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5 hours ago, Zoltar said:

You may have regrets about that axle-flag, but I don't think you should have any regrets about scratching around on a 70's RD350...

*...jealous...

Not jealous enough! ;)

... after that I returned to Japan and bought a Yamaha RZ-250 and bought the upgrade parts to make it the water-cooled RD-350WC. Next a Kawasaki Mach V 750 triple. After a few large-bore 4-strokes, I “went home to Momma” and bought the Honda NSR-250R/R and tuned it to track spec. Gotta love 2-stroke street bikes!  (fell in love after borrowing a friend’s ‘71 Mach III 500 ... whine/rattle/clang ... Zoooom off in a cloud of blue smoke!!)

Got old, ride a Harley Super Glide now. :)

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Three months later ... :blush

Well, the holidays were great, two waves of kids/grandkids visiting Japan, blah-blah. About two months ago went down to plane the bodies, and ... ARGGgHHhHH! Old tendinitis flared up (motorcycles for 45+ years, carpenter 35+ years, "Kamikaze" downhill racer 5+ years), so thought to give it a rest. But it just kept getting worse. Started at right thumb, numbness and pain, then inside right elbow, weakness and pain, now right index finger, all-of-the-above. Doctor gave me a corticosteroid/lidocaine shot in the thumb, thought it was getting better until last week ... but, NO! Yesterday got another shot in the elbow, drew several vials for rheumatism blood tests, took a gazillion X-rays, then pushed me into the "rehabilitation room" and hooked me up to "The Machine" from The Princess Bride. I go back next week for another round. :hyper

Sigh

I'll be back ... :thumb:


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Edited by charisjapan

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While rehabilitatin' I have been putzing around the shop (but not cleaning it up :p) making a body size router-planer box. I hope to get back to hand planning, but unless I can miraculously procure and find space for a flatness sander, this should get the job done. I am in the process of putting together the slide using nylon rollers for smooth operation (I hope). The holes are for M6 bolts to hold down shim plates and locator blocks.

Will let you know if it works as expected. ;)


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On 3/22/2018 at 2:10 PM, Mr Natural said:

looks like you got jiggy with an octopus. 

Now that is funny!

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Sorry to hear of the health woes.   

That looks a good 'simple but effective' router jig!  I need to improve mine so have watched with interest :)

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Got to spend some time with the router box today.  First I cut two 2X4s, checking for same dimensions and square, then clamped them between the rails.  I first glued the connector blocks on the bottom, just to keep everything in place while I drilled and counter sunk the screws that mechanically hold the thing together.  I know the glue won't stick to the anodized aluminum very well, but when something has to stay together, I often use glue and screws/bolts.  So far, my stuff stays together for a long time. ;)
 
I will use a 30mm dish bit for planing bodies ... had good luck with that when shaping the necks on my previous builds.  I made roller blocks by routing out a straight block of wood, to make sure the four rollers were positioned in the blocks correctly.  I will glue these one next after fine-tuning, but did a mock-up to make sure it worked as it should.  I will add anti-lift blocks under the slide to keep the carriage from jumping up while planing.  The router base moves in the sled with .2mm play ... nice and tight, but no binding.  In the video, it sounds really scratchy, but it's not really.  I will clean everything up and add a coat of wax before using for sure!  I'm also concerned about the router just sitting on top, so will probably make some kind of clamp to keep it from bucking ... maybe even use those two pine blocks.  I know it seems a bit silly to make everything move so smoothly, then have to keep it from moving, but I've seen what a 30,000 rpm router can do! :Ohno:
 
I gotta admit, it's been fun making this! :)
 
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Edited by charisjapan
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The Chinaberry has been on the back burner too long!

Tendinitis and Bursitis seem to be under control, as I've been in the shop for short times almost every day and not had the Popeye knobs on my elbow and a lot less pain in the thumb and forearm.  Yay!

