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An EUB in progress

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by nateo, Jun 22, 2005.


  1. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Hey hey,

    So I recieved an order from Larry last week and last night I finally got the neck blank cut down and planed out (it was a busy weekend). When I went out to take pictures I noticed a few things. First someone turned the sun up too high so the fingerboard turned into a bright white rectangle. Second, I really need to mow the lawn.

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    This is the general layout of the bass. It's a 9 piece neck (maple, wenge, and mahogany down the middle) with mahogany body wings and a birdseye fingerboard. The full neck blank started off at around 4" thick, so I'll get at least two more necks out of it. The odd 3D thing on the body is my template (with some crazy shadows). It's basically a double bass outline that I shrank down to around 19" long. It looks somewhat violin bass like but it's got it's own charm (i.e. a 41.5" scale).

    I moved the fingerboard out of the way to give a better look at the neck. It's pretty much the best neck that I know of (ten points for the first person to name that movie reference).

    [​IMG]

    Right now I'm debating what to use as a transition block on the back. It's a tossup between finding something that will sit nice between the mahogany wings and another chunk of the neck (to match the laminates and all). Opinions welcome.

    -Nate

    PS: As much as it may get us into trouble, Geoff and I just bought some wood for a guitar project. It's going to be a roughly LP styled instrument with a mahogany body and padauk top, maple neck, and ebony fingerboard. All told the wood cost around $150 CDN from our friendly neighborhood Windsor Plywood. Here's a pic of the roughcut wood...

    [​IMG]

    ... and the planed, cut, and glued body blank.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    Bah! :) mahogany goes to maple perfectly. no transition needed between the two. if you really feel the need though, i think just a thin dark accent line would be alright.

    I like the woods, i'm not so sure i like the design... the nice red brown padouk should the Les Paul style less boring, but then again you know my view on classically styled instruments... :D
     
  3. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    When I said transition block I meant something to thicken the neck portion of the neck through, since it's only about 1" right now and it'll need to be closer to 1 3/4" to match the wings. Transition block may not be the right term, but it was what first came to mind.

    Yeah, you've got a thing for sharp edges and pointy bits that I haven't figured out yet. As guitars go I think the LP shape is one of the best, expecially with a nicely carved top. Scott French's top carving tutorial should come in handy, with a few modifications for my shop of course (I forsee an angle grinder in the mix).

    -Nate
     
  4. I've got the design in the works. I think that it's pretty slick so far. I'm just working on designing a better neck joint than what I have now. I'm thinking of putting some sound holes on it since it will be so heavily chambered. I know we will be using an angle grinder.
     
  5. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    oh... umm... well i guess wenge might be a nice option....

    Not so much pointy as "unique." :D or as my friend likes to put it: "agressive, but flowing." for example: i've never liked any of the "80's" style guitars like the kelly, explorer, or the flying V, they don't flow.... you gotta have blend... you're right though, the LP is the most classy of all the classic guitar shapes, probably due to that nice carved top.
     
  6. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Geoff finished the LP style body shape so we spent the evening cutting mahogany. The EUB wings are cut out and the neck has been planed to it's final thickness. Up next is radiusing that monster fingerboard and picking out a nice transition block. I love the figured maple in the neck. It really shines.

    [​IMG]

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    The LP is looking good now that it's been cut and sanded. When we were gluing up the padauk top we decided to toss in a strip of wenge on a whim. It seems to be a good idea so far.

    [​IMG]

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    We also noticed that, due to an odd twist of fate during the sawing and gluing, the mahogany LP body is actually bookmatched. So long as you look at it from the endgrain, anyway.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Cerb

    Cerb

    Sep 27, 2004
    Indiana
    Wow, the neck on that EUB is amazing. Love that flamed maple.
     
  8. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Larry says it's birdseye, actually. I love the way it looks, but it's a royal pain for me to plane it. The grain loves to tear out where it changes directions, so I had to take tiny bites and wipe the wood down with a wet rag between each one. The moisture seemed to reduce the tearout nicely, but it made me worry about warpage.

    Luckily everything seems to have worked out. *knock on figured hardwood*

    -Nate
     
  9. Cerb

    Cerb

    Sep 27, 2004
    Indiana
    By the way, I sent you an email about a week and a half ago, and was wondering if you ever got it. Gmail was acting funky at the time I sent it, so I'm not sure if it ever made its way to you.
     
  10. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Well, no EUB update today, but here's a couple of the LP. We started routing the chambers in the mahogany, one for controls and one for "resonance". The resonant chamber is tuned to exactly 220 Hz so you can only really play in the key of A on this thing. It's a good key.

    [​IMG]

    We also cut the top down to approximately the right size. The padauk has a faint figure that runs along the grain. It should shine nicely when it's finished.

    [​IMG]

    -Nate

    PS: No, you can't tune a resonant chamber to a specific frequency without a supercomputer (or at least a parallel computing cluster) and more knowledge about the materials than I ever want to gather.
     
  11. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    Man that looks really really good...

    how do you know the chamber is tuned to 220?
     
  12. He doesn't. Check the last line of the post. ;)
     
  13. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    Oh....

    Perhaps i should learn to read instead of looking at all the pretty pictures shouldn't I? :rolleyes: :D
     
  14. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    We finished the chamber routing and glued the top. There was also a bit of planning for the carving and some countersinks were drilled for the knobs. The knobs shown here are a pau ferro set (with some tung oil) that look pretty awesome. The actual set for this guitar will probably be some combination of wenge and padauk (maybe with a touch of ebony, awesome ideas welcome).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    You can see a handfull of pencil marks in that last one. Some are meaningful, some aren't. I'll let you guess which is which.

