Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The Tele Build - Part 3

The second from last part! - Part three continues with routing in the form of pup pockets, goes on to the drilling of various holes and the test fit of all parts. It's getting there.

Click on the read more link to see the full post

So onto the pup routes - having marked out the neck and bridge positions in the previous part this allowed me to accurately locate the pockets.

After this a long drill bit was purchased and used to link up the various cavities for wiring, through the neck pocket all the way to the bridge pup route, and then diagonally for the control cavity. Subsequent holes that were drilled include the neck pocket holes, jack socket hole, bridge mounting holes and string through holes. Unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures of this part of the process, so please excuse my laxity.

Once all this was done it was time to bolt and screw everything together to check everything fit properly before finishing. Below is the result:

Next step, finishing!


Monday, 17 September 2007

Taylor releases their own Solidbody Guitar!

Almost as strange as Bogner teaming up with Line 6, Taylor guitars is poised to release their own solidbody electric guitar range. Well, not so strange possibly, considering the raging success that was the T5 - it would seem the lessons learnt from that are being applied in the making of a more conventional style electric.

Seen to the right, and apparently fully designed by Taylor from the shape of the guitar right down to the control knobs it definitely looks promising, and I'll certainly be attempting to check one of these out once they hit the stores with their major launch in Jan 2008.


Friday, 14 September 2007

Restringing aint a buzz

I've always changed stringed on my guitars fairly regularly, I can't stand the sound of a dull guitar and love the jangle a fresh set of strings gives. Not all people are like this however, if fact my experience is that the majority of people will leave strings on their guitars until they break...

Whatever your habits are, changing strings eventually gets to be a giant pain the the proverbial backside, especially when you have more than one guitar to change. Recently I had the pleasure of changing four guitars in one marathon session, and what topped it? Blasted 12 string guitar! The damn thing is an absolute nightmare to restring and subsequently tune, and took as long as the other three alone.

Regardless of all this it was completely worth it, each guitar now sounds brilliant (There's nothing like the sound of a freshly restrung 12 string). So all you people who like to wait until it becomes absolutely necessary to change your strings, try doing it more regularly, and hear the difference.


Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The Tele Build - Part 2

Having brought the body to its final shape in part 1, part 2 will cover the routing of various pockets, such as the neck and control cavity routes and also the alignment of the bridge and neck.

Click on the read more link to see the full post.

The first route to be done was the neck pocket, this is so that the pickup pockets and bridge mounting holes could then be located accurately from the neck alignment. Careful measuring means that this isn't actually necessary, however for the sake of caution I decided to do it this way.

After attaching the neck pocket template to the body using double sided tape the body was ready for routing.

This was achieved once again using a template bearing bit, and using several passes until the pocket was at the required depth. This process was made longer by slight splinter out on the treble side that required re-gluing and then subsequently re-routing more carefully, luckily this quick repair turned out great, and is not visible!

Above you can see the neck sitting in the pocket after I was done. Routing then continued with the control cavity pocket as this was located on the same template.

The next step was to locate the bridge, once the appropriate scale length had been marked out on the body, cotton thread was used in conjunction with the bridge to act as "outer strings" , this allows for easy visual alignment and ensures the the bridge is located dead on for the neck.

Once visual alignment was confirmed accurate by measuring the distances from the outside "strings" to the edge of the fingerboard the bridge mounting holes were then drilled.

Next up, pup routes and beyond!


Friday, 7 September 2007

Guitar related updates

I've updated the blog links on the right hand side to include various guitar blogs I like. Most of them are related to building/repairing in some way, and are all worth a visit!


Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Die Guitar!

Before people start accusing me of heresy and attempting to stab me to death with an over-pointy BC Rich of some sort I'd better qualify exactly what is meant in the title...

How careful are you with your guitar? Do you treat it like a piece of priceless china? Or thrash the hell out of it, smack people in the face with it, and generally do everything but directly attempt to destroy it?

I've been known to bend my acoustic neck in order to get a trem like effect at times, much to the horror on friends and family "It could damage the guitar, the neck might snap!" well, the neck has already done so once, though not as a result of me bending it (Clean separation along the scarf due to a bad glue joint). In any case - Depending on what guitar I'm using I'll end up treating them completely differently, the Telecaster gets knocked around a fair bit whereas the PRS gets mollycoddled, and there'll be hell to pay if I find out it has a scratch!

My personal philosophy on the matter is that it all depends on the guitar, and exactly what you're trying to do with it. The perception of an instrument, while not affecting the musician in any direct or physical sense is something that helps the player to become comfortable using it.


Friday, 31 August 2007

The Tele Build - Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts detailing the building of the above guitar. The build started after hearing my brother talking about the specs of his ideal Telecaster style guitar, so being the nut (pun only half intended) that I am, I volunteered to do the build.

Click on the read more link below to see the first installment in this series

Spec and Parts:

  • Solid Maple (bolt on) neck and Ash body
  • Telecaster style hardware all round for the body
  • Schaller staggered locking tuners for the neck
  • Dual Humbuckers - Prs Dragon in the neck, Bareknuckle Abraxas in the bridge
A full set of Telecaster style guitar templates were purchased from Guitar Building Templates in order to make the build as accurate as possible.

So the build began:

First step was to prepare the ash body blank, after hours of going over the surfaces with a plane the blank was finally at the point where the body shape could be rough cut. The shape was drawn out on the body blank using the Tele template and then rough cut with a jigsaw.

The rough cut almost finished:

After the rough cut had been completed it was time to bring it to its final shape. The aformentioned Telecaster body template was stuck to the body using doublesided tape and a router with a bearing guide bit used to do the dirty work. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the initial passes, however once the shape had been routed deep enough the template was removed, and the bearing bit lowered so that the ready cut wood itself was used as a guide.

Here you can see the body half hewn from the rough cut:

The end result, a telecaster shaped piece of wood, just waiting to be turned into a guitar!

More coming in the next part.


Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Where do all the picks go?

I'm sure it happens to all of us, objects such as pens can seem to magically disappear over time with no explanation. The same thing appears to happen with plectrums!

A few times a year I'll end up ordering a bulk load of plectrums, anything from 50-100 at once. Within two to three months they will all be gone. Where they go I can't say, however after some quick googling on the subject, here are a few of the explanations I've found:

  1. They slip through cracks in the space-time continuum and migrate to the planet of Plectropia, where they live happy and fulfilled lives, growing vegetables and raising families of little plectrums.
  2. Its those damn gnomes and fairies - Well known for stealing stuff, they're collecting our picks for profit. Curse their magic hearts.
  3. Down the soundholes of our instruments, hungry for nourishment the acoustics and thinline guitars of the world are to blame!
  4. The last theory, and by far the least popular. Its our fault, we just manage to lose them all over the place. Rubbish eh?

Whatever the truth - all I know is I'm going to be waiting in a ghillie suit with a suitably large bore rifle and a supply of coffee, keeping the plectrums in my sights tonight. No more will I allow them to be taken by beings from beyond.