1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

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.
Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

Hello,
I thought it was high time I actually got started on my first home built guitar, and here are a few images of the initial work.
My idea was to do an interpretation of Eddie Van Halens' Frankenstein guitar. Its quite a wide interpretation as it will have two humbuckers (Bareknuckle Abraxas), no tremelo and no empty pickup cavities. In fact, the only similarity is the stripey body and the maple neck!
Anyway, the body is padauk with 3/4" routed channels inlaid with maple or walnut.
The neck is of rippled maple with a rippled maple fingerboard (separate) and it will have 22 frets over a 25" scale. Unfortunately, when I came to prepare the blank I had bought, I noticed a fairly deep twist. With some planing and a bit of luck, the twist seems to have been eliminated. I'll leave it for a few days before gluing up the heel and angledd headstock, just in case there is still some twist in the timber.
In fact - would you advise not to use the blank at all in view of possible future issues?
Finishing will most likely be Tru-oil, but I may go for rattle-can lacquer instead.

The following images are self explanatory and essentially show the inlaying of the stripes and a roughly bandsawn body.
Initial outline of stripe placement
Initial outline of stripe placement
First of 6 stripe layers glued in
First of 6 stripe layers glued in
Clamping arrangment on kitchen table
Clamping arrangment on kitchen table
All stripes in, drum sanded top
All stripes in, drum sanded top
Rough bandsawn body
Rough bandsawn body
I appreciate any comments and suggestions.
Thanks,
Adam

Eric Baack
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Eric Baack »

cool how you have done it with the inlays instead of painting it. clever!!

the neck blank may be fine just let it sit for a while

Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

Hi Eric,
Thanks for the comment - I had originally planned on having the stripes run through the whole of the body, but planning the glueing and the actual amount of work involved was going to be too much. So I went with inlaid channels instead :) The effect works, I think, but only on the front face.
I am indeed hoping the neck blank will be fine. How long would you suggest sitting before proceeding? And is any deformity (twist, cup, bend) allowable?

Cheers,
Adam

Eric Baack
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Eric Baack »

I really don't know how long, if you have a means to test how dry it is that would likely be a good indicator.

Keith VanDen Heuvel
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:21 am

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Keith VanDen Heuvel »

I really like the inlay approach to this type of build. A new twist on an old idea. I look forward to seeing the final result.

Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

Hi folks,
Thanks for kind comments - we'll see how well it works out when the carving is done...
However, i have a query Id like a little help with.
I left the neck blank a few says, and all was well, so i glued up the scarf joint and extra thickness for the heel (perhaps rippled maple not the best first choice, but never mind), and proceeded to rout the truss rod (dual action, headstock adjustment) channel, which also went ok. However, and here is my query, i glued in a hardwood strip over the truss rod and noticed a dip in one place where i had overtightened one of the clamps (should have used a caul, i realise now). Should i be worried about this? Should i attempt to remove and replace the strip? Or given that there is only 1/8 - 1/4" of strip still in slot after planing flush, will it be ok as it is?
I appreciate any comments before i proceed further with the neck.
Cheers,
Adam

Rob Carty
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:22 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Rob Carty »

What a cool build! Back in 1979-80, when Van Halen was still considered a new thing, I recall a friend telling me that those stripes in EVH's Frankenstein were inlaid marble. I believed it for a while. Anyway, it's nice to see someone make the concept somewhat of a reality! Best of luck!

Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

A quick update....
Thanks Rob - he may not have used marble, but there are one or two more bits of tape on Eddies' guitar than mine.... We'll see how it sounds when finished, but there will be a few differences - no trem on mine, no empty pickup hole etc...

Here's a picture of how the neck stands right now - if you squint you can see the dip in the truss-rod covering fillet (please excuse the vegetable display in the background, when it's freezing outside I tend to take over the kitchen as a gluing-up area) towards the headstock roughly where the car-key fob is. As mentioned earlier, I would appreciate any advice/comment on whether to leave it as is, or attempt to replace.
IMG_9733.jpg
Cheers,
Adam

User avatar
Barry Daniels
Posts: 2635
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Barry Daniels »

Can't see the dip from here. Do you have a close up photo? I would probably fill it in with a piece of wood, plane her flat and keep going.
MIMF Staff

Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

Hi Barry,
I dont have a close up photo unfortunately, and wont be able to now as I have planed the fillet flush to the neck.
I think perhaps I hadnt explained quite what I meant well enough. The fillet stock was prepared on a drum sander so opposing sides were parallel and square to each other. I think I applied a bit more pressure with the cam clamps in one section, causing it to bow a little along its' length. There was no dip beneath the level of the neck, but if you sight along the top of the fillet, it dips in an area nearer the head end.
I think my concern was that I may have distorted the truss rod by direct pressure from the fillet.
Or perhaps I am worrying too much?

