My first "from scratch" body build... The building actually begins!

stratamania

Senior member
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9,461
I know you plan on not using binding but you could take the kerfs across and using some of the sawdust from the same piece once you have fitted the drop top fill the kerfs at the edge with sawdust and glue.

 

War_in_D

Senior member
Messages
236
stratamania said:
I know you plan on not using binding but you could take the kerfs across and using some of the sawdust from the same piece once you have fitted the drop top fill the kerfs at the edge with sawdust and glue.

I had actually thought about doing that as well, but plan on doing a dyed top and was afraid that the dye wouldn't take in the areas were the glue was used as a binder.  I don't know this for a fact, but just figured that dye wouldn't penetrate glue.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,461
Also consider this. When you bend the top the space where the kerf was will tighten together.

A bit like this /\ to this ||

You would be using any glue as a binder for any saw dust needed as the filler, so that is what would be dyed, perhaps try a test piece as at the moment it looks like you are in experimentation territory and hopefully happy accidents.
 

War_in_D

Senior member
Messages
236
Got a nice long four day weekend, so I thought I'd finally get started in earnest on this build.

Yesterday, first thing I did was glue up the top and get that started..  Then I spent the rest of the day building thicker (1/2" MDF) templates from the originals that I ordered that were only 1/4" thick.  I made several, in different pickup and bridge layouts that I would most likely ever use.  Nice thing about these templates is that they are all indexed off the same two screw holes so you can mix/match templates to get whatever you want with regard to bridge, pickup and output jack layouts, etc...

Today, I finally took the plunge and passed that point of no return.. actually cutting the wood! LOL  I roughed out the body shape, and roughed out the top shape and mounted them together (just with the two screws for now). 

Here is the part where I need some more advice from the more experience body builders out there.. Since my plan is to bend the top over the forearm contour, would you recommend that I cut the body to the final shape and cut the forearm contour first before gluing the top?  I'm leaning toward this, as I can actually see the final location of the forearm cut in relation to the edge of the body.  My overall plan is to cut the forearm contour, glue the top and then remove material from the back of the body to bring it to it's final thickness.  Or, am I going about that all wrong?
 
 

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PhilHill

Senior member
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1,654
I think your best bet would be to get the top to a tiny bit short of final thickness. Make sure the back of it is as flat as possible, get the top of the body equally flat with the contour section cut. Leave both the top and the body slightly oversize on the perimeter. Remember that the top is going to have to be over long in the contour area to allow for the bend. Glue top and body together, except for the contour area, using the center line to align them. Give it plenty of time to cure so the bend process doesn't stress and crack the glue joint later. Then do the bend and glue on the rest.
Once it's all glued and cured, you can then trim the whole body to final shape and have an even edge all around. One way to do that would be to use superglue and painters tape to clamp the body face down to a work surface. Attach the template upside down to the back of the body the same way and use that to trim your perimeter with a router.
Hopefully it all works out well............ :headbang:
 
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swarfrat

Guest
Thanks to a router mishap, I'm now thinking about doing a spruce top thinline, but I have a forearm countour.  Came back to see again what you did, but I think I'm going to go a different route (no pun intended). The forearm countour is actually one of the places where weight matters for neck dive. I may plane 1/4" off the top, hog it out, and leave the forearm solid (ash).
 

War_in_D

Senior member
Messages
236
swarfrat said:
Thanks to a router mishap....

Ya just had to mention "router mishap", didn't ya!!  :turtle:

Yup, the ol' routerbeast got me too today...  TWICE!!  First mess up was 110% me, so I can only blame myself.  Started to route the body shape out today, and I misjudged the bearing in relation to the template and cut inside the line a smidge...  Also jacked up my template on the edge, but I made those duplicates so I still have a good body template.  :doh:  Luckily, the template I purchased to get the Floyd Rose mounting location is a modified Strat shape (more like a soloist) that is a tad smaller than the Strat body and fit inside the messed up area.  So, it was time to improvise, adapt and overcome...  Change of plan and now the body is more of a Soloist shape vs. the standard Strat shape.

Second mishap, was the routerbeast decided to chip a nice little chunk out of the inside of the upper horn.  :help:  I was going to try to get the body cut out today, get the forearm contour done and get the top glued on today.. but this put a little kink in the plan.  Originally, I was going to glue the top on and then remove material from the back of the body to bring it to final thickness.  Now I'm going to remove some material from the top, and try to remove as much of that chip out as I can.  The remainder of the chip, will be filled with a Walnut dust and superglue mixture before the top is glued on.

Since I don't have a planer, most of the rest of the day today will be spent building a router sled.  Living and learning!!  Good times!!  :eek:ccasion14: 
 

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PhilHill

Senior member
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1,654
That doesn't look too bad. You should be able to hide that fairly well. The walnut will darken some when you finish it, so that should help. Shame that it happened, but sometimes things go that way. Hope the rest of it goes peaceably for you. Just think of this as part of your tuition for your education in body construction......... :icon_thumright:
 
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swarfrat

Guest
There are not many ways to screw up a woodworking project as badly as quickly as with a router. Hey let's take the strength of two horses and put it in a little bitty tube
 

War_in_D

Senior member
Messages
236
Exactly.. I've always heard that the skill of doing anything, but especially woodworking, is not so much in getting it perfect the first time but learning how to fix what gets jacked up along the way and still come out with something perfect at the end.

