I have to say... I am disappointed

Alfang

Senior member
Messages
2,596
I'm with Death, I have NEVER waxed a screw, and have never had a problem.

However, I have waxed and soaped screws for other projects non guitar related in the past, don't use soap.
Soap helps screws go in just fine, but theres something in soap, or most soap that is alive or something, it eventually makes the wood mushy over time.

 

Cagey

Senior member
Messages
24,425
Death by Uberschall said:
Not to be the "oddball" here, but I have yet to wax or soap any of my screws when assembling my guitars. If you drill the right size pilot holes, it's really not needed. Just use a drill bit that matches the size of the screw shaft (not the threads) or slightly smaller. It's worked every time for me.

Certainly the appropriate hole size is of primary importance, but if nothing else the wax makes it all easier. The last thing you want to do is fight with your fasteners to the point where the possibility exists that through the use of excessive force you could slip off the screw head and test the hardness of a plastic finish with a sharp metal tool. The tool always wins, and finishes are expensive.

The wax doesn't make the fastener looser or cause it to loosen up over time, so there's no downside to it other than finding some wax and taking the time to apply it.

I'm reminded of the old Boy Scout adage that "a sharp knife is a safe knife". I always followed that rule partly because I was a Good Scout and partly because a sharp knife makes cutting easier, but it was counter-intuitive to me. It seemed that a sharper knife would cut you more easily. That's true, but the thing they never explained was that with a sharp knife, you didn't fight the tool so the chances of getting cut were drastically reduced.

It's sorta the same way with screws. Always lube the screw, and use the right driver. It'll keep you from injuring whatever it is you're screwing into. Also, on a somewhat unrelated note, stay far, far away from straight-slot screws. Whoever came up with those ought to be punished.
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,770
I have a nice drillbit marked with a huge green tape. that bit is used solely for the pilot holes for tuners, backplates and trussrodcovers. The tape also marks how deep I can go. With that bit I never ever EVER have snapped off a screw.

And I always throw the supplied screws away and buy same thickness stainless steel screws. with a little shellac I tint them gold-ish so it doesn't show they're 'silver' instead of gold....

about the pots: take a dremel bit and make the hole a bit oblong. Voila, the pot is perpendicular to the top. I've never ever had problems with pots, though. and i have 18 carved top les pauls...
 

Cagey

Senior member
Messages
24,425
Orpheo said:
And I always throw the supplied screws away and buy same thickness stainless steel screws. with a little shellac I tint them gold-ish so it doesn't show they're 'silver' instead of gold....

That's not bad advice, but it's not practical for everyone. If resources aren't convenient, you sometimes have to make do with what you have. You or I may be able to get any kind of fastener we want almost as easily as wishing for it, but not everybody has that luxury. So, the best recourse is to work with what's supplied. That means knowing how, and that's what we're here for.
 

TonyFlyingSquirrel

Senior member
Messages
4,274
There's a very helpful step by step build from another formite that is pretty throrough that you may benefit from viewing.

www.michahatwell.com

He builds a soloist on there and painstakingly documented every step of the process.    Don't be too hard on yourself and don't let other forumites discourage you. The first instrument or so will always have a learning curve.  It's just part of the process of learning.

Best of luck to ya.
 

Cagey

Senior member
Messages
24,425
That seems to be a broken link. It returns a "Server not found" error. Maybe (s)he changed the domain name?
 

Wyliee

Senior member
Messages
1,931
whitebison66 said:
"What we've got here is... failure to communicate." - Strother Martin

Not a personal failure, but a community one. Why don't we as a community create a sticky post that exhaustively details all the tips, tricks and requirements for assembling a guitar? We can hash out the content (and assembly order) beforehand, put it all together as a single post, and ask the moderators to sticky it?

If Warmoth chooses, they can STRONGLY suggest to customers (either verbally or via email or a notice on the W site) to check out both the forum in general and the Assembly post in particular.

We've all had avoidable tragedies while building guitars, and as a community we'd all like to help others avoid those mistakes. With W's help, we can hopefully reach more people who need the information.

Yes, there is a ton of info on the internet. But that's kind of the problem. By making an Unofficial Warmoth Building Guide, we can hopefully provide people with a tested, trustworthy set of instructions.

I think a sticky is a good idea.  We need to make sure the tips are well tested.

I believe the sales reps to reference customers to this site and others for build tips.  Unfortunately, there are more than a few folks out there that think they know better and take offense at the suggestions.  (Not coincidentally, those tend to be the ones having the most problems.... OP, I'm not implying this is you.)

It is important to realize assembling/modifying a musical instrument requires a bit more work than a Snap-Tite model kit.  Also remember that wood can expand/contract when the humidity/temperature levels vary from WA to the recipients location.
 

ORCRiST

Senior member
Messages
759
Alfang said:
I'm with Death, I have NEVER waxed a screw, and have never had a problem.

However, I have waxed and soaped screws for other projects non guitar related in the past, don't use soap.
Soap helps screws go in just fine, but theres something in soap, or most soap that is alive or something, it eventually makes the wood mushy over time.

