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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:16 pm 
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Hi Guys - brand new to this sort of thing, and like all modern kids do when they have a crush, I picked this forum off an online search.

A little qualifier: I'm not a good player at all 'tho I've studied on & off during my career as a bar band harmonica player and yes I've heard all the jokes & made up a couple; also I'm son of a cabinet maker, was a boatbuilder in the '80s-'90s, and worked on Renaissance flutes, recorders &c. and clarinet components with a well-known craftsman. So I got a basic familiarity and some generic skills to bring to this task. At the same time, I've wanted to learn this craft since I was 15, when I stumbled into a luthier's in Berkeley (and was told "Build a guitar & then come back, kid" - I learned what that meant, later, but at the time it did me no good) - and the circumstances of this current project are kinda like Fate coming around for tentative chew at my ankle.

So: I was gifted this kit by a friend, who also supplied Will Kelly's how-to book, which looks like a shill for BYO products. Let's just say, the contents of the box are probably worth the ~$250 price tag, but if you accept that you gotta also accept that they don't match up to the text in the book. Something had to give, somewhere. I'll address specifics as I go along here, but I'm hoping to discuss my challenges and questions here and get some advice as I go.

Anyway, I'm going to build this from parts shipped, for now. Having looked around a very small amount online, I'm guessing that I can upgrade most any component as I get funds, am I right in this? - But I'll first see if I have a basic framework that's worth upgrading. That's my plan.

That said - I got the neck glued and clamped up yesterday. The much-touted "CNC fit" was about .020" sloppy. I had some mahogany veneer around here, so I shimmed the joint in two stages, first building up & planing off the slop to align and center the neck - the height was good - and then gluing the neck in. All gluing was with Gorilla aliphatic, and I have pretty good wood-to-wood contact in the joint.

First question, now (aside from all the advice I'm gonna take from that ton of arrogant stuff I've already typed out here): now that I've rendered the neck nonreturnable, what am I going to do with the tuner peg holes being drilled at least .015" oversize? They measure .411"-.427" in diameter, for a 10mm shaft. I have some .010" & .020" bass here that I can sleeve the holes with and rebore for a good fit; is there a better idea?

I figure anything I learn from this build will stand me well on the next ones. Hope I'm right. You tell me.

Michael

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:27 pm 
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can you post some pics we are here to help and we love to see these get built.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:38 pm 
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Absolutely, John, as things worth photo'ing show up: I figure a shot of me frowning as I insert a digital caliper into a rough-drilled hole is not one of those "thousand-word-savers" we all want to pore over. Maybe if I get the sleeving process to a point I'm either happy or doubtful about, I'll post from there.

I'm new here and must do a stint of reading over the forum, both for my own homework and also to get a sense of your posting conventions & courtesies. You'll probably have your fill of my blathering on pretty quick.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:29 pm 
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I think the usual practice is to glue the neck in place as one of the final steps. I think typically you even apply the finish before gluing in the neck. Maybe you are at that stage? Or is it a multi-piece neck and you glued the pieces together to make the neck blank?


Not sure about the oversize holes for the tuners. The tuners should fit easily, but as much as 0.03" oversize seems to me to be a bit too easily. You could take the opportunity to press bushings into the holes, though I can't immediately find any bushings for 10mm shafts --- there are plenty of reducer bushings to convert 10mm holes to 0.250" or to 6mm holes, but that's not what you need. You're talking about making your own bushings though. If you've got the equipment, that seems plausible. Presumably you'd want to drill all the holes to a standard size, maybe 7/16" (0.4375") and make all the bushings the same. Or get a set of the 10mm to 1/4" or 10mm to 6mm adapter bushings and buy new tuners with 0.250" or 6mm posts. Given the apparent general bogosity of the kit, the turners are likely not all that great. Grover Rotomatics are good, not too expensive, and have 1/4" shafts. Or drill out the holes, glue in wood plugs, then re-drill to the proper size. I think it's whatever repair offends your sensibilities the least.

