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Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

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Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:35 pm

Hey been a long time since I've posted much here, but I finished my first ever solid-body electric - so here it is.
It is a (mostly) copy of an Ibanez Jem. Without the monkey grip :-)
Neck-through construction. Walnut neck, ash wings.
Ebony FB, stainless frets.
Seymore-Duncan "Pearly Gates" pickups.

All of this was specified by my customer. He specified almost 100% of the features of this guitar. I decided I was going to use Titebond, which truss rod, and how I'd put it together... and that is about it :-)
He was great about it though - super easy to work with
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glueup.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:40 pm

That was the body glueup - let me know if you want any further-back build photos.
The mounting of the pickups was a bit of a mystery to me for this type of construction.
I've worked on several bolt-on style electrics - with pickups mounted to bit of plastic (not a fan - nor was the customer)
SO I had to make my own #3-48 threaded inserts - because I could not find these, even in the expanse of the inter-webs.

Here they is
Attachments
pupthreadedInserts.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:52 pm

Here's the thing - Normal pickup mount springs are pathetic.
Really, the mechanics of how pickups are normally mounted is flimsy, and ... just ... bad.
So, I found some monster springs that fit, and put a LOT more pre-load in the mount. These babies aren't moving.
:-)
Attachments
mountsprings.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:53 pm

Ok, mostly completed, back side.
Attachments
back.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:03 pm

By the way, the finish is Minwax Antique Oil Finish. That has got to be the easiest finish ever. I did something like 3 padding sessions with one done with 600 grit paper so the pores are kinda filled, and the surface is like velvet. AMAZING feel.

This next shot is just me sanding and polishing the frets. Stainless - this is my second time, and I'm never going back to nickle-silver - no way.
The board is one of the blackest pieces of ebony I've ever worked with. No brown in the sanding dust - like charcoal.
Of course ... you can't see that in this shot :-)
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fretwork.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:06 pm

The guitar is in memory of the customers late dog, Minka. Belgian malinois. at 12th
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minka-pearl.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:08 pm

she's at the 3rd
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:09 pm

Whole thing looking up
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toplong.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:10 pm

on the bench complete
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topshort.jpg
full.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:12 pm

down perspective in a warmer light. by shop is great to work in, but the light is a bit harsh for photos.
That's it, thanks for looking
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:22 pm

Nice work Chuck. Beautiful (there's just no way to say this) piece of ash.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:28 pm

i gotta say, i have a much better appreciation for a nice piece of ash now.
Having built acoustic's up until this point, rosewood, ebony, mahogany, spruce ... sure but I've never worked with ash - it is friggin' awesome!
and , no, i do not need to as a smile to this post
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Mark Swanson » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:14 am

That looks really great Chuck! I wish I could give it a play! Yeah that wood is beautiful, and I'll add the smile. :)
What kind of bridge is that? That is probably one heavy sounding axe.
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:12 am

The ash is beautiful, and it is nice and hard, resonant, and easy to work.
It is a hipshot Ibanez replacement bridge HERE

The guitar is heavy, I'll give you that. If I make another like it I'd drill out some of the wings and maybe the end of the neck body.
The customer wanted it heavy - I suggested drilling it out and he did not want it - really did not want it.
I've only heard it through a tiny-weenie amp. I can judge the sound of an acoustic guitar, but I have to admit that I don't have a good handle on electrics (with my limited amp). Let's just say it sounds very different from my old Chinese Squire Strat - definitely much better :-)
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Mark Swanson » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:39 am

Some ash is quite light, other stuff heavy. The "swamp ash" is usually light. Guitarists like both for different reasons...you can just imagine that argument!
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Barry Daniels » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:40 pm

Nice one, Chuck. I just finished my first solid body and too and will be posting it soon.
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Jason Rodgers » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:27 pm

Ah, there it is. Nice work, Chuck!

Did you spray it with shellac before the oil? (And no, I'm not being cheeky when I ask that.) Is that oil finish like some of the other "tru oil" type finishes?

What did you do with the switching? Just a 3-way, or are there some push-pull pots that give some more options?

Also, can do you have a shot of the headstock? I can't make out the profile, other than it's 3x3.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:24 pm

Thanks guys.
Mark, this ash is very low density relative to other stuff I could have bought. I knew that "swamp ash" is a code name of "low-density ash", so I bought this stuff after shopping around town passing on a lot of crazy-heavy and very white ash. Seems that the heavy stuff is very white, and the light weight stuff has a much darker color with very distinct (and also dark) early wood.

Thanks Barry - I look forward to seeing your guitar. I'm sure it will be a beauty.

Jason, the finish is oil directly on the wood. No shellac - sprayed or otherwise. It is similar to tru oil, this stuff is also used by gunstock guys.
Switching on this thing is awesome - and it was specified by the client :-). No push-pull, just vol, tone, and 3-way switch. Simple!
The switch is a 4P2T (4-pole double throw) switch (see pic). Forward and back positions are what you expect - full humbucker neck or bridge.
The mid position has the most amazing sound!!! It is a widely split humbucker composed of the north coil of the neck and the south from the bridge.
I think its a pretty standard configuration, but I'm new to this s#!t so I didn't know. Sounds amazing tho.
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IMG_20170217_121320.jpg
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Mark Swanson » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:19 am

Two caps in there? Looks good Chuck...and that split wiring is like a tele with both pickups on and in series. Pretty cool! Anyway I imagine that both of the coils from each pickup are in series, since the other positions are.
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Re: Chuck Tweedy's adventure on the dark side

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:07 am

The 2 caps are a standard tone cap (0.022uF), and a "treble bleed circuit" which is a 0.001uF cap and a resistor across the legs of the volume pot. yea - it's pretty much a Tele I guess.
The switch does what you see in the graphic below. Pretty straightforward stuff really.
I worked out the switching (from interwebs search) based on what the client wanted - he specified and bought the caps from Stew-Mac.
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Special 3-way.png
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