Yes, don't use Soap if you can help it! (And I'm taking BAR SOAP - put down the bottle of Dawn and step away from the guitar.)  :confused4:

Bar soaps, et. al., have moisturizers, detergents, perfumes, etc. that do not play well with wood. Essentially you're introducing water
directly into a body or neck via the screw cavity's that will rot and weaken the area over time.

Use WAX. Bee's Wax for best practices but any candle laying around the house works just fine - your GF/wife might get pissed, but I'm sure
that's nothing compared to having to tap, drill and extract a broken off screw.

People that tend to drill pilot holes don't 'need' to lubricate their screws, but I would recommend it regardless. It really depends on if your
drilling into something 'punky' like Ash or Alder vs. something a bit harder like Maple or Mahogany.

My entire guitar was assembled withOUT power tools (not including a soldering iron). I used the two hand drills in the picture below for every
hole that I needed to make (pick guard, jack plate, tuner, strap lock and FR string retainer screws):

sigh3.jpg


ORCRiST
 

vjm

New member
Messages
21
Sorry for the bad experience. But as stated several times already most of the issues could have been easily avoided. I completed my first build this past summer and every aspect went pretty flawless. However, before I bought any part or started any section of the build I researched every detail. By using this forum, books and other internet source's the education process for building guitars or anything else for that matter is right at your finger tips....use them! On the bright side any problems you incurred can easily be corrected by the same advice.
 

Street Avenger

Senior member
Messages
2,247
Regarding soap; don't some soaps contain glycerine? And wouldn't glycerine be bad for wood (such as soften it)? I was quite pleased with the results I got from using wax.
 

Cagey

Senior member
Messages
24,425
Street Avenger said:
Regarding soap; don't some soaps contain glycerine? And wouldn't glycerine be bad for wood (such as soften it)? I was quite pleased with the results I got from using wax.

Yes, they do, and that's probably not the end of the list of things you wouldn't necessarily want to put on wood. Wax is the thing to use, and beeswax is best. It doesn't harden or go rancid, bacteria don't care for it so it has a million year shelf life, it's quite slippery, on and on.

Problem is, it's difficult to find at retailers. But you can get it from places like this. $8 will get you a tube of it that if you only use it for building guitars, it'll last you about 82 bajillion years. Or, if you have a candle shop nearby, you can get beeswax candles and those will work. They're not quite as soft as the tube stuff, but it's still beeswax.
 

Indyplumber

New member
Messages
17
Being new here, and soon to be doing my first build.  I have to admit I was quite surprised that there wasn't a few stickys for build steps, tips, tricks etc.
 

Cagey

Senior member
Messages
24,425
The whole forum is dedicated to DIY building and showing off. Threads go off-topic here and there, but usually not for long. Still, if you use the "Search" function, you'll find pretty much any building/finishing/wiring subject has been addressed. So, the best "sticky" you can do is to put the whole forum in your bookmarks, or whatever your browser calls saved addresses.
 

mullyman

Senior member
Messages
1,857
In my personal opinion I think I sticky with build tips is a fantastic idea. But in reality, Warmoth isn't going to point people to this forum to get tips on building things. They definitely don't need the headache of

"Well, the sales rep told me to go to the forum for build tips. This didn't work and now my guitar is screwed up. You're liable and I want my money back."

Again, for myself, I'd love to have something like that here, and I'd love to add to it, but it would never work.
MULLY
 

Roland

Active member
Messages
31
Cagey said:
OldManRiver said:
Sorry, I guess I explained the neck screw protrusion issue inaccurately. With the combination of the contoured heel and neck screw holes drilled straight down (unavoidable, I know), the heads of the neck screws stick out a little high on one side. The screws are not bend at all, and I was not using a power drill or anything similar. Just a regular, old, correct size screwdriver. I think that maybe they weren't in all the way, just really close, because like I said, they were pretty tight as I was getting them farther in. I didn't keep them in, though. I just wanted to see what the body and neck paired together looked like. I took the neck off just a few minutes after.

That's actually a Good Thing. That means the threads are already cut, so the next time you run the screws in you won't have to fight so hard. I'd still wax them, though, so you don't abrade the wood and open the hole up any more, loosening the joint.

This is one of the reasons some guys (like me) prefer threaded inserts in the neck heel. It allows you to use machine screws instead of wood screws, so there's substantially less wear and tear on the neck if you take it on and off more than a few times during its useful life. It also makes for a tighter joint, which almost has to be a Good Thing as well. Based on your experiences so far, that may be something you'd want somebody else who's done it before to do for you, if the idea appeals. It's a bitch to fix if it doesn't turn out right, assuming it's even fixable, so... word to the wise.

Do you mind explaining the threaded insert idea a little more? How is it better than the standard wood screws?
 

Death by Uberschall

Senior member
Messages
4,162
Here's a good thread about it:

http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=14430.0

The main advantages are there is more thread contact with the wood of the neck, move clamping force came be achieved and removing/reinstalling the neck several times does not wear out the holes in the neck. This is especially important if your neck is made out of a softer wood. It also helps when you install a B-Bender where you put pressure on the neck to operate it.
 
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