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Mux Guitars Consolidated Shop Happenings Thread

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So I haven't posted progress pics here in a while as I never know where to put stuff since I have more projects going on lately than I care to. However, having seen a bunch of 'here's a thread for everything I do' threads lately... figured I'd hop on the bandwagon.

I'll start with a grand overview of where I sit on stuff in general, and then obviously I'll update iteratively moving forward.

PI King- 13" cola model

Decided to do a concept build around pink ivory. The idea is to have a nice even brown walnut canvas and to showcase the different beautiful incarnations of pink ivory. Recently got the one-piece top carved, the side purfs bent and in, and the neck set this weekend!

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Here's the neck and side purfs (blue/curly PI/blue):

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Marlin Tele and Meeting

Wanted a great studio guitar for myself, and what's better in a studio than a tele!? Add to that Variax electronics... Bam! Winner! Planning on doing is guy up in sea foam green.

The 'Meeting' is my take on the jaguar and will get all original jaguar hardware, pickups, and wiring. Blue paisley will be busted with daphne blue. I'm really liking my first use of paulownia wood too. Still waiting on the metal control plates to go with pick guard.

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Got necks in these this weekend too!

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Hollow Marlin

This guitar has been in the works for FOREVER! Finally making some forward motion on it. Fully hollow, bent sides, parallel braced arch top, x-braced domed back in claro walnut, engelmann spruce, blood wood appointments, and zebra wood radial purfling. Got the neck in last night!

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I've also got some commissioned necks I'm working. One is a rosewood baritone 27" scale neck that is being made as a joint effort with Dell'Isola guitars. Will be going on a tele body using similar woods.

The other is a replacement neck for a friend's Ibanez prestige S series. He wants it .68" thick at the first fret, so I'm playing with a carbon fiber u-channel that the truss rod sits in. This allows me to leave a lot less wood behind the rod without being fearful of it busting through. Which also allows me to use a double-action rod... Which I never leave home without.

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I've also been working with a student for a couple months who is building a set neck jazzmaster.

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Last but not least, the reason I've set so many necks lately is because I finished up my Myka jig... And 9 others hahaha. Why build one?

I'll be looking to sell these here soon. For those that don't know how to use them I have a new tutorial on my YouTube on using that as well as other neck pocket routing techniques.

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Chris

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It's going to be cool to see some progress on these Chris. I'm seeing some fascinating inlays designs here and there and the hollow Martin is looking especially sweet!

SR

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**opens page and notices two fingerboard colours and scales next to each other**

WHAT ARE YOU DOING CHRIS?!!?

h, I see. Sorry.

Your time with David has certainly done you wonders of good. How is he these days and what is he up to? I don't really see him on any of the places I frequent or lurk around on.

Off to check out your tutorial video now....

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Dang, it has been a LONG time since I've even seen David. Perhaps he'll pop his head in. Last we talked, he had recently gotten really deep into CNC, ramped up productions, etc. He's doing some great things, and now at even greater speeds.

Not to discount my time with David, as it obviously made a huge and lasting impression on myself and my work, but I have to throw a TON of recognition at another mentor of mine that rarely gets mention simply because he's not a name most people know. After building 3 guitars myself (with varying degrees of success) I met Todd of www.greenridgeguitars.com . I was in college at the time and had no shop access. Not only did he let me use his shop, but he also taught me acoustic guitars, introduced me to hand tool use (had never used a chisel or scraper or anything like that at that point), and essentially took my piddly excuse for woodworking and turned it into an artistic outlet with definition, accuracy, and a much better eye for detain and design. My development under that man, who is still one of my best friends today, is likely the greatest single leap in ability and knowledge I've ever gotten. That includes subjects other than lutherie. Without his help I would have improved much more slowly, and without a doubt not have had the skills required to even begin learning from someone like David; I would have been SO out of place in terms of ability.

I HIGHLY recommend checking out Todd's site as well as his video tutorials.

Chris

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My work improved considerably once I spent time examining and learning my tools in-depth too. Unfortunately the only mentor was my ability to research, cross-reference and collate information from books and online media. This certainly includes David's writings online and many of the old regs from here, etc. Taking that into the workshop, seeing what works and why (writing off many workpieces in the learning process) was invaluable.

