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Thread: First kit build - AG-1F

  1. #11
    Member Mcgaz's Avatar
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    Proceeding on, hopefully the neck doesn't end up failing when i get to the end point... hahaha *stress!*

    Been sussing the scale length, wasn't too sure as the product description for AG-1F or other similar AG series guitars doesnt have it included (i could be blind), but with the neck slotted mostly all the way in so the neck pickup fits and covers all of the pickup hole it sits close to 628. Gibson SG guitars have a 628mm scale length, so i thought going with that would be safe.

    Pic shows with the saddles all the way forward, high E string would sit at 624mm, saddle can extend back to 630mm.
    Not in the pic, but the low E sits at 626mm
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Will mark off the neck/body point on the neck so i can tape that off and get to the head stock shaping.
    Then to sanding and finishing!
    Last edited by Mcgaz; 25-08-2019 at 11:11 AM.

  2. #12
    I was just presuming the scale to 24.75 based on the type of kit, but I think I'm correct.

    To verify, measure from the fretboard-side of the nut to the centre of the crown of the 12th fret. That will be your half scale distance. That x 2 is your scale length.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  3. #13
    Member Mcgaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCreed View Post
    I was just presuming the scale to 24.75 based on the type of kit, but I think I'm correct.

    To verify, measure from the fretboard-side of the nut to the centre of the crown of the 12th fret. That will be your half scale distance. That x 2 is your scale length.
    So the nut to top of 12th seems to be 312mm, 2mm short of the perfect half 628mm; 314mm.
    So i assume i should plan for 624mm as my scale length, given half is 312. Instead of just following the 628mm/24.75inches.

  4. #14
    So the nut to top of 12th seems to be 312mm, 2mm short of the perfect half 628mm; 314mm.
    So i assume i should plan for 624mm as my scale length, given half is 312. Instead of just following the 628mm/24.75inches.
    Sorry, I was speaking more about finding scale length in general. (if unknown)

    You'll still want to set the neck based on 628mm. Because the TOM-type bridge is slightly angled, the 628 mark will fall at the centreline of the bridge piece at the middle, pushing the low E slightly behind the line and high E slightly ahead. (clear as mud, right?)

    There is enough adjustment in the individual saddles that correct intonation (individual string length) can still be achieved. Some builders play with the numbers a little bit but 628mm is your working figure in this case. Typically .5-1mm won't make a critical difference.

    For example my PBG PRS-1TS (24.75" scale) measures out like this: nut to centre 12th fret = 313mm; nut to middle of bridge piece at centreline = 629mm. This guitar intonates perfectly (literally).

    Whilst accuracy is important in doing this stuff, nothing is ever etched in stone. We're not dealing in microns here.
    There is most always a margin of wiggle room that will still result in a fine playing instrument. At least that's my opinion.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  5. #15
    Member Mcgaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCreed View Post
    clear as mud, right?
    Completely understood!
    Thanks for clarifying that one, seems like the measurement in my original picture measuring over the bridge is getting there. Will tripple, quadruple check those measurements before i continue with working the wood. Bit short on e, bit long on E, makes sense. Ive been measuring the length at the high e. I appreciate the guidance mate. Thank you very much.

    One thing im debating is when to glue in the neck. Seems like pros and cons either way, i have a bone nut to put in so i feel doing that before finishing will give a chance to remove scuff marks around the nut and have no bare unfinished spots. But having the 1st and 6th strings in to set nut height... needing neck and bridge in to do that well.

  6. #16
    One thing im debating is when to glue in the neck. Seems like pros and cons either way,
    Builder's Choice - I've only built the one set neck and I chose to set it after I had done most of the finish. Lots of others set the neck and do their finish after.
    I used alcohol dyes with Tru Oil top coat. I dyed the body & neck separately and applied enough Tru Oil to seal the dye, but left the contact areas at the heel and pocket bare. Once the neck was set, I did the rest of my TO.
    I'm not saying this is THE way to do it, just the way I did it.

    i have a bone nut to put in so i feel doing that before finishing will give a chance to remove scuff marks around the nut and have no bare unfinished spots.
    Are you talking about scuff marks & bare spots on the nut itself, or around the nut slot in the neck? I'm unclear.

