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New plans......  

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Topic starter
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Hi all!!

I am planning a new project, an ultimate superstrat! For this I nicked Marks Exotica design (I hope you're OK with this Mark; if not, let me know). I calculated the dimensions from a frontal picture of the actual guitar. They should be OK, give or take a few mm's.....

Now I have a cunning plan..... I can order a custom body blank with my supplier: 3-piece swamp ash with two purpleheart splines in between, so a 10 cm central piece of swamp ash and a 1 cm purpleheart spline and 10 cm swamp ash on both sides. A bit like a racing car.......

For the neck I'm thinking of a full purpleheart blank, maybe with a fancy maple veneer over the slightly angled headstock....

Al black hardware: Trem, locking tuners, knobs 'n all..... 3-way switch, push/pull pots for coil splits and for adding the middle pu to any combination of the humbuckers.

I had to modify the headstock for a bit, because I like a straight string path in combination with a trem, while as the original design has a splayed string pattern. Does anybody know if such a string pattern will cause tuning problems with trem use? If not, I may stick to the original, looks a bit better I think...

 

What do you think, any mistakes I made? Weird lines? Suggestions?

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

@e-den-hertog
Looking good, I'm looking forward to seeing your build in progress.

37 Answers
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Topic starter

I'm very happy with the results so far! The curve came out great! Angle grinder with an 80 grit flap disk and random orbital sander........

The potmeter recesses were done with a 22 mm forstner bit before I put on the carve.

The neck pocket could have been a tad narrower because the neck drops in without pressure. There is no sideways play however, so I am confident that with glue on and the fibres expanding a bit the fit will be ok.

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

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@e-den-hertog

Looks great so far! 

Too bad you didn’t snap many photos but you can always try to make up for it now, best of luck with the rest of the build!

Pratice on scrap...

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Thats looking good Edwin, how deep did you decide to make the carve ?

Hi Robin, I made a calculation: Body blank is 45 mm, push/push potmeter is 28 mm high, switch 22 mm. So the control cavity had to be at least 28 + 2 for the recessed cover plate + 2 for good measure = 32 mm's deep. Potmeters and switch need 5 mm for mounting (4 mm actually for the switch, so I routed out an extra mm around that area). Total 32 + 5 = 37 mm, so I could carve 45 -/- 37 = 8 mm. I went to 7 mm for safety.
So I drilled the potmeter recesses to 7 mm before carving with a forstner bit.

Make sense.....??

Thanks for sharing your calculations. I've already routed my control cavity and still got 7mm thickness left, so I could still carve it beyond the pots, I'll have to give it some careful thought.

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Beautiful. What type of bridge are you going to be using?

A Gotoh Wilkinson VS100.

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Screenshot 20210126 023206 Gallery

Sliced and Diced doesn't require symmetrical design 

Stunning looking - also should have loads of sounds.

Nice..........................................

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Topic starter

I have one issue to deal with however.... Drilling the holes for the tremolo posts (Wilk vs100, spec'd 10 mm).... I drilled some testholes: 10 mm too wide, 9,5 mm too narrow.....

maybe a 3/8 imperial bit would work, but just try finding one in a metric country....

And I refuse to spend the same the amount (or more) of the drill bit on shipping (bloody brexit.....) by ordering one in the UK....

Any thoughts on how to fix this?

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

Paint brush dipped in water on inside of 10mm has worked for me (end grain will remain expanded/swollen), but 9.5mm usually works fine for me.

Try drilling with your 9.5mm then open it up with a bit sandpaper wrapped and stuck onto a dowel.

Suggestion by @Robin seems like a good resolve.

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Topic starter

Thnx!! Will try both!

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

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Topic starter

Update: A little work in my shed last night. 9pm curfew, so what ya gonna do.....

Put on the radius on front and back and made some corrections/refinements to the carve.

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Next job for the weekend: Sand out scratches and a final going over with 80 grit.

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

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Edwin that looks awesome mate! I would really like to do an exotica type myself they are pretty slick. 

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Exotica type is on my list..........after the acoustic that I need to start.....

Measure once........
Measure again.........
Sod it - make tea!

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Topic starter

I did some work on the neck this weekend. Straightened the fretboard, hammered in some frets (ebony is a lot thougher than rosewood...) and filed the fret ends.

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I used my Dremel to de-nib the fret tangs (I have to buy the special cutter someday...) so I could fill the slots with ebony dust and super glue. 

The body is now scratchless and ready to be sanded to 120 and 240 grit.

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

Looking good

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Topic starter

Thnx Clint!!

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

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Topic starter

Progress....... The body after two sealer coats with wipe-on poly.

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One more coat should do it... After that some pore filling with AquaCoat. Coming weekend is reserved for carving the neck, the snow has disappeared, temperatures are rising to maybe 15 Celsius so.....

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

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Topic starter

The body has been grain-filled with AquaCoat and I made a decision about the finishing process: Initially I was planning to use wipe-on poly only as a sealer and spray matt lacquer, but it turned out so nice that I kept wiping on layers and it is looking great at this moment. The ash has a nice ambery hue and the purpleheart has a deep colour. I'll keep on smearing 'till I'm completely happy with the result, then give it a good buff and screw on the bits 'n bobs...

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Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

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Topic starter

Oh.... and I glued in the neck....... 🙂 

Measure once, cut straight away and maybe you're lucky......

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