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Hello from Surrey

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NickKUK
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I have been pulling together bits and pieces and some tools (I have some hand me downs from various places) to build a 7 string 27" scale guitar (I can hear the groans of 'Djent' from here) to go alongside my old 1989 Strat (I can hear the cheers).

 

This rhythm orientated 7 string will be a jassmaster-esque music man variant with a laminate neck and fixed bridge with a pair of hum buckers.

Laminate
* Hard Maple
* Purple Heart
* Mahogany
* Alder/Ash wings
* Rosewood or ebony fretboard
* Decorative Maple top
The neck headstock will have a scarf joint with backstrap and volute with a front panel too. 

Plan is to add a plywood case and a 'small' 2W tube amp too.

I've built a few things before - a pair of loudspeakers and various wooden things 🙂


   
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Brian Walker
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Hi and welcome to the forum, I take it that you have full membership and access to all the course material to help you with the build, if not then please consider joining as a full member.

The course material will inform you of what’s required for a build and, even though the style of guitar you intend to build is much different, the techniques will be the same or adaptable. Especially if this is a first time build. There’s also a wealth of information and experience available here for you to tap into, all you need to do is ask😃

Looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labours👍😃🎸


   
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tv1
 tv1
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welcome @nickkuk

That's a very specific build spec for a first (I'm assuming) build.

Once of the (many) benefits of Mark's course is that he breaks the total process down into a series of individual steps.  Sounds like you've got some of the woodworking skills so learning those might not be an issue for you, but the sequence of the steps is also important - it helps the "ahhhh, I should have done this bit *before* I did that bit" challenge  😉

Post plenty of build pics, we love build pics!!

 

If you've not got your amp build kit sorted out (and depending on what sort of sound you're after), the kits here are excellent

https://www.ampmaker.com/product-category/guitar-amp-kits/

I built the N5X kit earlier this year and it turned out just as I'd hoped!

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


   
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Koendb
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Posted by: @nickkuk

Laminate
* Hard Maple
* Purple Heart
* Mahogany

Hah Almost same as my plans for laminated necks, except I got bubinga instead of Mahogany.

My plan is to add a black dyed sycamore veneer in between those as well.

E2847ADB A222 44DB BC3E 3A87DAAB9E72 1 105 c

Anyway, Welcome to the forum @nickuk! Have fun with your build and dont forget to post pictures of your progression. 🙂

 


   
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Russ
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Welcome @nickkuk. Sounds like you've already got a lot skills to share with us all here. Looking forward to seeing this build. 

🙏🎶🙂🎸

🗝️ "Life's what you make it"🗝️


   
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Boo
 Boo
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@nickKUK Sounds good. Welcome to the forum and good luck with your build. We are here to help if we can and we may learn stuff from you too. 
I like the idea of longer scale length guitars, baritone etc for Djent. I like the older classic stuff too but I like to look to new horizons and not get stuck in the past. A Djent guitar is on my list, it’s a big list. 😆 

Upload some pictures of your project when you get time, it’s good to keep a record of what you’ve done, for you and everyone else. 👍

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


   
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NickKUK
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Thank you for the warm welcome.

So I've built and just taken the clamps off the case - at 43", it has enough capacity to take a larger guitar and act as a wood store in the interim of the build to keep everything tidy and safe from dents. Once the guitar progresses, so will the inside of the case. It's heavy and purposeful - Baltic ply 12mm 😀

I have some new bandsaw tyres arriving - the old belt and tyres just disintegrated. I have decided not to use a jointer planer and thicknesser but go full old school - 40 year old fore plane, block plane etc on a running board etc. The block plane is a new one and spend several hours flattening the sole and squaring up the side. I also spent a few hours sharpening up the irons on the waterstones. I have a stressful day job so taking the time in the journey isn't so much an issue (although I'm impatient by nature.. it's precisely that reason the step by step approach is being taken). I also have worked through a dependancy graph for the steps (a thumbprint but gives you the idea):

Screenshot 2023 10 04 at 09.22.54

I've marked up a rough size image on my office glass board and this weekend I've started transferring to paper (wallpaper backing paper makes excellent design paper as it's thicker, wider and as long as you want). To that I've added a scaled fretboard paper cutout, headstock, bridge and pickups. I wanted to be sure of the positioning of the pickups.

The important hardware arrived, this solves many of the missing measurements:

IMG 1671

I have designed around a 53mm nut with 0.79mm spacing at the nut (10.5mm at the bridge).

I have a list of additional tools I will get (such as a shinto rasp etc) but for now the bandsaw will provide what I need along with the planes.

 


   
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NickKUK
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An update on my build.. I've now planed and glued up my 7 laminate neck, roughed out my fretboard, enough to show it as a mock up (without the black tuners which wouldn't stand up straight). The body. top and fretboard aren't glued down, nor is the neck or body shaped but I just wanted to get a picture of the guitar as it is currently.

IMG 1756

I think I will call it "Dune". 

