Jump to content

Entry for August 2020's Guitar Of The Month is open - ENTER HERE!

Drak

Drak, The Afterburner

Recommended Posts

Newest D-Cut slapped together over the past few days.

Mahogany body topped with a bookmatched 3/16" Paduak top.

Body is a 5-piece Sammy. Each section is 3/4" thick.

2-piece for the bottom w/ centerline going up the middle, 3-piece for the top piece with an 8" section centered and 2 5" wings to make a 3-piece. These two pieces glued together to make a 5-piece body core.

Drop Top added in.

100% solid Paduak neck as well (Warmoth, bought many years ago)

Cool combination, Paduak neck/Paduak 'board, Paduak topper over Mahogany core, a Tone Machine!

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's how she started out, a nice 3/4" Mahogany board.

I got three full pieces out of it, and the fourth piece was cut to give me the wings of the 2nd layer.

AFTERBURNER001.jpg

AFTERBURNER002.jpg

AFTERBURNER003.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here, I already made the 2-piece and 3-piece layers and glued them together, body now rough cut out.

Bevel for drop top also done.

Note: The wood 'island' where the control cavity goes is just a temporary support for the lam top.

If you remove too much wood and your lam top is rather thin, it can cup over such a wide distance, so I leave that area in place until the top is installed, then it will be routed out afterwards, so it ain't pretty, and it don't need to be :D .

AFTERBURNER005.jpg

AFTERBURNER006.jpg

AFTERBURNER010.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Body readied for top glue-up.

Tape is applied across the drop top area to prevent any glue seepage, the drop top is another step and is not done at initial top glue-up.

Tape is applied very gently to aid in easy removal later on.

AFTERBURNER014.jpg

AFTERBURNER015.jpg

AFTERBURNER017.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now this, my friends, is what you want to see before proceeding to Phase Two of Drop Top Installation. :D

A very clean surface.

AFTERBURNER022.jpg

AFTERBURNER023.jpg

AFTERBURNER024.jpg

AFTERBURNER025.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow! Very impressive. No heat? No water??

I know he ain't showing it, but can't you see how wet the wood is on top? Right at the bend.

Going pretty nice Drak, I pre bend mines, but that looks like a lot less work.

Edited by Maiden69

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

looks good as always.

In post 4, the first pic, what wood are you using to clamp it down? The brown streaky one

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The brown streaky wood is Indian Rosewood.

It's great for gluing up booked tops and I've been using those two pieces for probably 10 years for just that purpose.

I did a crappy job explaining the process, so let me go back and recap.

Yes, I use water, and LOTS of it, from a spritzer bottle, but only right across the bend area.

I take it VERY slowly. I keep the break area soaked, and turn those clamps maybe a 1/4 turn every 3 minutes, I usually am listening to some music or watching TV while I'm bending a top like this. Slow and easy.

The glue doesn't get added until it's almost all the way down, which is usually, depending on the wood, about 20 minutes to 1/2 hour time.

Here we are routing the body to final shape, and yes, she survived the bend!

AFTERBURNER037.jpg

AFTERBURNER038.jpg

AFTERBURNER040.jpg

AFTERBURNER039.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few more notes about the Drop Top.

The piece of wood I use as a clamping caul is 3/4" Maple, it has to be tough, and it has to be hard and straight.

The upper piece is clamped above the bend to prevent the laminate from popping off the core wood, as there is a lot of stress involved, and it will want to relieve the stress by popping your top wood off the core wood if you let it, so that needs to be severely clamped down too with a hard wood.

Last pic is with the Paduak neck.

AFTERBURNER039.jpg

AFTERBURNER042.jpg

AFTERBURNER044.jpg

AFTERBURNER043.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, I use water, and LOTS of it, from a spritzer bottle, but only right across the bend area.

Again, no heat? It was my understanding that you needed both. Then again, I freely admit that my understanding of bending wood is pretty low. I gotta try this sometime.

AFTERBURNER040.jpg

And do I see a gap in the center? That's very unusual for you. Not that you don't already have a plan for it, it's just surprising that it's there in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats a penline to remark the centerline, you knucklehead! <jk> :D

The centerline is probably the most important part of any build (for me, anyway), and I always keep it remarked all the way thru the process, as -everything- hangs on that centerline, and it needs to be very obvious and clearly marked at all times untill all operations are done.

I will sometimes sand the top and take pics and remark it afterwards, unless it's very obvious by itself and needs no remarking, but this top actually is so tight you can barely see it w/o remarking.

Heat is always a plus if you have it around, but I always aim my builds and instructions around the weekend/backyard builder who has a minimum of tools (like I do) to work with, and to show that there's always a way to do things without big or fancy tools, so I'm showing how to drop a top with just water, that's it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting that top bend. I've read about the process, but as the saying goes, pics are worth a thousand words. Great stuff there. I might get the courage to try it now. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That can be avoided by rounding over the arm contour in the underlying mahogany, instead of having an abrupt angle right at the glue surface. I managed to do this with 1/4" cocobolo and it worked fine (pre-bent first with water & heat gun over a pine template).

That's a cool looking bit of padauk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Survived, sure. But it looks like you got some cracking along the bend?

That can be avoided by rounding over the arm contour in the underlying mahogany, instead of having an abrupt angle right at the glue surface.

I managed to do this with 1/4" cocobolo and it worked fine (pre-bent first with water & heat gun over a pine template).

Well, this is a good opportunity to have a discussion about drop-topping then. :D

There are tradeoffs to both ways I've found, because I have also done the roundover method.

They both work, no doubt about that.

The problem I found with the roundover method is that, depending on the lam wood, the lam wood will not -perfectly- follow the rounded contour as well as a 'flatbed' (or door hinge as I like to call it) and sometimes you wind up with a little 'gap', or opening, at either end of the bend where you can see thru and have to fill.

This probably probably wouldn't happen with a vacuum press, but I'm not using a vacuum press, and a lot of weekend builders won't have them either, which is who I'm primarily talking to.

I'm not a professional luthier, and most people reading this aren't either, so I stress that my way is aimed at the weekend builder with limited access to tooling who can still get the job done with minimal effort and here's how.

I'm not saying at all that it is the -best- way, I am saying that it is a quick and easy way for an average guy to pull it off.

True Chris, there is some cracking, and that also depends on the wood. Quilted Maple typically won't crack, Paduak is very hard and it did a little, so sometimes it cracks, sometimes it doesn't depending on the thickness and hardness of the top lam.

Usually quilted maple bends like a baby once wet and doesn't crack at all.

Now, you start adding vacuum presses and heat sources, you're taking the difficulty level up a notch, which is fine for guys who are on that level as yourselves are, and anyone else who is too, I'm making the point that this is an easy way for the occasional builder to get the job done and take away any intimidation of difficulty.

And it usually comes out with no cracking as well, just that Paduak is some pretty tough wood, but it still won't show under finish.

Share this post


Link to post
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.

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.


×
×
  • Create New...