New to the forum! Couple quick questions!

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.
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Ricky Barlow
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Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:35 pm

New to the forum! Couple quick questions!

Post by Ricky Barlow »

Hey everyone! Name is Ricky, and I am trying to build a couple solid body bolt on neck guitars. I have a few questions that I need to ask, and yes I have researched them but cant really find much info.

1.) I have seen some builders use the same grain control cavity cover as the part that was routed out. How do you remove the material you want to use as the cover. The only thing I could think of, but unfortunately I am past that point, is to have an oversized body, route out all the back material besides the control cover area, and then saw that remaining cover material off... seems like a ton of work... hoping there is an alternative.

2.) I am doing a fender style neck but 25" scale. I have the fret board slotted. I was unsure of the nut slot depth, so I went small .062... what is a good depth? Also the slot is only .023 wide, and I am planning on opening it up to 1/8. I was thinking of putting a .015 shim in the fret cut nut slot, then butting a straight guide up to it, pushing it towards the headstock side, and then routing it out with an 1/8 bit with a dremel and base. this prevents me ruining the scale length, but leaves me with probably a .130 nut slot... is this how you guys recommend to do this operation?

3.) lastly I am making wooden knobs the same material as the guitar body and top. I have a 1/4 hole centered inside the knob. is there anything you recommend to wrap around the shaft of the pot to keep it snug to the wooden interior of the knob?

Thanks for you help! I appreciate it!

Ricky

Gordon Bellerose
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: New to the forum! Couple quick questions!

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Ricky Barlow wrote:Hey everyone! Name is Ricky, and I am trying to build a couple solid body bolt on neck guitars. I have a few questions that I need to ask, and yes I have researched them but cant really find much info.

1.) I have seen some builders use the same grain control cavity cover as the part that was routed out. How do you remove the material you want to use as the cover. The only thing I could think of, but unfortunately I am past that point, is to have an oversized body, route out all the back material besides the control cover area, and then saw that remaining cover material off... seems like a ton of work... hoping there is an alternative.

2.) I am doing a fender style neck but 25" scale. I have the fret board slotted. I was unsure of the nut slot depth, so I went small .062... what is a good depth? Also the slot is only .023 wide, and I am planning on opening it up to 1/8. I was thinking of putting a .015 shim in the fret cut nut slot, then butting a straight guide up to it, pushing it towards the headstock side, and then routing it out with an 1/8 bit with a dremel and base. this prevents me ruining the scale length, but leaves me with probably a .130 nut slot... is this how you guys recommend to do this operation?

3.) lastly I am making wooden knobs the same material as the guitar body and top. I have a 1/4 hole centered inside the knob. is there anything you recommend to wrap around the shaft of the pot to keep it snug to the wooden interior of the knob?

Thanks for you help! I appreciate it!

Ricky
Firstly Ricky, let me welcome you to the forum. I have spent time in some of the other builders forums, and once I found this one I quit looking. There are a lot of knowledgeable people here, that's for certain.

I will try to answer a couple of your questions. I have never made knobs, so I cannot answer that one. I'm sure others will chip in with perhaps better answers too.
I may get a little wordy, only because I do not know your skill level, or your tool availability. :oops: :roll:

1. Control cavity cover made out of same material.

If your body wood is 2 inches thick to start, you will have to cut it down in thickness, depending on the style of body you build. (les paul style bodies are thicker) If you are going to use a solid wood cap on top of that, you will have lots of wood to work with. The final thickness of most flat top solid bodies is 1 3/4 inches
Before gluing up your body pieces, assuming you haven't done this already, place the pieces together face down and lay out the body, back toward you, including the control cavity. Using either a band saw, or perhaps a table saw with a thin kerf blade, re-saw your pieces to the desired thickness, cutting the back of the piece off. You will then have a grain matched control cavity cover that simply needs to be cut out of the thin piece you just cut off.
Lastly, remember which piece is which by marking them. You don't want to mix them up before gluing them together.

2. Cutting the nut slot.

Some Fender fret boards come with a slot that is rounded slightly. For me this is a pain. I like the nut slot to be flat.
I would mark out the slot thickness at 1/8 inch, and cut it with a small handsaw, using a wood block as a guide. Afterward use a file to flatten out the bottom. This is a slower more careful method.

A router with a guide could also be used as long as the whole operation is clamped and blocked solidly. Remember that the fret board is radiused, (assuming on my part) so it is easy to foul up.
In my mind the best way would be to use 2 pieces of thin plywood on either side of the fret board, and a larger guide on the bottom of the router that would extend over top of the plywood. This keeps the whole operation flat and solid.

Alternately, you could set this job up on the router table using the fence as the guide, and adjusting bit depth up in small increments. A lot of care must be taken to hold the piece solid while using this method.

Good depth for a 1/4 inch thick board is 1/8.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

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Dan Smith
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:33 pm
Location: Texas

Re: New to the forum! Couple quick questions!

Post by Dan Smith »

2. I normally save the piece of the fretboard that was cut off of the nut end, then glue it back to the top of the neck using the nut as a spacer. Then, file or sand to merge it into the headstock.
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Peter Wilcox
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Location: Northeastern California

Re: New to the forum! Couple quick questions!

Post by Peter Wilcox »

I know you're worried about shortening the scale length by 0.0115" (which would be within my margin of error :oops:) by widening the current fret slot. Depending on how much fret board you have in back of that slot, you could use it for a zero fret (which would keep the scale length correct) and then make a slot for a nut/string spacer in back of that, or just have it butt against the end of the fret board.

http://www.sgd-lutherie.com/images/DSC02735.jpg

As for the knobs, what kind of shaft do your pots have - smooth or knurled, solid or split?
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

Art Davila
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:07 am
Location: Chicago, Il U.S.A.

Re: New to the forum! Couple quick questions!

Post by Art Davila »

So ricky are you familiar with the top cap of maple on a Les Paul? Well you can make a bottom cap by resawing the body to ensure the wood grains mach up well drill a small hole in the area in the seam of the control cavity cover use a scroll saw threading the blade thru the pilot hole and finish the cut out, then route out the control cavity re apply the bottom cap will fit perfectly, use double stick tape to hold down the cover. The bottom cap should be a tad bit thick so that you can sand the cap and cover together. Use a magnet glued to the bottom side of the control plat this way you can lift it out with another magnet.
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

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