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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, you finished high school, now the learning starts...

One of Charlene's friends from a college years ago has two kids who've recently graduated from high school. The elder dived into travelling around Europe and heading off to college on the other coast and generally diving into life. The younger, Daniel, is an Eagle Scout, but post high-school has been casting around trying to figure out what he wants to do. He's been feeling stuck in a small town up in the Sierra foothills, and we've dragged him down to closer to the cosmopolitan big city. He's been noodling around with a guitar, so we introduced him to some musicians, and talked about other things that might happen around guitars.

He came to visit just as we were finishing up building our workshop, helped out a bit on that, and I made some noises about how if he wanted a really cool guitar he should come down and hang out for a couple of weeks and build one.

A week ago he called my bluff. So he arrived, and he spent a few days searching the web for templates and hardware, and after a while we settled on some drawings we found of a 1950s Les Paul as a starting place. He marked up those a bit, drew a different peg board headstock, changed the shape of the horn on the bottom. We then dug through my wood stash, and ended up deciding to go with a through neck laminated of Walnut and Maple, with a body composed of quilted Maple over a center of Mahogany, with a Pao Ferro fingerboard that I'd snagged out of the seconds pile at Luthier's Mercantile last time the local woodworking group had a meeting there. With a little bit of Purpleheart I had lying around for trim.

Taking a deep breath, I pulled out my credit card and clicked "Buy" on the brass hardware he wanted, and we went out to the shop and started to get to work. First up, using the jig saw to make a template:

2012-12-06DanielWithFirstTemplateAttempt.jpg 2012-12-06DanielPlaysAirGuitarTemplate.jpg 2012-12-06DanielCutting2ndGuitarTemplate.jpg

The second template came out better, though we had a lesson in router bit management that meant that as we were testing that template we dinged the crap out of it. Fixed it with putty. Daniel started to see possibilities. Then we drew out the neck on a piece of wood, and I went off to work while he cut the neck. Mostly. He got the Walnut right, but because of various issues in wood management it took three tries to get the maple blank. Measure once, cut twice.

Neck clamped and glued, we used a couple of bearing bits on the router to machine the top flat, and clean things up.

2012-12-07DanielCuttingGuitarNeck.jpg 2012-12-07GuitarNeckGlueUp.jpg 2012-12-07DanielRoutingGuitarNeckFlat.jpg

Then he had enough router experience to go off and do the body cavities:

2012-12-08GuitarRoutedPotentiometerCavity.jpg 2012-12-08DanielDrillingGuitarTemplateForSwitchCavity.jpg

While he was distracted with that, it was time for me to do some learning. I got to work gluing up a Maple and Purpleheart assembly for the neck pips and experimenting with building an inlay system, so that he could route the neck inlays and we could then work on sanding and fitting the inlaid pips. And carefully, ever so gingerly, cut the fret notches

2012-12-07GuitarNeckPipInlayGlueUp.jpg 2012-12-09GuitarFretboardPipTestFitted.jpg 2012-12-09GuitarCuttingFretNotches.jpg

Then he went inside for lunch, and I snuck over to the planer and smoothed and sanded the whole thing, wandered into the kitchen and surprised him with it. I think this was the moment where we went from "we're building a guitar" to "we're building a freakin' awesome guitar, dude!". And with that we went back out into the shop and drilled out some switch cavities, and did the first glue-up on the lower body part.

2012-12-09DanielHoldingPlanedGuitarFretboard.jpg 2012-12-09DanielDrillingGuitarSwitchCavities.jpg <a href="http://www.flutterby.net/Image:2012-12-09GuitarLowerBodyGlueUp.jpg">2012-12-09GuitarLowerBodyGlueUp.jpg

Today hopefully when I get home he'll have cut out the pegboard headstock and we can start with the neck shaping!

Similar content at my personal site
 

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Okay, you finished high school, now the learning starts...

