Hand Tool Build #3 - "Shredder" for my cousin

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by poro78, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Filed the fret ends flush with this arsenal. Didn't take too long, just like I thought yesterday.

    [​IMG]

    The body end was bit tricky, but nothing too difficult.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fret end bevels. Couple frets having different angle. Have to fix that later.

    [​IMG]

    After the initial fret work, I flipped the guitar upside down and started one of my favorite steps: carving the neck.
    (Kind of bi-polar feeling, intimidating and fun. [​IMG])
    First neck-through guitar, can't help the feeling that if I screw up, it'll be really difficult to fix.

    [​IMG]

    The fact that my cousin wants a toothpick neck doesn't help at all.
    As I chewed the wood away, I was constantly checking if I was too near the truss rod channel. So far so good.

    [​IMG]

    And what do you get when you get carried away and start to enjoy the work too much?
    Well, wengé splinters, of course! [​IMG]
    (Damn devil tree! It's pure evil! Pure evil, I say!)

    [​IMG]

    Then something else.
    From the workshop to the kitchen (via shower).
    Tonight's menu: traditional Laplander dish - sautéed reindeer.

    A big chunk of frozen reindeer meat.
    (Always nice when mom comes to visit, the freezer is guaranteed to be full with all kinds of northern delicacies when she unpacks her luggage. [​IMG])

    [​IMG]

    Different kind of carving. Thin shavings are essential for this dish, that's why the meat is cut when it's still frozen.

    [​IMG]

    Looks almost as tasty as maple curls. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fried little by little to keep the pan hot. Then some salt and pepper, a bit of water and that's all it needs.
    After bit of simmering the meat was so tender it almost melt on your tongue.
    Served with potatoes and lingonberries.
    Buorre borránlustu!

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully I get the neck carve ready tomorrow.
    Now it's digestion time. [​IMG]
     
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  2. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Today's work was all about carving the neck.
    First some cosmetic surgery for our Quasimodo.

    Before...

    [​IMG]

    ...and after.
    Left some room for liposuction, facelift and botox treatment.
    Umm... Volute, I mean.

    [​IMG]

    Then I removed the excess between my depth marks.
    All flat, straight and ready for rounding.

    [​IMG]

    Btw, here are the tools I use for the carving.
    (Missing from the picture: scrapers, couple of files and sandpaper)

    [​IMG]

    Here we go. The start of the first facets.

    [​IMG]

    And more and more and more facets with different angles until the neck is roughly roundish.

    [​IMG]

    Then I got to test how my scraper sharpening went.
    Ok-ish, I'd say.

    [​IMG]

    I was so pleased with my sharp scrapers that I even shot a video of scraping. [​IMG]

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpF9gQGIg9o[/ame]

    Look at those shavings! All from scraping! Yay! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And little by little the chunk of wood started to look more and more like a neck of a guitar...
    Really pleased of that volute too. [​IMG]
    But now I'm bit more annoyed of that flaw I made with the top. It's really sticking out now when the neck is carved. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But how do I hide those parts on the sides where you can see that design error?
    My cousin wants some kind of burst, but how silly it would look if the black of the burst came a little bit up the neck after the horns?
    From the top that too long part of the maple is hidden by the fretboard, but I need to figure out how to hide it from other angles. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The body end still needs some more shaping.

    [​IMG]

    It's toothpickish alright.
    About the same size as the neck of my SG.

    [​IMG]

    Well, that's all guitar work for today, lots of other action filling the rest of today's schedule.
    Let's see if I manage to visit the workshop tomorrow.
     
  3. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Active Member

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    Your "Ibanoid" is taking shape..
    That's the "Wizard of Id" neck..
    Watching from afar..
    Looking Good!!

    "It's Getting Smoother Now" Randy Rhoads

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Awwww, crap.
    [Insert A LOT of swear words here]

    I've made a critical measuring error. Not sure how ugly the fix will be.

