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Another start -> finish thread

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rodent, Aug 21, 2005.


  1. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I recently have spent time working a double-cut body design for a 5-string bass. I hope to provide yet another thread on concept to completion, but with a couple of twists along the line.

    I started this project by reviewing numerous basses and noting what I liked, and what I thought fell flat in design, form/fit/function, balance, playability, finishing, etc ... I then began working a conceptual 3D model with an unnamed CAD system to fully define every detail in the body and neck as if I was going to generate Machine Control Data (MCD) directly from my models. From this 3D model I generated full-size body templates on heavy poster board and cut them out. This posterboard template was then transfered onto a 3/4" MDF sheet and carefully cut-out for use as a router template.

    Once I was certain of my rough dimensional requirements, I ordered my 2-pc Alder body blanks from Gallery Hardwoods (thanks for your assistance Larry!) and they were at my door within a couple of days. These have been glued using Titebond Original, and are currently curing for a couple of days.

    Later this week I'll rough-cut the body and then finish the body outline utilizing the router template.

    Images to come when I can get them loaded today/tomorrow.

    All the best,

    R
     
  2. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Initial glue up in progress

    [​IMG]

    R
     
  3. nice looking peice of wood Rodent. hopefuly your buildup will help with my project (i'm currently in the designing stages).


    and btw... what year is that mustang? :p
     
  4. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Oct '64 Fastback, originally Rangoon red, 289 4bbl, A code, original early '65 red interior, 3-sp manual. 13K miles on 1995 complete engine rebuild. I've had it since '94, and it's been garaged ever since.

    Best of all ... it's currently being considered for sale to support funding for my woodshop.

    R
     
  5. sorry to hear she has to go man. hopefuly the stallion will end up in a good home...

    Mollin Man
     
  6. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    OK, current plans are to rough cut the body blank with a bandsaw, and then use a router template to clean up the 1/16" of trim left on the rough cut. In order to do this, I need an accurate router template. Here I am cutting this out with a 60's vintage variable speed Craftsman Auto-scroller.

    [​IMG]

    Later this week I will utilize a drum sander attachment on the 1978 ShopSmith I just purchased to clean and smooth the template to its finished countours, and assure that I have a true 90 deg edge.

    For a little size perspective, here's a shot of me (6'3") holding the rough cut template. I'm wondering if this might be just a little small for a single-cut 5-string bolt-on body.

    [​IMG]

    I should know in a couple of weeks if I was misguided on my sizing. The 3D model shows this should be just right and balance well with the specified neck that I will build later.

    R

    p.s. Having just passed the 40 mark, it was encoouraging to see that my noggin top still sported a full own-root lawn. :D
     
  7. Nice, I got a '64 caddy fleetwood 4-door, <19,000 original miles, bought it from my guitarist's Dad. It needs a fuel pump and a few other odd parts, not too expensive, but I'm really broke these days. :bawl:
     
  8. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    aside from gluing, how did you join them in the middle?
    thanks and I like the body shape.
     
  9. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I have contemplated using biscuits when joining the main body sections, but I'm not convinced this is the way to go just yet. I want to hear if there is any tonality differences between the two methods before deciding the exact method to use.

    In your experience do you have any perferences?

    R

    p.s. for a good laugh ... I had even briefly (quite briefly!) thought about using a dovetail joint for the main body sections. Talk about taking on a load of added and unnecessary work!
     
  10. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    so it's just glued, no biscuits or mortise and tenon then?

    myself? I go the easy way. premade. I'm just a builder, not a true luthier.

    dovetailing. that would be brave.
     
  11. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    sorry ... the answer did go through my mind, but got interrupted before my fingers could type it (and I won't point any fingers at any specific family member who did the interrupting :D )...

    yes, this body is just glued along the joint. nothing fancy.

    R

    p.s. was the blue quilt topped bass on your site a custom order or something from the showcase? I don't recall seeing it on-line, so I assume it was a special order.
     
  12. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    when I finally gave in, back in december of 04, that body was in the showcase, but unpainted. I kicked around the idea for a long time and I was gonna have Nino Valenti do it for me, but then I just got this fire in me to do it myself (and it helps that I build decks and fences for a living and can do almost any construction). so then one thing led to another and, voila!
    their necks are really nice, but a bit heavy so i started having someone else build them for me to certain specs.
     
  13. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Don't overdo things. These methods won't add any benefits in that kind of joint: 'no load, will be planed after gluing'.
     
