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beltjones

First Build, so many lessons learned

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Possibly! I don't want to derail the thread because of this though. Suffice it to say that I'd be interested in whether the claims made by the manufacturer ring true. No pun intended.

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Ok, made a little progress. I located the fretboard and put pins in. 

nbML5Ox.jpg

I spent a lot of time getting the fretboard cut and planed to the correct dimension, so with the fretboard in place and secured by the pins I routed the neck with a pattern bit. 

uLsPg2d.jpg

I got the new blade installed on my bandsaw, and it's a huge, huge improvement. I didn't really know how bad the old blade got by comparison until I did some test cuts with the new blade. It cuts way cleaner and faster, and turns better, too. If I had waited to get this new bandsaw blade before cutting off the neck to accommodate the top I would have a lot less work still to do to get the neck ready to join. Oh well. 

Next I'm going to resaw the body wings to accommodate the top, and start getting ready to attach the wings. 

Question - has anyone ever used wood bleach? I'm thinking about bleaching the wenge top after I carve and sand it. 

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Two-part wood bleach acts pretty strongly with the soft light earlywood in Wengé but hardly affects the dark dense latewood. A long application turns the chocolate-y lighter parts into something more like milky coffee or the latewood of white Oak whilst the black latewood turns into a marginally lighter bitter chocolate colour. Can't comment on the workability or changes in structure with heavy application though, since I have only seen results and not been hands-on. I only use Oxalic acid (weaker, safer, better for removing stains and inconsistencies in lighter woods) since two-part isn't falling off the shelves over here.

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Yeah, I think I'll test the bleach ( I ordered a two part bleach) on a piece of scrap first. I'm thinking about how to grain fill the wenge. If the wood is softer after bleaching I think I might grain fill and sand back with some kind of resin. 

Of course, I'm way ahead of myself. I'm pretty sure I'll ruin the whole thing with a router way before I get to the finishing stage.

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I used the new bandsaw blade to resaw a piece of wenge from scrap - it's about 3/32" thick - which I will use on the headstock. Is that too thin? After sanding it might be 1/16" or so (~1.5mm).

I also made a template for the control cavity. I need to figure out how to route / drill the switch cavity, which by my measurement should be about 1 11/16" (~43mm). I don't think I can make a perfectly circular MDF template - at least a method for doing that doesn't come to mind. I may just have to buy a hole saw with the correct diameter.

u5RZxF5.jpg

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11 hours ago, beltjones said:

I used the new bandsaw blade to resaw a piece of wenge from scrap - it's about 3/32" thick - which I will use on the headstock. Is that too thin? After sanding it might be 1/16" or so (~1.5mm).

I also made a template for the control cavity. I need to figure out how to route / drill the switch cavity, which by my measurement should be about 1 11/16" (~43mm). I don't think I can make a perfectly circular MDF template - at least a method for doing that doesn't come to mind. I may just have to buy a hole saw with the correct diameter.

u5RZxF5.jpg

 

 

Use a holesaw for the template.

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It's a thick veneer, essentially so it's fine. The one thing about Wengé however is that the pores are monstrous, meaning glue is liable to seep through them at fine sizes such as that. What I would do when applying glue is to use a cheap plastic toothed spreader to ensure there are no areas of excess glue to come through the Wengé.

Is that a session IPA or something similar?

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Re: The Beer. It's the New Belgium Dayblaster. It's a session ale, but not an IPA. The American beer market is sorely lacking it's own sessionable beer that isn't a sex-in-a-canoe style American lager. (Sex in a canoe: Fucking close to water). This is New Belgium Brewery's attempt to make a sessionable ale - it's not bad. Believe it or not I didn't stage that picture - I was just walking out of the garage to go back into the house and grabbed a beer from the beer fridge, then remembered I wanted to snap a quick picture for you guys. 

 

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Founder's All Day IPA, Stone"s Go To IPA, and Boulevard's Pop Up Session IPA are three good ones.

SR

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1 hour ago, beltjones said:

Re: The Beer. It's the New Belgium Dayblaster. It's a session ale, but not an IPA. The American beer market is sorely lacking it's own sessionable beer that isn't a sex-in-a-canoe style American lager. (Sex in a canoe: Fucking close to water). This is New Belgium Brewery's attempt to make a sessionable ale - it's not bad. Believe it or not I didn't stage that picture - I was just walking out of the garage to go back into the house and grabbed a beer from the beer fridge, then remembered I wanted to snap a quick picture for you guys. 

 

PIPO: piss in piss out

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2 hours ago, ScottR said:

Founder's All Day IPA, Stone"s Go To IPA, and Boulevard's Pop Up Session IPA are three good ones.

SR

Finally something I know about (building guitars, not so much).

I've been drinking IPAs since I was 17 years old making home brew in Salt Lake City. After 20 years of IPAs I'm over them. It doesn't help that the market is totally oversaturated with them either. The relatively high alcohol and high hop profile can mask a lot of errors that brewers can make, which is part of why they are so popular for smaller brewers to make, in my opinion. So now I'm forever in search of something malt-forward and interesting, yet sessionable.

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9 hours ago, Mr_Riddler said:

 

 

Use a holesaw for the template.

I think I figured it out. I already have some forstner bits and router bits. I can use a forstner bit to make a circular hole in the MDF, then use a rabbeting bit to enlarge the hole, then a top bearing patterning bit to complete the hole. Repeat until the correct diameter is reached, approximately 45 min later. 

