First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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timtam
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by timtam » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:07 am

blimpage wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:47 am
I'm currently struggling to find a bridge for this build. The original plan was a Staytrem, but I missed the boat on that. I'm after something Mustang-y but with a 9.5" radius. Currently my best bet looks like a Fender American Pro Jaguar bridge, does anyone have any experience with these? Looks reasonably close to a Staytrem so I'm surprised I haven't seen it mentioned more here, unless it has some terrible design flaw I'm unaware of?
The Am Pro bridge (7709942000) is the only current non-Staytrem choice for a Mustang-style bridge with 9.5" radius. But other than being Mustang-style it doesn't have any other Staytrem features. E-E string spacing is around 56mm, which may or may not suit your build. The newer Marr bridge (7712971000) is 7.25" radius and has the Staytrem's anti-sink bushings on the height posts, and should have 52mm E-E spacing.

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solfege
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by solfege » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:05 am

timtam wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:07 am
blimpage wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:47 am
I'm currently struggling to find a bridge for this build. The original plan was a Staytrem, but I missed the boat on that. I'm after something Mustang-y but with a 9.5" radius. Currently my best bet looks like a Fender American Pro Jaguar bridge, does anyone have any experience with these? Looks reasonably close to a Staytrem so I'm surprised I haven't seen it mentioned more here, unless it has some terrible design flaw I'm unaware of?
The Am Pro bridge (7709942000) is the only current non-Staytrem choice for a Mustang-style bridge with 9.5" radius. But other than being Mustang-style it doesn't have any other Staytrem features. E-E string spacing is around 56mm, which may or may not suit your build. The newer Marr bridge (7712971000) is 7.25" radius and has the Staytrem's anti-sink bushings on the height posts, and should have 52mm E-E spacing.
I have the Marr Bridge. It's good, but spacing is closer to 53mm. It is 7.25 too. I do like it though.

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timtam
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by timtam » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:41 pm

Just saw the news that the Melbourne School of Guitar Making is winding up operations in early 2019 ...
https://www.facebook.com/Melbourne-Scho ... 695159442/

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blimpage
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:13 am

timtam wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:41 pm
Just saw the news that the Melbourne School of Guitar Making is winding up operations in early 2019 ...
https://www.facebook.com/Melbourne-Scho ... 695159442/
Yep 😞 I probably won't be able to make it to enough classes to finish my build by the time they close up shop in January, but I talked to David and he said he has another workshop nearby where he'll be able to help current students finish up. I think he might start up another school (or something similar), but he didn't mention any solid plans yet.

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blimpage
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:23 am

Oh hey I have updates for this! Neck updates!

I radiused the fretboard using this funky router jig. 9.5"!

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Then cut the fret slots using this funky slotting jig.

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LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL FRETBOARD!

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Glued the fretboard to the neck.

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The fretboard was still oversized, so I spent a while filing and sanding it down flush with the edges of the neck. Then measured out where the fret dots will go.

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Gotta drill holes for the fret dots next. The school is closed for a few weeks over the holidays, so I won't be able to do anything until they're open again. In the meantime a bunch of parts have arrived in the mail, so I'll have lots to do when I'm able to get back at it!

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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Rgand » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:50 am

Nice job so far. That is a beautiful piece of wood in that fretboard. I do like the radius jig for the fretboard. Simple and to the point. You can't go wrong with that.

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Rgand
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Rgand » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:50 am

Rgand wrote: ↑
Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:50 am
Nice job so far. That is a beautiful piece of wood in that fretboard. I do like the radius jig for the router. Simple and to the point. You can't go wrong with that.

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blimpage
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:52 am

Lots of updates! No action on the body, but lots on the neck.

Fret dots superglued in, and hey look the neck fits into the body!

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I drilled the tuner holes (after an excruciatingly long time spent measuring and double-checking), routed the headstock down to its proper thickness, and hammered the frets in! Then after slicing my finger on the side of a new fret, filed the fret ends down to a non-lethal angle πŸ˜„

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Sanded the end of the fretboard to the shape of the neck heel, with a 2-3mm overhang to cover up any future pickguard shaping mistakes.

