Strat/tele fretless 30,8" baritone

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by mister V, May 21, 2018.

  1. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    Hi all!
    Let me introduce you my latest build.

    But first I have to show you it's predcessors, my three previous fretless experiments:

    3 in 1.jpg

    These things should give you a hint about my fourth fretless build. I will not tell you all the details. You will see them later in my further postings, so for now these are some specs:
    - pine body
    - maple top
    - maple neck, one piece
    - bolt-on neck
    - 30,8" scale
    - Gotoh hardware: classic tele bridge, control plate, classic tuners with press-in bushings
    - Electrosocket jack plate
    - EMG tele for bridge position and 81TWX for... hm... kind of middle position (right after the bridge)

    Now lets move to the design. I took strat and tele and mixed them:

    теле-страт 4.jpg


    телестрат 05.jpg

    So the main idea is to take a half from strat, including all cut-outs and 12mm roundover for edges, and a half from tele, with 3mm roundover for edges and some kind of reduced in size pickguard. All the hardware are taken from tele.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  2. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    Tell me please, is it ok to use the "upload a file" option for image posting?
    My photobucket is dead, and I don't have other image-hosting accounts.

    I have a set of mdf templates from another project - it was the same tele/strat idea, but with other hardware and non-baritone scale (this project was not built).
    So I can use these templates for this project. Some twists will be needed with accommodating the neck length from the old non-baritone project to this, which has 30,8" scale. But this old project was not that simple and had an extra-long neck that was elongated right to the bridge - like neck-through, but bolt-on. So no problems with neck length, only the neck pocket will be modified.

    Pine for the body
    IMG_20180331_1235141.jpg

    IMG_20180331_124701.jpg

    maple for the top
    IMG_20180331_125355.jpg
    IMG_20180331_125835.jpg

    IMG_20180331_130739.jpg

    IMG_20180401_183339.jpg

    IMG_20180401_190014.jpg

    third thin channel is for the killswitch
    IMG_20180401_190622.jpg

    IMG_20180401_204757.jpg

    some extra cut-outs for less weight. On the left and on the right from the control cavity (that is not routed yet) there are pockets for batteries (18v) IMG_20180403_194432.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  3. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    channels and weight-reducing cut-outs are done
    IMG_20180403_200459.jpg

    some screws will help with gluing the top on
    IMG_20180404_195826.jpg

    screws' positions are marked
    IMG_20180404_200519.jpg

    battery pocket #1 IMG_20180404_200742.jpg

    and battery pocket #2 IMG_20180404_200756.jpg

    masking the channels with tape to prevent the glue from squeezing from under the top into them IMG_20180404_202214.jpg

    IMG_20180404_203136.jpg

    IMG_20180404_205032.jpg

    IMG_20180405_220742.jpg

    For my next build with top I will make a top-gluing jig. The results with gluing this top on are far from best, few places have a wide visible glue line. You will see it on the next pictures. But I can live with that, so let's just roll further.
     
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  4. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    Time to route the sides flush with template.
    I use scrap pieces of template, top and body to make a support for my router so it is standing stable on the right height. While moving the router, I move the support in the same time. Sounds complicated, but it is not, just a matter of practice.
    IMG_20180406_193308.jpg

    Hmmm, with my current router bit I need to make two passes with setting up at different heights, because it is not long enough. I need to get a longer bit with bottom ball-bearing. IMG_20180406_193339.jpg

    So... here are:
    Ordinary bit.
    Long bit.
    And a real man's bit.
    IMG_20180407_122440.jpg

    IMG_20180407_123725.jpg

    That's better IMG_20180407_124046.jpg
    IMG_20180407_165950.jpg

    and the clean edge is done
    IMG_20180407_171030.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  5. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    some measures for the hardware and pickups IMG_20180407_180857.jpg

    I have a strange template with tele bridge pickup cavity outline being seriously off with the actual bridge mounting holes. Well, not a problem. Bridge mounting holes are marked with the real bridge, pickup cavity outline is marked by using the bridge outline IMG_20180407_181856.jpg

    Adding humbucker outline
    IMG_20180407_185845.jpg

    Marking the back for the ferrules IMG_20180407_185911.jpg

    IMG_20180408_122316.jpg

    IMG_20180408_123530.jpg

    IMG_20180408_125502.jpg

    pickups' cavities are done IMG_20180408_125633.jpg
     
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  6. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    IMG_20180408_152938.jpg

