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Andyjr1515

Skinny builds

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14 hours ago, avengers63 said:

The weight of the tuners isn't what I was going for. The headstock weighs more than the tuners ever will. So for balance considerations, that would be the biggest weight savings.

Especially for long scale basses, I personally do both.  The leverage value of a large headstock and weighty bass tuners with a 34"scale neck is significant and the tuners I use - not the lightest by any means - save 4 to 5oz against the conventional ones which, when hanging off the very extreme of that length, makes a tangible difference.

But also, unless specifically asked to go for larger ones, I do pitch for quite small to very small headstocks for the reasons you state.

Other than 'every little helps', I think the advantage on the shorter scale of a 6-string electric is more limited.

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And onto curves.

The first convex top/concave bottom curved body I came across was a Warwick Thumb bass.  Not many shots on the internet actually show it but, with due acknowledgment to www.x2cn.com, I found this one:

warwick_thumb_bo-4_l.thumb.jpg.5bc9c793a218ed710e83e4f6c07cb7c7.jpg

And that surprised me as, when I was asked by a fellow band member to do a tribute build to Jack Bruce's Thumb Special, in none of the other photos had I picked up that this was what the shape was.  And it seemed a lot of work to go to - especially, as witnessed by the lack of photos, if you're not going to make a big marketing fuss about it ;)

Then I built the tribute, using the same pommelled bubinga that JB's was made from and, even with this carve at the back, it STILL weighed 16.5 tonnes (I exaggerate...it was probably no more than 15 tonnes).

But it got me thinking.  Was this about weight rather than looks?

I built the tribute and then built a fretless bass for myself - different shape but same concept:

IMG_6341.thumb.JPG.a9c8681a6c876a2878bb5be8381d907b.JPG

This made the weight of the bubinga tolerable - but gave me another advantage...just like the African bass talked about earlier - the neck / body transition:

IMG_6351.thumb.JPG.565bbfbf8acda3ca3dcd10acf4bd2086.JPG

IMG_6367.thumb.JPG.2e81b60f7d704495bc2f0b8c1ab2b494.JPG

So I seem to have gained lightness and maybe a touch of elegance?

Hmmm....that was worth remembering

 

( Note, by the way, the tiny headstock - a topic also mentioned by @avengers63  earlier.  Once you start taking weight out, there are all sorts of other considerations that start coming into play!)

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Ergonomics of the radius
Sometime in the 80's I played a 6-string guitar off the rack at a music store that was a radiused body like a Warwick, and the same rounded edges. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was, but I still remember being struck by the ergonomics of it. It was a thinner body, but with the radius it didn't feel thinner and it felt wonderful standing or sitting. Ever since then I've had designs floating in my head and vowed to do the same but never have except for a bass that was freehand carved with a flap sander. It does feel wonderful and I should explore it again.

Lightweight bodies, mass, and balance
The point of this actually isn't the radius, but that same bass had a very small mahogany body, and wenge neck. Coupled with the extra neck length you would think balance is an issue, but it's actually not. What IS very strange about this bass is because the mass of the body is so low, you can feel the string vibrating and whipping the body/neck around. It's so noticeable that it feels like there should be no sustain, but it's actually fine. The bass does tend to have a more punchy sound like Flea. For a 6-string guitar I's probably not nearly as noticeable, but I've considered ways of adding mass to this body to see if it changes anything.

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Interesting topic for this “old” new member. As I am a new member I don’t want to be guilty of “hijacking” the post so if my question is off-topic please tell me.

Here it is:

How does a builder (commercial or private) come up with the starting shape? I know that there are several well known shapes (you know what they are, lol) that many of us start with and then modify one to personalize for ourselves. Here is where I am getting bogged down...

    I always play seated. No matter which guitar I am playing (solid-body, acoustic, full size or 3/4) I play more comfortably that way BUT I still don’t feel that I have the control I want. I can’t help but think that by taking and using the proper measurements for myself that I should be able to design a guitar just for my own use. Any thoughts?

 

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16 minutes ago, jgordonXXX said:

Interesting topic for this “old” new member. As I am a new member I don’t want to be guilty of “hijacking” the post so if my question is off-topic please tell me.

