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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    gluing the parts of the neck together IMG_20180421_191458.jpg

    IMG_20180421_192738.jpg

    done IMG_20180421_200959.jpg

    Hmmm, this end of the aluminum tube will be visible through the pickup cavity. I have to plug something in. Lets take a pine stick
    IMG_20180422_123718.jpg

    cut off a little piece of it and shape it like that with chiesel and sandpaper
    IMG_20180422_125559.jpg

    so I can plug it in firmly. Few drops of CA glue are also in there
    IMG_20180422_130654.jpg

    and some rough sanding - i need the surface to be a little bit rough to glue the aluminum false-fretboard (lets call it so - I mean the neck surface that will be under the glass fretboard)
    IMG_20180422_131219.jpg

    preparing some stuff
    IMG_20180422_150314.jpg

    2-component epoxy glue that is labeled "specially for metal surfaces". Here I have to say that it is exactly the same epoxy glue that was used for project #2 (look in the first post). It had an aluminum fretboard, that was glued on with this epoxy to the aluminum "neck". The result was great. Few years later I tried to tear the fretboard off without success.
    IMG_20180422_150952.jpg
    IMG_20180422_152133.jpg
     
  2. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    looks good... IMG_20180422_155401.jpg

    Oh, well. Not that good. I don't know what went wrong. As I wrote in the previous post, I have had great results with this epoxy glue and aluminum. Not this time
    IMG_20180422_160050.jpg

    few hours later - the surface is clean again, lets use something different this time IMG_20180422_162059.jpg

    I tested CA glue on scrap aluminum pieces before doing this
    IMG_20180422_174734.jpg

    That is really a lot of CA glue that was used here IMG_20180422_175641.jpg

    all went good
    IMG_20180422_180827.jpg

    this is my test pieces of aluminum square tube. All my efforts to divide them turned out unsuccessful. And I used just a drop of CA glue here IMG_20180422_181314.jpg

    now I need to route the edges of false-fretboard flush with neck IMG_20180423_190042.jpg

    I use an ordinary router bit that is supposed to be used for wood. I have done this before so no hesitations this time. I have a special box of router bits that I will not regret loosing if something will go wrong with experiments like that IMG_20180423_191457.jpg

    the result looks pretty good IMG_20180423_193126.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  3. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    here is where we are now

    IMG_20180423_194051.jpg

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    checking the scale length
    IMG_20180425_191136.jpg
     
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  4. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    there is some excess on the end of the fretboard IMG_20180425_191644.jpg

    lets leave less work for the router and use some hand saws first
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    IMG_20180425_193610.jpg

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    and I forgot about the pickguard. I have a template for it, but it had been made for the body without middle pickup. So I drew a new pickguard (cabronita influenced). I can not make it without a template so I will ask someone to make it for me, we will return to it later IMG_20180425_204926.jpg

    marking the side dots. There will be a dot for every fret, because the neck is, well, fretless IMG_20180425_215707.jpg
    marking starting points for drilling IMG_20180426_191709.jpg

    IMG_20180426_192144.jpg

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  5. WiseSplinter

    WiseSplinter SS.org Regular

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    This is some amazing work, thank you so much for taking so many pictures, really enjoying following this.
    Two questions:
    1) Are the side dots dead on where the fret would be, or are they "in-between" the frets (like on a fretted guitar)?
    2) Is the fretboard flat, no radius?

    It's very cool watching this come together.
     
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  6. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    Thank you! I like to take many pictures, so that later I can look throughout the whole build.

    The side dots are dead on on the phantom frets' spots, not in-between the frets. I experimented with fret marks on the projects #1, #2 and #3. And I found that side marks exactly under the phantom frets are the most comfortable option for me. Speaking of the marks on the surface of the fretboard - you will see them later, in further posts.

    That aluminum surface in the pictures above is not the fretboard. It is "false fretboard", and a real fretboard will be attached to it at the end of the build. And there is no radius, because the real fretboard is made of 4 mm thick glass, like it was done in my project #3 (projects #1, #2 and #3 you can find in the first post).
     
  7. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    returning to the problem with the size of my pickup cavity and an actual EMG 81TWX size. I moved template 2 mm forward and enlarged the cavity so the EMG will fit now IMG_20180427_190411.jpg

    the front wall of the pickup cavity is located on the neck now
    IMG_20180427_191257.jpg

    TWX has a giant connector, so I need to add some room for the connector. I can not carve away the whole part of neck that is in the cavity because there are two nuts for neck joint bolts in it IMG_20180427_193802.jpg

    looks not the best way, but I can live with that. I will carve the walls of the pickup wire channel more straight later
    IMG_20180427_195612.jpg

    and now EMG fits in there IMG_20180427_195709.jpg

    lets return to the side dots IMG_20180427_203042.jpg

    they are glued in with CA glue
    IMG_20180427_204154.jpg

    IMG_20180427_205044.jpg

    the neck is put aside, back to the body. Time for the roundovers. But lets make the side ends of the neck pocket nice and straight first IMG_20180428_193521.jpg IMG_20180428_193540.jpg
     
  8. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    roundovers time. The idea is the following: upper half of the body is strat with 12 mm roundover (both front and back), lower half is tele with 3 mm roundover (both front and back)

