A few random Questions

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Leon Van Bommel
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:39 pm

A few random Questions

Post by Leon Van Bommel »

For those of you who noticed I'm gearing up to do my first build. I scrapped the aluminum idea, I feel like i lost an opportunity to do something neat but the miles of CNC code i had to write had me pulling my hair out. I have a few questions about things so I just figured I'd stick em all here.

1. i have 2x8 ash boards drying for the body blank. I have access to a planer but i have yet to source a jointer to get the edges really straight and square. Is it feasible to take my time with files, hand planes, straightedges and sandpaper to get it right or is it too critical or a joint? Also i seen a build log where a person put dowels in the edge of his blanks where they join. Is this a common thing to do? Are there drawbacks to this approach?

2. i milled some maple neck blanks, some 2x4, 3x4, different sizes from different parts of a log. what grain structure is the best? For example i got some quarter sawn, some from near the edge of the log with "U" and "O" grain in it, and some quarter sawn but the wide way rather than true quarter sawn. I avoided the heart of the tree because it was very dark and boxy looking but i have the 4x4 from the dead center of the log if that's the answer.

3. I was looking into treble bleed circuits and i had a thought. What if you took a blend pot and used one side for your volume pot. This would leave the other side open for a variable resistor to use with a .022 cap (Seymour Duncan specs). the treble bleed pot would be a bit high at 500 ohms opposed to the 100 ohms recommended, but a 147 ohm resistor in series with it would give you a range of roughly 0 to 110 ohms according to some boring calculations. so as your volume goes up you gain more treble bleed and at full throttle you get very close to none. makes sense to me. Any Thoughts.

4. Oh glue. I need a good glue that will hold and not dry out. I looked and looked around and all I get is Hide glue this, hide glue that. I don't think I want to deal with it even if I can get it where I am. Do you need special heating pots and conditions? What other glue is a good hold but simple and idiot proof?

5. and last question. I would like to give it a clear coat finish. Bring out the grain a bit but nothing too complicated. Brush on sand and repeat sounds good to me. Something like varithane perhaps. Any opinions?

Sorry for the newbie questions. i would have hit the archives but I'm not sure where to access them anymore.

Thanks for putting up with me everyone!

Pictures to come when I get home to my own computer. Yay eye candy :lol:

cheers

Mike Baker
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:21 am

Re: A few random Questions

Post by Mike Baker »

Just my experience, FWIW.
1. I'm assuming you mean 2'X8', not 2"x8". General rule of thumb for drying wood is a year for each inch of thickness. A two inch thick board would take 2 years.
But you didn't mention where you purchased. I get mine from a lumber place locally. All their lumber is kiln dried to right around 6 or 8 percent moisture content. Ready to go, IMHO.
As to joining, I use a tablesaw to get an edge that's fairly square, then I use a large handplane and a long flat sanding block to finish the joint. Works just fine. Just MHO, but the joining of a 1 & 3/4" to 2" thick board is not as critical as joining a really thin acoustic top. You want to get as close as you can, and I get mine to fit so that they are as perfect as possible, and no light will show through the joint, but thicker wood is a little more forgiving. Again, MHO.
2. Most acoustic builders prefer quartersawn. Many electric builders use flatsawn. IMHO, either will work just fine.
3. Can't help you there. Don't use treble bleed circuits. My wiring is as simple as i can possibly make it.
4. The only glue you really need to build an electric (or acoustic, IMHO) guitar is Titebond Original wood glue. Factory standard worldwide, for the most part. Don't need dowels, biscuits, etc. Just a good joint with good wood glue and proper clamping.
5. I use lacquer to finish. As far as bringing out the grain, there are a lot of techniques out there. I suggest you read up on that. If it were me, on ash I'd use a dark grain filler, sand it back until just the grain was filled, and then clear over that.

