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Dub-T-123

Looking to build my first guitar from scratch

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Congrats on the wedding dub - the honeymoon period is great!  

With respect to the frets - couldn't you just press them in without gluing, i thought they had barbs?

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Thanks guys!!! Without getting too far into things, my wife and I are going through a really tough time right now despite the wedding and everything. We had been planning on getting married but my mother in law has cancer and wasn’t going to make it to the date we had planned. So we cancelled the planned wedding and did an impromptu one at the in-laws house so she could be there.

 

My wife and I are happy to be married of course but she’s dealing with her mother dying right now so she’s not doing well. Her mother is in her 40s so way too young

 

Anyway not looking for sympathy or anything but just wanted to point out why I might not seem as excited as I should be and why I’m not on a honeymoon 

 

 

 

Regarding the frets yes they can be hammered or pressed in without glue. I have been playing around with the frets and the ones I pressed in came out pretty perfect without glue. The ones that were hammered in became deformed so parts of the frets were lifted while others parts were seated. Then I could push down on the fret with my finger and see it move slightly, so I knew that was no good. 
 

If I level the frets while a fret is not fully seated, that fret will push down while I’m playing and become a low spot that doesn’t sound good. So I want to be super sure that the frets are fully seated and have no chance to lift

 

I’m sure my problems with hammering the frets in are at least partially due to my technique, but if it’s that easy to screw up the frets with the hammer then I don’t want to bother with that technique anyways.

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5 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

Cant the frets be pushed in to slots with glue in them and then clamped. Preferably with a packer with the same radius as the fingerboard?

Yep that’s pretty much exactly the plan. I watched a video of stewmac gluing them in and they wax the board first so glue doesn’t get into the wood grain. I mainly just need to figure out how I’m going to remove all the wax afterwards and probably go forward with that technique

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Hey Dub..  Many congratulations on the marriage...  And very sorry to hear about the circumstances..  I think that was a pretty amazing thing to do for your mother..

You may know I have been through this with my father a couple of years ago.. It is tough and horrible and all sorts of other things..  All you can do is support and be there for them.. 

As for the guitar stuff..  DONT rush..  I have done that so many times.. Wanting to get further in the build and get to the next part..  Nearly always goes wrong some how.. Always better to take your time, you have nothing to prove to anyone really so just do it as and when..  I tried a fret press, I bought an Arbor and added a fret attachment at the bottom, never really worked well for me, I just learned to bash them in with a hammer. Its where having a correct fret radius on the fret material helps.... I used to glue them in too but dont any more.

One thing I do, do is I use a small triangular file to file a small groove into the slots before I bash them in.. This does two things, first it helps guide the tang in to the slot properly and secondly if you ever want to remove the frets, having that small groove will help stop the fretboard chipping out when pulling them out.  

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Thank you Rabs both for the guitar and personal advice/understanding 

 

Yeah so far I feel like I’ve only rushed one thing and that was cutting the neck shape before getting the truss rod. That was one of those things were I knew it was stupid as I was doing it but it seemed too fun to resist and I know I can easily still cut the slot at this point just as well. Certainly don’t want to rush anything though. I’m trying to work off the delusion that I’m going to make a truly phenomenal playing/sounding guitar that is like custom shop level quality

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13 minutes ago, Dub-T-123 said:

Thank you Rabs both for the guitar and personal advice/understanding 

 

Yeah so far I feel like I’ve only rushed one thing and that was cutting the neck shape before getting the truss rod. That was one of those things were I knew it was stupid as I was doing it but it seemed too fun to resist and I know I can easily still cut the slot at this point just as well. Certainly don’t want to rush anything though. I’m trying to work off the delusion that I’m going to make a truly phenomenal playing/sounding guitar that is like custom shop level quality

Well I dont know.. Its very unlikely for a first guitar but not unheard of if you know your tools and what you are doing which you clearly do...  It took me till my third guitar before I had something that I was happy to sell and could stand behind in terms of playability and sound..  And actually I sold that guitar about 8 months ago and while I am not comparing it in any way to a Gibson Custom the guy loves it.. 

Especially when we are talking a slab guitar...  Which certainly my early builds were, theres not that much to go wrong apart from the neck angle.. And that, like all of the process of building just takes a couple of goes I think to understand exactly whats going on and what you need to do to make sure it all works as it should. None of it is rocket science really, its about having the right tools, knowing how to used them properly and good templates. Of course we all make mistakes, we arent machines, but thats where experience comes in. Knowing how to fix a mistake and if its even worth while.