    That is one really long neck pocket. Template is made for other project, as I mentioned earlier. So that other project should have had an even longer neck pocket, right to the bridge. The bridge was supposed to be mounted on the neck. But it is another story, I will restart this project somewhere later down the road.
    IMG_20180408_160705.jpg
    IMG_20180413_161432.jpg

    adding depth to the control cavity with another router bit
    IMG_20180413_163007.jpg

    IMG_20180413_164615.jpg

    that's why I like to have a top - all the inside pockets and channels are already done. Channel for input jack and pocket for battery #1 IMG_20180413_164711.jpg

    channel for killswitch and pocket for battery #2 IMG_20180413_164718.jpg
    IMG_20180413_164738.jpg
     
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  7. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    marking starting-points for drilling IMG_20180413_171512.jpg

    I don't have a drill press and drill all holes half-way from one side, then half-way from the other. So I have to mark the starting points as precisely as I can. Blind holes are a different story.
    I use a template for the holes for strings.
    IMG_20180413_172417.jpg

    IMG_20180413_172533.jpg

    on the other side (8 mm for ferrules). I spent a lot of time positioning the template, because it is made for another bridge and another scale length.
    IMG_20180413_173345.jpg

    IMG_20180413_173930.jpg

    edges of the ferrules' holes are not that good - well, lets blame the pine for that
    IMG_20180413_173947.jpg

    IMG_20180413_181254.jpg

    close-up of the cavities and neck pocket
    IMG_20180413_181302.jpg
     
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  8. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Coolest damn thing! nice work.
    What are you tuning to? is the scale for clarity there, or fretless intonation benefits?:)
     
  9. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    checking the neck template IMG_20180413_181730.jpg
    IMG_20180413_181805.jpg

    two paper templates for the neck mounting holes. One for the front, one for the back. Marking the starting points for drilling
    IMG_20180414_160458.jpg

    IMG_20180414_161236.jpg

    pilot 1,5 mm holes first
    IMG_20180414_161524.jpg

    half-way from one side, half-way from another IMG_20180414_162132.jpg

    making recesses for the neck bolts' inserts
    IMG_20180414_163328.jpg

    IMG_20180414_164359.jpg

    Hmmm, and what is that? IMG_20180414_165754.jpg
     
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  10. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    Thank you!
    That is for clarity for E-E one octave down tuning without need of too thick strings.
     
  11. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    shaping this thing with the neck template IMG_20180414_171705.jpg

    The thing is fixed in the neck pocket. Now I can route it's other end flush with the neck pocket's end
    IMG_20180414_174110.jpg
    IMG_20180414_174126.jpg

    IMG_20180414_174547.jpg
    IMG_20180414_174607.jpg

    Now it is obvious that "thing" is a part of the neck. My neck blank is 22 mm thick. But the part of the neck in the neck pocket should be 35 mm thick - I need to glue up an additional 13 mm layer. And I just don't have any piece of normal wood to use for this purpose. Well, I don't mind some plywood.

    now I can drill the neck mounting holes to the 5 mm
    IMG_20180414_180106.jpg IMG_20180414_180114.jpg

    IMG_20180414_180653.jpg

    I use a 15 mm bolt insert as a guide (inserting it with it's bottom side up) IMG_20180414_181443.jpg

    IMG_20180414_181747.jpg
     
  12. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    time to mount some nuts for the neck bolts IMG_20180415_121207.jpg

    IMG_20180415_122507.jpg

    using M8 coupling nut (not sure how it is named in english) to hammer them in
    IMG_20180415_122659.jpg

    every bolt is checked for the nice and straight position
    IMG_20180415_123328.jpg

    IMG_20180415_123348.jpg

    testing all bolts - all is ok IMG_20180415_140820.jpg

    IMG_20180415_140912.jpg

    masking holes in the nuts
    IMG_20180415_141917.jpg

    and covering them in wood glue. When the glue is cured, nuts will have no room to move IMG_20180415_143254.jpg
     
  13. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    now lets see how it will look with pickups and hardware... Oh well, my humbucker cavity template has too big radiuses in its corners, and 81TWX does not fit. Later I will make the cavity wider by few mm so EMG will fit. IMG_20180416_190439.jpg IMG_20180416_190541.jpg
     
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  14. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Super nice project. Whenever I see a Fretless project here at SSO I came in to take a look. AT my band, I am yet to have a fretless theme done, but as soon as we get more road done and more themes out, it is a project to use mine. Have you considered using a Sustainer? Fretless guitars and sustainers are best friends. Put some modulation FXs in the signal path and you're off to another sound panorama...
     
