First SG Project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Girl_Rock, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    Lots of times I thought about building a guitar and yesterday it happened.
    Several days ago I measure my Gibson SGJ and realized a 2D CAD shape...

    screen1.png

    ... then, bought a maple plank, I divided this shape in four pieces because our homemade CNC machine is too small to cut the whole body. So these are the results:

    screen2.png

    screen3.png

    The plank thickness is 18mm, so my dad and I (the CNC machine isn't mine, so I don't know what parameter of speed, sensibility of the wood, create the G-Code and so on... I have to use with it, I asked him to help me with his creature) decided to cut twice the body and glue the two piece together.
    Yesterday we cut the two shapes, starting from the first, the one of the two pictures with the white background, and then moving the wood and cut the second shape. We did it twice.

    modified2.jpg

    The starting section plank, the two leftside parts of the body and the remaining part:

    modified5.JPG

    modified6.jpg

    The thickness (not glueted):

    modified7.jpg

    As soon as possible we'll cut the rightside of the body and I'll share the pics.
    I also thought about tone chambers to make the instrument lighter, so we probably cut the pieces again before glue them together. Something that worry me is the stability because I don't know if the two sides (right and left) can remain joint or the instrument will be like a cristal vase... This is just a project, I don't mind if the guitar will break and I'm not sure I'll install pick-ups on it. When I'm sure that the thing works, I'll buy a maogany plank and work on it, this is a cheaper one (maple), we didn't want to spend much on something we didn't (and still don't) know if we menage to complete it.
    So, this is enought for today, news will arrive as soon as possible.
     
  2. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    339
    I qouted more than intended...
    I would just like to tell you that if you use Titebond and proper sanding/clamping procedures there generally wont be any problems. Even with tone chambers it would be pretty difficult to 'break' it. Woods stronger than one might expect... Even with chambers. A semihollowbody SG would be pretty damn unique.

    I think the more troubling part is getting the neck/headstock angle and intontion just right. I used random miscellaneous wood that had been in a walmart warehouse between 2 and 8 years. I was warned of warping but experienced not problems yet.

    Ive included pictures of the unfinished custom neck through SG I made as well as the Tele Body with a 1970s Kay neck.
    The Neck through wood is made of 3 pieces of what looked like Cedar, sanded, stacked and glued together. I think that non-ToneWoods are underrated and much more sustainable than mahogany and most other tonewoods. Food for thought. Best of luck! Cant wait to see how it turns out!
    20190817_225751-1.jpg 20190817_225535-1.jpg 20190817_225608-1.jpg 20190817_230701-1.jpg
     
  3. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    Thank you, I imagine headstock and neck might have more problems than the body. I'd like to use Gibson headstock angle, but maybe for this first project it's better if I draw it with Epiphone one and then cut it. I know some luthiers and one lives in my town, I may ask him about necks and headstocks, he works with basses but it should be the same.
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  4. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    Rightside done...

    modified8.jpg
     
    arcticsg likes this.
  5. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    Now I'm working on pick-ups and tone chambers, which should be a little bit easier to draw on CAD and cut.

    A question: do you use a particular oil before painting the guitar? I read a lot in the Internet about this subject and some people said they use Tru Oil, but reading what someone else said it's only for natural finish. Is it right?
     
  6. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    224
    IF you are going for a stained, natural, or see thru finish, Tru oil is wonderful, same thing with Tung oil. On a painted surface, the oils won't dry properly. (The oils won't soak into the wood.) Then if going for a painted surface, Poly or lacquer is your best choice.
     
    Layne Matz and Girl_Rock like this.
  7. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    Ok, thank you very much. Maybe for this project, if everything goes right, I'll use Tru Oil o Tung Oil for the natural finish. If I'll buy a maogany plank and it all works correctly and the guitar is quite good, I may paint it and use the others.
    Thank you again.
     
  8. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    6,404
    Likes Received:
    5,873
    Location:
    Sutton Québec
    I agree that chambering would be a great idea, and proper gluing with a good wood glue will make it bomb proof.

    If this can inspire you for chambering, here's how my LP Ultra is chambered.

    Chambered.jpg
    The uppper side is shallower, because there is a nice belly cut in the back.

    Back-.jpg
     
    Layne Matz and Girl_Rock like this.
  9. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    339
    Using regular old minwax stain works alright too. Probably doesnt stabalize the wood as much as other things but thats all I put on my two bodies pictured above. The Esquire/tele has been all over the place and gigged in a few super humid places. There has been no wear or warping thus far and its been about 5-7 months.

    I know minwax isnt preferred but it works if uou dont want to buy anything else... The smell fades after a few weeks.
     
    Girl_Rock likes this.
  10. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    Thank you Doctor, this was at the beginning my idea:
    modified9.png.jpg
    I drew it a long time ago, but then I realized I can't cut too much wood as drawn in the pic (the pink border), because SG shape is blunt. So I must draw the tone chambers a little bit further from the border.

