Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Silvertone, Oct 13, 2018.
3 piece neck would be stronger. Right?
How do you mean, 3 piece? Laminate? Stronger yes, but necessary no. Lots of one piece necks even ones that weren't quartersawn. I have used laminates a lot in my builds and even laminates with a scarf joint and carbon fibre rods. Like my Firebird neck through build.
So I have developed a separate model for a 1963 Standard, which has the control cavity with the multiple ears. I will probably test cut this body to make sure all of the details have been captured correctly. I have a friend of mine working on a neck model for that guitar with specific sizes, to my liking. That should be done soon but they will be separate files so I should be able to cut this one soon. I have some other things that take precedent but I should be able to get to the toolpaths for this model soon. Here is the updated 1963 Standard body model.
I love this program.
Nevermind hah! Those models are awesome! Have you thought to have the output jack on the side?
I should be able to get back on this soon. I've got the toolpaths all set up and ready to cut. I've been traveling for work lately and playing around with Fusion 360. I decided to model some parts for my SG build. I modeled up a Bigsby B5, an ABR-1 bridge, and a couple of humbucker PUPs with cream covers and put them on my model to see how it looks.
It looks pretty good in plan view. I should be able to cut the body this weekend and then back traveling for work, so I'll work on the knobs etc.
back in the shop. I cut some templates out of mdf and also glued up a body blank test piece out of mdf as well. One thing good about the body being so thin is that I can glue up a couple of 3/4" pieces of mdf and cut a test body before I go to good wood.
mdf cut to width and glue applied -
screwed together and clamped -
I also made some 1/4" mdf templates. These are great for laying out a body in a blank to see where the best location may be.
I can use both positive and negative templates -
I cut down a neighbour's tree a couple of years ago. It was a norway maple that ended up being figured. Now there is a long story around having it kiln dried but the short version is the place I sent it to be kiln dried f'd it up. It sat outside for 8 months not stickered in the elements. I finally found out it was in the same spot I dropped it and drove up and picked it up. By that point it was warping and I had it kiln dried and it warped even more. The guy that dried it didn't even charge me for the maple as it was so warped. It was also much more spalted that when I cut it down. So I have been using it as test pieces or for small projects. I figured I'd use a piece for a somewhat test body and if everything is good I'll probably build a spalted figured maple SG.
Here's the piece I selected - just rough with the template on top -
cut to blank size -
and onto the jointer -
Doesn't look like much rough but...
and marked out the outline. I might have to re-think this layout as the splated area should probably not be at the neck join. I'll see if I can position it somewhere that makes more sense. I figure I will stabilize and fill any voids with epoxy once I get close to final thickness.
Just a thought on headstock design. My SG's headstock was broken between the nut and the E tuners. I don't know how it happened. It was in a gig bag leaning against the wall, next to a dresser. I opened the bag and found the headstock snapped. It broke just the way that firewood does when you split it. I was just thinking, the break occurred during Hurricane Wilma. Could a sudden change in barometric pressure cause such a break? My house had no damage other than shingles. Anyway, I do not believe that the break would have occurred if the headstock had been made separate from the neck and joined to the neck with a scarf joint. With a one piece neck the downward force of the strings places the lignen that holds the cellulose fibers of the neck together in shear. This is further exacerbated by the short grain span that the force is applied over. Just a thought for consideration. I want to build either a LP or SG Junior sometime in the not too distant future, and this is the approach that I would take. Others may disagree and have a different approach.
See attached wood working link
Thanks. I agree about the scarf joint being stronger. It is tricky to build though and I have built a lot of laminate necks that look great and also should be stronger than a scarf joint neck. The nice thing about the laminate neck is you can buy flatsawn material rip it and turn it on end to make the correct thickness to then cut the profile without issue. If you do that to flatsawn lumber it creates a quartersawn laminate. This is my preferred method but I have done a scarf joint but really just for looks.
I also like using a skunk stripe of a different material. Rickenbacker did that with their necks, and still do.
Here is my typical lamination and the one I used on my neckthrough Firebird -
Now that you mention it I think I may have a mahogany with maple skunk stripe neck kicking around I could use for this build.
