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demonx

Searls Guitars - 2015

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demonx    202

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

Honestly, taking all the time off to get the familiar with the CNC has hurt my operation more than enhance it.

I've got seven builds running along side each other at the moment, which is about the amount I like to have going, but they're not all spoken for. To be where I was at a couple years ago I'd need to have ten or twelve guitars running consecutive with at least six or eight spoken for. At this stage I should be doing double.

I've had to pick up more shifts at the factory in the evening to make up for the drop in business. So on those days I'll be in the workshop all day, then go to the factory for an eight hour shift and get back home in the early hours. It makes for long days, but it's the life of a luthier if you try make a business from it. Best left a hobby in most cases.

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demonx    202

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.

Without getting too technical, as I'm no expert either, the most important contributor to an acoustics sound is the top. So that would include the bracing as the bracing will hinder how the top will vibrate.

The forward part of the acoustic, in front of the sound hole area contributes stuff all to the sound, it's more structural, so the cutaway does very little. There are many opinions on this, kind of like the tonewood debate and since I'm new to the field of acoustic construction, I'll follow the views of the guy mentoring me for the acoustic side of things. Since he's been building for longer than I've been alive and is world renowned AND has the best sounding acoustics I've ever played/heard, I'd tend to believe he knows what he's talking about. I will admit though he cringed a bit when he saw the direction this guitar was taking! He's fairly set in his ways with Cedar top and Rosewood Back/sides being the recipe not to veer from.

This top still has a full X brace by the way.

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demonx    202

A bit of Zebrawood to mix things up a bit.

This piece of Zebrawood made its way to my workshop via the workshop of our very own RestorationAD. Thanks mate, my shop now smells like dog poo!

11050253_825964437485392_405657203844787

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demonx    202

Moving along with the Redwood guitar:

Back done: I wiped a coat of Danish oil around the surfaces, avoiding the next to be glued surface. It was a mix left over from an electric I was oiling and there was a bit left in the cup, so I thought I'd try something different.

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Also managed to get this strung up since my last updates:

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and a bit more work on this one:

11295915_832633300151839_492411890611676

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Lookit!    0

both are looking stunning! I really like the acoustic.

With regards to the oil finish. What are the differences between danish oil and tru oil and tung oil? In terms of application, wood sealing capability and finish? For my guitar i need to seal the wood and would like to try and keep that amazing satin feel.

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ScottR    1,355

The redwood guitar looks very exotic. I ccan't wait to see some finish on the outside of that.

Acoustic number one looks fantastic, I have liked that one from the start. How does it sound?

And don't you love the way zebrawood looks after being oiled?

Lookit!-

In general Danish oil is a blended oil finish with linseed oil and varnishes and solvents. It soaks deeply into the wood and cures there. It can be built up a little with a lot of applications but is not truly a film finish. Tung oil finish is fairly similar to Danish oil with a different oil as a base. True tung oil is more like linseed oil. It soaks in, takes a long time to cure and can build a little bit of a film that is not very hard. Tru-oil has polymerized linseed oil and other goodies. It dries relatively quickly and can build up a decent film. It is harder than the others----I believe---someone correct me if I'm wrong----but not as hard as nitro or poly finishes. It does soak into the wood nicely as well.

SR

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demonx    202

Only thing I'll correct Scott is that Danish oil (as I know it) does not have linseed oil as its base, it's a Tung oil/vegetable oil and varnish mix. It doesn't have that nice linseed oil smell!

Years ago I used to use linseed oil, I moved onto Danish oil as my "go to" and I haven't used linseed oil for maybe ten years? The Danish oil is easy to work with. However I only use that now for necks, I use "Aussie Oil" for bodies as of a month or two ago, but I'll be sticking to Danish for the neck as it seems to have a nicer feel.

I've never used true oil, but I imagine it shares characteristics with the Aussie oil. Harder, shinier build.

Oh, and the acoustic sounds great. I've just got some electric strings on it now, it'd sound even better with some dedicated acoustic strings

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ScottR    1,355

Thanks for the clarification on the Danish oil. I use it on all my carvings and all but the first neck I've ever done. My current project is going with Teak oil after watching RAD use it on a number of builds. I think it is similar to Danish but with a claim to have better penetration in harder oilier woods. "Aussie oil" piques my curiosity......probably something I'd love but cannot get.

SR

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demonx    202

Am I seeing a PRSish shape with P-90ish pups?

How do they sound?

SR

It's my superstrat shape with the tips rounded off and the belly fattened up a bit to make a more standard non metal looking body shape. It's the same superstrat top carve I've been doing for years. I guess it does look rather PRSish if you look at it that way.

The Hum90's are some cheapie's I bought from Dragonfire to see what they're like. The bridge is a bit thin, the neck is a much fuller sound and where I'd probably spend most of the time playing. Still, both pickups have their place and are very jazzy/bluesy and some nice tones all over.

