Twin (fraternal) Billy Bo Build

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by RobSzat, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. RobSzat

    RobSzat Electromatic

    15
    Feb 8, 2020
    Brigantine USA
    Over the last two years I’ve built a few kit guitars and a couple of high spec partcasters. Have fully caught the bug I’ve spent the last few months gathering the tool, material and hopefully knowledge to start building from scratch. Logical first project was obviously a pair of Billy Bos, right?

    I mentioned this to a buddy who immediately gave me a big ole slab of cherry, so I made some body blanks. 17550B73-38F5-4EC3-BD39-64A2B93E4BA4.jpeg

    I’m using a Potvin template as the starting point.
    The bodies are chambered a have a quilt/flame top and a mildly flamed cherry top.
    35A5D864-E27D-4D08-99D8-E0DE5523DCD4.jpeg B39EF2D6-8055-4EC6-9328-EF413813CE7D.jpeg

    Since the bodies are cherry, I figured the necks should be too. I spent a ton of time figuring out break angle and tried several jigs to get a tenon joint.

    68DE2ACC-FD0C-4449-A0BB-59CE878F7396.jpeg DF7A7E35-C5CF-4024-A4D2-012FE751D9EE.jpeg


    Both neck pockets are cut, and seem like they are going to work well. The cherry top one has been routed to shape and dry fit with the in shaped neck. The should get the maple top one to the same state any day.
    86208B55-73FE-4D80-851D-9946F5E4DF0B.jpeg FC32890B-6EDE-4788-8B50-7DAA68F3D24B.jpeg

    I’ll do my best to document the rest the best I can.
    Neck shaping , fretting, inlay, binding will all be firsts. The maple top will be an over the top triple filter’tron, triple bound, bigsby monstrosity and the other will be a very simple wrap-tail, single power’tron + JR style.

    Any feedback, advice, experience, wisdom is invited.

    Stay tuned, I guess?
     
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  2. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Great project! Will follow along with interest. Nice work so far.
     
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  3. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    62
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    A favorite guitar by many of us . Looks great and keep it coming .
     
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  4. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Electromatic

    73
    Aug 16, 2019
    Austin
    great project! My dad taught wood working, I still miss that good wood shop smell. What finish do you have in mind?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
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  5. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Nov 26, 2019
    Greybull, WY
    Looking good, will be following your progress.
     
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  6. RobSzat

    RobSzat Electromatic

    15
    Feb 8, 2020
    Brigantine USA
    Both will get nitro top coats. Plan is to stain/dye the maple top black and sand it back. How much depends on test pieces. Leave the cherry back and sides as they are, just seal and clear.

    The cherry top one, oxidize the back and sides black and leave the top clear.

    Maple top will be w/b/w bound and the cherry will be single white bound.

    Wish me luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
  7. Jardin

    Jardin Electromatic

    29
    Jan 8, 2021
    NM
    Awesome looking project.... I love Cherry & Maple!

    You probably know all this but in case it will help (since you asked): When I did my first stab at binding I found it very helpful to do some test passes on some scrap to work out the details and make sure everything fits proper. Do some small pieces with similar curves and do it as many as it takes to get it right. I tend to shoot for close to perfect depth but ever so slightly proud on both faces as I can then easily scrape it down to the body rather than trying to bring the body down to the binding. Less of an issue here with a more solid body but a time saver and really important on an acoustic or hollow body. I have also found that slightly relieving the inner, lower corner of the binding itself can help take that corner out of the equation when having small fit issues.

    One more thing is to make sure you understand how grain direction can play into routing for the binding as it can really help (lots of videos out there on youtube on that one). There are preferred directions to help with possible tear out issues. I guess I am assuming you will be using a router.

    Anyway....You got this!
    It looks like it will be a stunner and look forward to more!
     
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  8. RobSzat

    RobSzat Electromatic

    15
    Feb 8, 2020
    Brigantine USA
    Thanks!

    I'm definitely nervous about tear out in routing the binding. I have lots of scrap to test on, and leaving it slightly proud and scraping back was the plan. I've been very worried about getting the depth/width of the cuts right that i forgot to worry about the curves!! I have a pine test body that maybe ill use as a buck and try and pre bend the full sets on. Im planning on using acetone as the "glue" for both the w/b/w lamination and attaching to the wood, what do you think? Its the stewmac plastic binding.
     
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    55
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    I am already impressed. Please, keep posting.
     
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  10. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    73
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm watching this with interest, I love build threads.
     