Cheers,
Adam

Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

Greetings folks,
After several problems, queries, fantastic advice and a little bit of luck, I have just about finished my first build. The specs are as follows :
Body - padauk inlaid with strips of flame maple, sycamore, walnut and an offcut of indian rosewood.
Neck - flame maple, glued in
Fingerboard - flame maple, 22 frets
Headstock - simillar to body, but in veneer
Scale - 25"
Controls - standard Les Paul arrangement with 500k Alpha pots and cheapo disc capacitors.
Pickups - matched Abraxas set from Bareknuckle Pickups (rather fabulous English company)
Finish - somewhere around 12-14 coats Tru-Oil
Bridge/tuners - Gotoh 510

Some pictures :
IMG_0323.jpg
IMG_0325.jpg
IMG_0328.jpg
IMG_0329.jpg
IMG_0337.jpg

Warren May
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Warren May »

I love it! The body contours look especially well done and really show off the striping. Great job!

Rob Carty
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:22 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Rob Carty »

Hear, hear! Nicely done, Adam!

User avatar
Pete Halliday
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:50 am
Location: Canton, MI
Contact:

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Pete Halliday »

That is really cool...great job!

Eric Baack
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Eric Baack »

Great work Adam!

Now what's the next? ;)

Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

And lastly, a textbook example of how to neatly (!?!) wire up the controls :
IMG_0321.jpg
As it stands, there are a few issues :
Neck is a little 'variable' in its' profile, also a little too thin.
Neck angle is a little low - with bridge at lowest, 12 fret action is 2.5mm. Playable, but not as low as I would have liked. I am not sure how I missed this, as I thought I had worked out the correct angle. Better luck next time.
Frets needed a lot of levelling, so are quite a bit lower profile than they started with.
I somehow routed the neck pickup cavity about 2mm off centre line. I dont think it will be a tremendous problem, but I know it's there.
Bridge could have done with being placed further back as I could set the intonation correctly for a couple of strings.
I havent quite worked out whether the Gotoh tuners and chrome control knobs are the best aesthetic choice to match the rest of the guitar.

But, I am rather happy with :
The body - it feels fantastic, a lot more curvy than the photos suggest, with a couple of rear contours and the sucked-boiled-sweet overall effect.
The finish - not *quite* as matt as I would have liked, but for my first attempt with Tru Oil, Im happy
The sound - very creamy (if that makes any sense at all) when overdriven/distorted, and very clear clean tones that (for the 5-10 minutes I had it plugged in) rival my favourite bought guitar (86 Les Paul custom)
The neck - whilst there are issues as detailed above, the finish is, for me, spot on for hand-feel. And though it is too thin, for my hands it is very nice to play.
The frets - although I had to do a lot of flattening and high-spot-chasing, there wasnt an ounce of fret-buzz when tuned up.

So, many things learned, many silly mistakes made (mostly to do with measurement funnily enough...) and a couple rectified, and a guitar I am rather proud to say I built at home. I think it is fair to say that it would not have been as successful as it is without the very generous help and advice from the folks here on MIMF. I pity you already for the barrage of questions I shall fire off with my next project - a semi hollowbody in reclaimed afromosia.....

Thanks, and any suggestions/comments/criticisms/questions welcomed.

Adam

Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

Thanks for the comments :)

I think, on reflection, I am most pleased with the contours as an aspect of the whole project, as there was nothing 'jigged' or machined about them (apart from using a palm sander), just a few rasps and a little sandpaper. The only thing I would have preferred would be to have the contrasting stripes run right through the body, but I genuinely dont think I would have the patience to square up all those part-end-grain surfaces and deal with the inevitable chipping that padouk seems to produce.

Cheers,
Adam

P.S. As an aside, I have named this guitar 'Pinta LG', as it will be the only one of its kind...

User avatar
Hans Bezemer
Posts: 373
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 1:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Hans Bezemer »

I love it: Good work!

Eric Baack
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Eric Baack »

and where are the sound/video clips?

Adam Savage
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: Sunny Alloa, Scotland

Re: 1st home-build WIP - A stripey padauky

Post by Adam Savage »

Thanks :)
As far as sound clips go - well, I havent got around to that yet :( I may get the chance, over the weekend, to do a small video and stick it on YouTube (should be another learning experience), but dont expect EVH style playing!
Adam

Post Reply