Here it is:

How does a builder (commercial or private) come up with the starting shape? I know that there are several well known shapes (you know what they are, lol) that many of us start with and then modify one to personalize for ourselves. Here is where I am getting bogged down...

    I always play seated. No matter which guitar I am playing (solid-body, acoustic, full size or 3/4) I play more comfortably that way BUT I still don’t feel that I have the control I want. I can’t help but think that by taking and using the proper measurements for myself that I should be able to design a guitar just for my own use. Any thoughts?

 

Hi and welcome!  And never worry about hijacking my threads...I hijack my own threads all the time ;)

Yes - you are right...and it's where most custom builds come from.  Where a player wants something that the commercial products don't offer.

And what you have said is quite an important point.  Many standard designs aim to be 'good on the strap' but merely 'OK on the knee.  And the design considerations are different.  I've modified designs to improve a poor on-the-knee performance, but never for a guitar where that is the primary aim.  I would be fascinated to hear your and other folks views and experiments :)

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On 1/17/2019 at 2:17 PM, komodo said:

Ergonomics of the radius
Sometime in the 80's I played a 6-string guitar off the rack at a music store that was a radiused body like a Warwick, and the same rounded edges. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was, but I still remember being struck by the ergonomics of it. It was a thinner body, but with the radius it didn't feel thinner and it felt wonderful standing or sitting. Ever since then I've had designs floating in my head and vowed to do the same but never have except for a bass that was freehand carved with a flap sander. It does feel wonderful and I should explore it again.

Lightweight bodies, mass, and balance
The point of this actually isn't the radius, but that same bass had a very small mahogany body, and wenge neck. Coupled with the extra neck length you would think balance is an issue, but it's actually not. What IS very strange about this bass is because the mass of the body is so low, you can feel the string vibrating and whipping the body/neck around. It's so noticeable that it feels like there should be no sustain, but it's actually fine. The bass does tend to have a more punchy sound like Flea. For a 6-string guitar I's probably not nearly as noticeable, but I've considered ways of adding mass to this body to see if it changes anything.

I've had much the sm experience afa radius.  First time I played a spector it was like a revelation.  Course I fill that radius up with belly so!

I am planning to attempt a radius top on my current build.  Going with a 30" radius... very slight.  If that works out I might attempt the back...

on that note @Andyjr1515 - do yo know what the size of that radius on that warwick is?  I'm told the spector is 12" but dang... seems pretty drastic.

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6 hours ago, mistermikev said:

on that note @Andyjr1515 - do yo know what the size of that radius on that warwick is?  I'm told the spector is 12" but dang... seems pretty drastic.

I don't know for certain, @mistermikev but just sketching it out full size from the photo, I reckon around 16" for the top and therefore around 14.5" at the back.

This recent lightweight bass build of mine is 14" at the back but has a softer curve at the top from a centre of 1" thick with a top radius of around 15.5" - although not in a flowing curve - allowing the body to thicken towards the two sides:

_MG_7553.thumb.JPG.7717e008c32d180a9e77df5549c2b748.JPG

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Continuing the experiments with combining thin bodies and curved bodies, I made a series of builds, all aimed at minimising weight but maintaining balance and hopefully them visually not looking overly skinny.

Why would I want to avoid them looking too skinny?  Simply because, as a general rule, the guitaring fraternity are a very conservative bunch!  And very skinny looking guitars and basses are seen by many as 'quirky'.  

The first was this piccolo bass, built for our band's bassist who wanted to noodle on the sofa with something that was more guitar sized and didn't weigh like he had the local farmer's prize bull on his lap.

_MG_1164.thumb.JPG.e11a418ce9e6ebe253ab23ae0c016b95.JPG

The weight was 5 1/2lbs 

Did it look skinny?   Not especially...although it looks maybe a bit flat-bodied.  There is very little curve to the overall body

Was it super-light materials?  No - maple, walnut and sapele

Did the slimness add a touch of elegance and playing comfort at the upper frets?  Yes - definitely ref the latter and in my view yes also on the former:

_MG_1187.thumb.JPG.efcec15f17a6f600ae1ae38f06c03bb2.JPG

 

I did a 6-string electric version for myself which was identical except that I merely added a few more curves at the edges.  The effect of this is that it made it actually look thicker.  Again, very modest curve to the overall body:

_MG_4270.thumb.JPG.7df7f66be849e3964b2ddf0df1c73224.JPG

From the side, though, you can see it isn't - the body is not much thicker than the neck:

_MG_4240.thumb.JPG.04f7c380c646b26e4340cf7493b48043.JPG 

This one, with the double humbuckers, was 5 3/4lbs

Interestingly, based on the utterly scientific method of counting how many people looked at the various build threads, the bass players loved it, but the electric players less enthusiastic.