    :wallbash:
     
  5. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Active Member

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    It's all "The Wenges" Fault with those damn infected splinters & all..
    Hope you get it ironed out without a scarf joint poro..
    Gary/Hk
     
  6. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Still can't believe that the headstock is about an inch too short.
    (The veneer also, because I cut it to rough shape based on the headstock...)
    I followed the "measure twice, cut once" principle, but somehow I got it all wrong.
    Possible causes are wrong scale on the paper template, mistake in inch to centimeter conversion, but the cause doesn't matter.
    At least I think I cut it where I thought it should be cut. :rolleyes:

    Scarf joint might be necessary, but I might be able to hide most of it...
    Headstock veneer is the part I'm bit worried about, most likely there will be at least minor cosmetic harm.

    Not sure how I well I can make an extension out of scrap piece of the same blank.
    Must match the grain orientation and try to get as neat glue joint as possible.
    We'll see.
     
  7. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    Sad to hear bro! After all your great progress it's a bit of a drawback. I always admired your patience and I'm sure you'll fix it!
     
  8. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Well, as we all know it's not about completely avoiding mistakes (which I think is practically impossible), but about how to deal with the mistakes you make.

    I have couple of options here.
    I'm not worried about the possibility of scarf joint for the extension piece, because there already is one joint - I can possibly cut quite close to the previous mark, so that's not a big deal.

    It's all about the headstock veneer.
    I'll either get it fixed with some scrap, we'll see how well I can match the grain orientation and how good or bad it looks.

    The best case - the repair is (almost) invisible.
    Some good, some bad option - I have to order a new veneer and can save the logo inlay somehow.
    The worst case scenario - new headstock veneer and a new logo.

    We'll see. One way or another it'll be fine, I'm sure. :thumb:
     
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  9. VictOr358

    VictOr358 Member

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    I have some pieces of thick veneers: wenge, maple and (maybe) amaranth, if you need some sheet material for a new HS overlay.
    Thickness is from 1.5 to 2.6 mm, just have to check if they're wide enough.
     
  10. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Active Member

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    From the little video the headstock appears to be gibsony shaped but kinda hard to tell?
    Is this a 6 7 or 8 string guitar?
    And IF you gotta do another scarf joint & laminated it with a couple laminates it might just look very alembicy..
    Hey I made up two new words today.. gibsony & alembicy..

    Gotta run & pick son up from work!!
    Piece out!!
     
  11. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    You, sir, are a glutton for punishment. :)

    Nice work.
     
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  12. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Active Member

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    poro I only HOPE that my first scratch build comes out looking half as good as your cuzes Ibanez Clone..

    I've gathered together a limba body & some mahogany for a neck & am looking at a top & fretboard wood currently + electronics hardware etc.
    I need to find a good way to cut out my body shape with limited tools = No band saw & get it smooth = rasp/file etc., I do have a router & homemade router table with brand new pattern bit & a several planes.. I'm thinking a Tru-Oil finish but might go for a Nitro or Poly finish??
    Need to get out & clean up my shop some more & get a few of those ancient planes into working condition, some haven't been touched in over 50-75 years..

    Rock On Brotha, have you figured out yet what to do with your headstock?
    If a scarf joint is done correctly you can gain an inch that inch+

    GOOD LUCK!!
    Gary
     
  13. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Still working on the fix, but I've got too much non-workshop business going on at the moment.
    When I trimmed the headstock close to the final thickness, I kept the scrap piece and might get couple of extra inches from that.
    It will be handy now if everything goes as planned.

    Waiting to see your scratch build! I'm sure it'll look just great if you take your time and have some patience. :yesway:
    I cut my first body shape with a coping saw and finished the edges with rasps and files, so I'm sure you have more than enough tools to get it done. :)
    I've tried both brushed nitro and Tru-Oil and of course the latter was more suitable for my apartment.
    (Oh, really? Brushing nitro at the balcony was less suitable than wiping TruOil indoors? Really surprising! :naughty: )
    For this one I've been planning to mix my own wipe-on finish, something Sam Maloof-ish maybe.
     
  14. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Time to roll the sleeves. ;)

    Here's the ebony leftovers.
    There's plenty for extension, the challenge is to make it look alright enough.

    [​IMG]

    And here's the piece that was cut off when I trimmed the headstock thickness down.