    IMG_20180428_194913.jpg

    IMG_20180428_194923.jpg

    while the body is clamped down in the right position, I can make the jack plate hole. I want it to be recessed
    IMG_20180501_115419.jpg

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    not the best attempt, I am not happy with the result, so I will return to this problem later
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    also here you can see one more mistake (look on the far side of the heel) - on the back side of the body I accidentally ran with the 12 mm roundover right on the heel. And again, I will return to this problem later
    IMG_20180501_121904.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  9. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    lets start the armrest shaping with saw IMG_20180501_124547.jpg

    IMG_20180501_150428.jpg

    then I took out the belt sander
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    I can not make the belly/ribs cutout too large, because I have an internal weight-reducing cavities there IMG_20180501_161529.jpg

    dragon rasp from stewmac. I like it
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    let me introduce you my secret weapon - sandpaper on the can! I use this magic tool to sand the belly cutout smooth IMG_20180502_114237.jpg

    IMG_20180502_115052.jpg
     
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  10. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Question, why is it SOOOO thick (dimension wise)?
     
  11. Walshy

    Walshy SS.org Regular

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    This is one of the most unique builds I've seen on here. Well done. Can't wait to see it finished and hear you play it.

    Kudos on the excellent photography as well.
     
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  12. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Hell of a build thread. Nice work.

    You are my hero for two reasons:
    1. Solid truss rod (haven't had the guts to try it myself)
    2. Sandpaper on a can (genius!)
     
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  13. J_Mac

    J_Mac SS.org Regular

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    Woah WTF? This is off the charts for me! Epic!

    Is this a standard approach for fretless?
     
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  14. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    Body thickness is 56 mm, it's not that ordinary for solid-bodied guitars, I agree :) The main reason is the neck weight. Long aluminum tube inside, almost no neck profile because of the inner tube dimensions (so less wood carved away), 2mm thick aluminum false-fretboard, and on the top of all that - 4 mm thick glass fretboard. I am sure that with pine body of 40 mm thick I could end up with unstopable neck dive
     
  15. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    I think that wooden fretboard under polished layer of epoxy can be considered as a standard approach for fretless rather than my experimental projects :)
     
  16. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    Haha, thank you!

    About the non-adjustable truss rod:
    When I clamped this aluminum tube to my workbench and pushed on the free end with my hand, it bended down slightly, but tangible.
    When I clamped to my workbench the neck with glued in aluminum tube and pushed on the free end with my hand, it bended down way more slightly, than aluminum tube by itself before.
    When I clamped to my workbench the neck with glued in aluminum tube and glued on aluminum false fretboard and pushed on the free end with my hand, it... well, of course it bended down a little, but it was a move as short as hair thickness. I need to put an elephant on it's free end to really bend it down.
     
  17. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    shaping the armrest contour IMG_20180502_123347.jpg

    at this moment I thought that I was done with body carving. Later I changed my mind
    IMG_20180502_125541.jpg
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    the pickguard is here! I know a man who do custom pickguards as a hobby (for some $$ of course), so I had sent him my drawing and he made this pickguard for me. IMG_20180502_134031.jpg

    IMG_20180502_134046.jpg

    cutting off the side dots' material excess
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    sanding the neck sides IMG_20180504_182641.jpg

    IMG_20180504_184934.jpg

    IMG_20180504_191412.jpg
     
  18. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    this part is tough when you don't have a drum sander IMG_20180504_194813.jpg

    IMG_20180504_195459.jpg

    and even more tough when you have not only the wood, but an aluminum part also. I spent hell of a time filing this spot
    IMG_20180505_164147.jpg

    and again it's time for sandpaper on the can IMG_20180505_181956.jpg

    IMG_20180505_183809.jpg

    the lowest spot of the transition is now lower than the surface of the headstock IMG_20180505_183832.jpg

    but the headstock is not made to its final thickness yet
    IMG_20180505_183849.jpg

    now I want some dots on the surface of my false-fretboard
    IMG_20180505_190500.jpg

    IMG_20180505_191129.jpg
     
  19. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    this were my options for the dots on the surface IMG_20180505_192901.jpg

    but this is the one than won
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    checking before gluing them in. I like the look of them
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    dots are glued in with CA glue
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    I have two tasks left for my belt sander.
    Rough thicknessing of the headstock
    IMG_20180506_122154.jpg

    and carving away more wood from the armrest
    IMG_20180506_123523.jpg

    so now I like the look of the armrest more than before
    IMG_20180506_123546.jpg
     
  20. mister V

    mister V Low frequencies obsession syndrome

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    my side dots are located not on the fretboard edge, but under it, so I need to make a roundover on the upper side of the neck pocket wall to make the dots visible IMG_20180506_123839.jpg

    still have a problem with 24th fret mark. Maybe a bigger roundover for that spot?
    IMG_20180506_124349.jpg

    shaping the armrest contour
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    IMG_20180506_171427.jpg
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    here is clearly visible how huge is the aluminum tube and how little is amount of wood that I can carve away to make some neck profile
    IMG_20180507_190511.jpg

    good for me that I like thick necks IMG_20180507_191213.jpg

    I don't know how to describe the profile that I chose. It is a flatness that has an almost 90 degree angle near the headstock, 45 degree angle near the heel, and twists between these two points.
    IMG_20180507_193258.jpg
    IMG_20180507_193322.jpg

    IMG_20180507_193348.jpg
     
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