So next challenge - could I make a lightweight look like a ' more conventional' 6-string electric.

Enter 'Janes Lightweight Swift'.  This had HEAVY woods: maple, ebony, amboyna - and the back is Oak!!!!

_MG_4887.thumb.JPG.22fe641767e4857ea1f1332174bda180.JPG

Now this LOOKS a thicker guitar.  It's not.  Weighs in at 5 1/4lbs in spite of the oak and the double humbuckers.  But it has more of a curve:

_MG_4881.thumb.JPG.ddf82b0647ff2c43cc1bb2b2a3186f3a.JPG

And that thin neck-through section gives me that brick-wall free neck body transition:

_MG_4890.thumb.JPG.8603a2da5f46e9b7016ccb58be36b909.JPG

 

So the final test of the theory was the Swift Lite bass.  Was it possible to:

  • Have a lightweight long-scale bass that
  • looked 'conventional' thickness, and
  • balanced on strap and knee, and
  • had unfettered access to the upper frets

Well, this was surely getting close:

At under 6 1/2lbs, but does it look overly thin?

_MG_5722.thumb.JPG.b4527ce819eacdccf73acd9151c45880.JPG

_MG_5750.thumb.JPG.184dcd83d12c7da727df1dedbb55532e.JPG

 

Does it still have that smooth transition at the neck body join?

_MG_5760.thumb.JPG.2d2b35a0b63920cbdee5bb641aa7bba0.JPG

 

Is the top and the back curved?  Well, back definitely.  The top only at the edges.

_MG_5771.thumb.JPG.69a51f29ccff3a3fa344ad9d8056f4c1.JPG

 

Next post I'll go to the other extreme...what options do you have if you throw 'convention' to the wind?  :hyper

 

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17 hours ago, jgordonXXX said:

Interesting topic for this “old” new member. As I am a new member I don’t want to be guilty of “hijacking” the post so if my question is off-topic please tell me.

Here it is:

How does a builder (commercial or private) come up with the starting shape? I know that there are several well known shapes (you know what they are, lol) that many of us start with and then modify one to personalize for ourselves. Here is where I am getting bogged down...

    I always play seated. No matter which guitar I am playing (solid-body, acoustic, full size or 3/4) I play more comfortably that way BUT I still don’t feel that I have the control I want. I can’t help but think that by taking and using the proper measurements for myself that I should be able to design a guitar just for my own use. Any thoughts?

 

Cheers JGordon.

As Andy said, do not fear hijacking threads around here. We welcome it and thrive on it, since it opens up so many interesting discussions that would have been missed otherwise.

I typically come up with a shape that starts as a (foggy) impression in my head and begins to coalesce once I start mentally kicking it around a bit. Then I literally scribble a bunch of versions of it on paper until one of them sets the ol' radar to dinging. There are no rules to body shape....or very few anyway. It has to have enough meat to effect a solid neck join. It has to have enough distance from the neck join/last fret to attach the bridge at the proper scale length...and enough meat there to attach the bridge solidly. There needs to be enough depth somewhere to house the controls. The control cavity is normally covered, but there is no rule that it must be.

That's it.

16 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Yes - you are right...and it's where most custom builds come from.  Where a player wants something that the commercial products don't offer.

Andy nails it here.

I've seen a number of custom builds that features a concave cutout that allows the guitar to sit on the leg. I suspect that would be the direction you'd want to explore first. Try sketching up some ideas full size on paper or posterboard and cut it out to see how it fits. Then when you've got one that looks promising, cut the shape out of plywood and maybe attach a 1x2 "neck" and see how that feels.

Once you've got it nailed, draw out your plans and start making sawdust. Post up your progress and ask your questions and we'll answer and give advice every step of the way.