    For me it depends on the finish method. If dyeing/staining, I glue the nut in after the colour and before the clear coat. If just a clear finish (like a maple neck) I sand > seal > set nut > clear coat. But remember, a nut can replaced pre or post finish. Repairers and luthiers do it all the time. There are advantages to doing it before, but not the end of the world doing it after.

    But having the 1st and 6th strings in to set nut height... needing neck and bridge in to do that well.
    You'll want to have the nut in place to use the E strings for neck alignment, but I set my nut string action by cutting the individual nut slots rather than sanding or filing the bottom of the nut (which is where I think you're going with that).
    I set the nut action as part of my final set-up. Again, different strokes for different folks. Some do the nut bottom thing. I don't.
    FWIW, you can keep the plastic nut in there as long as want for getting neck & bridge placement stuff. The nut material is irrelevant for all that. Just a good idea to change it before your final finishing steps IMO.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  7. #17
    Member Mcgaz's Avatar
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    Well after a bit of a time set back due to some illness... Ive had a chance to get some things cracking!

    Carved the headstock by hand, eyeing off a standard Gibson mustache curl like shape.
    Got on and sanded the fretboard ever so lightly with 600 grit to remove glue marks and buff out some gloomy spots on the inlays.
    Did a light bit of fret polishing to get them all to the same shine, will have to get onto leveling and crowing... but i really dont have the tools for that and the DIY options look very open to failure. So i might leave refining the frets to the end, just so im not prevented from moving forward.
    Sanded down the neck and body, havnt touched the veneer top and might only give that a very light going over before staining to get rid of some of the outer layer 'hairiness' .
    Double checked the scale length, the point i marked and initially had it in my prior post was spot on.

    NEXT!
    Clamping in the neck to check the strings running over the frets, they appear to be aligned well and just need to make sure there is no issue with the neck angle and the strings sitting on the frets.

    Getting very close to starting the staining. Still looking to ebony timbermate+black dye the entire guitar (ofc leaving the fretboard alone) but leaving the maple veneer to be stained black without timbermate. I know PBG recommend to not sand the veneer, but im going to attempt a red mahogany with the flamed maple top, with a thin black burst around the edges; unless the post mahogany stain impresses me to stop there.

    Also decided that staining then gluing the neck is probably the best bet, and that gives me the chance to do things separately with time being a bit of a constraint at the moment, then after gluing have a chance to restain to fix up any spots etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #18
    Member Mcgaz's Avatar
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    With the last post, i really did want to avoid a lot of work with the neck, but hey! its a part of it all
    Jumped into making the tools ill need, made a notched straight edge with a long stainless steel ruler, and chopping up a shorter ruler currently to make fret rockers. After thats all good ill have an understanding of how much the frets need to be worked.

    THE NECK IS ALL GOOD!!!!
    One huge worry i had with the kit when it first arrived was the truss rock sticking out, thankfully many helpful people in this forum and also Adam gave me some help. But now with the notched straight edge, i realised the neck was a tad convex and turning the truss rod fixed that right up. Very pleased there is no issue with a dud truss.
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    Hard to see with the full shot, but I've left the neck slightly convex so when the strings are put on, hopefully they will do the rest!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Still a few light scratches to get out of the fretboard as well

    EDIT: Just finished with making the fret rockers, there are only a few frets that seem to be higher by the smallest margin. So thinking i will leave the frets as they are for the time being. After putting it all together, if there is sign of buzz and fret catching ill jump on it.

    Finished with sanding, and have covered the body and neck in ebony timbermate + feast watson japan black, and the front veneer with just the japan black. Will let it sit overnight then sand back tomorrow.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Mcgaz; 11-10-2019 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Extra info

  9. #19
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    Sanded down the body and neck, and have been working on the veneer. The top half is coming up great, although i think the bottom half is an utter dud! Even prior to sanding i could see the inconsistent flame and the awful big blotchy bits. Sanding that down has highlighted some of that. The vertical streakiness is just the veneer grain as i have sanded circular. I thought i may have sanded through on a couple of spots down the bottom but not yet, its just a pretty average bit of veneer. Looks like the top part were 2 pieces bookmatched well, then 4 segments just squished down the bottom

    The veneer also had very significant dings and scratches in it, they showed up and have been worked away.

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