Rejuvenated B16 Thinline project: The Entomopter

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Sid Nitzerglobin, Aug 31, 2019.

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  1. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Had a good day working on this guitar today.

    I started off tearing it all down, pulling the tape off, sanding the tape areas w/ a 400 grit pad, and cleaning the body w/ naptha. It dried too fast to get a decent shot of the full effect but the colors showed up nicely I think:
    [​IMG]
    I installed the new mainshaft in the B16, swapped to a brushed finish Electrosocket that I neglected to get any pics of, put the rest of the hardware back on the body and put on black bling rings under the new satin chrome knobs & rotary lever:
    [​IMG]
    I wound up needing to ream the shelf out of the post holes for the Da Vinci tuners & had to tweak a couple of my initial pin holes but install of them went pretty quickly & smoothly:
    [​IMG]
    I put the neck back on w/ the new brushed stainless neck plate & screws & swapped to a low profile stainless 50s button style string tree:
    [​IMG]
    & restrung it w/ NYXL .010-.046:
    [​IMG]

    The tuners seem to feel & work great, restringing was as quick & frustration free as a wraparound bridge w/ non-locking tuners, & I'm liking the aesthetic tweaks.

    Getting all the tape off, the plastic off the guard, & w/ a bit of an idea of the color when it's finished the consensus at the shop was leaning more towards a semi-gloss finish for the body. Talking over a somewhat precise plan w/ my luthier friend I think I am going to do another fairly good pass w/ 400 grit, a couple coats of sanding sealer, undyed AquaCoat, a couple more coats of sanding sealer & a sanding to 600 grit, a coat or two of StewMac satin clear, a light coat or two of Aged Clear & 2-3 coats more satin, flat sanding to 800 grit, another 3 coats of satin clear, & hand it over to him for some time on his pedestal buffer for the glossing.

    I'm going to try to get started on the ebony bits tomorrow if it's not too busy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
    Waxhead, GOOBALL JEFF, Merc and 3 others like this.
  2. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I got an idea that I need a split pickguard for the low side of the upper bout on this one over the past couple of days. I'm thinking I'd do a 3 way rotary for series/series strangle/parallel on the upper guard and a 3 way toggle in the neckmost spot of the lower guard. I'm not sure it's quite there yet, but here's a mockup I came up w/ this afternoon:
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Just finished the candidate for wiring revision #4 for this guitar moving the pickup selection to a toggle & parallel/series/series strangle on a 3 way rotary (assuming I decide to go ahead w/ the upper guard)...

    I wasn't having much luck finding examples for the switching I'm trying to accomplish on the rotary so I started from scratch. I kept going back & forth about how I wanted to use the poles & finally decided this seemed like the smoothest way to do what I was shooting for while providing ground everywhere I needed it & keeping the strangle cap out of the mix when it's unwanted.
    [​IMG]
    Anyone see anything I screwed up?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    Waxhead and GOOBALL JEFF like this.
  4. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I grabbed a new shot of the actual guitar for mockup purposes last night and spent some time tweaking the upper guard shape. At this point I think it's a go...
    [​IMG]
    Hopefully I'll have the motivation, energy, & bandwidth to work on the guard and/or the ebony bits this weekend.
     
    Waxhead, GOOBALL JEFF, Merc and 2 others like this.
  5. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I got the upper guard section cut & did a first pass of sanding on it today:
    [​IMG]

    Also got a pic from Dave of my dBridges :) Ebano, aluminium, & ebony, left to right:
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I spent some time over the past couple days on reworking my decal design into silver & black layers & some general cleanup & tweaking so I can get an order in to Rothko & Frost for a half sheet of them:
    [​IMG]
    I'm guessing it's probably ~85% there...

    After looking at my pics over the weekend I decided I wanted the upper guard forward towards the headstock a bit more (of course after I already drilled for the previous location :oops::rolleyes:). After I decided on the actual spot it needed to be and traced it out on the top tonight, I tore it all down, grabbed tracings of the B16 bridge cutout for my ebony base for my bridge base scheme & the TK Smith shim & neck pocket for the ebony shim when I get to it. My luthier friend was kind enough to volunteer to cut the new upper bout hole w/ a template & plunge router (& his vastly superior router-fu) rather than proceed w/ my plan to hole saw into the top:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    All systems appear to be go for some unnecessary hole filling, sanding, & finishing of the body & neck & maybe some wiring over the course of my impending 5 day weekend, I just hope the humidity is low-ish...

