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Andyjr1515

Finished Pics! Swift Lite 2

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Actually, I do like white Oak. It does have its foibles, but once its stopped its teenage tantrums it becomes a nice dependable mature wood.

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In a discussion in another forum, I've been talking about the design conventions I've been looking into with this recent series of builds.  My main target is weight reduction but there's an interesting 'revelation' I've just stumbled across which some of you might find interesting (or amusing, depending on your viewpoint :lol: ).  This is what I've just posted:

 "Putting weight and thickness to one side for a moment, let's just look at body shape.

I started with this, absolutely my own design:
_MG_4270.thumb.JPG.4a1e894a779a21fe4e9cef8396f744ff.JPG

While perfect for me (I made it for myself and - a bit of a surprise - I really, really like this for my style of playing, arthritis issues, etc).
I then lent it to a number of lead guitar players and watched how they played it and what it needed for them.  This included:

  • A touch deeper lower cutout for top fret access
  • A deeper upper cutout to anchor the fretting thumb when bending the top frets (not all, but some players)

I generally play on a strap, but the one thing I would do if I played over my knee more was to move the lower waist back a cm

Jane's version is going to have oak back panels which, however thin, may end up heavier than mine above, which balances just right on the strap.  So I extended the top horn.

This got me to this:
5a91607923e41_MockupSwiftLite211Feb2018.thumb.jpg.8996ecafc596f7320a357afaefb6988c.jpg
Maybe a bit more generic, but still 'it's own design'

THEN - I marked out the back oak panels...oversize by two or three mm ready to cut:
_MG_4518.thumb.JPG.2e8a21b24cb4fd1c942868d5f8b688c8.JPG

So...the traditionalists can breathe a sigh of relief.  Because if that doesn't look a teeny bit like a stratocaster, I don't know what does! :rolleyes:

The finished guitar will not look at all like a strat, but I find that fascinating and I absolutely wouldn't have predicted it! "

 

So there you go, folks...Andyjr1515 can run as fast as he likes in weirder and weirder  build and design directions :hyper but eventually the spirit of Leo is going to just drag the rebel back into line!   ^_^

 

Anyway, back to the oak.  I spent a happy hour or so blunting my tools and polluting my lungs (I lie - I did wear a proper dust mask) to end up with a couple of back panels:

_MG_4526.thumb.JPG.9cf4cb0831ce87c51850bb5024ad47d5.JPG

 

 

And so, although there is lots and lots still to do, it's now beginning to look like a guitar:

_MG_4527.thumb.JPG.f7418c93da94fd4b578960fd055b5cfc.JPG

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I wouldn't draw comparisons. It's not a worthwhile conversation with any useful value.

She does look a bit like my Yamaha RBX though. :lol:

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With the weather too cold to do anything useful outside (I know, I know...but I'm a brit and an old one at that...you lot don't feel cold like we do :lol: ) I've knuckled down and made some more progress on this.

First glued the back wings on and routed the various chambers:

_MG_4548.thumb.JPG.5bca8278afe473ea1b4aa09e65725cd2.JPG

Then glued the top on:

_MG_4551.thumb.JPG.81fa793138574bdc47fd2ba9ec3506cf.JPG

 

Then took advice from this forum and crept up on the final back outline rout using progressively tight guide rings.  Worked a treat.  Ignore the bearing - this was the only 1/4" bit I had long enough to do the whole depth in one go.  _MG_4561.thumb.JPG.3ba1c3bff1cdffa9d7372e5d3ebe941d.JPG

 

Having got to 1mm of the top outline, I finished off with a standard trimmer bit:_MG_4567.thumb.JPG.78c8519171c555358b38140c67c3fd40.JPG

 

Next came the back carve. 

First I cut a guide template from the cover of an old A4 notebook.

