John Lennon Hamburg Capri 325 Build

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by Lewis, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    Capri 325 John Lennon Hamburg Replica Build

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    This build will be as basic as you I can get...I have no woodwork shop...no bench tools like chop saws and band saws....Only a cheap router table That I bought simply for the trussrod channel. All the work will be done in my kitchen and on a garden table using power tools - Drill, Jigsaw, Plane and a welder for the trussrod shortening....The sculpting will be done with rasps, files ,sandpapers and saws.

    I will be using the internet for all my information and references. I will be keeping a track of my hours and of the money spent for anyone interested in this build. The hardware for this build will be as cheap as I can get using the internet although I will be using the exact wood types in ALder and Padauk fretboard. The biggest corner I have cut is in the pickups. I could have bought pickups from Rickenbacker (£160 x3 = £480) or expensive copies and may well at a later date, depending on if the build turns out to be good enough but for now I have bought the cheapest copies that are asthetically exactly the same.

    I will be including many photos of this build as I have been frustrated by jumps in others photo progress...This will literally be a step by step progression thread.

    This is my first guitar build.

    The Gear (The Grover Sta-Tite tuners and Sorkin Bridge have not arrived yet)
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  2. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    DAY 1

    Glued 1/4 back panel and body halves
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    Trussrod Welded and sawn to 37cm
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    Headstock angle (5 degrees)

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    DAY 2

    Trussrod channel cut. The first time I have used a router table.

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    Head angle marked and then planed

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    20.75 scale length dimensions found online fret calculator program and cross referenced with a different program.

    Frets marked and cut with fret saw.

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    Fretboard glued.

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    Fretboard profiled with Luthier tool 7.25..I'm not sure about the shape of this on the original..I wasn't concerned with that aspect or the original as I wanted to have the right radius for me so I picked 7.25..I will change slight things in this build to suit myself so although I still class this as a replica

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    Neck heel block glued

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    Neck marked out

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    Using jigsaw to cut neck. Making sure that the 'bend' in the blade comfortably misses the neck at its narrowest.

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    Adding headstock wings. Wood for this was taken from the excess cut from neck. Here I had to make a difference to the original which I couldn't help. As far as I know the original had the neck follow through the headstock at the same width as the nut. I couldn't do this as I would not be able to get as accurate to fit the headstock wings. Later Rics have the headstock similar to the way I did mine..It couldn't be helped and something that I had to do.

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  3. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    DAY 3

    Headstock sanded to 16mm

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    Neck Thus far..

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    Headstock outline and filing. First stage using round file to get close to line and then curved file to complete.

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    Neck taper marked and then taped for clear visibility.

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    Using curved rasp to get within 1mm of tape.

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    Using fine metal file to get to tape line.

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    Neck rear contouring. First stage using curved rasp.

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    Second pass with finer file. I actually wasn't happy and made numerous passes with both files.

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    Heel. The heel of the original was very chunky and tapered upto the 14th fret.

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    Headstock.

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    Another day over and some shots of the neck thus far..

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    The original 59 Hamburg Ric 325 did not have the later Rickenbacker headstock heel extension contour that the later Rics have although I do like this on later Rics. To me it is one of those subtle differences that makes the Rickenbacker the quality they are so I wanted to keep this asthetic in.

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  4. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    The body wood I got from Guitarbuild | GUITAR BODIES AND PARTS I found them through Ebay....I haven't dealt with them before but they seemed pretty good....I would highly recommend them if you are in the UK and building...The cuts were spot on and I received it really quick...very impressed....Here is the price for the Alder...although I didn't source the back panel or the fretboard from them as someone was selling some on Ebay so I grabbed that...GuitarBuild tell me they could have supplied the back panel and that they always have alder in stock..

    GuitarBuild UK

    Body blanks (x 2) - 17 inches x 7 inches x 45mm (£55 for both)

    Neck blank - 1 x 30 inches x 2.25 inches x 1.75 (£20)

    Delivery £10

    TOTAL £85

    Here is a full break down of my costs for those that maybe interested...I have not included electrics in this as I already have those from another guitar..Also this does not cover Lacquer costs or the Rickenbacker strap nobs (£13 each) so bear that in mind if you choose to do this yourself..

    Obviously some of these prices will change due to sellers and date I bought them...This is just to give folks an idea in the UK..

    Also I bought tools that I did not have already...Such as Fret saw (Zona Razor Tenon saw Thickness 0.022") - (£10.51) ,a Luthier 7.25 sanding block for the fretboard radius (12.20 inc postage)....and a cheap WorkZone router(£24.99) and router table(29.99) from Aldi ..Those are the only tools I think you need on top of your normal electrical hand tools that most DIYers have ie. Plane, Jigsaw and Drill

    As I said in the original starter post this thread was not about someone who has been making guitars for years, it is about seeing what you can achieve on the cheap with some knowledge and basic non-specific everyday DIY tools for folks who may have been daunted like I was for years..

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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  5. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    I would highly highly recommend staggered tuners, a 5 degree headstock angle won't put enough force on the nut, it's most likely going to have some sitar like buzz at the neck because of the headstock angle.
     
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  6. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    Point taken Adam...I will go with the dimensions that the original was...so we will see if it is ok...I can't really deviate from the original spec...This is a bit of an experiment too..if it goes wrong I will certainly make another...Thanks for your input buddy...
     
  7. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    DAY 4

    Inlay Dots

    I decided on 4mm inlay dots for the fretboard and 2mm inlays dots for the neck side from visuals from V82

    I used 'Brad pointed Drill Bits' for this work at high speed..This helped to minimise burring on the surface as I was going use the 'Filler Method' for making the dots.