SR

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For a body shape that is radical, has complex shaping, or some kind of specific ergonomic, glue up some 2x4s and make a prototype. It helps work out the 3D aspect of it, gives you an actual model to give the “lap test”, you can actually make a working guitar from it, and lots of times I find I do a small size tweak up or down. I once threw together a guitar in less thatn an hour with a proto body and was floored with how good it sounded. Pine is incredible.

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20 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Continuing the experiments with combining thin bodies and curved bodies, I made a series of builds, all aimed at minimising weight but maintaining balance and hopefully them visually not looking overly skinny.

Why would I want to avoid them looking too skinny?  Simply because, as a general rule, the guitaring fraternity are a very conservative bunch!  And very skinny looking guitars and basses are seen by many as 'quirky'.  

The first was this piccolo bass, built for our band's bassist who wanted to noodle on the sofa with something that was more guitar sized and didn't weigh like he had the local farmer's prize bull on his lap.

_MG_1164.thumb.JPG.e11a418ce9e6ebe253ab23ae0c016b95.JPG

The weight was 5 1/2lbs 

Did it look skinny?   Not especially...although it looks maybe a bit flat-bodied.  There is very little curve to the overall body

Was it super-light materials?  No - maple, walnut and sapele

Did the slimness add a touch of elegance and playing comfort at the upper frets?  Yes - definitely ref the latter and in my view yes also on the former:

_MG_1187.thumb.JPG.efcec15f17a6f600ae1ae38f06c03bb2.JPG

 

I did a 6-string electric version for myself which was identical except that I merely added a few more curves at the edges.  The effect of this is that it made it actually look thicker.  Again, very modest curve to the overall body:

_MG_4270.thumb.JPG.7df7f66be849e3964b2ddf0df1c73224.JPG

From the side, though, you can see it isn't - the body is not much thicker than the neck:

_MG_4240.thumb.JPG.04f7c380c646b26e4340cf7493b48043.JPG 

This one, with the double humbuckers, was 5 3/4lbs

Interestingly, based on the utterly scientific method of counting how many people looked at the various build threads, the bass players loved it, but the electric players less enthusiastic.

So next challenge - could I make a lightweight look like a ' more conventional' 6-string electric.

Enter 'Janes Lightweight Swift'.  This had HEAVY woods: maple, ebony, amboyna - and the back is Oak!!!!

_MG_4887.thumb.JPG.22fe641767e4857ea1f1332174bda180.JPG

Now this LOOKS a thicker guitar.  It's not.  Weighs in at 5 1/4lbs in spite of the oak and the double humbuckers.  But it has more of a curve:

_MG_4881.thumb.JPG.ddf82b0647ff2c43cc1bb2b2a3186f3a.JPG

And that thin neck-through section gives me that brick-wall free neck body transition:

_MG_4890.thumb.JPG.8603a2da5f46e9b7016ccb58be36b909.JPG

 

So the final test of the theory was the Swift Lite bass.  Was it possible to:

  • Have a lightweight long-scale bass that
  • looked 'conventional' thickness, and
  • balanced on strap and knee, and
  • had unfettered access to the upper frets

Well, this was surely getting close:

At under 6 1/2lbs, but does it look overly thin?

_MG_5722.thumb.JPG.b4527ce819eacdccf73acd9151c45880.JPG

_MG_5750.thumb.JPG.184dcd83d12c7da727df1dedbb55532e.JPG

 

Does it still have that smooth transition at the neck body join?

_MG_5760.thumb.JPG.2d2b35a0b63920cbdee5bb641aa7bba0.JPG

 

Is the top and the back curved?  Well, back definitely.  The top only at the edges.

_MG_5771.thumb.JPG.69a51f29ccff3a3fa344ad9d8056f4c1.JPG

 

Next post I'll go to the other extreme...what options do you have if you throw 'convention' to the wind?  :hyper

 

I’m new here so I hope that I am doing this correctly, lol. First I want to say that you have seriously over-the-top building skills! At 70 years old and low on the learning curve with minimal tools I think it’s highly unlikely that I could ever hope to achieve what you have.