Leon Van Bommel
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Re: A few random Questions

Post by Leon Van Bommel »

Where did I get my lumber? I cut the logs, drug them home and band milled em out. I'm lucky my father is a heavy DIYer. I forgot to mention i have some 1" maple boards for the top. Got some interesting grain patterns, not curly or spalted (might try to spalt some :? this spring) or anything but nice looking for free haha. that's what i will be finishing for the most part. If i screw up the finish I'll just spray paint it and forget it hehe.

Mike Baker
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:21 am

Re: A few random Questions

Post by Mike Baker »

I love free wood!

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Greg Robinson
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:54 pm
Location: Coburg North, Victoria, Australia

Re: A few random Questions

Post by Greg Robinson »

Hi Leon,

1: I'd recommend handplanes. Don't worry about dowels (or biscuits). They're used in cabinet making to aid in alignment of joints for speed of assembly. They don't improve the joint. You can use them if you want without harm though.

2: It's often claimed that quartersawn wood is "stronger" or "stiffer" than flat sawn. This is a myth. Quartersawn wood is more dimensionally stable than flatsawn, which is important for thin parts and critical dimensions, and this is the real reason it is favored for use in acoustic instruments. It's less a concern with solidbody guitars, and both types have been used extensively without problem.
Some types of figure show best on flatsawn wood, others show best on quartersawn, so this is probably the main consideration (other than available dimensions) concerning solidbodies.

3: I'm not picturing what you're trying to describe. I head up the electronics section of the forum, could you draw up a diagram or schematic and post it in the electronics section for some feedback?

4: Hot hide glue is used by acoustic builders for traditional reasons, and for its unique qualities. It is fully reversible, leaves less of a witness line than any other glue I am aware of, and is resistant to thermoplastic creep. This is important on acoustic guitars where glue joints are under constant pressure from the strings. Of the common wood glues, Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and Aliphatic Resin (AR) both suffer from thermoplastic creep, which can make them less suitable for certain joints on an acoustic guitar.
None of the glue joints on a solidbody guitar are under the same strains as those on an acoustic, so this point is less important. There is little benefit to using hot hide glue on an electric guitar, and yes, it does require a warming pot, brushes, bottles, etc to use. You can quite happily use Titebond (Original only! Don't use Titebond 2, Titebond 3, or Titebond Ultimate, they are not appropriate for instrument building except in some limited circumstances) for all the joints on a solidbody electric.

5: No opinions. The finishing products available in Australia are very different to those available to you.

Hope this helps, and good luck!
MIMForum staff member - Melbourne, Australia

Leon Van Bommel
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Re: A few random Questions

Post by Leon Van Bommel »

I began to draw up the schematic for the treble bleed circuit and I realized two things. First that it may work to a certain extent but the complexity cancels any benefits. Also it seems I am not the innovator, there is a forum somewhere else where a guy is discussing this but never draws a conclusion as far as I can see.

Freeman Keller
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:34 am

Re: A few random Questions

Post by Freeman Keller »

Leon, I just finished my first electric - a LP clone, and let me first recommend Melvyn Hiscock's book - he covers many of the your questions very well. Some comments from my very limited experience

1 - I used a one piece back and two piece top. Normally with an acoustic I join the plates with a simple shooting board and my long plane - I hold the pieces up to a window to make sure that edge is true. I worked the maple top pieces and wasn't satisfied with the joint, so I took it to a cabinet shop and had them run it thru their jointer. Simple and accurate. After glueing up the top I ran it thru a belt thickness sander to make sure it was flat before gluing to the back.

2 - my neck is quarter sawn with a scarfed headstock ands stacked heel. If you are laminating I don't think it matters.

3 - Hiscock discusses various wiring schemes, and even tho I'm an electrical engineer I can't quite picture yours. For mine I just did the classic LP circuit but there are many other options.

4 - Titebond works great. I have used it on 10 acoustics and the one electric. Hide has a couple of advantages, but yellow glue is a close second for those of us that don't want the hassle.

