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Yeah, that's What I thought too with the black, and the vectored effect.  Kindof reminded me of a disney cartoon villain subliminally looking at you through the "grain".    

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The fact that you also reversed it for a virtual bookmatch (and not a mirrored semi-bookmatch) makes it all the more confounding. That is completely science. Hooray!

Is this a surface finish, or a material that has properties through its depth also? For example, would a contoured top require a surface finish or milled in the expected manner? Obviously, these details can be kept as close to your chest as you want....

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The Carbon fiber is actually molded to the 3D quilt billows based on molds I made that were drawn based on actual quilted maple, and when I liked the pattern, I mirrored it in CAD so it would cut a bookmatch, with both sides being female, as opposed to all wood bookmatches which are male one side, female other side.  

The fibers follow the contour EXACTLY the way real quilt billows are, and cast in solid acrylic, regardless of thickness.  So The 3D effect is 100% actual 3D topography, just seen below the glass-flat acrylic face, so it is not a surface finish.  My next tests will be compound curve thermoforming.  This would be the only way to make this into a "carved" archtop.  I believe it will be possible.  I am also currently drawing molds for tight fiddleback flame and bee's wing mottled.  The curly figure will likely be just as cool.  Now I need to look into pistol handles, etc.   

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Here is the latest panel in the faux quilted ebony.  The method use to make this panel resulted in a much crisper texture, and the resins used minimize CTE movement so much that I can actually glue it directly to a wood body, sand, then topcoat with any clear, therefore getting way from the CTE issues from the other guitars in acrylic, requiring expansion joints.

  

CF-Quilt-veneer-rough.JPG

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The symmetry is probably one of the few clues that could differentiate that from the real thing, at least in photos. How does it stand up to inspection close-up? I support that emulating wood to the nth degree becomes less important, since at some point there's new ground to explore that wood simply can't venture onto right?

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I just can't stop looking at that and convince myself it's not wood. The clues are there, but I'm pre-programmed so heavily....

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Yeah, I can't stop looking at it too, and I have the real thing.  Its actually much more 3D than actual quilted maple / mahogany.   When I do the flame / curly fiddleback, you will really be tricked.  The new ground you mentioned means that I can combine flame with quilt on future molds.  Maybe weave tight curls in and around the quilt billows - will look natural, but completely impossible to see 5A flame with 5A quilt in the wild.  My current flame mold has a few elongated quilty billows.  The sky is the limit.  Need to try out my green candy, but red is clearly a winner.   Yellow would be cool too.  Mixing yellow with a bit of red might give a nice mahogany look, more than the red alone above.  

Can't wait to get aramid fiber.   

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red is always a tricky color to capture accurately on the internet/pc/digital- but the way that red looks to me- I would call it
"devils velvet". very deep , rich, nice. (even if it isn't real wood)

considering that quilted maple of that quality is so rare (what- 1 in a 1000 trees has heavy figure(?)- you may be onto something here with our tree/figured lumber supply slowly dwindling. if you can take the top out of the "tone equation" (- ie-route out the top=mount the bridge to the wood (recess the bridge) I cant see why these wouldn't sound comparable to a (fully wooded) guitar. (your comment about stage vs studio wouldn't apply then) if you can produce and sell those tops or guitars at a lower price point than current market- you may have something there dude. I commend your efforts here. Especially with the patents. I know from experience with the company I work for how much fun those can be. I cant even imagine having to pay for it.

 

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Gotta go boating, but real quick - the new CF figures panels are full epoxy, same expansion / contraction as wood, so they will be able to be direct glued to wood tops just as if it were 1/8" wood.  Shouldnt hurt tone much.  

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Apparently, glass works with this system as well, using different "resins".  Will be marketing this to the commercial arch market as well.  The only bummer, is that I have to use carbide blades to pre-cut/score the CF prior to cutting the glass, but most arch specs are for tempered panels anyway, requiring no cutting after laminating.  Maybe I should just relaminate a backer glass panel and have it waterjet into samples.  

 

CF-quilt-glasspanel-26x33.JPG

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Now I present to you . . . Fiddleback ebony.  Made another mold patterned after flame/curly and decided that it would make an amazing fingerboard for the Wenge neck going onto the candy red 6A Quilted carbon fiber body.  Then discovered that I can IMD the Red Burl Dichrolam directly in the resin casting, eliminating the inlay routing, but casting with a 9.5" radius is a bit tricky.  The fret slots will be cut with .030" diamond blade (epoxying the frets).  Nailed the interlaminar adhesion with some special polymer science tricks so well that it cuts on the T-saw without delaminating.  Mills better with carbide router bits, of coarse.   If I can pull all that fretboard work off, then THATS Wizardry.  

This guitar will melt faces just sitting on a stand.  

CF-Fiddleback-RedBurl-IMD-Fingerboard.JPG

CF-quilt-Face-sprayshot.JPG

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What drives you the most here, John? The rush of overcoming and encompassing technical challenges?

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On 6/25/2017 at 4:51 AM, Prostheta said:

What drives you the most here, John? The rush of overcoming and encompassing technical challenges?

