Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

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Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

Lots of sanding leaves a zebra effect:
DSCN0439.jpg
Next I use a very dark blue as the main colour:
DSCN0440.jpg
I'll sand that back and use a much lighter blue as a highlight. I may mix in a little yellow to give it more of a cyan/turquoise look.

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

A bunch more sanding leaves dark blue in the "deeper" parts:
DSCN0443.jpg
Then I made a rather dilute blue with a drop of green in it and applied that over the top:
DSCN0445.jpg
The result is a little darker than I was shooting for but I dig! When the light strikes it at an angle it is like it glows from the inside:
DSCN0446.jpg
I'm calling the top stain done. I'm not sure what to do with the back, I may either stain it as black as I can go, or leave it natural.

Owen Woods
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:49 am
Location: UK
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Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Owen Woods »

Gorgeous colour Tristan!

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

Thanks Owen :) My wife says it looks like Spectrolite, a precious gem that comes from Finland. Pretty appropriate colour then for a local materials challenge :D

Anyway, I stained the back black, cleaned up the edges and gave it its first coat of Tru-Oil:
DSCN0453.jpg
I just love the way the heat treated pine has turned out! Fantastic colour. In retrospect I would skip the maple back and just use a thicker layer of pine instead.

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

I printed off the fret charts from my software and got cracking on the fretboard. First I marked a reference line - the software references both scales from the one mark to ensure the angles stay accurate. The charts it gives take into account the fact that the fretboard blank is an untapered rectangle.
Deep breath and off we go! Mark the bass side first:
DSCN0454.jpg
Then the treble side:
DSCN0455.jpg
Then join the dots:
DSCN0456.jpg

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

I thought I'd add some more oil before setting up to cut the fret slots, and its building so nicely that I thought I'd share. Tru-Oil is fantastic stuff.
I'm loving that colour the more I look at it:
DSCN0458.jpg
Detail of the cutaway - in this picture the colour of the pine is dead on what it looks like in person:
DSCN0461.jpg
As you can tell, my shop is somewhat lacking in terms of dust control. I have to very thoroughly clean the guitar between each coat to eliminate all the specks that settle on it while it is drying.

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david frassetto
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:55 pm
Location: Milwaukee WI

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by david frassetto »

That is looking so good!!! Can't wait to see it done.
Lap steel fanatic

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

Thanks David :D Me too ;) I think I'll be coming in hot, since I still have to carve & finish the neck, wind the pickups and machine the bridge before I'm really on the home straight.

Gluing in the truss rod with 5 minute epoxy and a scrap of pine:
DSCN0469.jpg
Cutting the fret slots was a bit scary. Lacking any sort of angle-adjustable mitre box for this saw, I wound up taping a handy bit of wood to the fretboard to use as a fence, firmly holding it in place and carefully cutting the slots:
DSCN0466.jpg
Phew, I'm glad thats done! I marked out the tapers and whatnot and cut it to length:
DSCN0471.jpg

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

Tapering the fretboard is fast, quiet, and easy with a plane:
DSCN0475.jpg
Time to give my clamps something to do:
DSCN0479.jpg
It doesn't seem to matter how many I buy, I could always do with more clamps...

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

I planed the rough radius into the fretboard while it was still reasonably easy to hold in the vice:
DSCN0480.jpg
To transition the fretboard to the headstock I used a few layers of masking tape on either side of the transition, sawed the bulk of the waste out with a coping saw, and roughed out the rest of the transition with rasp and half-round file:
DSCN0481.jpg

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

Time for the fun bit! I hogged away a rough profile with rasps at the first and twelfth frets:
DSCN0482.jpg
I joined them with a spokeshave:
DSCN0484.jpg
And cleaned up with rasps, files, sandpaper, etc:
DSCN0486.jpg

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

For fret markers I thought I'd inlay brass rings. I cut a short length of tube and chucked it in my mill to use as a drill:
DSCN0488.jpg
I glued the tube in with medium CA:
DSCN0489.jpg
I wiped off the excess, sprayed it with kicker, and let it dry. Then I cut it off close to the board with a fine metal cutting blade in my coping saw and filed it flush with the board.
After radiusing the board with a 14" block it looks like this:
DSCN0492.jpg

Jason Rodgers
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Tristan, this is way cool! I looked back at the original post, and maybe you said something about it in the 4 pages here, but are you going for a Charlie Hunter style instrument? Such a guitar was supposed to be my first project, and I even cut a fretboard just like you did, but I ran out of resources and steam at the time. This is definitely on my to-do list someday.

