Warren May's Barnocaster

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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Tue May 07, 2013 3:29 am

And installed the fret markers made from scrap cocobolo and a 1/4" plug cutter. The headstock was covered with a veneer from the leftover cutout of the top. Headstock angle is about 14 degrees and I've decided to use some salvaged inline tuners.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Jon Whitney » Wed May 08, 2013 12:45 pm

The secrets to tapping threads are lubrication (3-in-1 oil works for me), and backing the tap out a half turn every 1/4-1/2 turns to break and clear the chips.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Thu May 09, 2013 8:52 am

Thanks, Jon. I used an oil but I think the problem I have is 2 fold. I was trying to cut 8-32 threads in a 3/8" section cut from a stainless steel bolt. I've read stainless is hard to work. Second problem is that I was using a wrench since I didn't have a holding tool for the tap. Since then, I read an article on the net where they used the drill press and a machinists vice to both drill and tap the hole in order to keep things lined up. They chucked the tap up and hand-turned the drill, clearing chips as you say, every quarter turn. I think those are the things I'm doing wrong.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Jon Whitney » Fri May 10, 2013 1:36 pm

There are several alloys of stainless steel, with different machinability properties. I'm building a banjo with tensioning hooks that I've bent from 5/32" 303 (I think) SS rod, and threading them 8-32. It hasn't been any more difficult than any other metal I've threaded (which is to say, not that difficult). Having the proper handle to hold the die helps a lot. I have held the bent portion of the hooks in my regular wood vise. I have to thread 1" inch on the hooks (1 1/2" on a set of four long hooks used temporarily in mounting the banjo head) so it's not that big of a deal. I can easily thread one hook in five minutes or less. Be sure you have a good quality die (the cheap ones from Harbor Freight and the like are mostly crap) and you start the threading on the right side of the die - they have a little internal taper (at least the good ones do).
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Jon Whitney » Fri May 10, 2013 2:52 pm

sorry Warren, I now see you were trying to do internal threads in a short 3/8" round rod, presumably with a hole bored through the side (?) to use as a stop nut. Same advice on the alloys and cutting the threads, though. Taps are a lot easier to break. Either a T-handle or a straight handle is so helpful compared to a wrench you would never try a wrench again.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Fri May 10, 2013 8:03 pm

I agree that the wrench was one of the downfalls. Too hard to control and keep it straight. I also think the SS was a little harder to tap. I have tapped brass for Tele bridge saddles from a brass bolt and it was relatively easy. Also, I was trying to go pretty deep to form an adjusting nut so maybe take it slower and move the tap all the way out to remove chips and debris?
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Jon Whitney » Mon May 13, 2013 1:24 pm

Warren May wrote:...move the tap all the way out to remove chips and debris?


That might be necessary sometimes but I wouldn't think so unless you are tapping threads in a blind hole where the chips can't fall out. But obviously chips clogging up the tap is just as bad or worse than wood chips clogging up a drill bit, and the solution is the same - whatever it takes to get the chips out of the way.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:31 am

I have to decide on a finish next. Probably go with Watco natural followed by Briwax on the neck and back. I may leave the front unfinished. The picture doesn't show the saw marks and other character marks too well but the barnwood looks a little more rustic in person than in the photos.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Jason Rodgers » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:55 am

Is there a flat finish that you could use? Putting something on the front will at least hold down the splinters, stop sweat stains, and prevent the slow "sanding" of the top from arm and hand wear.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:53 pm

What about Deft flat? I could possibly use that for the whole instrument. I agree about the staining since it already has some sweat stains from working on it. My wife also wants me to finish it with something since, up close and in person, it's pretty rough to the touch.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Jason Rodgers » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:17 pm

And then all those splinters become wee spines. Eh, just call it a grip texture feature.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Hans Bezemer » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:12 am

Warren,

That starts to look nice!

Why not apply the Danish Oil on the top as well? You will keep the roughness and have a proper protection against sweat.
You'll be happy and your wife will be happy! ;-)

Hans
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:43 am

Thanks, Hans. I tried the Watco on a test piece and it works pretty well but does darken it a little which is okay. I also tried spraying with a flat finish and didn't like the results of that experiment. I'll take your advice and use oil on the entire thing. Now, if I could find something that would smooth my roughness and produce less sweat, my wife would really be happy ;)
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Hans Bezemer » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:30 am

Warren May wrote:... Now, if I could find something that would smooth my roughness and produce less sweat, my wife would really be happy ;)

:lol:
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:09 pm

I'm calling it finished. Here is the front of the guitar. It has a few coats of Danish oil but no other finish.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:16 pm

Here's a closer one of the top. The decorative piece behind the bridge is part of an old hinge. The control plate is a door eustachean plate with cabinet knobs. The pickguard was cut from a piece of light steel and artificially rusted using vinegar, bleach, salt and steel wool then sealed with several coats of matte lacquer.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:19 pm

The back and neck were finished with Danish oil and Briwax, several coats of each. I like the feel but the fretboard seems like it is already getting a little dirty so I may sand it back a little and apply a few more coats to just the fretboard.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:21 pm

The headstock veneer was a little thick so I had to remove some of it to get it out of the way. The nut is rescued "dog bone". The tuners were salvaged from another project where I replaced these with a little more high end. Not sure why, now, they seem to work pretty well after tightening the gear screws a little.
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Warren May » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:30 pm

I thought I was keeping the cost under $100 but after tallying everything in, I went over. So, it looks like I'm disqualified on this one. Most items were scrapped or salvaged. Strap buttons, pickup, truss rod and bridge were new. I will have to replace the volume pot, eventually, since it doesn't turn down properly. The strap wasn't included in the cost but it was a cheap find in the bargain bin at the local music store for $10.00. Still, it was fun watching the builds this year again. Thanks to the MIMF staff for putting it on.

Item Cost
Cypress $10.00
Maple $10.00
Truss Rod $10.00
Tuners $15.00
Nut $1.00
Neck fasteners $2.00
Strap buttons $3.00
P90 Pickup $15.00
Bridge $8.00
Hinge $2.00
Eustachean $5.00
Knobs $2.00
Pots $5.00
Capacitor $2.00
Jack $3.00
Jack cup $3.00
Fretwire $7.00
Finishing supplies $5.00
Screws $2.00
Sheet metal $5.00
Total $115.00
The guitar, however, is fun and, so, worth the entry fee :D
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Re: Warren May's Barnocaster

Postby Jon Whitney » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:27 pm

It's unique, fun, and I like the antique hardware on it. Too bad about the price overrun, this certainly looks like a winner in the category to me.
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