The Guitar Refinishing and Restoration Forum Forum Index The Guitar Refinishing and Restoration Forum
This discussion forum is hosted by The Guitar ReRanch and was created to serve those interested in the arcane art/science of guitar refinishing and restoration. Those with all levels of experience are welcomed to participate.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

New Custom Scratch Build - The Narwhal (LOTS OF PICS!)
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Guitar Refinishing and Restoration Forum Forum Index -> Guitar Finishing and Restoration
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
overpwredbyfunk



Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Location: washington, dc

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject: New Custom Scratch Build - The Narwhal (LOTS OF PICS!) Reply with quote

I signed up for a membership at my local TechShop earlier in October. For anyone not familiar with TechShop, I highly suggest you check them out. Think of it as a membership the best workshop you could ever imagine giving you access to pretty much any tool you could ever need.

Naturally, with access to all this tooling the thought for my first project was for a guitar. But this time, a scratch design and build.

Meet, the Narwhal



Inspired by a lot of things--Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bilt Zatfigs, Tele Deluxes and Thinlines.

A little background--I'm an architect by day and pretty cozy with CAD--you'll see why that's important later on in the build.

Decided I wanted to use all North American woods on this guy. No exotics. Try to make it a little more sustainable, so here we go, a nice piece of 6/4 claro walnut to get started.

This first post is probably a few weeks worth of work all in one dump Smile



on to the band saw to get resawn. problem with doing this in a shared shop was the saw blade was a bit of a disaster, but it got the job done.

after resawing and splitting those pieces in half, i'm left with enough for a guitar back/top and body

[/url]

We have a pretty badass gluing jig in the shop for joining boards--keeping both inward and downward pressure, so after a trip to the planer and joiner, they get clamped down to be glued



while that stuff was gluing, on to the water jet to cut some metal parts. yes, we have a water jet, and yes, it's pretty incredible.



so, here's a control plate and a couple of neck plates.



before committing to the pretty wood, i hit the laser cutter and made a cardboard mockup of the guitar.



i knew i was going to use mastery parts on the guitar, so the control plates and neck plates are all directional sanded 304 stainless to match.

and one last time, before committing to wood, i wanted to make sure all my bridge holes, pickup holes, and recessed area for the tremolo plate were good to go, so i tested it all out on some scrap plywood




i also decided why not go ALL THE WAY scratch and wind my own pickups? so, off to the laser cutter to cut the flatwork



and i also cut some maple bobbins on the laser too



im getting pretty dorky about the pole spacing on these things. since i have access to all kinds of tooling i'm making a set of "bridge" P90's, and a set of "neck" P90's, each with different pole piece spacings to be perfectly centered under the strings. do i think it matters? probably not. but since i can do it, i might as well. This will be a longer project since i'll need to injection mold custom covers (yes, we can injection mold here), but doing that will also require milling a mold. for now, this guitar will get built with Lollars.

So, here's the cardboard mockup disassembled showing what will eventually need to be cut out of various materials.



on to the easy bit first--pickguards! and our first visit to the CNC this build. The CNC software has a cool "nest" command that will try to fit your pieces efficiently on the material you have.



made a MDF router template for the pick guard, then on to the routing table



for that sweet beveled edge



here it is back on the cardboard mockup--starting to put electronics in place, and got the holes on the metal parts countersunk.



once my "blanks" were out of the gluing jig, they got thickness planed. To be honest, i had intended for this to be 2 pieces--a top, and a routed out bottom, but after resawing and leveling out the "thick" piece ended up a bit too thing--so this is where i changed strategy to a 3 piece--back, middle, and top. Aiming for 1.75" overall thickness. These pieces ended up 1.25" and .25".



okay--finally CNCing wood! the back is up first



and then the middle section



i went ahead and made a male and female gluing jig to get these things clamped together.



and then viola!



once released from the clamp, we have most of a body



so that catches me up to today! wood for the top is on its way in the mail, and i'll have to get working on the neck, electronics, binding etc.--so more to come.
_________________
"To try to be happy is to try to build a machine with no other specification than that it shall run noiselessly" Robert Oppenheimer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
cooter



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 1596
Location: Blue Ridge, GA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way cool!
_________________
Smells like Rock 'N' Roll!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
missionguitars



Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Posts: 2812
Location: San Diego, CA.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa - awesome work! Looking forward to following this one along!!!
_________________
Crime Doesn't Pay. Neither Does Lutherie www.missionguitars.com

"Like" me on Facebook! - www.facebook.com/missionguitars
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
bildo



Joined: 14 May 2009
Posts: 2824
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I'm talkin'bout.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SGjmill



Joined: 29 Aug 2008
Posts: 1260

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super awesome and SUPER jealous!

Wish I had the time and access to all that stuff!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ghobii



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 1372
Location: Phila., PA.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, looks like you're having fun.
_________________
http://www.guitarify.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bigandtall



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 1403
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks amazing!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jazzmeister



Joined: 29 Apr 2007
Posts: 1440
Location: The Hawkeye State

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is good stuff! I'm not familiar with TechShop. Gotta look into that for sure.
_________________
Kelly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
smokey joe lives!



