Build #2 progressing - my first Super Strat

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by electriceye, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    So, as some of you may remember, I started working on a super strat project, courtesy of our friend who posted some great blueprints. I have a stash of poplar body blanks and a bunch of various neck blanks, so figured I should take on something a lot easier than the Gibson V replica I'm building (I only had one can of paint - I need like 3 or 4, so waiting or them to come in).

    This one is going to be 80's fluorescent green, with a single Seymour Custom, Hipshot bridge and tuners and a roasted maple, 24-fret neck with a reverse harpoon headstock that I copied from my BC Rich Gunslinger. I got the body done last night, after not being able to do much work the past couple of months on my projects.

    Besides learning my lesson about trying to remove too much wood on the router with the body (it was ripped out of my hands and almost shot across the shop), I also ran into a bit of an issue with my truss rod jig late last night. Nothing some wood putty can't fix. :) Once I finish this one, I'll do a pink one with a mahogany neck and maybe an ebony or flamed maple board. RAWK!!!

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    Neck routed. Not sure what I'm going to do with the headstock. Either gloss black or do a thin laminate. Since the board is going to be roasted BE, I may stick to black.
     

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  3. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

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    Yikes. That happened to me on my most recent project too. Scary stuff.

    Looking good, BTW!
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  4. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    Made some pretty decent progress this wknd. One thing that REALLY killed time was the fretboard. Many of you buy stuff from LMII. They have tons of great supplies. However, one thing they DON'T tell you if you buy one of their beautiful, roasted BE maple fretboards is that the can't radius them for you!! I think they use a CNC machine. They emailed me after I ordered this board and they said the machine they use has a habit of popping out the BE. I took it anyway. Well, sanding these boards is a B*TCH. Took hours. Not fun at all. It's still a gorgeous board. Not sure what I'm going to do in the future, as I am not Illini to do THAT much work on a board again. It's a time suck.

    Anyway, I did my first neck fitting/heel shaping and managed to impress myself again! :D Snug as a bug. Only issue is that the board seems to hang over the body longer than I expected. Maybe it's just me. I'm sure it's fine. (I was tempted to remove 2 frets and go down to 22, but how un-metal would that be??) I also noticed my centerline is slightly off. Hoping that the marks on the neck were off and I'm fine.

    Next step is to glue the board on the neck, cut it down close to final shape and then route it flush with the neck. Then, figure out how I want to attach the neck. I'll probably just do the standard, old school screw and neck plate.

    Pics of where I'm at now:
     

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  5. Kaff

    Kaff SS.org Regular

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    Looking good, can't wait for the paintjob!
     
  6. Sir Ibanez

    Sir Ibanez SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, wait for paintjob, guys!
     
  7. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    :D
     

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  8. Omzig

    Omzig SS.org Regular

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    Looks great,love the neon green finish your going for bang on late 80's

    Is this made up from one of turenkodenis's plans ? ive had a quick scan of the templates thread and although id noticed both your request for a gunslinger i couldn't see a reply posted,any chance you could share the template your working from :)

    I have a reissue Korean GS in taxi cab yellow (Alder with OFR not the nasty Chinese bass wood ones that came later) and id love to kick up a self build but with a 24 fret neck (always miss those extra few frets ;) ) and a H slanted S pup layout.

    Look forwards to updates
     
  9. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    Well, the neck is actually spec'd from my USA Gunslinger (with 2 additional frets, so its more the width and headstock). I'll also carve it the same, as the original GS necks are among the best ever.

    The body is, in fact, from those plans. I used the Jackson DK6 he posted. Maybe because it's a hybrid is why it looks a little goofy. Oh well! :)
     
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  10. Sir Ibanez

    Sir Ibanez SS.org Regular

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    Great! :D
     
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  11. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    Haven't updated this in a while, but been quite busy on her. Spent a ton of time on the fretboard and got kicked in the nuts again due to my inexperience. I chose not to glue in the frets because they seemed to fit really tight at first, and it seems many luthiers left out glue for the first new frets. So, I leveled everything best I could, smoothed and rounded the ends best I could and did a half-assed crowing. I wasn't thrilled, as I don't think they were perfect. Anyway, I polished them up with steel wool last night and took off the tape. I go back downstairs tonight and take a close look at everything. Well...mother-f-er, almost every single fret has popped up in the middle. I have to glue them all down. The problem is, I'm worried my leveling will be COMPLETELY off once I fix this and have to redo the entire fret job. They are narrow vintage, so not a lot of meat on them to begin with. Any suggestions? :(
     

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  12. MikeNeal

    MikeNeal SS.org Regular

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    had that happen to me on my 3rd build. since then i always glue them in. I hammer them in, the pour thin super glue down the tiny hole under the fret tang untill it comes out the other side. then i know its not going anywhere.
     
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  13. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

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    I always just run a tiny bead of wood glue down the tang before I hammer/press them in. And then wipe off the excess right away with a damp paper towel. Seems to work okay.
     
  14. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    Getting closer!
     

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  15. Walshy

    Walshy SS.org Regular

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    Try making a radius jig for a router if you want to avoid brutal sanding in future. There are a few designs out there that are easily made.

    Sorry to hear about your woes with the frets. This has me worried about my first build where I didn't glue in the frets. Still OK at the moment...

    I like the PRS approach where you cut the slots a little deeper than the tang, press in the frets with an arbor press (hammer is OK too) and then drop CA in from each end with the neck on its side. That way, the cleanup is easy as it's only down the sides and not on the surface of the fretboard. I know some people use wax on the fretboard surface as well to avoid messy CA cleanup.
     
  16. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    I took the neck to a well-known builder here in CT on Sunday and...I actually did a great job!! He slightly leveled them for me, but it was about 2 mins worth of elbow grease. Otherwise they appear to be fine. Phew!

    My Gibson V replica? Well, that was another story... :D

    I would love to build a radiusing jig, but not sure I'm up for that task. It's hard enough finding the time to build my axes, much less more jigs. If I could find a simple one (not the big, floor-standing one), then that might be a good option.

    I also just discovered radius bits! https://sje-tools.com/12-fretboard-radius-router-bits

    or http://www.precisionbits.com/6-piece-fret-board-radiusing-router-bit-set.html (although, that set doesn't have 20"...wtf?)
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017 at 10:45 AM

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