”Throwing convention to the wind” is exactly what I want to do. I am building for no one but myself and a beautiful finish is not necessary for me. What I want is, as you touched upon is balance and playability tailored specifically to my playing. I am so impressed by your builds but realistically it is not in the cards for me to get to where you are. Great work and looking forward to more from you on throwing convention to the wind.

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16 hours ago, ScottR said:

Cheers JGordon.

As Andy said, do not fear hijacking threads around here. We welcome it and thrive on it, since it opens up so many interesting discussions that would have been missed otherwise.

I typically come up with a shape that starts as a (foggy) impression in my head and begins to coalesce once I start mentally kicking it around a bit. Then I literally scribble a bunch of versions of it on paper until one of them sets the ol' radar to dinging. There are no rules to body shape....or very few anyway. It has to have enough meat to effect a solid neck join. It has to have enough distance from the neck join/last fret to attach the bridge at the proper scale length...and enough meat there to attach the bridge solidly. There needs to be enough depth somewhere to house the controls. The control cavity is normally covered, but there is no rule that it must be.

That's it.

Andy nails it here.

I've seen a number of custom builds that features a concave cutout that allows the guitar to sit on the leg. I suspect that would be the direction you'd want to explore first. Try sketching up some ideas full size on paper or posterboard and cut it out to see how it fits. Then when you've got one that looks promising, cut the shape out of plywood and maybe attach a 1x2 "neck" and see how that feels.

Once you've got it nailed, draw out your plans and start making sawdust. Post up your progress and ask your questions and we'll answer and give advice every step of the way.

SR

Good stuff. Thanks for taking the time to help give me ideas.

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1 minute ago, jgordonXXX said:

Good stuff. Thanks for taking the time to help give me ideas.

Wow, thanks for all of those tips! Makes perfect sense to me.

JE

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9 minutes ago, jgordonXXX said:

I’m new here so I hope that I am doing this correctly, lol. First I want to say that you have seriously over-the-top building skills! At 70 years old and low on the learning curve with minimal tools I think it’s highly unlikely that I could ever hope to achieve what you have.

”Throwing convention to the wind” is exactly what I want to do. I am building for no one but myself and a beautiful finish is not necessary for me. What I want is, as you touched upon is balance and playability tailored specifically to my playing. I am so impressed by your builds but realistically it is not in the cards for me to get to where you are. Great work and looking forward to more from you on throwing convention to the wind.

Well, you have a few years on me - but not many!  And the first time I did any woodwork at all in my life (they didn't do it at school in the dark ages ;) ) was around 6 years ago. 

The learning curve can be quite steep - but joining forums like this is SUCH a good way to clamber up it at a very respectable rate!  If you have a peep at the build threads, look how many great guitars are 'First Build' ones.  In fact, I think we've had a number of 'Guitar of The Month' winners with their first builds!

Having said that, getting things like balance and playing feel spot on for a particular player is probably one of the more challenging aspects - guitars and basses tend to be a series of compromises held together by hope!

What I would recommend, to give you a learning path most likely to succeed early, is to start with a commercial neck and build a body for it.  My avatar was one of my very first scratch built bodies and that taught me SUCH a lot. And remained my gigging guitar of choice until fairly recently.  And it makes you realise you can tweak the shape of a commercial neck too until it feels just right for you...

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Here is the bass I referred to earlier. The radius is more than it looks, more of a dished back carve than radius.

My current build, my goal is radius front and back, with a carve top that fits the radius. I’m not very happy about it, follow along and watch be ruin awesome wood. haha

 

AEF103A3-AB6C-461E-9EFA-4A69B6DFB7B9.jpeg

7524A90E-698D-40AE-84F8-05665D21CCB6.jpeg

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1 hour ago, komodo said:

Here is the bass I referred to earlier. The radius is more than it looks, more of a dished back carve than radius.

My current build, my goal is radius front and back, with a carve top that fits the radius. I’m not very happy about it, follow along and watch be ruin awesome wood. haha

 

AEF103A3-AB6C-461E-9EFA-4A69B6DFB7B9.jpeg

7524A90E-698D-40AE-84F8-05665D21CCB6.jpeg

Watching with interest :)

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On 1/19/2019 at 12:09 PM, ScottR said:

Cheers JGordon.