5 - Lots of options for finish. Most popular choices without spraying include French polish, TruOil and similar products or brushed lacquer. I spray KTM-9 but it can be brushed and seems to do a pretty good job - I recently did a neck that I didn't want to break out the compressor. Instructions at LMI. As for poping the grain on something like maple you can uses stains. On wood like koa I have had great luck with Zpoxy which also fills the pores (don't know if you pore fill ash, if so I recommend Zpoxy or CA).

Leon Van Bommel
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Re: A few random Questions

Post by Leon Van Bommel »

Freeman, here's a similar idea i found after i started digging deeper.

http://guitarnuts2.proboards.com/index. ... hread=5317

Consider circuit D, except the 150k resistor in parallel with the pot. As far as i understand that would bring the 500k more within the area of 100k wouldn't it? That was my idea. Probably wouldn't put it in a guitar except to test it, just thought it might spur interest in someone.

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David Schwab
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Re: A few random Questions

Post by David Schwab »

Leon Van Bommel wrote:3. I was looking into treble bleed circuits and i had a thought. What if you took a blend pot and used one side for your volume pot. This would leave the other side open for a variable resistor to use with a .022 cap (Seymour Duncan specs). the treble bleed pot would be a bit high at 500 ohms opposed to the 100 ohms recommended, but a 147 ohm resistor in series with it would give you a range of roughly 0 to 110 ohms according to some boring calculations. so as your volume goes up you gain more treble bleed and at full throttle you get very close to none. makes sense to me. Any Thoughts.
First, you mean .002µF, not .022. And it's a 100k resistor, that's 100,000 ohms, not 100 ohms. The idea of the resistor is to let some low end back into the mix. You can also do treble bleeds with no resistor. That's how Teles are wired up, except they use a .001µF cap. You don't need a variable resistor, because as you turn up the volume you bypass the cap/resistor anyway. They only work on the low end of the rotation.

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Greg Robinson
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:54 pm
Location: Coburg North, Victoria, Australia

Re: A few random Questions

Post by Greg Robinson »

David Schwab wrote:
Leon Van Bommel wrote:3. I was looking into treble bleed circuits and i had a thought. What if you took a blend pot and used one side for your volume pot. This would leave the other side open for a variable resistor to use with a .022 cap (Seymour Duncan specs). the treble bleed pot would be a bit high at 500 ohms opposed to the 100 ohms recommended, but a 147 ohm resistor in series with it would give you a range of roughly 0 to 110 ohms according to some boring calculations. so as your volume goes up you gain more treble bleed and at full throttle you get very close to none. makes sense to me. Any Thoughts.
First, you mean .002µF, not .022. And it's a 100k resistor, that's 100,000 ohms, not 100 ohms. The idea of the resistor is to let some low end back into the mix. You can also do treble bleeds with no resistor. That's how Teles are wired up, except they use a .001µF cap. You don't need a variable resistor, because as you turn up the volume you bypass the cap/resistor anyway. They only work on the low end of the rotation.
If you simulate a bode plot with the pot at different levels of rotation, a treble bleed capacitor with a parallel resistor can help to even out the response over the pots range, and helps prevent treble peaking as you turn down. But this varies dependent on the input impedance of your amp or effects pedal, so it won't work the same for every setup. It also alters the effective taper of the pot, possibly resulting in a less linear (well, logarithmic technically, linear to your ears anyway) volume sweep.

The treble peak can actually be beneficial when turning down if you are going for a "clean to mean" type of range with the guitars volume, as you can turn down the amps treble response for your distorted sound giving a smoother grind, and then when you turn the guitars volume down for cleans, get some of your bell-tone highs back.

When you take into account Fletcher-Munson curves, you really start to muddy the waters and start to wonder if your feeble efforts are really worth it! <g>

A simple treble bleed cap works fine for me.
MIMForum staff member - Melbourne, Australia

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