In the end I have a laminate made up of:

* Hard Maple

* Wenge

* Walnut

* Purple Heart (Amaranth)

* Walnut 

* Wenge

* Hard Maple

 

This post was modified 1 month ago by NickKUK

   
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NickKUK
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Pre glue up, it shows the rough shape (note it's not completely aligned in the photo and there is a deliberate oversize).

IMG 1935

   
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NickKUK
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Posted by: @boo

@nickKUK Sounds good. Welcome to the forum and good luck with your build. We are here to help if we can and we may learn stuff from you too. 
I like the idea of longer scale length guitars, baritone etc for Djent. I like the older classic stuff too but I like to look to new horizons and not get stuck in the past. A Djent guitar is on my list, it’s a big list. 😆 

Upload some pictures of your project when you get time, it’s good to keep a record of what you’ve done, for you and everyone else. 👍

It's morphed a little from the original design. Originally it was to be a 27" but then became as 28.625" 7 string. The mahogany was replaced by walnut and wenge. It's also been pretty much a hand tools only build - the bandsaw died a death (the guide metal support broke) and it now resides in the great recycle centre in the sky..

I gave up on the circular saw - 190mm had issues with the neck cut 1/2 way through (that's the marks on the neck), after that it's either the manual Japanese saws or the little jigsaw for fast touch cutting. In fact the jigsaw is about the only power tool I've used more than once.

Routers are a love-hate. I have two - a small makita trimmer and a larger bosch plunge router. They work but care is needed - if it goes wrong it goes wrong fast, I've already had chip outs that I've rectified I need more practice with respect to grain direction on complex wood. I routed the truss rod and that's been about it. I'll have look at these again with respect to the sides of the guitar anyway..

The tools I've found being really good:

* Clamps. One handed ones (the ratchet type) are ok but don't put the same pressure on a piece as the screw down. I'd recommend both, and I have 12 now. You really can't have enough clamps and you will find out just when you're in need of them.

* A good blade shapening set - I have a B&Q oil stone, a B&Q diamond slab (the cheapie), and then I used 600 and 1200 grit wet/dry followed by 4000 and then 6000 grit water stones (King) and this is the real star - a leather strop. The lower grits get used on a rebuild, otherwise is the stone and strop. Anyone starting out I would recommend: A diamond stone (B&Q is good enough), then 1200, 4000 and 6000 Waterstones plus a leather strop - get them wide enough for your plane and chisel blades.

* Planes - I have a an old Record No7 - this is superb, a cheap Magnusson No5 that I spent 2 hours squaring up and a further couple of hours rebuilding the blade profile - same with the small Magnusson block plain (the Standard plan is a better design). These have done the majority of the work. Once sharp, the base flattened and sides squared - you'll find them so much easier to use.

* Chisels - I have an old kirschen set, lethally sharp and hold their edge nicely. 

* Shinto rasp - seriously this is one tool a guitar maker should not be without.

* Cabinet scrapers - once you've used one, you'll wonder why you've not used them before. Learn to sharpen them too.

* picture frame mitre saw (with a frame saw). Extremely accurate cutting with a fine blade. 

* Vacuum! Seriously I have filled about 10 bags worth. My old shop vac does clear up and power tool work nicely.

* A good square, metal ruler, marker, pencil are a must.

* A good mask - not a paper one, get one with a dual filter, neck and head straps. 

Now a good table is useful, as is a good running board. I simply used a scaffold plank cut to size with the metal edging stripped off.

I've learnt - you don't need power tools. And in fact, using the manual tool you'll learn more and then understand the power tool version more.

However the biggest three learnings I think are:

* Treat wood as a living thing - the humidity, the grain and stress changes cause the wood to move. Store the wood for a month or two and you'll find it changes. I deliberately kept my wood in the house where the guitar would be for a month or two. Then took the straightest part of the maple, etc. 

* Grain - a piece of wood reacts differently to tools across the piece depending grain. All well being quarter sawn but alot of the woods are never simple grain structures. The prettier the wood - the more complex and unstable the grain structure.

* Planning prevents poor performance - you'll need to plan out the sequence of activities so that you can get access, or you have the right grain direction for a router bit etc. This is where a manual tool is a little more forgiving, where you will learn how the wood will behave before sticking whirling power blades of destruction on it. 

 

Anyway I've probably enthusiastically mind dumped but you get the point. 

Clamps off this morning, the guitar looks decent (although looking like Fred Flintstone at the moment). I still have to:

* calculate where I want the pickups and route the pickup locations

* Route electronics cavity

* Prep the fingerboard - slots, final flattening, and glue up

* Flatten and carve the body

* Carve the neck

* Complete the headstock.

* Danish oil, more Danish, sand down, yet more Danish.

 

 


   
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Boo
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@nickkuk Sounds like you have everything under control, I agree with all of that. 

Yeah I think that when things are rough cut, it reminds me of Ceefax graphics from the 80s and 90s. 😂

Make guitars, not war 🌍✌️🎸


   
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NickKUK
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Here's with the clamps off

IMG 1945

Still more to clean up. Next up is locating and routing the pickups.


   
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