First SG Project

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

  1. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    The rule of 18 does not work with common fret scale calculators or rulers. I have all the Stew Mac rulers and use the Stew Mac fret position calculator which uses the modern 12th fret measurement. I have measured numerous vintage guitars, most recently a 1962 SG Standard, and they all line up perfectly with one of the Stew Mac rulers. I do have the rule of 18 scale on some of my templates that I sell but I have not yet measured a guitar that uses that particular scale.

    Regards Peter.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    The errors are tiny, and would be hard to identify, particularly on a neck with wide frets. My issue with rule of 18 is that it was designed for luthiers who didn't have computers that would allow them to do the maths needed for a true tempered scale. But now we do, and there is no reason to persist with the old way.
     
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  3. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Whilst you two knowledgeable chaps are on here: I'm curious to know whether I'm correct in assuming that the harder the fretboard the better? What say ye?
     
  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Probably, but there are more things to think about. You want wood that doesn't wear away too quickly when you bend strings. And it needs to be pretty moisture-proof. I have a Nighthawk with a baked maple neck that made the most horrible scratching/squeaking noises when I bent strings. I finally found a cure in polishing it to a mirror shine.
     
  5. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    The fretboard, the pickguard and the control cavity cover are not made of the same wood of the body and the neck, but yes, I fully agree with you, I need a different fretboard, maybe maple to stay close with the light color of the other wood. What afraids me is that when I start to turn the tuning machines, the neck can break or bend (in spite of the presence of the truss rod). Honestly, I wasn't sure to arrive at this point, as I've already said. What I'm sure is that the fretboard and the nut are the first things I will change when I test that the guitar can stay in tune and is playable. The best thing should be changing the neck too (headstock excluded).

    It uses the 12th root of two.
    I can see from your posts that there's a strong discussion about this calculation, can I use this or is it better to change?
     
  6. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    12th root of two is the correct one. The rule of 18 was a compromise that allowed for easier arithmetic before we had calculators.
     
  7. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    OK, perfect, thank you very much!
     
  8. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Ok, good. I guess it's a personal preference, I always use ebony, but I to me a maple fretboard would look wrong. A little contrast here and there is nicer. (to me) There would be no shame in just ordering a pre sloted one considering all the great work you're done. I don't think there's a risk the neck would break so don't worry about that. And as long as you get the measurements right, the guitar will stay in tune and be playable.
     
  9. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    Just use one of the online calculators. Stew Mac has one - Fret Position Calculator Just put in scale length and number of frets and it spits out a chart. Like this -
    fretscale-24_562.jpg

    Here is a good explanation of Gibson's 24.75" scale.
    Capture.JPG

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  10. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    Fretboard gluing. I had to stop these two weeks due to the school.

    mod_neck_gluing.jpg

    I'm also sanding the last things before joining the neck with the body.
     
  11. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    The plot thickens!
     
  12. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    Two months later...
    I have sanded the borders of the body, now I need to refinish some details and then it can be considered quite done. I am saying 'quite', just because I haven't milled the pick-up cavities yet. I do not know if it is better to do that when the neck is not glued (so now), maybe yes.
    Here some pics...

    mod_guitar_shape_sand_0.jpg
    The front, left side.

    mod_guitar_shape_sand_1.jpg
    The back, right side.

    Both sides have been sanded, but I took pictures only of this part just baceuse it is more interesting, not because the other is horrible or not done. ;)


    Then I started to fret the fretboard, but the homemade fretpress broke down, so I needed to stop for a few weeks. Last week I menaged to go on. The first 13 frets have been installed:
    mod_fretboard_frets.jpg

    I had a problem: someone can't count until 22 and this one is not me. I discovered months ago that I miss two frets and luckily I am working on another guitar with two other friends. We ordered a set of 24 frets, we need only the first 22 ones, so I asked my mates if I can use the other two for my guitar.
    When I install the others, I will cut the parts in excess of each fret.

    I am not a good photographer, so it is hard to see in that picture, but I have sanded the edges of the fretboard. Why? This summer I played a Marcus Miller/Sire bass of 2nd generation, this means that it has a skinny neck with a rolled-edged fretboard (and different pick-ups, ...), which I found really confortable. I have never seen or played a guitar with a similar freatboard, reason why I wanted to try one. I am not sure it can be as confortable as that bass one, but if it is not, I will keep it as an experience.
     