I've never used P90's so I have nothing to compare to! I'd like to try a bareknuckle version to compare a $450 set to this $80 set (post inc)

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demonx    202

Finally got a day where it wasn't raining, so I snapped some pics of this one:

Mahogany body (radius top carve)
Papua New Guinea Rosewood neck (quarter sawn)
Rosewood fingerboard
Cocobolo binding

Bareknuckle Blackhawks
Hipshot bridge
26.125" scale
Brass Roman Numeral inlays
16" radius
6150 Dunlop fretwire
24 frets
Ebanol nut
Grover strap lock system
Grover tuners
CTS pots
Freeway selector
0.022uf paper dipped in oil cap
Stain and oil finish

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ScottR    1,355
I've never used P90's so I have nothing to compare to! I'd like to try a bareknuckle version to compare a $450 set to this $80 set (post inc)

You should do that! Nothing else quite sounds like a good P-90. I particularly like the warmth and fullness of one in the neck position.....as you noticed.

SR

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Prostheta    1,254

I use "Aussie Oil" for bodies as of a month or two ago, but I'll be sticking to Danish for the neck as it seems to have a nicer feel.

Isn't that an animal product derived from the secretions of the drop bear?

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demonx    202

Isn't that an animal product derived from the secretions of the drop bear?

Same process, but derived from the natural prey of the Drop Bear, foreign tourists.

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demonx    202

Sorry, I've been really bad at keeping this thread updated. Have been flat out with our business, trying to do house renovations, dealing with a property subdivision, dealing with builders for a house we're building and on top of all that trying to wrap up customer builds!

Long story short, here is a video of a recent build that was just picked up a couple weeks ago, Christopher sent me a link to this video of him playing one of his original pieces, hope you enjoy:

 

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ScottR    1,355

Good to see you again Allan. Finishing down into the ledge of the control cavity is a classy touch, and I love the cover itself as well.

All your new toys will let you repeat builds with very tight tolerances. Do they take any of the fun out of the build, or is it just a different kind of fun now?

SR

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demonx    202
8 hours ago, ScottR said:

Good to see you again Allan. Finishing down into the ledge of the control cavity is a classy touch, and I love the cover itself as well.

All your new toys will let you repeat builds with very tight tolerances. Do they take any of the fun out of the build, or is it just a different kind of fun now?

SR

My control cavities were one of my points of focus in my major redesign stage, not only does the new cavity look much better, as well as having a unique shape to make the rear of the guitar easily identifiable as one of mine, there were more important functional improvements made also.

 

More distance between the jack and the tone pot, more meat added around the jack area, way more space added in the cavity so I can easily add extra electronics as required.

 

As far as the "new toys", I've purchased every single one for a reason.  The only "new toy" I've purchased over the last couple eyars that doesn't get used is I bought another fret press. I used it once or twice and then remembered why I got rid of my first one. I prefer to hammer the frets in.

 

Does the CNC take the fun out of it - no. It's just a router. It's not really any different to hand routing things, it's just that you don't have to find as many ways to mount a template on top. You have to find ways to mount the wood to the bench instead. People without CNC forget, it's just a router.

 

When I first purchased the CNC I had it in my head that I was going to use it to cut all the parts of the guitar to completion, simply glue them together and then I would be ready to fret and paint. In reality, it doesn't work this way at all. I was a bit delusional to think so and now that I do have it up and running, my views have changed considerably.  I also had it in my head that the CNC would be working in one room and I'd be working in the next like two jobs getting done at once. WRONG! The CNC needs to be watched, especially with tool changes, the second you turn your back on the thing it's out to get you. Rise of the machines! Judgement day! That sort of thing. When you're watching it, always have a remote handy with the stop button ready to go, as the thing can be unpredictable at times.

 

I use mine mostly for roughing/waste removal. I still carve the neck by hand, it's just that I use the CNC to get most of the waste off first. I still hand carve the heel of the body and heel of the neck etc, I just use the CNC to remove the majority of the waste. It's handy to have it route pickup cavities etc and drill holes, but to be honest it takes longer than doing it with a hand held router. You still have tear out and router bit breakage issues and all that crap to deal with that you do with a standard router.

 

The main way CNC has changed my work is it has enabled for inlay work I just wouldn't have bothered with if I was doing it 100% by hand. Still, it is very time consuming.

 

 

 

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demonx    202
5 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Loads of your image links are broken further up this thread, Allan!

I was simply copying image URL's from my Searls Guitars facebook page, so either this site has stopped recognizing the facebook url, or facebook has stopped people using pictures like that, however I don't believe it's on the facebook end as I've done the same thing on other sites like my own forum and the images work fine.

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