First one done!

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including "disappearing" errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.

First one done!

Postby John Sonksen » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:01 pm

(copied and pasted from my post over at OLF, hope that's okay)

So I finally got her done, after a year of making more mistakes than progress it seems I finally got the build portion of my first out of the way. Took her down to Portland Fretworks this morning to get some pickup rings as I had planned to wire it this weekend, (which I was not looking forward to), and ended up asking what it would cost to have them wire it up for me. Since I already had the electronics they quoted me at about $75 which seemed like a more than decent price for the amount of strife it's going to save me. So, I should be picking her back up next week and know that she'll be playing as soon as I plug her in, I can't wait! So, here's what she looks like.

Root Beer burst
Image


shot of the binding
Image

overall
Image

abalone dots (they show up a little brighter in person, it's tough to get on my phone)
Image

little better on this one
Image

think I could do a little better on the nut but it plays fine so I'm not gonna push my luck
Image

headstock inlay of the guitar's namesake La Llorona
Image

back of headstock with my star trek volute and relic'd tuners
Image

So the body is made out of a chambered sapele core capped on top and back with flame maple, banded with flame maple and bound with bocote with fiber purfling on the top. Subtle recarve around the edge and the body is actually a flat top not tapered towards the neck. I angled the heel of the bolt on neck until I achieved a little more than 2 degrees for the neck angle which lined up just fine with the Tune-o-matic that sits very close to the body due to a slight recess in the top a la Carvin. I went with a bolt on because I was terrified I was going to screw up the neck and wanted to be able to swap it out if that happened. So far though the neck seems very stable and is holding a very small relief perfectly which has resulted in a very nice action.

The neck is quarter-sawn hardrock maple with curly maple and walnut laminations with the flame forming a chevron pattern up the back of the neck. Decided to augment the scarf joint with a piece of walnut which I think makes a nice design element. Headstock inlay includes walnut, west african ebony, copper, curly maple, impregnated curly maple, abalone side markers as the rosary beads, a cross from one of my Wife's bracelets, spalted maple and lots and lots of super glue to harden and plasticize it for polishing.

The electronics are an alpha tone pot with a push-pull volume for coil splitting, five way rotary selector switch like a PRS. This way I can select the neck or bridge pickup and coil split each one if I wish, whereas the rotary switch by itself doesn't let you do that. It should result in ten pickup configurations which I'm sure is much more than I'm going to use but hey, why not. I used one of the newer telecaster jack cups that sit flush to the edge of the guitar, electrosockets I think they're called. I'm using a Tom Anderson H1 pickup in the neck position and an H3 in the bridge position which were recommended to me by Tom Anderson. I picked these because my main amp is a Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, and Mesa uses Tom Anderson pickups as their bench testers. Seemed like a good idea to use these then, and so I wrote Tom and asked a few questions. He wrote me back and asked me a few questions, mainly about construction and the music I like to play and followed my answers with his recommendations. I thought he was very nice and very helpful and I'm looking forward to hearing what they sound like.

I'm already going on number two, it'll be like this one with a few differences mainly cosmetic. I'm toying with the idea of doing a series of deadly women as the headstock inlays and waiting to get a decision from the owner of number two about who he'd like to see up there. After these I have two SG's that I'm planning on, and possibly a tele after that. I'm hoping that number two goes easier than number one which felt like it was going to kill me at times, (I'm sure it'll get easier, lol) and I'm looking forward to being a little less of a pain in the *&# to my wife and my bosses and everybody around here and OLF and anywhere else I've been a know-it-all know-nothing! Thanks to everybody for the help and the encouragement, I'll post some more pics next week!
John Sonksen
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:20 pm

Nicely Done! I like the color, the banding, the binding, the neck.
Wiring is a lot easier than you might think.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1178
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: First one done!

Postby Chad McCormack » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:29 pm

You sure this is your first one, John? I'm impressed! I especially like your binding work and your extra detailing around the scarf joint. Clever and well-executed all around. Really nicely done!
Chad McCormack
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:02 pm
Location: Berwick, Maine

Re: First one done!

