Velocity body....my journey so far - It is done

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
771
Greetings,

This is my 3rd Warmoth partscaster and for this one, wanted to take it a little further.  I bought an all mahogany Velocity body to be mated with a roasted maple / ebony Tiltback Strat 24.75" conversion neck.  And.....


The body as it came from Warmoth...
Velocity-body.jpg


Body with the neck...
Velocity-body-with-neck.jpg


Modified neck heel (still needs to be cleaned up)
Velocity-neck-heel.jpg


And now the fun begins...

I wanted to put binding on the guitar and some form of inlay.  I easily spent as much on tools and supplies as I did on the guitar itself.  StewMac saw a lot of use of my credit card.  They truly have some great tools, among them, high quality Dremel accessories.  Also picked up a Makita router.

In the below pic, I started off making a channel for the abalone strip (from StewMac and this is great stuff, makes application easy), then realized I wanted something "more".  Bought ebony and coco bolo w/ white binding strips from StewMac, and then routed around the original channel made for the abalone.  Of course, the depth of the wood is about 1/32 deeper than the abalone, so had to route that much deeper around the original channel.  Was very fortunate there was no tear out.  Having said that, when I was drilling the vol/tone holes, I used masking tape, and when I pulled the tape off, I did get tear out.  Fortunately, the folks on this site provided some great advice on how to fix...
V1.jpg


In this pic, the centerline inlaid woods and abalone has been applied, and the wood tear out has been fixed...
V2.jpg


And now the centerline inlay has been routed flush to the body and pickup bridge cavities.
Velocity-center-channel-finished.jpg



For the binding.  I saw some vid's on Youtube where a luthier went about backwards engineering the unit that StewMac makes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sljb3JPa-UQ

I liked this version better, as it would accommodate following the forearm comfort cut better.  I bought some CNC racking and a gantry plate, mounted the Makita router to it, bought some StewMac binding channel router bits with the different sized bearings, and a lot of time and patience.  The biggest challenge with this was getting the contour of the underside of the plate where the router sits, to float correctly with the guitar body contours.  I bought some lexan and tried that (which is what the guy in the video used), but this wasn't working out for me.  It requred making threaded holes in the lexan to attach to the gantry plate for the router, and I couldn't get the threads correct.  Plan B was getting a strip of oak, sizing it and making the contour.  I went through about 3 prototypes for the lexan before calling it quits with the lexan, and about 5 prototypes with the oak.  Had it almost perfect, but needed something to provide a different angled contour against what the oak shelf was doing.  Wound up perusing Home Depot and Lowes in the plumbing section.  Looked at PVC caps (would cut a hole in the cap for the router bit to go through.  This almost worked, but not quite.  I found what  I needed at a plumbing supply store.  A simple Delrin ring with angled sides glued to the underside .....worked!

I cut the 1st channel, and all went well.  Then figured, wow that was easy and started thinking of more elaborate designs.  Decided to go back and a deeper route into the body and make a multiple binding layer (closest thing I can of to describe this is, on a Les Paul Custom there are multiple black and white binding layers).  All was good until I hit the forearm contour and the router bearing jumped onto the previously routed channel, creating a 3rd depth layer around the forearm contour.  Ughhhhhhh.  Moral of this story it, start at your most recessed depth and work forward to the side of the body from their.  Not start at the outer depth and then go back and route a deeper channel.  For the fix, StewMac sells a teflon binding strip that is used to fill a purfling channel clear while the binding is applied.  Some pics....

1st layer of binding.  I used more the teflon strip to apply pressure to the bottom area of the binding.  The binding was glued in used very thin viscosity CA Glue (Superglue).  The CA glue doesn't stick to the teflon strip, but I used a bit much of the glue and stripping back afterwards was a lot of time and work
Velocity-1st-binding-layer.jpg


After (you can see the teflon stip against the inside of cream binding layer in the forearm contour, this will be filled in with mahogany sawdust and glue)...
Velocity-1st-binding-layer-tape-removal.jpg


And now, the 2nd (outer black strip) and 3rd layer of binding (plastic abalone strip that sits under the black binding strip)
Velocity-2nd-binding-layer.jpg


All taped up...
Velocity-2nd-binding-layer-all-taped-up.jpg


And where I am now.  Currently in the process of "scraping" the binding strip to be flush with the body...
Velocity-2nd-binding-layer-scraping.jpg


And a side shot showing the plastic abalone strip ....
Velocity-2nd-binding-layer-side-shot.jpg


ALMOST at the point of finally getting to the finish.  Hoping to have the binding related done by the end of the week.


