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pablopepper
16-10-2012, 10:59 PM
Hey guys,

I thought i should share my little success from yesterday and how I did it.

So, right now I'm building two TL-1 kits; One for me, and one for my friend. We have decided to customise these guitars in two different manners which we'll call 'Gibotele', for me, and 'Stratotele', for him. For the 'Stratotele' one of the things he wanted was a small style Strat headstock. After, a little poking around for suitable images, I struck gold.

If anyone else is keen, here is a link to a PDF with full scale templates for EVERY style of Fender headstock.

http://pdfcast.org/pdf/fender-headstocks

So, using these, the right tools and a little patience, I have managed to produce something I am very pleased with. See for yourself.
http://pitbullguitars.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/t005y-2012-10-15-11.38.52.jpg

Edit: Sorry, the link is being a pain. Hooray, it works now!

adam
16-10-2012, 11:12 PM
Wow, that looks great! Such a timeless design. And the wood grain looks awesome.

17-10-2012, 05:46 AM
Quote from pablopepper on October 16, 2012, 06:59
Hey guys,

I thought i should share my little success from yesterday and how I did it.

So, using these, the right tools and a little patience, I have managed to produce something I am very pleased with. See for yourself.


Great work, pablopepper!

As you said, the right tools and a little patience. Can you share the tools and techniques you used?

Looking forwards to seeing the finished axes!

pablopepper
17-10-2012, 07:11 AM
Thanks, as I said I'm super happy with how it turned out. I realise now I sort of rushed mine, but it's laquered and finished now so c'est la vie.

The process was fairly simple. First, we chose the template we were happy with (there are quite a few with very subtle differences), we ended up with the Richie Sambora Mex Std. Printed it out, making sure the printer was set to 'actual size' rather than 'fit to page'. Carefully cut it out with a utility knife and stuck it to the headstock with a little spray adhesive, making sure to line up the tuner holes.

Then, I traced around the template with a pencil (I use Stabilo Aquarellables, they will draw on anything), rough cut with a band-saw, leaving a couple of millimetres excess.

On to the disc sander, slowly working up to the line using very little pressure and CONSTANTLY moving. If you stop for even a second you will create a flat spot which can be a bitch to fix without fudging the design. Then to the spindle sander for the places the disc sander cannot reach and finished off with a round and a semi-round hand file.

I also rolled off the top corner a little as the Pit Bull headstocks are quite sharp.

Fender headstocks, other than the top, have no flat edges just nice flowing curves. I think that is one of the reasons they are so recognisable and loved.

Have I crapped on enough? Yep. :D

17-10-2012, 08:56 AM
Quote from pablopepper on October 16, 2012, 15:11
Thanks, as I said I'm super happy with how it turned out. I realise now I sort of rushed mine, but it's laquered and finished now so c'est la vie.
Fender headstocks, other than the top, have no flat edges just nice flowing curves. I think that is one of the reasons they are so recognisable and loved.

Have I crapped on enough? Yep. :D

Nope. :D

There's transitions in the line beneath the nuts for the 2nd and 5th strings. How did you go making the transitions and keeping it smooth? Sometimes a disc sander can "grab" at a transition like that.

Cheers,

pablopepper
17-10-2012, 12:25 PM
Disc sanders can be brutal if you're not used to them and I've got a rather large one (about 2 feet across the disc).

Even though i got almost the entire 'knob', I only got the last 2cms or so of that transition done on the disc. The rest was done with the spindle and by hand. After reading back over my last post, I realised that I might have made it sound easier than it was. The truth is, I have a lot of experience with tools like this, just not for wood working.

Some things that are good to know about using a disc sander;
1. Always work on the down side, as in the side of the disc coming towards you. Mine goes clockwise (which I believe is not the norm), so I use the right hand side. This holds the piece down onto your work surface rather than fighting to keep it flat.
2. Be aware of your material. As a guitar neck is a long piece of wood and you only want to touch the disc in very specific spots, think about where the rest of it is. I use my left hand as sort of a pivot holding down the head stock and my right as a 'rudder', I guess, on the far end to do all the movement.
3. Know when to stop. Slow and steady, err on the side of caution. Don't try and get every angle because you can't. It's as simple as that, every tool has its limitations.

GlennGP
25-01-2013, 10:40 PM
Sensational, thanks for the tips Pablo.

I'm doing my headstock this weekend, but don't have access to the tools you have. What I do have is a good Makita jigsaw, one of those Renovator tools with sanding heads, a good set of rasps and files (rounded and flat) and sandpaper. I reckon I can do the rough cut with the jigsaw, and then put the renovator in a vice and work the headstock over it (rather than putting the neck in a vice and working the tool over it), finishing up with files and sandpaper. That should be effective.

