Thursday, December 22, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/22/11

Let it snow, let it snow! If you need a little snow to get you into the holiday spirit, come to Colorado. We've got plenty of it. Here's a photo of my backyard shot this morning:

All I have time to do today is to wipe tung oil onto the Highline Envirocaster necks as well as the Highline Legato.

Monday, December 19, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/19/11

Brian from Wisconsin sent me a photo of his Caractacus guitar build. Check out the figure in that top. First class work all the way.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/17/11

This is my homemade tung oil applicator. It's made by inserting a folded cloth on to a section of nylon pantyhose. The pantyhose prevents the fibers from the cloth from depositing onto the surface of the guitar as the tung oil is wiped on.

The result is a smooth application of tung oil.

Friday, December 16, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/16/11

Both Envirocaster necks are ready for fretting. Here are some photos of what I did today:

Drilling holes for the side marker dots.

I used extra thick CA glue to hold the plastic rod.

Sticking in a rod.

Snipping it flush.

After sanding the snipped rods flush.

The first of three or four coats of tung oil. I don't plan on adding marker dots to the top of the fret board since I want the flamed Maple to really stand out by itself.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/15/11

No pics today, but I did get some work done on a couple of ongoing projects. First, I wiped on the last coats of tung oil onto the Highline Legato. To get the coats as smooth as possible, I made an applicator by inserting a folded, lint-free cloth into a section of material cut from a pair of nylon pantyhose. The nylon prevents the cloth from depositing tiny fibers onto the surface as the oil is applied. Next, I poured a liberal amount of the tung oil directly onto the top of the guitar's body and used the applicator to quickly spread it around the top and sides. Then, I covered the guitar with a large plastic storage container to keep dust away. After 12 hours of dry time, I checked the results and was delighted by the smooth, glass-like shine. Tomorrow, I may repeat the process with one more coat. I'll have to look at the body in the daylight to see if another coat is necessary. Once the top and sides are done, I'll repeat the process on the back.

While the Legato cures, I'll proceed with the Envirocaster necks. So far, I have sanded both to 220 grit and wiped on a protective coat of boiled linseed oil. In the next day or so, I'll install the frets. In the next update, I'll share some progress photos. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/14/11

Today I sanded the radius onto two fretboards. Then, I glued them into place on their respective necks. One will be for a Highline Envirocaster Single Cut and the other will find a home on a Highline Envirocaster Double Cut. Check out the progress photos:

I used a 12" radius sanding block with 60 grit sandpaper to form the initial radius. Then I switched to 80, 150 and finally 220 grit to get it ready for the frets.

After installing the truss rod (with a bead of bathtub caulk along its length to prevent buzz), I glued on the fretboard.

Notice the glue squeeze out? When it dries, I'll knock off the glue with a chisel. I never wipe off excess glue. That causes the glue to soak into the wood, which prevents the wood from absorbing the finish.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/11/11

Spent most of the day watching football (Go Broncos!). During halftime, I cranked out a fretboard. I made this one by first slotting the blank for a 25.5" scale. Then, I added strips of Maple to the sides sort of like binding. This will hide the ends of the frets for a cleaner look and smoother feel.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/10/11

This morning, I dry sanded the Highline Legato with 400 grit sandpaper and wiped on another coat of tung oil. Tonight, I'll add another coat. If it looks good tomorrow morning, I'll dry sand with P1500 grit and buff it out with some paste wax.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/08/11

Right now I have 3 different electric guitar builds underway. The closest one to being finished is a Highline Legato. Check out the progress up to this point:

So far, I have wiped on about 7 coats of tung oil to the body, neck and headstock. Tomorrow, I plan to examine the surface to see if I need to apply any more coats. What I'll be looking for are rough spots where more tung oil may be needed to make the surface smooth and consistent. Once I have achieved a uniform surface sheen, I'll lightly sand the surface with 400 to 600 grit sandpaper to remove any dust specks or lint fibers. Then, I'll wipe it down with another coat of tung oil and cover it with a plastic sheet to keep dust off the surface. Finally, I'll wipe on another coat 12 hours later. Once that last coat has dried, she'll be ready for final assembly.

The other two guitars I'm working on are a pair of Highline Envirocasters. The body blanks are resting on a shelf for the next couple of weeks since they were made by glueing two boards together. Glue adds moisture, therefore it's a good idea to let them sit and dry out before cutting out the body shapes.

While the blanks rest, I'll continue to forge ahead with the necks. The photo below shows my progress so far:

The top neck will be used on a single cut design while the bottom one will find a home on a double cut. Both necks are made from beautiful slabs of Birdseye Maple. The next step will be to make the fretboards. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/06/11

I was going to detail my later electric guitar build in a multi-part series, but I have so many projects going on, I decided to organize this blog into a daily diary. Today would have been Part 3 of my latest build, but it will now be the eGuitar Plan's Daily Diary 12/06/11. So here is what happened today:

This morning, I glued up a couple of Ash blanks for a pair of Envirocaster guitars. One will be a single cut and the other a double cut. Since moisture has been reintroduced to the wood, I'll let them sit for a couple of weeks.
To make a neck, I start with a suitable blank and my neck template. 
I trace the outline of the template onto the blank and mark the holes for the tuners and the ends of the truss rod. Next, I take the blank to my band saw and cut the shape about 1/16" (1.5mm) outside of the outline.
After cutting out the neck, I use a homemade pattern sander on my drill press to fine tune the shape.
This is how the neck looks after fine tuning on the pattern sander. I also planed the headstock thickness, drilled the tuner holes, routed the truss rod slot and formed the back contour. From the original blank to this stage took about three hours of work.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Latest Electric Guitar Build Part 2

After cutting out and trimming the templates, I carefully filed and sanded the edges to make them as smooth as possible. Any uneven spots here will be transferred to the guitar if they aren't taken care of.

I use several different files to do the work.

I used a 1/8" (3mm) drill bit to mark the neck bolt locations.

I used the same bit to mark the tuner holes, the ends of the truss rod slot and the control shaft  holes.

Here is what I ended up with. For each guitar I build, I have templates for the control cavity and cover, the neck, the body and the neck pocket. This guitar will be made for P90 pickups, but for future builds, I plan to offer single coils and humbuckers, which will require a template for each scenario.

Templates aren't absolutely necessary for building a guitar, but they are nice if you plan to make more than one copy. Also, they allow you to mock-up the guitar so you can double check your design. In this photo, I'm determining the bridge placement.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Latest Electric Guitar Build Part 1

I started this build by printing out the pages for the body and neck on my desktop inkjet printer.

After cutting out the printed parts, I traced them onto a sheet of 12mm Birch plywood, which will be used to make reusable templates.

Next, I rough cut the shapes with a jigsaw. For each guitar I build, I make a template for the neck, the body, the control cavity, the control cavity cover and the neck pocket.

After rough cutting the templates, I take them over to my band saw to trim them to the outside edge of the lines I traced from the printed cutouts.

Thursday, December 1, 2011