Monday, December 21, 2009

Doom bones

Drilling the tuners. I start with the 1/2" for the recess. I got a new toy from Stew Mac. It is a 10mm center mill for drilling the tuner holes. Best tool I have bought since the Dragon Rasps.

Pretty cool. You drill a 5/16" hole on top then use this bit to drill from the back side. Tuners fit tight as I only drill deep enough for the base to fit in (about 3/8"). Nice... allows me to leave more wood in the headstock as well.

So these are not the tuners... but they work well enough to test fit. I am going to use Hipshot open back tuners.

Fitted the control cavity cover... what a pain. The thing decided to warp on me. I had to heat it and clamp it flat to get it to fit.

Rough fit the nut. I won't glue it in until I finish the fret dress.

Diablo bones

Roughed in the nut blank. Turned out to be more work than I thought it was... always does for some reason.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


A little mock up. I will finish the nut and string it up this week. The bridges are slightly crooked but it is not what you think. I put them on with some stainless screws so I don't mar up the stock black screws before it is done. However the SS screws heads are not perfectly round. The original black screws are.

Extra shots

Fret polish

Polishing frets. I didn't take any pictures while I was dressing the frets or shaping the nut. I bought a diamond file of eBay for $30. It worked well enough. It is 230/320 grit and it made crowing really easy. I think it could have left a cleaner finish as I still had to sand all the frets a lot to remove the scratches. I will say that it is still much better than my old Gurian file.

Humbucker work

Routing the HBs. When direct mounting them I usually set them even or a little below the bottom of the neck.

Somehow I didn't take any pics while routing the neck pickup.

Single bridge theory

Allright here we go... ABM Single bridges. After deciding to hold all the bridges in place and drill them all out together. I made some spacers to ensure I had equal spacing and keep the bridges square. Then I wrapped them with tape in a compensated position. I needed something to center the drill bit so I took my counter sink apart nad used it.

A picture of the spacers and the finished holes. If I had to do it again I would calculate out all the holes, mark them and drill. It worked well enough just not sure it was the greatest idea. The poplar is really hard to keep a bit from wandering in. This one has the maple neck tenon 1/4" down so the screws have plenty to bite into.

Hate Gas Heat

Joints were good ... I buy new titebond for every project. However I decided to try epoxy on the headplate and the top seam. I used Z-poxy never had an issue with it before. I used titebond to glue the top and headplate to the guitar itself.

I think we have to assume that the wood wasn't dry enough. But I will say this the Ziricote and the Bocote were very strange pieces and the crazy grain did not help the issue. I though that gluing them to stable wood would keep them from moving but I was wrong.

Hard to photograph the cracks they don't shop up. Here is the headplate split. It looks fine but you could put a piece of paper in it... The other is the bridge crack. It actually separated on the grain not the glue line.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Mock up...

Back... going to glue the neck in when the weather clears up. Probably Thursday...

Tuners for the diablo

Recessed the tuners... I start with the 5/8 forstner then come back with the 3/8" forstner. Then I turn the thing over and drill out with the 13/32 within an 1/8" of the front. Not sure why guess I am trying to copy some of the factory necks I had in the 80s before companies started cutting corners.

Electronic Super Diablo

Finished fitting the control plates. Installed magnets and washers...

Electronics holes drilled. I am keeping this simple as usual. One push pull knob. I might install a tap switch for the HBs if the customer wants one. I recess the input jack significantly to keep the lines clean and hide some of the plug.

Fret filing

I am not sure which I hate more... filling fret ends or having to undercut fret tangs for hidden binding...