Trent Guitars - From the Workshop

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  • punchesjudypunchesjudy Frets: 640
    @sev112 I've already paid though! :D 
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 735
    TTony said:
    Now, this is what I call lucky ...



    .... look at that ... the fret slots are just the right depth for the fret tangs!
    :D


    Great precision work Elliot.

    And thanks for taking the time to share the photos here.  Looking good.
    Hah! Thank you Tony, that's what the black CA was purchased for - I do leave a fraction of a .mm under the fret so I get no seating issues
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 735
    So today I actually took a break from the necks, my brother has a big cabinet job on and I'd rather not upset him by making loads of chips on the router table, so I'll do that over the weekend.

    What I did do was polish up a couple of the bodies and begin to get them assembled, this is the real exciting part now!

    First it's flatting off the gloss ready for polishing, we need a totally flat finish and I have to be so careful to not go through the clear. After having done this a few times now I'm used to the amount of pressure I can apply and whether I can use machine or hand sanding on certain parts. 



    Then its buffing with my DA polishing machine



    I managed to get the pink and one yellow one buffed and taken home to the setup bench to have the cavities shielded and the necks sanded to final fit with a block.



    These will be ready to go out mid-late next week, cant wait to get them in peoples hands, so happy with how they are coming out.

    Oh and for a bonus, he's a gander at the gloss


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  • bengabenga Frets: 18
    Beautiful work. 
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  • UnclePsychosisUnclePsychosis Frets: 9490
    That pink.
    That yellow. 


    ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooofffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt. 
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 1302
    2 best colours and they look great 
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  • grungebobgrungebob Frets: 2282
    These are looking great. 
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 735
    edited July 9
    Thank you guys!

    First order of the day was to move my router downstairs, now I'm making guitars more often I'm getting in the way of the spray room upstairs!



    First job on the necks was to mark out the side dots, drill and install them





    Once i'd flushed up the dots to the side of the board with a sanding block and chisels it was time to think about doing the carves.

    So from the very beginning I knew I had to find a way to be able to carve necks in exactly (or as close to) the same way each time I made them. I knew that carving them with a rasp and spoke shave every time would not only be too time consuming to make them affordable, but it would also lead to sometimes noticable inconsistencies in the neck carve. What I settled on were these enormous router bits that are shaped in a few neck carves, I ordered the Fender Modern C style as I find its by far the most universal. 

    Where the craft/clever bit comes into this is how you add the taper to the neck carve, after a load of experimenting I came up with a simple shim that is double sided taped to the heel of the neck that then adds the taper in to it. I've found this method I've come up with to be very repeatable and consistent - I can have a batch of necks come within 0.2mm thickness of eachother, which is definitely close enough given the sanding tolerances you have when it comes to shaping them. I try to get my necks within 0.25mm of my goal of 20.5mm at the first and 23.5mm at the 12th and with this method I can acheive that kind of consistency.

    But it isnt a magic bullet, I still have to entirely hand shape the transitions and fair in the curves, I use a mixture of gouges, chisels, rasps and sandpaper







    Here you can see the taper:






    I then use a simple surfacing jig with my router to thickness the headstock



    And then its back to the gouges, chisels, rasps and sandpaper to complete the transition






    And we have a neck thats nearly ready for lacquer and then final level/dress/polish




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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 21050
    I hadn't realised before that you're using captive nuts & bolts for the neck join.

    So much nicer than the old screws
    :+1:




    Having trouble posting images here?  This might help.
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 735
    TTony said:
    I hadn't realised before that you're using captive nuts & bolts for the neck join.

    So much nicer than the old screws
    :+1:




    Only way to do it!
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 1302
    Wish I could put multiple wows to cover each pic 
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  • SchmoSchmo Frets: 83
    What incredible work you do, love this thread and thanks for sharing the process
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 735
    Schmo said:
    What incredible work you do, love this thread and thanks for sharing the process
    That's very kind of you to say, happy to share.
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 735
    Happy Monday everyone!

    Today was all about getting the necks ready for finish, so the first task was to finalise the last neck carve (I did 3 over the weekend) and then start to think about doing the fret level, crown and polish



    First step was to get the boards masked up, I used to use double layered standard masking tape but now I use a single layer of green frogtape. It's certainly more expensive but it's far quicker using the frog tape, I also find it leaves less residue than the standard tape I typically use (the bog standard 3M/scotch brand).



    I had the lot done in about 15 minutes, the 38mm tape works best for this as the halves/offcuts end up being perfect for the smaller frets.

    First step was to use the angled file jig to put an ever so slight bevel onto the edge of the frets. I find sometimes people put too big a bevel on and eat into the playing surface.



    Then it's a case of marking up all the frets with sharpie ready for the first pass on the levelling beam



    After letting them dry for 10 minutes so they dont just whipe off I take the notched straight edge and tweak the truss rod to have the board nice and flat.



    Then it's a case of running the levelling beam over the frets, I use 400 grit 3M adhesive paper from StewMac. You essentialyl use very light pressure and go until you can't see any more sharpie. What was excellent about this batch of necks is they actually needed very little levelling - which is a great cos it means they've seated well in the installation process earlier on! Once they are level, I do a few extra passes on the highest frets to add a little fall off onto the frets to ensure a buzz free experience even with a flatter setup neck. 