  15. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    It is more experimental than serious project, just check the previous three in the first post - so no plans for use with a band or something like that (yet). At the moment it is almost done, I am applying an oil finish. So later I will post here, what the project #3 sounded like (the one with glass, currently it is gone, I disasembled it), and what this project (#4) sounds like!
    Sustainer is a great idea, I thought about it, and I will incorporate it in my project #5, that I already have in my head :)
    Considering the scale of 30,8" you can guess that the main goal is heavily distorted sound, and you will be right. Lets hope I will not mess up the finishing process and soon you will hear some sounds.
     
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  16. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    what we have here... It is an aluminum square tube (20x15mm, 2mm thick walls). And a piece of maple. Lets do something with these things IMG_20180408_145302.jpg

    I already tested aluminum square tube of exactly the same dimensions in my project #3 - it can be a dead straight neck even with no other material attached to it. In this project it will be used as an insert in the neck instead of conventional truss rod
    IMG_20180417_191837.jpg

    channel for tube - first
    IMG_20180417_193233.jpg
    IMG_20180417_193312.jpg

    neck outline - after
    IMG_20180417_194026.jpg

    and guess what happened. The head should be reverse. And this mistake brings the other problem - the joint end of the neck is not symmetrical, it's end face have a slight angle. So now I have to redo the joint end, because in non-reverse position it will not fit my neck pocket
    IMG_20180417_195723.jpg

    lets flip over the template
    IMG_20180418_190427.jpg

    and here is the newly shaped joint end of the neck IMG_20180418_191036.jpg
     
  17. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    now I need to flip the template over once again. Lets mark the reference points IMG_20180418_192756.jpg
    the headstock is routed flush with template
    IMG_20180418_195133.jpg

    IMG_20180418_195752.jpg

    marking starting points for tuners' holes
    IMG_20180419_193206.jpg

    making the end of the truss rod channel square
    IMG_20180420_181341.jpg

    IMG_20180420_185634.jpg

    aluminum tube sits a little bit high IMG_20180420_195435.jpg

    some sanding. Using a piece of the same tube for sanding block
    IMG_20180420_200639.jpg

    IMG_20180420_200654.jpg
     
  18. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    I have an additional layer for the neck, that was done earlier. It will be attached not only with glue, but with few screws. Screws will help me to align the neck and it's additional piece IMG_20180420_203501.jpg
    IMG_20180420_204553.jpg

    these two pins will help to keep the aluminum tube in it's place. Well, I think so. They are quite long
    IMG_20180420_210048.jpg
    IMG_20180420_210344.jpg
    IMG_20180420_210623.jpg

    that is a lot of CA glue here
    IMG_20180420_211923.jpg

    time for another mistake. The tube is glued in upside down (bottom side up), look at the holes. I will solve this problem later
    IMG_20180420_213921.jpg

    now I need something that will be visible through the glass fretboard and will look nice. So lets take more aluminum
    IMG_20180421_154254.jpg
    IMG_20180421_154521.jpg

    IMG_20180421_160757.jpg
     
  19. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    Forgot to mention, that such an elongated neck joint is made for the purpose of fretless neck rigidity. I don't have an ajustable truss rod so I just need the neck to be as straight and rigid as it can be. For this purpose I also removed the neck pickup (replaced it with the middle-positioned one), so the aluminum tube is ending far from the edge of the neck pocket.
     
  20. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    IMG_20180421_161359.jpg

    aluminum is put aside. Returning to the headstock
    IMG_20180421_164738.jpg

    I tried to drill the holes for vintage tuners with right drill bits diameters and failed, but nothing serious, we will return to this problem later
    IMG_20180421_170217.jpg

    IMG_20180421_171025.jpg

    re-drilling the holes in the aluminum tube. Adding few more, because three previous holes are too large (remember my mistake with gluing the tube with bottom side up) and the screws will hold the maple, but will not hold the aluminum itself when I will attach the additional neck piece
    IMG_20180421_174558.jpg
    IMG_20180421_174734.jpg

    little jig for planing the headstock to thickness with router
    IMG_20180421_181924.jpg
    IMG_20180421_182505.jpg

    marking points for screws. I will add washers later IMG_20180421_190626.jpg

    two parts of the neck are ready for assembly
    IMG_20180421_191226.jpg
     
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