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Andyjr1515

Finished! Alembicesque - No 1 of Brace (2) of Six String Electrics

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Andyjr1515    528

Hi

Now that the ultra-modern bass is complete, it's back to my first love...6-string electrics.  And I'm building two of them!

The first, is an Alembic-esque build for a long-standing member of one of the UK-based forums.  It won't be a clone but will have a passing nod to the '80s look of the original Alembic 6-strings.

The top will be a nice piece of bookmatched Camphor Laurel:

_MG_2620.thumb.JPG.ad6f78263c7f60a9f1ac44352ea32bcb.JPG

It will have a fully chambered mahogany back - basically a semi acoustic without the 'f' holes.

The 5-piece through neck (visible from the back only) has been laminated - maple / purpleheart / mahogany / purpleheart / maple:

_MG_2630.thumb.JPG.1b487990cbd2ba92d1df9d257021d893.JPG 

...and turns out to be birdseye :)

_MG_2629.thumb.JPG.588bd620122ba5c4c44ac7d6771e66d2.JPG

 

Tim, who I'm building it for, has just sent me this lovely looking Schaller piezo bridge:

_MG_2622.thumb.JPG.7db588ca8c61fcd0586f4b6f2bdef2b4.JPG

_MG_2623.thumb.JPG.154765d51a5b39ca302a2d1fefcdd837.JPG

 

The other build is going to be similar construction, which is one of the reasons I'm going to build two in parallel.

It is going to be a 6-string electric version of Pete's Piccolo Bass:

_MG_1164.thumb.JPG.fa8a79ce4b39b17a2c51fedf6fa39589.JPG

The reason is that I want to see if the advantages of the above design translate fully to a 6-string electric - very light weight (c 6lbs) and super-slim neck to body transition.

This is the top - a nice piece of amboyna:

_MG_2639.thumb.JPG.ce02e8764d82f2f84fe86f54c83ff9dd.JPG

...and the through neck cut from the same beam as Tim's Alembic-esque above

Should keep me off the streets for a couple more months, which will please the local constabulary  :D

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Zoltar    30

Looking forward to both of these ones :)

I'm particularly interested in how you get on with that Camphor Laurel. I'd seen a bit for sale and have been thinking about getting some (did you get yours from a certain supplier over near Stoke?), absolutely love the look of it, but I couldn't find many examples of it's use in guitar making so I wondered if there were drawbacks to its use? Hopefully it all goes well, please keep us all informed :) 

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Andyjr1515    528
3 hours ago, Zoltar said:

Looking forward to both of these ones :)

I'm particularly interested in how you get on with that Camphor Laurel. I'd seen a bit for sale and have been thinking about getting some (did you get yours from a certain supplier over near Stoke?), absolutely love the look of it, but I couldn't find many examples of it's use in guitar making so I wondered if there were drawbacks to its use? Hopefully it all goes well, please keep us all informed :) 

Yes - Kirk at exotichardwoodsukltd.co.uk. He used to be at Chapel-en-le-frith but now is nearish Stoke.  The only issue is that it is as holey as swiss cheese so will need a lot of black resin to fill.  I'll let you know how it goes....

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psikoT    250
21 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Yes - Kirk at exotichardwoodsukltd.co.uk

Thanks for the link... nice stuff there. I just want to make a bunch of guitars with those woods...

When they say "sanded", do they mean ready to glue?

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Andyjr1515    528
5 hours ago, psikoT said:

Thanks for the link... nice stuff there. I just want to make a bunch of guitars with those woods...

When they say "sanded", do they mean ready to glue?

Hmmm...I haven't bought much since he move to his new premises, so I'm not sure what his finishing processes are nowadays.  Generally, I would have said not quite.  You can see the machining marks in the camphor laurel above so that is definitely not.  

The amboyna, on the other hand, definitely is. It's spot on thickness and smooth as the proverbial...

If. you are interested in buying anything, it's worth dropping Kirk an email and asking him.  You'll get a straight answer - he's a good guy.

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psikoT    250
44 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

If. you are interested in buying anything, it's worth dropping Kirk an email and asking him.  You'll get a straight answer - he's a good guy.

Good to know... Not really planning to start another project soon, but I was looking for an alternative to Madinter, as they don't have much variety and you never know which piece you'll get. These woods are a little bit pricey but worth a try. Thanks again! ;) 

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curtisa    465

Dammit Andy, I've filled up on popcorn too much from your last build. Now I'll have to head back to the counter to order another batch.:popcorn:

Careful with the Hannes bridge. I believe they've changed the design on them recently and dropped the steel plate that acts as the string-thru anchor, and it's trickier to get all six strings in contact with ground.

