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Kemp Guitars UK Build Thread #2

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KempGuitars    83

My first build thread is looking a little tatty - broken image links that I cannot repair, etc - so I've decided to start a new thread, which also coincides nicely with the start of some new builds that will show a slightly new direction for Kemp Guitars.

I won't give too much away now but all will become apparent as these two stock builds get underway.

So, Kemp DC or Jackson Dinky-style? I'm making both... Quartersawn Sapele bodies and Wenge/American Dark Birch (inverted) necks... These two builds will also be getting some (interesting) solid/PU colours =)

FYI, Birch, as you may or may not know, is known for it's "natural EQ qualities" and this variety has a grain pattern and strength similar to Black Walnut... along with an unusual colour.

dcdk01.jpg

dcdk02.jpg

Edited by KempGuitars

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KempGuitars    83
6 hours ago, KnightroExpress said:

Huh, never seen birch like that. I like it!

I would never usually consider Birch, but this stuff does look different (and is hard enough to use).

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KempGuitars    83

Okay, I'm getting impatient... I need to share some ideas...

Think 80s/90s Dinky and Horizon body styling, fanned frets, natural (oiled) necks, and...

19905233_1094960173980661_36313267088218

with matte clear coat :) 

Edited by KempGuitars

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pan_kara    151

I like it, though it's not something I'd personally want to own/play but I can see the appeal. I like the one-sided fan-fret, its something I have planned for a shred-machine that I plan to build for myself where I want to have some fan + floyd rose. So one-sided fan is pretty much the only option (might push the floyd a tiny bit within the saddle intonation range maybe).

You'll be doing the painting yourself?

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KempGuitars    83
24 minutes ago, pan_kara said:

I like it, though it's not something I'd personally want to own/play but I can see the appeal. I like the one-sided fan-fret, its something I have planned for a shred-machine that I plan to build for myself where I want to have some fan + floyd rose. So one-sided fan is pretty much the only option (might push the floyd a tiny bit within the saddle intonation range maybe).

You'll be doing the painting yourself?

Thanks pan-kara.

I admit that I saw the one-sided fan fret/half fan/whatever the technical term is on a couple of Ormsby builds. Being that these builds I'm working on are only 6-strings, I didn't feel that a massive difference in scale lengths was required (I'm using 25.5"-26.5"), From an ergonomic point of view, the fan from 1st to 24th fret with the neutral fret between 7th and 12th frets, again, didn't offer a huge benefit. And, like you're doing, there's no compromise on hardware - being able to use the same choice of bridges, and even pickups, without any troubles... I've not been big on multiscales up to now because of the restrictions on hardware. Best of both worlds now :) 

Painting will be done myself. All matte though - I stopped spraying a year ago and sold most equipment. I like the matte look, particularly on non-black colours, so it means I don't need to get hold of polishing equipment.

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pan_kara    151
13 minutes ago, KempGuitars said:

Thanks pan-kara.

I admit that I saw the one-sided fan fret/half fan/whatever the technical term is on a couple of Ormsby builds. Being that these builds I'm working on are only 6-strings, I didn't feel that a massive difference in scale lengths was required (I'm using 25.5"-26.5"), From an ergonomic point of view, the fan from 1st to 24th fret with the neutral fret between 7th and 12th frets, again, didn't offer a huge benefit. And, like you're doing, there's no compromise on hardware - being able to use the same choice of bridges, and even pickups, without any troubles... I've not been big on multiscales up to now because of the restrictions on hardware. Best of both worlds now :)

ah, I didn't see it done before (though I figured it must have been done) and yea, I also like the fact that in such approach the only complication is the fret slot cutting - I can do a double-locked floyd (with a zero-fret) - no compound scarf yay! I was also thinking of a mild 1' fan, maybe 25'-26' to just stiffen up the top a tiny bit and loosen up the bottom. Or maybe 25.5-26.5 as you say, if I put 9's on it it might be too rubbery on the top end below 25.5.. dunno yet. That's still a few months away.

13 minutes ago, KempGuitars said:

Painting will be done myself. All matte though - I stopped spraying a year ago and sold most equipment. I like the matte look, particularly on non-black colours, so it means I don't need to get hold of polishing equipment.

lol I'm in the opposite situation - got plenty of polishing equipment (not guitar-specific but still) but its the spraying that is a problem for me.

It does soundcool, matte green. Can look pretty funny without all the usual reflections. 

