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Andyjr1515

Dreadnought Acoustic

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Closed and trimmed, the body is now ready for the binding and purfling (that I haven't ordered yet :rolleyes: ).  

Here's what it's looking like:

BUCMDe7l.jpg

yVyZIOBl.jpg

rC5ZquYl.jpg

 

So next job is to move onto the neck.  I've already joined the mahogany and walnut, using my usual trick of offsetting the walnut to save having to rout a slot.  It also helps me get a positive datum early on.

4ckySztl.jpg

 

The other thing that will probably take me as long as the build itself, is that I've ordered the materials to convert an old small B&D Workmate into an acoustic neck and body routing jig.  It steals ideas from the LMII rig, but is a bit simpler in construction and will literally bolt on instead of the (now pretty wrecked) existing work surfaces.  I might try and incorporate some other guitar-building features to convert it into a luthier specialist bit of kit.  I'll keep you posted if that all works and quietly drop the topic if it doesn't :D

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Something I do at this stage, particularly with soft woods, is pop on a protective coat of thinned varnish.  It will all get sanded off before the finishing, but I find it helps reduce score marks, etc , when you are handling and machining it for the various processes.  It also gives a reasonable idea of what the colour's going to turn out like:

The top will end a couple of shades darker than this, but this will be the overall 'vibe':

sqSJuUZl.jpg

3qfwk0Vl.jpg

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20 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Goddamnit, you make me feel lazy.

Nah....I think it's me...MrsAndyjr1515 thinks I'm slightly (SLIGHTLY?! she says) bonkers...

 

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Well, if you're anything like me then when you're in the zone you do everything 400% right? No point in dipping your toes into the water unless you're just figuring out how warm it is.

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2 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Well, if you're anything like me then when you're in the zone you do everything 400% right? No point in dipping your toes into the water unless you're just figuring out how warm it is.

Yes - I get into lemming mode...I run faster and faster, with an urgency spurred on by the suspicion that oblivion is surely just around the corner.  And probably speeding up that conclusion in the process :lol:

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Well, if the engines going to blow you might as well see what happens when you gun it a bit harder. I squarely blame Captain Kirk for persecuting his engineering team.

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Progress has slowed a little with our elder daughter visiting from Scotland.  Mind you, while she and MrsAndyjr1515  were 'women talking' (probably both complaining about me), I managed to do a bit of routing of the ebony fretboard to insert some 'traditional' diamonds and squares fret markers:

2q5lZtvl.jpg

I used a dremel with precision router base and 1.5mm router bit.  I save ebony dust when I sand, then mix it with the fixing epoxy.

 

Here it is, now ready for radiusing (apols that the photo is out of focus):

zIQxkzXl.jpg

I'm thinking of putting a zero fret in as the ebony is already slotted for one.  Any views?

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Man, this really looks great! I've been wanting to do an acoustic pretty bad but I think I've kinda psyched myself out on the subject. Who knows maybe after I finish the electric I'm working on now and the 3 that I have coming up soon I will give it a try. 

Anyways, awesome work man! That varnish really made the back and sides pop!!

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Nice idea at 12th! I used diamonds in a fingerboard myself a while back, however I usually find them pretty boring and "too standard". Ideas like this break them out of that bracket.

I'm surprised that I have no photos on hand of this....I tilted the diamonds so that one edge was in line with the frets to make them a little more in line with the "snow" theme. I didn't want to go full snowflake ("everybody knows you never go full snowflake") and diamonds compliment the Explorer shape better.

Difficult to see them in the photo though; are they the "cut square" diamonds?

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12 hours ago, Prostheta said:

 

Difficult to see them in the photo though; are they the "cut square" diamonds?

Yes - I'll take a better photo tomorrow.  The middle one is a diamond and the two outer ones are squares twisted round 45 degrees :) 

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On 2/22/2016 at 9:56 AM, Prostheta said:

Difficult to see them in the photo though; are they the "cut square" diamonds?

Here's a better photo:

cyozaiml.jpg

 

Also, the rig for routing the neck and body join is coming along.  Not the neatest job in the world, but is looking functionally OK so far:

LBuZItXl.jpg

I'll show some more details once I've finalised the neck angle fixing.  In brief, it has two modes - the two hinges either side of the template in the photo are holding the neck fixture for the neck routing.  These are/this is then taken off just by loosening the 4 set screws to reveal a cork-lined block behind it which firmly grips the body for the body rout with its appropriate template.

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You're a never-ending source of entertainment....your missus is pretty close to the mark thinking you're a bit mad....!

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33 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

You're a never-ending source of entertainment....your missus is pretty close to the mark thinking you're a bit mad....!

Many a true word.... :lol:

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Jig is done and, ignoring some improvements I will make when I get a bit more hardware, ready to use.

Taking the frame from an old Workmate and some ideas from the LMI/Robert O'Brien design, I've now got a jig which in a couple of minutes can change from holding the body to rout either a mortice or dovetail slot:

so2yd1Pl.jpg

 

Held square at the top and able to accommodate the angle of the back:

f5WckqAl.jpg

 

...to a configuration which can cut the tenon on the neck blank:

5JPDolbl.jpg

 

...where the neck is positioned by the trussrod slot:

sIq2RACl.jpg

...and angled by a secure adjustment of the hinge angle:

1zBudstl.jpg

 

...and then, two minutes later, be folded up just like any other Workmate.  

wTWTTknl.jpg

The O'Brien videos are brilliant, by the way. ...

Edited by Andyjr1515

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Purfling and binding....this is where I go a little 'off-piste' again.