    Oh, the dBridges left the Royal Mail system this morning too and are in the USPS tracking domain now. Hopefully I get lucky w/ the customs roulette & they won't spend too awfully long sitting in a warehouse waiting for a rubber stamp :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
    Merc and calebaaron666 like this.
  7. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Spent some time at the shop today filling the extra holes in the body & headstock followed by fair bit of general sanding & a adding a bit more rollover to the forearm & ribcage edges of the body & mellowing the peak of the V on the neck w/ a 320 grit pad, then a good cleaning w/ naptha & masked off the fretboard.

    I managed to get 3 coats of sanding sealer on them tonight after I got home and snapped a couple pics of the body after it was dry to the touch:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    There's a really nice amount of dimension to it in person so far. I'm planning to grain fill it tomorrow then hit it w/ a couple more coats of sanding sealer. I'm considering a light pass of some light mahogany toner I snagged from StewMac a while back in addition to a bit of aged clear before starting on the clear but I'm still a bit on the fence...
     
    Waxhead, GOOBALL JEFF, Merc and 2 others like this.
  8. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I sanded & cleaned the body then applied 2 passes of AquaCoat at the shop today. Sanded a good bit & cleaned it & put another 3 coats of sanding sealer on it over the course of the night after I got home. I took some pics that aren't much better than the last ones but here they are anyway ;)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I'm planning on a good sanding tomorrow, a light pass or 2 w/ the light mahogany toner, a couple coats of satin clear, & a couple light passes w/ the aged clear tomorrow; a few more coats of satin clear on Monday; a sanding & the last couple of coats of satin clear on Tuesday; & then giving it to my luthier friend for the semi-gloss buff job.

    I took a couple of pics of the neck tonight too:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So far it's had 3 coats of sanding sealer, a good sanding, a couple moderate passes of aged clear, & 3 coats of Stringed instrument Lacquer. I'm going to sand it tomorrow & hit it w/ a couple or few more more coats of clear & it should be done after a bit of sanding & hand buffing, at least until I have my decal in hand.
     
  9. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Got some color & a few coats of clear on the body today:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It's reading a bit darker in person than the pics, but I think I'm liking it.
     
    Waxhead, GOOBALL JEFF and Merc like this.
  10. ramjac

    ramjac Gretschie

    410
    Aug 14, 2011
    Wisconsin
    Only 17 more layers to go? I thought the first coat looked good, but somehow it keeps getting better. Wish I had the patience to do that kind of detail work.
     
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  11. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    LOL, thanks!

    I think I'm ~2/3 done w/ the body at this point, probably 3 coats of clear tomorrow then a good flat sanding & a few more coats on Tuesday & it should be ready for buffing when it's had a few days to cure a bit. I think the neck's got all the finish on it at this point & might be ready for me to do the final sanding/hand buff on Tuesday, it's actually looking & feeling pretty good to me tonight as it is maybe just a bit more glossy than I'd prefer :)
     
    Dave-B and Merc like this.
  12. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    I’ve got to say I really like the idea how you split to the upper guard. It fits the design very well. The color’s looking super sweet too.
     
    Dave-B and Sid Nitzerglobin like this.
  13. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks alot!

    Once I had all the tape & plastic off & the Chet arm on it just felt like it needed something up there to me. I think the switching scheme should be a good more usable for me too.

    The natural color was cool to me but I don't think I'll end up regretting taking it more full redhead vs. the strawberry blonde it looked like it was shaping up to be ;):D
     
    Merc likes this.
  14. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I made my base for the bridge base tonight & test fit the dBridges:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I was pretty darn pleased w/ how smooth the base turned out just using the belt sander, very uniformly black as well. I discovered some tilt in the posts of the base in the process & wound up burnishing the post holes ~ 1/32" to fit them (to be clear, the post holes were machined spot on the measurements I sent Dave ;) ). Once I get the general height I need I'll be chopping the posts a bit & figure I'll grind the threads of the top 13mm or so of the remains down a smidge as well so they don't want to bind up the bridge which they seem to want to do even w/ the stock bridge.

