Gibson '57 Futura Build

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:28 am

Thank you for the positive feedback. I continued to work on my drum sander while waiting for the MOP dots and other items to arrive. I had to realign the table and it's better now. One repair I will need to make in the near future is to replace a brass bushing that keeps the rollers in position.

Here's a photo of the bad bushing.

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And this is what it's supposed to look like.

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I know someone in Taiwan who is helping me get this type of bushing.
ForcedFire wrote:Sounds cool. I know what it's like ordering stuff from the US. I'm in Canada and it really kills you on customs and shipping for every little bit.

Have you thought of a finish yet?
That's a great question! At first, I was thinking of a natural finish with an amber tint. That's still a possibility. I tried some diluted amber stain from Stew-Mac and it looks okay, perhaps a little too yellow. My concern is how the wood would look in a stain.

This is what I came up with. The wood is not sanded as much as it would be when finishing the guitar for real. The wood at the upper right corner is not stained.

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I also started thinking about painting the body but having the neck natural. The paint color would be sort of a tan. I guess something like desert sand.

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:22 am

I received my two packages over the weekend, and I also got the parts for my drum sander. This morning I repaired the drum sander and started on the neck. The MOP dots have been installed and the fretboard levelled. I did start to fret the guitar, but that is not shown here.

Below are a few photos. You'll notice that the distance between the two dots and fingerboard edge at the 12th fret are not the same. That's because more of the fretboard needs to be removed on the treble side. I was also concerned that I might have a split at the nut end of the fingerboard. I filled what I thought might be a crack with CA glue. Looks good now.

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Another photo.

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This isn't my best dot installation. I was taking a great deal of care trying to drill the holes to the correct depth in one attempt only to find that several needed to be drilled deeper. Trying to line-up the drill bit so that it went into the hole without enlarging it was difficult.

I should be able to finish fretting the neck on Wednesday.

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:07 pm

The neck is now fretted and side dots have been installed. I still have more levelling to do on the frets, but it's getting close. The edges of the fingerboard are about where they need to be. For 22 fret guitars, I generally make the end of the fretboard around 2 3/16 inches wide. For 24 fret guitars, it's 2 1/4 inches wide. Width of the fretboard at the nut is about 1 11/16 inches.

Here are a few photos of today's work.

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And one more.

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The side dots are 3/32 inches round.

This is my first week back at work after a long summer vacation. I'm still getting used to my new hours. I won't be able to get back into my workshop until the weekend. More to follow.

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:13 pm

Added the headstock cap today. Below is a photo of all the clamps. Won't know how it turned out until Tuesday. Usually turns out well even if I'm a little disorganized when gluing.

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I had mentioned before that I thought about using bubinga for the headstock cap. I decided instead to use another kind of wood. Don't know what kind of wood it is. I've seen this kind of wood when finished, and it should be very dark.

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If anyone knows what kind of wood this is I'd appreciate knowing. Thanks, Perry
Last edited by Perry on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ForcedFire
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by ForcedFire » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:24 am

That's going to look awesome.

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:38 am

ForcedFire wrote:That's going to look awesome.
Thanks, ForcedFire. I hesitate a little to post photos of small steps in the building process because I don't want those interested to think big changes will happen quickly. However, there may be those who want to see the details.

I worked on the headstock today.

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I also started shaping the back of the neck. That's a slow process for me. More work to be done on Wednesday, hopefully.
Last edited by Perry on Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by jingle_jangle » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:12 am

Um...

Dipterocarpaceae?

(It's commonly called "Phillippine Mahogany", but is neither...) Very open-grained, light, soft, splintery.

Or maybe knot ;D ...Hard to tell 100% from a photo.

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:26 pm

jingle_jangle wrote:Um...

Dipterocarpaceae?

(It's commonly called "Phillippine Mahogany", but is neither...) Very open-grained, light, soft, splintery.