One of Charlene's friends from a college years ago has two kids who've recently graduated from high school. The elder dived into travelling around Europe and heading off to college on the other coast and generally diving into life. The younger, Daniel, is an Eagle Scout, but post high-school has been casting around trying to figure out what he wants to do. He's been feeling stuck in a small town up in the Sierra foothills, and we've dragged him down to closer to the cosmopolitan big city. He's been noodling around with a guitar, so we introduced him to some musicians, and talked about other things that might happen around guitars.

He came to visit just as we were finishing up building our workshop, helped out a bit on that, and I made some noises about how if he wanted a really cool guitar he should come down and hang out for a couple of weeks and build one.

A week ago he called my bluff. So he arrived, and he spent a few days searching the web for templates and hardware, and after a while we settled on some drawings we found of a 1950s Les Paul as a starting place. He marked up those a bit, drew a different peg board headstock, changed the shape of the horn on the bottom. We then dug through my wood stash, and ended up deciding to go with a through neck laminated of Walnut and Maple, with a body composed of quilted Maple over a center of Mahogany, with a Pao Ferro fingerboard that I'd snagged out of the seconds pile at Luthier's Mercantile last time the local woodworking group had a meeting there. With a little bit of Purpleheart I had lying around for trim.

Taking a deep breath, I pulled out my credit card and clicked "Buy" on the brass hardware he wanted, and we went out to the shop and started to get to work. First up, using the jig saw to make a template:

2012-12-06DanielWithFirstTemplateAttempt.jpg 2012-12-06DanielPlaysAirGuitarTemplate.jpg 2012-12-06DanielCutting2ndGuitarTemplate.jpg

The second template came out better, though we had a lesson in router bit management that meant that as we were testing that template we dinged the crap out of it. Fixed it with putty. Daniel started to see possibilities. Then we drew out the neck on a piece of wood, and I went off to work while he cut the neck. Mostly. He got the Walnut right, but because of various issues in wood management it took three tries to get the maple blank. Measure once, cut twice.

Neck clamped and glued, we used a couple of bearing bits on the router to machine the top flat, and clean things up.

2012-12-07DanielCuttingGuitarNeck.jpg 2012-12-07GuitarNeckGlueUp.jpg 2012-12-07DanielRoutingGuitarNeckFlat.jpg

Then he had enough router experience to go off and do the body cavities:

2012-12-08GuitarRoutedPotentiometerCavity.jpg 2012-12-08DanielDrillingGuitarTemplateForSwitchCavity.jpg

While he was distracted with that, it was time for me to do some learning. I got to work gluing up a Maple and Purpleheart assembly for the neck pips and experimenting with building an inlay system, so that he could route the neck inlays and we could then work on sanding and fitting the inlaid pips. And carefully, ever so gingerly, cut the fret notches

2012-12-07GuitarNeckPipInlayGlueUp.jpg 2012-12-09GuitarFretboardPipTestFitted.jpg 2012-12-09GuitarCuttingFretNotches.jpg

Then he went inside for lunch, and I snuck over to the planer and smoothed and sanded the whole thing, wandered into the kitchen and surprised him with it. I think this was the moment where we went from "we're building a guitar" to "we're building a freakin' awesome guitar, dude!". And with that we went back out into the shop and drilled out some switch cavities, and did the first glue-up on the lower body part.

2012-12-09DanielHoldingPlanedGuitarFretboard.jpg 2012-12-09DanielDrillingGuitarSwitchCavities.jpg <a href="http://www.flutterby.net/Image:2012-12-09GuitarLowerBodyGlueUp.jpg">2012-12-09GuitarLowerBodyGlueUp.jpg

Today hopefully when I get home he'll have cut out the pegboard headstock and we can start with the neck shaping!

Similar content at my personal site
fun stuff…cant wait to see the finished product…and HEAR it…
 

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Okay, you finished high school, now the learning starts...

One of Charlene's friends from a college years ago has two kids who've recently graduated from high school. The elder dived into travelling around Europe and heading off to college on the other coast and generally diving into life. The younger, Daniel, is an Eagle Scout, but post high-school has been casting around trying to figure out what he wants to do. He's been feeling stuck in a small town up in the Sierra foothills, and we've dragged him down to closer to the cosmopolitan big city. He's been noodling around with a guitar, so we introduced him to some musicians, and talked about other things that might happen around guitars.

