Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Guitar work... and plans...

Long time no update... and I know hardly anyone reads this...

I got around to some guitar work recently.  I bought a Fret Levelling Beam recently (more about that in a mo) and used that on two Telecaster kits I built a while ago where there were some fret issues, largely no doubt to me bodging it before with a shorter file.  The Levelling Beam did seem to make it a lot easier to get something considerably better.

I also have been installing some shims on the necks of various guitars.  I know there is a lot said where people groan etc about them but if you've a bolt on neck it actually is one advantage that installing one is a non-destructive way to try and sort stuff out.  In particular, with my 12 string electric it helped me get a better action and massively improved overall intonation.  On one of the Telecasters it helped get a better angle over the brass bridge saddles.

Finally on the Squier that I rebuilt sometime ago it helped set a better working angle on the bridge again allowing palm muting to be much less of a painful hassle due to the adjustment screws.  To my ears I heard no discernible change in tone.  I did buy some thin maple veneer, about 1 mm thick so there is good wood to wood contact maintained, maybe plastic shims or cardboard (yes I've used that before!) are reasons why these get bad press.

Here's a quick photo of the Squier Strat in bits, the veneer is about to be cut to fit... It is by the pencil which I've just drawn around the heel of the neck onto it.


Note this is a typical sight - my tools etc. strewn across the dining room table.  Mrs F is incredibly tolerant and patient you know.  So to the plans....  

I'm planning to build a proper workbench at some point, either in the garage or the shed.  My shed is not looking great after 25 years, I think I need to replace it.  It is crooked and has leaks in the roof etc.  Anyway a bench is planned.  I've also bought a router and a sander since I've been inspired to move from building kits to actually trying to build a guitar!  Crimson guitars are the biggest inspiration on this.  I bought the levelling beam on discount as part of a competition to win a guitar built by Ben (the head honcho there) in 6 hours.  All of which you can watch, like I did, on Youtube.  So stay tuned as this will be a long project no doubt!  

3 comments:

  1. I still enjoy reading this stuff. Shims! What the hell is a shim!? Thank goodness for Google...

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    1. Small bit of wood (or whatever) placed in the neck pocket to adjust the angle. Btw many Fender USA guitars have a clever micro tilt system that is much easier.... but then there's arguing over amount of wood to wood contact and does that affect the tone....

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  2. A man-shed sounds the best plan and will free up the dining table. Good luck with your plans. (Oh and even if you don't have too many readers, at least you can look back on this blog in years to come!)

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