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I figured I would start a thread to show projects that I'm working on, rather than starting new threads for each item.  I've already posted threads about my 5 string neck though bass and precision bas

OK, so after the guitar hung for around 4 weeks to cure. I level sanded, buffed and polished it. The next day I assembled it and performed a final setup. Here's how it came out.

When I got that Strat assembled and playable, I took a quick detour and made the Precision bass which I already posted, but just for the hell of it, here's a quick picture of the end result of that bu

Well, I left the body in the bag over night. (yeah, I see it. :D ) I took it out the next day and was pleasantly surprised. The joint looks to be fairly tight, just needs a little touch up in a few spots. I trimmed the top flush at the router table.

I noticed that I did get a crack along a grain line. You can see where glue came through due to the vacuum. Not sure if it was there all along or not, as that would not be uncommon for a rosewood. I'll apply some CA and sand it in and it should make it disappear. The crack is completely tight, which is great.

R1liH0K.jpg

 

My wife snuck in and took a couple of photos of me working at the pin router routing all of the cavities. 

Go ahead... admit it, you're kinda digging my outfit. No judgement. :P

OFLd3OI.jpg

 

Cavities routed.

NxoGU18.jpg

 

Roundover done at the router table. Need to blend in the forearm area by hand.

SzyhAb0.jpg

 

Roughing in the belly carve.

qoim3No.jpg

 

Here is the neck that I made previously along with the body. Neck is not yet carved.

fPcztXx.jpg

 

The body still needs a little more finessing, but it's getting there.

hZPqJVL.jpg

 

Here's a little surprise accent that I decided to throw in, a matching piece of ziricote for the back of the headstock. Looks like sh!t in this picture, but will like nice when trimmed down and blended into the carve transition.

PVRacIE.jpg

 

Thanks for looking. :)

 

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Great build story of a great craftsman. Haven’t had that for a long time.

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To state the obvious: this is all fantastic work.  

You have an undeniable talent for this sort of thing, and an eye for details (and they make all the difference).  It shows in lots of ways.

I'm equally impressed by how neat and organized you keep your shop.  

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Incredible stuff in your posts - wow.

That wood seems like nasty stuff to work with.  Side question:  So, can you even touch the raw wood surface with your bare hands (not sanding it and no sawdust) without it causing you problems - or is it just a reaction to the oils/sap in it etc?

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On 8/6/2020 at 8:50 PM, killerteddybear said:

This is the right approach when working with ziricote. Nasty stuff.

Yeah, I guess it's pretty common, but not as much as some other exotics like cocobolo or bocote. This stuff is like kryptonite to me. :D

21 hours ago, gorch said:

Great build story of a great craftsman. Haven’t had that for a long time.

Thanks, very nice of you. I'd argue that there is amazing work being shown in the Shishkov forum!

15 hours ago, a.bandini said:

To state the obvious: this is all fantastic work.  

You have an undeniable talent for this sort of thing, and an eye for details (and they make all the difference).  It shows in lots of ways.

I'm equally impressed by how neat and organized you keep your shop.  

Well, thanks, I appreciate it. :) I do like to keep things organized so that I can find what I need when I need it. I swear I'm not OCD about it like some guys are, but if there is too much clutter I can feel anxiety building, so I have to stop every so often and tidy up a bit. :D

7 hours ago, Drew816 said:

Great stuff, keep up the fantastic work and updates.

Thank you, I'll try!

32 minutes ago, Boomerang~Junkie said:

Incredible stuff in your posts - wow.

That wood seems like nasty stuff to work with.  Side question:  So, can you even touch the raw wood surface with your bare hands (not sanding it and no sawdust) without it causing you problems - or is it just a reaction to the oils/sap in it etc?

Yeah, it can be nasty, but I know several other builders that have no reaction to it at all. It's mainly the fine dust and repeated exposure that gets me. If I do handle it without gloves, I wash my hands soon after to avoid problems. Of course, once there is a coat of finish on it, there's no problem at all.

If I get dust on my skin for a prolonged period of time, it turns red and becomes irritated and feels like it is burning. If that happens a couple of days in a row, the irritated skin eventually dries out, cracks and starts to peel off. All the skin on my upper face, including my eyelids peeled. It also causes the biggest bags under my eyes that you have ever seen. Like, really bad, double bags... The bags have bags... :o and this takes several weeks to clear up once it starts. On the respiratory side, I get a big lump in my throat, runny nose, watery eyes, etc.

When this all first started around a year ago, I tried to take small steps to prevent it. I always wore a 1/2 mask respirator when sanding, but I added washing my hands and face, blowing off with an air compressor, but symptoms continued to persist. I didn't get it all to clear up until I pretty much completely covered up and wore a powered respirator when sanding it. 

Anyway, I think the getup that I wear is freaking hilarious, but it does work for me. I've heard that once one of these allergies starts, it can cause sensitization to other woods, so I'm hoping to prevent further attacks. I don't want to have to wear this crap when I'm working with maple or mahogany. That would truly suck.