Or maybe knot ;D ...Hard to tell 100% from a photo.
Thanks for your suggestion. I can see why you say that. It hit me this morning that the wood might be wenge. It's very hard, which is one reason I wanted to use it here. I wanted to add strength to the two "forks" on the headstock.

The neck is coming along nicely. Today, I worked on the back of the headstock and shaping the neck. Here are a few photos. I changed the photo in my last post with a better one.

Back of the headstock showing the volute. Still more work to do, but it's getting there.

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The back of the neck.

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I won't be able to get to my workshop until the weekend, so nothing new until then. I do need to place an order with StewMac. I need to get the bridge and tailpiece before I can glue the neck to the body. I also need to get the tuners before I can glue the neck. Much better to drill the holes for the tuners before the neck goes on the body.

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:24 pm

I normally wouldn't glue the neck to the body without having the bridge, but I plan to use the same bridge I used on the RD build so I felt fairly confident. Still, I was unable to do the actual gluing today because I ran out of time. I hope to finish gluing the neck to the body on Wednesday.

This photo shows the work up to the point where I stopped today. I need to rework the front of the neck pocket a little--take off about 1/8 inch. I may set the neck deeper into the guitar body, but it's just about where I want it.

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This Monday I purchased the mighty dust collector shown below. It appears to be the same as what Grizzly sells. Rexon is the manufacturer.

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:37 pm

Glued the neck today. One of my concerns was that the wood I used for the body (American Cypress, I believe) would not be strong enough to securely hold the neck. Fortunately, the neck pocket is BIG. This is how big:

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Glued and clamped in place.

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Long shot.

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Will continue this build on the weekend at the earliest.

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ForcedFire
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by ForcedFire » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:42 am

It's looking great!

One question, how do you get the dust off the dust collector? :wacko:

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:40 pm

ForcedFire wrote:It's looking great!

One question, how do you get the dust off the dust collector? :wacko:
Thanks, ForcedFire. Yeah, you gotta watch those dust collectors! Just when you least expect it, they go and get dusty on ya.

Had the chance to work more on the guitar. This is what it looked like after I removed the clamps.

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I did make one small miscalculation when determining the length of the neck tenon. I had hoped to end the rout for the neck pickup right at the end of the neck tenon, but I was about 1/16 inch too short. This may not seem like much, but you'll see what happened shortly.

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Both pickup routes have been made, but if you look at the left wall of the neck pickup rout you will see what seems to be a slip. It's really not. What it is is the gap between the end of the neck and the rout for the neck itself. This is a better photo.

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This normally wouldn't be a problem. The mounting ring for the neck pickup will cover it IF I don't have the ring right up against the end of the fingerboard. However, that's what I like--to have the ring right against the fretboard. So I have some choices. The one I'm working on is to put an ebony cap on the end of the neck/fingerboard area. This will let me to cover the side of the rout that seems like there's a slip and have the mounting right against the fretboard. I need to make a mental note to be more careful next time.

Started working on the heel area of the neck. This is about what I have so far.

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I hope to have the ebony cap on the fretboard end this Tuesday.

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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by PoppaPopp » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:07 pm

nice build... that headstock veneer wood looks very much like wenge or panga-panga.
"...if you can't punkify a Mustang then something ain't right in the world!" (UlricvonCatalyst)

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charcoal burst
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by charcoal burst » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:57 am

Great build so far! There is so many skilled builders here :)

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Perry
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Re: Gibson '57 Futura Build

Post by Perry » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:06 am

PoppaPopp wrote:nice build... that headstock veneer wood looks very much like wenge or panga-panga.
charcoal burst wrote:Great build so far! There is so many skilled builders here :)
Thank you for your supportive comments.

I placed an order with Stewmac today. I'm getting a TOM and stopbar in nickel. It's essentially the same I used in the RD build, although not in chrome. I also ordered Grover plastic keystone tuners. These were more expensive than the Gotoh ones Stewmac sells, but I choose them because of their longer "stems"--the part the strings are wound on. I may have the order by Friday.

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