As Andy said, do not fear hijacking threads around here. We welcome it and thrive on it, since it opens up so many interesting discussions that would have been missed otherwise.

I typically come up with a shape that starts as a (foggy) impression in my head and begins to coalesce once I start mentally kicking it around a bit. Then I literally scribble a bunch of versions of it on paper until one of them sets the ol' radar to dinging. There are no rules to body shape....or very few anyway. It has to have enough meat to effect a solid neck join. It has to have enough distance from the neck join/last fret to attach the bridge at the proper scale length...and enough meat there to attach the bridge solidly. There needs to be enough depth somewhere to house the controls. The control cavity is normally covered, but there is no rule that it must be.

That's it.

Andy nails it here.

I've seen a number of custom builds that features a concave cutout that allows the guitar to sit on the leg. I suspect that would be the direction you'd want to explore first. Try sketching up some ideas full size on paper or posterboard and cut it out to see how it fits. Then when you've got one that looks promising, cut the shape out of plywood and maybe attach a 1x2 "neck" and see how that feels.

Once you've got it nailed, draw out your plans and start making sawdust. Post up your progress and ask your questions and we'll answer and give advice every step of the way.

SR

SR, Your comments here and comments from others make me want to sequester myself in my “shop” (small area in my basement with limited tools and big ideas) and endlessly produce gits and basses of unique design. Emphasis on the “big” ideas.

Also of note...the knowledge and expertise evidenced when I manage to slice out some time to read the posts here indicates to me that I should have spent more time in pursuit of worthwhile skills such as these instead of mucking about all over the place. That’s a whole other story though and not entirely without merit. ( “Fun” fact - In the summer of 1969 I worked on the Edmund Fitzgerald and, among other things witnessed Detroit in flames at night from the deck of said vessel.) But I digress...

Sufice it to say, I will do my best to be worthy of inclusion to this impressive group of builders. Peace.

54C41BEF-C96C-48C0-84B1-E326A248A5AF.jpeg

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12 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Watching with interest :)

I am still getting the hang of communicating this way as opposed to years of Facebook dalliance. Ha, ha, ha...great word “dalliance”, eh? Anyhow, today and the upcoming weekend I am busy with many unavoidable, non-instrument-building activities. Thanks for the interesting reply.

JE

2187E306-95B5-4E59-88A7-1CAEB2EFC804.jpeg

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4 hours ago, jgordonXXX said:

SR, Your comments here and comments from others make me want to sequester myself in my “shop” (small area in my basement with limited tools and big ideas) and endlessly produce gits and basses of unique design. Emphasis on the “big” ideas.

Also of note...the knowledge and expertise evidenced when I manage to slice out some time to read the posts here indicates to me that I should have spent more time in pursuit of worthwhile skills such as these instead of mucking about all over the place. That’s a whole other story though and not entirely without merit. ( “Fun” fact - In the summer of 1969 I worked on the Edmund Fitzgerald and, among other things witnessed Detroit in flames at night from the deck of said vessel.) But I digress...

Sufice it to say, I will do my best to be worthy of inclusion to this impressive group of builders. Peace.

54C41BEF-C96C-48C0-84B1-E326A248A5AF.jpeg

That sounds like a fascinating story, I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like to hear it one day.

What's up with the Pignose? Is that something you built?

SR

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31 minutes ago, ScottR said:

That sounds like a fascinating story, I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like to hear it one day.

What's up with the Pignose? Is that something you built?

SR

It was given to me when I purchased a like new but used Ibenez acoustic electric in my neighborhood. It needs a repair which I am also working on. You should google it as the brand has some interesting reading and some pretty high-profile players and admirers.

Later...

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I'm an avid vinyl collector, buying and selling. One of my regular haunts is the Goodwill on the way home from work. Once I found the Gordon Lightfoot album Summertime Dream that has The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on it. I'm not a big Lightfoot fan or anything, but thought if I had ONE, this would be it. When I flipped the cover over, it had a newspaper clipping from 1975 taped onto the back of the album with an image and small story about the wreck, just after it had happened. One of my treasures!

Anyhoo - 

Here's a horrible Illustrator sketch of some crude geometry of the build I'm heading into. This more of an exploratory proof of concept, seeing if I can do a thin, radiused body with a carved top - with the top being attached flat. If that makes sense.

