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The FireDragon Triplets


Christine

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Today I have been wearing a woolly jumper and socks, where has summer gone?!?!

I heard back from Thomann regarding the bridges I'd ordered that had become out of stock and it seems they have two and will have the third in this week so now I know 100% what bridge I'll be using I can work out the neck angle, seeing as it is the same bridge at the twins it will be 4.3 degrees, easy :) Now some of you may have noticed that my neck blanks were just 50mm thick and less after cleaning up the other day so not thick enough for a through neck at that angle, well done for spotting that LOL but the good news is that it has been planned that way. What I hear you cry!

The idea is that I mark the body angle in relationship to the neck from the point where the fretboard meets the body, that gives me a nice wedge across the back of the neck that gets sawn off and yes you've got it, I glue that back on underneath and I have perfect colour match and grain very close too. There will be a small fingerprint of the lamination where that wedge ends once it's cleaned up but that's OK because it will be getting veneered, how could I of avoided that, by moving the fretboard further up the blank and making the offcut thicker and longer but I didn't really see the point of doing that this time. So marked up and then I had a good look at my bandsaw, made sure the table/blade were square to each other, made sure the guide bearings were properly adjusted then I cut them down the line. I planed the surfaces up and made sure they were square then glued the bit's up making sure the combined thickness was about 43.5mm which leaves me a little cleaning room before veneering which will bring them theoretically back up to 44mm but that won't actually be the case as there will be some shaping on the back  eventually.

 

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Today I worked on the headstocks. First job was to rip down the length of the neck blank to thin them down leaving a slightly thicker bit under the position of the nut for a volute. The offcuts from that was then planed down to 12mm. Then I marked the 14 degree angle from the back edge of the nut which is the intended position of the top of the mahogany part of the headstock, the black face goes on top again. I then marked the angle 12mm back from that, as in a parallel line to the top line 12mm away.

I then cut just outside that line with the bandsaw and then planed the two pieces together to create the scarf joint. After that I glued them all together. Relatively straight forward day really

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OK, I'll let you off then. So am I.

In that last picture, you have the neck and the headstock. But why is the wider part of the neck which goes through the body in two parts ? I can see that the part the neck fits to needs to be at the right angle. Is it to keep the right thickness ?

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15 minutes ago, fryer said:

OK, I'll let you off then. So am I.

In that last picture, you have the neck and the headstock. But why is the wider part of the neck which goes through the body in two parts ? I can see that the part the neck fits to needs to be at the right angle. Is it to keep the right thickness ?

Yes, the neck blank was about 48mm thick but the body set back at 4.3 degrees needs to be 44mm thick to the wedge I sawed off the top to create the neck angle was glued back on underneath.

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Today I didn't do much (as usual by the sound of it!! :laugh1:). I cleaned up the top of the scarf joints with a nice sharp plane. Then I used the circular saw to cut off the wedge of body under the neck that was parallel with the neck not the body before planing it all flat. Finally I cut out the bridge recess with a router. As yet I haven't found a suitable tail piece to suit the body of the Dragons so I have decided to make my own, this will need setting in too but untill I get them semi made I don't know what size the recess will need to me

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It's been a bit of a weird day, I worked quite hard but there isn't much to show for it.

First job was to rout out the two slots for the carbon rods, I'm using quite thin rods 4 x 4mm rather than 4 x 8mm, I sank these down to 9mm and glued them in place with CA then used a filler on top to bed them in. After that I turned to fitting the truss rods, I'm using a traditional rod, I got some with the spoke wheel adjuster from StewMac, I'm not over impressed with the anchor, being a drilled rod it sets the truss itself a little low for my taste but it is still good. I didn't have a jig so much of the day went into making that. Once I'd made it I routed the slots but had to stop there, so first job tomorrow will be to fit the anchor and spoke wheel before setting them in permanently although I might actually leave that but until later on after veneering the body section

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After a bit of a think and a play I think I can get by without removing the headstocks. I'm going to shallow the angle of the face a tiny bit which will shorten it by a couple of mm and add a tiny wedge under the gap backing onto the nut and that I think will do with no real consequences, it will also give more support to the nut

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I cut the rest of the truss rod slots to hold the anchor and the spokewheel. I cut out the rough shape of the neck and lastly I sorted out some veneers for the centre section. The Maple veneer is the bit for my bass and the other two are getting Macassar Ebony. Note the triangle drawn on the veneer, a useful way of getting orientation and alignment on the wings later on. The veneers were pressed in my vacuum press, I'll leave them there until about 8 tonight then take them ot so they can fully dry by morning

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4 minutes ago, fryer said:

the vacuum press. To hold the veneer onto the necks while the glue dries ?

