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Tales from my workbench


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Posted (edited)

I've made a little progress on the Special this spring. Here are some of the highlights.

Cleaned out the truss rod access hole.

RhEzK5x.jpg

 

Drilled out the tuner holes

sC8rrDr.jpg

 

Undercut the frets for the bound fretboard.

6AtFVcw.jpg

 

Pressed in the frets.

RpKlNb9.jpg

 

Frets trimmed, leveled, crowned and polished.

gvWBaKP.jpg

 

In preparation for gluing in the neck, I sanded the top along with other areas that would be hard to reach later.

f7q3YXx.jpg

 

Taped off to make cleanup easier.

vvl4fIO.jpg

 

Glued with hot hide glue and clamped.

agtpQtv.jpg

 

Hope to be routing pickup cavities and mounting bridge studs soon. :)

 

 

Edited by slingblader
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1 hour ago, slingblader said:

I've made a little progress on the Special this spring. Here are some of the highlights.

Cleaned out the truss rod access hole.

RhEzK5x.jpg

 

Drilled out the tuner holes

sC8rrDr.jpg

 

Undercut the frets for the bound fretboard.

6AtFVcw.jpg

 

Pressed in the frets.

RpKlNb9.jpg

 

Frets trimmed, leveled, crowned and polished.

gvWBaKP.jpg

 

In preparation for gluing in the neck, I sanded the top along with other areas that would be hard to reach later.

f7q3YXx.jpg

 

Taped off to make cleanup easier.

vvl4fIO.jpg

 

Glued with hot hide glue and clamped.

agtpQtv.jpg

 

Hope to be routing pickup cavities and mounting bridge studs soon. :)

 

 

Looks fantastic!  Can’t wait to see the end result. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little update.

Mounted the tuners.

GKEZgua.jpg

VK216LL.jpg

 

Fitted the nut and roughly slotted.

xRJukQ5.jpg

 

Used a trapeze tailpiece to help get the bridge alignment where it needed to be. Marked the stud locations with a transfer punch.

T4fNivp.jpg

 

Installed the bridge.

LFB7qSM.jpg

 

More soon. :)

 

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10 minutes ago, slingblader said:

A little update.

Mounted the tuners.

GKEZgua.jpg

VK216LL.jpg

 

Fitted the nut and roughly slotted.

xRJukQ5.jpg

 

Used a trapeze tailpiece to help get the bridge alignment where it needed to be. Marked the stud locations with a transfer punch.

T4fNivp.jpg

 

Installed the bridge.

LFB7qSM.jpg

 

More soon. :)

 

Looking great!

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Yesterday I worked on getting the pickup routes completed. I wanted the pickup angles more or less in the same plane as the neck, so here is how I did that.

I mounted the guitar as flat as possible in the vise, then zeroed the angle gauge flat on the body. 

Dyci7I3.jpg

 

I moved the gauge over to the frets and verified the neck angle of 2.5 degrees.
skDBNXp.jpg

 

I removed a little excess wood from the cavity areas with a forstner bit. Then I carefully aligned my template and used small blocks under the rear until the angle matched. 
7RUktcv.jpg

 

Here are the primary routes once I got them to the correct depth. Always a relief to see the wire channel show up in the correct spot. :D
0RSpcCh.jpg

 

The secondary routes were done "flat". I didn't think putting these in at an angle would make any difference... aside from increasing my chances of completely farking it up. 😝
csU9B5Y.jpg

 

Bridge on and pickup covers in the cavities.
uiIFwqX.jpg

 

This shows the angle a little better. Well, maybe not.. terrible picture. My apologies. 
j8VPDaj.jpg


v2aWkpe.jpg

 

That's it for the woodworking. I need to make a truss rod cover and electronics cover. I'll also fully assemble it. Not sure if I'll wire it, but I'll mount everything. That eliminates any surprises later. Once I play it a little, I'll decide if the neck needs any further shaping. If the weather stays nice, I could be shooting finish within a week. 

 

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This weekend I did a full assembly and preliminary setup. Out of the few guitars that I've built to date, this is my favorite so far. It plays effortlessly and it just sounds great. The notes just jump... it's hard to explain. 

I preassembled my harness on a plywood template. This makes things so much easier for me.

IyINLPu.jpg

Transferred it over to the guitar. 
TAISQSM.jpg

Installed and wired.
mjrBlcJ.jpg

Assembled and ready to rock! Pickups still have the protective plastic on them.
7GQ2ThV.jpg


VDJuZHP.jpg

I still have to make the plastic covers. Once that's done, I'll shoot some finish samples, then final sand/cleanup and get on with it. :)

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Congratulations on a fantastic build. The grain on that top is other-worldly! I don't believe I've ever seen one with even remotely similar grain. This guitar is pretty special. Can't wait to see it finished!

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5 hours ago, slingblader said:

This weekend I did a full assembly and preliminary setup. Out of the few guitars that I've built to date, this is my favorite so far. It plays effortlessly and it just sounds great. The notes just jump... it's hard to explain. 

I preassembled my harness on a plywood template. This makes things so much easier for me.