He came to visit just as we were finishing up building our workshop, helped out a bit on that, and I made some noises about how if he wanted a really cool guitar he should come down and hang out for a couple of weeks and build one.

A week ago he called my bluff. So he arrived, and he spent a few days searching the web for templates and hardware, and after a while we settled on some drawings we found of a 1950s Les Paul as a starting place. He marked up those a bit, drew a different peg board headstock, changed the shape of the horn on the bottom. We then dug through my wood stash, and ended up deciding to go with a through neck laminated of Walnut and Maple, with a body composed of quilted Maple over a center of Mahogany, with a Pao Ferro fingerboard that I'd snagged out of the seconds pile at Luthier's Mercantile last time the local woodworking group had a meeting there. With a little bit of Purpleheart I had lying around for trim.

Taking a deep breath, I pulled out my credit card and clicked "Buy" on the brass hardware he wanted, and we went out to the shop and started to get to work. First up, using the jig saw to make a template:

2012-12-06DanielWithFirstTemplateAttempt.jpg 2012-12-06DanielPlaysAirGuitarTemplate.jpg 2012-12-06DanielCutting2ndGuitarTemplate.jpg

The second template came out better, though we had a lesson in router bit management that meant that as we were testing that template we dinged the crap out of it. Fixed it with putty. Daniel started to see possibilities. Then we drew out the neck on a piece of wood, and I went off to work while he cut the neck. Mostly. He got the Walnut right, but because of various issues in wood management it took three tries to get the maple blank. Measure once, cut twice.

Neck clamped and glued, we used a couple of bearing bits on the router to machine the top flat, and clean things up.

2012-12-07DanielCuttingGuitarNeck.jpg 2012-12-07GuitarNeckGlueUp.jpg 2012-12-07DanielRoutingGuitarNeckFlat.jpg

Then he had enough router experience to go off and do the body cavities:

2012-12-08GuitarRoutedPotentiometerCavity.jpg 2012-12-08DanielDrillingGuitarTemplateForSwitchCavity.jpg

While he was distracted with that, it was time for me to do some learning. I got to work gluing up a Maple and Purpleheart assembly for the neck pips and experimenting with building an inlay system, so that he could route the neck inlays and we could then work on sanding and fitting the inlaid pips. And carefully, ever so gingerly, cut the fret notches

2012-12-07GuitarNeckPipInlayGlueUp.jpg 2012-12-09GuitarFretboardPipTestFitted.jpg 2012-12-09GuitarCuttingFretNotches.jpg

Then he went inside for lunch, and I snuck over to the planer and smoothed and sanded the whole thing, wandered into the kitchen and surprised him with it. I think this was the moment where we went from "we're building a guitar" to "we're building a freakin' awesome guitar, dude!". And with that we went back out into the shop and drilled out some switch cavities, and did the first glue-up on the lower body part.

2012-12-09DanielHoldingPlanedGuitarFretboard.jpg 2012-12-09DanielDrillingGuitarSwitchCavities.jpg <a href="http://www.flutterby.net/Image:2012-12-09GuitarLowerBodyGlueUp.jpg">2012-12-09GuitarLowerBodyGlueUp.jpg

Today hopefully when I get home he'll have cut out the pegboard headstock and we can start with the neck shaping!

Similar content at my personal site
Quite a journey, Dan. I look forward to the finished product!..............Jim
 

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Okay, you finished high school, now the learning starts...

One of Charlene's friends from a college years ago has two kids who've recently graduated from high school. The elder dived into travelling around Europe and heading off to college on the other coast and generally diving into life. The younger, Daniel, is an Eagle Scout, but post high-school has been casting around trying to figure out what he wants to do. He's been feeling stuck in a small town up in the Sierra foothills, and we've dragged him down to closer to the cosmopolitan big city. He's been noodling around with a guitar, so we introduced him to some musicians, and talked about other things that might happen around guitars.