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15 minutes ago, slingblader said:

I swear I'm not OCD about it like some guys are, but if there is too much clutter I can feel anxiety building, so I have to stop every so often and tidy up a bit. 

That’s pretty much OCD, bro. It’s reaping mad benefits, though, so don’t go changin’!

Edited by RobB
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Next up, I started working on the neck carve. I marked out key measurements and started to cut preliminary facets with rasps.

l1xa7GO.jpg

 

More facets are cut.

ALpx260.jpg

 

And the facets get blended together gradually.

PLpv3QT.jpg

 

Close to completion here. I like to use a single light source when getting into the detailed part of shaping. It really helps to highlight areas that need smoothing.

7zAqjfs.jpg

 

The transition is still a bit on the bulky side here, but it's gonna look slick with just a little more massaging.

PP7fJWt.jpg

 

A piece of bone was fitted to the nut slot and the profile marked with a half-pencil. 

E9aUspM.jpg

 

Thanks for looking, more soon. :)

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5 hours ago, slingblader said:

Next up, I started working on the neck carve. I marked out key measurements and started to cut preliminary facets with rasps.

Are you using any kind of shape patterns or working by eye/feel?

I still covet your shop...

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4 hours ago, killerteddybear said:

Are you using any kind of shape patterns or working by eye/feel?

I still covet your shop...

Yep, I do use templates. Some I buy, some I make. I think I got the templates for the Strat on Reverb. :) Some of the carving is completely by feel,  like on the 5 string bass that I designed. I just made that the way that I had it pictured in my head. Some carving is simply copying a profile (like a neck profile), and some of it is a mix of both;  like a belly carve, or forearm contour.

I really, really, really want a dedicated shop. Working out of the garage is OK, but it has a serious number of drawbacks. I can't complain, but sometimes I still do. (Joe Walsh :D )

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Here is some more progress on the cherry/ziricote Strat build.

Installing the trem bushings with a very special hammer. :blink:

A3A4BL7.jpg

 

Mounted the neck and installed the trem.

rA3mhyl.jpg

 

Tuners were installed.

kc8l4cO.jpg

 

Wired up the pickguard. This one is getting the SD Everything Axe set. Wired humbucking by default with coil splitting push/pull on the volume pot to split the bridge and neck pickups. The middle pickup isn't suitable for splitting.

kjKYzfr.jpg

 

Assembled and ready for a test drive.

IVBkNZJ.jpg

 

Here it is sitting next to its sibling. :D

bizUozH.jpg

 

Next up is moving on to finishing, which I just started this past week. So, this thread is nearly in real time now.

More soon. :)

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9 minutes ago, hamerhead said:

God that's beautiful.

I hear that every day when I walk down the street. :lol:

 

Thanks, though. Seriously! :)

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On 7/27/2020 at 11:26 AM, slingblader said:

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I appreciate it. It's been a fun journey for sure. I got into woodworking 12 years ago, and took an interest in building guitars about 3 years ago.

Wow, you only started twelve years ago?!  And only three years of experience with guitars?  I would have guessed with this brilliant level of work that you had been doing it your whole life!

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6 hours ago, HamerCustomEr said:

Wow, you only started twelve years ago?!  And only three years of experience with guitars?  I would have guessed with this brilliant level of work that you had been doing it your whole life!

 

Yep, maybe more like 11, but it seems like a long time. The guitars are a recent development and I wish I had started much sooner. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from building. :)

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Last weekend, I got started shooting a few sealer coats on my buddy''s Strat. Here are a few pics.

iQhE6w4.jpg


yFAZYp5.jpg


AFSmouE.jpg


tRHk2o6.jpg


rm2FI66.jpg


aP6nL7m.jpg

 

Once this dried, I applied pore filler to the ziricote and sanded back numerous times... I think it was at least 6 times. Ziricote is a nightmare to get filled.

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This weekend, I began to shoot additional top coats. In these pictures the ziricote is beginning to level and fill but it still has a few coats to go before it's level. I shot a little bit of "instant bar room funk" on the maple neck. My buddy wanted an old maple look so this is what I came up with. It is UV-aged nitro with amber and brown tints added. 

LZBDWHQ.jpg


jfMdBv5.jpg


u7T0NIZ.jpg


kretHTq.jpg

 

OK, that's pretty much caught up to real time. I've completed the finish coats on the neck. (We're leaving it in a satin sheen) The body continues to get more top coats. I had to take a step back today and drop-fill a few pores that just refused to fill up. So, it only has a couple of top coats at this point. I should be done with the body tomorrow. Then the whole works will hang for a month before it is level sanded, buffed and assembled. 

Now I need to get back to the Special build. :D

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I loved that top before it was sprayed. Absolutely stunning now. The neck is pretty sweet, too!

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Looking great! Yeah, you need a little tinting on the maple to get that wood to pop. I have a neck just like that one on a custom build from 1991, one of the most stable necks I own even with the 4A Tiger-Quilted flames (and like tinted I might add). 

Keep up the great work (and updates here!). 😉

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