IyINLPu.jpg

Transferred it over to the guitar. 
TAISQSM.jpg

Installed and wired.
mjrBlcJ.jpg

Assembled and ready to rock! Pickups still have the protective plastic on them.
7GQ2ThV.jpg


VDJuZHP.jpg

I still have to make the plastic covers. Once that's done, I'll shoot some finish samples, then final sand/cleanup and get on with it. :)

Oh...  man...  that is spectacular. Can’t wait to see it 100% complete. Nicely done!

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6 hours ago, gtrdaddy said:

Congratulations on a fantastic build. The grain on that top is other-worldly! I don't believe I've ever seen one with even remotely similar grain. This guitar is pretty special. Can't wait to see it finished!

Thanks! It's redwood lace burl. When I bought it, it was a bookmatched set. But each piece was pretty thick. I was able to resaw one half of the set and use it on this guitar... so I have another identical piece to use on another. (that means that I'm a cheap bastard and wanted to stretch it as far as possible.) It's a fairly short piece, so it would have to be a shorter guitar like a LP etc. 

6 hours ago, hamerhead said:

That top is spectacular. Ho. Lee. She. It.

Thanks! I love it. It looks like flames in some spots, or maybe a close up cross section of muscle tissue. LOL

2 hours ago, Travis said:

Oh...  man...  that is spectacular. Can’t wait to see it 100% complete. Nicely done!

Thank you! I can't wait either, it's been dragging along for an eternity. :D

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8 minutes ago, a.bandini said:

On the contrary, thanks for sharing this very impressive work.  

LOL, well thanks.  I meant to take that picture more "on edge" to show the pickup angle better. And to make matters worse the entire guitar is on an angle which throws it way off with the background. It just screws with my brain when I look at it. :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, the latest project is getting in the home stretch. Here are some progress pictures. :)

I got the plastic pieces made. (TR cover and electronics cover)

EDzb6dV.jpg

2Cwq0VE.jpg

 

I got the whole guitar final sanded and shot a few light sealer coats.

oC7MXXm.jpg

4IvMT0Z.jpg

 

Mixed up some pore filler with a nice contrasting color. I wanted something that would compliment the toner color coats.

bX4COHW.jpg

Applied the filler.

TbdW7Eo.jpg

Wiped it back.

nociccR.jpg

Pore filling done.

RxCeMKY.jpg

 

I'll post some of the finishing pics shortly. :D

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OK, here are some finishing pictures. Hope this doesn't get too tedious. 

Here is the body with a few more coats of clear, but before the toner coat. I masked off the bindings so that I'd have a minimal amount of cleanup to do after shooting some color.

PZS6yp9.jpg

 

Here it is right after added a brownish-red toner coat.

snePoKy.jpg

OqABSDu.jpg

 

After every few coats, I let it dry overnight, then quickly level sand. This keeps the overall build of the finish pretty low.

gAxiI05.jpg

 

Here we are after the last few full coats and a final "flow" coat.

2HXX3l1.jpg

S1oB6m1.jpg

kPmq5Z6.jpg

 

I like it!

RQVObES.jpg

 

Now it has to hang and cure for a few weeks before final leveling and buffing. I can't wait to get it wrapped up, I think it's gonna be nice!

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/9/2021 at 9:48 AM, specialk said:

So glad for you and yet… so jealous of you! Lookin great, man!

Thanks, man! It came out pretty great. Here are some pictures of the fully assembled end result. 

a9HNnlO.jpg


oLHhEp2.jpg


6sgmL1h.jpg


qyIcbjz.jpg


tj5IyQ5.jpg


vU0L1IY.jpg


giyY3HA.jpg


LBzG4Wd.jpg


rN8409j.jpg


lh55r4W.jpg

 

I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It plays so nice... it really deserves to be played by a better player than myself, but it makes me grin when I pick it up! :D

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1 hour ago, slingblader said:

Thanks, man! It came out pretty great. Here are some pictures of the fully assembled end result. 

a9HNnlO.jpg


oLHhEp2.jpg


6sgmL1h.jpg


qyIcbjz.jpg


tj5IyQ5.jpg


vU0L1IY.jpg


giyY3HA.jpg


LBzG4Wd.jpg


rN8409j.jpg


lh55r4W.jpg

 

I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It plays so nice... it really deserves to be played by a better player than myself, but it makes me grin when I pick it up! :D

That looks amazing! Fantastic work!

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1 hour ago, a.bandini said:

I'd grin too!  Fantastic work, as always. Truly impressive.  What please, is the significance of the serial number?  

Thanks! Well, the numbers are pretty complicated. :D The top line is just the date that I was shooting the finish, so June 13, 2021. (I like to think of that as the "born on" date.) The second line is the number of the build. In this case, number 6. I've actually already finished #7 while this one was put on the back burner for a while. #7 was the ziricote Strat build for my buddy Mike. 

My next two builds (8 and 9, in case you've lost count :D) will be a pair of Telecasters. One for me, and one for my brother. They will be a sort of tribute to the Don Rich and Buck Owens silver and gold Teles that they played in the 60's. 

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