He came to visit just as we were finishing up building our workshop, helped out a bit on that, and I made some noises about how if he wanted a really cool guitar he should come down and hang out for a couple of weeks and build one.

A week ago he called my bluff. So he arrived, and he spent a few days searching the web for templates and hardware, and after a while we settled on some drawings we found of a 1950s Les Paul as a starting place. He marked up those a bit, drew a different peg board headstock, changed the shape of the horn on the bottom. We then dug through my wood stash, and ended up deciding to go with a through neck laminated of Walnut and Maple, with a body composed of quilted Maple over a center of Mahogany, with a Pao Ferro fingerboard that I'd snagged out of the seconds pile at Luthier's Mercantile last time the local woodworking group had a meeting there. With a little bit of Purpleheart I had lying around for trim.

Taking a deep breath, I pulled out my credit card and clicked "Buy" on the brass hardware he wanted, and we went out to the shop and started to get to work. First up, using the jig saw to make a template:

2012-12-06DanielWithFirstTemplateAttempt.jpg 2012-12-06DanielPlaysAirGuitarTemplate.jpg 2012-12-06DanielCutting2ndGuitarTemplate.jpg

The second template came out better, though we had a lesson in router bit management that meant that as we were testing that template we dinged the crap out of it. Fixed it with putty. Daniel started to see possibilities. Then we drew out the neck on a piece of wood, and I went off to work while he cut the neck. Mostly. He got the Walnut right, but because of various issues in wood management it took three tries to get the maple blank. Measure once, cut twice.

Neck clamped and glued, we used a couple of bearing bits on the router to machine the top flat, and clean things up.

2012-12-07DanielCuttingGuitarNeck.jpg 2012-12-07GuitarNeckGlueUp.jpg 2012-12-07DanielRoutingGuitarNeckFlat.jpg

Then he had enough router experience to go off and do the body cavities:

2012-12-08GuitarRoutedPotentiometerCavity.jpg 2012-12-08DanielDrillingGuitarTemplateForSwitchCavity.jpg

While he was distracted with that, it was time for me to do some learning. I got to work gluing up a Maple and Purpleheart assembly for the neck pips and experimenting with building an inlay system, so that he could route the neck inlays and we could then work on sanding and fitting the inlaid pips. And carefully, ever so gingerly, cut the fret notches

2012-12-07GuitarNeckPipInlayGlueUp.jpg 2012-12-09GuitarFretboardPipTestFitted.jpg 2012-12-09GuitarCuttingFretNotches.jpg

Then he went inside for lunch, and I snuck over to the planer and smoothed and sanded the whole thing, wandered into the kitchen and surprised him with it. I think this was the moment where we went from "we're building a guitar" to "we're building a freakin' awesome guitar, dude!". And with that we went back out into the shop and drilled out some switch cavities, and did the first glue-up on the lower body part.

2012-12-09DanielHoldingPlanedGuitarFretboard.jpg 2012-12-09DanielDrillingGuitarSwitchCavities.jpg <a href="http://www.flutterby.net/Image:2012-12-09GuitarLowerBodyGlueUp.jpg">2012-12-09GuitarLowerBodyGlueUp.jpg

Today hopefully when I get home he'll have cut out the pegboard headstock and we can start with the neck shaping!

Similar content at my personal site
Guitar builds are awesome to follow along on. Great progress .

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Physical manifestations of thinking things through

This project has a huge mix of frustration and reward because I'm trying to be a facilitator and enable Daniel to build the guitar. It's way too ambitious a project to simply be a teacher for, to walk him through the steps of every tool set-up and every element of design (especially when I'm learning much of this myself), and yet it's not my guitar. So I try to encourage him to set up and do a design or a cut by himself, and then take a deep breath and accept the outcome. Exhibit #1: The peghead.

