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  #196  
Old 01-12-2019, 09:33 AM
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Erithon Erithon is offline
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Shhhhh. I'm not as fast at posting pictures as my better half is.
Don't beat yourself up over it, Tim. Mary is a force of nature: no one could hope to compete with her efficiency
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  #197  
Old 01-12-2019, 10:09 AM
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Sorry I didn't show that step Fred. We use a couple wooden cauls, with one resting on the heel parallel to the neck and the other is vertical, 90* to the neck. Then the bottom foot of the press can rest on these two cauls to press frets up to the body joint. Then we change to a flat bottom wooden caul, on the bottom of the press, to reach inside the sound hole, to press frets into the FB extension.

Its a technique that I learned from a set up class I took from Dave Collins and Hesh Breakstone of Ann Arbor Guitars (HIGHLY recommended BTW). I bought the brass caul set from them, while I was at the class. The brass cauls were made by Andy Birko, I think?

Dave and Hesh teach a technique which they call "Differential Relief". They claim they are able to set up guitars with equal or better accuracy than a Plek Machine. Its a tall claim but now that I've learned the method I totally agree. I am able to set up my necks with super low (but playable) action than ever before. I've had some Plek'd guitars pass through the shop and I much prefer Differential Relief now. It's a LOT of work, to get it right, but well worth it IMO. I've done it on our last dozen or so guitars and it will be our standard going forward.
That makes perfect sense with the wooden cauls, wonder why I never thought of it (oh yeah, perfect sense).
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  #198  
Old 01-12-2019, 10:30 AM
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Don't beat yourself up over it, Tim. Mary is a force of nature: no one could hope to compete with her efficiency
Thanks and yes, I agree. Plus she knows all about Facebook stuff and I don't even know how to log into it.



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That makes perfect sense with the wooden cauls, wonder why I never thought of it (oh yeah, perfect sense).
Glad you got the drift Fred. Its kind of hard to put into words.
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  #199  
Old 01-12-2019, 10:46 AM
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Its a spa day manicure with my fingernail sanding machine ... well not really.
I am actually shaping the bone nut ... but as a side benefit the belt sander also does a most excellent job of sanding fingernails, albeit in the most unexpected times ;(










The new nut is a near perfect fit:











Compensating the saddle:










Hand reaming the bridge pin holes:















Reaming the tuner holes:










For the Gotoh 510 open back tuners:











Installing tuner bushings:










With a really high tech bushing press I made 25 years ago from an old broom handle, threaded rod and a wing nut. My dad always said that "Necessity is the mother of invention"
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  #200  
Old 01-12-2019, 11:57 AM
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I LOVE THAT BUSHING PRESS!!
Very clever Tim.
I'm going to make one of those today.


It's so much safer than what I've been doing.
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  #201  
Old 01-12-2019, 03:01 PM
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What John said ... love the bushing press too!
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  #202  
Old 01-12-2019, 03:24 PM
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Very cool to see the sharing and inspiration amongst the builders in this thread.

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  #203  
Old 01-12-2019, 06:21 PM
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BTW, It’s 1/4-20 threaded rod which fits through the ID of the bushing perfectly. Prior to using my press I used to whack them in with a hammer. Is so much easier to control the orientation of the bushing flats and seating depth with this little press. I have a cork pad the the face of the bottom dowell to protect the finish. The top dowell has a slight angle or taper on the face that presses against the bushing. It provides a bit more viewing area so you can watch the bushing as it’s pressed in place.
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  #204  
Old 01-13-2019, 08:13 AM
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Nipping the fret ends:









Filing the fret ends flush with the bindings then filing a bevel on the fret ends:










After the fret ends were dressed I mark the top of each fret with a Sharpie:
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Last edited by Tim McKnight; 01-13-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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  #205  
Old 01-13-2019, 08:23 AM
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Lookin' schweeet! Real excitement is building for someone!
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  #206  
Old 01-13-2019, 08:49 AM
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Lookin' schweeet! Real excitement is building for someone!
Thanks Dennis. This thing taps like a cannon and I'm pretty sure he's going to be happy with it.
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  #207  
Old 01-13-2019, 08:59 AM
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Drilling tuner holes:



















Neck block label gets glued in to cover the neck bolts:









Marking the graduated string spacing lay out on the nut:










Sawing the guide slots in the nut:










A relaxing spot of tea ... adds a vintage stain to the pins, saddle and nut:





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  #208  
Old 01-13-2019, 10:01 AM
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Tell us more about the differential relief you sand into the fingerboard.
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  #209  
Old 01-13-2019, 10:36 AM
GaultierRedon14 GaultierRedon14 is offline
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Originally Posted by j. Kinnaird View Post
Tell us more about the differential relief you sand into the fingerboard.
Yes, please.
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  #210  
Old 01-13-2019, 11:06 AM
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Tell us more about the differential relief you sand into the fingerboard.
Hi John and GR14,

Differential Relief is a term that was coined by David Collins of Ann Arbor guitars. He teaches a method of sanding a gradual and transitional relief into the fret board wood. In simplest terms it goes from perfectly flat on the treble side and then transitions to a concave center relief on the bass side. Its one of those mojo techniques that is difficult to put into words and is best taught to a person one on one. He occasionally holds a two day class in his shop in Ann Arbor which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone wanting to improve their set up skills.

Prior to taking their class I was able to set my actions, to what I considered, pretty low but after the class I can set the action significantly lower without buzzing. I had never been able to achieve this low of action before, without fret buzz, which continues to amaze me. I am not bragging on me but rather tooting David's horn and the set up skills he teaches.

The first guitar I built, after taking the class, our customer spec'd medium gauge strings on the guitar with comfortable medium - low playing action. I delivered the guitar with mediums on it and he asked if I forgot to put mediums on it? He thought the strings were light gauge and commented that the guitar played better than any guitar he had ever played, and this gentleman is a guitar teacher and has played a LOT of guitars. All the guitars we have built since we continue to get similar positive feedback.

One of the pictures above shows me putting red marks on the crown of the frets. When I put the (400 grit) sanding beam on top of the frets, I barely move it back and forth a couple of VERY LIGHT strokes then lift it and inspect the top of each fret. What I usually see is some very light faint scratches in the red ink. Its rare now to see any ink totally removed or even a slightly flattened fret that requires re-crowning. This final step confirms the wood is where its supposed to be and that each fret is seated to the same and consistent depth.

This is a method that one cannot achieve perfection if you fret the board before gluing it to the body. Its difficult to explain why not unless you see the technique actually being done in person. It requires the neck to be attached to the body and then you have to systematically load, unload and / or support the neck while sanding different planes of the FB.

The first FB I did this too, while in class, took me MANY hours of sanding. Maybe ~6 hours of sanding and checking and chalking and sanding and checking and chalking ... It doesn't take me that long now that I have more experience but that first one was brutal to get the technique and method right. I only wish I would have done this 25 years ago.
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