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Andyjr1515    528
1 hour ago, curtisa said:

Dammit Andy, I've filled up on popcorn too much from your last build. Now I'll have to head back to the counter to order another batch.:popcorn:

Careful with the Hannes bridge. I believe they've changed the design on them recently and dropped the steel plate that acts as the string-thru anchor, and it's trickier to get all six strings in contact with ground.

Well, they do say in certain circles that you can never have too much popcorn ;)  Admittedly, those are usually popcorn producers' circles....

This one does have an anchor block, thankfully.  Mind you, the fixing for the bridge itself is a little unconventional - bolted from the back - so I may need to shorten those bolts if I go ultra-slim or do a concave carve again to the back...

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ScottR    1,355
5 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

This one does have an anchor block, thankfully.  Mind you, the fixing for the bridge itself is a little unconventional - bolted from the back - so I may need to shorten those bolts if I go ultra-slim or do a concave carve again to the back...

That bolted from the back setup looks a bit odd from the back in some folk's eyes, but it may be the most solid bridge mount system out there. Odd, since the saddles float freely.

SR

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Andyjr1515    528
2 hours ago, ScottR said:

That bolted from the back setup looks a bit odd from the back in some folk's eyes, but it may be the most solid bridge mount system out there. Odd, since the saddles float freely.

SR

Yes - looks like overkill to me...

Nice bridge all the same :)

 

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ScottR    1,355

One of the better looking ones for sure. The saddle height adjustment is located directly below the string, which adds some extra time and labor during setup, but all in all a very nice bridge.

SR

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Stu.    35
On 05/08/2017 at 4:40 PM, Andyjr1515 said:

Hmmm...I haven't bought much since he move to his new premises, so I'm not sure what his finishing processes are nowadays.  Generally, I would have said not quite.  You can see the machining marks in the camphor laurel above so that is definitely not.  

The amboyna, on the other hand, definitely is. It's spot on thickness and smooth as the proverbial...

If. you are interested in buying anything, it's worth dropping Kirk an email and asking him.  You'll get a straight answer - he's a good guy.

I just wanted to second this! I've had great experiences with Kirk in the past; he was very helpful and the wood was excellent.

Those Hannes bridges are very tempting too. They always look killer on a DC/SS style!

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Andyjr1515    528

Most of the major bits of timber are now ready for me to start making a bit of progress:

_MG_2672.thumb.JPG.4cf9333f34903c97b2d1bfd909301632.JPG

 

First got the top glued together.  The cling-filmed block is just keeping it flat against the sash clamps (and must buy a couple more of those!):

_MG_2675.thumb.JPG.d4abd07b27c278dc88ce4b8cc141c775.JPG

Then cut out the outline shape.  This is with the top dampened to show broadly how it will look:

_MG_2689.thumb.JPG.e3a0cbc4b616a04c652940f55a4d56e8.JPG

You get a better idea of the colours in this sunshine shot (yes - sunshine, folks!):

_MG_2686.thumb.JPG.f9aa91eeb530d3f6d9804fc660dc4e6a.JPG

It should tone and contrast nicely with the mahogany.

The camphor laurel has good stability, but it is a hole-y wood:

_MG_2687.thumb.JPG.206ebceb2564cd8217f1ecca397b4c5b.JPG

I'll fill the voids with epoxy mixed with ebony dust that I collect for just this kind of job! :D

 

Next job will be finish-width thicknessing the neck blank and cutting out the two necks from it...

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Andyjr1515    528

Bit of a mixed bag of progress on these two.

For the Alembic-escue, it was all going so well :rolleyes:

Back wings were cut oversize (I'm a crazy man - I use the figured top as the router template...I know, I know....) and the nut position determined on the squared-up neck beam:

_MG_2700.thumb.JPG.26164888d8c83ebcbfd84febfa2af716.JPG

 

The neck angle was determined on paper and in timber simulation:

_MG_2725.thumb.JPG.27d42591c52384ea85390afdcac32291.JPG

 

So then I could rout the notch in the neck beam for the top to sit on, incorporating that angle.  It was probably my most accurate rout of this type of slot - flat, square, angle spot on:

_MG_2735.thumb.JPG.6d64307872ab0d56db70531957f64f63.JPG

Just one slight problem.....

