Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Silvertone, Oct 13, 2018.
Very nice looking body. How heavy is it?
That's a good question. It will probably be quite a bit heavier than mahogany and quite a bit lighter than the maple. Weight isn't generally a problem with an SG. It may actually help the neck dive problem. The walnut body is 1 3/8" thick. It's actually at a friend's place right now because I modeled this based on a 65 SG that he is looking to reproduce, so he's checking dimensions. I will weigh it when I get it back.
I grabbed some of the same maple that I cut the maple blank from and will try and see if there is any suitable for a neck. I took two pieces and ripped them out of a slab.
cut and ripped -
jointed and planed -
and the reveal. Not as good as I had hoped but frankly you never know what you are going to get. There are some with some decent flame. These pieces are basically from the center of the log so they are pretty much quarter sawn. Taking this into consideration I might do a one piece neck with a scarf jointed headstock.
So it looks like #2 for the majority of the neck as it has the most figure and #3 for the headstock. The figure is actually more pronounced than in the pictures.
I took some time today and modeled up the fret board in Fusion 360. It took me a little while to figure out the inlays but I managed to sort it out. I wanted to curve the bottom of the route so I can clamp the cellulose nitrate inalys into the curved routes and have a consistent thickness of the inlay. Here is the model completed. I have cut a few of these boards so shouldn't have a problem with the toolpaths.
Thanks for documenting the build, it certainly has the potential to look great!
Thanks. Originally it was one of those, I want to build one of these some day. Then a friend said he was building a replica of a 65 SG for one of his friends and I thought I'd take a stab at modeling one in Fusion and building a test. I'm really liking the style though and I could see building a few. I might thicken the body up a bit though. I've already made a 1 1/2" thick model and might go 1 3/4" to see how it looks. The challenge are the bevels. On the 1 3/4" body I'd like to keep the vertical side the same thickness and then extend the bevels on the top and back of the guitar. but this is proving difficult.
What if you trace the side ans top limits of the bevels, and go with that. The angle might be steeper but the visual surface would stay the same. Modeling it should give you a good idea.
... do I make sense in explaining this ?
Yes that makes sense. I can trace the top bevel outline quite easily as it is a flat surface but the side bevel, or the edge of the bottom of the bevel is not flat, so I have to figure out a way to extend the connection of the lower bevel line to the top level bevel line. I haven't actually tried this yet. I can make the body thicker and just have the same bevels but I would like to thicken the body and have the bevels be a little thicker as well, so it looks consistent.
Hours of fun ! :)
Back on the SG. I have been thinking about what neck to match up with this maple body and decided to look at some S.A Mahogany at the local "candy" store. I found a nice chunk that I could get 4 necks from and the price was right so I purchased. I want to build a few guitars with the new tool paths I have been working on recently so I thought it would be a good idea to buy them now and let them season in my shop.
Here are the necks marked out -
I've jointed the faces and sides pretty much equally and ripped apart. I figured I'd let them site for a few weeks while I decide which necks I want to use for what builds.
I've got quite a bit of extra width and thickness on these but I doubt they will move much. They are pretty much quarter sawn but one goes a little squirly at the one end, as you can see in the picture.
I also glued up some S.A. Mahogany with some maple for the skunk stripe look.
I didn't take any pics of the planing and glue up but I did try something different this time. I have had issues in the past with multi-laminate necks that it is really difficult to keep them all square when clamping. So I though I would dry clamp the wood so it is lined up really well and then drill a 3/8" hole and cut a dowel the right length to help with alignment. It worked really well and I only had to joint a couple of passes to flatten it out.
I cut the headstock angle in both sides and will do truss rod routes and access while the two necks are still together and square.
I'm also experimenting with different truss rods and access holes. I bought one of the pilot reamers for the low profile truss rods. I think it works pretty well. It sure doesn't take much material out which is great.
So now I have a choice of 6 necks for this guitar. I guess just two choices really. one piece mahogany or skunk stripe. Thoughts?
Wow, I've missed a lot! That is a beautifully clean truss rod cut! As far as the neck choice, that's a tough call. Are you going to use a veneer or paint the face opaque?
I can tell you my amateur way of doing that; Using a flexible rubber ruler to conform to the body shape and connecting between various markings of depth with it. Of course, that left some corners at the deepest points where the direction changed, which were just smoothed out by hand.
Thanks - it is very slightly off center, which bugs me slightly. I will be putting a veneer on top a la most Gibsons. Probably a curly maple veneer from the same piece of wood as the body.
