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  • #61
    Things have slowed down a little but I'm still at it. Family stuff had literally gotten crazy and about 2 months ago we decided to do something about it. Now I have more time to myself but in my current state of mind that's not a good thing so I've been trying to keep busy and find more positive diversions. These past few weeks I've been focusing more on home repairs and renovations but am still turning to this when I hit a wall.

    Anyway, developments this past month have been on bracing the soundboard and binding the fretboard: I bought jigs from Stewmac to radius the braces. I figure I don't really need a radius dish for the glue-up. Just lots of clamps:



    I cut an arc at the end of the fretboard and used my wife's clothes iron to bend some maple. Don't tell her I did that! She's likely to go out and buy another iron now - as if GAS was bad enough! The woman has an entire collection of curling irons and hair dryers too.



    The A Frame/upper transverse brace and the finger braces have no radius so I used my homemade gobar deck.



    I also revised my setup to sand the rims without having to drop $160 for radius dishes by cutting an arc on the underside of a couple of 2x4s and and anchoring it all on a threaded dowel in my work table.

    Gear:
    2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
    2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
    2010 Martin D-16GT
    2006 Larrivee OM-03R
    1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
    1989 Kramer Stryker
    197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

    Comment


    • #62
      Last pic - rather innovative. As long as the wingnut doesn't rotate the height will be constant. Two nuts tightened against each other to ensure zero height drift could replace that top wingnut. Just a suggestion. Looking good.
      - The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H.L. Mencken

      - Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. - President Eisenhower in his Farewell Address

      Comment


      • kwakatak
        kwakatak commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you. I put a lot of thought into it. If I'd had a sanding dish it would be a matter of looking for 100% contact all the way around with the help of a flashlight. I've addressed your concern with the use of locking washers and a regular nut/locking washer/regular washer underneath so that the threaded rod is fixed in place. Meanwhile, the sanding block can descend on the rod but it cannot rise above the height set by the top wing nut. When I can do a complete revolution without resistance I know I'm done; when I hit resistance I know I've hit a high point. Now I'm done and on to sanding a 1.5 degree angle in to the upper face of the neck block tongue. That will hopefully prevent the dreaded 14th fret hump.
        Last edited by kwakatak; 09-13-2016, 07:34 PM.

    • #63
      The top is nearly braced and ready to start voicing. The Carpathian is down to .105" at the centerline and under .098" at the edges so it's at the razor's edge for stiffness. I showed it to Tim McKnight who flexed and tapped it and pronounced it still usable but typical Martin style bracing was not going to stiffen it up so it would be bass heavy and lack articulation. Being of the Somogyi school he suggested a design that I found radical and beyond my ability to execute so I asked if I could do a double X brace variation?



      As for the bridge plate I haven't decided on a material yet. I am thinking of going with rosewood. As you can see by the outlines it's going to be slightly oversized.
      Gear:
      2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
      2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
      2010 Martin D-16GT
      2006 Larrivee OM-03R
      1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
      1989 Kramer Stryker
      197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

      Comment


      • #64
        That's looking really good.

        Does the choice of bridge plate material and size affect the stiffness? Is ebony an option to bring you back from the edge of stiffness and tighten up the articulation?

        Comment


        • #65
          I don't think ebony is an option for bridge plate. Traditionally it's been either maple or rosewood with spruce being used on guitars that essentially sound like cardboard. I used osage orange on my last build which many have said is like Brazilian rosewood in tone. I was told not to use it this time and instead add an oversized spruce plate to stiffen up the area but I think I may nix that and use osage orange after all. I have two pieces of it but need to thin them down to about .08" first.
          Gear:
          2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
          2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
          2010 Martin D-16GT
          2006 Larrivee OM-03R
          1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
          1989 Kramer Stryker
          197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

          Comment


          • Freeman Keller
            Freeman Keller commented
            Editing a comment
            I know lots and lots of great builders use rosewood for bridge plates and I bow to their expertise. My one experience is that I own two Martins from the "over built" '70's and both have had the large rosewood bridge plates replaced with smaller maple ones. Both guitars benefited from the change - when my D18 came back from having the work done my wife said "you are playing louder". I didn't think I was doing anything different.