2012-12-1oGuitarPegheadMistake.jpg <a href="http://www.flutterby.net/Image:2012-12-10GuitarPegheadGlueUp.jpg">2012-12-10GuitarPegheadGlueUp.jpg <a href="http://www.flutterby.net/Image:2012-12-11GuitarPegBoardGlueUp.jpg">2012-12-11GuitarPegBoardGlueUp.jpg

I asked him to head out to the shop, double-check the measurements on our first peghead, and cut it out. Through a variety of mess-ups (my casualness in drawing out the cut lines, his casualness in following them, neither of us double-checking that layout) we ended up with a peghead that had the neck portion cut too narrow.

We drew up and clamped up a new peghead, which had geometry different from the old one because of transcription error. And actually, that was just fine because yesterday the next package of hardware arrived, and the tuning machine spacing we'd laid out wasn't going to work anyway.

It all worked out okay, but it took a while to get there.

2012-12-10GuitarTrussRodGroove.jpg 2012-12-11DanielAligningDominoForGuitarBodyGlueUp.jpg

We did manage to get the truss rod groove routed on the router table, and finish the rest of the body glue-ups, using Dominos for alignment.

Next up: Rout the peghead junction flat, finish the truss rod groove through that, and, with a little clean-up of glue and drilling the electronics channel through the neck, assemble the thing!

Similar content at my own site
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just got real



On the router table, cleaned up the face of the peghead and finished the rest of the truss rod routing, and drilled the hole through the neck for the electronics (totally stoked, I drilled the diagonal by hand and managed to hit with my ¼" pilot hole dead on, then worked up to ½" total).

Then with a deep breath and a few carefully placed Dominos, glued the sucker up. Daniel is way stoked.
 

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Just got real



On the router table, cleaned up the face of the peghead and finished the rest of the truss rod routing, and drilled the hole through the neck for the electronics (totally stoked, I drilled the diagonal by hand and managed to hit with my ¼" pilot hole dead on, then worked up to ½" total).

Then with a deep breath and a few carefully placed Dominos, glued the sucker up. Daniel is way stoked.
Loving the colors in this one, looking forward to seeing the final results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just got real



On the router table, cleaned up the face of the peghead and finished the rest of the truss rod routing, and drilled the hole through the neck for the electronics (totally stoked, I drilled the diagonal by hand and managed to hit with my ¼" pilot hole dead on, then worked up to ½" total).

Then with a deep breath and a few carefully placed Dominos, glued the sucker up. Daniel is way stoked.
Thanks! I was kinda worried that the wood was too plain 'til we used a wet paper towel to clean up the squeeze out and that quilting popped back out. All of a sudden it was "whoah, that's gonna be sexy!"

A few bonus pix: The peg head milled down and the rest of the truss rod channel cut, drilling out the neck electronics channel, and Daniel setting up the Dominos on the body.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wishful thinking and home stretches

I totally screwed up the fret board, so we had to make a new one. This time we figured out how to do the diamond shaped inlays that Daniel wanted.

Since the last time, we un-clamped the body from the glue-up, flipped it over, routed the back of the through-neck flat, and then cut out the body

2012-12-13DanielMachiningGuitarNeckBackFlat.jpg 2012-12-13DanielCuttingGuitarSide.jpg 2012-12-13GuitarCutOutWithTrussRod.jpg
There's the guitar cut-out with the truss rod set in place.

The new fret board was cut with the Festool MFS jig and a 1/8" bit, after which we took the corners out of the diamonds with a chisel:

2012-12-14GuitarNewFretboardInlays.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarFretboardCutAndFirstFinish.jpg

Then this morning I cut the fret slots and put a coat of finish on the fretboard. I was amazed at how much the hard and oily Comatillo we used for this pass sucked up the polyurethane. And then we laid it out to see what it looked like, and after an afternoon of cutting out cavities and holes in all the right places, glued the fretboard to the neck.

2012-12-15RoughGuitarBodyWithCutFretboard.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarBlankWithHardware.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarFretboardGlueUp.jpg
 

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Wishful thinking and home stretches

I totally screwed up the fret board, so we had to make a new one. This time we figured out how to do the diamond shaped inlays that Daniel wanted.