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KempGuitars    83
7 hours ago, pan_kara said:

ah, I didn't see it done before (though I figured it must have been done) and yea, I also like the fact that in such approach the only complication is the fret slot cutting - I can do a double-locked floyd (with a zero-fret) - no compound scarf yay! I was also thinking of a mild 1' fan, maybe 25'-26' to just stiffen up the top a tiny bit and loosen up the bottom. Or maybe 25.5-26.5 as you say, if I put 9's on it it might be too rubbery on the top end below 25.5.. dunno yet. That's still a few months away.

lol I'm in the opposite situation - got plenty of polishing equipment (not guitar-specific but still) but its the spraying that is a problem for me.

It does soundcool, matte green. Can look pretty funny without all the usual reflections. 

Yeah, the compound scarf needs to be worked on. I've not used it on previous multiscales, instead routing a nut slot into a standard "shaped" fretboard blank on regular scarf. Looks tidy enough but I would like to do it properly. These first two builds are based on how Ben @ Crimson guitars suggests - planing the angle into the headstock, which gives you a slight radius to the headstock - but it's been a pain in the backside so I'll be working on the compound scarf after these.

25-26" sounds like a plan - I would probably go with that next time. I don't plan on drop tuning these guitars myself, but it should be on middle ground so the option's there.

I've seen a similar green in matte and it looks good. Still got to decide on the colour for the other build...

dinky-style.jpg.432aed68d4a93234b042cdf1598b3a9c.jpg

 

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KempGuitars    83

Further progress on the latest DC and SS (formerly referred to as the "Dinky-style") builds. The bodies are now ready for finish sanding and I started the first neck carve today - on which you can now see the final colour of that Dark Birch with the help of some spirits...

dcdk04.jpg

The SS is an archtop with the same deep scoop in the lower cutaway...

dcdk05.jpg

Dark Birch and Wenge neck - the Dark Birch is a similar colour to the lighter Wenge grain...

dcdk06.jpg

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KempGuitars    83

Nearly forgot; going back to those SS colour mock-ups I recently posted. I had decided to go with the yellow, but whilst messing around with the images I came up with this orange which I'm quite drawn towards. Thoughts - yellow or orange?

ss-number1.jpg

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Prostheta    1,254
On 7/8/2017 at 7:00 PM, KempGuitars said:

dcdk01.jpg

 

You're spot on about Birch having a very natural low and high end. I'm having trouble seeing how that's Birch though....it should be more or less like Maple than anything....unless it's the lighting, that resembles Sapele or something along those lines more than Birch. Is it super-heavy?

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KempGuitars    83
7 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

 

You're spot on about Birch having a very natural low and high end. I'm having trouble seeing how that's Birch though....it should be more or less like Maple than anything....unless it's the lighting, that resembles Sapele or something along those lines more than Birch. Is it super-heavy?

 

I can't find out much, if anything, about "American Dark Birch". It's not something I've come across before and it's very unique in colour (bronze-like, turning more red when finished). It's not particularly heavy, similar to Black Walnut, and is medium hard/density (similar to Black Walnut). The most noticeable thing about it is the smell... Amazing smell when machining or sanding, like syrup or really sweet coffee.

I've had no issues with it and have every confidence that it's suitable for neck laminates.

If anyone can help further with confirming it's identity or more information then that'd be appreciated :)

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KempGuitars    83
3 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Does this seem more familiar? What's the provenance of the timber?

http://www.wood-database.com/river-birch/

No idea exactly where in America it usually comes from. But it's not River Birch if it's described as having "No characteristic odor", this stuff fills the workshop with a very strong, sweet smell.

I've had a look through all the Birches on the database and nothing looks similar to what I have in colour. Perhaps it's not what I was told it was but I'm hoping the clue is in the smell it gives off - caramel/syrup sweet.

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Prostheta    1,254

It's certainly not Birch then. Some woods remain a mystery unless you have more clues to go on. That ribbon-striping is very very distinctive though. Are you 100% that it isn't Sapele? I hate asking that since it's one of the first woods one learns when encountering modern "Mahogany alternatives".

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Prostheta    1,254

Is the grain crosslinked, and does it tear out either with or against the grain?

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KempGuitars    83
8 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

It's certainly not Birch then. Some woods remain a mystery unless you have more clues to go on. That ribbon-striping is very very distinctive though. Are you 100% that it isn't Sapele? I hate asking that since it's one of the first woods one learns when encountering modern "Mahogany alternatives".

I've just spotted something in your earlier post... We're talking about different woods!! :D The bodies are Sapele, yes.

I'm talking about the neck laminates...

dcdk02.jpg

There's the Wenge, obviously, but the red-brown laminates are the "Dark Birch"... Sorry, my broadband speeds are absolutely appauling (like a tenth of a meg appauling) at the moment and the image you pasted in didn't load! Oops :rolleyes:

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Prostheta    1,254

Oops, sorry.... I'm an idiot!

It's still too dark for Birch though. It looks more like torrefied Birch then. That would explain the biscuit smell. Does it have a slight shine to it also....?

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