It would be nice to hear from David. His generous public contributions around the various forums have made his name synonymous with various ideas ("Myka jig" for example) and hearing where his talent is taking him would be fantastic. Certainly, he is one of the people I remember most warmly during my formative period. Same goes for Anthony Setchell/Setch as well. Last I heard of him he was working as a locksmith of sorts....

Had a look at Todd's site. I see there's a pic of you on there with your OMC! His comprehensive tutorial on making side moulds on OLF is good reference and will be visited by me when I come to making my ES-175 style boxes later this year. Being a complete nerd, the first thing I noticed was his bench however...hahahha...the "parrot" vice is something I aim on installing to mine in addition to a flush wagon and leg vice.

The set-neck Jazzmaster you're in the process with reminds me somewhat of a guitar that Guthrie Govan is touring with at the moment (4m35s):
http://youtu.be/Iv753X9q_x0?t=4m35s

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I always like seeing your work, Chris! Its a big inspiration for me when I'm doing my repairs. Attention to detail, proper tool usage (the right tool for the job), and new jigs/ideas are what keep me glued to your tutorials, posts and youtube stuffs!

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I told you this before on Facebook at some point, but it always seems like a shame you're not in business full time building guitars. That's not because I think you should absolutely have that job, but because your work needs recognized.

I'm normally very critical of other's work, but I keep all comments to myself. I would NEVER say anything bad about another builder and I even keep the compliments to a minimum on purpose (As a luthier, I don't think my opinion about a luthier should matter. Ever.).

That said, you are ridiculously talented.

Not many people can build guitars in general and very, very, very few have the talent to do it well. It takes such a mixture of talents, some of them quite unique, to make a great instrument that it's an extremely rare thing. Even if somebody has the ears and the patience and all that, they need to WANT to make them. You're one of the very few who I think has all the right talent and you clearly enjoy making them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you *should* go into business. It's a very effective way to start despising what you love. Building everyday for a living is fantastic, but customers have a way of stomping your soul into the ground...or maybe that's just me.

My point is...I don't know what my point is. You have a lot of talent and deserve to get it seen... I really have no good advice or follow up. :P

Edited by NotYou

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Going into business often shifts your priorities, especially that of expressing your art in a guitar. You're having to express the requirements of the clients that support your business rather than the urges of your art. One waters down the other. I love Carl Thompson's habit of throwing out most of a client's specs and instead building them the instrument they need or deserve. Takes a lot of confidence and honesty in oneself and trust from the client to pull that one off!

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Thanks for all the kind words folks! Hopefully people don't think that's why I started this thread now hahahaha.

Prostheta (and yourself Craig) hit the nail on the head. Customers, and doing it every day whether you want to or not, have a way of just squeezing the joy out of it. As with most things in life, past experience usually drives our future states of mind. My third finished instrument, first bass, was what did it for me. A friend wanted a way to get a Warwick thumb on the cheap. I said fine, but I was doing a Warwick Thumb only in sound, not aesthetic. He was also warned this was my first bass, 3rd build, and that it would probably not be perfect. Long story short it made me hate building for others, ruined a friendship, etc. etc. I mean... take a peak at this transition and you can imagine a little bit of the stress I went through on it:

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That said, I also know myself, and I've said this about other stuff too. I played in a band, did reasonably well in the Asian market, etc. But it ended on a VERY sour note. I vowed to only work by myself musically from there forward. Lasted about a decade... I'm currently recording a new album with some really cool guys. So, time can mend things.

However, you will be happy to learn that I am branching out a bit into work that will get out into the world. For instance, the rosewood baritone neck above is a joint venture with Dell'Isola instruments and will be going to one of the guitarists of Circa Survive. The maple neck that's replacing an Ibanez neck is for my boss (really nice guy) and is 100% to his spec... and I'm not hating the experience.

I'll probably work more with Dell'Isola in the future. He's a really nice guy, and he's up in the DC area quite regularly.

As far as recognition goes, I don't generally build for that. I will admit (is Drak still around? He'll jump on this quote!) I do like recognition from my educational efforts. I would be most happy if my legacy to lutherie is 100 more luthiers.

