First Build (SG-esque design)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by PermissionToLand, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Well, here goes nothing! I have until early May to finish this, so I'll be moving rather quickly, but I've tried to do my research in advance. Still, tips are much appreciated.

    I'm starting with a partially routed blank from Warmoth; it has the neck pocket, neck PUP and control cavity (although that will be altered).

    Appointments will be standard Gibson-style fare; two GFS Pro Series Alnico V humbuckers (7.6K), aluminum Nashville style bridge, Kluson green key tuners, all Nickel hardware, witch hat knobs and a transparent Walnut finish that will be satin on the neck.

    Here's the design:

    [​IMG]

    So far I've just started working on the body template:

    IMG_2251 sm.jpg

    And modifying the existing control cavity to get the controls where I want them:

    IMG_2254 sm.jpg

    Yes, the cavity will not be symmetrical, but I'm not concerned about it; it's on the back, who cares?
     
    Biddlin, syscokid and Layne Matz like this.
  2. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    163
    Cant wait to see how it turns out!

    Ive only built a lap steel from scratch, but I have to say instrument building is tedious but forever rewarding. Nothing quite like doing it yourself.
     
    PermissionToLand likes this.
  3. Silvertone

    Silvertone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    30
    Let's see the neck pocket and the neck side by side. Have you decided on neck joint? I think this will be an awesome looking guitar when completed.

    Cheers Peter.
     
    PermissionToLand likes this.
  4. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Right now it will need minimal shaving on the sides to fit, and also the top of the blank cut away, as it's in the way of test fitting. I might do some work tomorrow and mark off where I plan to set it and how much space to fill at the end. Tenon design is still mostly up in the air. The heel design I'd like to be as smoothly integrated as possible, but obviously I also want it to be a strong joint as well. Right now, the pocket is 5/8" deep at the shallow end and the body is 1 3/4" thick, leaving about 1 1/8" of support. How much do you think it would be safe to take off of that and still have a stable joint?

    That also means the neck will protrude about 3/16" off the body plane, not including the fretboard.
     
  5. Silvertone

    Silvertone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    30
    For a set neck you can go quite thin on the bottom of the neck pocket because it's glued in on the sides as well. 3/8" should be fine. I believe that is what a standard SG pocket would be. A standard SG body is also quite thin at 1 1/2" thick.. Do you have a section of the guitar drawn? You may want to work that out first to figure out neck angle.

    Here is where I would normally start with my design. Plan first, then section to figure out neck angle that will relate to the height of the bridge. Then you can also look at how the neck angle will work at the body, whether it is carved into the top or there is a wedge under the fret board.
    Capture.JPG


    Notice in this design, I have the tenon thinner than the fret board in plan. I need to do that if I want the lower bout to be at the edge of the fret board. If you have a full pickguard then you may want to increase neck angle because your bridge would be sitting on top of that.

    Cheers Peter.
     
    syscokid likes this.
  6. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    I don't have a section drawn up, and at this point, I won't have time to. I'm ordering the vibrola now so I can have that when it comes time to set the neck and adjust my angle if needed. I'm thinking the tenon will be about 1/2" deep but maybe not even extend into the pickup cavity because it would be floating in the middle of the cavity unless I routed the pocket deeper. But there will be about 1 1/4" between the end of the heel and the pickup for it to sit in anyway.

    Good point about the pickguard raising the bridge, I'll write that down.
     
  7. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Okay, so now I've got the templates cut out (and I refined the body shape somewhat as well).

    IMG_2259 sm.jpg

    IMG_2266 sm.jpg

    And traced the shape onto the body:

    IMG_2270 sm.jpg

    This weekend, I'll be routing the cavity and cutting the body shape.

    I also noticed that the headstock shape was slightly asymmetrical, so I had to fix that. Boy, is Rock Maple a bitch to work with! But I'm very happy with the result:

    IMG_2260 crop.jpg

    IMG_2261 crop.jpg
     
  8. Silvertone

    Silvertone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    30
    So you are going with a bolt on neck? That neck pocket is giving you no options unless you fill and cut a tenon.

    Regards Peter.
     
  9. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    No, I'll start working on designing a tenon soon. I was thinking the neck would sit further out, but that line on both sides of the pocket is where the heel will end. However, I will need the vibrola before I can finalize the design.

    I was wrong about one thing though, the pickup cavity is only 1/8" deeper than the neck pocket, so it shouldn't be an issue extending the tenon into there. Maybe I'll even do the old Japanese trick of bolting the tenon into the cavity.