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And then spent many hours shaping the back of the neck! Turning beautiful maple into beautiful maple shavings.

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Looks like a lot of quick progress, but this is 16 hours of hard work, doing things I've never done before with tools I've never used before. When looking through project threads I often take for granted how much work goes in to the cool shit I'm seeing from y'all - days like these put that into perspective! πŸ˜…

The instructors are fantastic, especially for explaining why you don't want to do certain things the way you might be inclined to. There's always a good reason that they learned the hard way ahead of time.

My bridge search has been resolved - I suddenly found myself with a spare Mastery bridge laying around, so I guess this guitar is getting that! I had already ordered that American Pro Jaguar bridge before that, so now I've got more bridges than I know what to do with. Guess I'd better build more guitars?

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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by Rgand » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:16 am

That is coming along beautifully. Great progress on that neck. You using spokeshaves to get it to the profile you want? I still have my grandfather's as well as his draw knives. My dad taught me how to use them when I was a kid and they're really useful. It wouldn't have occurred to me to use them for a neck but when I decide to tackle one, I'll get them out and put them to use.

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blimpage
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:30 pm

Rgand wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:16 am
That is coming along beautifully. Great progress on that neck. You using spokeshaves to get it to the profile you want? I still have my grandfather's as well as his draw knives. My dad taught me how to use them when I was a kid and they're really useful. It wouldn't have occurred to me to use them for a neck but when I decide to tackle one, I'll get them out and put them to use.
Thank you!

Yep, my first time using spokeshaves and they work really well for neck shaping, in combination with some rasps and files. I've still got a bit of work to go in getting it to its final shape.

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07hubbardj
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by 07hubbardj » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:05 pm

This is looking great, really nice work!

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blimpage
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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by blimpage » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:17 pm

The neck has now been finessed to its final shape, and sanded to a pleasing smoothness:

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Fret dots have been installed, and fret slots woodfilled:

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The neck is now ready for finishing, so I've masked off the fretboard with tape. It'll still need a bunch of fret dressing and fretboard oiling, which will happen after finishing. Oh yeah, still needs a nut too.

In the meantime, it's time to get back to work on that dang body! Pickup cavities have now been routed, and bridge thimble holes drilled:

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And I've radiused the edges of the body. Gotta clean it up a little bit with sandpaper, and decide whether or not I want to put a slightly larger radius on it. The body is a bit thicker than a standard Mustang to accommodate the Jaguar tremolo that's going in, so a larger radius would make the sides look less chunky. It'd also push the edges in on the front and back of the body though, so I'll probably leave it as-is.

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Finally at the point where I can put stuff on the body and see what it looks like! Here's me testing out the different control plates I have on hand:

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I reckon I'll go with the Mustang Bass control plate. This is a 24.75" scale build so the bridge sits further away from the neck than on a standard Mustang. The Mustang Bass control plate also sits further away from the neck, and has a wider profile where it meets the pickguard, allowing for a more natural look with a pickguard that runs behind the bridge (like on a Jag/JM). Here's what I'm thinking:

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Melbourne School of Guitar Making has now officially closed, so I've taken everything home with me for the moment. One of the instructors is opening up a new place where students will be able to continue their projects in a few weeks' time, which suits me because that gives me a few weeks to work out some design details that I haven't finalised yet:
  • I've gotta finalise the pickguard shape and make a template for it
  • I've gotta work out my decal design and either get it printed by someone (any recommendations?) or order supplies to print it myself
  • I've gotta decide if I want body contours or not. I really like the slab look (and the convenience of finishing a slab body!) but I'm still not 100% sure it's worth the sacrifice to comfort. Gonna spend a bunch of time playing my existing slab and contoured guitars and make a call! Maybe I'll do the stomach contour but not the forearm contour.

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Re: First time build! Going to school to build a Mustang

Post by CROSS_guitars » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:46 pm

cool. that mockup looks great.
good work so far on your first build

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