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Project: Bobcat 3

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Day one:
Click pictures to enlarge
Clamping the mahogany. I went for a center
block wide enough to mount the tailpiece
bushings in. Seems like the way to go.
Clamping the wings  for the cap. What an
incredible pain in the ass. I kept telling
myself  "John Fisher could do this with a
can opener and sone dental floss". Didn't
make me feel much better.
The wood. Nice 2" mahogany
I got at
Macbeath in S. F.,
flamy maple I found at
Discount Builders Supply for
cheap.Split it on my table saw.
Seems to have stuck. I used screws
around the perimeter as the cap wasn't
perfectly flat and I didn't want to remove any
more wood to flatten it. I think it'll be fine
Clamping the cap.
Cap planed, ready to cut. It's always
cool when you can start to see the
Day two:
Sanding the edges preparatory to cutting
the binding channel.
...cuts like buttah!
The rickety $15 bandsaw of
My crude overarm pin routing setup. I
clamped the router in my Workmate. It was
kind of scary, but I think I can work with the
Setting up for making the dishtop. I got this
method from Mr. Fisher. I'll cut concentric
rings at increasing heights and then
smooth it out with a chisel and disk sander.
Not too many scorchmarks, and pretty
damn uniform if I do say so myself.
Cut the first ring, which was scary, as the
maple's only about 3/8" thick and I had to
get uncomfortably close to the mahogany in
order to ultimately give me enough of a
slope. Luckily, no disasters. Yet.
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So, I've already got two solidbodies with the same basic body shape (my friend Daryl Henline dubbed
it "
The Bobcat". I can live with that), so why build another one? Well, the yellow one was an
improved version of one that I built in
Detroit in '96. I was shooting for an SG/Melody Maker feel
with a Fender-scale neck and I think I pretty much nailed it. It's my workhorse and has remained
stable for a couple of years now. Then I saw an article by a guy named
John Fisher about a dishtop he
built and I had to give it a shot (the guy's amazing; missionary in South America, built this
Les Paul copy, among other things, with, like, a Swiss Army Knife and a pair of pliers.
Plus he documents everything meticulously on his website. Thanks for the tips, John.).I went with a
thin basswood body and a maple neck, partly because I didn't feel like  doing a direct Les Paul
clone, and because it seemed like a good combination. I had two P-90s in it at first, but couldn't
handle the hum, and put a minibucker in the bridge position. I also used a Gibson scale length. It's
great for clean and slightly dirty tones, but gets kind of shrill with lots of distortion. So I
figured I'd do a third one that's closer to a Les Paul, but with the Fender scale lenghth, which
works better for me, feel and tonewise. We'll see how it goes.