Second guitar - Black limba/BB/multi-scale 7

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by KR250, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    I recently made my first attempt at doing a custom body with a Jackson neck. Learned a lot from that experience and taking the next step to build a complete custom guitar. I've got most of the materials I need, and a rough outline of the process. I'm creating a template based off one of my existing 8 string guitars which is also multi-scale. The goal is to make my custom 7 play and sound as good as the 8.

    I'm debating between set neck and a bolt on using tee nuts recessed under the fretboard. I'm leaning towards the glue in set neck since most of my guitars are of that type.

    Specs:
    7 string multi-scale (27"-25.5") - perpendicular fret will be around the 6th fret (.3 on FF2D)
    Either bolt on or set neck
    Body: Black Limba
    Top: Buckeye Burl
    Fretboard: Birdseye Maple (really debating between this or ebony)
    Neck: Birdseye Maple
    Bridge: Hipshot solo
    Tuners: Hipshot open
    Pickups: EMG 81-8x/85-8x or 81-8x/60-8x
    Finish: combination of Tru-oil (neck) and wipe on poly for everything else

    Here is the wood I've collected so far. I still need to order the hardware.
    [​IMG]

    Couple questions:

    • Planning to build the body first, then neck, then on to assembly. Any particular order work better?
    • For the top, I want to carve it down along the edges down to the base wood for a taper. I believe there are router bits at a 45 deg angle, or is just using a file the best way to achieve this?
    • I'm still working on perfecting my finishing technique, for the neck I'm going to use Tru-oil, but for everything else I've decided on the clear gloss wipe-on poly. What would be best to use for a wood sealer underneath that?
    • What is the preferred truss rod for a build like this? My plan is to use a spoke wheel in front of the neck pickup. The only parts I can seem to find are the Stew Mac hot rod which I'm worried will require too deep of a route to keep a thin neck.

    Here is my rough outline of steps to try and get the order correct. I still have a few jigs I need to build so those are listed as well. I've found a lot of good info here on the forums on how to build these.

    Body:

    Finish top jig

    Build jig for neck pocket

    Build jig for top body carve

    Rough cut top and body to similar shape

    Attach body template

    Determine electronic routing and route into body

    Glue top to body

    Rough cut on band saw to template

    Use jig to route to exact shape

    route out for pickups

    Cut out electronic access on back - figure out how close to the top taper it will sit

    Carve tummy cut

    Taper top using jig/routing bits/files?

    Line up neck template and route neck pocket

    Drill for bridge pieces - center on center for correct intonation with nut - I've seen a few schools of thought on this, but planning to follow strings over the template center lines from nut to bridge.

    Don't clear coat yet

    Neck:

    Build template to fit into body template

    Build scarf joint template

    Determine neck length by scale length from nut and to how close neck sits to neck pickup

    Measure cut for scarf joint and cut 10 deg on radial saw? Test piece first

    Glue scarf joint

    Route for truss rod/reinforcement bars - truss rod nut faces down - silicone to prevent vibration

    measure string alignment for tuning holes

    Cut headstock on band saw to rough shape

    If doing bolt on: recess tee nuts under fret board around the truss rod at correct points on the body

    Glue on fret board

    Slot the fretboard with extra width

    Cut neck to exact width

    Drill side inlays

    Drill tuning holes

    Cut/radius neck profile on back

    Finish sanding neck and headstock

    Radius the fret board

    Press in frets/finish fret ends/polish

    Wipe on Poly for headstock

    Wait for oil or poly on the neck until finish blend sanding during assembly

    Cut nut and attach

    Assembly:

    Mock up pieces above to make sure alignment is correct and correct action/tuning/intonation/neck angle

    Blend the seam between neck heel and body by sanding

    If set neck, glue in place

    Seal the body, clear coat with wipe on poly over entire body/neck - either as 1 piece or separately if bolt on

    :hbang:
     
    ferret likes this.
  2. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    Is that one piece limba body? Goddamn. Where'd you find that and the Buckeye?
     
  3. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    It is indeed a single piece of black limba, souced on eBay. I'm quite pleased, the seller even planed it down for me at no charge. Same price I paid for a two piece of alder from Stew Mac on my last attempt.

    The BB was also an eBay purchase, it was the most interesting of what I found so I went for it. I'm going to cut it inverse of what the blue line shows, I think it will look better with the detail below the bridge.

    About $300 for all the wood pictured there. Hopefully I can do it justice.
     
  4. Hywel

    Hywel SS.org Regular

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    Sounds like a solid plan!

    I like to make the body first but stop before routing the pickups, neck pocket and electronics cavity. I'll move onto the neck next and get that mostly finished (or at least so that is cut to the final size) and use that to make the template for the neck pocket. It's not required but really helps if you end up with a slightly smaller than planned neck or something since the templates made from the finished article rather than the plan. I'd also not do anything involving the bridge until the last moment so you can use the neck, tuners and some strings to ensure it's all lined up properly.

    I've found fretting the neck before carving the back is much easier since the flat back is much more stable to press frets into etc... (although you'll probably have to hammer fanned frets since they won't follow a consistent radius over the board)

    I think shellac is compatible with pretty much anything when used as a sealer but I've never tried it myself so YMMV.