The carve is a bit weird, because Im doing something almost identical to am ESP FRX. This is an end on view with a bunch of reference lines and depth measurements. The red lines are the body, the intersecting red line on the left is an idea of a belly carve. The idea is the left and right "body blocks" are glued proud of the neck through blank and then carved into shape. I was trying to see if I could do this and keep 1/8" on the sides to allow the top to have a natural binding. Neck blank is ebony, "side blocks" are swamp ash, top is maple. Pups are Trisonics so no depth required, the only thing for depth will be pots and the trem block but that's fairly shallow. But that gets into the weeds, as this is more about the layers and geometry.

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.34.13 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.42.07 AM.png

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12 minutes ago, komodo said:

I'm an avid vinyl collector, buying and selling. One of my regular haunts is the Goodwill on the way home from work. Once I found the Gordon Lightfoot album Summertime Dream that has The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on it. I'm not a big Lightfoot fan or anything, but thought if I had ONE, this would be it. When I flipped the cover over, it had a newspaper clipping from 1975 taped onto the back of the album with an image and small story about the wreck, just after it had happened. One of my treasures!

Anyhoo - 

Here's a horrible Illustrator sketch of some crude geometry of the build I'm heading into. This more of an exploratory proof of concept, seeing if I can do a thin, radiused body with a carved top - with the top being attached flat. If that makes sense.

The carve is a bit weird, because Im doing something almost identical to am ESP FRX. This is an end on view with a bunch of reference lines and depth measurements. The red lines are the body, the intersecting red line on the left is an idea of a belly carve. The idea is the left and right "body blocks" are glued proud of the neck through blank and then carved into shape. I was trying to see if I could do this and keep 1/8" on the sides to allow the top to have a natural binding. Neck blank is ebony, "side blocks" are swamp ash, top is maple. Pups are Trisonics so no depth required, the only thing for depth will be pots and the trem block but that's fairly shallow. But that gets into the weeds, as this is more about the layers and geometry.

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.34.13 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.42.07 AM.png

I saw your earlier post on this, @komodo  - a very interesting design indeed.

The back curve is similar to the radius I've used on one or two of mine and I personally think enhances the look and playing feel - particularly on the strap - as well as saving a lot of weight.  I will be really interested to see if you agree when this is finished.

 

"The idea is the left and right "body blocks" are glued proud of the neck through blank and then carved into shape. I was trying to see if I could do this and keep 1/8" on the sides to allow the top to have a natural binding."  Mmmm - wasn't sure I understood this bit

I'm very interested in this build and that cross section looks excellent. :)

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

wasn't sure I understood this bit

I was hoping to keep the top thick enough at the edges (see arrow), to allow a natural binding edge where the wood is masked and stays natural color. 

If the top is lower, or the top is beveled or radiused more aggressively, the edge gets thinner. I'm not even sure I would do the natural binding, but do want the top to be maple to the edge.

The "right" way to do this would be to route the radius onto the body blank, and bend a top onto it. But for the depth of carve I want, I can't imagine bending that thickness. I could shape the underside of a thicker top to match the radius of the body? That gets complex and needs a very thick quilt top to butcher. I do have some very thick flame maple, so this is a possibility. My original plan was flame maple on the outside bevel, with quilt on the inside raised top. 

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.30.20 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.32.19 PM.png

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2 minutes ago, komodo said:

I was hoping to keep the top thick enough at the edges (see arrow), to allow a natural binding edge where the wood is masked and stays natural color. 

If the top is lower, or the top is beveled or radiused more aggressively, the edge gets thinner. I'm not even sure I would do the natural binding, but do want the top to be maple to the edge.

The "right" way to do this would be to route the radius onto the body blank, and bend a top onto it. But for the depth of carve I want, I can't imagine bending that thickness. I could shape the underside of a thicker top to match the radius of the body? That gets complex and needs a very thick quilt top to butcher. I do have some very thick flame maple, so this is a possibility. My original plan was flame maple on the outside bevel, with quilt on the inside raised top. 

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.30.20 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.32.19 PM.png

Ah - got you :)  Thanks 

 

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