Jump to content

Remember that build I was gonna do?


kwakatak
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I feel guilty for dragging my feet on this. Perhaps if I made use of that beautiful Carpathian top that knockwood donated maybe there'd be more traffic around here.

 

Anyway, I was all set to do a Martin dread. I was even going to use a donated neck to do it. I bought a nice set of rosewood and glued some things together, even put a zig zag strip in like a real D-28 has but now.....I'm scratching that idea.

 

You see, I was inspired. I hang out over at AGF where there are people with more money than me and people who have more dollars than sense sometimes but my guilty little pleasure is ogling all the boutique NGD threads. Nope, Taylors don't do it for me. Epiphone's Masterbilt line has essentially become a shadow of its former self and the rage for those "Eastman" guitars that would probably implode it you played western music on them. No, I look at the McKnights, the Yamamotos, the Kragenbrinks ... and Lord help me but I look at the Goodall and Olson threads.

 

Those Olsons....*shudders*

 

 

 

I gotta tell you, I used to think they were hype. $10K+ for several pieces of wood glued together? No way.

 

 

 

Than I played one...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, way.

 

The one I played belonged to another player with more experience than me and he was generous enough to let me bond with his 20 year old dreadnought with a cedar top and strung with light gauge strings - an anachronism of every belief I've ever held true from my time arguing about bridge pins here but by God that guitar SANG. I had to have one. Problem is even if I sold both my kidneys I could never afford one.

 

Meanwhile, I continued my tinkering on my newfound hobby/obsession and late last year I FINALLY strung it up. You guys remember the pictures. I was proud of the way the neck came out - even though it's currently held together with little more than hardware you'd find in an IKEA box. I was proud of how the binding was ALMOST good enough to my eye. I was proud of how the French polish seemed to make the silking in the cedar and the ribboning in the mahogany come alive. I had a professional set it up and even though I still tinker on little cosmetic things to this day I labeled it as being "FINISHED"

 

This about a year after I'd gotten that Carpathian from knockwood. Three years after I'd gotten a CNC'd neck with a CA glue stain in it. A year after I'd laid down some of my wife's hard earned money on wood to fill out the rest of the major organs for my next potential creation. Like Frankenstein the pieces were all mismatched. Sure, I could make a decent body from what I had but the neck didn't seem to go with it. Worse, it was a short scale neck. That complicates the geometry a bit for a noob like me but I did the early woodworking stages confident that the details would sort themselves out along the way just like last time

 

I talked to other enthsiasts at Kit Guitar Forum and the Official Luthier's Forum and choked on the dust as others sped past me in their early builds. I felt defeated and uninspired. Still, I mulled things over and bought tools and materials here and there.

 

Then I saw my inspiration: an Olson SJ made with east Indian rosewood not too different from the set currently sitting in my friend's workshop. It had a western red cedar top just like the one on the OLF MJ that I'd finished. It had that sexy 5 piece laminate neck with the racing stripe that makes my pulse quicken just as if I were looking at a pair of long legs in fishnet stockings. Even sexier though was the dark Brazilian rosewood binding acentuated with the customary black/white purfling strips. If this guitar ever fell in my lap you'd have to fight me to give it up - and it wasn't even strung up yet.

 

But again, I'm poor and coveting other people's stuff ain't exactly Christian so I determined that I was instead going to try and imitate it. Just as with the first build - which was similarly inspired by an R Taylor Style 1 with WRC top and mahogany back & sides with EIR trim - I have pics of this build saved on my desktop. It will be different in that the Carpathian is much lighter and wider grained and the MJ has wider "hips" on the lower bout but if I continue to be inspired maybe - just maybe - I'll finish it. Who knows? Maybe in a year or two I'll finish it.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Members

Since I've shifted gears and haven't had a chance to work on the body I've picked up where I left off with the neck. I had this blank glued up a couple of months ago and decided to use it. This week I glued the headstock ears on and started cleaning up the surface for the faceplate. I have the truss rod channel routed out and a dual action truss rod ready to go in as well as a preslotted 25.34" scale ebony fingerboard on hand. I haven't ordered the Abalam yet because we've put a lot of money into the house this past month as the stuff is pricey.