  14. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I had a little time tonight to drum sand the MDF routing template. This was also my first outing with the ShopSmith. :hyper:

    [​IMG]

    I was impressed with how easy it was to get set-up and sanding. Sometime this coming weekend I'll get the actual body blank rough cut and ready for the router.

    R

    p.s. I guess it's also obvious from the images to date that I'm working a single-cut prototype in parallel with the doouble-cut. I'll have to remember to snap images of the double-cut for the next photo installment.
     
  15. Cool...And right there on the other end is the horizontal drum sander - for doing belly and forearm carvings. Sweet. :bassist:
     
  16. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    and don't forget the occasional forehead sculpting when using the drill press. :eek:

    R
     
  17. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Been awhile since I last updated things here...

    In the process of working out the single-cut, I had a request to mod this into a double-cut version. Since then I've been working the two projects in tandem ...

    I know I've posted a few of these images sporadically thru other threads, but I wanted to bring them all back into the thread I originally started.

    Similar to what was done for the single-cut, I made a body template for the double-cut. Here is a shot of the first body exhumed from this new template (notice that the neck pocket is already routed prior to routing the body contour - it's definitely must more accurate to do this prior to having the body cut out. Also notice that my router slipped while routing the neck pocket - the new router noted below will resolve this technicality and teach me not to use cheap tools, even if they are free):

    [​IMG]

    On my second double-cut body I had a large knot that I needed to dodge, and since the knot only went part way thru the core blank it made sense to cut it first. You can also see I've roughed out the top laminate as well, leaving a full 1/4" trim - this will be removed after it's been glued to the body core:

    [​IMG]

    Body fully trimmed to the correct contour, drum sanded on the edges, and then the edges rounded over with a 3/4" roundover bit in the router. I decided to take a test fit of the Warmoth neck this one was to receive. Shortly after this image the body received it's arm and tummy contours:

    [​IMG]

    Since use of Warmoth necks is not the end goal here, it's on the working the neck prototype. After weeks of designing, redesigning, more thought, and then another redesign I decided it was never going to get done if I didn't take the initial plunge.

    [​IMG]

    After a quick trip to the hardwood store for a select 4/4 maple board, the neck blank was cut to length and the paper template outlined on material. First step was to route the truss rod channel followed by two channels for the carbon fiber stiffening bars. Here I turned to my ShopSmith, and the job was accomplished quite easily and quickly:

    [​IMG]

    With an end result of:

    [​IMG]

    A brief stop at the bandsaw to cut out the neck, then back to the mad scientist lab where I test fit the truss rod and carbon fiber bars into the neck prior to shaping the back side:

    [​IMG]

    Next it was off to the shop for an opportunity to become acquainted with a rasp, surform, and spokeshave. About an hour later (after some time spent with a sanding block) I returned with this:

    [​IMG]

    There are a load of detailed steps missing from this review, but then my aim isn't to publish a book here. I can shoot images of any specific steps on an upcoming body/neck if anyone has specific questions. Of course it should also be said that this may not be the most efficient way to do any of these steps - it's just the method I'm using given the shop equipment/facilities I had at the time. I am not the all encompassing authority on this process, and I can say for certain this it will morph as I continue to work oout this process and add equipment to the shop.

    Speaking of adding equipment, I made a couple purchases this week. One item is here now, and the others will be here within the next few days.

    Here's what's new:

    Porter Cable router - 895PK kit (en route)
    [​IMG]

    Jet 6" extended bed Jointer (setting it up today!)
    [​IMG]

    Jet portable dust collector (here)
    [​IMG]

    DeWalt heavy duty 13" benchtop planer (en route)
    [​IMG]

    Over the next couple weeks I'll also be upgrading the electrical system in the shop to accommodate for the new tooling.

    All the best,

    R
     
  18. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    So I was wondering what type of bit I would need to cut out the body with my plunge router as you did. This looks like it saves an enormous amount of work rather than using a band saw.
    Tnx..
    Luke
     
  19. shameandspite

    shameandspite

    Oct 12, 2005
    I looked at your shiny new tools, and I though of my pitiful bank account. I cried.

    Edit, great thread, keep us posted. This is like a soap opera, you cant wait to see how the sugery went. And yes, I know I sounded like a woman in this thread.
     
  20. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    I am using a carbide tipped 1/2" plunge bit (1" deep) with a 1/4" shank, and on that shank I have a 1/2" collar bearing. If you're not sure what this is I'll add a picture and link to this thread - let me know ...

    All the best,

    R