Finally got the router out of the table and tried to put it in the fancy jig and ... the base was too big by 4mm! Gaaaah! I measured the bottom plate, but the actual base overhangs the front cut area.  No idea why, but in retrospect, I guess it would have been a good idea to check that before building the jig. (duh!)  Anyway, after a bit of work (while very tempted to chuck the whole thing in the bin!) got the rails the correct width. It was probably a good thing, as my wheels were a bit off, so fixed that, too.  After waxing rails and router base with some Briwax, the router slides side-to-side nicely, and the wheels roll on the rails very smoothly.  Put the Chinaberry body in the box and used adjustable blocks to snugly chuck it in place.  After taking down top and bottom a bit more than 1mm, then a few minutes with a Bosch sander, the body was within 0,1mm all around, and perfectly flat to a straight edge.  Since my shop won't support a planer or sanding  thicknesser, this is perfect! 

😁

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This particular version of this body style is going to be pretty radically weight-relieved, acoustically enhanced, and tonally transmogrified.  Will rout 39mm from this 45mm blank after I make a template like the below pic. Then will use my box to angle the entire top about 0.7 degrees to take about 6mm off the top horn to zero at the rear strap pin.  Next, add a 6mm Japanese Kaede Maple cap, and finally bevel it much like the Limba 6. 

This guitar will have the other Padauk Mt. Fuji neck with a dark Ebony 24.75" fretboard and a Hipshot hardtail bridge.  Pickup will be a single Seymour Duncan Vintage Stack mounted in an Allparts metal pickup mount.

In other words, another prototype. 😉

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When cutting the body blanks out from the Chinaberry Chunk, someone said, "Beware the Pith!" Well, when faced with the decision of two blanks or three, I took the Pith ... and decided to make it a Feature. 😉 Made a 4mm dowel of Padauk and epoxied it in ... right about the top between the forearm bevel and the tummy cut.  The neck is Padauk, and probably a Neck Bolt Plate of sorts, so why not? 

Here's the template for weight relief routing ... as promised, pretty aggressive. 😲

Finally cut the Japanese Kaede Maple top out using my little bandsaw ... where has this been all my life?!?! Was a breeze compared to my two-decade-old jigsaw.  So this piece was my first resaw and cutout on a bandsaw, and while this will never be a "resaw king," it's better than any alternative I have.  Happy Puppy! 😀

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If you've been following, you know that the plan is to hollow the Chinaberry out pretty thoroughly and add a thin (5mm) maple cap.  Well, I sprayed a couple coats of my favorite (i.e. available) rattle can urethane, and while the color and chatoyance is nice, the 8mm cutoff warped something fierce!  After drying completely, it settled down a bit, maybe half of what's in this picture.  What will happen when I pain the glued top?!?!  Should I first apply shellac or something to seal the wood before the urethane?  Any advice would be welcome.

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My view is that - provided the top has been well glued and that glue has been clamped and then left to fully cure for at least the times recommended by the suppliers instructions, then it will remain stable during the finishing processes.  On a piece as thin as that, it doesn't take a lot of force to bend it and, likewise, it doesn't need a great deal of glue strength to stop it bending.

I've never had an issue personally.

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Thanks @Andyjr1515, I think it should be ok.  The top will be appreciably thinner (about 5~5.5mm) than that piece, and the stress is spread over a large half-oval-ish area. That test piece was pretty radically "soaked" with several coats one after another, but I will give a shellac coat, then make sure the first coat of urethane dries well before following coats. 

I found a nice color of this same rattle can that is called "mahogany," and tried a gradation with it that looks pretty nice.  Since I'm doing the bevels again, maybe a natural edging would look good? 

Also entertaining a few soundhole ideas ... I know this isn't a true semi-acoustic, but it might look better than just a "lonely" single neck pickup.

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Whole hog Hole hogging.

Finally got around to some severe weight relief.  Actually, the purpose is not lose weight, but make a "sorta" semi-acoustic guitar.  Less weight is collateral. The body is 45mm thick, so took out 32mm ... remembering the 3mm point on the bit.  When I rout it, I will leave only 6mm or so ... if there is any acoustic resonance to be had, thin is good, right? (fingers crossed)

That was a LOT of work!  Started out with 2,324g, 1524g at this point.

