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Rexel Matador

Neck through build

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Hello!

I didn't do a build diary for my first build, and my second one was a g***ar so I didn't post it here, but I'm onto my third now so I figured I'd post the progress in case anyone is interested.

The plan is a maple neck through neck, bocote fretboard, walnut strips either side of the neck and poplar for the wings. The discrepancy in colour between the maple and the poplar might end up being a bit ugly, in which case I'll stain it, though I'm unsure as to how to go about staining the neck but not the fretboard. I don't really fancy trying to neatly attach a fretboard to an already completed neck. We'll see.

34 inch scale - I had planned to do a shorter scale but then I forgot an ordered a full length truss rod. Maybe next time.

I am as yet undecided on the body shape. It might be a bit thunderbirdy, just for a change, but we'll see what the wood has to say for itself.

I'm going for a 4 in line flat headstock - maybe reversed. I was originally going to do a scarf jointed angled one, but I don't want a veneer on it, so changed my mind.

My last build had a single p pickup so the plan was for this to be a jazz, especially as I'm almost certainly about to sell my Fender Jazz. But I realise now that I'm not all that into the jazz sound, so it will probably just be a P again. Maybe a PJ, just for the the hell of it.

I don't have a bandsaw in the half of a box room that I ridiculously refer to as a workshop, so I have glued another piece of maple to the neck blank to double the thickness in the body area, rather than having to try and get rid of a load of waste wood. And that's where I'm up to for now. Hopefully there will be more interesting updates in the future!

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As an aside, I ordered the wrong size fretboard blank, so I cut it into shorter lengths, laminated them together and made a little plague doctor. Might try and incorporate this sort of thing into a guitar somehow

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5 hours ago, Rexel Matador said:

 

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Some sort of funky cover for the headstock? Or on the end of a headless?

Looking forward to the build in a confined space.

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Your build sounds interesting, it's always good to follow a build where a fair level of creativity (creativity in a good way) seems to be involved. Have to say I like your little plague doctor, the bocote looks lovely.

Your "half a box room" workshop sounds pretty cramped, but luckily building guitars doesn't require to much space. My first few guitars were built in a "workshop" that was a partly open air 6ft x 4ft section of veranda, with the finishing work done on the kitchen table, when allowed... Necessity being the mother of invention and all. 😉

 

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This build sounds really interesting can’t wait to see how it progresses!!..............😀

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I knew I shouldn't have posted this build in realtime - I've been way too busy to do anything since I was last here!

That said, I now have the right size piece for the fretboard, and I must say, it's rather pretty:

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Posted (edited)

Oooohhhh that is more than pretty!! Is that Royal Ebony or is that some more Bocote??............😀

Edited by Jimothey

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11 hours ago, Jimothey said:

Oooohhhh that is more than pretty!! Is that Royal Ebony or is that some more Bocote??............😀

It's Bocote. I wonder if some of those knots will magically like up and serve as fret markers 😂

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1 hour ago, Rexel Matador said:

It's Bocote. I wonder if some of those knots will magically like up and serve as fret markers 😂

That would make life easier 😁

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IMG_5595.thumb.JPG.166bdab8bfe2b7374a1c5ce343e7c225.JPG

Planed and ready for glueing (although I think I'll actually do the truss rod cavity first). I think I'll definitely be staining this - the wood colours are just not right - although I like the way the wings fade to match the neck just as they reach the accent strips. I think if I choose the right colour stain it could look pretty cool.

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Love that "hint of green"....don't lose it..

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As it sits in the picture, is it just glue that holds everything together or is there tangs or whatever you call them between the woods. 

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I haven’t done it yet, but I was thinking of maybe using some kind of locating pins/dowels. Mainly to stop it slipping when I clamp it up though - I’m confident that the glue joints will be plenty strong.

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1 hour ago, SpondonBassed said:

Dowels or biscuits.

@honza992 might describe the technique he uses with brad pins...

In my opinion dowels or biscuits aren't needed from a strength point of view, glue should hold fine.  To use a 1.2mm  brad nail you just hammer it in 5  mm or so, then clip it off so there's 1-2mm sticking out.  Put all the bits in position and push them together and the brad will leave an indentation on the corresponding piece of wood.  You can then drill out that indentation with a 1.2mm drill bit so that the pieces can all be pushed together fully.  If it's important that there's no movement when you glue I would be inclined to do it in two halves.  And maybe even glue the veneer onto the wings first, then glue each wing in turn.  Otherwise that's a lot of glue that's going to be sloshing around and a lot of different pieces of wood to try to align.  As for dowels, I've never used them in this way so I'm not sure how you would get the dowel on one side exactly lined up with the hole on the other side...

