Black Walnut 8/4 14"

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by mistermikev, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    so... no turning back now:
    been planning a first build from scratch for a bit now... and just took the plunge on some black walnut 8/4 and some 5/4 for a neck. have some questions:
    1) what should I do to preserve this wood? have some work to do to finish my templates and this was cut from a 10' board... so... what should I put on the cut end of it? I have some poly and various other things lying around. I've heard wax?
    2) have no band saw and even if I did I'd have to cut off a chunck of this before I could work with it on one. my plan was to drill 1/2 holes and cut in straight lines with my jigsaw... what say you?
    3) neck blank is 5/4 - oops, was planning a 2 piece neck but in my excitement at finding a 14" piece of black walnut... well all planning went out the window. So I hate the idea of router sledding off 1/2 inch. bought an allied lutherie truss so unless I want to really change plans I'm going to have to go fwd with it... other ideas? I guess it might be worth it to buy a bandsaw on craigslist and cut 3/8 off?
    all comments, encouragement, welcome.
    DSCF2635.JPG
     
  2. Esotedium

    Esotedium New Member

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    That's a gorgeous piece of wood! Very excited to see what you can do with it.
    I've not made my own body from scratch yet (soon!), but a jigsaw should do nicely in lieu of a bandsaw. Mine can apparently handle a maximum thickness of 56mm (~2 1/4" or so?), which should be plenty.
    Some kind of sealer should work on the cut end, if I remember some build threads from years ago. Typical finishing stuff would also work, but it's a lot of sanding and it might limit you when it comes to your desired finish.

    Necks are a bit beyond me right now. Absolutely terrified of the necessary precision in making one! I guess you could keep the body and neck as one piece with a big bit of wood like that, but it could create more problems than it solves Sorry I can't be more helpful, but best of luck to you!
     
  3. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    thanks for the reply.
    I'm not so concerned about the jigsaw handling the thickness as I am about deflection/bending of the blade. if it deflects too much you end up cutting into your good piece... but if you don't go close enough then you have a lotta work for your drum sander or router. Guess I'm going to try it and learn this time.
    I ended up just spray painting the edge and plan to leave the wood sit for 3-4wks to (hopefully) acclimate. seems pretty dry - this is the desert...
    afa 1 piece... nope, not attempting that yet! Will get three bodies out of this piece.
     
  4. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    [​IMG]
    so... this is my plan... a 32" scale piccolo thin line precision bass. bought a maple burl top... plan to buy a slotted and radiused fretboard from lmii.
    afa the f holes... I don't have a pin router, and I don't like the idea of massaging the holes with files/sandpaper/etc so I'm going to buy a 1/4 shaft bit with a 1/8 cutting edge. working on a template that is 1/16 larger then needed. the bit won't ride into the little crease in the f hole so will have to work on that a little.
     
  5. adamb

    adamb New Member

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    That wood gives me wood. Looks awesome!!
    I'd say look into buying a jeweler's saw for the fine work on the f holes!
     
  6. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    adamb, oh canada! thanks for the reply and suggestion. I was planning on cutting the f holes after I've got my top on... but I will keep this suggestion in mind.
     
  7. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    so... here is where we are for now... DSCF2776.JPG
    still to go on the

    body...
    1 need to hit rockler, get some 1/8" walnut stock, and cut my rear route cover
    2 need to cut releif for controls on top (top is .043 so a bit too thick for pots)
    3 drill holes for neck plate
    4 need to drill pickup holes and ground washer holes before finishing to ensure sealed holes

    misc...
    plane down leftover maple burl for headstock overlay and fret markers
    etch pcb for active preamp, populate, test (troubleshoot)
    wireup

    neck...
    just started planing down my neck blank(6/4) with my router sled. planed about 1/4 off one side and about 1/8 off the other and will leave her sit for a week to see if there will be any movement
    1) build truss rod jig, rout truss rod, drill access hole
    2) build new neck/headstock-transistion/heel overlay template, cut to neck shape
    3) plane down headstock area and overlay maple burl
    3) attach fretboard
    4) plane down back of neck profile then rasp/sand
     
  8. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    progress updates:

    finished thicknessing my neck...



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    rough cut the profile and routered it.

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    built a jig for the truss channel and routed it. screws made it a simple job to line up the blade right inside the lines. loosen one and tighten the other and voilla.

    [​IMG]

    truss rod fits like a dream. not tight, but can't move around at all. not my best work on one end... need to get better with a chisel... did the cut for the "fretboard stress relief thingy" by hand w router and chisel. (was gonna go out the other side but in the end decided heal adjust so had to fit the additional square bar there). I guess I've got a little spot for some silicon! it's not too bad, about a 1/16th of space on one side.

    cut some slight reliefs for my controls...

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    did the control cavity cover and 9v battery compartment

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    I know I know... had a piece of mahog and figured I'd use it. perhaps w a little light tobacco stain it will match better. very happy with the fit tho.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    update, got my fretboard on, did a headstock overlay, added inlays, cut my nut:
    DSCF2834.JPG
     
  10. TIC

    TIC New Member

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    i make most of my instruments out of black walnut and or cherry, i take it from the tree to finished instrument. i make all my fret boards out of b/w. i also make furnature. if there is one power tool to own, its a band saw. i dont care how poor you are, if your gonna do wood work you need a band saw. mine is a old craftsman 12" i got on c/l for 50 bucks. i built a bandsawmill to cut the trees into lumber. witch cost about 500 bucks to build. i never buy wood. most all my equipment is as old as i am. i make all my own jigs and things. point is you dont have to spend a ton of money to get what you need to do it right. crotch walnut 001.JPG crotch walnut 004.JPG
     
  11. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    sorry for the "necro-reply"... (the kids tell me that means 'belated'). I did my whole build w/o a bandsaw. admittedly going to need one for les paul/sg type angled headstock/set-necks... bought a small older delta... but it's either too small for my needs (8") or the blade is just crap. Does not track well either. Not sure if I'll buy a blade or just sell it and upgrade. it'd be nice if I could use it in place of a tablesaw as it takes less space and I'm told you can do straight cuts against a fence on one... but not on this one- at least not with thicker wood. anywho, thanks for the advice and shots of what appears to be some lovely wood.

    Will post some finished pics of the bass when time permits. Just bought 11' of 8/4 x 13.5" african mahog... so will look for an older 12" craftsman!
     

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