Jump to content
demonx

Searls Guitars - 2015

Recommended Posts

demonx    202

Question: What oil do you use to finish your guitars with, and do you let a film build or do you let it soak for a half hour or so and then wipe the excess back off?

SR

I've been using Danish oil, only because I can buy it locally.

First coat I put on thick and I stand there wiping until it is thoroughly soaked. Let it cute until I cannot smell it, scuff/sand the guitar and then repeat but with much thinner coats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

So the oil stage is done and we get to the polish and assembly!

10426276_794578360624000_519126416138023

I took this pic and then realised I'd wired them wrong!

11045322_793067437441759_879879988733011

11025144_794634307285072_572373369677485

Here is a pic I snapped yesterday of the new cavity I'm using. This is Kade's space guitar.

It's the same circuit as my old one, but I've allowed a bit more space in cavity as the old one was lacking in that area.

Another new design feature, which also looks cosmetically cool is I've added a sweep in the output jack area. One thing on my older builds that happened a few times was I'd accidentally drill the tone and output holes too close together and then when the lead was plugged into the guitar it would short out on the tone pot! I've added space so this can never happen again!

The thick copper plate is dual purpose, it is a cavity shield, however it also acts as a group earth to keep the guitar silent. It's more work than a normal wire and shield job, but I like this method.

The volume pots is a 550k CTS (even though it's stamped 500k), the tone is a Bournes 500k pull/push which coil splits the neck humbucker.

The 3 way selector is switchcraft as is the output jack. The capacitor is a NOS Russian paper dipped in oil (PIO) .022uf.

You may notice the new recessed cover plates are now timber and feature an engraving. This is held in by three hex bolts screwed into copper inserts.

You may also notice that I leave the pickup cables with a bit of extra length on them. It is extremely annoying when you repurpose pickups and someone has cut the wires right back, it serves no real purpose other than cosmetic, so I leave a bit of length there for your future convenience.

So there you have it. The cavity explained. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

11054375_795002200581616_462953273131757

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pan_kara    151

very nice. I always liked wooden cavity covers, but for some reason mine always warp on me. Now I try to laminate cross-grain two 2mm pieces (with epoxy since the water in titebond seems to encourage warping) and I get a reasonably stable 4mm piece. How thick are these?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

How thick are these?

Just over 4mm. I can't see them warping any time soon. They've been sitting around the workshop for about a month without any sign of movement.

Maybe the timber you used wasn't quite dry enough? What moisture content did it test at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

How thick are these?

Just over 4mm. I can't see them warping any time soon. They've been sitting around the workshop for about a month without any sign of movement.

Maybe the timber you used wasn't quite dry enough? What moisture content did it test at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScottR    1,355

Your cavity er, your instrument cavity looks very clean and roomy. I like plenty of room, and the reduced weight from a bigger cavity does not bother me at all.

I really like the top on your space themed guitar. There is nothing exotic looking about it all, and yet it strikes me as looking exactly like it is supposed to.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

Finally got around to taking a few snap shots of the "Space Scene" guitar. I hope you guys like it!

The Specs:

The fingerboard inlay on this one consist of:

Rosewood, Cocobolo, Bocote, Black Limba, Paua shell, Black Mother of Pearl, Gold mother of Pearl, Abalone, White Mother of Pearl, Malachite.

Guitar specs:

SS6
Flat top body: African Walnut top, Flamed Maple center over African Mahogany with Rosewood stringers and a full width USA Ash back.
Maple neck with Cameroon Ebony fingerboard

Oil finish

Floyd Rose Special with Fatblock upgrade, Grover tuners & Straplock system
Bareknuckle Pickups - Aftermath calibrated set

16" radius
24 frets using dunlop 6150 fretwire
26.125" scale

Stainless steel truss rod
2x Carbon fiber neck rods

10647170_797214943693675_551963737335502

1461192_797214970360339_4595191879559485

11043229_797214930360343_313165508262395

11043274_797215007027002_896701245810929

10172758_797215070360329_267676137346412

10420218_797215063693663_168345481858879

11069955_797215113693658_154377791150371

1970713_797215183693651_4357016800643505

11070182_797215197026983_666305970934466

10410421_797215200360316_919271767954470

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

I've been accused in the past of only building "metal" guitars - well, whats wrong with that?

Here is something that will turn out a bit more "old man" friendly, but still with my fingerprints all over it.

10525646_798878780193958_157544763740361

11008495_799751396773363_568254738736697

10532567_799751363440033_943459907099668

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScottR    1,355

You must always be friendly to us old men, You're going to be one yourself someday. :)

So what are those timbers? I love the fretboard....the wood the design of the inlays/markers all of it. It looks very western like the stitching from a fancy saddle or cowboy boots.

You keep showing us that you've got some serious art and design chops.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

You must always be friendly to us old men, You're going to be one yourself someday. :)

Well apparently I'm already going grey. As a product of the 1970's I guess it was going to happen some time soon.

So what are those timbers? I love the fretboard....the wood the design of the inlays/markers all of it.

Thanks! Black Walnut body with lots of knots and a Goncalo Alves fingerboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

Top looks great, how long did it take to carve on the CNC?

That CNC top program ran for an hour and ten minutes, that is profile,cavities and top carve, then I flipped it and the rear program ran for about twenty or thirty minutes, I can remember.