    Edit: I just looked at how SG Lou does his tenons and I'm thinking I'll go that route. Check it out:

    tenon.PNG

    First off, the big difference here is that with the SG, your heel is barely making any contact with the body, so the tenon is doing all the heavy lifting. The tenon is really just an extended heel in a sense (it's just as wide, hard to see from this angle). But you can see that the pocket & tenon are flat with the body plane and instead the tenon was cut at a 3 degree angle to the neck plane. Since my pocket is already angled, I will cut my mortise flat to the body plane and angle my tenon to the neck plane. This is much easier for me than trying to cut an angled mortise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,404
    Likes Received:
    4,569
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Woohoo ! I saw the making of the design, but somehow missed this thread. I'm all eyes !

    Shameless plug of my work ...
    689 Harfang 5.jpg
     
    Silvertone and PermissionToLand like this.
  11. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Beautiful painting, Dr.! The brush strokes give it a great sense of motion.

    I don't really consider myself a visual artist, but behind the neck here you can see a drawing I did of David Gilmour last year:

    IMG_2165sm.jpg
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,404
    Likes Received:
    4,569
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Thanks.
    Your Gilmour is nice, well done.
     
  13. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    So, I've ordered the vibrola and it should arrive by the 12th. I'll need that to finalize the neck angle, but I should be able to stay busy until then with beveling and a few other things.

    Today, I rough cut the body and started planning out the tenon:

    IMG_2275 sm.jpg

    IMG_2277 sm.jpg

    Neck fit is nice and snug, enough to pick it up by the neck alone. (The gap at the end will be filled in, it's a necessity to keep the bridge on the pickguard)

    IMG_2283 sm.jpg

    Mapping out the tenon:

    IMG_2286 sm.jpg

    IMG_2287 sm.jpg
     
    syscokid likes this.
  14. Silvertone

    Silvertone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    30
    How is this coming along. Have you made any progress?

    Cheers Peter.
     
  15. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Yes, although most of last week was wasted I did get some work done.

    First, I got set up to rout the cavity cover recess, making do without a guided template bit in this way:

    IMG_2299sm.jpg

    Scoring to avoid tearout:

    IMG_2301m.jpg

    Then, I routed it. Came out pretty nice for my first time using a router!

    IMG_2308m.jpg

    And sanding smooth the cavity surface:

    IMG_2313m.jpg

    Then routing the mortise for the tenon:

    IMG_2314m.jpg

    You can see the pilot hole was too deep, so I'll fill it with some spare wood when I get a chance.

    And finally, cut and test fitted the tenon (obviously not cut to height yet):

    IMG_2318m.jpg

    Fits tight, more than enough to lift the body by:

    IMG_2319m.jpg

    Next, I'll finally get my guided template bit and finalize the body shape, work out the finalized neck joint and bridge placement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  16. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Okay, now we're moving again. After those setbacks, I'll be doing as much work as possible this week.

    One big change is that in order to keep the bridge over the pickguard and make room for the vibrola, the neck (and neck pickup) have to be moved outward:

    IMG_2335m.jpg

    This necessitated redesigning the heel/tenon by deepening and extending it beyond the end of the body and further into the heel:

    IMG_2328m.jpg

    If necessary, I may add screws in the pickup cavity and support behind the heel.

    Here, you can see the heel, aligned as it will fit once cut, and where the neck pickup will move to:

    IMG_2338m.jpg

    And a view from below:

    IMG_2333m.jpg

    You can see here there is ample clearance for the bridge and tailpiece (really, more than I want, so I'll knock down the angle some):

    IMG_2339m.jpg

    And finally, I finished the body shaping:

    IMG_2340m.jpg
    IMG_2341m.jpg

    Next, I will start beveling!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
    Biddlin and syscokid like this.
  17. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,404
    Likes Received:
    4,569
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    Niiiice work ! That is a thick body !
     
    PermissionToLand likes this.
  18. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Well, it's 1 3/4" which is the same as a Strat or ES-335 and less than a LP. It won't look quite so thick once it's been beveled.
     
  19. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Today, I laid out the beveling:

    IMG_2350m.jpg
    IMG_2359m.jpg

    Lowered the neck angle some, so the bridge doesn't sit too high:

    IMG_2355m.jpg

    And cut and fitted the tenon and surrounding filler supports:

    IMG_2356m.jpg
    IMG_2357m.jpg

    Now the filler pieces are glued and drying. It feels good to be making progress again!
     
    DrBGood likes this.
  20. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    864
    Now for the fun part; BEVELING!

    IMG_2371m.jpg
    IMG_2378m.jpg
    IMG_2386m.jpg
    IMG_2385m.jpg
    IMG_2384m.jpg

    I also enlarged the pickup route in order to move it closer to the neck and glued in the tenon:

    IMG_2379m.jpg

    And finally, drilled for the tuners, as my next step will be gluing the neck and placing the bridge:

    IMG_2390m.jpg
    IMG_2391m.jpg

    IMG_2388m.jpg
    IMG_2389m.jpg
     
    cheshiergrin likes this.

Share This Page


Recommended Links: PAF Pickups, Luthier Forum