I find that builds tend to be defined more by the fixes you have to do than the perfection or ease of completion.

Good luck with the Chemo......don't push yourself too hard!!
 

BPW666

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My build with Braz I slotted to depth, then realised I'd set up my 1st fret on the wrong end of the tapered blank. So I had to do the same as you.....flip it over.

But given the board is bound, you could just have easily made some glue/sawdust mix and filled the slots that way and not had to buy anything.......you wouldn't see the fix in any case.
Yup
I find that builds tend to be defined more by the fixes you have to do than the perfection or ease of completion.

Good luck with the Chemo......don't push yourself too hard!!
Ain't that the truth, the first acoustic i built ar evening class is one big fix. It sounds fantastic but looks like Frankenstein's monster right down to the big bolt holding the neck on.
 

BPW666

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Right Mr Randall, if these builds are defined by the fixes then this project is becoming very well defined. I had another boo-boo with my ridiculously expensive finger board. It was time to cut the binding channel on the finger board. I've only made Pune bound guitar about 4 years ago and for the life of me i couldn't find my little rebating bit. Any way i got board of looking and ordered another. When it turned up the bearing wouldn't screw on. On closer inspection it looks like they forgot to cut the thread.
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I could have sent it back but i figured i could just tap it myself. Well that didn't really work, after set up and a few test cuts i went for it, only for the bearing to hop off halfway down and the bit ti bite into the board leaving a penny sized hole.
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First up i shaped a graft and stuck it in.
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As you can see the circular glue line really telegraphs the fix, not good enough. So i chistled out a wedge along the grain line betwean the fret slots.
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Cut another graft trying to match the grain as closely as possible. End result.
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Can you spot the fix? (7th fret) this is after radiusing the board and adding a little dark oil stain to being the colour closer to old Braz. I'm petty happy with that, i have to look for the fix and even then it's not obviously a fix.

Ben
 




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