    -Nate
     
  15. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Finally, a bit of actual EUB progress.

    I grabbed a nice piece of flamed maple for the transition block. It's now planed to thickness and cut pretty close to size. I'll do the final shaping once I've glued it to the neck so I can get the edges to line up exactly while planing the neck to it's exact thickness (it's around 1/16" over right now). I also planed the wings down to match the thickness of the neck and transition block.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I glued a printout of my AutoCAD design to let me know where my cuts are going. I'll rough cut it with the bandsaw and clean up the edges with a straight edge and router (once the truss rod channel is routed, of course). The transition block will be shaped with the neck and rounded out to give a thicker heel (more strength to make up for the relatively short (i.e. standard bass sized) truss rod).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Geoff also scarf jointed the neck for the LP. We had some trouble clamping the bits together so we used bolts on either side through predrilled holes (a modification on a trick we picked up at Sheldon Dingwall's shop this afternoon (he's a clever guy, no doubt about it)). The clamp was just to get some extra pressure on the middle once everything was lined up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    -Nate
     
  16. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I embarked on the epic journey of fingerboard tapering and radiusing the other day. Here's what I came up with.

    The first step was to cut it to thickness. I built a 1° jig and ran it through the table saw to get the thickness taper I was after. I then gave it a shot on the planer (in the same jig) to get a nice flat surface to work with. Next was a trip to the band saw (after taking it off the jig, of course) to get the width taper close. I used a straight edge and a router bit to do clean up the edges afterwards.

    These pics show the tapered board attached to the jig. The clamps at either end were only used until the dab of carpenter's glue I used to hold it to the jig dried. The glue held just fine and broke open easily with a bit of pressure from a glazing bar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The next step was to put the whole thing (angle jig and all) into my radiusing router jig. Man I love jigs.

    The router jig uses a pivot pin below the board with the router mounted above. This lets me get a fairly small radius (3" in this case) without the hassle of sanding the entire thing by hand. Unfortunately a few problems came up (such as a slight router bit slip) that required quite a lot of hand sanding to be done. Here's a pic of the router jig in action.

    [​IMG]

    Once the board was roughly radiused I needed a sanding block to take out the imperfections. Because the middle portion of the board was at the correct radius and fairly flat, I decided to just roll with it. I stuck a piece of sandpaper face up to the fingerboard and used my table saw to Dado out a chunk of 2x4. A bit of elbow grease and the 2x4 was nicely lapped to the fingerboard. Presto, custom fit sanding block.

    [​IMG]

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    The block was then used to smooth out the fingerboard. I still need to do some final shaping, but right now the board is smooth and generally level. Just for fun I clamped it onto the neck blank to see how the whole thing is going to lay out. I think it looks pretty good.

    [​IMG]

    -Nate
     
  17. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I finally made a bit more progress tonight. I put fretmarkers on the side of a 1/4" sheet of mahogany that will sit under the fretboard. This will give me some extra string height at the body as well as hiding the fret markers from the front. Also, the markers are maple so they're only visible from fairly close. Let's just say this won't be a bass for playin' in the dark. I wouldn't have bothered with them at all if I had any idea how to play a 41.5" scale fretless.

    First the fingerboard and the mahogany plate.

    [​IMG]

    And now the fret markers. They're a bit tough to see even in this picture. Let me assure you, they look pretty cool. I think Geoff will back me up on that, too.

    [​IMG]

    -Nate
     
  18. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    NICE!

    I like that radiusing tool. But I can't really see how you manage the feeding of the fingerboard...

    Care to share some more info on that?
     
  19. While I do agree that the ugly 80's kelly, and the king V shape suck. The original gibson V, and Gibson explorer, are way older than the 80's, they acctually dawn from the era of the space race. They were going futuristic with every thing then, Buck Roger, and rocket ship fins on cars. I'm not offended that you don't like the Idea for my bass build (explorer), just saying Jackson junked up classic Gibson designs in the 80's. :)
     
  20. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    There's really not much to it. The router is mounted in such a way that the fingerboard can pass underneath it while the router can still swing far enough to radius the entire width. The feeding is done the old fashioned way. I swing the router to make the first cut, push the fingerboard in a bit, then swing the router to make the next cut. This process continues until I've radiused the entire length of the board. The only real problem I encountered (i.e. the only one that weren't completely my fault) was when the bit slipped, cutting deeper than I wanted. A whole lot of sanding managed to get rid of that, but I still need to do the final levelling.

    In the mean time, here are a few new pics. First up is a shot of the headstock now that I've got the rough shape cut out. There's quite a bit of file and rasp work left to be done, but you get the idea.

    [​IMG]

    The astute observer might notice that the truss rod channel is off center by 1/8". Luckily I've got years of experience hiding mistakes with clever justifications. Because higher strings have higher tension the trebel side of a neck is more likely to warp. By offsetting the truss rod towards the trebel side, this problem can be avoided even before it happens. Therefore it would have been a mistake NOT to route the truss rod channel where I did.

    I also glued on the body wings this evening. None of the pictures turned out great since the blocks used to clamp the wings were the cutoffs from the original mahogany pieces. It makes some nice custom clamping cauls, but there isn't quite enough contrast for nighttime pictures. I'll either have to stop taking pics at night or find myself some better lighting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The wood is still damp from when I wiped up the excess glue. You can also see the remnants of my template printout. I only left that bit because it shows me where my fingerboard ends.

    -Nate