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Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:47 pm
by Warren May
Found a wide piece of what we think is cypress at the Architectural Salvage yard and will try to build a guitar around a rustic reclaimed wood theme. Need to take pictures and decide on a shape, but I'm in for now.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:09 pm
by Warren May
Picture of the barnwood. It's nice and wide and I want to leave the saw marks and some flaws if I can.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:11 pm
by Warren May
We also found what looks like a sink cutout from a laminated maple countertop. It's heavy so I may need to weight relieve it a little bit. I think I can get a one piece maple neck and the back of the body out of it.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:14 pm
by Warren May
The Salvage yard also has some great old hardware pieces. I'm thinking of incorporating these as the bridge and tailpiece but haven't totally decided yet. The brass plated pull on the right has about a 12" radius on top but it's a little tall. If I use it, it would require figuring out the proper neck angle.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:18 pm
by Warren May
I'm struggling a little with the best shape. A Tele seems the natural choice but I might like a little more rounded lower bout. Another choice might be a reverse Explorer. I'm planning on going back to the Salvage yard to look again at his tin ceiling tiles to find a pickguard but, again, no real plans other than something rusty would look good. I've got a really cheap P90 that I'm planning on using. So, I should come in well under the $100 mark. So far, I have about $20 in the wood.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:21 am
by Warren May
I decided on a combination of a Les Paul lower bout with wider waist and a modified Tele upper bout and cutouts. Still needs a little refining and sanding but I think it will work okay. The wood works like soft maple and was biscuit jointed so I'll have to fill a few voids but overall it seems okay. After cutting it out, it's lighter than I expected. Still not sure whether I'll go with a chambered, weight relieved or solid body.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:34 am
by Warren May
I'm hoping that when I slice off a neck blank that the biscuits won't be in the way but here's the leftovers from the sink cutout. Should be plenty and may be able to get 2 necks. Not sure if I'll enter a second project or not.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:46 am
by Warren May
Have to take Pumpkin to get a haircut this AM, so am going in late to work. So, I used the time to mill out a neck blank from the sink cutout. After planning and thickness sanding, it's now at 1 1/8" x 3" x 24" so I'll take it down just a little bit to about 1" or so when it gets radiused. It's just a little bit short for a Fender style headstock so I need to determine which direction to go, maybe a scarf joint 14 degrees. I have a salvaged, cheap set of 6 inline tuners I was planning on using, so maybe a Firebird style headstock. Still have to decide.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:25 pm
by Warren May
Got quite a bit done today in addition to a little yard work. Beautiful day here in Mississippi, hope it was where y'all are. I cut out the top and resawed it to thickness. It was too wide for my bandsaw so I had to slice as far as I could with the bandsaw and finish up with a handsaw. After planing it down and running it through the thickness sander it's about 3/8" and gives me another top. Here's the one I decided to use.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:26 pm
by Warren May
I also planed and thickness sanded the maple body. It came out pretty nice for a found piece.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:34 pm
by Warren May
Here is the backside of the top. I like the grain and might use the other piece from the resaw to make a thinline Tele top. It's a little soft but the grain is interesting.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:46 pm
by Warren May
Here is the other piece from the resaw. At first, I was going to use this side because it had a lot of character but was a little worried about the whitewash being difficult to top coat. It apparently came from an old barn, shed or shack that had some sort of cloth tacked to it. I hit a couple of the tacks while bandsawing but the blade seems okay since they are small tacks.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:30 pm
by Warren May
I started working down the neck. Since it is a one piece neck, I had to build a router sled with curved rails. It was surprisingly easy to build and worked very well.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:32 pm
by Warren May
Several passes with a 1/4" bit and I'm really happy with the truss rod channel so far.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:36 pm
by Warren May
I tried something a little different for the radius this time. I taped a piece of 1/8" x 1" shim to the bottom of the neck and ran it through my thickness sander, several times from each side until it was fairly close to the 12" radius I'm hoping for. Then, I ran it through a few times flat to take down the middle facet. Basically, it has 3 long facets and is pretty close to the 12" radius. I'll finish it up with a sanding block and then cut fret slots and the neck angle before cutting the neck to rough shape.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:57 pm
by Hans Bezemer
It's looking good Warren.
I'm always thrilled to see cut offs and pieces of wood taken out of the trashcan to be turned into instruments!
Good luck with your build.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:38 pm
by Warren May
So far, I've glued the top to the body blank and have worked on the neck. It's roughly profiled, radiused, slotted and carved. I cut the neck angle at about 14 degrees with a matching headstock piece to glue on later. I left it flat on the sides of the headstock to help with clamping when gluing. Still needs the heel shaped but it's coming along, slowly.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:40 pm
by Warren May
Here's the front of the neck, slotted. I bought the new little Japanese fretsaw from StewMac and highly recommend it. It made life much easier than with the original gents saw they used to sell with the manual fret system. Very sharp and accurate cuts with a lot less effort.

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:48 pm
by Greg Robinson
Hi Warren, just wanted to drop in and say good luck!

Looking cool, I really love that piece with the sawmarks and the whitewash, if I were you, I wouldn't worry about topcoat compatibility, I think I'd leave it raw and use it anyway, it has so much character!

Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 3:24 am
by Warren May
With Spring here it's been a little difficult to find much time to work on the guitar because of lots of yardwork and gardening that needs doing. I have managed to work on the neck. I used a $10 rod from Warmoth after trying to build my own but breaking a tap when trying to make an adjusting nut and anchor. I'm not good at metal work, I fear.