    [​IMG]

    Making these small pieces match is much harder than big top or body blanks.
    I really spent time trying to make these as good match as possible. Planing, scraping, sanding - not seemed to work.
    Then I took a time-out, had a quick sharpening session and... surprise, surprise - after that it was just a moment with a shooting board and they were done.

    [​IMG]

    No gaps, no light coming through. Time to glue them together.

    [​IMG]

    Can't say my expectations were high at this stage. Didn't look too good. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the magic of internet dried the glue in a second. [​IMG]
    Let's see what's hiding under that extra fat before passing judgements....

    [​IMG]

    Well, could be much, much better...

    [​IMG]

    ...but let's see what some scraping can do...

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, maybe I don't need a new veneer after all. [​IMG]
    (The joint is where the scrap piece and the pencil point at.)

    [​IMG]

    Now I need to make an extension for the actual headstock.
    Which should be a bit less stressful as it's not as visible as the veneer on top of it.

    [​IMG]

    I also decided to glue some ears as I had quite narrow margin for errors on both sides.

    [​IMG]

    I have to say it's a fine habit to save ALL the scrap pieces until the whole build is complete. [​IMG]
     
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  15. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Active Member

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    It's a fine habit to save ALL the scrap pieces forever, You never know!!
    I save all my scraps from every project, even 2x4s etc..
    They come in handy for clamping cauls or who knows..
    Way to go on the repair..
    It'll come out just fine..
    Love the looks of the 5 piece neck, I'm thinking of something similar with mahogany & korina..
    Gary/Hk
     
  16. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Gary!
    Yeah, I have 3 boxes full of different sizes and species of scrap wood.
    Just in case. [​IMG]

    (Feels bit strange to copy the same things to this thread here as I put in MLP :D )


    I fumbled with the camera and most of the pictures were blurry and useless.
    But basically I just cut the extension piece, did a lot of planing and sanding and planing.
    I could use shooting board with the extension piece, but somehow I couldn't use it to plane the headstock... weird, isn't it? [​IMG]
    Not manly enough to hold the whole guitar in one hand and plane away with the other... [​IMG]
    The extension was glued on and I used about 20 big rubber bands as clamps.

    Looks quite alright... Could be better, but it's the backside.
    Rest of today's work was to flatten the face of the headstock and trim some thickness off the veneer's backside.
    Then it was time to put the veneer in place.

    Positioned the veneer with nut blank. Moved the veneer towards the nut about a millimeter or two. That should eliminate the possibility of a gap between the veneer and the nut.
    Then I put a tiny nail through the waste area to prevent creeping.

    [​IMG]

    And then I just added some glue and clamps.

    [​IMG]

    And tomorrow we'll see how it went. [​IMG]
     
  17. VictOr358

    VictOr358 Member

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    Master P., no doubt, it's a fine safe at it's finest! :bowdown:

    Also I have to attend your master class on Kataba resawing.
     
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  18. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it, alright! :yesway:
    Kataba resawing? Wengé edition? Or something even more masochistic maybe? :D


    Anyhoo, to the point.
    Various little tasks done today. I have another project on my bench filling all the waiting times, but that's completely another story.
    There might be a time to tell that story some day, but here's today's main event...

    Took off the clamps and cleaned the headstock. The extension is visible, but it's on the backside and it got the job done.

    [​IMG]

    Veneer sits tight on top of the headstock. There was a tiny gap near one of the ears, but I filled it with ebony dust and CA.

    [​IMG]

    When I noticed that the headstock was cut too short, I made all kinds of calculations and tests on scrap.
    Marked the space I needed for the tuners.

    [​IMG]

    Then used my drilling test scrap to check everything was ok this time.
    Both marks were visible, everything all right.

    [​IMG]

    Marked the rest of the spots. This time I used a popsicle stick cut to length to measure the distances between the holes.
    After all these mistakes I didn't trust myself enough to measure everything with a ruler, easier to just copy the same length over and over. [​IMG]
    (Of course I used a ruler to check the marks were accurate.)

    [​IMG]

    Made a little jig to help me keep the drill straight when drilling the pilot holes.
    Just two pieces of scrap glued together with the straight faces making a corner.

    [​IMG]

    The jig in action.
    Looks like it's held in place with telekinesis, but actually there's a spring clamp holding it.