    Then it's just a case of running the fret rocker over the whole board ensure everything is how it should be.



    Now we have the frets nice and level, it's time to put the crown back onto them. For this job I haven't found a nicer to use file than StewMac's Z files, look up online how they work - its great! It's a process now of putting sharpie on the board again and crowning the frets until I see a very thin line left of sharpie





    I then gently round the ends - not too much! 



    And then its time to bring it back up to polish. First I use 240 grit paper loosely round my finger, then 400, then 800 and finally 1200 grit. Then I work through the fret rubbers and then finish up with the Dremel



    I then remove the masking tape and then add the final touch to the fret job, I go through and use the razor to scrape and round the fretboard edges to a soft and comfortable finish.



    After a final check with the fret rocker to ensure I havnet made any mistakes, its job done!

    Final task tomorrow is to get the necks finish sanded and then into lacquer.


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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 21050
    Great to see the close-up pics of the detailed process.

    Looking good.  Very good.
    :+1:
    Having trouble posting images here?  This might help.
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 735
    Getting really rather close now, 

    Order of today was to get lacquer on the necks, started up by drop filling the tiny gap at the bottom of the frets with black superglue, its so small it disappears after this step. I then finish sanded the lot and masked the fretboards ready for lacquering


    So as i've mentioned more than a few times, I use a fully water based system, so to get the colour I'd like on the necks I use the water based concentrate dyes/stains from Crimson. The main reason I use concentrate over the pre bottled stuff I because I want to add as little water to my lacquer as possible as it's already the right consistency for spraying. To get the amber I like I use 3 drops per 100ml of lacuqer



    It results in this quite horrible looking colour, but once it's sprayed its perfect as you'll see. First step is to spray all 4 necks with 2 coats of tinted lacquer. Regardless of it being a painted headstock or clear (I have two of each in this batch) I coat the headstock with two coats. Essentially with the coloured headstocks it acts as a primer/sealer meaning I don't need to use a white primer like I do on the bodies to have the colour coats be nice and flat.





    After two coats of tinted lacquer, I go ahead and apply the headstock decal and the serial number to the back. I flat off the lacquer with 800 grit before applying them



    I then switch the gun back over to my satin clear, and shoot 2 coats over the lot, it's then time to go home and get ready for fitment to the body, I apply a coat of lemon oil and you can see how excellent the pau ferro looks on this board!


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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 21050
    These seem to be coming together really quickly!
    Having trouble posting images here?  This might help.
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  • TeacherphilTeacherphil Frets: 113
    This is the first thread I check every evening.
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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 1777
    This is the first thread I check every evening.
    Same here, this is also the first build thread where I have actively considered selling a guitar I love to fund one.
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  • TrentGuitarsTrentGuitars Frets: 735
    What a great day! Very busy...

    I began this morning by heading into the workshop to make up some pickguards, first step was to rough cut them from the template, I used a thick marker to give me some allowance.



    I then drill a couple holes to access the pickup cutout and then double sided tape my template onto the back - which is made from 10mm perspex (I had a job a couple of years ago that required some so I have tonnes of it laying about!). I then route out to shape



    Next up the chamfer bit goes on and we put the bevel onto the pickguard. It's referencing the template here, so its essential to not remove the template before adding the chamfer.



    I clean these bevels up with a razor in the finishing process, but first I drill all the holes from the template.



    I then take it to the drill press and do a tiny countersink on the back side of the pickguards, this means I dont have any burrs holding up the fitment between the pickguard and the body. It's the little touches like this that give you that great result in the end. After that I then add the deeper countersinks to the face and we're done



    Now it's time to head home and begin assembling the pink one. First step is to get the switch prepared, I actually use Hosco switches now as I ended up finding them actually to be much more robust than the Switchcraft. I being by soldering on the output lead, I heat shrink it to protect it from its neighbouring pickup wires. 



    The pickup wires are then prepared (braid cut back) and soldered on, with heat shrink to insulate them from the connections next to them once more. I also then solder a bare wire from the earth and wrap it around the braided ground, I picked up this tip from @sixstringsupplies - very tidy!




    Next step is to wire all this up to the main control plate I soldered last weekend.



    I then add all the grounds, and connect the jack up



    Then it's time to add the nut, I use Tusq XL flat bottom nuts. The first step is to get them down to where they need to be with nut files



    I then remove the waste from the top of the nut with files, and then smooth it out with up to 400 grit sand paper to give it a nice clean looking finish 



    Now marked the final setup, first beginning with setting relief in the truss rod. I set this to around 0.20mm and then roughly set where I'd like the action. I then intonated the guitar and lightly tweaked the action. 

    So this pink one is pretty much done! I have a few bits to finalise on it but for all intents and purposes it's complete! 

    I'm thrilled with how it came out, the fit and overall feel is wonderful. It's resonant and a joy to play - I cant wait til @punchesjudy has it!


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