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Guitarnut - Flat top, set neck Prototype.

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Thread: Guitarnut - Flat top, set neck Prototype.


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05-31-2011,

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#1

6:08 PM
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Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

Guitarnut - Flat top, set neck Prototype.


Some of you may be following the carved top prototype that I'm currently building. This is a flat top version of that design.
The plan:
Mahogany body with flame maple cap, faux binding.
Mahogany neck set at 3 degrees, Bolivian rosewood fretboard with flame maple binding, pearl dots.
2 HBs, Vol, Tone, 3-way switch.
Not sure on finish yet.
I started with a 1.500" thick Peruvian mahogany blank that I stored up last fall. This along with the extra necks I glued up during the
first protoype build make this process so much faster.

All chambered and ready for the top.

Here I have the top glued up, rough cut and ready for clean up. The cut off at the right will be thinned out and used for the headstock
veneer. I'll probably bookmatch an outer edge where the figure is strongest.

To clean up the glue joint on the mating surface, I tape the top on the back of the body and run it thru the planer. This gives me a
nice, flat glue suface. I also do final thicknessing at this point so I only have to take a whisper off the bookmatch side...just enogh to
clean up the glue joint.

Clampzilla!

Glued up, trimmed and ready for edge sanding and routing.

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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05-31-2011,

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#2

6:09 PM
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Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

No pics of the process but I have the fretboard tapered and ready to glue up. I'm taking a different approach to the fretboard binding
this time. I ran into issues with slot depth and sanding buildup in the slots on the last fretboard I bound...my 2011 Build Challenge.
I plan to glue the board to the neck blank, do dot inlays, do the radius, recut & radius the slots, then glue up the bindings. I can use a
scraper to clean them up and avoid excess sanding at that point. We'll see how it works out.

Peace,
Mark

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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06-14-2011,

#3

9:28 AM
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Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

Time for the neck pocket. Since I took the time to make a template on the carved top version of the guitar, this went pretty quickly.
After a couple of shallow passes I removed the template.

A quick test fit with the neck from the carved top build. Snug!

Then I took it to depth...not final until I check the actual neck that's going on this guitar. I want to make sure I allow for the difference
between the two tops before committing.

What I'm seeing at this point is that the tenon needs to be a bit thinner or the pocket needs to be deeper.

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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06-14-2011,

#4

9:29 AM
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Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

I've been thinking on this a bit. I'm leaning toward something with a vintage vibe.
I did these in PS with a pic of the actual top. Either of these get me excited. And they both make the faux binding pop and compliment
a natural mahogany back. Plenty of time to decide but I'm 90% sure on the 3 tone burst.
A dark cherry burst.

Or, a 3 tone burst.

[/QUOTE]

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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06-14-2011,

#5

9:32 AM
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Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

A couple more pics.


The neck, along with the one from LPJ build, is bound and all trimmed to size. I left the bindings a little thicker than needed and
shaved them down to size with a scraper...this helped me set the final width of the neck to the pocket.
The bookmatch HS veneers are done. They're 2mm thick so I can get a faux binding on the edges. Since I plan to carve in a volute on
the back of the necks, I'll take the extra thickness off the backside of the HS when I set up to mill the angle in the heel.

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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06-14-2011,

#6

9:33 AM
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Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

I 've made good progress on this build...namely the neck. I've had some questions about how I carve my necks and specifically, the
volute. So I thought I would show some of the steps. It's easy enough to do once you have some practice. Carving is more of a feel
than technique so I would encourage practicing on scrap before taking a chisel and file to your prized neck blank. :idea:
Starting on the heel first, I use a 1/4" chisel and, working away from the line, I carve down the end of the neel into a slope away from
the butt end. This shows half of the carve.

After thinning out the back of the headstock on the band saw, I draw out a triangle with a line down it's center. The base of the
triangle is at the glue line of the scarf joint.

Then I use a fret saw or flush cut saw to down cut to the side lines of the triangle.

Then I under cut to meet the first two cuts. This gets rid of most of the waste.

Before doing anything more to the volute, I want to get the neck to rough thickness. I clamp it in an upside down radius blck so I can
slide the calipers under it. Then I take it to depth in two or three places with a rasp,

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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06-14-2011,

#7

9:34 AM

Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

The length of the neck is taken to rough thickness with a combination of Ibex plane and a rasp. I work along the path between the two
depth cuts I made earlier until the calipers slip over the neck all along the path. I try to focus on keeping the edges lower than the
center so I have unobstructed access to the center with the calipers.
Now back to the volute. At the base of the triangle, I run a half round rasp directly across the neck,,,bass to treble side...this puts the
concave scoop at the bottom of the volute. It rounds down into the neck carve at the edges...this is one of those places where feel is
important...no guidelines, just work it until it transitions smoothly. Pick it up and slide your hand into firsat position...this will tel you
when you have a good, comfortable fit.

The next step is to use a VERY sharp chisel and work down the edges of the triangle to the center line. You can see a bit of the line
remaining here. Just stay on the proper angle until the top flat spot is gone. That's is! Block it out to clean up any saw marks or chisel
slips...there will be some of each. I didn't mention this earlier, but leave the headstock about .050" to .070" thicker when you trim it
down. This gives you plenty to work with when you're blocking it out.

The neel is finished out with a half round rasp. If you have a glued on heel block, watch the glue line carefully as a guide. It will help
keep you even from side to side. Again, pick up the neck and check the feel with your hand tight to the heel.

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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06-14-2011,

#8

9:34 AM
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Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

Peace,
Mark

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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06-17-2011,

#9

12:40 PM
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Mark Crenshaw
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Apr 2009
601

I finished up the routing last night. Rear cavity and round over.

And the PU cavities.

Then it was time to trim the tenon so I could get the neck glued in. I used a neck pocket template to keep the cut straight. First, a
down cut along the binding edge and then under cut to take out the block.

Then, after checking the joint and my center line one more time, I glued it in. Man I love that step. It just feels good when I get to
that point. Things can still go wrong but it is what it is at this point.

Ready for frets and finish prep.

In fact, I have 4 of them ready for prep. Gonna be a busy weekend!

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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07-01-2011,

#10

10:08 AM
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Robert Miller
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Jun 2007
Ft. Myers, Florida
116

I've been following your thread with great interest since building a guitar is getting higher on my "bucket" list. Do you make your own
body templates or do you buy them somewhere?
Beautiful and inspiring workmanship. Please post more!

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07-17-2011,

#11

7:49 AM
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Mark Crenshaw
Member

Apr 2009
601

Originally Posted by Robert Miller

I've been following your thread with great interest since building a guitar is getting higher on my "bucket" list. Do you make your own body
templates or do you buy them somewhere?
Beautiful and inspiring workmanship. Please post more!

Thanks Robert. I have some templates that I bought and some that I've made. This build is my own design, so the templates are
handmade. The purchased templates are from
Mark

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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07-17-2011,

#12

7:51 AM
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Mark Crenshaw
Member

Apr 2009
601

Uodate
The heat has been a bear lately and the shop has uninhabitable so I have made any progress on finishing. I've been able to spend a
few hours in the mornings working on getting all my builds ready for finish. Here's the state of things. This build and the others are
ready for grain filling (as needed) and finish.

More soon.
Mark

"Thought that is no longer limited brings experience that is no longer limited"

Marianne Williamson.

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