Postby John Sonksen » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:35 pm

Gordon Bellerose wrote:Nicely Done! I like the color, the banding, the binding, the neck.
Wiring is a lot easier than you might think.


Thanks Gordon! I will eventually tackle the wiring part, I'm just so anxious to plug her in and have it work the first time! I had to do so many things two, even three times on this to get it right the whole idea of messing up the wiring just made my head cave in!

Thanks Chad! It was a lot of work and a lot of struggle, I do have previous woodworking experience but I was surprised by how much I still had to learn, (and how much I still HAVE to learn)
John Sonksen
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby Jason Rodgers » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:24 pm

Nice! You're going to need to give us a better shot of that Star Trek swoosh in the scarf joint, though.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
Jason Rodgers
 
Posts: 1554
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby John Sonksen » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:45 pm

Jason Rodgers wrote:Nice! You're going to need to give us a better shot of that Star Trek swoosh in the scarf joint, though.


thanks Jason! When I get it back I'll take a shot from a little further back and post it. Hey, since you're in town if you haven't already check out Portland Fretworks on NE Alberta, their hours kind of suck but it's a great store/shop. They had a ton of parts there, have a full, albeit small shop and seemed happy to answer some of my build questions. Really handy local resource.
John Sonksen
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby Warren May » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:21 am

Nice work, John. You did a good job on the subtlety of the root beer burst and the binding is a good choice. As Gordon said, wiring is really pretty simple once you get some practice. Making a nut is difficult for me, too, and I sometimes have to start over.. Frank Ford has a good tutorial but it's important to have the right tools and a couple of extra blanks. The rest of your guitar looks so good that you will want to change that nut out at some point.
Warren May
 
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: First one done!

Postby Steve Senseney » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:40 am

Ambitious and well done project.

Looks nice, with lots of nice details.

Trim the wire ends, and it will look a lot more finished!
Steve Senseney
 
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:45 pm

Re: First one done!

Postby Glen Canaday » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:45 pm

Wow, nice.

Wiring is the easiest part! You've already done everything that's hard.

Edit: I love those tuners.
Glen Canaday
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:28 pm

Re: First one done!

Postby John Sonksen » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:27 pm

Nice work, John. You did a good job on the subtlety of the root beer burst and the binding is a good choice. As Gordon said, wiring is really pretty simple once you get some practice. Making a nut is difficult for me, too, and I sometimes have to start over.. Frank Ford has a good tutorial but it's important to have the right tools and a couple of extra blanks. The rest of your guitar looks so good that you will want to change that nut out at some point.



Thanks Warren, I think I can actually take this one and clean it up a little bit the treble side looks a little toothy. I'll check out the Frank Ford tutorial, I'm sure that'll help!

Ambitious and well done project.

Looks nice, with lots of nice details.

Trim the wire ends, and it will look a lot more finished!


Thanks Steve, appreciate it! I actually did trim the strings after this just blanked on taking a photo. It's a lot easier to see the head stock without all that spaghetti!


Wow, nice.

Wiring is the easiest part! You've already done everything that's hard.

Edit: I love those tuners.


Thanks Glen, I just need to do some reading on the wiring, I'm sure I can do it I just got a little anxious. I think once I get more comfortable with the building process I'll be more eager to put the soldering gun to use.

I love the tuners too! They're Grover sta-tites that I relic'd to get the waverly look for a quarter of the price. I had to take them all apart, scuff sand them with 600 grit sandpaper and then used a vinegar copper solution to artificially tarnish them.

Here's a link to a post I did over on OLF detailing the process

http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10117&t=37675&p=493550&hilit=relic#p493550
John Sonksen
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:03 pm

John Sonksen wrote:
Nice work, John. You did a good job on the subtlety of the root beer burst and the binding is a good choice. As Gordon said, wiring is really pretty simple once you get some practice. Making a nut is difficult for me, too, and I sometimes have to start over.. Frank Ford has a good tutorial but it's important to have the right tools and a couple of extra blanks. The rest of your guitar looks so good that you will want to change that nut out at some point.


Thanks Warren, I think I can actually take this one and clean it up a little bit the treble side looks a little toothy. I'll check out the Frank Ford tutorial, I'm sure that'll help!



