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Thread: Second/Special ES-12Q Build

  1. #1
    Member c0ffinspire89's Avatar
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    Second/Special ES-12Q Build

    I couldn't help myself from buying one of the recent Special/Second kits, the prices were too good! I am going to attempt to build my first 12 string kit with this build. I'm not planning on a ton of upgrades for this kit, just some better pickups and tuners.

    This is also my first quilted maple kit, and love the figuring. I really want to try and highlight the grain as much as possible. I've seen some builds where a dark color is applied first, sanded back, then another color applied on top of it. I would love to do a light color with a darker color on top, is that possible, and if so, is it the same process? I'm thinking of a purple on top of gold, but still toying with the idea. Thanks to all in advance for any assistance!

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  2. #2
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    SO IT WAS YOU!!! Igor is beside himself that he missed out.
    FrankenLab
    Hand crafting guitars, because Death Rays are expensive.


  3. #3
    Member c0ffinspire89's Avatar
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    Sorry FrankenWashie! As mentioned above I just couldn't help myself haha. Please give Igor my deepest condolences
    "We were supposed to have a quote?"

  4. #4
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c0ffinspire89 View Post
    Sorry FrankenWashie! As mentioned above I just couldn't help myself haha. Please give Igor my deepest condolences
    Itís all good, heís stitched himself back together now and focused on building hollow body moulds. Enjoy the 12, look forward to seeing how it goes
    FrankenLab
    Hand crafting guitars, because Death Rays are expensive.


  5. #5
    Member c0ffinspire89's Avatar
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    It's been just a little while since I've updated this build diary, so now that it's almost ready for finish, that seems like the best time, right?

    The goal behind this build was a galaxy/space cluster. Because it is a 12 string, it will be called The Zodiac. It has all gold hardware, and have upgraded to Warman pickups as well. At this point, I'm just doing a little more tidying up, and scraping the binding, then it's off to the races for the rest of the build.

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  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Welcome back and it looks great!

    But before you go too far, please, please check the neck angle. On almost all the ES-1 kits and a recent ES-12 build, the neck angle has been too shallow. As a result, the minimum height for the bridge leaves you with a very high action.

    So clamp the neck in place, in a way allowing you to run a straight edge up the neck (make sure it's adjusted flat first) and see where it will hit the bridge. With the bridge at its very lowest, the straight edge should ideally hit the saddles between the top of them to up to 4mm higher (remembering the bridge will need to come up at least 2mm from the ruler position to raise the strings off the neck).

    But if the angle is such that the ruler hits anywhere 1mm or more below the saddle slots, then I think you'll need to make and fit a neck shim (easier than trying to reshape the neck heel as you can get a shim wrong and just make another one, unlike the neck heel).

    Though rare, you can buy them, and being in the USA, getting one from StewMac should be fairly easy for you. Or you can make your own. I describe one method of doing it on another build here: https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...l=1#post217910

    Whilst you can get a very low profile 6-string T-O-M bridge in the form of the Goldo Lowrider (Goldo make the hardware for Duesenberg guitars), there are no 12-string or gold versions (and certainly no gold 12-string versions). It got me out of trouble on my ES-1 build (along with rimless inserts), but it won't be an option for you, so you need to make sure that the neck angle is correct.

  7. #7
    Mentor JohnH's Avatar
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    Love the colours!
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  8. #8
    Member c0ffinspire89's Avatar
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    Thanks John and Simon!

    Simon, thank you very much for the detailed information on the neck angle, that was my next task to tackle. Usually with a set neck, my approach is to stain the neck and body separately as it's easier with my limited space, then glue the neck, clean up any excess glue and fix and stain as needed, then add finish as a complete piece. I had seen a recent build diary with that same issue on one of these kits, so I greatly appreciate the detailed breakdown! Once the binding is scraped, that will be my next step, I'll be sure to post if things go sideways
    "We were supposed to have a quote?"

  9. #9
    Member c0ffinspire89's Avatar
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    I am hoping to verify the next steps in the process before proceeding. Simon, after double checking your advice, it appears I do have an issue with the neck angle, but want to make sure I am approaching with the correct steps.

    The first problem is a 1-2mm gap between the back of the neck and the neck pocket. I was thinking that would be a simple solution of gluing a thin piece of veneer to the back of the neck to fill the gap.

    As far as the neck angle goes, it looks like it is sitting low. When I run the straight edge down the fretboard to the bridge, it rests directly on the saddles at its lowest position. I should probably mention I took the nut off, so that is without using a nut. Not sure if that makes a difference for this measurement, but wanted to add just in case. Based on Simon's advice, the straight edge should actually sit a few mm above the bridge in order for the bridge height to be adjusted later, correct? If that is correct, then if sounds like it needs to be raised several mm and will definitely need to be shimmed.

    Neck issues make me fairly nervous, so any advice is greatly appreciated! TIA
    "We were supposed to have a quote?"

  10. #10
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Checking without a nut is fine. You want the rule to sit on the frets, not the nut and the last fret, as that changes the angle of the rule.

    The end of the tenon doesn't go all the way to the back of the pocket. It would be nice and easy if it did but that would require far too much precision from the factory. The end of the neck should sit around 0,.5mm to 1mm forward of the front edge of the pickup rout, so the pickup ring has a small ledge to rest on. Just enough so you can't see down into the rout between the ring and the body.

    Can you take a photo of the rule against the bridge? The bridge will need to be raised up by 2mm or so to raise the strings off the fretboard, so dead level with the saddles isn't an issue. But if you haven't put the bridge post inserts in yet (which you don't really want to do until you've got all your finish on), and just have tape around the bridge posts, the lips of the inserts will raise the lowest achievable bridge height up by probably 2mm or so (partly because of the curved nature of the top as the lip isn't quite that tall) and you then might struggle to get the action as low as you want.

    So a photo would help confirm just what's happening.

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