Hand Tool Build #2 - ESP/LTD Style

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by poro78, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    As I was making measurements of the base plates my eye caught odd reflection from my work light... It was the scrap piece I used for testing Tru Oil (Same amount of coats, same sanding treatment).

    I have a suspection that I might have done something right with that stuff. :hmm:

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully the guitar looks anything near this when I'm done.

    Anyway, back to the point - Base plate making going on.
    I got a print of DIY base plate dimensions, but double-checking is my middle name and there indeed were some tiny differences.

    [​IMG]

    After the measurements were double-checked, it was time to start shaping METAL. :metal:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcBYBukjkBY"]Massacration - Metal is the Law - YouTube[/ame]

    Rough cut with snips.

    [​IMG]


    Then roughing out the legs.

    [​IMG]

    And finally cutting the little corner pieces with a jeweller's saw.

    [​IMG]

    Some filing and then I just bent the edges with a hammer.

    [​IMG]

    Like a glove!

    [​IMG]

    Next step will be drilling the holes... :ohno:
     
  2. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    The left over piece from the pickup rings fitted perfectly between the raised edges of the base plate, perfect for making a drilling guide.

    [​IMG]

    Got the holes drilled, quite ok after little bit of filing.

    [​IMG]

    Looks homemade, but what can you expect with these tools? :D

    [​IMG]

    Second one was little better.
    Maybe not worth doing these myself, but good to know that I can make these in less than hour if I have to. :yesway:

    [​IMG]
     
    Renkenstein likes this.
  3. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    Well, more humbucker action.
    Got the first one assembled and after that I got a mess of leads in front of me.
    Scratched my head for a while when I noticed that the coil are wound in opposite directions, did some research and connected the wires.

    [​IMG]

    Now I got a problem.
    The coils are having the right resistance when I measure them separately, but when I measure the coils together I get only 2.41k... :rolleyes:
     
  4. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Sounds like you wired them in parallel...
     
  5. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    Don't know what I did. :D
    Anyway, in my darkest hour I changed to 2-conductor wire and for some reason it works better. I get 9,77k now.

    But good to know that wiring in parallel might cause that kind of symptoms.
     
  6. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    485
    Location:
    Marble Falls, TX
    Yuppers. If you have two coils, each reading 5k, in series they pickup will read 10k and in parallel it'll read 2.5k.

    Parallel sounds really fucking cool, by the way, but it's more effective if the coils are being placed in parallel with a mini switch that can switch it back to series for a normal humbucker sound, too ;)
     
    poro78 likes this.
  7. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    That's why I've got 4 push/pull pots for my future project. ;)
     
    skeels and BWGuitars like this.
  8. Renkenstein

    Renkenstein Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    480
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Looks like you've made a real honest to gods pickup there, Poro! Grats!!!

    Parallel gives that outta phase plucky ducky sound, right? Like the middle/neck position on a Strat?
     
  9. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    485
    Location:
    Marble Falls, TX
    Kind of. It's got it's own vibe going on... like a weird single coil/P90 type blend, but that still doesn't really describe it well.
     
  10. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    984
    Likes Received:
    607
    Location:
    Saxony, Germany
    My first build has a three way miniswitch that does parallel/split/series. Parallel sounds similar to the split, but has it's own sound, too. It's cool to have "three sounds" with only one pickup.
     
    BWGuitars likes this.
  11. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    485
    Location:
    Marble Falls, TX
    My personal favorite wiring is 1 master volume, 1 master tone, 3-way selector switch and a 3-way mini for each pickup for series/parallel/split. Very versatile :)
     
    skeels, poro78 and Knarbens like this.
  12. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    Phew, first bobbin of the second pickup ready.
    Made also my first successful coil repair (I had about 1000 turns left when the coil snapped). :fever:

    I really need to build a motorized winder, this way it takes ages.
    Maybe I'll get a chance to test the pickups tomorrow, but now it's time to hit the pillow.
     
    skeels likes this.
  13. skeels

    skeels New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    milwaukee WI USA
    This is awesome! I would love to try building my own pickups.

    Also, your chisel handle has reawakened my viking blood- I feel the urge to pillage.
     
    poro78 likes this.
  14. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    What prevents you? You just need parts, spool of coil, something to rotate the bobbin and lots of patience. :D

    Handle's uglier brother is actually part of my winder... He keeps the traverse limiter in place. :thumb:
    I hope it also transfers some "pillage and burn" vibe into the pickups. :naughty:

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of pickups... Here they are now, waiting for testing.
    (And the flaming inferno also known as wax potting :ohno:)

    [​IMG]
     
    skeels likes this.
  15. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    485
    Location:
    Marble Falls, TX
    One quick recommendation before you dip those: Take off the outer wrap of cloth tape that goes around both bobbins, pot them, then do the outer wrap.

    Very inspiring man!
     
  16. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for the tip!
     
  17. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    Sloppy playing and recording with equipment I don't know how to use, but sound samples anyway.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuyEwUAOm2g"]Homemade Humbuckers - YouTube[/ame]
     
    Zach.H and Zeegler like this.
  18. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    You know what... I've just been too busy to write updates, but the guitar is almost done.
    So near of being complete that my friend gave it a test drive today.

    ...And like the man from Del Monte - he say "Yes!"

    :bowdown:

    DC666 Test run - YouTube
     
  19. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    Ok, now how did we get to the point where the artist approved the guitar-like thing?

    Well, there was the dreadful bridge position drilling.
    I installed the tuners, pushed in the string ferrules and stringed the guitar with the bridge on top of a padded piece of plywood and made light markings.
    Then I had a cup of coffee, checked the theory from MLP and repeated the procedure.
    And got different result, so I repeated it once more before grabbing the drill and the huge bit. :ohno:

    [​IMG]

    The holes were almost too loose for the bushing so I put a thin strip of copper tape around them and tapped them in with rubber mallet.