            I would really question the idea of using spruce, remember that the bridge plate's function is to keep the balls of the strings from destroying the top.

          • Grant Harding
            Grant Harding commented
            Editing a comment
            Fair enough - I don't have a clue what the actual impact of the bridge plate is tonally. Seems like the sort of thing that can have a real significant effect.

            I made a DIY plate-mate for my old FG450SA out of a chunk of ebony that I glued in place, so the strings had little chamfered holes to lock into. Since my brother had exactly the same guitar I got to hear them side by side for years before and after. My take is that it lost a bit of the dreadnought big bottom and got more articulate with more sustain. Fun party trick to pull a bridge pin out between songs, examine it, then stick it back in. The guitarists in the crowd go WTF?
            Last edited by Grant Harding; 09-25-2016, 03:24 AM.

        • #66
          Holy carp! Sit out of a forum for just... uh... several years, and look at all the stuff you miss! This is looking damn nice, Kwak. And I have to say that I'm jealous that you're able to "slip out" to a Rockler. I love that place, but living in NYC again I may not ever get to actually set foot into one of their actual stores. And the hardware joints we have in NY generally cater more to things like A/C and other appliance repair than carpentry.

          To your earlier posts in this thread, I'm with you on the real value of boutique guitars. There are some truly fantastic factory guitars out there, and I feel extremely lucky to own one. I also have a $300 Yammo that I think is excellent in every practical way. But as someone who views guitars and the people who create them with reverence, I think there is a lot to be said for guitars made by people who devote their lives to the art and are able to invest complete, undivided focus in literally every single detail of the instruments they make. IMHO, instruments made by the lutherie gods (Olson, Goodall, Somogyi, Matsuda, Klepper, etc.), are worth every penny. Unfortunately, I will never collect that many pennies...

          And one thing you have in common with every one of those guys is that every one of them built a first guitar. And a second... Hope you will keep it up, and keep posting updates.

          Comment


          • #67
            Hehe - leave it to Z to take the name of CARP in vain. Careful there, they're known to bite.

            I'm glad you replied, knock. There have been times when I've worried that I've screwed up this wonderful piece of Carpathian that you graciously provided. I hope that you're able to build another guitar yourself.

            Freeman, I would certainly consider using maple for the bridge plate. I like the idea of a closed-pore wood to handle the ball ends as opposed to rosewood with grain running laterally along the line of the bridge pins. My mind keeps coming back to the rosewood bridges on my old Takamine that fractured under tension of a JLD and more recently the rosewood bridge on that Norlin era Epiphone FT-160N. I believe that I may have to shop around for an adequate piece of flatsawn maple though.

            I concur that spruce would not be my first choice but Tim also provided me with a rosewood patch that would be added to handle the ball ends. I still don't like the idea of using it. Tim took his cue from Ervin Somogyi who has used lattice bracing and varies his bracing for every guitar. As it stands now though, the tap tone of the top has changed significantly since the lower X was installed. The pitch of the tap tone is higher and even though the sustain of the "note" is shorter I take that as a good sign that the top is stiffer. That lower X is going to get the lion's share of attention though as I actually want a lot of bass so I'm thinking that the legs are going to be tapered aggressively and end well short of the rim. I'm hoping that it stabilizes the area around the bridge plate much like the symmetrical bracing that Larrivee uses and has an effect similar to the Martin A Frame bracing which essentially encloses the bridge plate all around. Tim also told me not to scallop the braces which makes a certain amount of sense to me. I'm going to try my hand at parabolic bracing.