 

dmraco

Senior member
Messages
4,651
Very nice work.  It is going to look great.    I have always ben afraid to do binding let alone on a contoured body.
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
771
DMRACO said:
Very nice work.  It is going to look great.    I have always ben afraid to do binding let alone on a contoured body.

Thanks for the kind words

Oh yeah....

There was LOTS of testing for the contoured body.  Did I mention LOTS of testing?  Now having figured out how to do this, I think this almost justifies buying more Warmoth bodies to futz with....at least, that's how I'm going to sell this to my wife.
 

PhilHill

Senior member
Messages
1,654
Outstanding job! My Congrat's to You.  Personally, I love doing binding..............NOT!......You persevered and overcame some problems there that others can learn from....... :icon_thumright: 
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
771
PhilHill said:
Outstanding job! My Congrat's to You.  Personally, I love doing binding..............NOT!......You persevered and overcame some problems there that others can learn from....... :icon_thumright:

Thank you!

Yup, the anxiousness of making those binding cuts.....phew

And the scraping....it's a LONG process
 

wildbill

Senior member
Messages
185
Nice !    Learning never gets old to me, I totally enjoy it. I am willing to bet that is what separates the majority of us here from "normal" people. We all enjoy, crave actually, learning how to master manual tasks. I enjoy watching others learn, and learning from that. Like the old saying; see one, do one, teach one.
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
771
Did some sanding last night.  Noticed I missed some spots, but ......getting there.  I want to do some kind of mother of pearl flake design in a routed channel.  Haven't been able to come up an idea that I like so far, but .....will continue.

V-binding-sanded-1-2.jpg


V-binding-sanded-2-2.jpg


V-binding-sanded-3-2.jpg

 

JPOL007

Senior member
Messages
459
rauchman said:
Did some sanding last night.  Noticed I missed some spots, but ......getting there.  I want to do some kind of mother of pearl flake design in a routed channel.  Haven't been able to come up an idea that I like so far, but .....will continue.

V-binding-sanded-1-2.jpg


V-binding-sanded-2-2.jpg


V-binding-sanded-3-2.jpg
That is looking Sweet :icon_thumright: Really like the strip down the middle of the body. I'm too lazy and scared to try binding anything. Have you looked at the Easy Inlay crushed mother of pearl products for your flaked inlay idea? That with some CA glue does pretty good work. Looking forward to the finished build.
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
771
JPOL007 said:
That is looking Sweet :icon_thumright: Really like the strip down the middle of the body. I'm too lazy and scared to try binding anything. Have you looked at the Easy Inlay crushed mother of pearl products for your flaked inlay idea? That with some CA glue does pretty good work. Looking forward to the finished build.

Thanks!  yes, the Easy Inlay is exactly what I have, both the Fine and Flaked.  Just need to figure out the design I want to use.  I literally stared at the pic above with the neck on it, for about 2 hours going into zen contemplation on an idea....but never got there.  I must use the Force
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,232
That looks astounding!  You should be proud of your skills.  And of the guitar!  :headbang:
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
771
Have to touch up a couple of things, but otherwise, the body is done!  Just ordered the pickups and electronics today.  By next week, hoping I'll be able to play this thing.

Some updates....


Decided against trying to route a design using mother of pearl flake.  Couldn't come up with something that screamed "yeah, that's it!".

The front was lightly hit with red and black dye and then sanded back.  You can see light redness in some of the grain on the front.

Maguire's micro swirl scratch remover polish worked really well as the "wet" medium using 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000 grit wet/dry sandpaper (recommendations for a "proper" polisher would be great!!!).

V-Body-polished.jpg


V-top-side-polished.jpg
 

rauchman

Senior member
Messages
771
Thanks for the kind words.  I have to invest in some kind of polishing tool.  The hand polishing through 5 grits of sandpaper takes a loooooooong time.
 
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