Sounds like a good plan. I look forward to following your progress.
So I completed all of the toolpaths for this body design in my CAM software. I ended up with about 20 toolpaths.
It's always a bit nerve wracking when running a set of toolpaths for the first time. Everything turned out OK but I needed to make some notes about certain areas cutting too deep and the speeds being not quite right. Par for the course with CNC though.
So I use indexing pins that I have hardwood dowels and holes in the MDF spoilboard for my CNC machine. That way it holds the piece down a little better and also I am able to do the back side them flip it over and be assured that everything will line up perfectly.
I did the back first -
then the front -
I wiped it with Naptha to how it would look under finish -
I think it looks great but that crack on the left side of the spalted section is very unstable. I've going to have to come up with a good way to stabilize that. Any ideas? Maybe a musical note inlay?? It's such a figured piece that a crisp inlay may look silly? Maybe just a couple of bowties? Oh well this was just a test body anyway.
Maybe 3/8 inch dowels inserted from the side and some clear epoxy filler injected into the crack? I like the the crack. It adds a lot of character.
Man, that is beautiful!
// Like my Firebird neck through build.
The Firebird build is beautiful!
Thanks guys. I decided just to use some clear epoxy to see if I can stabilize the crack. I was contemplating an inlay on the rear, maybe a cool design of some sort. I've got some clear on the front right now and I'll probably have to sand a fill a few times. I'll keep you posted.
If that's "just a test piece," then you are going to have one gorgeous final product on your hands! I really dig the character that spalted piece has going for it...
One of my wookworker/artist buddies swears by ground up turquoise dust mixed with epoxy to fill holes and cracks in wood. Dunno if it'd be "too much" color, in this case... but maybe worth considering. In either case, damn: that's some might fine wood
Thanks. My neighbour gave me some slow set epoxy. It was quite cool in my garage but I got out my heat gun and applied a couple coats over a couple of days. I have to let it dry for a couple more days but it looks good so far. I taped off the back and sides with tuck tape, which seemed to work well.
front - This is two applications. I will probably let this completely cure and then send it through my thickness sander as the epoxy is quite thick in areas. It filled most of the voids but I will have to go back and fill the large crack and the cracks in the large knot. Everything else looks pretty good.
Front closeup -
I was happy with the clearness of the epoxy. I was a little concerned that there would be lots of bubbles but I used a heat gun a few times to break bubbles as they came to the surface. Also I think this epoxy has a crazy long cure time so that probably helped as well. I was also concerned about it getting down into the crack but I turned it over and took off the tape and it looks pretty good.
I still have to fill some other areas here but I wanted to make sure the majority of that crack was filled which was better than I anticipated and I think using the heat gun really helped the epoxy flow out and get right down to the bottom.
Back closeup - there will also be some touch ups here but that should be really simple after I level the epoxy top and back.
Overall I am very happy with my first attempt at epoxy filling.
The slow set epoxy is all cured and I put it through my thickness sander to sand most of the epoxy off and ROS for the rest. I think it turned out well.
I'll have to fill some areas but not too bad. I'll do a better job on the back. Here's the back -
I heated the shop a bit more and heated the body blank and put more epoxy in the cracks. I also heated longer with the heat gun and kept adding epoxy to the cracks as required. I think the back will turn out better. I thicknessed sanded the top first so now I can thickness sand the back when this cures.
Close up -
See you in a few days! ;-)
traveling for work again so I spent some more time on the neck in Fusion.
I've also mocked up the full guitar with some hardware.
So the maple test body turned out pretty well but there were some issues with the tool paths so I ran it again. This one has the full route of the cavity. I have a lot of black walnut laying around so I found a nice blank and cut another body fixing all the problems I had with the other tool paths, I hope. ;-)
cut the back first then flipped over and cut the front
and completed - front -
and back -
Chocolat ! Miam !
Yes - Apparently Gibson made some walnut SGs and called them "The SG" in around 1979 then called the "Firebrand" the next year. They were a cheaper discounted version and the head stock logo was burned in on the "Firebrand" models.
There have been quite a few guitar manufacturers that have made walnut guitars.
Separate names with a comma.