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Entry for November 2019's Guitar Of The Month is open - ENTER HERE!

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Yeeaaaaaa!  Happy am I.  The patent just got filed today, so I can sample this stuff to anyone interested.  

If the mods determine that this is not appropriate, since now this appears like I am using this forum as a sales tool, then I will be happy to delete this post, and just focus on building guitars with the Carbon Fiber.  

Here is more detail on the carbon fiber sheets:

Maybe a little background first.  I make textured architectural panels for a living (making a whole 12 grand yearly income for the last four years because I spend $60K per year on R&D to make stuff like the CF Quilt), with wave patterns, bubble patterns, etc, and found that my favorite was an organic pattern I call "Dune" in which I made molds based on sand ripple patterns from photos of dunescapes on the planet Mars, from photos by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft uploaded to the HiRise site via NASA / JPL / Arizona U.  So my "Dune" panels are from actual Martian dunes - see below.

I was so intrigued by the natural patterns, that I thought "What other natural 3D patterns can be done?", so then quilted maple hit me, since its patterning is similar to dune, but with closed "quilt billows".  At the time I was only back coating the Dune and the new Quilt with metallics, as it traces the texture so nice and is easy to apply.  But since I had been using highly figured woods in my furniture business for the last 30 years, its obvious that linear fibers are a more accurate depiction of wood figure, being itself, linear fibers.  

Then ordered CF sheets, and it worked the first time I tried in acrylic, then glass, then in epoxy for gluing direct to wood.   

I made the 6A quilt molds (enhanced patterning, since I had the creative freedom to draw the "quilt" pattern as I wanted it to be, thus 6A, not 5A grade quilt) 25 x 33 to get two guitar faces from one sheet, and the fiddleback mold can get one guitar or several fingerboards (18 x 25).  

Planning on large molds to fill my 5' x 12' laminating ovens, so I am ready for production.  

At about .090" it machines like wood, and can be glued with titebond directly to wood, so you would use it like thick veneer.  The epoxy face requires a topcoat of your choice, Nitro would work, but 2K urethane has UV blockers.  The epoxy is a special type that resists blushing and fading, and will last the life of the guitar as far as I know.  I used the exact same epoxy on my boat, and with constant sun, for ten years, it is still crystal clear.  

The best part, is that it does not expand / contract along its length at all, as the fiber is incompressible, but it does allow movement in the width, across the "grain" of the fibers.  

The Dune below is what started it all.  Then is a cross-section view of the 6A Quilt in Carbon Fiber.   

   

Dune-IslandTop.JPG

CF-quilt-veneer-edge-clsp.JPG

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Congratulations! You've got to have a lot of stress off your shoulders now, right? I imagine it takes a lot of patience, balls and stomach acid to push through the patent system.

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yea, unfortunately this is just the beginning of birth pangs.  Gotta get enough interest generated at NAMM and through my architectural reps to warrant the real patent filing in a year, and hopefully find investors to help with the 20 grand needed.  

But when I see Steve Raz play my guitar every weekend, it all seems worth it.  

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Quick mockup pic of the CF guitar to send to someone Steve met with huge connections (Steven Tyler, Nuno Bettencourt, etc).  Waiting for the Wenge neck to get finish shaped so I can glue on the CF fingerboard.  Then on to epoxy in frets, cut and buff, setup and go to stage.

 

CF-Quilt-roughMockup-Full.JPG

CF-Quilt-roughMockup-Clsp-inlays.JPG

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Onwards and upwards! I think the lighter-coloured finishes pop more, especially on a larger stage. Freddie Mercury once said in the 70s that he wore black in smaller venues so people focused more of their attention, whilst in larger venues he wore white so he could be seen. I think the same applies to guitars.

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Finally got a break to start working again on the first ever figured carbon fiber guitar.  Blinding the frets day.  I pulled my laser out of focus to "cut" U-shaped grooves in the clamping caul for epoxying them in.   Cast-in-place Dichrolam inlays is also a first ever.   

  

BlindingFrets.JPG

Edited by StratsRdivine

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So a spinoff product of the quilted CF, is the new solid figured CF for fingerboards. 

Ever notice that when you machine down figured wood, the 3D effect continues regardless how deep?  Same with CF.  I noticed this after sanding through some small spots on the CF quilt, that was resin-filled.  Sanded through the resin, and after topcoating, you can't see the spots at all.  So I took this principle further.  

I used my "fiddleback / flame" mold to press a thick build of the CF, then cut the figure flat.  Full 3D figure, but solid carbon fiber.  

Would be awesome in fingerboards.  

So, the figure goes all the way through the 1/8" thick laminate, showing its 3D figure regardless of how much is removed during radius machining and final sanding.  Fret slots cut great with CNC carbide mills.  

From my research, carbon fiber fingerboards are used in the market (Washburn), but the only downside is that they don't look any better than ebony, so why use it - until now, thanks to my 3D figured fretboards that now solve the "looks" problem.  Nuno Bettencourt uses them and calls them "faster" for whatever reason.  They do have insane resonance and are very lightweight, ultra strong, as you can imagine CF to be. 

 

CF-SolidFretBoard.JPG

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I played a few "custom shop" Washburns with options like those about 6-7yrs ago, and surprisingly they were crapper than the imported sub-thousand models. Maybe a few duffers slipped the net. Nuno might be referring to the slickness under the fingers when bending, or a slicker edge? I doubt they make general playing faster though. You can say any old crap when marketing though. "It makes you six points sexier"

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

Nuno might be referring to the slickness under the fingers when bending, or a slicker edge? I doubt they make general playing faster though. You can say any old crap when marketing though. "It makes you six points sexier"

Thats exactly what I was thinking.  The fine sanded surface of CF is really slick, due to the hardness, and likely micro-crushed fiber ends, acting like velvet.  That's what I feel, anyway.  That's as close as I get to being in touch with my feelings. 

Here's a quick full shot of the CF guitar.  Its a phone shot for instagram, - still waiting finish it up before I pull out the DSLR.  

 

CFQuilt-Full-Velvet-CAMPIC.JPG

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1 hour ago, Prostheta said:

Epoxy rhymes with sociopathy.

That explains my love / hate relationship with epoxy.  You piss it off and it will kick off way earlier than you expected.  All lovy dovy up until it feels a little heat.  

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Ah, this reminds me of mixing too much WEST System and leaving it on the bench in a sunbeam. It also reminds me of the goop in Ghostbusters 2, however the swearing was due to the rapid bubbling, smoking and expansion. Not the cause.

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Fret level, crown and polish on the first ever figured carbon fiber fretboard (fingerboard, exactly), with Dichrolam inlays to top it off.  Wait til you all see my solid figured carbon fiber stock.  Figure goes all the way through, no matter how much radius is machined off.  Its so hard that it polishes to gloss without coating.  The resonance is insane - sounds like glass when dropped.    

Got my Kevlar fiber roll in last week - wait til you see the quilt figure in Gold.  Gonna do "strafe coating" of Red and blue candy on it.  Research my threads and you will know how awesome "strafe coating" is.  

      

 

FretLevel-polish-CF.JPG

 

 

Edited by StratsRdivine
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