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Thread: Greg's #4 - Scratch SG

  1. #1
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Greg's #4 - Scratch SG

    I started this project before Christmas but was reticent in putting it on the forum in case it was an utter disaster. I was entering into the unknown. So here is the story

    I purchased, at a very good price, this lump of Queensland Mahogany (Red Mahogany, Red Messmate – Thanks to Cliff Rogers for identifying it). It was originally to be a live edge tabletop but finally my wife agreed we didn’t have the room. It took two blokes to lift it.

    The wood is documented as being a great construction wood especially for bridges. Guitars???.

    Earlier discussion to identify the woods is here:
    https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...eferrerid=4588

    Having built three kits, I thought I was “well-qualified” to build a scratch guitar particularly from unrecognised guitar timber. hihi. As they say, “ignorance is bliss.”

    So after lots of research on this forum and YouTube I took the plunge.

    My first concern was how to level the wood. It was only about 38mm thick. I could take it to the local Men’s shed or do it all at home as an excuse to by a belt sander, smaller router, jig saw.

    I decided to build a Gibson SG off a plan because it is only 35mm thick and the smaller body would help keep the weight down. Buy a neck – some builds are beyond comprehension.

    Step 1 – Cut piece out of the plank
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    Step 2
    Sand with new belt sander with 80 grit.
    There was bit of twist in the timber, so I made some winding sticks on advice from the forum. With careful sanding, measuring thickness and the winding stick I finished with a flat plank about 34mm thick.
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    (with a bit of turps to see the colour and grain, it's a little pinker in the flesh)

    Step 3 Cut out the shape.
    This step caused the most concern. The internet seemed to say only a band saw would do. A few said jigsaws. My concern was the density of the timber.
    On the basis of wanting to build it all at home and an excuse to buy a new jigsaw, I decided on jigsaw. Then I had to research what blades would handle the timber. I could always fall back on the Men’s shed.

    Purchased the plan
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    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

  2. #2
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Step 4 Cut the Template
    First make a thin template as advised on YouTube.
    New jig saw worked well on MDF.hihi
    Then used the new belt sander on this jig I copied from YouTube, to finally shape the template. The belt sander on the jig has turned out to be very handy for many shaping jobs since.
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    The use the thin template to cut real template from 16mm MDF
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    Step 5 – How will the neck fit

    I purchased a neck that was supposed to be Gibson style but it appears to be a hybrid with a Gibson neck and Fender foot. I decided to make it a bolt-on then if I eventually wanted a more Gibson type neck I can fit it. The neck pocket will not need to be very deep for this one.
    The SG is supposed to have a 3 degree back angle but I will have to work that out when I get to cutting the neck cavity.

    I have added a bit to the length to the tongue under the neck to give me a few options for fitting it.
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    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

  3. #3
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Step 5 Cut the guitar shape.
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    With much trepidation I picked up the jigsaw and cut a small corner off the wood with a slight bend. The new jigsaw handled it with ease with a blade meant for hard timber.
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    The router stage was the next worry. Lots of different advice on YouTube. Cut small depths at a time, cut in one big bank, don’t cut into exposed grain – climb cut etc etc.

    Well that advise crystalised : to one big cut with a large router bit with a bearing bearing at each end and do climb cuts to the exposed grain. The cutting direction was drawn on the template.

    First I cut the “into” section and all worked perfectly. (What was I worried about – again?)

    Now the climb cuts – well suffice to say I never got the hang of it. The blade just grabbed and bounced along the timber. Luckily no real damage but then:
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    I gave up on the climb cuts and just slowly routed into the wood the normal direction. It worked fine and I believe it was because of the density of the timber after doing some more web research.
    A bit of a rub with belt sander recovered the tear-out
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    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

  4. #4
    Mentor DarkMark's Avatar
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    Looking good Mr Lane. Never heard of winding sticks so thanks for bringing that the attention of the ignorant amongst us.

  5. #5
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Hi Mark
    I hadn’t heard of them either till Woltz mentioned them in a response to me on his 3rd Scratch Build diary.
    Greg
    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

  6. #6
    Member dozymuppet's Avatar
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    Perth, WA
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    That post was the motherload, Greg. So much progress!

  7. #7
    Member Cliff Rogers's Avatar
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    Minbun, FNQ
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    Well done.
    Cliff

  8. #8
    Member Trevor Davies's Avatar
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    May 2020
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    Perth
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    Looking good. Each step along the way is quite stressful but you are making great progress. Next time will be even easier!
    Build #1 - FVB-4 - Build Diary
    Build #2 - LP-1SS - Current - Build Diary
    Build #3 - FBM-1 - Build Diary
    Reworked Semi-scratch Explorer - Rebuild Diary
    Build #4 - AG-2 - Build Diary - Runner up GOTM May 2021
    Build #5 - TB-4 - Current - Build Diary
    Scratch Build #2 - Axe Bass - Build Diary

  9. #9
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Where does the end of the neck come in relation to the body? If it’s like a real SG, then it looks like you may only have 5cm or so of protruding wood to attach the neck to.

  10. #10
    Member GregLane's Avatar
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    Thanks for your concern Simon.
    Because of the funny foot on the neck I extended the tongue on the body. I ve 70mm on which to screw the neck.
    With that big long foot it is not going to be the prettiest. But the neck cavity will be pretty shallow so I think I will have plenty of room to put on a new one.
    Might force me to take the plunge and try to build my own neck.
    Guitars:
    Build #4 - Scratch SG - Qld Mahogany - In Progress
    PBG#3- - ES-1F - kit electronics (Dec 2020)- upgrade if I can do it justice
    PBG#2- - STA-1 Ash w black upgrades GOTM June 2020
    PBG#1- LP-1MQ http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=6378
    Acoustics -Washburn WD18SW
    - Maton Australian EA80C
    Electric - Magnum pseudo Stratocaster - upgraded with PitBull bits - 2020

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