    I REALLY like the Birchwood Casey gun stock wax as a neck finish over the oil. It gives it a bit more protection and makes it feel a bit faster than the oil alone. Ben Eller did a video on youtube detailing the neck oiling process and I tried the wax after watching that. 10 minutes later, every guitar I owned with an oiled neck now has wax as well and I love it. :yesway:

    Anyway, enough rambling. I love me some buckeye burl so I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. :D
     
  5. warped

    warped SS.org Regular

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    This sounds great! I just posted a 'my first attempt at a guitar build thread', and am trying to do something similar to you.. Will great to see how you go about stuff.
     
  6. dankarghh

    dankarghh SS.org Regular

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    Followingggg.
     
  7. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    Very cool, I just read through your post. I'll be following your progress for sure. This my first full attempt at building a guitar, having another fanned fret guitar to model after is helping a lot. I'm also trying to list out the order to help me minimize mistakes.

    I finally finished the body template and now playing around with mocking up the fretfind 2D print out so I can figure out rough spacing on pickups, neck, etc. The neck pickup gets pretty close to the edge.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. dankarghh

    dankarghh SS.org Regular

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    Looking cool man. I just read the first post properly. I'd suggest epoxying the .... out of that top if you want a nice flat finish. It's going to look sweet though. I really wanna make my first multi scale but i really don't like soap bar pickups..
     
  9. warped

    warped SS.org Regular

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    I asked Dan at Oni about angled pickups and he suggested Ethan at Instrumental Pickups (there are a few reviews of his SFTY3 pickups on here) - he does properly custom measured/slanted pickups for a pretty reasonable price - that's what I plan on using when I get that far. Or he does a standard 10 degree slanted pickup a bit cheaper if that's what you are after, but that's prob not angled enough for what I want
     
  10. TamanShud

    TamanShud Finished

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    Subbed so I can perv on that burl :wub:
     
  11. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    A little progress so far, glued the top together and did a rough cut of the body. Hoping to do the finish routing of the body and top shortly, still working out the details on the best way to do this. I also want to cut out the electronics cavity before gluing on the top.

    Rough cut on the band saw. This is the back side.
    [​IMG]

    Quick and dirty jig for gluing together the top.
    [​IMG]

    Clamped down.
    [​IMG]

    Sanded down most of it to 220 grit, I think the seam line is decent? Bottom of the picture will be the bottom of the guitar.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks, I'm going to try out a few different finishes to make sure the final product is worthy. I'll definitely try out some epoxy, I'm doing a test at the moment with Shellac and the body wood is requiring many many coats to seal it.
     
  13. dankarghh

    dankarghh SS.org Regular

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    I'd suggest not cutting the cavity out of the body wood completely man. The burl top isn't the strongest piece of wood so you'd be better leaving at least a bit of body in there.

    I ended up gluing a rosewood veneer into the bottom of my last burl cavity for this reason.

    PS nice work on the top!
     
  14. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    Great advice, I'll save that part for later. I'm using a 3/8" piece of burl, so I'll still need to thin it for the volume pot and toggle switch, but makes sense to leave some extra strength in there. BTW the EMG wiring kit takes up almost no room so I can have pretty small cavity to house it all.
     
  15. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    I really like where this is going. The glue joint looks really good from here. :yesway:
     
  16. dankarghh

    dankarghh SS.org Regular

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    Got in touch with him last night. I have a few builds planned at the moment, but after that, i'm definitely going to hit him up for a bridge pup and get stuck in. Thanks heaps for the heads up !
     
  17. BIGRIGG

    BIGRIGG SS.org Regular

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    The grain on the back side looks really nice man. Can't wait to see the finished build. Cool so far.:yesway:
     
  18. KR250

    KR250 SS.org Regular

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    Made slightly more progress, taking my time so I don't mess things up. I cut out and then routed the top to my template. next up I'll glue it to the body wood, then use the top that I routed as the template for the body wood using a deeper ball bearing bit and a friends table router. I just need more clamps before I glue it together first, so another trip to home depot before the next step.

    Rough cut of the top, and playing around with sealant/finishing on a scrap piece. Very thirsty wood, but I like the colors that are coming out.
    [​IMG]

    Routed the top, you can see slight seam line at the bottom, but I decided not enough to matter.
    [​IMG]

    One problem area, the backside of the top piece has a gap that I'll need to fill.
    [​IMG]

    Another spot that i'll have to fill or epoxy?
    [​IMG]

    My pickups also arrived. I went with the EMG 81-8x and 60-8x series. I might have to try out the BKP or SFTY3 slanted pickups on another guitar though, so thanks for the info on those.
     
  19. BlackMastodon

    BlackMastodon \m/ (゚Д゚) \m/ Contributor

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    Epoxy works well to seal those voids on burl tops. And yeah, burl wood is real thirsty. Looking good so far, man!
     
  20. electriceye

    electriceye SS.org Regular

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    Sweet! Can't wait to see the finished product!
     

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