Edited by Rabs

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Delusion was certainly a deliberate word choice there lol. I seriously am approaching this with a very high goal in mind even though it’s a first build though. 

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On 10/28/2020 at 12:13 AM, Dub-T-123 said:

Retired you don’t drill the entire truss rod channel if that’s what you mean. The channel is cut with a router or dado blade on the table saw (before the fretboard is installed) then usually you will need to drill an access hole at the heel or headstock depending on the type of neck. 
 

in the case of a modern factory made guitar, the channel would presumably be cut by CNC (essentially a router guided by a computer)

 

Rabs is probably thinking it would have been easier for me to cut the truss rod channel when the neck was a big rectangular blank and he’d be right. But I didn’t have the trussrod at that point so instead I’m going to make a template out of 1/2” acrylic the shape of the neck also featuring the truss rod channel template 

Yes, That all makes since. I just always thought it was drilled out at the factory with a long bit? I didn't know as I never seen it done. Thanks though. 

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6 hours ago, Retired said:

Yes, That all makes since. I just always thought it was drilled out at the factory with a long bit? I didn't know as I never seen it done. Thanks though. 

 

As an aside, there is such a thing as deep hole drilling, but its a speciality process for metalics and not cheap. Its termed 'gun drilling' and its done on a type of lathe.

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7 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

 

As an aside, there is such a thing as deep hole drilling, but its a speciality process for metalics and not cheap. Its termed 'gun drilling' and its done on a type of lathe.

I do it when I do wiring channels on a slab body......  Its scary.... A really long drill bit that likes to go off at an angle if you arent very very careful.

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9 minutes ago, Rabs said:

I do it when I do wiring channels on a slab body......  Its scary.... A really long drill bit that likes to go off at an angle if you arent very very careful.

oh yeah. I forgot about the wiring. You need a 90 degree head I imagine.

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12 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

oh yeah. I forgot about the wiring. You need a 90 degree head I imagine.

I do it through the output jack hole..  The bit I used looks like this. 

qeaVy3n.jpg

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I superglued a drill bit into an extension cause I didn’t want to buy a long bit lol. I went through the electronics cavity from the back and it was slightly tricky 

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1 hour ago, Rabs said:

I do it through the output jack hole..  The bit I used looks like this. 

qeaVy3n.jpg

 

Wow, I can see why you have to be careful. A vari-speed unit is likely useful there.

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7 hours ago, Rabs said:

I do it when I do wiring channels on a slab body......  Its scary.... A really long drill bit that likes to go off at an angle if you arent very very careful.

I have had some pretty long drill bits when I  built drag race cars, but not that long, and yes, they can go off angle real easy, I drilled very slow and careful. 

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5 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

 

Wow, I can see why you have to be careful. A vari-speed unit is likely useful there.

It looks very nice so far Dub T.

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Thank you Retired! 
 

I’m really happy with where we’re at so far. I’m very optimistic about the outcome of this project.
 

I brought the neck home to scrape the top of the headstock with a razor and clean off the burns/scratches. Probably went a bit too slow with the router up there but I didn’t get any chipping/tear out on those very delicate corners so it’s all worth it. When cutting a sharp angle against the grain like that I was really expecting some tear out but used an expensive router bit that was freshly sharpened and was super careful with the direction I approached with the cutting surface

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5 minutes ago, Dub-T-123 said:

Hey Rabs what kind of glue do you like to use for inlays? Do you usually put dye or anything into it? 

I use super glue and sawdust..  So when the inlays are in then rub sawdust around the inlay and cover with superglue. I save the dust from when I radius the board...  Works especially well with Ebony.

Edited by Rabs

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Thanks bud!! Yeah I think I’m going that route with gluing in the frets actually so that is a welcomed side effect. I did break down and buy the fret leveling file from stewmac cause that will have a lot of uses and I didn’t have a file quite like that. What kind of file do you use to bevel the fret ends and level frets? I was thinking of mounting an old file at an angle in a block to easily bevel the edge. But I’ll probably just hold the expensive new file at an angle

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Yeah a block with a file stuck in it that does 90 and 35 degree filing...  The 90 degree one gets them flush to the board first...

daO4FJv.jpg

 

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