Since the last time, we un-clamped the body from the glue-up, flipped it over, routed the back of the through-neck flat, and then cut out the body

2012-12-13DanielMachiningGuitarNeckBackFlat.jpg 2012-12-13DanielCuttingGuitarSide.jpg 2012-12-13GuitarCutOutWithTrussRod.jpg
There's the guitar cut-out with the truss rod set in place.

The new fret board was cut with the Festool MFS jig and a 1/8" bit, after which we took the corners out of the diamonds with a chisel:

2012-12-14GuitarNewFretboardInlays.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarFretboardCutAndFirstFinish.jpg

Then this morning I cut the fret slots and put a coat of finish on the fretboard. I was amazed at how much the hard and oily Comatillo we used for this pass sucked up the polyurethane. And then we laid it out to see what it looked like, and after an afternoon of cutting out cavities and holes in all the right places, glued the fretboard to the neck.

2012-12-15RoughGuitarBodyWithCutFretboard.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarBlankWithHardware.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarFretboardGlueUp.jpg
Nice looking project you have going!!
 

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Wishful thinking and home stretches

I totally screwed up the fret board, so we had to make a new one. This time we figured out how to do the diamond shaped inlays that Daniel wanted.

Since the last time, we un-clamped the body from the glue-up, flipped it over, routed the back of the through-neck flat, and then cut out the body

2012-12-13DanielMachiningGuitarNeckBackFlat.jpg 2012-12-13DanielCuttingGuitarSide.jpg 2012-12-13GuitarCutOutWithTrussRod.jpg
There's the guitar cut-out with the truss rod set in place.

The new fret board was cut with the Festool MFS jig and a 1/8" bit, after which we took the corners out of the diamonds with a chisel:

2012-12-14GuitarNewFretboardInlays.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarFretboardCutAndFirstFinish.jpg

Then this morning I cut the fret slots and put a coat of finish on the fretboard. I was amazed at how much the hard and oily Comatillo we used for this pass sucked up the polyurethane. And then we laid it out to see what it looked like, and after an afternoon of cutting out cavities and holes in all the right places, glued the fretboard to the neck.

2012-12-15RoughGuitarBodyWithCutFretboard.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarBlankWithHardware.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarFretboardGlueUp.jpg
This is gonna look soooo cool when it's done. It's an interesting look with a body style like a Les Paul with a more angular headstock that seems Stratocaster inspired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wishful thinking and home stretches

I totally screwed up the fret board, so we had to make a new one. This time we figured out how to do the diamond shaped inlays that Daniel wanted.

Since the last time, we un-clamped the body from the glue-up, flipped it over, routed the back of the through-neck flat, and then cut out the body

2012-12-13DanielMachiningGuitarNeckBackFlat.jpg 2012-12-13DanielCuttingGuitarSide.jpg 2012-12-13GuitarCutOutWithTrussRod.jpg
There's the guitar cut-out with the truss rod set in place.

The new fret board was cut with the Festool MFS jig and a 1/8" bit, after which we took the corners out of the diamonds with a chisel:

2012-12-14GuitarNewFretboardInlays.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarFretboardCutAndFirstFinish.jpg

Then this morning I cut the fret slots and put a coat of finish on the fretboard. I was amazed at how much the hard and oily Comatillo we used for this pass sucked up the polyurethane. And then we laid it out to see what it looked like, and after an afternoon of cutting out cavities and holes in all the right places, glued the fretboard to the neck.

2012-12-15RoughGuitarBodyWithCutFretboard.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarBlankWithHardware.jpg 2012-12-15GuitarFretboardGlueUp.jpg
Thanks, guys! Yeah, Daniel wanted something with a Les Paul-ish body, but more generally "metal" body styling, so the Les Paul hook is extended further and is sharper, and we went with the all-on-one-side peghead, angled back.