However after that you need to add time for hand sanding out all the router but marks and so forth. Also the top carve I had to finish by hand as I don't quite have the CAD skill to program it exactly how I want, but I've got it as close as I can and then I take it from there the old fashioned way.

Also because my profiling bit has a couple chunks nicked out of the side of it the profile takes a fair bit to clean up by hand.

It's a $140.00 router bit that I damaged by running it into a metal bracket the first week I had it, but I'm going to keep using it for now as I don't want to buy another one just to wreck it too until I get all my mounting sorted out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

A few assembled pics of my latest build - "Michael's "Runes/Mjölnir" SS6"

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a soft spot for this one. Built from some of my all time favorite timbers and the simplicity of it is right up my alley. At first I was a bit skeptical about Michael's choice of Chrome and White hardware, but in the end it turned out pretty nice!

Victorian Blackwood top and elec cavity cover.
Queensland Maple neck and body
Queens Ebony fingerboard
Tiger Myrtle binding

11081050_803746063040563_677174683532580

11084296_803746089707227_505884318697008

22581_803746066373896_871991215709868074

1510616_803746106373892_2091379511062090

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScottR    1,355

I trust Michael is happy? I can't imagine otherwise. Great timbers and I love the way the neck grain appears to twist along the length. And I like the way the timbers you selected allow the artwork on the fretboard to be the center of attention....at least until it is plugged in!

What is that shiny trem cavity cover?

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

I trust Michael is happy? I can't imagine otherwise. Great timbers and I love the way the neck grain appears to twist along the length. And I like the way the timbers you selected allow the artwork on the fretboard to be the center of attention....at least until it is plugged in!

What is that shiny trem cavity cover?

SR

Yeah, he's stoked. The trem cover is just an off the shelf plastic one. Due to the 40mm body thickness I can only do a recessed timber cover if the trem block is upgraded to a shorter version and this guitar was done on a tight budget so there were limited upgrades. Some of the upgrades I did for free just to experiment and the customer let me have that freedom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

Moving onto sanding:

11081336_804988472916322_321690305449707

1pc Mahogany Radius top with floyd route hot off the press:

11081430_806137929468043_709874875589516

It's twin with a Hipshot:

19591_807442722670897_772498484099588144

Rosewood with Brass inlays:

12273_808979152517254_529701923067994460

One for the twin, in Maple this time with black inlays still to come:

11072729_809054312509738_127642708216248

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

I like the maple with black inlays! What material did you use for the inlays?

I made my own by cold casting resin and black pigment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

Been a while since an update, so here we go...

This one has made it to paint process:

This pic shops it covered in clear grain filler but I ended out sanding it all back and deciding on spraying this one without grain fill. It's supposed to be a "relic" themed guitar so I decided a sunken look on the paint would suit better. Wish I had have come to that conclusion BEFORE grain filling as it's a real pain to sand off.

11112847_810484889033347_260285845541268

Spent some time assembling new shelving, this is the neck blank area with a few bits and pieces thrown in:

11156173_812627018819134_565161657842866

Ebony binding on the Maple board looks great with the black Numerals:

11109504_813905165357986_376103958779807

Installing truss rods and carbon fiber.

11138107_813920748689761_560755890084918

Acoustic net finally glued to the body:

1962687_814462338635602_7280782856038754

Fretwork - this pic is fresh bevelled and before they get milled and dressed.

10906397_815777421837427_860327839836424

More fretwork:

11156229_815826278499208_815195151493982

More fretwork:

11078251_815878068494029_202598416670054

Starting another Acoustic.

Redwood top with Plane-Tree back and sides:

11170364_816303055118197_278773190431772

10985876_816713218410514_386478816770685

11150962_816732181741951_249240584057967

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
demonx    202

The last week or so has been spent processing timber, I bought three ute loads (Americans call them trucks) of various tone wood, sorting it, labelling it and storing it took quite a while!

One highlight of the haul was this English Walnut which was salvaged from a 100 year old tree that died in the local area. I picked up about fifteen slabs of this Walnut:

10489663_817782311636938_369800510224239

One of the other loads was mostly quartersawn Blackwood and Redwood from more old growth trees that were all salvaged:

10423696_818083471606822_154638351166844

I got around to sanding and coloring one of the SS6 radius top's I've been building, here is the cavity cover, the body is the same color:

11150927_818187021596467_499873485155563

Scraping the binding on the Acoustic build. I've invested a lot of cash into specialized acoustic jigs and tooling and the next acoustic build will be a lot better than this one, but flaws aside, I'm pretty happy with this as a first acoustic build.

1907772_819117008170135_6050244702588711

Paint process started on the Acoustic, you can see the "flame" or "fiddleback" as some people call it popping out.

11159459_819132418168594_216738799483157

Two more guitars started this week also, both will be SS7 flat top's with Floyd Rose trems. These are the neck blanks:

11196322_820071341408035_904528677896614

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScottR    1,355

but flaws aside, I'm pretty happy with this as a first acoustic build.

Are you kidding, I'd be ecstatic with that as a first acoustic build. That thing is gorgeous!

Nice haul of timber too!

You've put together a nice operation over the last few years. Is your customer base growing nicely too? I'd be very surprised if it wasn't.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Scott, That is a great acoustic build. I like the shape of it, something about the cutaway...

Since I am a "Noob" with acoustics, would the sweeping cutaway affect the tone of the guitar?

I was thinking it just depended on the cross bracing, but wasn't sure.

Edited by Chuck_Chill-Out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×