I hope you're right that whatever you learn building your first guitar will stand you in good stead for the second one. I'm proceeding on that assumption too, having made all manner of errors on the first one. And I'm not done yet.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:52 pm 
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Ehhh - well, I wasn't real clear with "got it glued & clamped up," was I? No, I meant I assembled neck to body; this is a set-neck build and per all the instructions I had, the first step is to glue the neck in. As I tried to say in my first post, that operation eventually went okay and I will be able to line up the tailpiece & bridge in their (predrilled) holes fairly well when it gets to that point. The application of finish is the next step in the instructions, and I'm waiting for filler & stains & lacquers to arrive now.

I looked around for grommets to use on the headstock, but found nothing that applied to this problem. I'm going to try to work the rounded, eggshaped drilled holes into something more regular, and then make sleeves by rolling very thin basswood into short tubes & gluing them in to make a snug-not-tight seat for the supplied tuners; and like I say, if all goes well I can swap in nicer stuff as my wallet waxes fat. I think I can make the fix work. Watch in the next few days.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:12 am 
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FWIW McMaster-Carr sells steel tubing, 10mm id, 14mm od. http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-metal ... ng/=wm8w0m
You could probably make bushings out of that, but buying a 1-meter length just to get about 3" worth seems like a bit much.

I missed the detail that you're building an electric guitar -- hence my confusion about the neck installation.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:46 am 
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I may be overthinking this by way over half, but in my life that's how I've learned!

Without even measuring, I will bet a quarter that the posts of these stock tuners (again, I'll upgrade my components once I'm assured I've got a balk of wood worth upgrading for) are far enough out-of-round that putting them inside steel tubing is a recipe for rattle. Naaah, I'll bush the holes with wood and hand-fit the tuners. Might as well try to do what the instructions ask: The holes may need to be widened with a peghead reamer or a round file. DO NOT widen the holes too much—the tuners should fit snug.

Uh, okay.

I Emailed the Contacts guy at BYO. His response: "Have you tried installing them yet? With the bolt bushing and the screw, they should hold fine. Let us know if they do not work." In other words, tighten the bolt down 'til the tuner don't move. In my experience, relying on a tight washer in a big hole to deal with a sideload is gonna work until the sideload works the tightness out; and when that washer has just a narrow O of contact area around the lip of a very movable wood substrate, maybe not even that long.

Maybe I am overthinking. But, knowing basically nothing, I'm erring on the side of doing as little as possible wrong.

The other bit, and I hope to say it only this last time, is that I'm fully aware that I am not going to get a Cadillac kit at Volkswagen prices; I'm trying not to grumble here, I'm trying to discuss what I'm seeing and how I'm dealing with it in an effort to get some useful data to the next fellow who might stumble across this stuff. (Feel free to hose me down if I get too "useful" there, too! I tend toward too much, too much.) The "Electric" is a fairly small subheading on this Forum, and yet a good long Google search netted me this Board as the best choice for my interests. So, in the interest of that next stumbler, here I am. Hope I can put something worthwhile up.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:53 pm 
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Here's the end of this build session, sloppy headstock holes all sleeved:

Attachment:
LP01.jpg


Now, these holes were belled-out and allowed like 1/32" slop to the tuner post. I've soaked the holes in 70% aliphatic and inserted rolled strips of .010" basswood left over from my shipmodeling days, also soaked. Four hours later, a 3/8 drill passes snugly through; in a couple days the wood should be completely dry and I can trim for snug fit around the 10mm posts.
You can see where I added fids around the sleeves to fill the larger gaps of the bellmouth, but I made sure to keep just one ply worth of wood in the "downward" direction, to ensure that as much endgrain mahogany as possible slams up against the post when under string tension. Now, when the nut's tightened down on top of the tuner, there'll be a positive purchase around the post itself. I figure it's all I can do with this neck.

I keep worrying I'll make some damfool newbie mistake here. I know that's what The First Build is there for, but - y'know.

And, aww heck: I've shook my head at these cheep tuners long enough: I'm gonna give up & go get a set of Grovers. Back later, guys.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:14 pm 
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Looks reasonable to me...but what do I know? :)

The Grovers will have 1/4" dia. posts, I think, so you'll need 10mm-to-1/4" bushings, or something. Fortunately, those seem to be readily available.
I've used Grover Rotomatics as replacements on a couple of guitars; nothing fancy, but they work really well. Certainly better than what I replaced. Poor-quality tuners are a huge aggravation.

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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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