Yes, the pump sucks all the air out and then air pressure holds the veneer down, it's really strong too and being a bag it presses curved surfaces too :)

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A busy day, I'm getting too old for all this, I'm looking forward to a holiday in a couple of weeks :)

First job was to tidy up the veneers, trim the edges, open out the bridge recess and cut out the bit where the fretboards fit. I then cut the truss rods to size, threaded the ends and fitted the anchors, I flattened the threads to lock the anchors and I wrapped the rods in cling film to stop them getting glued in place, I also greased the adjusting threads with copperslip.. After that I fitted them and glued in the filler strip. When dry I planed that down and fitted the small wedge to go under the headstock veneer. Then I trimmed the headstock to shape and stuck on the veneers. Finally for the day I fretted the Satinwood board so that can be glued on tomorrow

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On 31/08/2018 at 06:26, Christine said:

It seemed that if they were so much in demand you would see more of them, after all they are not difficult to make. I am keeping one fitted to my own one though, I think but today is decision day for that

I do like a zero fret and assumed the lack of them in general was down to build cost. Just seemed as you'd built for it, a lot of work to get rid of it. Just curiosity really. :)

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I finished sticking frets into the other two fretboards first thing. Then I shaped the headstock veneers and drilled the holes for the tuners.. Lastly I finished off the dragon inlays as my order for more pearl arrived yesterday. Tomorrows job will be inlaying those. I'll be glad to see that job out of the way, it always seems a process prone to the likelihood of flamingoing up

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Today was inlaying, joy!! :laugh1:

Briefly, bottom of the design stuck onto masking tape, masking tape on top of headstock. Masking tape to masking tape superglue the inlay in place

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Scribe around the design with a sharp marker, I used a scalpel but I'm sure there is a better tool for this than that. Pull off the surrounding masking tape to make sure you've scribed everywhere

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Pare off the inlay with a chisel then rout out the design, I forgot to photo this but I used a Dremel, a 1mm bit for the outline and a 3mm bit for the bulk of the waste. I tend with dark woods like this to actually rout half and half through the line leaving something like a 0.5mm gap all around which in reality means some places it's tight and in others there's 1mm gap. Then I mixed epoxy with dust saved from sanding the fretboards and glued them all in with plenty oozing out, messy but in this case it doesn't matter as we are grain filling the lot afterwards and the black on black won't show once it's sprayed.

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Sand it all off once dry and see how it looks, there are still some voids that need filling, they have been cleaned out and done but they're being left now for a cople of days, I'm having a day off tomorrow :)

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I have to say that being a cack-handed, clumsy buffoon with zero patience I always enjoy reading these build threads with awe and admiration.  But you seem to have elevated the craft to a higher level - I guess it is because you have spent a lifetime working with wood professionally to then turn your hand to making these instruments.  The detail on the inlays and bindings, just the sheer quality of the workmanship (can I say workmanship?) are just sublime. 

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My other half called Bassdirect today to find out where the pickups we ordered were, turns out they sold the last one nearly two weeks ago the same day as I ordered mine and they haven't bothered getting in touch with Mike Lull until after the call earlier. Am I impressed with that you might ask? 2 - 3 weeks they say, bet it's 4 - 5, I'm in half a mind to cancel and use Mojos, I really really hate shoddy service, I suspect that will be my first and last order with them, not happy! Considering Andy's experience getting his Nordies in for Len's beautiful bass I shall expect a toilet roll in the post on the first shipment! (can you tell I'm a little cross?)

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37 minutes ago, Christine said:

My other half called Bassdirect today to find out where the pickups we ordered were, turns out they sold the last one nearly two weeks ago the same day as I ordered mine and they haven't bothered getting in touch with Mike Lull until after the call earlier. Am I impressed with that you might ask? 2 - 3 weeks they say, bet it's 4 - 5, I'm in half a mind to cancel and use Mojos, I really really hate shoddy service, I suspect that will be my first and last order with them, not happy! Considering Andy's experience getting his Nordies in for Len's beautiful bass I shall expect a toilet roll in the post on the first shipment! (can you tell I'm a little cross?)

Now now.  No use getting wound up over a pickup or two here or there.  At least it's polarised your opinion of the vendor.

(Sorry to hear of the set back)

Edited by SpondonBassed
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20 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

Now now.  No use getting wound up over a pickup or two here or there.  At least it's polarised your opinion of the vendor.

(Sorry to hear of the set back)

It's put me back badly, I was hoping to have these sprayed by the time we went on holiday next week so they would be dry when we got back after four weeks but that is out of the window big style. I would have minded less if they had actually ordered one for me when they went out of stock over two weeks ago when I ordered, not when we phoned up to ask what was happening. I think they will have to try hard to get me back on side now, plenty of other suppliers out there!

Yesterday was a day off, first of a few I think, today I gave the headstocks a sanding and bevelled the edges. I then gave them a coat of sanding sealer (with a brush) before grain filling, after that I gave them another coat of sealer and glued on the fretboards after running a file down the frets to get the ends flush with the binding

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Set backs huh?  Internet shopping cuh!  Lots of eager followers on your build topics - ach!

I understand your frustration but really, the progress you have made in, what? six months is astounding.  You have fully fabricated two guitars and three more are within sight.

Why wouldn't you need a holiday in the middle of it?  Perhaps thinking that way would help.

 

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