I am trying to model this in Fusion 360 for my CNC machine. I could / should just carve one by hand for fun. I can easily trace the outline and use rasps and files. I have not done that with a body yet.
You should! I thoroughly enjoyed it on my build.
In that case, I'd say go for the laminate.
Yes - leaning towards the laminate neck. I finished up the toolpaths for the 24.625" scale length fret board with vintage trap inlays in curved pockets. It took me a while to find the best toolpaths. I used a 1/16" bit to hog out most of the inlay and then went around the edge with a 0.024" end mill. This is also the same bit I use for my fret slots.
I've cut a few fret boards now and have not yet broken one of those tiny bits. I am definitely not pushing the machine either. I could probably do it much faster but it seems to work well with the process I use. I usually thickness the blank on my thickness sander then center in the CNC machine. The first tool path is the 12" radius with a 1/2" ball nose bit. Then I cut out the profile all around the edge. The reason I do this is because I do not want to plunge those small bits into the wood so the 1/8" kerf let's me plung into air and drag across to cut the fret slots 0.09" deep.
I used a EIR board I have had for a long time. It's more of a chocolate brown colour as apposed to some of the more purple ones I have. Here is the finished product.
and test fitting the cellulose nitrate inlays -
Worked out pretty well. The inlays are slightly over sized so I'll have to file them a bit to get them to fit. I am happy with the process and all tolled took about 45 mins from start to finish.
So on to the neck. I've been working on an LP neck and cut a test from MDF. It turned out better than expected.
CNC model after roughing path -
in CNC after roughing pass -
finishing pass -
headstock / neck transition -
So that gave me the confidence to cut the SG neck. It was almost identical toolpaths just a slightly different carve and a little bit thicker neck tenon.
I cut the two necks out of the single blank I had glued up and got ready for the CNC.
rough cut in the CNC.
finish carve and cut out -
head stock to neck taper -
test fit and other stuff.
Looks pretty good. I just have to thickness the head stock and I can move onto gluing up inlays and binding and attaching the neck. It's a pretty simple build.
Sorry -I didn't get to this sooner. I took the weights of 3 bodies I have machined in different woods.
The Honduran Mahogany body is 3.4 lbs. The Walnut body is 3.75 lbs. The Maple body is 4.6 lbs. Notice the Mahogany body does not have the PUPs routed but it has a different control cavity which has more routed out of it, so it may be just a touch lighter by volume.
I weigh almost all my wood and I like my mahogany, specifically for LPs, to be less than 3 lbs / b.f. The walnut I have, which I have loads of, is about 3.10 lbs /b.f. This seems quite light to me for Black Walnut but I haven't weighed any of my other planks. Obviously the maple is quite heavy. Even though it is a soft maple it weighs in around 3.50 lbs /b.f.
I shot a little video of doing the CNC machining for the back of the neck, head stock transition, and the cutting of the tenon.
Here is the starting point. I've set up an X,Y coordinate where I fix the neck blank and then "tap off" the spoil board to set the Z height. Then run the tool paths and it cuts the neck based on the model I created. CLICK HERE for video.
Got a little time on this project this weekend. I finished up adjusting the sizes of all the inlays to fit nice and snug. I put my nut vice in my guitar vice and used small files to fit each one.
I also glued the ears on the SG neck. I used some mahogany stock I had laying around for a long time and couldn't find any of the darker stuff, so I didn't worry about it too much. It's quite a bit lighter but I will be putting a veneer on top and if it looks bad on the back I might do a stinger. It's actually not as bad as the picture shows.
I used my head stock template to mark a line front and back and cut as much as I could off on the band saw then used hand planes and files to flush up the ears. I marked pencil on the face so I could tell when I was getting close.
Once I had it flush I thicknessed the head stock in my bandsaw with the fence set a little over 1/2". I add a thin veneer and am shooting for about 9/16" finished thickness. Quick tip about thicknessing the head stock. I want to have the head stock about 9/16" thick where the tuners mount. So I stop just past the tuner holes and then adjust that into the neck carve. I guess it depends on your SOP (standard operating procedure) but because I CNC my neck first I need to be careful not to thickness too far into the neck carve. It would leave it too thin below the truss rod access.
Here is a graphic to show what I mean - I stop at the purple dashed line.
I'll sand a little closer to the line on my oscillating sander.
and affix the template. Double faced tape method. Not much to take off.
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