    [​IMG]

    Note to myself: Two spring clamps from the beginning, stupid. Two spring clamps.
    When I was drilling the second hole from the bottom the jig moved a notch.

    [​IMG]

    After pilot holes were drilled it was time to bring on the big boy.
    The jig was useless with 10mm bit so I had to drill the rest free-handed.
    Took it really slow and drilled almost through from the front, flipped over and finished from the backside.
    I was sweating like a pig after really focusing to keep it slow and taking care of keeping the drill straight, but everything well surprisingly well.

    [​IMG]

    No tear outs! Oh joy! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Test fitting the tuners. I need to trim the thickness down a bit.

    [​IMG]

    And from the back... The volute also needs a tiny bit of work.
    I'm also pleased that the tuners fill up the backside of the headstock, making the extension joint much less visible.

    [​IMG]

    Positioning the tuners was more or less based on feeling.
    I knew that string lines were quite ok, but I had to check to ease my mind.
    The string spacing was from a slotted nut so that might change a bit, but it's in the same ball park.
    All good, I guess...

    [​IMG]

    And as I was handling the guitar all the time during the session, I felt something that had to made better.
    Smoothed the body end of the neck some more. Made the transition even more smoother than it was.

    [​IMG]

    One more shot with the tuners.
    Look at that - 6-in-line. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    Some baby steps today.

    Tweaked the headstock veneer a little to get the nut properly in place.
    Bleached nut blank in the picture, not sure if I use that or unbleached one.

    [​IMG]

    Then I suddenly decided it was a good time to drill the bridge holes.
    Removed all the saddles, except the ones for the e-strings, so I could mark the hole positions through the bridge.

    [​IMG]

    Checked my measurements, tested the rough intonation with pre-slotted nut blank and e-strings, checked everything was centered and straight...
    And put three holes through the top. No turning back anymore. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then it was time to wreck my nerves once more.
    Drilled some shallow pilot holes for the strings through the bridge.

    [​IMG]

    Unscrewed the bridge, used my tiny jig to make sure I was drilling straight, and finished the six holes.
    Oh, the amount of cold sweat. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tiny wee bit of wobbling detected.
    Drill press would be nice... or even a decent drill stand.

    [​IMG]

    One reason I decided to drill these hole in this phase was that I knew I would have some tear out when drilling through wengé.
    Now I still have to clean up the back a bit and the exit holes are taken care off with the same effort.

    Another baby step was to make a hole for the truss rod adjustment.
    Marked the spot where I thought it would be nice to begin, and started chiseling.

    [​IMG]

    And this is how it looked like after some more chiseling, some filing and sanding.

    [​IMG]

    I had a small piece of ebony left when I trimmed the thickness of the headstock veneer extension, and thought it might be suitable for a cover.
    Traced the access hole onto paper.

    [​IMG]

    Transferred the shape onto the scrap piece. Yeah, might work.

    [​IMG]

    Some shaping.
    Now I need to figure out a neat way to install it...
    Wondering if a pair of tiny magnets could hold it in place?
    Could look nice if I recessed it into the headstock and it could be popped off somehow. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The last thing I did was a little drilling jig to help me with the pickup cavities.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. poro78

    poro78 Well-Known Member

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    How about some more drilling?
    Used that fancy jig I made to mark some positions for holes.

    [​IMG]

    These will be the corners of the pickup leg cavities.

    [​IMG]

    Since I already ruined the top, it was easy to make the holes a bit bigger. [​IMG]
    The holes for the legs are 2cm (~3/4 inch) deep.

    [​IMG]

    Repeated the procedure in the neck pickup position.
    Then drilled 1,5cm (5/8"?) deep holes for the main cavity corners.

    [​IMG]

    Then I just started to connect the "lines" with chisels.

    [​IMG]

    I guess a chisel is sharp when you can "peel" some maple without too much effort. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then some hacking and whacking.

    [​IMG]

    Rough work on one cavity done, one to go.

    [​IMG]

    And both done. Have to clean them up a bit still.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Test fitting the humbuckers - passed.

    [​IMG]

    They're now good, but after some tweaking and sanding they'll be great. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
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