First Build - Super Explorer!!!

Photojoe

New member
Messages
13
Alright! I officially ordered my first Warmoth guitar a few weeks ago, and it should be pretty neat. Black korina Explorer with quilt maple lamtop, cream binding (top only), contoured heel, recessed original Floyd Rose tremolo routing. The neck is wenge with a fully scalloped macassar ebony fretboard, jumbo stainless steel frets, 10-16" compound radius, standard thin neck profile, and a quilt maple headstock veneer. It took me several months to decide on everything; especially since some options weren't compatible with others, such as 24 frets with scalloping. I've already ordered the Sperzel tuners, and I got my Bill Lawrence L-500R and L-500XL pickups a few months ago. The plan is to grain fill (2 black, 1 clear) the korina before using tung oil (first few coats thinned, then 100%). As for the quilt maple top, I haven't decided on a color, but I may do green or blue/green mix. The headstock veneer will match whatever color I choose. Any suggestions for this monster?
I'm also currently finishing up a swamp ash Tele that I had built by USA Custom Guitars. It's taken me two summers to finish this stupid thing because someone convinced me not to fill the grain, so it's taken over 40-ish coats and $150 of polyurethane to fill the grain. I used bright blue aniline for this one and it never ceases to amaze me. I've got a Bigsby B5 and EMG-T's for it, so I can't wait to finish it! The plan is to post pictures of it when I'm done as well as the Explorer when it arrives. Suggestions and tips on anything are well appreciated!
~Joe

:party07:
 

Xplorervoodoo

Senior member
Messages
984
Damn man, sounds like my kinda Explorer!  (Well, except for the floyd, I'm not a trem person)

I definitely wanna see this.  :eek:ccasion14:
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
yeah um... your name is PHOTOjoe hehehehe ;)

eh... or it was anyway... :icon_scratch:
 

Chris_Lohmann

Active member
Messages
39
Joe said:
Alright! I officially ordered my first Warmoth guitar a few weeks ago, and it should be pretty neat. Black korina Explorer with quilt maple lamtop, cream binding (top only), contoured heel, recessed original Floyd Rose tremolo routing. The neck is wenge with a fully scalloped macassar ebony fretboard, jumbo stainless steel frets, 10-16" compound radius, standard thin neck profile, and a quilt maple headstock veneer...

You may already be aware of this, but I thought I would say something anyway just in case. Tread very carefully with that combination of original Floyd Rose tremolo and the neck with the 10-16" compound radius fingerboard. Remember, when dealing with necks that have compound radius fingerboards, you must set the saddle radius of your bridge/tremolo to match the radius of your fingerboard at the highest fret in order to avoid problems with your guitar's set-up (i.e. action too low or too high, string buzz, etc.). In this case, 16". Be advised, the saddles on an original Floyd Rose tremolo are NOT capable of individual height adjustment and are fixed at a radius of 10". You can do one of two things. One: you can get a set of metal shims and shim the saddles until they are at the proper radius (a set of radius gauges will come in very handy for that). Two: You can do what I did and get a set of 16" replacement Floyd Rose saddles (two of my guitars have recessed original Floyd Rose tremolos and Warmoth necks with the compound 10-16" radius). Jackson makes a line of guitars with Floyd Rose trems and necks with compound radius fingerboards and since Jackson is now a division of FMIC (Fender Musical Instrument Corporation), you should be able to order a set of the 16" replacement saddles through you local authorized Fender dealer. Other than that, it sounds like you've put a lot of thought into what is sure to be a killer guitar. Congratulations!
 

DocNrock

Senior member
Messages
4,295
Now THAT sounds like a killer Explorer!  Regarding the Floyd and the 16" radius, Chris is right.  If you want extremely low action (and if you're like me, you do), then you can shim the outer saddles as mentioned.  I didn't know about the replacement saddles...food for thought.

That said, I have one Warmoth build done that has a Floyd.  I haven't taken it in for a professional setup yet since I am waiting for its "real" neck to arrive.  However, I play it frequently and the action is not bad; there is no buzz.  The action is not as good as my Jackson USA, but it is better than my Jackson RR3. 