 

I've also been refining the neck profile on my first build, sanding it down to bare wood and rounding out the flat segments:

 

1C25BBB2_zps412995c8.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Members

...on brighter news, I've been doing little things in anticipation of bigger things. The neck blank is ready for the truss rod and I have a slotted ebony fingerboard ready to epoxy atop that. I also have the headstock ready to accept both a faceplate and once I figure out how to carve a diamond volute I will be sanding the headstock thin enough to accommodate a matching back plate.

 

27C82EF0_zps9566f1e5.jpg

 

For that I have matching bookmatched sets of ziricote I bought from RC Tonewoods

 

F4C557C6_zps44f7873b.jpg

 

I will most likely trim away most of the sapwood. I also have a third set of ziricote that has a lot more sapwood. I'm going to use it for my rosette. I don't have a specific design in mind but am considering on doing a mosaic ring and inlay a ring of blue paua zip flex.

 

I also ordered 6 strips of ebony for body binding. I'm contemplating on binding the fingerboard too but can't decide whether to do it in flamed maple of the ebony. I want to work on my fretting this time around and cover the exposed sides of the tangs. I also want to do something fancy to inlay the fingerboard that will match the rosette.

 

Anyway, as for the big things, I have the sides thinned enough to bend and the blocks and binding are on hand for the following steps. I'm looking forward to bending the sides; it's one of the most enjoyable steps.

 

764CCA58_zpsb372a155.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Members

I've been working on the neck a lot lately, particularly the MT joint. 2593C9B0-B8CD-4A2C-9E70-C5C2F7941D44_zpsbbhq4ouh.jpg I also decided how to orient my bookmatched ziricote face plate for the headstock. I elected to flip the edges so that the heartwood is on the outer edges where it will be trimmed off. The "flow" of the grain seems more natural this way. 028707BF-9843-4D81-9FBD-0A93B429F816_zpsxnlclj7q.jpg Meanwhile, I've been putting a lot of thought into the fingerboard inlay design. Do far nothing definitive yet, but I'm gravitating toward a nautical compass theme that ties into the rosette. I want to incorporate the excess ziricote with some excess rosewood from the sides with a third wood to act as a color accent. I'm thinking red as a color; bloodwood or bubinga, perhaps?

Edited by kwakatak
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
. . . Meanwhile' date=' I've been putting a lot of thought into the fingerboard inlay design. Do far nothing definitive yet, but I'm gravitating toward a nautical compass theme that ties into the rosette. I want to incorporate the excess ziricote with some excess rosewood from the sides with a third wood to act as a color accent. I'm thinking red as a color; bloodwood or bubinga, perhaps?[/quote']

It'll depend on the particular specimen of bubinga. It's generally about the color of mahogany. I don't know if that would be red enough. Tasmanian myrtle might work if you can find a piece in the right color: http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/flitc...le/flitch.html.

Edited by DeepEnd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Flitch. New word for me. Not quite as useful to me as a murder of crows but words can be like that.

 

I've visualized various designs incorporating the flow of the neck into the body. I wouldn't ever actually spec a guitar out with such fanciful art but ideas do come up. One was paper currency floating down the neck from it's source at a wallet depiction and disappearing into the soundhole, which I thought most appropriate to the pursuit of the hobby. Another was depictions of popular space vehicles known from the NASA registry history all flying down the neck toward the Black Hole Of Nowhere. Another was the pictorial image of "Kilroy was here" in contrasting woods fashioned to the sound hole. Another was a steam-powered freight train chugging along the neck. I'm a sucker for old steam powered engines and their era.