_MG_4571.thumb.JPG.26bfa35222bce5156538d8c0a74f16b8.JPG

I agonised a few years ago before buying the Veritas pullshave but am really glad I did.  I use it for all sorts but for this it's ideal:

_MG_4569.thumb.JPG.35b57de579cf6257cfd8415b1439706e.JPG

It really didn't take long at all to get it rough-shaped:

_MG_4577.thumb.JPG.b2d68c97c8833a43969fa391c381041f.JPG

And finally to the top carve.  I generally do this over a couple of days - I have to come back to it fresh and then can see the flaws better.  This is after day one:

_MG_4593.thumb.JPG.52d51d068bbb6debb4bd44691c1799d0.JPG

At the moment this is weighing in at 3lbs 13 oz - probably closer to 3 1/2lbs once the neck has been carved - but, of course, the trussrod, pickup and tuners do add quite a bit...

It would be nice to hit the 5 1/2 lb  finished weight though, in spite of the oak...

 

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1 minute ago, Prostheta said:

Crikey. Is there enough left for the pickups?

Just about :lol:

It's actually the same thickness as the first version below so I didn't have to check, recheck and check again this time :)

_MG_4270.thumb.JPG.4a1e894a779a21fe4e9cef8396f744ff.JPG

Mind you - there's no room for push pulls, standard three way switches or other fancy new-fangled stuff! :D

This new build is probably going to have a single P90 and 50's-style tone and volume so there's actually plenty of depth for the electrics.  The challenge is actually the jack - I'll probably have to go for a Switchcraft barrel jack again, as I did for the one above.

 

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OK - I need a view from you folks.

Fretboard.  Stick with the maple (tinted a touch) or go for macassar (at least I think it is macassar)?

Broadly this-ish:

5a96a69f7d85e_Lighterfretboard2.png.c0fb09f5670607d0adf1b82274b856de.png

Or this-ish:

5a96a69cf1076_DarkerFretboard2.png.fbe32ab03466ae737f8bf974a8d4b29c.png

 

In real life, the difference is probably close to these two:

_MG_4597.thumb.JPG.909f1423920c0df1c838cdf6bcfbdfc0.JPG

 

What do you reckon, folks?

 

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I'm  a fan of darker fretboards myself. The light ones look nice as well....but given a choice I always think the dark ones look better.

SR

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Dark does look more classic and it would be complimentary to the burl on this build.

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1 hour ago, ScottR said:

I'm  a fan of darker fretboards myself. The light ones look nice as well....but given a choice I always think the dark ones look better.

SR

I know where you're coming from, Scott.  Hence my hesitation, having assumed maple so far...

26 minutes ago, FINEFUZZ said:

Dark does look more classic and it would be complimentary to the burl on this build.

...and I suppose that's my hesitation for the darker wood - is it sticking to convention for convention's sake?

Hmmmm - I used to be indecisive, etc etc :rolleyes:

I don't want Jane to see her actual build until it's pretty much done but - as in the end it is going to be her guitar - I've sent her the photo above of my yew guitar alongside the veneered bass and asked her, as the guitar will be similar body colour, if she has a preference...

I'll let you know what she thinks :)

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53 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

I don't want Jane to see her actual build until it's pretty much done but - as in the end it is going to be her guitar - I've sent her the photo above of my yew guitar alongside the veneered bass and asked her, as the guitar will be similar body colour, if she has a preference...

I'll let you know what she thinks :)

And...she prefers the darker fretboard.

So this is where we're heading:

5a96a69cf1076_DarkerFretboard2.png.fbe32ab03466ae737f8bf974a8d4b29c.png

It'll give me a bit more practice with the radiusing jig!

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I like darker boards because there's a lot of classy light-coloured materials to use in inlays that contrast nicely. I like white and gold MOP very much for that purpose.