That latter feature is causing problems: Charlene and I went down to the guitar shop today to surprise him with a case and strap, and had a heck of a time finding one that fit…
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The first 90% of the project...

...takes 90% of the time. The remaining 10% of the project takes an additional 90% of the time. So it feels like we're closing in, but finishing and hardware installation are still going to take a little while.

2012-12-16GuitarBodyMostlyShaped.jpg 2012-12-16ShapedGuitarBodyInCase.jpg

Sunday morning Daniel was off partying with friends in San Francisco. I went out to the shop and did a bunch of shaping, and then Charlene and I went over to Tall Toad Music and, with the help of the very friendly staff there, dug through the basement 'til we found a case that looked like it'd handle the long neck and angled peghead fairly well.

Yesterday, I dropped by Friedman's on the way home and picked up a couple of different stains that we thought would make the quilting in the maple pop just a little bit. We laid out a couple of samples on all 5 of the woods we were going to be playing with, chose the best compromise, and with a deep breath we applied it:

2012-12-17GuitarStainTest.jpg 2012-12-17DanielStainingGuitar.jpg 2012-12-17DanielWaitsForGuitarStainToDry.jpg

Probably should have double-checked his sanding, but I think it'll all work out okay in the end…

Next up: Many coats of rub-on polyurethane. We're going with poly rather than varnish because it's a finish that we can do a reasonable job with at home, and because I like rubbed finishes.

similar content at my own site.
 

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The first 90% of the project...

...takes 90% of the time. The remaining 10% of the project takes an additional 90% of the time. So it feels like we're closing in, but finishing and hardware installation are still going to take a little while.

2012-12-16GuitarBodyMostlyShaped.jpg 2012-12-16ShapedGuitarBodyInCase.jpg

Sunday morning Daniel was off partying with friends in San Francisco. I went out to the shop and did a bunch of shaping, and then Charlene and I went over to Tall Toad Music and, with the help of the very friendly staff there, dug through the basement 'til we found a case that looked like it'd handle the long neck and angled peghead fairly well.

Yesterday, I dropped by Friedman's on the way home and picked up a couple of different stains that we thought would make the quilting in the maple pop just a little bit. We laid out a couple of samples on all 5 of the woods we were going to be playing with, chose the best compromise, and with a deep breath we applied it:

2012-12-17GuitarStainTest.jpg 2012-12-17DanielStainingGuitar.jpg 2012-12-17DanielWaitsForGuitarStainToDry.jpg

Probably should have double-checked his sanding, but I think it'll all work out okay in the end…

Next up: Many coats of rub-on polyurethane. We're going with poly rather than varnish because it's a finish that we can do a reasonable job with at home, and because I like rubbed finishes.

similar content at my own site.
That's coming along nicely, Dan. Lucky kid, hope he appreciates all your effort in building him a sweet axe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The first 90% of the project...

...takes 90% of the time. The remaining 10% of the project takes an additional 90% of the time. So it feels like we're closing in, but finishing and hardware installation are still going to take a little while.

2012-12-16GuitarBodyMostlyShaped.jpg 2012-12-16ShapedGuitarBodyInCase.jpg

Sunday morning Daniel was off partying with friends in San Francisco. I went out to the shop and did a bunch of shaping, and then Charlene and I went over to Tall Toad Music and, with the help of the very friendly staff there, dug through the basement 'til we found a case that looked like it'd handle the long neck and angled peghead fairly well.

Yesterday, I dropped by Friedman's on the way home and picked up a couple of different stains that we thought would make the quilting in the maple pop just a little bit. We laid out a couple of samples on all 5 of the woods we were going to be playing with, chose the best compromise, and with a deep breath we applied it:

2012-12-17GuitarStainTest.jpg 2012-12-17DanielStainingGuitar.jpg 2012-12-17DanielWaitsForGuitarStainToDry.jpg

Probably should have double-checked his sanding, but I think it'll all work out okay in the end…

Next up: Many coats of rub-on polyurethane. We're going with poly rather than varnish because it's a finish that we can do a reasonable job with at home, and because I like rubbed finishes.