Tuition indeed! LOL
 

DangerousR6

Senior member
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15,469
War_in_D said:
Exactly.. I've always heard that the skill of doing anything, but especially woodworking, is not so much in getting it perfect the first time but learning how to fix what gets jacked up along the way and still come out with something perfect at the end.

Tuition indeed! LOL
That's basically the recipe for life.... :icon_thumright:
 

War_in_D

Senior member
Messages
236
DangerousR6 said:
War_in_D said:
Exactly.. I've always heard that the skill of doing anything, but especially woodworking, is not so much in getting it perfect the first time but learning how to fix what gets jacked up along the way and still come out with something perfect at the end.

Tuition indeed! LOL
That's basically the recipe for life.... :icon_thumright:

Good point. :eek:ccasion14:
 

War_in_D

Senior member
Messages
236
Made a little more progress today, and another change of plan.  Since I had to alter the body shape, and the horns are now noticeably thinner than the standard Strat shape, I decided to forego putting that flamed top on this body and I'm just going to finish it out as is.  I ordered a nice two piece Sapele blank, that will be getting the flame top on it (and hopefully I won't jack up the routing on that one).

So, today I fixed the routerbeast's bite that removed that chunk in the upper horn.  Mixed a little superglue with the walnut dust I had and slathered it in there.  A little sanding later, beside the obvious difference in color it's basically good as new. As PhilHill has stated, the walnut should darken with finish, so I'm hoping that will blend in better after finish.  Cut the forearm contour and the round overs on the front/back using one of my smaller bits as I didn't want to "over do it" on the horns and make them appear even more pointier than they already are. 
 

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NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
452
A bit off-topic, but just wanted to give you a shout-out for posting pics throughout this thread.  I didn't even know about Guitars By Design, but after you posted the pics of your templates, I looked him up.  Did a bunch of comparisons with other template sellers, and decided to go for it. Just bought two of his guitar templates (the Mockingbird and a straight-up Tele) and the TOM/STP bridge template.

So thanks for the unwitting reference! :)

 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,663
NedRyerson said:
A bit off-topic, but just wanted to give you a shout-out for posting pics throughout this thread.  I didn't even know about Guitars By Design, but after you posted the pics of your templates, I looked him up.  Did a bunch of comparisons with other template sellers, and decided to go for it. Just bought two of his guitar templates (the Mockingbird and a straight-up Tele) and the TOM/STP bridge template.

So thanks for the unwitting reference! :)
Oh if only one of my brothers here could/would build me a laminate Mockingbird.
 
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swarfrat

Guest
Thanks for the tip as well - I got some ideas and could use a strat template.
 

NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
452
TBurst Std said:
NedRyerson said:
A bit off-topic, but just wanted to give you a shout-out for posting pics throughout this thread.  I didn't even know about Guitars By Design, but after you posted the pics of your templates, I looked him up.  Did a bunch of comparisons with other template sellers, and decided to go for it. Just bought two of his guitar templates (the Mockingbird and a straight-up Tele) and the TOM/STP bridge template.

So thanks for the unwitting reference! :)
Oh if only one of my brothers here could/would build me a laminate Mockingbird.

Let me actually cut a piece of wood first and I'll let you know what happens :)

I thoroughly expect disaster, rage, and blood first before I even touch that Mock template!
 

War_in_D

Senior member
Messages
236
No problem fellows..  I bought mine from him off of Ebay, and he's only a few hours north of where I live.  As far as I can tell, the templates are good and he's gotten a lot of positive feedback.  I like the fact that they all index off of the same two screw holes, so you can mix and match them as needed to get the pickup, input/output, cavity shape, etc.. that you want.  The only thing I have noticed that was "off" was the neck pocket template was too tight for a standard Strat type neck but I have a plexiglass neck pocket routing template that I used on this guitar..  Pics to come of all that soon.
 

War_in_D

Senior member
Messages
236
A little more progress.. It's a bit slow, as my "workshop" is the basement of the house and my wife's "office" is right above me.  We work opposite schedules and she's working from home right now, and I'm working nights..  So, when I have the time to work on this (during the day), she's in her office working so using power tools is a bit unappreciated during the week.  Come to think of it, it's really been cutting into my guitar playing time as well.  May need to bring this up at the next family meeting! LOL

Got the neck pocket routed, I sure hope it's straight.  I lined everything up on center, but still a bit nervous aobut that because what's done is done. Ain't no going back now.  I'm going to order the hardtail bridge for this guitar this weekend, and to wait to drill the mouting and string holes until I get the bridge here and can put a neck on it and mock everything up.  Also got the belly cut done, as well as contouring the neck heel a bit.  Routed the control cavity and made a walnut control cavity cover for it...  and before anyone says anything..  I know the grain doesn't line up, but it was the only way I could cut it and have a piece big enough to cover the cavity.  It'll do for a first time.. LOL
 

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PhilHill

Senior member
Messages
1,654
I think your doing pretty durn good for your first time. Don't worry about the cavity cover, it'll look fine in the long run. Your results so far are looking great. Patience is paramount, so the schedule you have now may actually be for the best. It gives you plenty of time to think about your next move as you go. Keep up the good work Man.................. :icon_thumright:


.And remember the words of the great Groucho Marx, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."                        :headbang: :headbang:
 
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