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Andyjr1515

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

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ScottR    1,363
22 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

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:

Ah, that will be sweet.

 

23 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

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

The floods are indeed very serious stuff. All the local TV stations have just been showing water rescues 24/7 for days now. I came through it unscathed, high and dry and feeling lucky compared to so many. It will be quite some time till things are back to normal around here.

SR

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psikoT    250
On 8/30/2017 at 9:50 PM, Andyjr1515 said:

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:

 

Got lost with so many tops... But are they gonna be two guitars or a guitar and a bass? Sorry for stupid question... :coffee:

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Andyjr1515    531
1 hour ago, psikoT said:

 

Got lost with so many tops... But are they gonna be two guitars or a guitar and a bass? Sorry for stupid question... :coffee:

Two guitars.

One for Tim, an Alembic-esque with this top:

_MG_2689.thumb.JPG.e3a0cbc4b616a04c652940f55a4d56e8.JPG

 

And one for me, based on the shape of my piccolo bass but this time built as a 6-string electric with this top:

_MG_2750.thumb.JPG.6226baaea4ef1a3ccc898dfdec2e494a.JPG

 

Both are using Camphor Laurel.  I abandoned the use of the Amboyna burl on mine above because I thought the orange would detract from the snakewood fretboard. 

Hope this temporarily clarifies - but I will indeed set them up as two separate build threads because, as I say, it's confusing me too! :)

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Andyjr1515    531

OK - this will now cover just the Alembic-esque 6-string.

And pleased to report it's back on track.  After cocking up miscalculating the rout position for the original neck, new wood was bought, and a new beam assembled:

_MG_2753.thumb.JPG.d26654235f3130acfc2042bf2081bb72.JPG

 

Spent much of today squaring up, trimming down, checking and double checking and triple checking and routing and we have the basic components...and this time all in the right places :lol:

_MG_2759.thumb.JPG.d53300ba6e36ee674d931e31ded60073.JPG

 

Assembled, it will go together something like this:

_MG_2761.thumb.JPG.b95f3aea3c6186f5bc02c606a1aa9576.JPG

The two mahogany wings will line up with the notch in the neck, giving a full-width flat surface for the top to be glued onto. The notch itself incorporates a 2 degree drop to create the correct height range for the bridge (a lovely Schaller piezo job supplied by Tim, who this is being built for)

Next task is to sort the position and sizes of the various chambers and cable runs before gluing the wings to the neck... :)

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Andyjr1515    531

Tim's spec includes an enclosed (ie no f-hole) semi-acoustic-with-centre-block approach, trying to get it as light as possible but without compromising balance, etc.. This means a major chamber in the top half, most of which is routed into the rear mahogany wing:
_MG_2765.thumb.JPG.6bdfa38d7c85b8557f9f1486832bfcea.JPG

Note truss rod slot is also now cut.

The wall thickness of the chamber thickens at the top horn to give plenty of meat for the strap button, but also thickens at the top of the lower bout to allow the 'sucked lozenge' (as Tim describes it) cut through that he has also asked for. This will be similarly done as on Kert's camphor-topped bass which many of you will have seen before:
IMG_7257.thumb.JPG.804071cf97606502361d827fa7c9dbac.JPG


Tim has sent me his recently purchased fancy Schaller pre-amp so that I can now work out the optimum size and shape of the control chamber to sort out the lower wing cuts and routs before they are then both glued to the neck.

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Andyjr1515    531
49 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Camphor burl is one of my favourites. Where did you source it from, Andy?

This particular piece was from Exotichardwoodsukltd.co.uk although I haven't seen any of the same kind in his stocks since I bought this.  The Camphor Laurel that is destined for this present build was also from there but is, of course, a totally different wood.