            If you want, I could try to take a video of the tap tone at several different stages of voicing. I'd have to use the microphone from my Apple ear buds though.
            Gear:
            2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
            2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
            2010 Martin D-16GT
            2006 Larrivee OM-03R
            1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
            1989 Kramer Stryker
            197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

            Comment


            • #68
              Originally posted by kwakatak View Post

              Freeman, I would certainly consider using maple for the bridge plate. I like the idea of a closed-pore wood to handle the ball ends as opposed to rosewood with grain running laterally along the line of the bridge pins. My mind keeps coming back to the rosewood bridges on my old Takamine that fractured under tension of a JLD and more recently the rosewood bridge on that Norlin era Epiphone FT-160N. I believe that I may have to shop around for an adequate piece of flatsawn maple though.

              ........

              If you want, I could try to take a video of the tap tone at several different stages of voicing. I'd have to use the microphone from my Apple ear buds though.
              I just buy a piece of maple with the grain running the right direction from LMI for 3 bucks - its like kerfing and back reinforcing and a bunch of other small wood items that I could make but it just isn't worth it

              http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-...x/bridge-plate

              Note that they sell spruce for classical guitars but then of course classical guitars don't have string balls.

              It would be interesting to see what you are doing but I'll be absolutely honest - I don't have a clue what people are doing with voicing. When I started building (ten years ago) I was all smart-assed and thought I knew what voicing was all about - I read Siminoff;'s book (and attended a lecture by him), met Carruth and looked at his glitter plots, sat in a seminar with Grevin and listened to him tap plates. Granted, I've never bought Ervin's book (or for that matter, Gore's) but those aren't the style of guitar I want to build (and the books are damn expensive). So, my first few guitars I pretended I understood voicing and most people think they sound pretty good. My last few guitars I admit I don't understand voicing and most poeple think they sound pretty good.

              I'll bet yours will too

              Comment


              • #69
                I'll likely never play a Somogyi - nor will I ever be able to afford one of his books, much less his guitars. The way I see it, I'm looking to make something loud so I figure I'm at least in the right direction. I just don't want it to break up if strummed aggressively. I've skimmed through a few articles that discussed amplitudes, nodes and transmission of frequencies, etc. etc. but I'm so riddled with adult ADHD that my eyes glaze over. I've watched Youtube videos of and even IRL demonstrations of Chiadni testing with tea leaves and a speaker but I'm no gypsy so it's beyond me. I'll have to ask my mother - who fancies herself a mystic - for her interpretation, provided that NASA didn't screw something up and change my Astrological chart. Then it's all moot.

                In the end, I'll continue to trust my gut and stick a Snark tuner on the plate at various points and see what note pops up. Last time I got a G# before I closed the box. This time the top is up to the next D# above that so I figure I have some significant chiseling ahead of me. I'll start by tapering the lower legs of the X braces so that I can glue the top on the rims first. That always seems to change the tone of things. I also feel like I need to thin the back plate a bit more too because it's really heavy. Somogyi and Tim both talk about tuning the plates to reflect off each other in harmony. I don't know about that but I do know that I have a lot of deep gouges in the back so Fate will ultimately play a hand in things. I suppose I could pray over it too just to make a uniformly metaphysical experience of the whole thing.
                Gear:
                2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                2010 Martin D-16GT
                2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                1989 Kramer Stryker
                197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                Comment


                • #70
                  Winter is here in Pennsylvania and they're calling for a Polar Vortex to make this a cold one. My furnace is already kicking on with great frequency and judging by sinus problems and increased phlegm the air is getting pretty dry so woodworking should be placed on hold until such time that the RH can get above 35%. I have mentioned to Santa that I would really like to have an Aprilaire 600 whole house humidifier put on my furnace to at least make it easier to breathe.

                  In the meantime, I did take an inventory of things and am trying to get my head back into this by envisioning the goal:



                  Besides the low humidity, the two major roadblocks are what to do with the bridge plate. As I've said, the top is borderline on stiffness so I have to be creative and less "traditional" with regards to the lower bout. I'm really hesitant to use and oversized bridge plate though.