I'm sure you'll figure out how you want to do YOUR build.  Post pics, and welcome to the board.  :icon_thumright: 
 

Photojoe

New member
Messages
13
Chris, Doc, thanks for the info. I, for some reason, thought that the Floyd Rose saddles were height adjustable, much akin to a standard Fender trem. I'll start digging around the internet regarding the 16" radius saddles. I'm glad someone told me before I figured it out... THE HARD WAY. Thanks again!
~Joe~
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
when I posted about this you guys acted like I was nuts or something  :laughing8:
 

Chris_Lohmann

Active member
Messages
39
Joe said:
Chris, Doc, thanks for the info. I, for some reason, thought that the Floyd Rose saddles were height adjustable, much akin to a standard Fender trem. I'll start digging around the internet regarding the 16" radius saddles. I'm glad someone told me before I figured it out... THE HARD WAY. Thanks again!
~Joe~

No, the individual saddles on an Original Floyd Rose (or any model Floyd Rose, for that matter) can't have their height adjusted. You can adjust the overall height of the tremolo, but not each saddle like a Fender-style trem. This goes back to the early 80's when Floyd first designed his tremolo. He believed that height-adjustable saddles like the kind found on Fender-style trems and the like were one of the causes of tuning instability so he decided to make the saddles on his trem fixed.

I've never been able to find those 16" radius Floyd Rose replacement saddles for sale anywhere on the internet. Like I said in my previous post, they're made for a few specific models of Jackson guitars and aren't really sold as "replacement parts", per se. A friend of mine who works at my local guitar shop has some connections at Fender and when I came to him and told him that I had an original Floyd Rose trem with a fixed saddle radius of 10" and a custom-made replacement neck with a compound 10-16" radius and that I didn't know how I was going to be able to use them together (because I did learn this the hard way, by the way), he made a couple of phone calls and got Fender to, um, "divert" a set of those 16" radius saddles to me rather than put them on the Jackson guitar that they were intended for. So, I guess my point is, don't waste your time hunting for those 16" radius replacement saddles on the internet because you're probably not going to find them. Go to your local authorized Fender dealer and see if you can order a set through them direct from Fender. Oh, I should mention that the metal shims are the much cheaper and easier option, it's just that I've never liked the way they looked so I decided to go for the more expensive (and harder to get) replacement saddles. Just remember that you can always fall back to the shims if you can't find or can't get the replacement saddles.

Also, since you're going to be using that original Floyd Rose, you might consider getting one of these:

Not actual size
thekey_01.jpg


It's called "The Key" and it makes intonating the saddles of an original Floyd Rose trem a heckuva lot easier than trying to do it by hand. It can be found at...

Stewart-MacDonald
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Bridges/The_Key.html

All-Parts
http://www.allparts.com/store/tools-etc-miscellaneous-tools-lt-0868-000,Product.asp

or Universal Jems to name a few.
http://www.universaljems.com/cart/tools.htm

Glad to help.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
Also on that grain filling of Korina part, I like the two black color fills to begin with, but it might take 4-7 more coats of clear after that to get it smooth.  It does depend on the grain and you not sanding away your work.  I don't want to rain on the adrenaline of a new project, but keep it in mind that korina can be difficult grain to fill.  The major problem is that it looks like one application will do the trick, then it shrinks.  And you wonder if it did anything.  Also, if you are making an order for other things to Stew Mac, pick up a can of sanding sealer.  After grain filling the korina, seal.  Then sand that smooth.  Jack and CB have loads of practical info on this stuff in the DIY Finishing section.  Sounds like a lot of fun, good luck.
Patrick

 

dmraco

Senior member
Messages
4,651
DocNrock said:
Now THAT sounds like a killer Explorer!  Regarding the Floyd and the 16" radius, Chris is right.  If you want extremely low action (and if you're like me, you do), then you can shim the outer saddles as mentioned.  I didn't know about the replacement saddles...food for thought.

That said, I have one Warmoth build done that has a Floyd.  I haven't taken it in for a professional setup yet since I am waiting for its "real" neck to arrive.  However, I play it frequently and the action is not bad; there is no buzz.  The action is not as good as my Jackson USA, but it is better than my Jackson RR3. 

I'm sure you'll figure out how you want to do YOUR build.  Post pics, and welcome to the board.  :icon_thumright: 

They are correct...it will work but with some effort.  Have you thought of a Kahler...they are back in business and made a fine unit.  I personally (not to start another debate) find them superior due to the saddle height adjustment and ease when palm muting.  They are a bit "softer" to the touch than the floyds but if you never used one, you will not miss it.  I have been using a Kahler since I bought my GIBSON Explorer in 1994 and have owned them ever since with no problems.  HOWEVER...I found the Kahler string locks are not the best.  I am using a Floyd lock unit on my current build.
 
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