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Looks like I'm gonna try and build a guitar...

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  • kwakatak
    started a topic Looks like I'm gonna try and build a guitar...

    Looks like I'm gonna try and build a guitar...

    Nothing firm yet other than an OK from my friend to use his shop and some materials but I'm stoked. I'm looking to make either a cedar/mahogany OM or mini jumbo. He's got the molds for the OM but if I wanted to do the MJ I'd most likely go with the Official Luthier's Forum medium jumbo plans and then I'd have to do the molds and bracing overlays on my own.



    He's in the middle of his first build (sycamore/adi 00 based off some old Epiphone plans) and his work is keeping him busy so for the next couple of weeks I'd be doing some reading and planning.



    I just wanted to throw it out there. Wish me luck. It all comes down to whether I can get out to his place with any regularity. I'm not able to get out without my kids in tow and it's taking September forever to get here!

  • kwakatak
    replied

    Here are a couple quick and dirty recordings of the guitar. This first one is fingerpicking ad-libbing:

    https://app.box.com/s/6k1pcobj1hpq9e14jbbh

    The second recording I did was more just a technical evaluation of the guitar's playability and sustain/intonation. It's a little sharp the higher you go and the action is a little high but in its defense the guitar's neck needs to settle in a little bit.

    https://app.box.com/s/0qv9zixdcfbdpz2tvpc1

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied
    I didn't check the action but it seemed a little high. I anticipated that I'd have to tweak the neck angle so the spot for the bridge is okay as far as I'm concerned. I need to make sure I get good wood on wood contact (that all the glue and shellac is cleaned off) and then I'll put hide glue on both surfaces this time.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied
    Not so fast. One of the wings sprung loose. I'm going to have to steam the bridge off after all. What's sucks is that i'm nearly out of hide glue.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied

    Well, the clamps are off and everything looks acceptible. Tomorrow I'll string it up and see what happens with regards to action and any high frets that I missed.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied
    I will once I get the radius sanded in all the way to the ends of the bridge wings. There's still still a slight gap beneath them. The humidity also dropped down to 30% because the heat kicked on. Tomorrow should be warmer and thus a good day to glue it down.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied
    Actually Freeman, I had the same idea but for different reason. I already did shave off a side of the tenant to get the neck angle straight. That may have played a part in my mishap. I ended up having to shim the heel on one side with a piece of sandpaper.

    Anyway, the CA looks to be holding for now. Next time I'm doing a dovetail just for the experience but after that I think I'm going to try to emulate the Bourgeois neck joint with threaded inserts and finger tight bolts underneath the fretboard extension.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied
    Crap. To put it mildly. I just learned the hard way that when you build a laminated neck with a MT joint and barrel bolts DO NOT overtighten the bolts. The result in my case was a hairline crack that's about halfway through the heel at the lower bolt. I put a quick spit coat of shellac on the neck and wicked some CA glue into the crack, clamped it and let it be for about 15 hours - which is overkill for this type of glue but I needed the time to let that sick feeling in my stomach pass.

    Meanwhile, I've been trying to tighten up the gap between the heel of the neck and the body ofg the guitar and level the frets. Just to keep my derpiness consistent the 16th fret popped out just to add to my troubles.

    Meanwhile, I'm going to have to redo the neck angle and plot the bridge position yet again - not to mention trying to fashion a shim for the nut because I filed too much out. Ugh. I need to walk away....>

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied
    That's so true. This past December a friend took delivery of a McKnight guitar. Three of us passed the guitar around and played it for a couple of hours. Even thought Tim had put one of those Tonerite gadgets on it (of which I am skeptical) we all agreed that the guitar was getting more sustain.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied

    After a wonderful weekend spent visiting friends and luthier Tim and Mary McKnight I've come back home and have begun the home stretch in the fabrication of this instrument. Tim graciously offered to help me with my bridge problem and fashioned a bridge out of Honduran rosewood as well as an oversized bone saddle. The HR is considerably lighter than the EIR blanks I've purchased so I'm wondering what type of stain to use to get it to match the fingerboard. Freeman, knockwood, Gary, Gitnoob, Guitacapo if you all are out there please chime in.

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    Meanwhile, I've begun the finishing process. Tim told me to just go ahead with pumice with a 1:1 mixture of acetone and denatured alcohol to do the pore filling. So I did 3 spit coats of 1 pound cut shellac and the pores are nearly filled. I must also admit that I did a layer of 2 pound cut shellac on top of that and the color of the wood really popped. The surface is not as smooth as I'd hoped though so I may have to sand it all down with 400 grit sandpaper and do a little more work filling the pores. As before, if any of you with experience in pore filling and French polish have any input I'd appreciate it.

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    Attached Files

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  • kwakatak
    replied

    I still have some slight imperfections that I need to fill with CA glue so I
    sealed the body with 1 pound cut of ultra blonde shellac. This shows what the
    final tint of the woods will be:

     

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    Attached Files

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  • kwakatak
    replied

    I just thread through most of this thread last night to reminesce and am amazed at how long a trip this has been. I've been truly anal about this and probably should have just ventured forth more than a few times. I've also taken note of all those who've chimed in and really appreciate all the helpful pointers, kind gestures and all the supportive comments these past (Gawd!) 32 months! I'm amazed that some of you took inspiration and went on to build your own guitars - sometimes more than one - in the whole time I fumbled through this one. I'm still not quite done but I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm proud of what I've done so far.

    I've given myself the deadline of June 14th so that it will be done in time for the annual McKnight jam. Sure I have final sanding, pore filling and French polishing ahead of me but the only real roadblock regarding actual contruction that remains in my way is that darned bridge! Knock, if you're out there I think I'm gonna give that Waldron guy a call.

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  • kwakatak
    replied

    Thanks, poppy. It's getting so close that I'm wondering what song I'll play on it to get it started. I just heard a nice version of James Taylor's "Carolina on my Mind" that I'd like to learn for the occassion.

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  • kwakatak
    replied

    The tuning machines (replacement Shaller style Gotoh tuners recycled from my defunct Takamine) went on tonight after a few days of marking where I wanted to drill the holes in the headstock. I measured 3 times and even made a template/caul out of scrap maple but I still screwed it up so that I had to mount the tuning machines upside down. I kind of like the look though.

    who needs a drill press?

    maple template

    back of the headstock

    closeup of the back of the headstock

    honey shot of the back

    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • kwakatak
    replied

    Well, it looks like I need to buy a couple more blanks because this one is well and truly fudged. I planed it too thin and drilled right through it in three places - and no I'm not installing a piezo in this guitar! I HATE piezos!

    Leave a comment:

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