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'Building' a Danelectro 58 DC
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject: 'Building' a Danelectro 58 DC Reply with quote

I have long since wanted a Danelectro guitar and especially a DC. I just think they sound so cool. The Made In China reissues don't exactly tickle me though and being a lefty there aren't many old stock DCs to be had.
Oigun, my luthier buddy, told me to get a cheap righty from the interwebz that we'd rip the top off to make room for a lefty-fied top.
I'm an impatient SOB and in the last year every Dano I came across on the eBay either went for more than I was willing to spend or was a MiC.
Then I found this neck;

It's got the Coke bottle headstock that I like way more than the goofy new style heads.

Some nice D-stamped tuners!


I figured a Dano wouldn't be real hard to make, and since I won the auction for the neck, seller included some other nice Dano stuff too, why not give building one from (kinda half-way) scratch a go?
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oigun agreed a Dano wouldn't be hard to build, but he's busy with all sorts of other projects, so I'd have to do the body myself.
OK. Here goes;
Oigun was nice enough to copy one of his Danos to make a routing template for me, which helps a LOT!

There you have it. The GUN made template, a piece of 18mm plywood (birch! don't use the hardwood stuff Oi says, that'll get you in trouble when routing the second or third channel), a piece of 4mm MDF, which is basically the same as Masonite which is used on Danos. A bunch of clamps, box set of router bits, bottle of run-of-the-mill wood glue. All in all ?75/$100. I own a circular saw, a coping saw, a router, powerdrills, a B&D workbench or two, cleaned out the garage, let's get cracking!


Pencil traced the template on the 18mm plywood. You might have to lean in to see the lines, they're there for sure!

Rough cut the outlines with coping saw. I stayed away from the lines about a mm or two. Cut away as much as you can, remember to allow for room to manouvre the router base.[hr]
I need another skeleton cut to get to 36mm thickness

Drilled some holes to allow for easier turns with the coping saw.

Clean what you're working on regularly

Outlines are showing way better in this pic.

So that makes two. Now spread a nice bit of glue on one of the pieces, let that sit for a couple minutes.
And clamp the two together. Use every clamp you can get your hands on. Which in this case was 8 pieces.


Let that sit for at least 24 hrs.[hr]
While the glued skeleton was curing I cut the top and back from 4mm MDF. I forgot to mention that the reference guitar has a 44mm body, this is why I used 18mm plywood and 4mm MDF.

This was as far as I got before realising I am missing the specific router bit I need to copy the template onto the skeleton... No hardware store in the vicinity sells those so I'll have to go online and order one. Luckily my bud Oigun will lend me a bit for the time being. KUDOS!
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bit I needed

weighed the skeleton

comes in at about 1 kg



used double stick tape to secure the template to the skeleton, coz I'll be manouvring her about quite a bit I think

ALWAYS make sure your router bit isn't touching the wood whan you start the router... I got in a hurry...

damn thing nearly jumped out of my hands

took off the template, found I had used way too much of the double face stick tape

router won't go deep enough

so I had to flip the skeleton over and change bits, that did it though

I'm ready for my close up now Mr DeMille

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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glued the skeleton


Be sure to rub that out and let it sit for a couple minutes


Then clamp the thing, check the top don't slide off, use pieces of scrap wood to prevent the clamps from indenting the top and back

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Cali Girl
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool! A guitar you can mass produce in your garage.
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks CaliGirl, I'd need to get a lot better and a loooooooooot quicker if I were to mass produce anything.
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felixcatus
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the way you let us walk along. Keep up the good work. It?s pleasant to follow.
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ felixcatus; Might sound like I know what I'm doing. Mostly it's thinking out loud, remembering what Oigun Sensei told me.

I made a couple booboos along the way.
1) I neglected cleaning the glue spills when joining the two 18mm skeletons
2) I neglected to clean the glue spills when glueing the top and back on the skeleton

Made for a couple dozen runs that made routing the top/back to size along the skeleton... hmmm... an interesting experience.
Body came out looking like it had goose bumps if that makes sense.
Wound up having to 'dremel' sand those off.

3) Neglected to check router depth between runs when rounding of the edges. For some reason the router bit slipped inside the lock and routing depth ended up being a fraction of a mm deeper the second sweep. Made for a 'nice' snipe (I think you call it) that had to be sanded down. By hand. Don't wanna ruin the edge by using a sander.

OK, that's enough for confession time.
Here's some pics.

routed to size


goose bumps


dremel sanding bumps and glue runs off


rounded off


centre lined


weighed


the net I used will have added maybe 100 grams

comes out just under 2kg

Tomorrow I'm routing the neck pocket at Oigun's. I need the neck to create a tight fit. The tighter the better. Neck needed a bit of a touch up here and there.
So... updating tomorrow night.
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felixcatus
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It?s the effort and trying to make something yourself that?s ?good work?. Besides no matter what the product is, not many people get it right the first time.
I?m sure Oigun also learnt the craft from someone, remembering what he told him.
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Cali Girl
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't you just cover the sides with vinyl tape anyway? I don't think Danelectro "luthiers" cared if it was bumpy underneath!!!
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sides on those old Danos were covered with strips of vinyl 'wall paper'. And sure I'm gonna do so, but the bumps made for a freaky top... check the goose bumps pic. I'm sure you agree that wouldn't look right.
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I attended a Masterclass at Oigun Sensei's workshop. He showed me how to make a template for a neckpocket and we routed both that and the pickup cavity.

prepared a piece of MDF, drew a centerline to act as a guide
clamped the neck


double stick a piece of MDF on three sides of the neck, squeeze 'em in!


routed out the pocket template, made a tight fit!


took some doing to place the pup cavity in the template


routed everything


Next step is routing for control cavity and making a cavity plate.
Tomorrow?
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I failed to take a piccy with the neck in the body. That was a sight! Starting to look like a guitar now.

Build fever; it's just like Oigun said; Once you get it, you got it.
And I got it good.
When I told him I wanted to reshape the headstock on this cheapo neck to make another guitar with Oi gave me a maple neck to practice shaping on.



The rosewood is the cheapo from a Jack&Danny guitar, the maple is the GUN neck.
Way cool huh?
It's a baritone neck, fretslots and nut have been done, fingerboard has been profiled, now it's up to me to shape the back profile.
That'll be another thread, maybe.

Oigun is doing some work on the Dano neck for me. As if it weren't enough to 'lefty it up' a bit, he's gone ahead and done a complete 'leftification'!
This is from the Mosriteforum;
oigun wrote:
Just leftyfied the neck:
Drilled away the sidedots:

And made some rosewood "pills " with a little brass pipe.

Glued in the holes:

Almost invisible:

Voil? ready for a refinish:

(sorry my camera sucks!!)

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marcusnieman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool!
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JuniorEnthousiast
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks marcus.
Haven't gotten round to much in the last couple days. Routed the control cavity, well... opening. And cut a plate for it.

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