I love questions like this.  Completely NOT the rush of overcoming technical challenges, although that is true when something is successful.  There are too many times when I cannot overcome a technical challenge, which seems to kill the joy of the times when I do.  

The real drive is my insatiable pursuit of aesthetic dynamism, and more specifically, 3D effects within 2D surfaces (my entire line of Dichrolam products reflect this, but not here to talk about that).  This pursuit makes me a better polymer scientist in order to pull off the visual effect that I am after.   

Here is why I love your question:  Very few, and I mean very few people are conscious of the synergistic relationship between left (classic, analytical, math/scientific) and right (romantic/emotional/artistic) brain thinking.   Notice I did not say that people are not aware of the difference - most know that artists are strong right brain, while scientists, engineers, and acountants are strongly left - that is common knowledge.   What is not commonly known is that the more you embrace both modes of thinking, the better you will be at each side.

Simply put, I am a better designer BECAUSE I am a scientist / engineer, and I am a better scientist / engineer BECAUSE I am an artist.  

Or this way, which is even more accurate:  The emotional, adrenaline triggering desire for a kick*** aesthetic effect actually burns within me to motivate me to accomplish the polymer science needed to pull it off.  

Study the masters and you see this to be true - DaVinci painted like an emotional artist, yet designed helicopters and submarines.  Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, yet was the only architect/engineer to design a self supporting dome on St Peter's Church.  

Then look at modern examples:  Ferrari's look so freakin cool aesthetically, but most of it is for utilitarian reasons (streamlining, etc), and require the utmost in technical engine design right along with the cool body design.

BTW - I need to reshoot the silver quilt guitar on a whiter background before I post for the GOTM entry, so thanks for the headsup on the other thread.    

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@KnightroExpress - argh.....John used the "S" word! haha :D

I'm unsure about the left/right brain thing, as I am sure that this has been proven to be broadly incorrect, but that's a different subject. I wholeheartedly agree about the balance between engineering and art, mathematics and beauty, discipline and creativity, order and organic. Finding some level where the two meet and allowing them to overlap produces absolute wonders, as you've adequately demonstrated.

Personally I try not to think about this on a too-polar level. I like to have a broad range of knowledge, even if I could not be regarded as competent in them. In fact, I really wish that I'd studied chemistry on a deeper level. One of my regrets. I could learn the facts, but perhaps not apply them as usefully as I might had I took it on when younger and more plastic.

I digress.

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Well, the new diamond blade fret slot cutter / fingerboard radiusing jig works great for my figured carbon fiber fingerboards.  

Two major purposes: cutting radii in fingerboard wood when the dado blade is in the mini 4" saw, and then cutting the .035" wide fret slots in the finished CF fingerboard with the diamond blade.  Yes, its the thinnest blade I could find, and yes its too wide for frets.  However, I plan to epoxy the frets in anyway, so it should work fine.  My clamping caul will center the frets with thousanth inch precision.  

Very little runout in the the blade for virtually zero wobble since I refaced the flanges like I do with all my tools (carbide reface while spinning).  Then the swing bed is solid as a stone - very little racking at all due to the large acrylic faces (oiled) at the hinge bolts.  Adjustable height bed, and adjustable radii.  

My laser marks the fret slots (dead on), and its very easy to climb cut the slot right between the two laser lines.  

 

CF-Nutslot.JPG

CF-diamondSlotter.JPG

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Yep,

That fingerboard was just the first hand cast test.  Perfect to see if the diamond blade cuts through without delaminating the resin and / or gumming up the blade.  It just dusts right through perfectly.  

Making a new dedicated mold today with the 9.5" RAD for casting bottom up, which will eliminate bubbles entirely.  I'm actually fine sanding the new CF fingerboard right now in prep for the inlays prior to casting (the jig above radiused the Wenge substrate perfectly).  The new one will have a narrow border of my Black Sea Dichrolam (blue/violet color) around each Red Burl delta.  After casting, I will radius sand it, then airbrush the "vapor trails" like the last guitar (white wisps behind each gold burl inlay) but use the red candy tint, (to match the Red Candy CF Quilt body) then topcoat with 2K urethane, then cut and buff, then cut the fret slots and epoxy the frets in.  So far it all works in my head.  Reality is often a different story, but I have rehearsed this many times and can't see a problem yet.  If you do, I am all ears.   

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I can't see it being problematic, especially since you have a well-versed skillset already. That said, challenges do like to crop up from time to time.

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Alright - just sprayed the new CF fiddleback that I cast this week with better "onlays".  Mold was a real pain to hit the 9.5" radius, but got it, however, it cast with a twist, so had to grind off quite a bit in the opposite two corners prior to coating.  

PRS uses Dichrolam in their bird inlays, and it is elegant, but I had to show them how its done.  Everything went exactly as I outlined in my July 13th post above so far, except that I just ordered two diamond blades with .023" kerfs, so fretting might be easier.  

 

CF-BCRB-neckClsp-Sprayshot-fulloutside.JPG

CF-BCRB-neckClsp-Sprayshot.JPG

CF-BCRB-neckClsp-Sprayshot-1stFret.JPG

CF-BCRB-neck-masked4Red.JPG

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