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find having access to this kind of shop very unfair. It makes me feel like a work with a rock, stick, and bundle of sandpaper!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
overpwredbyfunk



Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Location: washington, dc

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay! back for another image and progress dump!

after joining my book matched piece of walnut, it was off to the CNC



and from there, into the gluing jig





and here it is all dry fit after coming out of the glue jig--looking sweet!



from there it was off to some sanding



and then on to the table router to cut some binding channels to hide the layering of wood. I thought long and hard about how to do this--either with binding or with a round over but finally settled on the binding because i've never done it and wanted the challenge.



from there, it was time to get binding. lots of binding tape, a heat gun, and stewmac binding glue. just took my time working around the guitar.



and the top done



and the bottom done



twelve hours from now we'll see how it looks! i left the binding just a bit proud so i can sand flush. with any luck, tomorrow i'll be able to get to that and add a coat of sanding sealer before grain filling.

have to travel a bit for work tuesday to saturday, so there won't be any progress for a few days
_________________
"To try to be happy is to try to build a machine with no other specification than that it shall run noiselessly" Robert Oppenheimer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1915
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking fantastic!
_________________
Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
overpwredbyfunk



Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Location: washington, dc

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

unwrapped the binding tape today . . .





to tell you the truth i don't love it. for one, it's so thin on the front and back sides that it's barely noticeable. why go through all the trouble of doing binding if you only notice it from the side?

also, there were some craftsmanship issues. i guess i had some wobbly routes both in depth and height and by the time i sanded it smooth it looked a little poor. the binding with was 0.40, so there wasn't a lot of room for error and sanded through in a few spots. i thought about saying "screw it, i'll just do a round over" but it would have taken a pretty severe radius to clean up the "shelf". no big deal--changing gears.



wen't with a thicker 0.90" BWB binding. with a little more thickness it gave the router bit something more to bite into. i rerouted and did a few things differently

1. made sure the guitar was as flat against the router table as possible, and applied downward pressure. paid extra attention to the times when doing a 'climb' cut forced me to have a lot of the body off the table and not as much wood available to press down and flat against the table.

2. i didn't route as shallow in the depth and tried to get just a hair higher than the face of the guitar front and back--to make for light sanding work.

3. i test fit a piece of binding all the way around to make sure it's flush with the side faces when inserted. with layered binding there's not a lot of forgiveness if i need to sand the sides smooth.

4. this is the most important one--i pre bend the binding with a heat gun. this helped immensely. i planned on making a jig on the CNC to do this, but couldn't find a suitable piece of scrap around the shop, so i just used the guitar itself for the pre bend.

i think i nailed it this time. i'll know in a week when i'm back in town.
_________________
"To try to be happy is to try to build a machine with no other specification than that it shall run noiselessly" Robert Oppenheimer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
overpwredbyfunk



Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Location: washington, dc

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

got to the shop tonight and started scraping the binding down and it worked beautifully. there's still a lot of ugly spots and i'm not sure it will come out this beautiful everywhere, but i'm cautiously optimistic

still lots of scraping to go when i have time


_________________
"To try to be happy is to try to build a machine with no other specification than that it shall run noiselessly" Robert Oppenheimer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BeeTL



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 1915
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good!
_________________
Brad Lowe, Owner
Lowe Custom Guitars
www.lowecustomguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/lowecustomguitars/
https://www.instagram.com/lowecustomguitars/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
overpwredbyfunk



Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 52
Location: washington, dc

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

back in town and back in the shop! so, got all the binding scraped--and a scraper ended up being the weapon for the job.





admittedly, it didn't come out 'perfect'. i had to acetone a few spots and squeeze them down a bit



and there were a few minor scrape through spots that i'll have to touch up with black paint (not photographed), but overall i'm quite happy with my first binding job.

i also finally drilled through the holes for the neck attachment--i only CNC'd those on the "back" side because i didn't want to have alignment issues when gluing the layers of wood together. took my time with clamps and a good brad point bit



and then, my least favorite part of the guitar making process--the dreaded grain filling



every time i do this, i think to myself "coulda done alder, dude".--but i gotta admit, compared to the ash body's i've filled, my first walnut guitar filled very easily! i've done enough of these that i avoid lacquer based grain fillers now and use timbermate. it dries quick, and it's water based and makes cleanup super easy.

i was able to get the whole thing grain filled and shot a coat of sanding sealer over it.



i'll do 2 more coats of sealer and sand it down to level before moving on to clear. my goal is to build up two coats of clear by tuesday night before leaving town again wednesday.

overall, very pleased--guitar also has a really nice knock tone!
_________________
"To try to be happy is to try to build a machine with no other specification than that it shall run noiselessly" Robert Oppenheimer
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Guitar Refinishing and Restoration Forum Forum Index -> Guitar Finishing and Restoration All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group