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Semi-hollow, fretless... guitar

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by lbridenstine, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012

    -Single cut
    -Fretless with partial veneer lines in white
    -Floating ebony archtop bridge
    -Wenge tailpiece with brass plate underneath (for grounding)
    -Carved top
    -Grover Sta-tite tuners
    -Replacing the tuner knobs with ivoroid ones
    -Single humbucker - bridge position, no pickup ring
    -Haven't chosen the pickup yet, but I'm leaning towards something DiMarzio in either white or black (but not both), vintage or medium output
    -Wenge top
    -Tineo body (mostly one piece)
    -East Indian Rosewood neck (QS, one piece)
    -New Guinea striped ebony fretboard
    -White veneer between everything
    -White binding around f-holes
    -Mother of pearl/gold mop headstock inlay (haven't come up with a design yet)
    -Body end truss rod adjustment, with flush cover
    -Grain filling the wenge - white or grey
    -Tung oil finish, but unfinished neck

    So, these things will be new for me:
    -Headstock inlaying
    -Making a tailpiece
    -Grain filling

    Here's the wood:



    I drew out my templates today. I somehow managed to fit that all on a 2' x 2' piece of plywood (Lowe's doesn't carry non-huge size pieces of mdf apparently).


    The body width is only 11.5" on this one because of the size of the body wood. But, then after making the shape, I found out that 11.5" actually doesn't fit on there either (one side of the wood is angled, looks like maybe the bark edge), so I have to just glue a very small piece to the side and I'm going to use epoxy with black pigment mixed in to hopefully make it look like one of the black stripes in the tineo. I'm leaving the width at 11.5" anyway, maybe it'll help with the weight.


    Here's the majority of the stuff I'll be using... The nut and electrosocket jack cup came after I took the picture. Still waiting on the knobs, brass sheets, and a new bandsaw blade. Oh yeah, and Sears is supposed to be sending me a replacement part to hold one of the blade guides on my bandsaw too.

    There's a 1/4" top bearing bit in there. I'm excited. The truss rod slot should be a breeze with that.


    I'm not sure when I'll get into actually working on this, but I assume it'll be sometime soon. I really wanted to wait for Spring and semi-decent weather, but I lost my job and don't have enough else to do to stop me from making this now. Plus, that should get me back to my "I'll make a guitar for someone besides myself in the Spring" promise that I've made to some people...


    Has anyone made or seen a guitar/bass made out of tineo? If so, pictures? I've only seen pictures of 1 or 2 acoustics and heard that there's a piano made of it, but couldn't find pictures of that.

    And, I'm open to suggestions on headstock inlay ideas. I don't really want my name and I'm no good at naming instruments either. I'm thinking some kind of shape/image that I could make with 2 colors (white and gold) or with 1 color foreground, other color background. I'm kind of thinking an autumn leaf or something right now, but I'm not sure if that would go well with this.

    Edit: Found the piano

    Ooo and 1 very nice looking electric guitar.

    bluesdogblues likes this.
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Can't wait... :)
  3. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    subbed, love the body shape!
  4. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    Here's some more stuff for the build.

    I decided to try an electrosocket jack cup this time because I always do a big roundover and the jack plates (both football shaped and square) stick out a bit over the roundover. This is smaller and fits inside of the hole for the jack, so it should look better.


    I hope these knobs won't look too flashy on it. I almost got black knobs with white mother of pearl, but then I found these on ebay with black mother of pearl, so I thought they're at least somewhat more subtle.

  5. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I would saw the tineo plank down the guitar's center line and glue in a sufficiently fat strip of wenge (or something else sufficiently dark) to bring the width up.

    Also, make sure you do the roundover before you drill for the electrosocket jack hole.
  6. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    I really want to make this one without any stripes. Plus, the tineo and wenge are probably like 10+ lbs each right now (they are longer than needed though, so at least some will be cut off), so I think the narrower body, plus being a semi-hollow will help get it down to a normal weight. I'm not sure it will even feel like a semi-hollow when it's done (weight-wise).

    Trust me, I have that stored in my memory after coming across a thread where someone did the hole first and seeing what happened there.
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I have to be honest, I am not crazy about that lower horn. Just my opinion though, if you like it, then my opinion doesn't matter. I couldn't imagine playing a fretless guitar, fingering chords with no frets would be nearly impossible for me, but I am not much of a guitar player.
  8. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    It's almost exactly the same lower horn as the bass, just a little bit more of a hook to the bottom.

    I probably won't be doing much with chords on it, I'll use my other guitar for that and do weird stuff on this one. :D

    Here's a partial mockup. The headstock shape has changed since I made this, and I'm not good enough at Photoshop to get the hardware on there without it looking bad.

    Attached Files:

  9. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    Subbed. Very interested to see how this turns out.
  10. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012

    Man, I wish I had a heated workshop... It's too cold, so I've been avoiding getting started on this.
  11. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    I adjusted the shapes of my tailpiece and headstock.

    The tailpiece was too short and wide before, I think this looks better.


    And the headstock just looked kind of goofy. Still kind of does, but I think it will work pretty good once the tuners are in. It's a longer headstock for 3x3, but I got those open gear tuners that take up more space on the back, so I kind of had to.


    And I made a fret line template. I'm going to wrap it around the board and cut to the x's on the bandsaw. I copied it onto the back too because I can only go up to 14" from each direction with the bandsaw.

  12. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY

    You might want to think about this some more before you commit to fretless. There is a reason why fretless guitars are as rare as hen's teeth.

    Anyway, I like the design, and I enjoy watching you grow both your skillset and skill level. LC is my favorite forum on TB but i rarely post here.

    Good luck and thanks for building!

    edit: I vote P90 for the p/u
  13. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    I'm aware of this. Like I said, "I probably won't be doing much with chords on it, I'll use my other guitar for that and do weird stuff on this one. " I'm more of a picker than strummer anyway.

    Thank you. This is one of my favorite places too. :D
  14. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    I put my new blade on the bandsaw. Much better.

    I decided to rough cut the body shape while I was getting that piece cut to glue onto the side. The tineo cuts really easily on the bandsaw, seemed similar to mahogany, but left smoother edges. I used the router and a straight edge to join the edges and it routed really smoothly too, even with a not-so-new or sharp bit. (I already bought a new bit, just thought I'd wait to get it out until next time)

    I cut the block along the edge of one of the natural black lines and I'm using epoxy with black pigment mixed in to join it. Hopefully the edge of the natural line will make the black epoxy line look nicer.



    I'll let the epoxy cure for a few days before I do any more, plus I need to get my templates made anyway.
  15. SeanSpQR


    Dec 14, 2013
    Nice to see another build! I strongly advise against not finishing the neck for a few reasons. That neck will get filthy after a few times of playing, also moisture will warp and twist the neck, making intonation impossible and the guitar unplayable. If you want to keep as natural finish as possible some spray lacquer will do wonders just to seal the guitar neck.
  16. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    I thought EIR necks were usually unfinished. That's the main reason I went with it.
  17. You'd do well to study this video carefully. ;)

    BrBss and Andy Maskell like this.
  18. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    VERY interesting!

  19. This is going to be fun.

  20. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012