First Build Thread (sg-esque Design)

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by PermissionToLand, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    Well, here goes nothing! I have until early May to finish this, so I'll be moving rather quickly, but I've tried to do my research in advance. Still, tips are much appreciated.

    I'm starting with a partially routed blank from Warmoth; it has the neck pocket, neck PUP and control cavity (although that will be altered).

    Right now, I'm working out my templates on MDF. I'll add pictures of that tomorrow.

    GT final blueprint.jpg

    IMG_2151 sm.jpg

    Neck heel (a little sloppy, but we'll clean it up and implant a tenon):

    IMG_2171 sm.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  2. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    A tip I can give you is to not rush a guitar build. Three months is not much time. Take your time and work save :thumb:
     
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  3. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    I wish I could but I only have access to the facilities I'm using until then! But I've been designing it for the past year and researching online for the past few months, so hopefully I'm as prepared as can be.
     
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  4. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    My first serious build was an SG as well (see avatar). It took me 9 months - roughly 150 hours of actual work and who knows how much time on forums like this one learning. Now, a build is about 100 hours. Most of that is because I'm building unique guitars that are my own design. It takes time to work out unforeseen issues.

    I'd be great to watch your progress, but the pictures you posted require a logon to everythingSG.com. Can you post them somewhere public?
     
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  5. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    Oh, really? Thanks for pointing that out. I've been hosting stuff there because Photobucket lost their damn minds.

    I figured it out now, I only uploaded them as attachments to my post at ETSG, and didn't actually upload to their media hosting section. Same platform as this forum, so FYI, you can't copy and paste the image address of anything you attach to a post here, for use somewhere else.

    I know it's a ballsy move to try and do this in this timeframe, but I'm really only worried about the painting and finishing. I feel pretty good about finishing the woodwork this month. It certainly helps a lot to have the neck pre-made. That seems to consist of a large amount of the time usually spent on a build. I'm also going to be working on this two days a week and weekends as needed, so it's not just a project of purely spare time.

    Anyway, I've cut the templates now and will be cutting the body and routing the control cavity this Sunday.

    IMG_2259 sm.jpg

    IMG_2270 sm.jpg

    IMG_2266 sm.jpg

    One issue I've hit is that the fretboard is 1/32" too long at the nut end. Fret spacing is fine, so it would be an easy fix if not for the fact that the nut seems to be super-glued in... I don't know how big of a deal that will be intonation-wise, but I can be pretty OCD about intonation. After doing some filing of the Rock Maple neck though, maybe I can hit it a little harder than I thought because that wood is fucking dense.

    I noticed the headstock shape was asymmetrical, so I shaved it down and I'm pretty damn pleased with the result:

    IMG_2260 crop.jpg
    IMG_2261 crop.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  6. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    I'm reading your build thread now (excellent taste in SGs, by the way!). Your finish is beautiful, and similar to what i'm shooting for; I want to see the grain on the surface of the finish:

    [​IMG]

    It looks like you used Mahogany, so maybe some grain filler was still necessary. I'm using Alder (and the neck is Maple), so I won't use any.
     
  7. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    My first build took me about 10 months. The second about 6 months. But since then, I've done them in 3 weekends. The guitar people have responded to most (this one) took me 2 months.

    It's not impossible, or even bad, to do it quickly. Big shops with CNC machines can do one in days, and most of that time is taken up by finishing.

    Two months is plenty of time if you are prepared and you think every action through.
     
  8. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    Wow, that is some killer work with the neck especially. Did you stain each layer before gluing, or was it done after?

    At this point, I may only be held up waiting for the vibrola, but it should arrive by the 12th. I'll need that to finalize the neck angle, but doing bevels and a few other things should keep me busy until then.

    So, today I rough cut the body and started planning out my tenon.

    IMG_2275 sm.jpg

    IMG_2277 sm.jpg

    Neck fit is nice and snug, enough to pick it up by the neck alone. Gap at the end will be filled in (a necessity to keep the bridge on the pickguard)

    IMG_2283 sm.jpg

    Mapping out the tenon:

    IMG_2286 sm.jpg

    IMG_2287 sm.jpg
     
  9. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    There is no stain. Just woods of different colors. Wenge, purpleheart, bloodwood and ebony.
     
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  10. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    So I've gotten a little more done. Routed the cavity cover recess:

    IMG_2301m.jpg

    Came out pretty good for my first time using a router (and working without a template bit):

    IMG_2308m.jpg

    Then planing the cavity surface:

    IMG_2313m.jpg

    And routing the mortise:

    IMG_2314m.jpg

    And finally cutting the tenon for test fitting:

    IMG_2318m.jpg

    It doesn't quite look as tight as it actually is; I can pick up the body by it.

    So, now that I've received my vibrola, I can finalize the neck angle/height and when I get my template bit, I can finish the body shape.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  11. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    Okay, now we're moving again. After some setbacks, I'll be doing as much work as possible this week.

    One big change is that in order to keep the bridge over the pickguard and make room for the vibrola, the neck (and neck pickup) have to be moved outward:

    IMG_2335m.jpg

    This necessitated redesigning the heel/tenon by deepening and extending it beyond the end of the body and further into the heel:

    IMG_2328m.jpg

    If necessary, I may add screws in the pickup cavity and support behind the heel.