                  In the meantime though, I could at least be putting some reinforcement on the sides in order to finalize them to accept the plates. Last time I used walnut side braces to reinforce mahogany. This time around I'm anticipating a much heavier guitar and am thinking of using excess spruce scrap from the bracing: Just to be anal retentive, I'm placing it to abut the ladder bracing on the back. I intend to glue the top on first though in order to pay closer attention to voicing.

                  Gear:
                  2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                  2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                  2010 Martin D-16GT
                  2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                  1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                  1989 Kramer Stryker
                  197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                  Comment


                  • #71
                    Looks good so far. Keep us posted as the humidity allows.
                    Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
                    Member of the IBANEZ ACOUSTIC ASSASSINS
                    Proud Member of The Alvarez Alliance
                    Member of the Schecter Society
                    Person-2-Person on the Web

                    Comment


                    • #72
                      Well, this thread got buried and I had to do some digging. Thanks to Photobucket all the links prior to the following are broken - as are those in the thread for my first build. I've since moved on to Flickr.

                      Suffice it to say, since last I posted on this thread I have braced both the top and back. The bridge plate is spruce but will have a smaller rosewood plate that will go on very last. This week I began gluing on side braces and will be putting a patch inside the upper bout to reinforce the side for a sound port. I was also able to fit the neck tenon into the body mortise. I have yet to notch the topside kerfing for the braces and put on the flamed maple end wedge but soon enough the box will be closed.

                      For now the pieces all fit inside the TKL jumbo sized case I bought, which worried my wife because she thought when it came that I'd actually bought a completed guitar. The silly woman! I've been building it under her nose for 5 years now!

                      Gear:
                      2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                      2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                      2010 Martin D-16GT
                      2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                      1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                      1989 Kramer Stryker
                      197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                      Comment


                      • Freeman Keller
                        Freeman Keller commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I was going to say something about it will be "opened up" when you finish.....

                    • #73
                      thanks for "revisiting" I want to see "it" now
                      Last edited by crustoleum; 09-30-2017, 07:28 AM.

                      Comment


                      • kwakatak
                        kwakatak commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I thought I just did? I'll be sure to keep up on it. I'm going to be doing the end graft next. I have a nice piece of flamed maple for it that will match the body binding.

                    • #74
                      Update: I've been working on aligning the plates (focusing on the top) and notching the kerfing on the sides to lock things into position. The top is almost ready to be (FINALLY!) glued on. I don't have any way of regulating the RH in my home so this couldn't come at a better time: the temperature dropped these past few days and the heat's kicked on. RH is currently in the 40% range so they will now be living in the case full time when I'm not working on them - just like my *real* guitars!
                      Gear:
                      2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                      2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                      2010 Martin D-16GT
                      2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                      1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                      1989 Kramer Stryker
                      197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                      Comment


                      • #75
                        I apologize for letting this project linger on for so long. I've been wrapped up in family matters, home improvements and getting back into playing that this sort of got sealed up. Not having any way to humidify my workspace led me to err on the side of caution and just case it. That being said, in the coming month I'm going to be picking this back up. Here's what I have planned:

                        1: reinforce the inside of the upper bout with a rosewood/birch veneer so that I can cut a sound port. I have the pieces (piece of an orphaned rosewood side) but need to figure out a way to bend the rosewood without the use of a fox bending machine. I have the MDF form and a spare clothes iron and am wondering if that would work? Since I have binding yet to do I'm thinking that I should probably try to make a hot pipe type bending apparatus.

                        2: closing the box. I need to make some more gobars for my gobar deck though. Last time I bought so posts from the home and garden section at Lowe's but one broke and speared the top of my first build. I need to locate some nylon rods and re-engineer my DIY go bar deck so that I can adjust the height.

                        3: I'm thinking a cheap router table with a flush cut but would make for a good father's day present! (Hint hint, honey!)
                        Gear:
                        2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
                        2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
                        2010 Martin D-16GT
                        2006 Larrivee OM-03R
                        1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
                        1989 Kramer Stryker
                        197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N

                        Comment

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