Or I could spend $10 on a hole saw. 

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15 hours ago, beltjones said:

I think I figured it out. I already have some forstner bits and router bits. I can use a forstner bit to make a circular hole in the MDF, then use a rabbeting bit to enlarge the hole, then a top bearing patterning bit to complete the hole. Repeat until the correct diameter is reached, approximately 45 min later. 

Or I could spend $10 on a hole saw. 

sometimes the journey there is half the fun.

I tend to complicate the hell out of simple often. :thumb:

19 hours ago, beltjones said:

 I was just walking out of the garage to go back into the house and grabbed a beer from the beer fridge, then remembered I wanted to snap a quick picture for you guys. 

we appreciate the pics, and the fact that you have a beer fridge just upped your respect level with me. I lost my beer fridge when my daughter moved back home. I now have a "beer crisper drawer" and it sucks cause we eat lots of fruits and veggies and need the drawer. Feel free to contribute to the "beer" thread in off topics section if you come across anything interesting. 

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15 hours ago, beltjones said:

Finally something I know about (building guitars, not so much).

I've been drinking IPAs since I was 17 years old making home brew in Salt Lake City. After 20 years of IPAs I'm over them. It doesn't help that the market is totally oversaturated with them either. The relatively high alcohol and high hop profile can mask a lot of errors that brewers can make, which is part of why they are so popular for smaller brewers to make, in my opinion. So now I'm forever in search of something malt-forward and interesting, yet sessionable.

I kind of like the over-saturation of IPAs.:) That being said, I've had enough that I'm also exploring other options, stouts principally.

What are you searching for then, stouts, porters, strong ales?

SR

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It's great how we have lots of mixed conversations happening whilst we're in the middle of any given build thread....talking shop around the beer cooler as usual. :popcorn: <- closest emoticon I could find.

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Yesterday and most of today were sharpening days, where I use my building time to clean files, flatten my water stone, and sharpen my plane, cabinet scrapers, chisels, etc. It took longer than usual because I added a new tool that I haven't used before - a spokeshave. It came with a horrific edge, so I had to spend about an hour and a half putting a new edge on it which really ate up a lot of my build time. Now that it's sharp it's pretty cool though.

I also received the wood bleach and I'm testing it on a piece of scrap. Here is the before:

qLiBFaF.jpg
 


And here is after one application, and it's supposed to get lighter after 24 hours. Then I'll probably apply at least one more applications to get more of an effect.

TXwDPKK.jpg


And I got the ears glued on to the headstock. Once these clamps come off I'll get the headstock and wings planed down to about .55" thick, carve the volute, and get the wenge veneer that I made glued on. 
 

vaK7S6e.jpg

 

 

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I've seen it get a LOT lighter than that. What do the instructions say? I presume that being 2-part it has a finite as-packaged strength that you can mix it to, so time must be the key.

I hope that your magnetic strip is strong enough to hold those router bits....I get super paranoid about dinging mine up, or the potential for them clinking together. :mellow: Hahaha....I must be so faulty in the head....

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Little bit of progress this morning. I took the clamps off the headstock, planed down the top, and glued on the wenge veneer.

WbONnA3.jpg


The fretboard is on, being held in place by the pins I put in previously, and I placed the nut between the fretboard and the veneer in order to space everything correctly.

The scrap wenge didn't change at all overnight. I think I did it wrong - the instructions suggested using sponges to apply the two parts of the bleach, and I used paper towels. I think using paper towels meant that the wood didn't get nearly as saturated as it would have with a sponge. I shall try again.

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I can see how that might cause a light application, yes. Sponges load with product whilst paper towels or cloth absorbs it.

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I glued on the headstock veneer, and definitely learned a lesson. I had previously routed a truss rod access hole in the headstock, before I cut it to the angle. So after I glued the veneer I had to remove the material covering the truss rod access hole. 

If I could do it again I would cut out and shape the hole in the veneer prior to gluing, but I figured I could just open it up and shape it with a sharp chisel after the fact. The wenge is so chippy and splintery that the chisel was making a mess of it, so I had to bust out the dremel in order to fix things. 
cSJkNCp.jpg%E2%80%8B%E2%80%8B%E2%80%8B%E

I did get the shape of the headstock roughed out on the bandsaw, which is one of those steps that makes it look like more of a guitar. Caution: Amateur chisel butchery ahead.

WRzxpWm.jpg


After the dremel and a little sanding.

0hhXgh9.jpg
Next I'm going to remove some material from the back of the headstock in order to get it to the correct thickness for the tuners (it was correct until I decided to add a headstock veneer a day or so ago), and I'll probably also get started on the diamond shaped volute as well.

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Wengé is so coarse than when working on it with a chisel, you almost have to work one fibre at a time. It's crazy stuff. Nice save though.

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I'm going to my brother's house this afternoon to use his drill press for a couple of things, but in the meantime I started working on the volute carve.

This is after I drew some things out and got started.

2cqgljg.jpg

After working on the left side a bit with the shinto saw rasp.

n4gX2zZ.jpg

Left side pretty much done except for clean up, which I'll do later.

WrKWzLG.jpg
Both sides pretty much done except for clean up.

XkgD63A.jpg
Next I need to make sure the angles I've done so far are perfect, which will take some work with finer toothed files and card scrapers. Then much later when I shape the neck I'll take the "table top" of the volute down to it's final height and shape.

The whole headstock is still a hair over the 16mm thickness I want, so once the volute angles are perfect I'll finish that up.

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