Chris

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Building specifically for recognition achieves no lasting or tangible memories. Recognition happens of itself. I believe that this is why David and many others have almost become bywords in luthiery circles.

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So I encountered an interesting problem to surmount when designing the Marlin Tele and the Meeting shapes. I wanted set necks so that I could carve the heels how I always do... but I also wanted solid colored bodies (well, bursted solid edge on the paisley). So I came up with this little idea to still have the feel of the carve, but also give me a nice, crisp, hard edge to stop the paint at. I'm calling it my "Jutted Set Neck" style. For obvious reasons, it only really works for guitars with solid color finishes or pickguards.

First step is you mill your pocket ~1/8"-1/4" too long. You then screw some toggle clamps to the top in places that'll be covered by the pickguard (or heck, just fill them later and solid color over, no woop):

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You then push the neck all the way back in the pocket and lock it down with the clamps:

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You then flip it over and carve as per usual:

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Finally, once you are done carving, you remove the clamps, push the neck back forward, ready to glue in:

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*Note: the above is obviously not ready for gluing! Still some work left... should be sanded up to ~220P before I actually push the neck out and glue it up.

Chris

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I like the way you make yourself odd problems to solve. Not wanting to stay in your comfort zone? ;-)

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Carl Thompson's habit of throwing out most of a client's specs and instead building them the instrument they need or deserve. Takes a lot of confidence and honesty in oneself and trust from the client to pull that one off!

I do the same thing. Clients get to drive the design a certain amount but then it time for some good ole " you will get what I tell you your getting - & youll like it OK "

Havent had any complaints yet.

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Well yeah, but Carl seems to take that to the extreme. You're lucky if you get the same number of strings you requested. Four string 34" bass? Try it over a 38" scale because you're a big lad!

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ha ha ha mad bstrd !!

at least you know what your gonna get before I start your build, even if I have to tell you what you asked for is wrong & that you realy want what I want to build you instead.

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Know the waters before you go anything beyond thigh deep. Hell, potential clients should have some kind of manual to read before they spec up.

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Know the waters before you go anything beyond thigh deep. Hell, potential clients should have some kind of manual to read before they spec up.

I dunno man, sometimes its the one's that have read everything available on the web & library shelves that are the biggest problem to build for. I much prefer players with a good idea of what they want, that just need a little tweak. as opposed to somebody with an encyclopedic knowledge of everything guitar, but no concept of how to use it to make a decent instrument.

I had a guy a few years back that wanted a multi laminate neck thru Jem, But he wanted spalted maple & burled walnut in the neck

(the spalt would be the majority of the neck, with 2 burled walnut pinstripes). He had found information on how to stabilise the spalt with CA & had an article from a woodworking journal about using laminations to prevent heavily figured timbers warping.

I tried to tell him it would not be stable enough so I would not take the commission. But he just kept coming back with articles & technical specifications & all sorts to prove me wrong & convince me to build it. after he drove me nuts for weeks, I finaly had to just give him a "please go away" quote €8000.00 & NO Warranty.

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Spalted neck!!! I'd have said no as well!

I had a guy last year with some crazy timber requests. I ended out saying if he can find the timber in X size then ill do the build. He couldn't find the timber!

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That's a peach of a job right there. Would you accept it if he agreed?

Nope. Id have found some other way to push it back out the door.

But the SOB almost went for it, I ended up makin him a clear resin JEM with real roses encased in the body.

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Maybe my sarcasm on whether you would have still taken the work on was missed.... sorry!

Sounds like he was the one that wouldn't go away....

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Maybe my sarcasm on whether you would have still taken the work on was missed.... sorry!

Sounds like he was the one that wouldn't go away....

Ah, sacrasim. OK, missed that one.

CHRIS.

Nope, aint gots no piks. this was before I had a digital camera. But i think I have negativs somewhere back at the house.

Regardless, I have another one coming up later this year. I need to wait untill the flowers are in season here or else I end up with crappy ones. they were €120.00 a dozen last time & I need 3 dozen. So im waiting untill they are good enough.

I will do a thread if anyones interested.

Speaking of build threads, Anything more from yourself

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