    Here, you can see the heel, aligned as it will fit once cut, and where the neck pickup will move to:

    IMG_2338m.jpg

    And a view from below:

    IMG_2333m.jpg

    You can see here there is ample clearance for the bridge and tailpiece (really, more than I want, so I'll knock down the angle some):

    IMG_2339m.jpg

    And finally, I couldn't find a router bit that would work, so I did the final body shaping freehand with a sanding bit on the drill press:

    IMG_2340m.jpg
    IMG_2341m.jpg

    Next, I will start beveling!
     
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  12. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    Now for the fun part; BEVELING!

    IMG_2371m.jpg
    IMG_2378m.jpg
    IMG_2386m.jpg
    IMG_2385m.jpg
    IMG_2384m.jpg

    I also enlarged the pickup route in order to move it closer to the neck and glued in the tenon:

    IMG_2379m.jpg

    And finally, drilled for the tuners, as my next step will be gluing the neck and placing the bridge:

    IMG_2390m.jpg
    IMG_2391m.jpg
    IMG_2389m.jpg
    IMG_2388m.jpg
     
  13. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

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    Beautiful!
     
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  14. GibSG

    GibSG New Member

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    Interesting build, make a nice bevel like a '61 RI :fever:
     
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  15. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    reminds me a lot of a guitar I've been dreaming about lately: late 80's gibson les paul jr pro. I had an sg 90 growing up and - other than the steinberger trem - it was awesome. nice work. cool guitar!
     
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  16. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    I did end up deepening them more, but I'm one of the weirdos who actually likes the late '60s SGs. I'd say they're most comparable to a '66-67 now.

    Wow, I looked that up and it's pretty damn cool. I've never seen one before. Gibson did a lot of experimenting in the '80s and had some pretty neat ideas come out of it. And I know what you mean about the Steinberger; I have a 1988 Epiphone LP that's probably influenced by the Jr. Pro and also has a Steinberger like that. I bought a new base plate and custom made steel posts that should hopefully fix it for good, finally. It's actually an excellent player otherwise.

    guitar shiz 034 2.jpg
     
  17. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    Catching up on the build here, It's come a LONG way since the last update!

    The neck was glued:

    IMG_2396m.jpg

    Unfortunately, in my last minute efforts to remedy a twist in the neck joint I hadn't noticed before, I threw off the center alignment. Not terribly far off, but enough that the long vibrola made it apparent.

    See here; the rightmost line is the body center, the leftmost is the neck center, and the middle is splitting the difference.

    IMG_2414m.jpg

    So, what I did was line up the vibrola so that the top aligned with the neck and bridge, and the bottom split the difference between the centers. I'd say it made for a convincing visual trick.

    IMG_2426m.jpg

    Then, I glued and shaped the heel block:

    IMG_2407m.jpg
    IMG_2410m.jpg

    Placing the bridge, I ended up just measuring the distance off scale length for each saddle on my Gibson because the floating bridge method was too finicky and every guide gave different measurements with too much tolerance for my comfort. It worked out perfectly anyway, I barely had to touch the saddles. And so it was strung up for the first time!

    IMG_2422m.jpg

    The neck had a few spots fretting out, but for $50 I can't complain one bit!

    Routed the bridge PUP and the beveling was deepened and finalized:

    IMG_2425m.jpg
     
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  18. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand New Member

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    On to painting, it took a lot of sealer to build certain seemingly random spots, but it all worked out in the end. Then, testing the Behlen Dark Red Walnut, I was not particularly happy with the color. It was VERY dark and not very red at all. So I quick ordered their Deep Red, which turned out to be a very bright red, and experimented with laying them over each other (working with spray cans, so I couldn't actually mix). It seemed the best result came from a base layer of red with the walnut over it.

    So, I started shooting the red, and it was very inconsistent and hard to control. I had intended to lay down just a thin coat so it wouldn't be too red. I'm no painter but it seems like these cans were designed to lay down the color exactly as it is, and not to be altered based on how thinly they're applied. So it ended up going on more thickly in order to be uniform.

    IMG_2471m.jpg
    IMG_2474m.jpg

    I figured the Walnut would be easier to apply thinly because it had a fanned tip, and it was to some extent, but still was inconsistent unless either laid down thickly, or held about 2 feet away and wasting most of the spray. I started too close on the back and ended up going noticeably darker than I wanted. On the front was where I tried holding it further away, and it gave a result closer to what I wanted, but was also pretty "spotty" for lack of a better term. And, having no real experience, I screwed up more difficult spots like the curves on the sides and the 90 degree angle where the neck meets the body.

    IMG_2481m.jpg
    IMG_2484m.jpg

    So, it's going to need a refinish, but I'm temporarily finishing it for the course I'm taking, and will take my time refinishing over the summer.

    The logo actually came out well though:

    IMG_2495m.jpg
    IMG_2503m.jpg
    IMG_2508m.jpg
    IMG_2511m.jpg
    IMG_2512m.jpg
     
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  19. GibSG

    GibSG New Member

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    Last edited: May 4, 2018

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