    I used basic decorators wood filler here. I will be lacquering the fretboard at a later date too.

    Once drilled to 5mm depth I taped around them as close as possible.

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    I have added a very tiny bit of acrylic Yellow Ochre to give the inlays an ivory vintage look and to take away the pale grey that the filler has. IMPORTANT If you do this then experiment and use a very tiny amount of the pigment.

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    Then Filled

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    Left to touch dry over 30 - 45 minutes then the tape was gently lifted. Once they were fully dry gentle sanding and slightly damp cloth to remove excess filler without lifting the grain of the wood.

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
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  8. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    DAY 5

    Fret day

    Re-cut the fret channels because the last time I cut them was before I had profiled the fretboard radius so they were shallow at the edges...Taped to 2mm on each side and cut

    Curved the fret wire and cut them to length...Used 'Original TiteBond Wood Glue' to fill in and give the frets some extra grip with a tooth pick....Then tapped each fret into place with a small hard rubber mallet by securing each side first then gently tapping the middle down and then over the whole length of each fret..Checked with straight edge every fret.

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    Checking the height of the frets.

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    I used the edge of a curved file to cut through the excess pieces making sure I gave them at least 1mm clearance before stone grinding them with a flat stone and then a 45 degree angle on the last pass...

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    Corian Nut.....Sample of Black Hi-Macs Corian sent by a kitchen surface supplier very cheap and sometimes free if you go to the actual store...Corian perfect for nuts as its very tough and harder than most plastics..It is strong even in short thin pieces and has the properties like bone to cut and file...It will be slightly grey on the cut but this is easily remedied with a little black wax shoe polish..

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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
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  9. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    Nice work so far. Filled inlays? Never saw that before. Came out good!

    Did you taped off the trussrod? With that much squeeze out you probably have glue in the slot?
     
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  10. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    No The trussrod has blue shrink wrap around it so shouldn't get any glue actually in there...I also thought that the trussrod being metal that the glue would not be too much of a hinderence to it if some did go in?......but anyway I was more concerned with getting enough glue on the fretboard...I will see if it works when I string the guitar up....My first build so I am still learning...I will put less glue on my next build me thinks..I'll let you all know when the build is complete..
     
  11. Rob.Mcdougall

    Rob.Mcdougall New Member

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    Excellent progress, looking great so far!
     
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  12. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    The biggest problem is the glue getting into the threads at the nut end. Hopefully it's not a problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
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  13. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    DAY 6

    The Body

    Trace out body shape on front of body[​IMG]

    Rough cut body with jigsaw making sure to leave enough clearance for blade bend

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    Using Rasp to follow outline

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    Rasp and file to line at a shallow angle then use a 90 degree square to get the side angle correct

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    As I get closer I need the back panel in place to shape both together...So I clamp them and move the clamps around one at a time as I work aroundthe outline..

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    Mark out neck pocket and screw on straight edge for the router to follow..Router 4 - 5 mm every time...Took many passes to reach the 1/4 depth from body face

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    Both sides to neck pocket cut...

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    Then cut out what's left with router....

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    File 90 degree face to accept the neck...

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    Neck in snug fit.....and checked neck angles...all ok...Neck will not be glued until after the routing of the body

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    Back panel to check

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  14. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    DAY 7

    Routing the Body

    I'm a bit new to routing so I didn't make a stencil as I didn't have any bearing cutters for the router so I marked it out and did it by eye...

    I quickly learned that it was best to get as much meat out of the body as I could with the drill and wide drill bit (see Photo)..I used tape at the correct level on the bit to make sure I cut well short of the depth..then I used a sharpened wood chisel to carefully take out any of the bits in between...Then just use the router to get that last 4 - 5mm out...I also screwed a 12'' x 4'' piece of 5mm MDF to the bottom of the router so that the base was wider to reach the middle bits of the body..

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  15. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    Not bad for freehand! Coming along nicely.
     
  16. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    Day 8

    Marked out Ramp

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    Used Rasp to take out the meat

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    Glued Neck in place measuring gap with long straight edge to check where neck is aligned parallel to body.

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    Glued back panel..Left to dry and then sanded to match body.

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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
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  17. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    DAY 9

    Grover Tuners came to day...That's the last hardware I need so can do a dry run now...

    Cut the Perspex by hand and stuck on the back some gold vinyl...The gold vinyl is very cheap and 1 sheet of A4 will cover the whole of the pick guard and shelf and the logo slash...

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    Up until 3am putting this together so please forgive the blurred photos as the lighting is not ideal...

    Put the tuners on and Bigsby and bridge then some old strings...Set the intonation and that gave me where the bridge should sit and then where the bridge pickup should go and middle pickup...Already the action is low and I haven't set it up properly at all..probably due to its scale length..It has a jangley semi-acoustic sound already..

    Nothing is wired up yet....I'll do that when its lacquered

    Folks...This will probably be my last post for a while as I am away for a couple weeks and then I'll need to do the lacquering and drying times will take a while..
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  18. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    9 DAYS?!?! I quit!

    Awesome job, man. Let me know if you need a woodshop. (J/K)...but seriously...9 days?!?!
     
  19. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

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    Yeah..9 days thus far....That's spread over a couple weeks I guess....and not all complete days...Just did it when I felt like it...Just shows it can be done if you got a couple weeks off work...I'm guessing it'll slow right down now though waiting for the shellac to dry and such...but that's not work...just drying times..
     
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  20. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

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    Stellar job, man...first build or not. Lookin' forward to seeing it finished.
     

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