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Andyjr1515    531

Been working out the area needed for the control chamber. There's a lot of real-estate taken up by Tim's chosen piezo/magnetic pre-amp (Schaller 'Flagship'):
IMG_2779.thumb.JPG.5a0a4b047599dafc579407e538cbffc0.JPG

Working that out has meant I could cut out the control chamber shape. Here are all the main wood components (it'll end up about 5 1/2 lbs wood content) with the back wings now ready to glue to the neck:
IMG_2782.thumb.JPG.42763d2d7d4b0a17d46ef9ca82057360.JPG

You can just see the quilting in the ebony of the fretboard in this shot...  :)

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Andyjr1515    531

 

20 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Quilted ebony? I've never even heard of that in actual Gaboon. I thought the only way to get that was from @StratsRdivine.

Who knew? :blink:

SR

I've never come across it before either - it was bought as just standard ebony :)

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ScottR    1,363
38 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

it was bought as just standard ebony :)

Which is as dear as golden eggs. Good thing your vendor didn't notice what he had.

SR

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StratsRdivine    102

Holy Crap, if you could eat exotic wood, this thread should get a Michelin star.  You gotta send closeup pics of that figured ebony - amazing.  Never saw that before.  

If you ever want a seriously figured carbon fiber fingerboard, I will be introducing solid 4mm figured fingerboards in about two months.  The one below is epoxy filled face for the cast-in-place inlays, but my latest panels are solid with figure running the whole way through, regardless how deep the radius is sanded.  Fret slots cut great with diamond blades.  

 

BlindingFrets.JPG

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Andyjr1515    531

 

7 hours ago, StratsRdivine said:

Holy Crap, if you could eat exotic wood, this thread should get a Michelin star.  You gotta send closeup pics of that figured ebony - amazing.  Never saw that before.  

It has to be said that in daylight, it doesn't show up the quilting anywhere near as much.  But in artificial light, or flash, it seems to show up clearly.  I'll try and get a closer shot of the effect :)

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Andyjr1515    531
12 hours ago, StratsRdivine said:

Holy Crap, if you could eat exotic wood, this thread should get a Michelin star.  You gotta send closeup pics of that figured ebony - amazing.  Never saw that before.  

 

This is it in sunshine.  Quite something, isn't it :)

_MG_2785.thumb.JPG.d3a24f8211070eaa1c09ee58b8d85903.JPG

Whether it will still show when it's been radiused, who knows, but I can't think why it shouldn't

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curtisa    465
55 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Quite something, isn't it

Yeah. English sunshine coming through the windows - definitely worth photographing, don't see it too often...

Ohhhhhhhh, the fretboard! :rolleyes:

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Andyjr1515    531
5 minutes ago, curtisa said:

Yeah. English sunshine coming through the windows - definitely worth photographing, don't see it too often...

Ohhhhhhhh, the fretboard! :rolleyes:

:lol:

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StratsRdivine    102

Waaayyy cool!!  Almost looks like dyed Sapele or another figured wood.  That is not quilt figure, though, sorry.  Its actually mottle grain, similar to Bee's wing mottle, where its a combination of ribbon stripe (where the grain spirals around the circumference of the tree, then switches direction every rainy season (every 12mm to 30mm, radially) for the tree to grow stronger when piercing the canopy), and flame/curl - but wider waves.  Not at all quilt, which is buckling compression wood (or fungus - noone really knows), resulting in quilt billows - no spiral grain, as north american woods aren't as tall, and don't need to pierce any canopy, thus not needing interlocked spiral grain (ribbonstripe).     

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Andyjr1515    531

Bit more progress on this.

Got the wings glued and cable runs routed:

_MG_2812.thumb.JPG.813f9dc14dacc0bde3577fdb4520d4c8.JPG

 

Then top glued on with a 2mm wenge demarcation veneer between the two.  The crack in the top isn't a crack - it's just the edge of one of the many holes.  It seems to be actually a pretty stable wood, despite the holey nature of it :

_MG_2826.thumb.JPG.d6324bbd5fe2753441c1d171ec3882b6.JPG

Then, before the carve, some of the jobs best done when you still have a flat surface.  The first being the pickup chambers.