    This is the rightside eletronic part...
    modified10.png.jpg
    ...which I finished to draw this morning, but I discovered the pickguard section is wrong: the wires should pass nearer the bridge humbucker and arrive to one of the potentiometers, in the photo the wires arrive behind the switch....
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  11. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    90
    Since you're in the design stage, you may want to consider having the pickup selector switch on the upper horn like Les Paul's are.
    I remember Dickey Betts had a custom SG like that.
    Don't forget the ground wire to either a tailpiece or bridge bushing.
    Good luck with it !
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  12. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    339
    Have you considered P90s instead?
    3 P90s would be even better- each with individual on/off miniswitches so you can have any configuration. Id also recommend individual tone and volumefor each pickup, for a total of 6.

    If you are open to wiring things differently i reccomend 3x individual on off switches (one for each p-up) and 3x individual tone and volume bypass miniswitches.
    Bypassing controls has a unique effect on the pickups. A piezzo would be awesome if you chamber it.

    These are simple wiring configurations.
     
  13. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    Thank you Huntroll, but don't think I'll try this experiment. The CNC machine is too small for just one side of the guitar and trying to cut a full guitar digonal is a challenge.

    Already considered, thank you again. I saw a video about a tour in Gibson factory and they show the cuts, tone chambers and so on. I think for some things I'll inspire from that.

     
  14. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    A little bit, but I thought about 500T, really terrible humbuckers, for a bad**s beast. Probably just a dream, they may be good to play Sabbath or Metal. Or 498T.
    Thank you for the advice, I'll consider the idea of P90s.
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  15. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    339
    If i recall Iommi played primarily with a strat before the neck pickup failed to work or something like that. I think that with proper technique any pickup could be used for any genre, although humbuckers have a unique overdriven sound. Pops are different, I think its been said that P90s are the sound you were after and you didnt even know it. I have a P94 in the bridge position on my strat which originally had a humbucker. Variety is the spice of life...

    Do you have a guitar with single coils?
     
  16. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    No, I have only two electric guitars, but I've played lots of different Strats, from the cheapest Squiers and Soundsations to expensive like Fender The Strat Walnut of 1983.
    I know... it could be easyer to apply coil taps for single-coils than split humbuckers coils puting one of the two to GND, so for someone like me who doesn't have any experience in building a guitar it may be much better and sound good too.
    They could be interesting, yes, I don't exclude it. Epiphone produce some limited edition models of G-310 with two P90s, which are gorgeous, really. Gibson has Juniors, instead, which usually have a P90, no toggle switch and only two potentiometers. What about Gib SG Z, with one single-coil and one humbucker...?

    Thank you Layne Matz, I'm going to think about pick-ups, but not much now: still work in progress with the body.
     
  17. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    Sorry for the delay. Today I'm going to break the silence.
    I had an odissey with the tone chambers, but some software crashes, encode errors and offset mistakes later I menaged to create the G-Code file for the CNC machine. I also had problems with the lenght of the shape, so I had to cut a part of the figure, which I could mill on the fly without any G-Code.

    Today I cut only the left side. The right one hasn't any shape ready. Yesterday I drew the control cavity cover and from this I'll prepare the whole zone; then I must draw the pickguard (I think a wooden one will be good-looking for this guitar), because I need the exact measures to cut a channel for the wires, which will "disappear" beneath it; and as last, another little tone chamber, to make it lighter.

    This was my first (or second...) idea for the right side, but I modified it: the pickguard was a single one, whose measurements had been taken from my G400 one, now I'm sure I can cut a double one without (I hope) any problems and the CNC machine is enought big to menage to mill it; the wires channel now pass closer to the bridge pickup, so I can add two little cavities for the ground of bridge and stop tailpiece; in the picture there's not the little tone chamber, which will be above the control cavity, but I will cut it.

    I hope I'm not too boring, the photos will arrive right now.
     
  18. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    104
    The leftside odissey:
    modified11.png.jpg

    The DXF - G-Code generator gave me some problems with the border offset. As you can see, there's a border inside the area, that is the error. I tried to solve it as I could and this is the result. The zones that aren't cut have been milled later: I drew only three or four offsets of the border to know if there were other errors, but luckily none.

    These are the two left side:
    modified12.png.jpg

    I haven't finished the sides with the sandpaper yet, but this is the tone chamber. What do you think?
     
  19. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    138
    To watch this thread is an interesting experience. For now, everything seems good. I am curious and optimistic about this work.
     
    Girl_Rock likes this.
  20. Silvertone

    Silvertone Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    182
    Looks pretty good. I'm curious why bother with chambering? This wood does not look like maple. It looks like pine to me. How heavy is this body? One thing about SGs is that they are usually quite thin and therefore quite light. Even using maple you would be fine for weight without chambering. It seems you have made the body thicker and then chambered it. Was this a conscious decision? Make sure you joint the edges or at least sand them so they mate very well and then any wood working glue should be fine. What are you thinking for a neck? If you wanted to go a little simpler you could try a Fender style neck. The standard SG head stock angle is not easy to create and frankly isn't the best design for strength. Also make sure it is quartersawn or a laminated neck so that it is very strong. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers Peter.
     
    Girl_Rock likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice