The Workbench

Tele scratch build thread

101

Thank you guys! I must say I'm surprising myself with how this is turning out so far. Everything is going really well and the set backs are mostly minor, to be expected, and fixable. I'm going slow and try to make logical steps to keep on going and I check youtube and my books a lot to find my way in this project. Indeed I did invest a lot of time preparing prior to the build, and invested in tools needed to get the job done. There's a huge rabbit hole as I found out, and I had to find out what tools work for me and stay within my budget. The project is very time consuming figuring stuff out for the first time so I guess the second build will take less time.

Some more shaping of the neck:

Marked out with a pencil to keep track of where I've been filing.

It's getting smooth!

Still needs a little tweaking but it's almost good to go. So I can start prepping for frets and finish soon.

103

I love this! Thanks for sharing your build.

– BuddyHollywood

Thanks! I always like watching and following build and how-to threads so I figured I might as well share my project in detail. I also love that there's a workbench section here on the GDP.

104

The neck carving is especially fascinating Mike. Have I got this right- you are cutting straight facets, line to line with the Japanese rasp then blending the edges down to create the contour?

It seems like such a good method.

105

The neck carving is especially fascinating Mike. Have I got this right- you are cutting straight facets, line to line with the Japanese rasp then blending the edges down to create the contour?

It seems like such a good method.

– ade

Thanks! Yes you're right, that's somewhat exactly what I did. But I made some more straight facets before rounding it over. I took the sharp edge off right up to the bottom edge of the fretboard (there where the fretboard is glued to the neck blank). Then I rounded it over in sections somewhere around the first fret, the fifth fret, and the twelfth fret. I took those thickness measurements off of my Baja Tele neck and took it down to that size. Which is too thick for me but I took that as a guideline and figured I'll go taking it down slowly until I reached a thickness I liked. For the next time I'll build a neck, I've learned to go a bit more easy on the neck shape in the beginning. I'll have to draw the first facet lines a little further apart for that. I was aiming at a C-shape but the first rough cut felt more like a V-shape and luckily I got most of that V-shape out. I'm learning as I go. By the way that good method is something I found on youtube, haha.

106

Small update for now. I've been doing colortests with waterbased woodstains on some cutoffs. I'm happy I got some different colors so I can mix till I get something I like. Something that needs some more experimenting, this is my first try at it, but I can see it work. I hope it will end up somewhere between number three and four.

I'm still figuring out what the right sequence of steps is before I go further. I'm leaning towards 1. staining the wood. 2. seal it with a coat of lacquer. 3. put in the frets. 4. build up enough lacquer for final finish 5. polish.

Trying to get my head around this.

107

Continuing, I left the neck alone for a few days and when I picked it up I noticed a little inconsistency, a tiny 'ridge' over about twenty centimeters in the length of the neck. Strange how I didn't notice that when shaping earlier.

Filed and sanded it out and blended it in so now it's smooth.

I knocked out the piece of maple to make room for the nut. I just realized that my templates are made for a bigger nut then the ones Fender uses.

I think I can start prepping for color real soon now!

108

And another color test on a cut off from the ash body wood. I'm not there yet but to me it looks promising.

One can never have enough green guitars...

109

Okay lets try this. I want the guitar to have binding cause it looks cool and I need to learn the skill to apply it. Ofcourse I set the bar high by not wanting only one, two or three ply, but quadruple ply binding. I got the Stewmac jig, even though it's pretty expensive for what it is, it does free up your hands while laminating the strips. And with this jig it can be done on my small table so I don't have to make room on my cluttered workbench for this.

First I laminated the white thicker outer strip to a thin black strip. Then I laminated two thinner strips of black and white. After that I put those two together to get four ply binding. I used acetone to stick everything together.

After that I evened it out a bit, but that needs some more attention. All in all to my relief this went very well. The next steps will be more challenging.

110

Still reading, watching and enjoying. I like your “I’ve never done this next step, but I’ll conquer it anyway” approach.

111

Still reading, watching and enjoying. I like your “I’ve never done this next step, but I’ll conquer it anyway” approach.

– Troy6120

Thanks! Most steps are pretty much new to me since this is my first scratch-built guitar so on this project I want to learn a lot and try things out.

I made a template to form the binding to the guitar shape. Using a heat gun to soften the binding, then tape it into the binding channel and let it cool down to take it's shape. I figured pre-bending it this way will make it easier to put it on the final guitar. And by using a template there will be less handling of the body so a lesser chance to damage it.

Everything went well and it started to look good untill...

112

Fine work. I'm enjoying this

114

... oh boy ...

115

Until?... Geez I hate the suspense :)

– WinnieThomas

Haha, well untill...

...I overheated the binding with the heatgun so it melted and shrivelled up a bit, I was nearly finished... The white outer layer was still intact so I cut the molten layers out and patched it up. Hopefully it won't be super obvious once it's cleaned up. We'll see.