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I think he appreciates it. I'm dreading that his sister, who's away at college on the other coast and following along via Facebook, is going to ask for a similar experience (though her boyfriend is an accomplished woodworker, and if this were just "use my shop and raid my wood stash" this'd be a lot easier.)...

But as much as he's learning, I'm learning too! There are now a whole bunch of projects I'm going to be much more willing to tackle, from inlay to finishing. And, of course, I'm also learning how to lay things out so that the next kid who says "I want to build…" has a greater chance of success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Trying to not rush

Daniel's missing his friends and wants to head home, so while I'm trying to get him to slow down and take his time on the finishing, I'm aware that he wants to ditch us and head for the hills.



The finish is still a bit soft, and if it were up to me we'd spend another week adding a layer, sanding it off, adding a layer, and so forth, but we're not there. So last night we installed the frets, the nuts for the bridge hardware, and the tuning machines.

Hopefully tonight we'll carve another nut (I made one already, we lost it in my shop), finish the adjustments for the pickups, put the final screws in the tuning machines, and string this sucker up!
 

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Trying to not rush

Daniel's missing his friends and wants to head home, so while I'm trying to get him to slow down and take his time on the finishing, I'm aware that he wants to ditch us and head for the hills.



The finish is still a bit soft, and if it were up to me we'd spend another week adding a layer, sanding it off, adding a layer, and so forth, but we're not there. So last night we installed the frets, the nuts for the bridge hardware, and the tuning machines.

Hopefully tonight we'll carve another nut (I made one already, we lost it in my shop), finish the adjustments for the pickups, put the final screws in the tuning machines, and string this sucker up!
kids kids kids…so impatient! LOL…just kidding Daniel!!! I get it dude!
 

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Trying to not rush

Daniel's missing his friends and wants to head home, so while I'm trying to get him to slow down and take his time on the finishing, I'm aware that he wants to ditch us and head for the hills.



The finish is still a bit soft, and if it were up to me we'd spend another week adding a layer, sanding it off, adding a layer, and so forth, but we're not there. So last night we installed the frets, the nuts for the bridge hardware, and the tuning machines.

Hopefully tonight we'll carve another nut (I made one already, we lost it in my shop), finish the adjustments for the pickups, put the final screws in the tuning machines, and string this sucker up!
It's sure turning out beautifully .
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Playable!



Daniel wanted to get back to his friends pretty badly, so last night we got the electronics installed (with some pain), and broke a string stringing it up, and there's a lot of tweaking left to be done, but it was playable:


Need to lower the bridge, file the edges of the frets a little better, verify that we've got the electronics properly installed because the volume knob was doing less than we expected, and spend some time tuning, tweaking the bridge head position and possibly even filing the sides of the frets, but it's mostly there.

And at 6:40 this morning, in the rain, he caught the bus back home.

Similar content at my personal web site.
 

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Playable!



Daniel wanted to get back to his friends pretty badly, so last night we got the electronics installed (with some pain), and broke a string stringing it up, and there's a lot of tweaking left to be done, but it was playable:


Need to lower the bridge, file the edges of the frets a little better, verify that we've got the electronics properly installed because the volume knob was doing less than we expected, and spend some time tuning, tweaking the bridge head position and possibly even filing the sides of the frets, but it's mostly there.

And at 6:40 this morning, in the rain, he caught the bus back home.

Similar content at my personal web site.
Nice little Video, cool to hear how it sounds.
I have only followed your blog a little bit, I like the guitar I think you did a great job on it.
I will say I do not like the head stock now, as I see it in the video it looks kinda large and out of place, under the tuning pegs it seems like to much space.
Maybe you could open it up a bit or scroll saw or inlay a bad ass name in mother of pearl or something.
Just a thought and I am not putting it down at all you did one hell of a job on it.
and besides I KNOW NOTHING!
P.S.
I just went back and checked out your blog a little more and I wanted to say that it was a great blog and great and useful things you showed in it. Thanks!
 
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