I'm certain you know Stewmac. Go to their site and look in Free Information. There is a step by step tutorial on making a nut.
They also have some pretty good books. "Guitar Players Guide To Repair", and "How To Make You Electric Guitar Play Great" are a couple that have good instructions.
Nut making is one of the challenges we all face. They have to be so precise.
Last edited by Greg Robinson on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Repairing quote tags - staff
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1178
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: First one done!

Postby James Tonguet » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:43 pm

very nice work , love the fact that you chambered it , and the headstock is great on both sides!
James Tonguet
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:13 pm
Location: Duluth,Ga

Re: First one done!

Postby John Kingma » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:23 am

Lots of nice stuff happening there. Good job.
John Kingma,
Builder of Fine Sawdust & Expensive Kindling
User avatar
John Kingma
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:22 am
Location: N 44° 59.564 ~ W 079° 35.317

Re: First one done!

Postby Jeff Mills » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:31 pm

wow what a beaut if I could make a whistle sound here I would. I really like the way you cut your nut slots angled like that - makes for easy stringing hu?
Experience is a strange thing - You get it right after you needed it.
Jeff Mills
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:49 pm

Re: First one done!

Postby David King » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:48 pm

I live right down the street from said shop so I'll have to drop by to check this out in person. I love the neck joint and inlay work. Great job on the binding.
I didn't see if you mentioned the finish you used.
Wiring is fun and easy, I'd be happy to help you with that the next time around. Everyone can and should wire a guitar.
David King
 
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby John Sonksen » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:59 pm

David King wrote:I live right down the street from said shop so I'll have to drop by to check this out in person. I love the neck joint and inlay work. Great job on the binding.
I didn't see if you mentioned the finish you used.
Wiring is fun and easy, I'd be happy to help you with that the next time around. Everyone can and should wire a guitar.


David that would be outstanding! I was just feeling like such a neophyte with the wiring and also very anxious to actually hear it play I just didn't want to go through another process that I'd have to do over. I really appreciate the offer and I'll PM you when I'm ready on the next one. As to your question, I used Behlen stringed instrument lacquer and transtint dyes that I mixed into toners. I used about four blends to get the overall look, different mixes of brown, red-brown, orange and black. I actually had to completely redo the top after I ended up sanding through the original burst. I actually think the first burst that I did was a little better, (it was a little lighter in the center) but I'm still very happy with this. I'd love it if you stopped by fretworks and had a look, I think Devon was going to work on it. If you want to name drop me and tell him I told you on mimf that you could play it, I'd love to get an opinion on how it plays. I certainly like it and think it's very playable though I'm sure some things could be improved.
John Sonksen
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby Markku Nyytäjä » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:21 am

Absolutely beautiful! That neck is a piece of art!
Markku Nyytäjä
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:42 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: First one done!

Postby John Sonksen » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:44 pm

Thank you Markku!
John Sonksen
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby John Sonksen » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:35 pm

Got an update. I got a phone call from the guitar shop last Friday, telling me they hadn't started on the wiring yet and it was gonna cost twice as much. So long story short I decided to take the very generous David King up on his offer to show me the ropes. What he thought would take a couple hours ended up taking about five as the wiring was pretty complicated and made even more so by an unusual pickup design. Of course I was barely any help at all and David exhibited a ton of patience with me as we tried to work through multiple problems.

We ended up getting one of the pickups working but not both, or not the way they should be working. So David offered to help again this week sometime, and I went home very grateful.

Lastnight I cracked open the electronics cavity and traced the signal paths, everything seemed fine. I ended up taking the pickups back out and that's when I noticed they weren't wired the same. I shot off an email to the pup maker and he confirmed they put the wrong color wire in the wrong place. A couple desolders followed by resolders and she's working fine! Got her plugged into the boogie lastnight and played for hours. Feels so good to have the first done done, got to meet a really cool builder in town and made a new friend. Now the only thing left to do is play!
Image

Image
John Sonksen
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: First one done!

Postby Bob Francis » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:25 pm

What a breuty!
Good on ya both!
Bob Francis
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Next

Return to Solid-Body and Chambered or Semi-Solid Electric Guitars and Bass Guitars

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links •