SG build with rock solid neck joint

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Mark Howell, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    Preparing for finishing. I despise finishing, there's an enormous amount of tedious work involved. Sanding, filling grain, spraying 1000 coats of lacquer, sanding sanding did I mention sanding? :shock: Wet sanding, buffing and polishing with no proper equipment :facepalm:

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  2. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    I buffed and polished with 2 cut socks wrapped over a buffing round thing, with a cordless drill. It did come out shiny though :smile:

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  3. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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  4. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    My 1970 SG, near mint condition :D

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  5. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Man that is some stellar building sh!t right there, nice! And seriously, you built that? You're a luthier.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  6. vancouverois

    vancouverois Member

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    Very well done ! :yesway:
     
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  7. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    Yeah, really nice work. Especially for a "home shop". Just goes to show that the skill of the craftsman is the most important factor, not the cost of the tools. I always love seeing "home builders" who can knock it out of the park.
     
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  8. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    Thanks everyone! :D No luthier here, a woodworker yes, but I haven't made a neck yet, and can't cut a decent nut to save my life, so I'm not there yet.

    So with this neck joint design, the neck is super-stable. No wobblies here, I can barely change the pitch of a ringing note when I push on the back of the neck. I remember my old SG would change pitch quite a bit if I just turned the guitar to sit on my lap. No serious dead spots on the fretboard to be found anywhere, and the sustain is great!
    That said, this first one I made is not my favorite guitar at the moment, because it's pretty heavy, and I put huge frets in it which I now regret. It's heavy because it's a dense piece of African mahogany, and even at 1.34" thickness it weighs a lot. But it's perfectly balanced.
    The second one I made is my favorite. After finding a source for Honduran mahogany, I made that one, with normal frets and 1.25" thickness. I play it everyday, and it's still unfinished.
    The 3rd one, I wanted to know what Okoume wood was all about, and made it with P90s. Okoume is just a tad heavier than balsa wood. I feel when I strap it on, I have to hold it so it doesn't float away. :lol:
    I'll post some pics of those later.
     
  9. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    More pics of the neck joint. This is the 2nd guitar.

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  10. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    And the 3rd guitar. I made the tenon a little longer due to the wood being so light.

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  11. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    I couldn't find any pictures of #2 so I took these now. I still have pencil lines on the bevels and stuff because I don't do the final shaping and sanding until immediately before spraying. And I can't spray until May or June due to the climate here. So it accumulates sweat and beer stains until then :naughty:

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    And here's something I made because I heard fret tang nippers don't last long with stainless frets. The "fret tang annhiliator" :D

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  12. VSG

    VSG Member

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    LOOKS FANTASTIC. How does it play in comparison with Gibson SGs?
     
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  13. Darryl Fisher

    Darryl Fisher Member

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    Nice!
    Being a similar basement luthier-intern-do-it-m'selfer, if you're making your own neck next, you're more adventurous than I...my wife started me with an LP kit for birthday 2019 and it just blossomed into 5 kit/neck-body builds from various family members since then.
    My hat's off to you! More pics!
    Wonderful job, Mark!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  14. Darryl Fisher

    Darryl Fisher Member

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    I see the supervisor's on hand!
    Funny, assembling and finishing's my favorite part...it the wiring that gets me...especially when it doesn't work...
    I read ahead, seeing the finishing was done...any pics of the process before buffing?
    Wonderful job, Mark!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  15. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    Thanks! I don't know how to answer your question, it plays fine! Compared to a Gibson though, I don't know, I played a lot of Sgs over the years, they all play, or feel, different from each other.
     
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  16. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    Thank you! Wow 5 guitars in 2 years?!! I think it's safe to say you're a professional builder now :D. I only want to make a neck to have one with minimal or no angle of the headstock.
    More pics, I don't have too many that aren't redundant. Here's an inside finished pic that shows how dark the finish is, I wanted a deep red and put a boatload of dye in the lacquer.

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    Here's the headstock, my "name" is just a water slide decal I bought from Rothko & Frost, buried under lots of lacquer.

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  17. Mark Howell

    Mark Howell Member

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    Yes the cats always trying to "help" :fingersx: I don't have any pics, save for one in the garage in my "spray booth" :smile: But I'll run through the process I did.

    -Sand to 220
    -Apply grain filler. I used a mixture of DAP spackling and black acrylic hobbyist paint. I put on a coat, with my finger, rubbing it in thoroughly. After it dries, which is real quick, sand with 220 very lightly, because it sands away quickly. Repeated with 2nd coat. Waited 2 days to dry.
    - Lock in the grain filler with shellac. I poured Bulls eye shellac from the can to the spray gun and sprayed 2 coats. This seal coat is to prevent any adhesion problems. Waited 1 day to dry.
    - The lacquer. I watched many Youtube videos before I attempted this, and it was my 2nd lacquer spray (first was a strat body). Taped off the neck binding with vinyl tape.
    -color coat. Behlen lacquer, which is now Mohawk, with red dye, shot with a HVLP conversion gun. Lots of coats, maybe 15? The first few were cut 50/50 with reducer, then it was 80/20.
    -clear coat. Removed the tape on the binding, cleaned up any creeping of the lacquer under the tape with a razor, and taped off just the fretboard. I sprayed the binding with shellac, in a spray can this time, for adhesion and to prevent the dye from bleeding into the clearcoat on the binding. Sprayed clear lacquer, 80/20, I don't know how many coats. But I used 1 1/4 quarts of lacquer.
    - Cure. I let it sit for a month.

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