And again, I must stress this is simply the way I do it, not necessarily the way it should be done. 

I know many (most?) builders use a forstner for rough bulk removal and then a template and router for the final shape.  I use the same things but in, perhaps, a different order to many.  The reason is simple - I simply haven't found the foolproof way of positioning and avoiding router disasters with the more conventional method.  And I hate using templates if there's another way (personal thing)

I've also learnt how to sharpen a chisel...amazing what that can do when it doesn't have the sharpness of an old screwdriver...

So this is how I do it nowadays.

The corners make all the difference to the professional look of the finished fit.  So I drill them first on my little drill press:_MG_2829.thumb.JPG.359e459b11645fdefa1d6bde6a21a6be.JPG


I then use the Forstner to take out the bulk and also to nibble right to the very edge of the marked line (which is drawn 1/2 mm larger than the pickup covers all the way round)

_MG_2831.thumb.JPG.3513579e04319065ed03a1a7ecbfaaa4.JPG

If you ever try this, by the way, always clamp the body - nibbling hits the side of the forstner bit so, unsupported, it will shift!

Then I use my very sharp chisel and mallet to straighten up the top ripples in between the original four drilled holes:

_MG_2832.thumb.JPG.318d801c86c3c0d740d48b332b50469b.JPG


And only now do I get the router out to finish route the lower part of the chamber and the bottom to the specific depth I need - because now it is fully safe to use with a short top bearing trimmer bit:

_MG_2841.thumb.JPG.4cf6846ca6266c91043362884ba00f6a.JPG


Result is (phew!) a neat and very accurate chamber:
_MG_2844.thumb.JPG.11f7c242bd31ef538623d66625e3e975.JPG

_MG_2847.thumb.JPG.7c80a3dde6f6e53c54d4936cbe812b12.JPG



So, hey - it maybe a slight shift from the conventional approach, but it works for me :thumb:

 

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ScottR    1,363

Methinks you take great delight in being a half-step sideways of conventional Andy.

And I'm familiar with that sentiment.:D

SR

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Andyjr1515    531

I think the rough carve is now there or thereabouts for me to go to the final filling and shaping of the body.

Imagine the holes filled and dark rather than open and light, but this is where the front currently is:
_MG_2914.thumb.JPG.c1720e59575c75f83b92e516c5d6c2d5.JPG

Here's the back:
_MG_2920.thumb.JPG.7fbfade9b9bd1b071c4bec97455877b6.JPG

And here's the player's viewpoint:
_MG_2923.thumb.JPG.bd5c02e3ebee0d432dff2643fe135b65.JPG



And here's the "deranged fan getting uncomfortably close to the player" 's viewpoint:
 _MG_2922.thumb.JPG.48ea50b09a8796b9633d26ea65331be0.JPG

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Andyjr1515    531

Bit more progress.   Finally bit the bullet to do my least favourite job of any build - radiusing the fretboard!  Then added 5mm dot markers for 1 & 3, couple of swifts on 12th and 6mm dots for the rest (one of which is irritatingly askew....easy fix while it's not yet glued to the neck) :

_MG_2951.thumb.JPG.8fad38f09b5e159de6fc1088eb3fce6b.JPG

Also discussed with Tim how much more cutthrough he wanted to the wenge and mahogany.  In the end we've gone for extending it to the top horn but leaving the lower half with the more traditional roundover.

There's still the final sanding, cutaway transitions and rounding to do, but this is broadly the direction we're heading:

_MG_3017.thumb.JPG.fd07fb18e4c6b4d8ef21c67278544453.JPG

_MG_3021.thumb.JPG.1eed6f352726311824b6694e1947d149.JPG

Tomorrow should see the final body shaping and rounding complete and maybe even the fretboard glued on :)

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