www.KitGuitarsForum.com

Learn to Kit Build a Guitar. Learn to Scratch Build a Guitar. Learn EVERYTHING Guitars Here!
It is currently Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:12 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:49 am
Posts: 28
Hello forum, my first post here. I'm almost a beginner. I made a semi-hollow electric about 25 years ago from scratch, and I just built a cheap Telecaster kit recently to get back in the game a little. Now I'm trying to build a kit copy of a Gibson Trini Lopez. Kit info is here:
https://thefretwire.com/collections/hollow-body-guitar-kits/products/diy-electric-guitar-kit-semi-hollow-diamond-build-your-own-guitar-kit

The issue is this: the kit neck has a large unshaped paddle headstock, from which you are supposed to cut the outline of the headstock to approximate a Trini Lopez shape. The Trini had a large six-a-side headstock similar to a Firebird. I'm attaching photos of the kit and the original here for reference.

Attachment:
trini kit headstock copy.jpg


Attachment:
trini headstock front small.jpg


The issue is, the supplied blank is not large enough to accurately replicate the charming (to me anyway) original shape. I need a longer blank, wider on the treble side, and the tuners need to be relocated further away from the nut in order to be a convincing imitation, at least to my eyes.

At first I thought, cut back to the scarf joint and graft in a new larger "paddle" to cut from. The existing scarf joint tapers to its thin edge way back past the 2nd fret and cutting back to that spot would involve reworking the truss rod nut location. Way above my pay grade - no way I could do that well enough.

My second idea: slice off the portion of the paddle that has the tuner holes so as to leave a clean edge. Attach an extension to the treble side of the headstock (and another bit more to extend the tip of the headstock.) Then shape from there and drill new holes. This would avoid having to plug six tuner holes. Not sure if I have enough glue surface along the cut edge to bear the string tension.

Another idea: remove, say, the front 1/4" of the paddle's depth only - this would allow me to avoid cutting back into the truss rod area, if I'm slick about it. Maybe stop at the fingerboard or remove under the fingerboard only ¼" or so but still stay in front of the truss rod nut. Prepare a flat piece with a rout on the back that would surround the existing paddle but show a large, flat true surface on the front to work with. Fill the old tuner holes, and veneer the routed cover onto the front of the paddle, with the thicker portion surrounding the remains of the original paddle. A lot of glue surface and - I think - I'd avoid weakening the nut area unduly.

Are any of these ideas viable and practical and possible? Or is this an insane idea? Is there a better way that I haven't thought of? I know I'm getting close to the point where I might be better off building a new neck but I don't think I could do a very good job of the double diamond fretboard inlays for this neck so I don't know. Plus I've never built a scarf joint neck.

Suggestions welcome. (Try not to diss the wacky Trini Lopez model too much please - I've always thought it was just one of the coolest guitar designs ever. But I understand it's an acquired taste.)

Thanks for having me as a new member!

-j


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 6221
Location: Hegins, Pa
it is hard to make bigger but you have one thing you can do.
A glue pieces to the side and upper part. Now if you put a small rout on the side like a
tongue and groove you can add some to this. Then put a thin say .030 ebony or even maple veneer and paint black. Do the same thing on the back and you can make it pretty hard to see the addition.

_________________
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1338
I think I 'd take John's suggestion, if I understand it correctly, and create a tongue and groove joint,or maybe a spline joint, along the side with the holes and add on enough to fit the bass side curve. Also do a t&g or spline joint across the top to add enough to fit the top swirl.
Then put maple plugs in holes 5and 6.
It looks as though if you plug holes 5 and 6 on the left in your picture, there is space on the right-hand end of the line of holes to add at least one hole completely in original wood and nearly all of a second in original wood, to get the 6 holes you need.
Since it will all be painted back (I assume) you can hide all the patches fairly easily.

Another alternative for reinforcement is to glue a 1/16" head cap of some robust wood (maple would do) on the front and/or back after you glue on the additional wood.

_________________
Don't believe everything you know.
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:49 am
Posts: 28
MaineGeezer wrote:
It looks as though if you plug holes 5 and 6 on the left in your picture, there is space on the right-hand end of the line of holes to add at least one hole completely in original wood and nearly all of a second in original wood, to get the 6 holes you need.
Since it will all be painted back (I assume) you can hide all the patches...