I didn't see if you had a plan for a bridge. I've seen people use individual graphtech saddles with individual L-shaped brass bridge pieces. My solution, had I built the guitar way back when, was to use Wilkinson saddles and attach them to little footprints of brass. Know what I mean?
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

Jason Rodgers wrote:Tristan, this is way cool! I looked back at the original post, and maybe you said something about it in the 4 pages here, but are you going for a Charlie Hunter style instrument?
Yeah, something along the lines of that. I'm not putting a separate bass pickup on, however. At least not at first. We'll see what happens with my playing style I guess - if I decide I want it then I can add it at a later date.
Jason Rodgers wrote:I didn't see if you had a plan for a bridge. I've seen people use individual graphtech saddles with individual L-shaped brass bridge pieces. My solution, had I built the guitar way back when, was to use Wilkinson saddles and attach them to little footprints of brass. Know what I mean?
I was initially planning to do like you say and take the saddles from a couple of cheap ebay Strat bridges and fabricate a baseplate for them, but the more I looked at the plans the more I wanted a TOM (I prefer them anyway), so I noodled around a bit and now the plan is to machine an angled wraparound TOM from scratch for it. Should be fun ;)

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

Onto the side dots! I drilled a 2mm hole first, then glued in some more brass tube:
DSCN0496.jpg
After cutting it off, I filed it back flush with the fretboard and drilled it out to 1.6mm:
DSCN0497.jpg
Into that hole I glued ordinary white plastic side dot rod. The result is easy to see from any angle and looks really cool when light catches it just right. Sadly its really hard to take a good picture of it, so here's a not very good picture of it:
DSCN0505.jpg

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

I was planning to fret it tonight, however it got a bit late for hammering so I thought I'd get the finish started instead. This will just get a couple of thin rubbed coats of Tru-Oil, for that lovely tactile finish it gets. After what seemed like an eternity of sanding I applied the first coat, bringing out that awesome grain:
DSCN0513.jpg
I simply apply a bit of oil to some paper towel and rub it in. Once the whole neck is coated with a thin layer I rub it vigorously with a new piece of towel for about 10 minutes. Fast, simple, and it makes for my favourite neck finish by far.
DSCN0516.jpg

Steven Wilson
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:11 pm
Location: Eastern Shore Maryland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Steven Wilson »

Looks great. Love the maple

Josh Humphrey
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:23 pm

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Josh Humphrey »

Awesome! I love the layered colors, the overall design, and the brass position markers look great.

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

I don't think I'm going to make it by midnight, but I'm giving it a good shot. Frets are installed, levelled, crowned, and polished, pickup bobbins have been made and I'm in the process of winding them now. I've made all of the polepiece slugs. I'd love to stop for pictures but I'm off and racing!
DSCN0548.jpg

Tristan Williams
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:10 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: Tristan Williams - 8-string fanned fret Iceman-ish

Post by Tristan Williams »

Time to admit defeat, I think. I think theres only about 8-16 hours worth of work left in it, so I came close, but no dice this time. I got a couple of the bobbins wound, but its past midnight here and I have to work in the morning. I'm extremely happy with the result so far, however, and I'm glad I gave it a shot!

A few pictures of how it looks. Without flash it looks like the ocean:
DSCN0550.jpg
With flash or when it catches the light it livens up a lot. I'm super happy with the colour.
DSCN0553.jpg
A closeup showing the gorgeous pine - big success, I'll definitely be using it again. Perhaps a Telecaster? Hmm..
DSCN0557.jpg

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