It will probably come as no great surprise to many of you that...I don't do it entirely like everyone else :rolleyes:

The cutting of the slots is pretty conventional - I can't justify the LMI / Stewmac fancy rigs (although I can see the great advantage of doing so if I was making a lot of bound guitars)  but I do use the Dremel in a fairly conventional way with the precision router base fitted with the binding roller attachment:

fKSMd5Ql.jpg 

 

The top has two slots - one for the 1mm purfling and a deeper slot for the 1.6mm binding:

1rlYCkJl.jpg

 

The part where I go off-piste is the next bit.  I IRON on the purfling and binding.  The reason is simply that the traditional method of binding tape and/or mummifying the body with bicyle inner tubes / rope / webbing, etc is SO unpredictable in my view.  I can't see what's going on until the glue's set and then - if there's a gap and bulge (and in my experience there often is) it's too late.

 

It struck me that it is the same as veneering...and there I can see exactly what's going on because I iron it and it sticks and if it doesn't I apply more heat and pressure until it does and then move one....

So that's what I've done for the last two or three binding jobs and it's SO much easier for me (not saying the other way is wrong, it's just that I personally struggle with it).

This was the first one I tried that way - a good test with very tight curves and a rosewood/boxwood binding:

Gzhczarl.jpg

 

Anyway, right or wrong, that's how I do it.  And it's instant results.  This purfling took 8 minutes in total to glue securely and ready for the next stage:

fGHHyP3l.jpg

 

S7ddn01l.jpg

 

Just a final tip.  If you DO apply the binding the conventional way and end up with a small gap, it is worth trying a hot iron on that part followed by pressure with a rag for the few seconds until it's cooled.  If it's a buckle, it isn't going to fix it, but if it's just eased away from the joint a tad, it may well sort it without having to resort to filler... :)

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My first concern would be unseating of the soundboard and/or kerfing. I'd love to see more though! What glue is being used? 

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Looks a lot like one I was messing about with last year (really only the back & side timber) - I never took finished photos but these two pics are the most up to date ones I did take.

 

I got it as far as string up, played if for about a minute and decided it was crap! Strings came off and it's been shoved in the back of my workshop since.

 

In a nutshell, where I went wrong was the top wood, so don't stress about the back sides wood choice! The Redwood top was flimsy crap, I was warned, but I figured I'd risk it anyway. I beefed up the bracing to accommodate as this is what I was told I'd have to do. The guitar sounded dull and boring because of it. If I had have used a spruce or Cedar top and regular bracing then it would have been much better and there'd be finished pics to show off.

 

Good luck with the rest of your build, so far it's looking great.

 

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25 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

My first concern would be unseating of the soundboard and/or kerfing. I'd love to see more though! What glue is being used? 

Not a risk there, @Prostheta The heat is very localised, too low and applied for too short a time to soften the main constructional glue holding the kerfing and top in place.

The glue I'm using for the purling and binding is a good quality white woodworking PVA glue (specifically Evostic Woodworking Glue).  It's the same that I use for my veneering.  All the heat does is accelerate the cure to give a strong initial tack.  It then cures fully in the normal way.  I wouldn't use this method for components under major stress because I cannot be sure that accelerating the cure will result in the same strength of joint, but for thin purfling and pre-bent binding (which it will be) it holds it fine.  Unless you reapply heat, getting the trimmed overlap is certainly a challenge...it's a strong bond!  In principle, it's not so different from using an accelerator for superglue and for the same benefits.

 

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10 minutes ago, demonx said:

Looks a lot like one I was messing about with last year (really only the back & side timber) - I never took finished photos but these two pics are the most up to date ones I did take.

 

I got it as far as string up, played if for about a minute and decided it was crap! Strings came off and it's been shoved in the back of my workshop since.

 

In a nutshell, where I went wrong was the top wood, so don't stress about the back sides wood choice! The Redwood top was flimsy crap, I was warned, but I figured I'd risk it anyway. I beefed up the bracing to accommodate as this is what I was told I'd have to do. The guitar sounded dull and boring because of it. If I had have used a spruce or Cedar top and regular bracing then it would have been much better and there'd be finished pics to show off.

 

Good luck with the rest of your build, so far it's looking great.

 

%7Boption%7D11391367_835765173171985_591157228630932

 

%7Boption%7D11745445_852797388135430_129987953784811

 

That back is almost identical!!!!  Great shame about the top - it does look great.  Maybe one to hang on the wall (or re-top it?)

I have to say, my unconventionality doesn't extend to tops or braces.  I follow all the conventions for those bits...every standard hint and tip.  It beats me how something so thin can be so strong and yet vibrate so well.  Whether Martin came across the basic design by accident or intention doesn't matter.  It worked so that's good enough for me :)

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Under the ever watchful eye of Tiddles the man eating tiger cat, the hot-pipe bent top binding is drying and hopefully 'setting' into shape.  I'm going for rosewood with a b/w/b detail which should mirror the purfling...

LuaVR6Dl.jpg

 

For the binding, I'll be using the 'true' AJR veneer method of coating both surfaces with PVA, letting it dry and then ironing them together.  The reason is that doing that gives you infinite fiddling time to make sure it is fitting all the way round as there is no 'glue-drying-time-pressure' involved :)

I'll let you know if it works :D

Andy

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It's more the remit of engineering I think, Andy. The product is greater than the sum of the parts. Have you looked into Nomex double tops and the like yet? I'm 100% sure that would fire you right up.

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

It's more the remit of engineering I think, Andy. The product is greater than the sum of the parts. Have you looked into Nomex double tops and the like yet? I'm 100% sure that would fire you right up.

Fascinating!  I'd never heard of that before your post....    Amazing stuff!

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I hate to say that I told you so, however this was a positive use of predicted retrograde hindsight projection.

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