Thanks to you both for your replies. I had thought about re-using a few of the string holes too but then they won't line up properly left & right, will they? The strings will pull to the side from the nut. I think that'd look weird and work less than perfectly.

Tongue & groove or spline, veneer cap. That sounds to me like it's within my abilities. I do think I'd have to plug ALL the original holes though.

I'm prepared for the back of the stock to look patchy although adding another veneer to the back sounds like a great way to hide that problem!

Thanks again. Time to look and see what maple chunks I've got stashed away.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1393
Location: Chestertown Maryland
What about cutting off the portion with the tuner holes and gluing on a piece that would be big enough to include your details and the new holes? I don't think a spline is necessary with a good joint.

Good luck

Ed


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1338
That would probably be easier than trying to keep some of the existing holes, and you might be able to add a single strip instead of a couple of separate pieces, which I think would be a major advantage. Ed is probably correct that a good face glue joint wouldn't need a spline or T&G, but if 'twere me I would be tempted to put a head cap over the whole thing after gluing on the additional piece. That would reinforce it, and also guarantee the joint wouldn't show.

It should be obvious by now that there is not one "correct" way to do this. Whatever works and you feel comfortable doing is fine.

_________________
Don't believe everything you know.
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:49 am
Posts: 28
I'll post a drawing a bit later showing how I think I'll do it. To sum up though: 1) slice off the treble edge, removing the peg holes. 2) Cut a groove along the treble edge and the tip edge to accept a thin spline (this spline groove will stay well inside the new profile so it won't show at the new cut edge). 3) Make a "hockey stick" shaped extension piece, with a groove in its inner edge for the spline (which will also be hockey-stick-shaped.) 4) Glue it up.
5) Drill new peg holes 6) Sand back the face slightly 7) Build the face back up with a veneer or cap for an uninterrupted surface

(6 & 7 may be optional: depends on how tight my glue joints turn out)

I really don't see trying to reverse this mod: epoxy or Titebond, d'you reckon?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1393
Location: Chestertown Maryland
If you go with the spline, you might consider cutting short pieces and sticking them in so the grain is across the joint instead of along the joint

Ed


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:49 am
Posts: 28
Attachment:
20200223_202747.jpg
I made some progress on this - I cut down the headstock, cut out a matching "hockey stick" extension, and cut grooves in both parts.

I'm not ~quite~ ready for glue-up - I'm shaving here and there on each part to try and close up the gap as well as possible. I'm mostly pretty close.

I've decided I'm going to use the Kluson-style 6-on-a-strip like the original, but I'm probably going to go with an easier-to-find-cheap import Fender-standard strip rather than real Gibson-accurate Klusons. The Fender replacements are an extra 1/8" from E post to E post and from what I can tell from the drawing it looks like those will actually line up even better with the strings on this neck. (I think because the actual Trini neck was a little narrower than what the kit neck has.)

Anyway I won't be drilling any holes until I have my pegs in hand. Only so much you can tell from a drawing.
Attachment:
2020-02-23 18.32.07-1.jpg

Attachment:
2020-02-23 19.01.45-1.jpg


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:49 am
Posts: 28
Gluing up. I spent some time improving the fit of the joint - there are still some cosmetic defects but I think it will be very strong once it dries. I ordered some 1/16th maple veneers and I expect to use them front and back after evening the faces up. I should veneer first and shape the profile after the laminations are done, right?

I looked at the FAQ on Titebond II's web site - they recommend a couple of days for the wood to stabilize before planing/sanding etc., so any moisture difference between pieces has a chance to equalize.

So far the forum advice about how to accomplish this seems like it was sound. We'll find out more in a couple of days I guess. I'm optimistic that the "hockey stick" patch shape will be able to resist the pull of the strings because it is stopped against string tension at the tip of the original headstock. And my new peg holes will all be in the solid section of the patch. I have a set of six-on-a-strip machines on the way, and that seems like a) a faithful representation of the original hardware and b) a reinforcement of the patch which will distribute the tension well to the headstock via the tuners' back plate. All good.

Thanks again for the feedback! I've gotten much further with this, much faster than I expected.

Attachment:
2020-02-25 11.53.51.jpg

Attachment:
2020-02-25 11.58.17.jpg

Attachment:
2020-02-25 11.58.37.jpg


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group