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So having decided to go dark, I cleaned up the (I think) macassar blank and set forth for a further try out of the radius jig:

_MG_4599.thumb.JPG.05bd080b790bdc4ca37faed2868f24ea.JPG

Still got that slight imbalance that causes the dig-in stripe but it does a reasonable job:

_MG_4601.thumb.JPG.552d835aadf9139fa718ed1d214426ef.JPG

15 mins or so with a radius block gets it line free and final radius:

_MG_4610.thumb.JPG.470e3435ceb9c2557a8ce6aebae51130.JPG

 

Next - out comes G&W's mitre block again.  I've got the hang of the sequence of clamping, etc, now and so that, too, is a lot quicker:

_MG_4612.thumb.JPG.efab9986640f75b8f2d9945892111840.JPG

And so in an afternoon, I'm pretty much back to where I was:

_MG_4614.thumb.JPG.b66649ad495698d687f6292ea8330000.JPG

Today, I will trim it to final taper and start thinking about inlays :)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Norris said:

That looks lovely. Beautiful grain!

 

59 minutes ago, ScottR said:

Nice clamp system on your fret cutting rig. And I agree with @Norris, that's a lovely board.

SR

Thanks, folks.

I've had that board for years - can't even remember what I got it for although it was bass length....and that means I've managed to get an acoustic-length blank as an offcut.

Will have to build another acoustic, then :D

 

Ref the clamps - yes - I find I need packers to stop the template moving (you can see those in the shot) as well as clamping both sides.  What it doubles - as well as stopping the template assembly moving around - is the double security of the fretboard on the template.  I never completely trust 2-sided tape by itself!

 

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I usually use shims between the board and the walls of the box....which looks like what you mean by "packers".

SR

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7 minutes ago, ScottR said:

I usually use shims between the board and the walls of the box....which looks like what you mean by "packers".

SR

Yes - one and the same :)

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For the maple fretboard I was going to use some NZ Paua to get the contrast, but for the macassar I think MoP would work better.

I cut out a couple of swifts for the 12th and routed the shapes with the dremel precision base:
_MG_4626.thumb.JPG.85525e302aad58207f5b83c056b5a973.JPG

Then glued them in with epoxy mixed with fretboard sanding dust and added the MoP dots for the other positions:
_MG_4627.thumb.JPG.ad1c22dc392d86cfb6a0ddfed5d028c2.JPG

Then a quick sand with the radius block: _MG_4628.thumb.JPG.832ac82e0ea1d4bbf676de6d919d6367.JPG

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MOP is glorious on Ebony. Especially gold MOP when its ties in with hardware and EVO wire choices....

Orderly work as always Andy, keep up with the good stuff!

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OK - just done something the other way round to usual and am now thinking, 'Why haven't I ALWAYS done it this way?????' ^_^

Up until now, I've always fretted once the fretboard has been glued to the neck.  I'm now not entirely sure why that was, except I had an un-considered prejudice against fretting the board first.  And a number of my fretting jobs and fretboards have had challenges!

This time, I decided I was going to fret first.

Boy oh boy... :rock

Other than I've finally invested in a tang nipper - which is great - my actual fretting method is unchanged:

_MG_4630.thumb.JPG.66a0faf9b953a1f0231dc01e6a17b39d.JPG

For good or bad, I basically run a very fine bead of titebond along the tangs, hammer in and then immediately clamp with a radius block.

All of that is so much easier on the bench...

And then the trimming, filing and bevelling.  SOOOOOOO much easier - and more accurate.

Not glued to the neck yet, but I've got a good feeling about what it's going to be like once it has been :)

_MG_4637.thumb.JPG.4ded257960c68d4f4273d1f45e4dfe91.JPG

 

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For no particular reason other than it's a shame to lose any of the macassar, I've decided to skip the binding of the fretboard. 

The consequence, however, is that I can't use the cheat of using figured acoustic guitar body binding to give me the feature stripes as I had done of the maple, bound, version:

imageproxy.php?img=&key=b0e8b6d47833182aBinding.thumb.png.235e93b457efc8c2b0a81b5925f2801f.png

So, it was back to some maple and black veneer, stuck to the bottom of the fretboard:

_MG_4639.thumb.JPG.5e8184cc7f10ee0f104151d44b745001.JPG

 

Came out alright, though :)

_MG_4640.thumb.JPG.3cabc5d6074e1eb2f0998c0182873a65.JPG

Got to double check the flatness of the neck, fit the truss rod and then the fretboard can be glued :)

 

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