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Thread: Pathfinder 01 - Explorer with upgrades (1st build)

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Pathfinder 01 - Explorer with upgrades (1st build)

    Hello World and g’day fellow builders.

    I have no previous woodworking or even tinkering experience and no tools from previous projects, just my love of guitars - so this will be a completely new experience from scratch. Wish me luck, y’all.

    Xmas greetings from Hungary to all of you at the start of this build.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Lappa; 25-12-2020 at 04:06 PM.

  2. #2
    A quick first impression.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Lappa; 25-12-2020 at 03:47 PM.

  3. Liked by: dmoose5835

  4. #3
    Mentor robin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Welcome aboard Lappa. Don't worry about not having any experience, we were all where you are right now. Take your time, ask questions and start a build diary, and there will always be someone here who can help.

    and Good Luck


  5. Liked by: dmoose5835

  6. #4

    Pathfinder 01 - Explorer with upgrades (1st build)

    Thank you for the rapid response Rob!
    Last edited by Lappa; 25-12-2020 at 10:06 PM.

  7. #5
    First questions about the to-be-glued-in neck:
    1. During the mock build I could set the neck in such a way that there is 628mm between the inner edge of the nut (towards the fretboard) and the bridge saddle set closest to the neck at the highest pitch E string. There is an approx 2mm gap between the end of the cavity and the tang of the neck in this position, so I guess that is good. Question: how should I mark this position? Or should I measure it again the same way when I will glue it in after finishing the body and neck?
    2. Which way should the bridge saddle control screws face? (Looking for references, I saw pictures of Gibsons and Epiphones with screws facing towards the neck and the other direction as well.) Is it just a question of taste?
    3. There is a bit of a wiggle possible sideways with the neck in the cavity (would be up and down, holding the guitar normally to play). I understand that I should model the position with the E strings - and that is OK for the mock build, but again, how do I mark that position? Or is it just to check and I should use 2 strings in place of the E strings during the actual glueing?

  8. #6
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Toowoomba, Qld.
    Personally I measure about 50 times when glueing and also use the string mock-up to ensure it’s running true during the glueing process. You can mark the end of the tang in the neck pickup cavity as a bit of a guide. It can be a bit awkward and nerve wracking, but you do have a bit of working time with the glue. Just do a couple of dry runs and have everything handy for the actual glueing (including a damp cloth for wiping off any excess that squeezes out)
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster TL-1
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG AG-1
    Build 4 - The Sonicaster TL-1ish
    Build 5 - The Steampunker Bass YB-4
    Build 6 - The Howling Gowing ST-1

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  9. Liked by: dmoose5835, Lappa

  10. #7
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Caloundra West, Sunshine Coast Qld
    Welcome to the forum and ever expanding Explorer kit owner builders chapter.
    Scale length is so important and making many measurements before final clamping when setting the neck is the way to go.
    On my EX1 the neck pickup rout was too close to end of the fretboard and the was n oit enough room to fit the pickup mounting ring. The temptation is to slide the neck forward a few mm to allow it to fit but that may end up with a good looking guitar that sounds out of tune most of the time.
    I ended up top loading, inspired by EVH Wofgang design, and prefer the look. A lot more work was required but at least it feels great to play and intonation is perfect, thus ensuring it also sounds great too.
    Wishing you good luck with your build.
    Cheers Waz

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    # 1 - EX-5
    # 2 - EX-1
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018

  11. Liked by: Lappa

  12. #8

    Pathfinder 01 - Explorer with upgrades (1st build)

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	38575Sonic Mountain, wazkelly: thank you both!
    I still need to check the pickup mounting ring, thank you for reminding me, I did not even consider it yet!
    Now I checked, the factory pickup fits the neck position with the ring on - even with the neck pushed totally into the cavity. Phew.
    I will also have to check it with the SDs in, plus now I realized I don’t like the default rings... (I guess this is when the madness starts )

    First mock also proved I will have to be extra careful with setting the neck straight with the two E strings.
    Last edited by Lappa; 26-12-2020 at 10:52 PM.

  13. #9

    Pathfinder 01 - Explorer with upgrades (1st build)

    Dear Diary,
    I put the Seymour Duncans into the mounting rings and made a dry fit test with the complete bridge. Looks sweeeet.
    Next up: I will get push-pull potentiometers for the coil-splitting I have planned and see if the default holes are big enough.

    Till then, first sanding done on the body. (Happened after the pic was taken)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Lappa; 27-12-2020 at 11:30 PM.

  14. #10
    Question to experts:
    If I center the neck with the two E strings, the neck touches the side of the cavity on one side, but there is a small gap on the other side. What do you recommend to do with that gap? Fill it with something during glueing or later?
    Click image for larger version. 

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