In my hurry, you have to work fast with acetone, I put the patch in backwards haha.

It looks promising...

Kept on going with the heat gun to finish the last bend and tape it to the template to let it cool down and maintain it's shape.

Done, and fingers crossed! Still hate this happened even though I was careful. Every youtube clip I found about binding and the heat gun gives a warning about to be careful not to melt it, imagine how stupid I felt when it happened, haha. It wasn't fun at the moment though, messing up almost a days work. I tried to fix it because I hate to waste material and money, and when I order new bindings it takes a month to get here these days.

116

Thank goodness it was just a minor issue with the binding! That last instalment was a cliffhanger, like an old Buster Crabbe 'Flash Gordon' episode where you're sure he's gone up in flames/fallen down a hole/been eaten by clay men.

This thread is genuinely the most excitement I've had for several weeks.

117

I was concerned about the binding coming off the template cleanly (glue reactivating with heat) but it looks like a non-issue.

BTW- Thanks for posting this primer.

118

Thank goodness it was just a minor issue with the binding! That last instalment was a cliffhanger, like an old Buster Crabbe 'Flash Gordon' episode where you're sure he's gone up in flames/fallen down a hole/been eaten by clay men.

This thread is genuinely the most excitement I've had for several weeks.

– ade

I loved the Flash Gordon cliffhangers, and I'm just as excited as you are following along on this thread, especially his "Can Do" attitude approach to working through the problems he encounters along the way.

119

I absolutely loved those Buster Crabbe 'Flash Gordon' shows too Daniel. And 'King of the Rocket Men'.

Every week they'd get out of a nasty bind. Just like Mike.

120

Haha, thanks guys! Yes, I seem to be getting myself into a pickle every now and then!

121

Thanks! Most steps are pretty much new to me since this is my first scratch-built guitar so on this project I want to learn a lot and try things out.

I made a template to form the binding to the guitar shape. Using a heat gun to soften the binding, then tape it into the binding channel and let it cool down to take it's shape. I figured pre-bending it this way will make it easier to put it on the final guitar. And by using a template there will be less handling of the body so a lesser chance to damage it.

Everything went well and it started to look good untill...

– Mike2000

I always say, "how hard can it be". Great work Mike. BTW, although you've used a jig to form the binding, some binding really wants to straighten out. You may need some more heat to soften the binding again (not too much, hah) when you glue it onto the body. Don't ask me how I know this.

122

I always say, "how hard can it be".

Yes I do that too, followed with an "I can do that". Ofcourse misled by videos of people who have done it a hundred times before. But even knowing this I still dive in head first and go for it.

I did already notice the binding not being as tight as it should be in some of the corners so I figured it needed to be re-heated when I apply it to the body. Thanks for the heads up! I guess I need to focus on taping it down real tight. The template was also moving around so I need to find a way to secure the body during the process. In the meantime the binding is still taped to the template.

123

I so admire the way you can just brush off mistakes, correct any errors and move on to successfully complete the next insurmountable challenge. Fearlessness is its own reward Mike!

124

Great job. I thought multi bindings were applied together on the guitar but I guess there's more than one way to skin a cat.

BTW, who skins cats anyway? I've always wondered, not to derail a great thread.

125

I so admire the way you can just brush off mistakes, correct any errors and move on to successfully complete the next insurmountable challenge. Fearlessness is its own reward Mike!

– ade

Haha, thanks! Though the brushing off does take a couple of minutes/hours. It is something I practiced many times and it does take a lot of cursing when the errors occur. I can only move on with the project when I can let it go and just fix or re do it. That is something I had to learn or else projects would not get finished.

Let's get on with the project!

I sanded, cleaned and prepared the neck for coloring. This time I wanted to try to stain the wood rather then spray tinted lacquer. Last time I colored a neck I tried to spray it with "see through vintage amber" lacquer and that turned out way too orange so I had to do that over. So I figured I could mix a stain to the color I wanted, do some test strips to make sure and go. And then finish with clear lacquer. Here's the prepared neck:

I made a booboo again! Even though I tested my mixed tint on a cut off from the maple I used for the neck and fretboard. The pigments in the stain are very strong and when doing a bigger surface there's more color absorbed by the wood, opposed to my little test pieces.

Too orange... And once you start, you can't stop because even when it is sanded of later some of the tint is still deeper in the wood and it wil light up when you over it again. So I colored the entire neck.

Here you can see the test strip in comparison to the neck itself. Although it may seem to look reasonably okay in the picture, in real life it was orange orange.

The fretboard turned out a bit lighter but still not good enough to my liking. Here it is next to my Baja neck. Again in real life the color was also way too bright.

So I was back at square one with finishing the neck...


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