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  11. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Age:
    50
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Cool,watching too!
     
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  12. RobSzat

    RobSzat Electromatic

    15
    Feb 8, 2020
    Brigantine USA
    Few steps forward, one step back.

    Builds were progressing nicely until my new, to me, spindle sander crapped out, luckily it’s still within the ebay return window, but a new one wind be here for a month. This slowed down my body/neck progress, but I got into some other operations.
    023107C4-88D2-4892-8824-8CCCC4C647DE.jpeg
    I got one neck profile rough cut and was sanding it and then the motor smell happened...

    3C121E77-D1E0-4B9F-823B-A79316F7F04D.jpeg
    So I built a fret slotting sled and slotted some boards. I used the stewmac table saw blade, once the l sled was built I think it took about 2 minutes per board to cut the slots.

    F93B7F9F-85BC-4DB0-873D-DF39C5DDE783.jpeg
    Next was a simple track for a radius block, easier jig to build, a little more time consuming of an operation.

    CCF7AC05-464E-45F1-9C19-F6D9945FD93D.jpeg
    Last was a fret bending jig, this still needs some tuning, but, I think it’s going to work, for about $4 in parts, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

    I have a spare board in there now that I’m planning on also practicing fretting, inlay and binding on before I try the “real ones”.

    I’m considering the Gibson style nibs on one of the necks, I know it’ll be a pain in the ass, but is it sacrilege on a Gretsch style guitar...?
     
  13. Jeff67

    Jeff67 Country Gent

    Age:
    54
    Nov 3, 2019
    Crockett, Texas
    Watching with interest! Good luck, and keep those pics coming!:)
     
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  14. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    62
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Very nice
     
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  15. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    Can't wait to see how she turns out Rob
     
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  16. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

    Good stuff!
     
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  17. RobSzat

    RobSzat Electromatic

    15
    Feb 8, 2020
    Brigantine USA
    Update!

    So there’s been lots of movement, but still waiting on a sander to finish up and bind the bodies. Tons of progress on the necks tho. One is shaped, bound, frets leveled and the other is bound but still not shaped, again, sander delay.
    70AC6489-2E81-4FB3-956B-80A73F32AB6B.jpeg 70AC6489-2E81-4FB3-956B-80A73F32AB6B.jpeg 87C4C0C0-6C66-4CF2-BEFC-F2A341502D47.jpeg EEAC816B-9A00-4407-8F62-F4FF5D0C7CC1.jpeg 17BED19D-E73A-4D55-934C-87DAE2E5C700.jpeg 4AD686A5-9F73-4107-95A1-6A04EB68B21E.jpeg 928A8FDE-2B81-4770-A30F-0002219FD1BF.jpeg

    Both necks have a great fit even before final tuning. Looking like some light at the end of the tunnel. One nice and simple, one, not so much.
    132E8990-D398-4170-AFDF-E40865EFE5E5.jpeg 76CF011F-E7BD-4200-92D5-83C5548F7668.jpeg

    Getting excited, the maple top is popping
    CFAE8506-487B-42FD-9098-C3A045CA926F.jpeg

    It’s all coming together! Thanks for the encouragement.
     
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  18. RobSzat

    RobSzat Electromatic

    15
    Feb 8, 2020
    Brigantine USA
    We have finish!

    9499F067-E636-41A1-9448-EE4029A821C7.jpeg

    Well, it got nice and warm without being humid, so everyone is glued up, bound, dyed and finished. Both still need final fret crowning and dressing, finger boards need finishing, need to make some nuts, then it’s just wait a few weeks to polish and final assemble.

    I can’t get over how great the natural cherry looks on both guitars. The maple on the black top isn’t popping in this light, but once it’s polished it should look great.
    29FFEDD4-8C8C-4EFE-B227-01CD855D8613.jpeg B8A82C34-D54B-4536-B1D6-AD1DED133BDC.jpeg 330C7A6F-8EDC-4EBB-B713-4D54D242CB7F.jpeg 141C0566-67DF-41F6-8CD9-DAB1F724E13F.jpeg A4190125-8C71-4966-A820-8CBA0C719260.jpeg

    Home stretch!
     
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  19. SpaceCowboy

    SpaceCowboy Electromatic

    73
    Aug 16, 2019
    Austin
    the black top! that's gonna look amazing.
     
    RobSzat likes this.
  20. Archtops

    Archtops Synchromatic

    676
    Mar 4, 2021
    SoCal
    Excellent job! Thank you for showing us.
     
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