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Thread: The Frankencaster

  1. #61
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    Ooh..they look nice

  2. #62
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    Setting the bridge position

    I decided to actually mount and secure the neck in place to get the bridge position right.

    When the neck fixed in place, I ran a straightedge against the neck and drew a line to the end of the body, each side. I then measured the centre line from those lines. That centre line aligns perfectly with the fret inlays.

    With the neck fixed, I measured scale length from both e string positions, inside the nut and confirmed the measurement from the crown of the fret on the 12th fret. All ok.

    I then inserted 2 tuners in each e string location and ran some white cotton down to the bridge from each tuners, making sure to run the cotton over the 2 e string bridges.

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    The cotton lines were equal on each side and were parallel to the edge of the fretboard.

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    With one e string saddle (low e) fully back and one (high e) fully forward, I set the other saddles to the middle position and aligned them onto the scale mark.

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    I marked 2 holes for the screws to secure the bridge to the guitar and will use my fender bridge fixed by those 2 screws as a template to drill the string through holes.

  3. #63
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    Drilling the string through holes..third time is a charm, right????

    Having measured, remeasured, reremeasured, rerere......you get the idea....

    This is what I have done.

    I attached the drill template bridge with 2 screws. Obviously, all the saddle hardware came out, so I just had the template.

    Then I got a drill to fit the string through holes in the template exactly, so no chance of going off centre. I drilled (free hand but holding the drill nice and straight) small 2 or 3 mm deep guide holes.

    It looked like this

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    I then removed the template and used my drill guide to drill the 6 string through holes.

    Like this.

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    I made sure they were straight before I went the next step.

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    Then I hand drilled the pilot holes at each end of the string through holes through the other side.

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    This is the bottom view.

    I then drilled all of the remaining holes by drilling pilot holes through the template bridge (pinned in place by dowels at 1 and 6), then removing the template and using the drill guide again to get vertical and lined up holes.

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    TBC......
    Last edited by Eponymous; 03-03-2021 at 04:13 PM.

  4. #64
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    Third time is a charm...cont...

    When I finished, I checked that they were straight and even...micrometre says ďyesĒ. All of the gaps were within 0.01mm of each other.

    All string through holes drilled and I just needed to widen the holes for the ferrules.

    I set up a guide as McCreed had suggested.

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    That was to be butting up against the drill. The end result was this.

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    All straight. Straight through, evenly spaced and I have drilled the ferrule holes deep enough to countersink the body, so the ferrules will sit flush with the body when finished.

    Tomorrow it is time to sand the body and start grain filling. Should have it fairly ready to paint by the weekend.

    Using a water based grain filler, so maybe I should wait until that has shrunk as far as it can go but I also have an aerosol sanding sealer, so I may just do 3 coats of grain filler and spray a couple of coats of sanding sealer over the top, then get ready for primer/undercoat.

    Busy day...where is that beer?????
    Last edited by Eponymous; 03-03-2021 at 04:17 PM.

  5. #65
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Busy day today! That's great!

    One thing I'll mention re: bridge placement - The point to line up on the E1 saddle (treble) with the scale length line is typically at the "break point" or "take-off point" of the saddle. Where the string contact "breaks away from" or "takes off from" the saddle.

    Your position should be fine, but I see the break point a good 3-4mm further back. All this means is you may have got away without additional routing to the pickup cavity. However, that cavity position is a regular issue in a lot of TL kits.
    Where you have the bridge everything should intonate fine though. In this case a little closer to the neck is better than too far away.

    What water based grain filler do you have? Timbermate?
    If you're painting as opposed to staining, you're sanding sealer plan is a good idea (you can also use shellac). Some people have reported Timbermate collapsing (shrinking) over time under paint, but I have not encountered this. Better safe than sorry though.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  6. #66
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    I lined the saddles up (mostly?) where I though the string passed over the top of the saddle and then dived away to the string through holes. Maybe the photo doesnít show that. I will still have to rout the cavity a little, same as last time but that is a 5 minute job and some sanding....for tomorrow morning!

    I have spent a lot of time on YouTube watching what some of the luthiers use (mostly small shop, like high line guitars and OíBrien guitars). The grain filler I chose is called aqua coat, which the high line guitars guy thinks is great and doesnít shrink a whole lot. Of course, it also works when it is the right way up....

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    I donít think it will be too different from most others but the guys I have seen use it say it suffers shrinkage less and is clear...not that that is important for this guitar but....there is enough for 3 or 4 guitars. I liked that it is easy to use and the end result can be great. The sanding sealer is a behlen product, which seems also to be pretty widely used.

    For the paint...well...itís from an Australian company called newdec but aside from being colourchange, doesnít seem that special. Only got one spray can and worried I might need one more..maybe 2. Donít know yet.

    Iím hoping grain filler plus sanding sealer will prevent that slumping into the grain issue I have heard about.

    Iím on leave for a week to try and get this project humming along, so I need to pack lots in. Today was an excellent day though.

    Thanks for your good advice and encouragement

  7. #67
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    I lined the saddles up (mostly?) where I though the string passed over the top of the saddle and then dived away to the string through holes.
    I guess that's sort of the same thing but in reverse of my description. I think of it as where the string leaves the saddle heading toward the nut since that's the benchmark for the scale length. As I said though, your position looks like it will work fine.

    I've seen and heard a lot about the Aquacoat, but have yet to try it. If I had plans for for doing 3-4 more builds, I could justify the cost but I'm at a point where maybe one more (semi-scratch) is all I'm considering. Twelve guitars is more than I need already .

    Look forward to watching the rest of your build.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  8. #68
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    Rush? donít rush!

    I set the bridge in place and checked that it wouldnít interfere with the pickguard. I know this is definitely the wrong order but having checked it on my last guitar body, I didnít think there would be issues. Here is what I looks like with the pickguard in place.

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    Still a bit of room to move, if necessary. All good. You can also see the extra that needs to be routed from the pickguard cavity.

    After routing, you will notice that I rushed at the end and took a divot out of the surface. Not waiting until the router had stopped fully. Quite a bit of sanding to go now.

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    Sanding about to start and by late morning, I should be putting down the first layer of grain filler.

  9. #69
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    If you're planning to use full size (24mm) pots, you'll need to widen the control cavity a smidge too.

    Also, I would suggest fitting the control plate before modifying the pickguard for the bridge to ensure the 3 pieces work together harmoniously. The top edge of the pickguard at the neck pocket looks like it may need a bit reshaping if the guard moves south.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  10. #70
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    The only issue there is, there might need to be a bit more depth under the switch block might need a bit more depth but the control plate itself, with pots fits in sweet as a nut.

    Click image for larger version. 

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