Guitar Nerds Anonymous

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  • That looks great - look forward to seeing it underway. Body shape looks spot on to me.

    When you come to building, I don't know how experienced you are with routing / carpentry so apologies if this sounds patronising.

    As well as the body templates I really recommend building router jigs or supports for every rout you do - never 'freehand' anything and try to avoid any steps where you're running the router on the body and it's only supported by you.
    It's really easy for the router to drift slightly off vertical, especially around the horns where there's not much support for the router base.

    If you've got space / interest, you can get a cheapo pillar drill (£50ish) and robosander (£20ish) to use instead of the router for the body - it's slow and dusty but safer and quieter, I much prefer doing it that way!

    Edit: for arm / belly cuts, grab yourself a Shinto saw rasp - they're amazing, you'll start using them for all sorts of tasks.

  • Excellent stuff, thank you, you’ve addressed two of the main things that I was mulling over - body edge shaping and arm/belly cuts.

    My carpentry experience mainly extends to building endless model aircraft from balsa and ply when I was younger, and home DIY since. Routing is a whole different level of sharp, spinning things, so I’m approaching it with caution.

    It's really easy for the router to drift slightly off vertical, especially around the horns where there's not much support for the router base.

    Yeah, I worried about exactly that. I was thinking I would use a jig saw (would that work alright? I don’t want to buy a bandsaw, if it can be avoided) to cut the blank roughly to shape, and then use the offcuts to support the router. I’m keen to use the router to shape the sides, I feel like it’ll give me a more accurate finish?

    The robo-sander is interesting. I was planning to get a pillar drill, but hadn’t considered using it for sanding. A good alternative to a spindle sander.

    I’ve mocked up what I think it’ll look like, although the brushed, anodised pickguard might not happen:


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  • Great project... if you're going with toaster-style pickups, why use humbucker-sized ones? They're arguably not as good-looking, unless you're thinking of replaceability with something different if they don't work out? Alternatives for me would be Firebirds as tilover suggested (actually quite different construction to mini-hums, the jangliest of Gibson humbuckers especially if low-wind) or Harmony type goldfoils. Oh and design-wise I'd rethink the top line of the scratchplate as it looks like a Fret King, but that's just me...

  • The reason for the humbucker-sized pickups was the apparent difficulty in fitting the Ric-style surface-mount pickups to a guitar with Fender string height. I know some people have mounted them through the pickguard, but then struggled to get them close enough to the strings. Just seems like an incompatibility.

    Also, I like (or have convinced myself that I like) the other-worldly look of the humbucker sized pickups, which helps the overall air of oddness that a 12-string should have (imo). You’ve got me looking at Firebird pickups now, though. Gibson made a 12-string Firebird back in the sixties, it seems, although tracking down an audio sample is tricky.

    rethink the top line of the scratchplate as it looks like a Fret King

    Argh! I’d never seen one of those before. Although I’m not convinced my design is too close to theirs, apart from both having two peaks.

  • I was thinking I would use a jig saw (would that work alright? I don’t want to buy a bandsaw, if it can be avoided) to cut the blank roughly to shape, and then use the offcuts to support the router

    Yeah - I think that would work really nicely. To do the same job I've made myself a router box and added some rails to the router - works pretty well - but I had more routs to do than you'll need (top carve, and planes on a LP) so it's probably overkill.

    The finish on the robosander is actually really good - but routing is definitely the more common way. However, I nicked my first two (painted thankfully) bodies whilst routing so won't go back to it!
    I know Gil Yaron uses them, though possibly he follows up with a router pass as well to get the better finish you refer to. The second picture is the finish you get from the robo.

    Edit: I could easily turn this into the DIY thread :D


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  • Nothing special compared to the work of those on here but mirrored up a tbird knockoff as a stage bass for a mate.
    Bit of filling, grouting and finessing to do but it should clean up nicely.


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  • Nice variant. Presumably it's been done before?

  • That's cool, and 'bit of grouting to do' is not a phrase you see often enough in association with lutherie :) - have you seen it under a really bright light yet?

  • Boring Tele setup update. I was mulling it over and had an idea that the neck could have been fitted at a wonky angle, therefore effectively making the length shorter on bass side and longer on the treble side, but in the end @ffm was right with it being a problem with the nut

    Yup, something's not right there.
    The only other thing I can think of is that the string is fitting weirdly into the nut.

    Tusq nut now installed, setup perfectly and the strings sounds so much better.

  • How difficult is changing the nut? I have similar strangeness on a PRS se - I’d used an old string to “file” the nut and put a little graphite lube in which made some improvements, but I still find the tuning and intonation quite unstable.

    I was going to just drop the thing into a professional, but if nut swaps are relatively easy - actually, it’s more that if nut swaps are reversible, I.e. always retain the ability to back out and never cause permanent damage, then I’d give it a go.

  • I had a guitar tech fit it for me. Looks pretty easy to remove and replace. Although you'd want the right tools if you need to sand the sides of the nut or file the nut slots.

    skip to 4:30:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlHSrFx8­iaM

  • Never let it be said I don't listen - I tracked down some recordings of a Firebird XII, and preferred its chime to the trebly Rickenbacker jangle. So I've ordered a set of Firebird pickups.

    Thanks for the tip, @tilover and @rickster.

  • good choice!

    T

  • Ta - yeah think I’ll leave it to someone that knows what they’re doing. Spanners and screwdrivers I’m happy with, wood files and chisels not so much!

    Recommended guitar tech in north west (Hampstead / Swiss Cottage / Camden) or central?

  • So it happened, I ordered lots of stuff online that will eventually, hopefully, make a guitar.
    Tele-style kit. Ash, Maple, Maple. Black Hardware. Twin Humbuckers. Going to go a little nuts on the carving, let's see what's left of the Tele when I'm finished...

  • This is excellent - there's a fair few builds going on at the minute. What kit did you go for in the end?

  • After much umming and ahing, I went for a fairly cheap ML-Guitars kit sold here in Germany. It's more of a tryout and a hobby-time thing, so didn't want to spend all that much cash. Also I can't even play the guitar, so... This will be a learning experience in many ways.

  • Hi anonymous nerds. Selling my old girl on here - send me a message if you're interested.
    https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/3469­24/
    Thanks

  • What’s going on here?

    https://uk.outdoorknight.com/-c-68001/ne­w-bigsby-b5-vibrato-tailpiece-electric-g­uitar-bigsby-silver-bigsby-tremolo-bridg­e-p-67998.html

    Half price Bigsby on an outdoor gear website that appears American but is actually Chinese? Sketchy? Definitely. Worth a punt for £50?

  • Plenty of pics, not stock images like you'd expect from a site selling fakes. You can also pay with PayPal, so I'd give it a punt!

  • It's a bigsby for a solid bodied guitar right? Like a Tele or lp jnr, during with a flat top.

  • The bigsby branding looks a bit different to other pics of a B5, but PayPal should protect against that with their guarantee?

  • I got a delivery for my Mockingbird...

    Quilted maple bookmatched top veneer and bookmatched headstock veneer, mahogany neck and body, quilted sapele fretboard (which is nuts when wet, the pictures don't do it justice). Never been a 'figuring' fiend in the past, but thought I'd give one a bash with some really obnoxiously grained wood!

    I think the maple veneer is thick enough to do a little weight reduction underneath it which is fortunate. And for a piece of mahogany, I really like the patterning on the body blank.


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  • That is some really loud figuring indeed. Related to that my build will be a little more subdued.
    But then again I have some Purple stain ordered. And I need to buy some aluminium sheet metal.
    Let's see, let's see...

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