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Back to the dark side - Trini deluxe tribute with added ebony


Andyjr1515

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Grandparent duties done and it's back to the other little beauty :)

 

I got a lovely piece of ebony from Luthierwood.com.  We are going for a 'standard' 12" radius at 24 3/4" scale.

First out was the excellent radius router jig from G&W:

AYzfkofl.jpg


It makes quick and accurate work of getting the basic radius, ready for a final 20 mins or so sanding with a block to remove the router-bit step lines.  Good time to top up my stash of ebony dust too :)   :

pkWkovEl.jpg


Next, the equally excellent G&W mitre-block to cut the fret slots:

iqp5a2gl.jpg


All done - actually 24 done although it will probably be cut off after the 22nd to make sure the neck pickup is in the right place.

I will leave the fretboard double-sided-taped on the template to keep it flat until I've done the swift inlays at the 12th.

All being well, the treble-side top (just placed on top here) will be able to be glued, trimmed and carved later this week:

5VklYgjl.jpg

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Next job was to get a couple of swifts at the 12th fret.  Normal stuff of MoP cut out with a jeweller's saw, chambers routed out with a 1mm bit in the Dremel and glued in with epoxy mixed with ebony dust:

R0Cca6sl.jpg

 

vbyC7qLl.jpg

 

In the meantime, Jack was able to confirm where he wanted the toggle and pots (we're going conventional 3-way, V/V/T) and so I was able to thin the ebony internally for the switch to fit - taking a paper template so that I knew exactly where the thinning was -  and then glue to second top section on:

76DlZUrl.jpg

 

qJkMbxjl.jpg

 

And then this morning was able to mirror the soft carve on the bottom half.  And any excuse for a mockup xD

 

The fretboard here is longer than it will finish up (this is slotted at 24 frets and it will end up at 21 or 22) and so the neck pickup position will be 2-3cm closer to the nut - but it gives a general idea of how it's going to look:

3JzPZzrl.jpg

 

And actually, Jack has sent me some custom Mojo wide-range pickups for it (Mojo pickups are great!) so this is probably a better representation, again with the neck pickup 2-3cm higher up than in the shot :

V9EfmUKl.jpg

 

 

 

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To me, and this may be what I'm seeing rather than what's in reality, the top point on the right hand or lower sound hole is slightly lower than its counterpart on the left.  It may just be the picture rather than the instrument itself.

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6 minutes ago, Si600 said:

To me, and this may be what I'm seeing rather than what's in reality, the top point on the right hand or lower sound hole is slightly lower than its counterpart on the left.  It may just be the picture rather than the instrument itself.

Actually, I'm not even sure they're the same size as each other.  If you are right (probably) it won't be as much that one of the points is out of line as much as it would be a minor miracle that any of the points are in line :D

 

For sake of completeness, I'll check in the morning and let you know if there are any of them in line, the little tinkers! :lol:

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13 hours ago, Si600 said:

To me, and this may be what I'm seeing rather than what's in reality, the top point on the right hand or lower sound hole is slightly lower than its counterpart on the left.  It may just be the picture rather than the instrument itself.

 

 

13 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Actually, I'm not even sure they're the same size as each other.  If you are right (probably) it won't be as much that one of the points is out of line as much as it would be a minor miracle that any of the points are in line :D

 

For sake of completeness, I'll check in the morning and let you know if there are any of them in line, the little tinkers! :lol:

 

It is said that some of the Impressionists, such as Cezanne and Van Gough, deliberately skewed the perspective in their 'fruit on a table' paintings to create the illusion that the fruit or crockery is just about to fall off the table and thus engage the viewer who instinctively mentally reaches forward to catch it:

swqv7MTl.jpg

 

Then again, it might be just that they couldn't line things up accurately....

 

 

 

But enough culture!  Back to guitar building :)  

 

It is with shock and apologies that I have to confess that two of the points on those diamonds are indeed lined up!  Clearly, my illusionary techniques need some brushing up.  But fear not.  Next time I do any diamond holes, I will do absolutely everything within my abilities to ensure that none of those points line up.  :D

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it's starting to look like a guitar at last.

 

I finished off the binding with some maple and ebony offcut.  Bent on the side-bending iron and then using the iron-on veneer method as with a number of my previous builds:

ITYfIj3l.jpg

 

LSAjNRyl.jpg

 

93Cm0Znl.jpg

 

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And then onto the pickup chambers.  As many of you know, I hate routers, but for this job they are jolly useful.  Nevertheless, I minimise the amount done with the router and only use it when it is fully captive.  The wide range Mojo pickups have narrow fixing tabs and so may well be solid fixed.  There may be a covering ring of thin ebony, or maybe not...whatever Jack prefers.