...the body components are in the correct position.  So, isn't the slot supposed to be positioned to meet the top at the LOWER cutaway?  This is perfectly measured...but against the wrong cutaway :lol::rolleyes:

It has to be said that I actually quite rarely make big boo-boos like this so I reckon I'm owed a few :D

Anyway, because the second neck I cut from the blank is even thinner than this one and can't be used in place of the b*******d one, there's an order in for another set of splices, which should be with me tomorrow.  So in the meantime, this one is 'resting'.

 

But that has meant I could do a couple of similar jobs on the second build while the bandsaw still had the thinner blade on.

Now here I've had a change of mind for the top.  If you remember, I was going to go with the spectacular Amboyna set:

_MG_2639.thumb.JPG.ce02e8764d82f2f84fe86f54c83ff9dd.JPG

But, this particular build is planned to be a bit of a showcase so, at great expense and to the delight of the UK Customs and Excise Dept, I have got hold of some more stunning snakewood from US for the fretboard.  And for that, I need a bit more contrast than orange wood on orange, so I've gone for the second camphor set I'd bought at the same time as the one for the Alimbic-esque (now then, everyone, you ARE following all of this aren't you because you know there will be a test at the end!).

This:

_MG_2743.thumb.JPG.251a56392b367318f1bc637b6af3821b.JPG

 

You can tell it's come from a tree! :)

 

So same cutting process pre the routing of the slot:

_MG_2744.thumb.JPG.79322c03253d052f5a63151357be16a2.JPG

 

And here is closer to what it will do when the finish is applied.  And there's the snakewood:

_MG_2750.thumb.JPG.6226baaea4ef1a3ccc898dfdec2e494a.JPG

 

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Andyjr1515    528
2 hours ago, psikoT said:

That fretboard.... :hyper  

Maybe I've missed something, but how many builds are you running? 

I said I was probably confusing things ;)

 

It's two builds - an Alembic-esque lightweight and another extreme lightweight based on my earlier piccolo bass build.  There are similarities in the construction and materials but some major differences in the design concept.

I'll probably be best to split it into two threads....truth be told, it's confusing the Dickens out of me too :lol:

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Norris    207
15 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Just one slight problem.....

...the body components are in the correct position.  So, isn't the slot supposed to be positioned to meet the top at the LOWER cutaway?  This is perfectly measured...but against the wrong cutaway :lol::rolleyes:

It has to be said that I actually quite rarely make big boo-boos like this so I reckon I'm owed a few :D

You don't fancy a short scale then?

Thanks for proving to us that you are human after all! <_<

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Norris    207
15 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

And here is closer to what it will do when the finish is applied.  And there's the snakewood:

_MG_2750.thumb.JPG.6226baaea4ef1a3ccc898dfdec2e494a.JPG

 

That's going to turn out beautifully. Lovely choice of woods Mr Jr1515!

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Andyjr1515    528
47 minutes ago, Norris said:

You don't fancy a short scale then?

Thanks for proving to us that you are human after all! <_<

:lol:   

Ah...my careful concealment of the truth is uncovered...darn it!

I will use the neck for something in the future, so it's (probably) not a total scrapper.  

Besides, the guy who I'm making it for might not react well, having asked for a Fender scale length, if I raise my eyebrows in astonishment and say, "Fender Scale.....oh, THAT Fender scale!  Well, you should have been a bit clearer about that...."   

Not that I practiced the raising of the eyebrows, of course.... :huh:

 

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Norris    207
2 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

"Fender Scale.....oh, THAT Fender scale! 

"... you know they do several scale lengths, right?" :D

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Andyjr1515    528
36 minutes ago, Norris said:

"... you know they do several scale lengths, right?" :D

Hmmm...clearly you've got the T-shirt too :D

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Andyjr1515    528
1 hour ago, ScottR said:

Gorgeous timbers Andy. Very Earthy. 

How deep are you planning to make that F-hole?

SR

Hi, Scott

This is going to be broadly like the piccolo so, under the top will be a large chamber - a bit like a semi-acoustic.  As such, the f-hole will be all the way through the top like this:

_MG_1164.thumb.JPG.fa8a79ce4b39b17a2c51fedf6fa39589.JPG

 

I don't trust my carving enough to try anything approaching the magnificent carved holes I've seen you do....

How are things where you are floods-wise?  Looks pretty serious stuff from over here....

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