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At the slowest speed of the variable router, this bit was wonderful!!  Smooth, no smoke or drama. got it down to 38mm, leaving 7mm on the back.  After letting the body settle a few days, will put the thing back on the router box and shave a half millimeter off the back for the desired 6.5mm.  Then will flip and flatten the top again before gluing the top on. 

I cannot believe how lively the body taps! Very perky, more so than I thought Chinaberry would be ... a lot like I would imagine from a nice piece of mahogany.  Who knows, maybe this will actually turn out to behave something like a semi-acoustic?!  It would be very cool to have a guitar that could be played unplugged in a quiet room. 

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That's very nice routing!  I would never have thought of that type of bit, although as you say, I suspect the trick is getting the speed right...

By the way, shows true craftsmanship when the hidden features are as neat as the visible ones.  Respect!

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Life intervenes again ... last week Mrs. Charisjapan had an accident that scared me witless, tumbling down 17 hardwood steps.  Fortunately, a week later, she is on the mend.  However, a broken dominant left arm at the wrist and broken toe leaves me little shop time. The scary part was hitting a table at the bottom of the stairs that required 5 stitches just at the eyebrow, but those came out yesterday promising minimal scarring, and zero concussion.

Sitting in front of the PC using my favorite digital editor, MSPaint (the only one I know how to use 😉 ), I finally came up with something that shows the bevels.  Here's a modern-ish slash soundhole and a more traditional f-hole.  So far, pretty unanimous nixing of the f-hole. 😜

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Into the router box again, after inlaying a Padauk "neck plate" to give a little more sturdy place for the bolts to pinch.  Now down to a perfectly smooth 5mm.  (as expected, the body moved a bit after routing the cavity)  The body now weighs a bit less than half before the routing.

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The patient is immobilized, ready for a serious shave! 😨

(Btw, all this happened over the past 2 weeks, in 30 minute "free time" increments)

Router box raised 5.5mm for a 0.525-degree angle, then shaved from zero at the tail to about 5mm at the end of the upper arm.  I admit that this is pure whimsy, but thought it might be an interesting thing to do! 😜 I will leave the box set like this, and will use again after gluing the Kaede maple top to flatten that also down to 5mm thickness.  

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At some point I'll have to decide what the fretboard will be.  The neck itself is Padauk, with my Mt. Fji headstock.  Originally I thought to use this pre-slotted Ebony board from LMI, and maybe bind it with black.  It's an evenly dark board, and should polish up nicely.  But I also have a few Wenge blanks that looked great on the Limba, and recently picked up an African Blackwood board.

Decisions, decisions! 

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8 hours ago, charisjapan said:

The patient is immobilized, ready for a serious shave! 😨

(Btw, all this happened over the past 2 weeks, in 30 minute "free time" increments)

Router box raised 5.5mm for a 0.525-degree angle, then shaved from zero at the tail to about 5mm at the end of the upper arm.  I admit that this is pure whimsy, but thought it might be an interesting thing to do! 😜 I will leave the box set like this, and will use again after gluing the Kaede maple top to flatten that also down to 5mm thickness.  

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Very sorry to hear about Mrs charisjapan 's fall.  Must have been very worrying at the time - glad she's on the mend :)

I really like that router box.  I may well steal the design!  The quality of that chambering is super :)

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Next on the agenda is to connect the chambers.  Don't ask me why, but I thought it would be more "acoustically alive" ... maybe. I could have just routed the whole thing and added braces for a bit of longitudinal strength (and support under the top glue line), but somehow just like the elegance of doing it this way.  It is, however, an exercise in patience and bruised knuckles!  I'll eventually be ready to glue the top on and carve the bevels ... Yay!

😀

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I find coping saws tough to use at the best of times.  I can feel the scuffed knuckles from here!

Great result, though :)

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Will clean up a little under the soundhole. but this should be smooth enough for the tone to flow and resonate between chambers ... if that means anything at all!? 😜

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Seems a shame to hide all that work with a timber top. You sure you don't want to slap a perspex cover on instead?

  • Haha 1

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