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, honza992 said:

In my opinion dowels or biscuits aren't needed from a strength point of view, glue should hold fine.  To use a 1.2mm  brad nail you just hammer it in 5  mm or so, then clip it off so there's 1-2mm sticking out.  Put all the bits in position and push them together and the brad will leave an indentation on the corresponding piece of wood.  You can then drill out that indentation with a 1.2mm drill bit so that the pieces can all be pushed together fully.  If it's important that there's no movement when you glue I would be inclined to do it in two halves.  And maybe even glue the veneer onto the wings first, then glue each wing in turn.  Otherwise that's a lot of glue that's going to be sloshing around and a lot of different pieces of wood to try to align.  As for dowels, I've never used them in this way so I'm not sure how you would get the dowel on one side exactly lined up with the hole on the other side...

If you buy a dowel jig and generally they have dowel locator pins in the set which works on the same principal as you use firstly drill the hole out for the dowel then put the locator pin in, line up the pieces and push them together and hey presto you have a indent to drill out the other piece in the perfect place

0194AE57-E095-451E-9844-59A281B027E5.jpeg.338a9cc139250bd0f0d1f0e79e6d09fe.jpeg

Edited by Jimothey
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18 minutes ago, honza992 said:

In my opinion dowels or biscuits aren't needed from a strength point of view, glue should hold fine.  To use a 1.2mm  brad nail you just hammer it in 5  mm or so, then clip it off so there's 1-2mm sticking out.  Put all the bits in position and push them together and the brad will leave an indentation on the corresponding piece of wood.  You can then drill out that indentation with a 1.2mm drill bit so that the pieces can all be pushed together fully.  If it's important that there's no movement when you glue I would be inclined to do it in two halves.  And maybe even glue the veneer onto the wings first, then glue each wing in turn.  Otherwise that's a lot of glue that's going to be sloshing around and a lot of different pieces of wood to try to align.  As for dowels, I've never used them in this way so I'm not sure how you would get the dowel on one side exactly lined up with the hole on the other side...

Great idea, thanks!

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If having dowels or biscuits in the joints makes you feel more comfortable use them, though thousands of solid body guitars and basses have been built using the lamination method you're using with out them and it system has worked pretty well for decades. Remember, virtually all Fender bodies (as well as most copies and the bodies of many other makers) are made from two or more pieces glued together side by side and they don't have dowels or biscuits in them. Modern glues make joints that are stronger than the wood, as long as the joint faces are a good fit right along their length.

Even if you went all "Pete Townshend" on a laminated instrument it would be more likely to split along a grain line than a glue joint...

Whichever way you decide to go, I'm sure this is going to be a great build. 

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1 minute ago, durhamboy said:

If having dowels or biscuits in the joints makes you feel more comfortable use them, though thousands of solid body guitars and basses have been built using the lamination method you're using with out them and it system has worked pretty well for decades. Remember, virtually all Fender bodies (as well as most copies and the bodies of many other makers) are made from two or more pieces glued together side by side and they don't have dowels or biscuits in them. Modern glues make joints that are stronger than the wood, as long as the joint faces are a good fit right along their length.

Even if you went all "Pete Townshend" on a laminated instrument it would be more likely to split along a grain line than a glue joint...

Whichever way you decide to go, I'm sure this is going to be a great build. 

I totally agree regarding the strength. If I did do it, would be more to stop it sliding around while I’m clamping it up.

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Fair enough too. You're probably smarter than many of us (well, me anyway) who've been doing this for decades and rely on the "having done so many glue joints I've sort of gotten used to it" method....😉

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1B0EE9E6-962F-49D0-8C6A-DA0AABB3E6F3.thumb.jpeg.d04bc3b6bbff2fd726ef373135b185ca.jpegTruss rod is in. This bit always stresses me out. I find routers so brutal. But, all’s well that ends well.

A2B71B08-3A9E-4AE0-A814-6897F83D75BF.thumb.jpeg.aa45b9a7a6d61972643c574a1df4db21.jpegAnd this is a template for the neck

B329AC55-210E-4385-A85B-213395E0D179.thumb.jpeg.280a9e71327b68fa33859d29e9a4c720.jpegAnd finally, everything glued together. My original idea of using cocktail sticks as locating pins turned out to exactly as idiotic as it sounds. Replaced them with little nails and all is well 👍

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How important are bridges, really? I've never bothered with high-end/branded ones before but I really want this bass to be good. Is it worth getting a more expensive one? Recommendations? (I'm thinking through body stringing, by the way)

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