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I'm doing some modifying...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by RyanHelms, Oct 12, 2003.


  1. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Hey, I felt like posting some things I'm playing around with right now. Here's a fretboard end scroll I just got done with. The board was square and 1/2" past the neck heel. I wanted to accomplish two things: Minimize the length of the channel I'll need to rout in the body for truss-rod nut access, and add a personal touch to what would otherwise amount to a P clone.

    The you-know-who-replacement-neck headstock shape has been shaved also. (not too original, but another spot to depart from clone-land) There's only so much that can be removed before hitting the tuner plate footprint, but I plan on taking that as far as I can.

    You can probably see some drawing on the body too. The cutaways are going to get re-worked next.
    And, I'm making an ebony pickup mounting ring since the pup rout is the oversized shape as though a pickguard was going on. What do you think: put a beveled edge on the pup ring and top mount like a regular pickgaurd, or rout a ledge so the mounting ring sits flush?

    More later,
    -RH

    [​IMG]
     
  2. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    So here's the body after scooping out the cutaways. They ended up deeper than I intended because of a freak router mishap. Bandsaw, flat sand, rout 1/2" roundover, slip up, bandsaw, flat sand, rout, slip up.....sound familiar to anyone?

    Now the lower bout seems too bulky, but there aren't any new lines appearing to me so maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.

    More slimming down of the headstock is next, but I'm concerned about removing too much and adversely affecting the stability up there.

    Here's a pic of the new (but maybe not so improved) shape if anyone's interested.

    -RH

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt :D
     
  4. mslatter

    mslatter

    Apr 8, 2003
    How'd you slip up? I usually have no trouble with roundovers. Just be careful. Ya mess up with a chain saw, maybe you lose a foot. No biggee. They make prosthetic feet and you'll have an interesting bar story to tell. Mess up with a router and you've got a Roman ogee across your forehead. No one will even talk to you then.

    I mostly like it. It's not so obviously a P with the horns modified, which is what I was envisioning. The horn change seems planned and pleasing. My only negative looking at it was that I think the thinner horns make the rear look bulky in comparison. I think a change to break up that huge sweeping curve on the tail end would be helpful. A partial ellipse cut out about 1" inward would look good, IMO, particularly if you sculpted the edges of it, instead of rounding it over.

    One idea:

    http://www.bunnybass.com/basses/marleaux_4/marleaux_4.shtml

    Though I was thinking a smaller ellipse. You could also slant off the bottom a little, so it's not so symmetrical. Of course, this is just my opinion, and contrary to popular (my) belief, I'm not always right.

    As for the headstock, you won't weaken it too much if you're taking off parts that do not share the grain of the main length of the neck. If it's just the "wings" of the head, I mean.
     
  5. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Hey, that's a beautiful body! I can see how an inward sweeping curve on the tail would create a more pleasing flow. Let me mount the bridge first and see how much room I have to work with.

    Close...I completely forgot about tightening the height adjustment collar and watched as the top of the 1/2" roundover plunged, burned, and tore, into the body surface.:rolleyes: Second time the router must've traveled downhill just enough from having surface sanded and I did put an ogee in! Had to go skinny.

    I almost altered the bass side cutawy to flow into the treble side, like the Marleaux, and got worried about removing most of the side of the neck pocket in the process. Although, there's nary a side to a P neck pocket on the treble side.

    Hmmmm.... I have the router and the bandsaw to work with. That sounds like a job for a good handtool.

    -RH
     
  6. mslatter

    mslatter

    Apr 8, 2003
    Ugh! I have a love-hate thing with my router right now - one of the recent Milwaukee jobs. It's got a wrap-around handhold which I particularly like, but a snap-close height adjuster I'm a little nervous about. I also don't like it's simple toggle switch. I prefer triggers, for the off chance that one of my kids threw the switch to on before I plug it in, or if I blow a circuit breaker, go downstairs and throw it back on and forget to first power down the router.

    I'm trying to use the router table more often now, even for large pieces and simple roundovers, just because it's less risky to both limb and wood.

    It probably wouldn't be too difficult to approximate the curve and new cutout on a piece of scrap and experiment with a rasp and some 60-grit. I like to work on scrap first, since I have a tendency to not know when to stop the first time I shape something.
     
  7. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I hear ya. Trigger, good. Switch, bad. How's using the table fer ya? I'm still back and forth between table mounting the work and moving a tool around it, and vice versa.

    The sculpting, rather then round-overs, is probaly more of a hand tool job. I did remove the binding once on a LP style guitar and do a round over on the whole silohette with a belt sander.
    Lotta dust!

    And second, and third, and fourth...:D
    (sounds like I'm shifting gears)
    -RH

    BTW, the bridge ended up approx. 1" from the tail. Pretty tight for any more shaping. Such is life w/ pre-fab. #002 will be an original body.