 

Again, I've gone over my slightly unconventional method before but, in brief:

I mark out the external lines and drill the corner radii:

dKnF1Asl.jpg

 

I hog out with a Forstner:

dQxlIRQl.jpg

 

This next bit is where I drift away from the conventional - the use of routing templates...but I hate routing templates even more than the pesky router itself.  So I chisel up to the external line down to around 5mm from the top:

P3Kqbuil.jpg

 

And now, with the top-bearing router bit totally captive, use that to tidy the sides up to the chiselled line and rout down to the final depth:

rLatid1l.jpg

 

And, with just a bit of chisel tidying to do, we have a couple of chambers:

EoLh3kEl.jpg

 

vEyMgOal.jpg

 

Next job is fretboard taper, fretting and binding :)

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, folks :)

 

 

All going well, this week should see the fretboard tapered, fretted, glued, neck tapered and headstock shaped. 

For the fretboard, Jack is opting for no binding and a veneer pinstripe - this kind of thing:

aRguV4Cl.jpg

 

That all done, then that will leave just the neck profile to do (Jack will be sending me profile tracings and sizes taken from his favourite neck.  All necks have their own feel but, hopefully, I can get him a pleasing familiarity with it ) and the build itself will be essentially finished.

 

And after that, the finishing can start...and that's where the magic really starts with nice woods like these  :)

 

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And so, on a 'measure 14 times and cut once' basis, the fretboard taper was cut this morning:

vFVm5jrl.jpg


And, using a G&W steel fret cutting template as my flat surface, the maple veneer glued onto the bottom - you can never have too many clamps (or radius block cauls)!

fW1sciWl.jpg

 

nfFTo2Fl.jpg

 

And that done, I've been able to start the fretting.

I'm using Evo Gold fret wire (I've used those on all my personal guitars and basses and the majority of builds for other folk). 

After de-tanging the ends of each fret: I 'wipe' a triangular needle file along the slot to take the brittle edge off; then apply a teeny thread of titebond; position it in the slot; whack it one side, then the other, then the middle to engage the tangs; wipe off the squeeze-out; then clamp a 12" radius block (the radius of the fretboard) for good measure while I then prepare the next one to be done.

XfNxLOAl.jpg

 

14 done, 8 to go  :)

 

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So with the fretboard done, time to prepare for attaching it to the neck.  But first, while I still have a flat surface to be able to put into my home-made router thicknesser jig, I need to get the neck down to final planned thickness.  With a 2.5mm packer at the nut end to give me the taper of thickness, off we go.  The clamps double up as end stops for the router carriage:

FXYYiDdl.jpg

 

Then the truss-rod fitted and protected from glue squeeze-out with a thin strip of masking tape:

KhHk8izl.jpg

 

And, yes @TheGreek - you can NEVER have too many clamps :D

uB1GYGRl.jpg

 

 

And - to my admitted surprise - one straight and gap free fretboard fitted  :party: 

WDjSLjjl.jpg

 

Just got the neck carve and headstock to do and then the main build part is complete  :)

 

Of course, then comes the finishing...and I've got no idea yet quite what I will do for that...

 

 

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We're still fine tuning the shape of the headstock, but it is likely to be in the Firebird/Thunderbird ilk.  The original Trini Deluxes seem to have had a number of variations but most appear to have had something like the Firebird.  This will be fitted with the Steinberger banjo replacements so, within reason, the wood can be any shape.

 

Also the neck carve is basically done.  Jack took me some profiles from his favourite playing guitar and I've used those to try to gain a familiarity of feel with this build.  I use a combination of spokeshave, micro-plane blade and cabinet scraper to creep up towards the shape:

lLBad3Ml.jpg

 

gcpvtitl.jpg%20

 

QbiLWeXl.jpg

 

ywF9zA8l.jpg

 

The chalk line along the spine is so that I never dig into the spine which would affect the neck depth.  The neck carve is my favourite part but is often too quickly done and gone!

 

751VHTel.jpg

 

And then the preparatory work on the finishing of the body.

 

I use a rough version of the Tru-oil slurry and buff method early on to act as a:

- grain fill / gap fill / sanding sealer

- 'reveal coat' to show up any glue residue, sanding marks etc.

 

To do this, I sand with some brutal 120 grit emery (with the grain always) used wet where the wet is lashings of Tru-oil.  You end up with a slurry of wood dust that is then wiped off and allowed to dry.

 

Even at this early stage, it's showing some promise :)

QXHKD0mh.jpg

 

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