Any thoughts anyone?

(Also, thanks for the link to the headstock library!

GGP

dingobass
25-01-2013, 11:00 PM
Quote from GlennGP on January 25, 2013, 06:40
Sensational, thanks for the tips Pablo.

I'm doing my headstock this weekend, but don't have access to the tools you have. What I do have is a good Makita jigsaw, one of those Renovator tools with sanding heads, a good set of rasps and files (rounded and flat) and sandpaper. I reckon I can do the rough cut with the jigsaw, and then put the renovator in a vice and work the headstock over it (rather than putting the neck in a vice and working the tool over it), finishing up with files and sandpaper. That should be effective.

Any thoughts anyone?

(Also, thanks for the link to the headstock library!

GGP


Hey Glenn,

That is basically how I do my headstocks, rough it out with jig saw but then I finish it with a bobbin sander and rasps.

Do a few practice cuts with the jig saw and you will be surprised as to how close you can get to your out line.

I would be very wary of holding any power tool in a vice, have had a close call doing just that! It is far safer to hold the piece in the vice and hang onto the power tool, also you will have greater control and get a much better result.

The most important thing is to work safe! A Guitarist can't afford to loose any fingers :D

GlennGP
26-01-2013, 12:10 AM
Quote from dingobass on January 25, 2013, 07:00
...

I would be very wary of holding any power tool in a vice, have had a close call doing just that! It is far safer to hold the piece in the vice and hang onto the power tool, also you will have greater control and get a much better result.

The most important thing is to work safe! A Guitarist can't afford to loose any fingers :D


Yeah, I was having second thoughts there, so it's good to have doubts reinforced!

GGP

keloooe
26-01-2013, 01:07 AM
Quote from GlennGP on January 25, 2013, 08:10

Quote from dingobass on January 25, 2013, 07:00
...

I would be very wary of holding any power tool in a vice, have had a close call doing just that! It is far safer to hold the piece in the vice and hang onto the power tool, also you will have greater control and get a much better result.

The most important thing is to work safe! A Guitarist can't afford to loose any fingers :D


Yeah, I was having second thoughts there, so it's good to have doubts reinforced!

GGP

I *almost* witnessed this happen last year when my friend thought that putting power tools in a vise would make everything safer and easier.... He was wrong, but at least nobody was hurt!!!

pablopepper
26-01-2013, 06:08 AM
Hey Glenn,

From what I know of those 'renovator' tools you speak of, they work on micro vibrations. As such you might be better using rasps/files after you jigsaw your rough shape as the 'renovator' won't really remove any material (not quickly anyway). It will be useful as a final step to clean up the working marks however. Good luck! :D

GlennGP
26-01-2013, 07:42 AM
Hi Pablo (nice to meet you!)

I've recently completely gutted and rebuilt my kitchen, and the "Renovator" tool was a ripper (sometimes literally!), in taking out discrete areas of plasterboard, trimming stuff, cutting metal ... all sorts of things. It can be a destroyer of worlds or a nymph's kiss, depending on the attachment and the force applied. I'll be careful and willing to change about as necessary, and I'll always observe the DingoBass law:

TAKE IT SLOW!

GGP

pablopepper
26-01-2013, 09:08 AM
Oh well that's cool! I have to admit, I've only seen ads for those things and they struck me as quite gutless. I have an inherit distrust for tools that 'do it all', and advertising.

GlennGP
26-01-2013, 11:45 AM
Nah, the buggers (Renovator tools) are pretty potent, the trick is actually knowing how to not do damage with them. Some of the best money someone else spent on me, to be honest.

(I am very, very lucky to have a wealthy benefactor who contributes to my tool stock from time to time. A bit like having Bruce Wayne in your life, but without all the spectacular crime in your neighbourhood.)

GGP

Brendan
02-05-2013, 12:08 PM
Hey - found this tonight - somewhat close to the Fender font - F doesn't connect to the e the same, but if people are looking for something somewhat close...

http://fontmeme.com/fender-font/

kells80aus
26-01-2014, 12:07 PM
Deep in the bowels of My PC I have this PDF file which contains details of about 7 different Strat headstock shapes. Print these out on some A4 and take your pick of anyone you may like. :D


Hmmm That didn't seem to work....... :(

dave.king1
26-12-2014, 10:06 AM
Thanks, I'm feeling an STA-1 coming on very shortly so the templates will come in handy