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kwakatak

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About kwakatak

  • Rank
    Guru
  • Birthday 07/01/1969

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  • Biography
    Couch player and wannabe over 40+ years of playing. Life got in the way but music is still very important.

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  • Location
    Da Burgh

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  • Interests
    acoustic guitar building, fatherhood, home recording, songwriting

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  • Occupation
    stay at home dad

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  1. Congratulations and welcome to the club. Play the heck out of it! PS: mine still has that strong smell coming out of the case. It's inspired me to use Spanish cedar kerfing for my next guitar build.
  2. Congratulations! Sometimes you have to jump, but it's money well spent IMO if it inspires you to play more. No comment on the red dot bridge pins. I like to personalize my guitars to my tastes. The one thing that sticks out to me is the choice of carbon fiber for the bridge plate. I have mixed feelings but no experience to base it off.
  3. Jeez. Zombie thread and I just noticed I never finished my thought. anyhoo, after 10 years I still have the same D-16GT which has taken some hard knocks but the bridge hasn’t budged and the fretboard still feels like new and virtually identical to the touch to my Larrivee’s genuine ebony fingerboard. In fact, the Larri’s ebony bridge is pretty much in the same condition as new so I’d say whatever Martin popped out of the injection model way back when is just as good to the real McCoy IMHO. As for price, I haven’t taken notice. I still haven’t upgraded to a higher end Martin and likely won’t. In its current condition I figure I’d be lucky to get $400 for my 2009 D-16GT given that the top has a hairline crack from an impact. Oh well, it’s never been a collector’s item; low end guitars are meant to be played hard and put away wet IMO.
  4. I've put this aside as the furnace has kicked on and the body is nestled in its climate-controlled case in order to reflect on hard lessons I've learned at this stage: 1: Inlay the end wedge BEFORE routing for binding. Consequence: the "shelf" on the wedge is inconsistent. In fact, the router "bit" into the figured wood and caused it to split, necessitating a repair. Adjustment 1: no more fancy curves; the next build will have a wedge, as I did with my first. The wedge is a study in function as well as form. It also installs more quickly and efficiently. 2: True the sides with a scraper, not a palm sander prior to routing for binding channels. Incidentally, a T-square is not appropriate because the surface of the top and back have radii; they are not truly flat. The idea is to have a straight line along the cross section of the side. A palm sander will make it a curve through variance of pressure. A scraper will not - and it's less dusty to use. BTW, if you're doing maple bindings against rosewood, the darker sawdust will muddle the color of the lighter wood. I'm finding that sanding is best left to the latter parts of the process, such as when filling gaps or filling pores. This is also where it's important to keep all your cutting tool sharp - or in the case of the scraper, properly burred. Consequence on not doing so this time: binding channels were distorted partly because the sides were not trued; I'd only flush cut the top and back. 3: when using a router-based (or really any) mortising bit make sure that the guide on your jig doesn't move during use. I watched a worker at Martin use a jig like the one I made and she zipped through body and body with a practiced hand, holding the guitar like a baby. I wish I had a cart of bodies that I wasn't so emotionally invested in! That's why I'm keeping junked guitars around. Consequence: the cut was not square, clean or even of consistent depth. The result was more work with chisels, small files and a need to order more purfling strips in order to compensate. Adjustment: I am refining the design on my router jig and will be sacrificing those junked guitars. This guitar is pretty my set in stone, but I'll do better next time. This has been the toughest part of the build and I'd been dreading it. PS: I'm thinking of starting an actual blog on this. I've shared this on social media and gotten some interesting feedback and even some solicitations for doing a build or two. I've appreciated the feedback I've gotten here; I wouldn't have finished my first without your encouragement and support. I'm hoping this maintains my momentum -and maybe even makes it seem like a downhill.
  5. Wow. 10 years old - and where the heck is knockwood? I finally made a guitar out of that Carpathian he sent me back in 2012. Seriously, isn't there like a review section at Harmony Central? We've been here long enough to be on staff. I could use a writing gig. It looks like the guy who resurrected this thread needs one too. Now I know how it feels to get hit with a wall of text.
  6. Wow! Congratulations, Freeman!
  7. Wow. This thread hasn't seen the light of day in nearly 11 years. Still, walnut is a pretty durable - though somewhat open pored - hardwood so I don't see why it wouldn't make a suitable fretboard if sealed properly.
  8. The veneer is ziricote. The neck joint is indeed a dovetail and yes I already have not one but two corresponding neck blocks from Martin. I originally bought a neck block for a dread but it and the mortise are too big so I went back and ordered a smaller one for a 000/OM. I bought 1/4" bracing for a 00 (instead of 5/16" for 000 and above) because I know that the 35s use this size. I want this one to growl.
  9. Just as I kicked off #2 before #1 was done, #3 has been kind of waiting to happen. The back and sides are black walnut from StewMac in Athens, OH. The top is student grade sitka from RC Tonewoods in Buffalo, NY. The neck came indirectly from Martin in Nazareth, PA as did the precut bracing and neck block. The fretboard came from LMI way out in California. This will more of a kit-type build as the internal components and the neck are pre-shaped. The bigger challenges being reducing the plates and slats to final thickness and bending the sides. My technique is getting better as I learn to plane at a 45 degree angle from the grain. I must confess that planing the top did not come out as clean as I'd liked but at $20 I'm willing to order another and start over. As the sides get slowly thinner as I work them I am already amazed at how pliable walnut is. My hope is that it retains its shape after bending like EIR has for me in the previous build.
  10. It actually sounds more prudent than cheeky in my book. Custom guitars are a risk.
  11. I'll give you credit for having a 12 string on the list. I don't know that particular model but a Taylor 12 string is on my list. I like the larger -58s though and haven't really been able to get on board the koa fan bus.
  12. I'm not complaining. I know that readership is down and that this stuff is a sign of the times. I know how you feel; I have to pick up after the people I love so I can imagine how frustrating it is to have complete strangers come in and mess up the place.
  13. I'm bumping this because there's an overabundance of these SPAM threads here again.
  14. I'm not about to buy any special took from StewMac. I have a cheap set of nippers that I'm hoping is up to the task. I'm more concerned about sanding the binding to the same radius of the fretboard - which I bought pre-radiused and preslotted.
  15. This is as clean as it's gonna get. I need to focus on the back. I also managed to bind the end of the fretboard, but I need to work on my mitering skills:
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