  13. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    It's easier to route for the cavities before you put the neck on otherwise the fretboard will be in the way when you route the neck pickup. It's cool that you don't shirk away from a bit of experimenting. No point in building your own guitar if you can't build it the way you want to.
     
  14. Silvertone

    Silvertone Well-Known Member

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    Gibson actually routed after setting the neck. Even placing the tailpiece studs after as well. The reasoning is that if the neck is not set straight it can mess up the pickup, tailpiece, and especially bridge location. Most hobby builders would route the pickup routes and possibly drill for tailpiece studs and then adjust the neck fit to get it to line up properly.

    Always drill location for bridge after the neck is set.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  15. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    Good to see progress on your build you are doing great!!

    Hows your guitar playing doing you should post us something if you want?

    I am improving a bunch this last year have a lot more time to practice working from home!
     
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  16. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    Sorry again for the long silence.

    I have some news about the neck and the fretboard:

    mod_neck-freatboard-body_joint.jpg

    Frets installed, motherpearl inserted and neck and body glued together. I waited two days before removing the presses I used to keep the neck and the body stable while the glue was drying. Now I need to refinish it a little bit with the sandpaper and then I will drill the holes for the tune-o-matic bridge.


    I remember there was something I did not tell you about the guitar:
    mod_headstock_horns.jpg

    Someone bet right. :thumb:

    Here a photo of the whole guitar:
    mod_full_body.jpg
     
  17. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Nice! Are you going to clear coat it or what?
     
  18. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    First of all I want to be sure it won't break and it can stay quite in tune, I will test it, also before adding the electronic part. So, it will have a clear finish, maybe only the oil. If I see that it can... let's say "survive" because I cannot describe the life of such a cheap wood in a different way... so, if it can go on playing, I am quite sure I will cover it, but I do not know the color, the finish and others now.


    About the pick ups I can tell you that I thought and thought a lot, changing ideas many times, and, in the conclusion, I want to try Gretsch Filtertron HS, both neck and bridge position, so I will have an instrument with good rhythmic pick ups (I hope). I can use the other guitars to learn solos and this one to create loop bases.
    Well, I do not exclude neither that having good pick ups on a cheap guitar, I will get a bad sound. Any way I can recycle them for other future instruments. I am creating a guitar with two friends, we might use this pick ups for ours, or others we will build, instead of this one (I mean, if it has any sort of problem, as I wrote before).

    Has anyone of you ever tried Gretsch pick ups on an SG?
    I don't know if I will need a particular mounting ring. I found this pic surfing the Internet:
    cd0fc4ba60fdf13cec296cab24df9aaa.jpg

    If I can see well, the pickguard was for a P-90 or a soapbar P-90 and in this case the owner didn't need the mounting ring. Instead this one below, which has a different type of Gretsch (or another similar brand) pick up, needed one:
    kfxh6mfkm2c8ui5qhoxu.jpg

    I don't know if one of these pictures is one of yours, sorry, I found them online. :bowdown:

    This is the pick ups I want to install:
    ggggg.png
     
  19. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    That looks very Billy Gibbons, and if it was his guitar the pickups would very likely be TV Jones. https://tvjones.com/
    Can't remember if they were pricey or not but the people there were very helpful answering emails when I got a pair for a guitar a long time ago.

    Be very mindful about what you might or not want to do in the future because you don't want to cover the guitar with something that later can't be covered with something else, make sure that the various coats of whatever can go on over each other. Also shellac that knot.

    I wouldn't bash that wood, there are 100 year old houses built from it... Perhaps if it wasn't dried enough it could be a problem but otherwise wood is pretty much wood and unless you go for balsa most of the common ones are pretty much in the same range of hardness.

    I think it's a cool and unusual choice of pickups. I've bought and sold pickups a lot before and since they were all used, all I lost was the shipping cost.
     
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  20. Girl_Rock

    Girl_Rock Active Member

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    TV Jones cost much more than Gretsch and the sound is really close, this is the reason why I prefer buying that brand instead of the other one. I watched some guitar comparison videos and I liked the good quality and good sound that can offer Gretsch and if I play this guitar at home, the difference is irrilevant. I know that TV Jones are such good pick ups and that maybe it is better to enjoy them on a hollow-body guitar to enphasize the sound.
    Thank you very much for the comment.
     

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