 

pic11538.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Idunno
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I snuck away to the local Rockler and found some pauduk with a nice reddish "rainbow" and some nicely flamed maple. Overall, here's the palette. From bottom to top:

 

- streaked ebony fingerboard

- flamed maple binding strip (for fingerboard and body)

- east Indian rosewood (side slat)

- flamed maple 1/8"x3"x24"

- pauduk 1//8"x5"x24"

 

7B2BB872-E6CE-4BD4-ACCD-7A901E9FB42A_zpsaxcnrp9s.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Members

Tonight I went over to my friend's place and FINALLY bent the sides. EIR bends as easily as others have told me it would. It's like the stuff is made of rubber.

 

For those who haven't followed a build thread before, bending the sides requires heat and little water. Some woods require more heat than others, some woods require more time to work the bend. In this case, i used a Fox bender with a silicon heating blanket, two thin steel slats, a variable switch, a timer, a meat thermometer, some brown shipping paper and a spray bottle of water. You spray a little water on the wood, wrap it in the paper and then surround it with the steels slats and lay the blanket on top. Put the '"sandwich" in the bending apparatus and plug it in. When you start seeing steam (around 212 degrees) you clamp down the waist then the lower bout and then upper. Let it heat up to 300 degrees for 5-7 minutes then turn off the heat and let it sit and cool for 30-45 minutes.

 

Take it out, prepare the next side similarly but orient it so that it bends the opposite way (so that you don't have two left or right sides because the back of the body will have a taper.

 

The first side is clamped in the mold but it was getting late and snowing like the Dickens so I unplugged it and left it in the bending apparatus so that I could brave the roads. Sorry no pictures yet. Next up: installing reversed basswood kerfing and the end blocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • Members

Weather here has sucked so bad that I can't brave the trip across the highlands to my friend's place to the south. The sides have sat as we left them over 2 weeks ago. Since he doesn't keep the space heated regularly I opted to just trim the excess and just clamp the sides back into the mold. I have some TItebond that is still usable but I'm concerned that if I were to glue up the blocks and let it sit in a space under 40 degrees for a few weeks before I can go check on it again or bring it back home where I can't maintain humidity levels above 20% because the heat is always on.

 

I can't take pictures but rest assured, I have something that's starting to look like a guitar. Once I'm financially able I think I may go looking for a hardshell case that I can keep my completed guitars and move this one into . Then I can potentially get it back on track.

 

Meanwhile, my friend has had some local walnut aging for the past five years in the crawl space above his studio It may be ready to resaw. He and I were talking and he's getting building bug again so if he gets it resawed our next builds would be with it. He loves building the boxes but just hates doing the initial setup. I can relate. My first build was unplayable before I took it with me to visit Tim McKnight. Now my friend and I are planning a trip east to visit John Hall this summer to do the same with 2-1/2 of his builds (his fourth build is in the binding stage, his #3 was a commission and is with its owner) so the goal is to get this one together by then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • Members

Necro-bump: I had to dig through the search function to even find this thread. Sometimes I miss vBulletin.

 

Anyway, sides were bent back in the middle of winter. I glued in the blocks and then the kerfing but I had to go back and undo those two steps because I was working at it too late at night and made mistakes. The kerfing was glued short of the edges of the sides, meaning that after I was done sanding the rims I'd have a guitar much shallower than I'm going for. The blocks were also off center, which would have really complicated figuring out the neck angle so I chiseled all the kerfing off, scraped the glue off then steamed off the blocks.

 

A59B0D78-3D2A-41C0-AC45-CA99723CDDC4_zpsr5rkw2al.jpg

 

This morning I measured, drew in guide lines then glued the neck block back in. I'll do the tail block later tonight once the neck block is set. Then I'll move on to redoing the kerfing tomorrow night, once I go over the plans and mark the true edge of the tapered back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Kwak,If you can get ahold of that git, take a caliper and measure the thickness of the top in many areas. Measure the heights and thicknesses of all the braces, especially the top. Doing this will give you your best copy possible and hopefully imitate their sound.

 

BigAl :D2:D2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...