1st Guitar build - father/son project

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Rob Ficalora
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

Still at it - have been traveling a lot for work, but got to spend some time on it today. Son wasn't home so I didn't do anything on the guitar itself. Instead I made a couple of quick throw away templates and used those to make the cutout for the tremelo on the template that my son will use when routing the guitar body. Tomorrow I'll make the neck cutout in the template & then it'll be ready for him to route the body. Didn't take any pics today; will post some tomorrow.

Rob Ficalora
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

Finished the template and son and I did some.work on the guitar yesterday. Got delayed about 45 minutes to fix my drill press - light bulb burned out and when we went to replacement e it the socket started spinning in it's mount. Had to disassemble about 1/2 the machine to fix the wiring.

Anyway, got the body rough cut out and drilled the pickup pockets before we ran out of time. Next weekend should be able to route the pickup pockets and at least start the carve.

Plan is to carve it before we cut the neck pocket, then do the tremelo pocket last so we can measure how deep it needs to go.
Attachments
rps20130429_065826_657.jpg
Cutting blank
Cutting blank
Template
Template

Rob Ficalora
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

OK, it's been a while. Busy work schedule, active kids and too many projects... but got to do some work on the guitar today... it's starting to take shape...
Attachments
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Bob Francis
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Bob Francis »

Lookin' good guys!

Rob Ficalora
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

Thanks Bob. It's been slow but we will get it done.

Eric Baack
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Eric Baack »

for the rough shaping, and angle grinder with one of the coarse sanding pads will make quick work of it. You have to have a bit of a light touch as it will burn the maple in places if you aren't careful

Otherwise a 40 grit sanding disk on on of those drill mounted sanding pads works nicely for removing a lot of material fast. It is less likely to burn the wood as the speeds aren't nearly as fast as the angle grinder. You will make a lot of dust though!

Rob Ficalora
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

Eric, thanks for the tips. I probably should have been more clear, by slow going I wasn't talking about the sanding. What I meant was just that our project is moving slow because we have too many other things going on. Since I'm doing this with my son and trying to let him do most of the work, I'm a bit leery of letting him go at it with the angle grinder. I'm not sure he'll have the finesse to avoid going too deep or burning it. I do have a little air powered angle die grinder that I have 2" sanding discs for. That may be faster than hand sanding without being too aggressive. Thanks again for the tip.

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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Barry Daniels »

Sanding will take a long time to smooth out the ridges unless you have an agressive approach. A 2" diameter disk will be slow and will not be easy to create a fair curvature to the surface. I use small, curved planes to remove the steps and get close before going to sandpaper.
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Eric Baack
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Eric Baack »

I used a 5" disk of 40 grit adhesive backed paper on a drill attached disk. It took material off at a rate that was easy to control. You can get a variable speed sander from harbor freight that looks like an angle grinder but spins slower.

Bob Francis
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Bob Francis »

Even a random orbit sander with 40 grit will help get the terraces close enough to start the real finals. At least for me they are easier to control than my grinder.

Rob Ficalora
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

Ok, you guys talked me into getting another sander... I bought a black & decker mouse & it worked pretty well. It's definitely taking shape now...
Attachments
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Art Davila
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Location: Chicago, Il U.S.A.

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Art Davila »

Wow coming along very nice.
I remember you planned on mounting a trem unit.
Is that still the plan?
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Rob Ficalora
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

Yep, that is still the plan. Want to get the carve done first so we get the depth right.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Barry Daniels »

How many hours of sanding do you have so far? How much further until you get the ridges sanded out?
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James Tonguet
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:13 pm
Location: Duluth,Ga

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by James Tonguet »

Very nice work , and a wonderful experience .. I built my first guitar with my son 14 years ago and still play it

Rob Ficalora
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

We're still at it. My son plays football (JV) so with school, practice, and games, his time was pretty limited till the season finished. We spent about 4 hours working on it today. I think by tomorrow we'll have it pretty well sanded to shape - there are just a few high spots left. We should also get the neck pocket cut so we can do a trial assembly to be sure the angles & measurements are all right.

RE: how many hours of sanding so far... we haven't kept records, but I'd estimate 3-4 hours of sanding so far - with a mix of power sanding using a "Mouse" sander & hand sanding. Most of the sanding has been with 40 to 80 grit. We probably have about 1-2 hrs by hand with the coarse grit to eliminate the high spots left. Sand a little, check, sand a little, check, etc.

In addition to the sanding today we got jigs made to route the Tremelo pocket (front & back), routed it; modified the neck a bit -- I didn't like how the neck was going to be exposed on the bottom edge so we narrowed it a bit so it'd be supported on all sides. After modifying the neck, we used it to make a jig to route the neck pocket.

Here's where we are at this point...
Attachments
Started the day with some sanding - shape is getting there but a bit more to do still
Started the day with some sanding - shape is getting there but a bit more to do still
Sanded body & tremelo pocket
Sanded body & tremelo pocket
Jig for tremelo pockets
Jig for tremelo pockets
Neck width trimmed
Neck width trimmed
Jig for neck pocket
Jig for neck pocket

Art Davila
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Location: Chicago, Il U.S.A.

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Art Davila »

Very nice work.

I have trimmed bolt on necks to gain a better pocket before too.
I can't say for sure but I believe it makes a bolt on resonate just a bit more
and makes the neck more stable too.
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Rob Ficalora
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

A bit more progress today. Didn't get as far as expected because my son was up late watching a movie and didn't wake up till almost noon today! Then, I didn't have a pattern bit that would work with the neck pocket jig so we had make a run to the store. Did get the neck fit and a jig made to route the recess for the cover over the switches.
Attachments
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Rob Ficalora
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Rob Ficalora »

Quick question... as we're nearing time to start applying the dye and then poly, do you guys generally glue the neck in and mask it off or do to mask off the pocket and glue the neck in after finishing?

Thomas Dooher
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Re: 1st Guitar build - father/son project

Post by Thomas Dooher »

Stainting/Dying, you can do separately, if desired. Once you start applying the finish, you want to have your set/glued-in neck installed to get a seamless finish. At least, in most cases...

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