    I also sanded the neck w/ 600 & 800 grit pads followed by a good bit of rubbing w/ a white scotchbrite pad & some polishing w/ Legends & remounted the tuners & string button:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I wound up getting down through to the color on a few of the headstock edges which I figure I will touch up when I put the decal on. I'm super happy w/ the feel of the neck proper though & excited to get some strings back on it.

    My luthier friend took the body w/ him tonight to buff it so hopefully I should have it playing again tomorrow evening :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  15. GOOBALL JEFF

    GOOBALL JEFF Electromatic

    61
    Oct 1, 2019
    london
    sweet! right up my alley that is.
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  16. GOOBALL JEFF

    GOOBALL JEFF Electromatic

    61
    Oct 1, 2019
    london
    damn it! i really have to build another tele now, my girlfriend ain't going to be happy....
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  17. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I got the body back from my luthier friend when he got in to the shop this afternoon and got everything rewired per the most recent diagram & reassembled. I had way too much bridge & post height w/ the aluminium base floating on the ebony so about 3/64" got sanded down between them, intonation & nut/pole piece alignment dialed in & the whole system was converted to a pinned bridge base sandwich w/ the ebony drilled & counter sunk for the post bolts clamped down by the captive nut in the aluminium base. This had the additional benefit of making the posts stand much more square since the bolt countersinks in the bottom of the aluminium base were both fairly caddywumpus.

    Some pics of the reassembled product:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I've yet to give it a true workout but it seems very happy w/ the 12th fret relief at 6/64" & action height at 4/64" so far & intonation is great. With the ebano bridge it's got a really nicely detailed, sparkly, & almost baritone-like character to it on the neck pickup, a great & fairly rocking tele on the middle, & a pretty darn nice spanky character on the bridge pickup, I'm excited to plug it into some of my usual stuff tomorrow and get a better idea what I've got :D

    Still left to complete are the ebony plate for the string ferrule holes & shim for the neck pickup; chopping the posts flush w/ the top of the bridge; troubleshooting the rotary switch wiring so I've got signal to the pickup selector in the bridge pickup position w/ series & series w/ cap positions on the rotary; getting a matching black bling ring for the rotary switch & maybe aging the tuner buttons, rotary lever, neck pickup ring & switch tip; & finishing up the decal design, ordering it, & applying it along w/ a bit of color touch up on the neck.
     
  18. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Great job Sid - looks much better than a Fender Tele Thinline to me :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
    Sid Nitzerglobin and Merc like this.
  19. ramjac

    ramjac Gretschie

    410
    Aug 14, 2011
    Wisconsin
    How’s it sound with the rotary in the series w/cap position?

    Wiring it to get signal from the bridge pickup to the selector when the rotary is in a series configuration might get a bit complicated - the trick is to be able to do it with one switch in the middle of a song. I have the same issue with my Jet, and I decided to just live with the fact that series requires two pickups. I use the series push pull for a mute in the bridge position. And I couldn’t think of any songs where I need to switch between middle and bridge.
     
  20. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I think the value & position in the circuit is working pretty well w/ this setup. It kind of sits as a middle ground between parallel & series (although probably closer to parallel in all around thinness but w/ different frequency rolloff/bump points) in a very useful way. It retains more of the piano/bari type character of the neck pickup than parallel to my ears & winds up w/ a cool frequency for the transient of the attack to my ears.

    On the bridge pup, I think I'm sort of just going to live w/ it as is. I'd prefer if parallel was in the middle position of the rotary knowing what I know now, but that's really more of an aesthetic thing than a functional one.

    Overall I'm pretty darn pleased w/ the sounds it's producing, especially the neck pickup. It seems like all the jazzy/classy/surfy/pasketti Tele that I was hoping for & then some & still sounds pretty darn good for more aggressive sounds w/ the right amp/pedals. This is all w/ the ebano bridge so far, I've yet to swap over to the ebony or aluminium ones yet as I've been liking the sonic characteristics so much as is. I'm thinking the aluminium one should wind up better optimized for rockin' stuff & the ebony will go further down the jazz avenue.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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