    [​IMG]

    And yeah - I remembered the ground wire! :yesway:
    Actually I didn't even have to drill any other holes as one of the bridge post holes was so near the wiring channel that it made a tiny hole to the wall and I could slip the ground wire through that.
    Another thing to hate in guitar building - shielding with copper tape.
    Too many undersized pieces of copper tape. Too many tiny cuts from those sharp edges of that cursed tape. And too sloppy work. :mad:

    [​IMG]

    And as I was checking what parts I have to put into this guitar, I remembered that the selector switch needed a tip.
    So... a tip from a normal sized switch, piece of maple, drill, sandpaper, files and rasps.
    Get set, ready, go.

    [​IMG]

    Some color, some oil and seems ok.

    [​IMG]

    Then it was time to ruin the frets with this arsenal.

    [​IMG]

    Checked that the neck was straight, then marked the frets with a black marker.

    [​IMG]

    And filed the tops of with my leveling file.
    Then another round of black marker and rough shaped the crowns with a small triangular file.

    [​IMG]

    Then some dressing file and various grits of sandpaper to finish the job.
    After that I scraped the fretboard with a razor blade and oiled it.

    [​IMG]

    I don't have any photos of finishing the nut slots, but I followed the examples of these two great MLP threads:
    Complete EPI custom setup - MyLesPaul.com
    Complete Setup - Fretboard Scrape, Fret level, Bone Nut Carve, Intonation - MyLesPaul.com

    Of course I only had poor man's nut files made from feeler gauges and a pack of welding torch tip cleaners.
    But I was being careful and took it slow and easy and got quite fine results - action is low and there's no string buzz.
    I'm just a novice when it comes to playing so I don't know what is the definition of low action, but this is the lowest I've seen and tried.
    But there was still something to add to the playing touch...

    Some sandpaper and steel wool and we have a satin neck.
    Now it feels....orgastic.

    [​IMG]

    AND OF COURSE I NOW HATE HOW MY SG'S NECK FEELS!!!

    Have to update the rest later, kid needs some entertainment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
    Zach.H likes this.
  20. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    415
    Location:
    Turku, Finland
    I guess "later" is now, because it seems I'm not as entertaining as children's TV shows. :scratch:

    So there was couple more steps before the guitar was ready for a test run.
    The pickups were wax potted earlier, forgot to put evidence of that here.
    Had to pot them really carefully as I had to do it with a DIY double boiler in the kitchen. :ohno:
    Of course I first tested how to keep the temperature steady before I dared to try the real thing.
    Then I got the safety equipment for splashes and hellish inferno ready and started carefully to melt my 80/20 paraffin/beeswax cocktail.

    [​IMG]

    And after neurotic temperature checking and stove dial rolling and about 12 minutes of wax bathing there was no more bubbles coming from the pickups.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the cloth tape tip, Aaron! :bowdown:
    I took of the outer wraps before potting, but a small piece was left on the other pickup and it came off when the pickups were submerged.
    Without that tip I would now have loose and waxy outer wrap mess instead of nice and tight outer wrapping that I put on after potting.

    And then some mistakes. Just because I suck in luthiery.
    Neck pickup ring was too high near the end of the fretboard and it caused the strings to buzz up from the 19th fret.
    Pickup rings 2.0 will be much better.

    Here's a picture of my failure, some material removed from the top of the ring.

    [​IMG]

    But no worries, I already had made damage to that ring before I found out that it causes buzz.
    I guess the pickup height springs were too tall/strong, because the ring cracked when I adjusted the pickup height.
    (And the bridge pickup ring had it even worse - it cracked from the center and from one of the corners on the opposite side)

    [​IMG]

    Pickup rings 2.0 coming up.
    Have to adjust that pickup height screw area somehow. :hmm:

    [​IMG]

    Well, that wasn't too bad... But I think we are starting a tradition with my friend...
    Every time we make something relating to the build together we f-up and make something that leaves a permanent mark. :rofl:

    When we were making the neck profile perfect for him, he did some shaping with Shinto rasp. I'm not saying that it was his rasping that was too deep, but the collective effort.
    The result was that problem where I was really concerned of truss rod coming through the bottom of the neck, but that problem was fixed and only thing left was this battle scar that didn't take any stain.

    [​IMG]

    Yesterday when he had the first bites with the guitar, we had another one of those collective efforts...
    Two words: Straplock studs... :wallbash:
    The tail end stud went ok, then we figured where to put the upper horn's stud and...

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkysjcs5vFU"]dio - holy diver - YouTube[/ame]

    ...neck diving! Fffffffffff.....
    4mm x 15mm of pure agony and frustration! (I took it far worse than him though - he was quite calm :shock:)

    Now when I look at those pictures I don't have a clue what was going on when we tried to put that stud so far back. But that's why I usually plan these things carefully and worry 15 times before even thinking of grabbing the drill.
    Anyway, he was ok with that another battle scar and would even had it left untouched there, but I had to do something with that.
    A guitar built by me without any dowel repairs? No way!
    I thought that the finishing test piece would make a dowel that would be ok-ish enough for backside repair.

    [​IMG]

    As the hole was 4mm and the smallest dowel bit I had was 6mm, I had to drill the hole a bit bigger.
    But see how far that fumbled position is? Seriously? What were we thinking? Nothing, I guess. Just put it somewhere, it'll be fine? :nuts:

    [​IMG]

    Ugly patch and I hate it, but will do.

    [​IMG]

    To do -list

    * Pickup rings 2.0
    * counter sinking the holes of the covers
    * some minor electrical issues with bridge pickup & tone
    * final touches
     

Share This Page